Alright, as promised (threatened, lol) here are two examples of what I see as his manipulative behaviour. Episode 1
As I've mentioned, he doesn't drive. A few months ago we'd arranged that I would pick him up at his place at 5:00 and we'd go out for dinner.
Just as I was about to leave my house to drive to his, I got a call to go and pick up a key that I needed early the next morning to set up for an event that I was volunteering at. SO was aware of this, and knew I needed to connect with the woman who had that key. I arranged to pick it up on my way to SO's house. I phoned to tell him I'd be late, but got voice mail so I left a message saying, "I'm going to be a few minutes late... I'm going to pick up the key from R's house.... she's over by my dad's place [to give him an idea of the driving distance]".
I pulled into SO's driveway at exactly 5:22, 22 minutes late. He comes out of the house and I can see by his face that he is absolutely furious. He got in the car and I said with horror, "OMG, you didn't get my voicemail message!" He informed me that he did get it but that I'd said I would be a few minutes late -- not 24 minutes late (2 minutes have now elapsed since my arrival) -- and "THIS IS UNACCEPTABLE!!" I apologized several times, and he just kept insisting that "a few" minutes wasn't 24 minutes. He was so white-hot angry that I asked him if he just wanted to get out of the car and forget the evening; he declined. Eventually he apologized for getting angry, saying he'd had a "bad day".... but I was still late.
So, yeah, I screwed up by being late but I don't think I was the evil woman incarnate that he made me out to be, particularly considering his 24 minute wait was spent in the comfort of his own home with full cable TV, internet, etc. Fairly typical for him to brush off an extreme overreaction (in my view) as the effects of a bad day. Episode 2
This just happened last week. He works from home, basically part-time, while I have a typical 40 hour/week office job. It has long been my habit to send him a brief hi/good morning email as soon as I get into work at 8:30 -- he responds when he gets out of bed.
Things are in complete upheaval at work right now, everything is upside-down.... I didn't get a response from him, but didn't think much of it... figured he was a) sleeping in b) busy with work c) having problems with his email (this happens fairly often). I was still getting internal emails (within the office) so I didn't suspect a problem with my own email.
I went to talk to a colleague on another floor, then I left the office for about an hour, so I didn't realize that he still hadn't responded until I returned to the office around 11:30. Within a few minutes the phone rang, and it was him -- telling me he was soooo worried, he hadn't heard from me, he'd thought something bad had happened to me. I asked, "Didn't you get the emails I sent you? I sent you two," and he said he hadn't. At the same time I overhear a coworker nearby commenting that she didn't seem to be getting many emails, and it started to dawn on me that perhaps there was a problem with our external
email. I mentioned this to him, and said that it hadn't occurred to me that there might have been a problem as I had still been getting internal emails all morning and apparently IT hadn't announced anything. I also wondered why he wouldn't have thought that there might have been an email problem, as this has happened a few times in the past. Last thing he said was, "Visit at lunch if you get a chance" and I said I'd see how things went. Issue resolved, right? (Wrong!)
I ended up leaving for lunch later than usual and had some errands to run. Just as I was finishing up, he sent me a text: "All is still quiet at 1:18. Not having a good day here." [Normally I would call him around 1:00 if I was going to drop by at lunch] I called him, asked if he still wanted a visit, he said yes. As I almost always do, I picked up a coffee and a snack for him. I got there and he was like a thundercloud -- sullen and low, seething anger. He repeated how he wasn't having a good day. I asked him what was wrong (thinking there must be something else), and he reiterated that he'd been really anxious worrying about me. And went on to say that I "should have known something was wrong with the email" when I didn't get a response from him (apparently forgetting that he sleeps in past 8:30 fairly often so it's not that unusual) and should have found an alternate means of contacting him so he didn't worry. This is TWO HOURS after he had learned that I'm alive and well!
I said I was sorry that he'd worried, explained again how I'd still been getting some emails so things looked pretty normal to me, and how I wasn't really paying attention to whether or not he'd replied because things were so nutty in the office (he's aware of this) and I'd been out for a while anyway.
I returned to work, and noticed that a couple more texts had come in after his 1:18 text (texts are sometimes delayed from his phone) saying: "Sorry, just too much worry, but with the same annoying undertone that you don't really care." and "Screw this. I'm in a rotten mood now."
External email capability had been restored by this time, and I got a couple emails from him again accusing me of "not caring enough" about his anguished morning of worrying and not showing him enough "TLC". I thought the whole thing was completely over the top ridiculous, but certainly didn't tell him that.
So my external email fails, and he goes overboard with his Worst Case Scenario thinking -- and I get demonized for not feeding his emotional overdose.