I'll give you the short, version. Part of me wants to blurt out the past 10 years in writing, but I don't think I could truly handle it right now, so I won't.
I met my partner when I was 16, he was 26. It's been 10 years and an endless stream of cheating. We are not married and have no children. Lived together for a couple years when I was 20,21 and 22. We currently live apart.
It's wearing on me. The last time was in March... or April, honestly I don't totally remember, it all blurs together at this point.
I'm so tired of having no trust in him.
We are in couples therapy (and I am in one-on-one), when I can get him in, but that a lone is an exhaustive struggle. He blames his job, but I blame him.
There are ups and downs of course, this past week has been hard for me, I've been struggling a lot with trust and the simple fact is, I don't have any trust in him.
He got drunk on the 4th and we got into it. I was upset that he was happily taking photo's with a couple of his female friends, but it's like pulling his teeth for him to take a photo with me. In his drunk state the conversation went like this:
Me: Because I have about THIS must trust in you *fingers close together*
J: You shouldn't trust me at all.
And it's stuck with me since then...
I am feeling weak. Beaten. Lonely. Sad. Irritated. etc.
When someone shows you who they are...believe them.
No kids and he's cheated the entire relationship..he doesn't take responsibility for what he has done and you have to drag him to MC...you can not R with this man. The best thing you could do is go NC and heal.
..that feeling you get in your stomach, when you heart's broken. It's like all the butterflies just died.
Why in heaven's name are you still with this guy?
If you're in IC, your IC should be teaching you that you can't change him, but you can change yourself. If s/he's not teaching you this, get a new IC - and take on the goal of comprehending that you deserve so much better.
I suspect it's yourself whom you don't trust, and with good reason. You know how this guy behaves. You know you should dump him. And yet you don't.
One aspect of the 'better' that you deserve is to protect yourself against people like him. Go for it - you can do it.
[This message edited by sisoon at 11:45 AM, July 8th (Monday)]
My therapy started in December and has taken a deep turn I am deeply struggling with talking about with issues from my childhood. I am focused on getting through THAT first.
He is wishy-washy. He works so hard on our relationship it blows my mind and then he gets stressed with work and it's like he took 5 steps forward and 3 back. Progress, but also backslide.
He is a very different man from when I met him many years ago, but he is also still very the same in other aspects.
Recently, he (in a slightly drunken state) shared with me that he was sexually abused as a child, he had never told a soul before. I have yet to tell him about my childhood, but I am just simply not ready to talk about it. Our relationship is systemic.
He was gun-ho about therapy for a short time, then work got chaotic and he started not being able to attend etc. He still claims he will attend but I don't see the efforts.
Why am I still with him? I care about him. There is a good heart inside of him, a beautiful man, outside of his infidelity. We are invested in our own ways. I've chosen not to marry him because there are things I am doing with my life that I'd like to accomplish and finish first but the emotional investment is still there.
I've gained a lot of self independence when I was 21 after my mom died. I had no one to fall back on and I became very successful within my career and then having moved out of our apartment I now live on my own. It's been good for me, but sometimes, the strength I feel shatters and I need to make a connection with others who understand the struggle.
I get that. I'm also young and child-free. But being young and kidless doesn't mean we are less emotionally invested in our relationships.
That said.... I am sad that you have spent 10 years with a man who has cheated on you since nearly day one. Why? What does he do for you, how does he make you happy? Love is an ACTION. What do his actions tell you?
You do not have to save this man. It is not your jub nor your duty. That is his. Focus on yourself. Work through those childhood issues (big hugs). And I would consider stopping the relationship counseling unless he is in intense personal counseling. Discuss codependancy with your counselor as well. Best of luck to you.
You are right. It was not what I expect from a group of adult women who claim to be a strong support network.
It is unfortunate that a place of support and warmth can make me feel so defensive and bothered, as if what I am dealing with is not important because I made the CHOICE not to get married or to have children. As if my troubles are not worthy.
I absolutely will continue my therapy as it has given me a great deal of self-insight and I live it a lot. It gives me a chance to talk, which is something I never do.
This will probably be my exit point from this group.
Oh, it's many things. The love I see in him, the laughter he brings me. I love that man, and I do know he love's me. Our personalities balance us out. Our life is not all doom and gloom, but I am in a bad place right now, which is why I was seeking support. Our love is strong, but also wearing on me. He also causes me to FEEL. Which nothing else does. To feel everything, happiness, pain, fear, joy etc. Which I've always known but now through therapy I understand WHY, but I digress.
I've babied him for many years, but I put my foot down about a year ago and we are still adjusting to that.
I'm not ready to give up.
I haven't sat down with him recently and pointed in the way of couples therapy which is what gets him back on track. I just haven't wanted to deal with it honestly.
I'm tired. I'm worn down.
Yes. I am aware the age of myself during our relationships has played a roll in my life.
Though, at 16 I had graduated high school and was working full time in my current field. My life wasn't that of a typical teen, but it did change things.
And I've changed a great deal over the years. I have a stronger back bone, which is hard to believe but trust me, I do. The man has never laid a hand on me, but he did throw harsh verbal daggers which stopped when I walked away from him, when we got back together, he never said a hurtful thing to me again.
I was SHOCKED when he told me about his child abuse. I had JUST told my therapist the day before and my mind was sort of blown. I still haven't told him I'm not ready.
Do you mind if I ask a couple of things to clarify?
When you say the last time was March or April, was that the last time you two lived together or was it the last time he cheated?
How much time do you two spend together? During his infidelities, did the APs know that you two were a couple or was your partner trying to convince them he was single? I ask because I wonder if this is an excuse he tells himself - excuse or not, it would be wrong of him - and if it's something he's ever said to gaslight you. ETA: This is something my now-H used to tell himself, I believe - we lived apart, though we were in a relationship and I was expecting our baby, yet I think that living apart made it easier for him to allow himself to feel and therefore act single (though he still continued with many wayward behaviors even after we moved in). In other words, does your partner acknowledge your relationship sometimes and not others and try to be "subjectively" single?
BTW, this is no excuse to cheat. People will have poor boundaries regardless of whether they live together or apart. A person with extra poor boundaries will make excuses for him or herself to "justify" crossing said boundaries. I'm wondering what his excuses, or lies that he tells himself, are when he cheats.
Are you two living separately due to his cheating? Has he ever showed any remorse for his cheating?
Do you have requirements that he would need to meet in order for you two to reconcile? Please don't be afraid to have them. If you could have the healthiest relationship possible, what would it look like?
It sounds like he has a very poor sense of boundaries or that he continually willingly walks over them. A person who tells you not to trust them, who takes photos with other girls, who cheats repeatedly on his partner... It sounds like he has a lot of work to do in order to be a healthy person for himself and a healthy partner for you. Is he willing to change, or does he think things are fine the way they are now? How do you feel?
I notice that you don't want to leave right now. In addition to some other good resources, there is a thread in the "I Can Relate" section for folks who do not want to be told to run: http://www.survivinginfidelity.com/forums.asp?tid=456588
Please keep posting for support. One more question: what do you need to be healthy right now, for yourself? Never mind him for a moment... What about you? Once you know what you need to be healthy, don't compromise your health. Create protective boundaries around your health.
Welcome to SI.
[This message edited by silverhopes at 7:10 PM, July 8th (Monday)]