So I'm 2+mos into NC with my WS. By month 1 my fog had cleared enough to realize that R was next to impossible. By month 2, I was able to face some of the "red flags" in our 10+ year relationship, even though I thought I was blissfully happy. I got into IC. I found a new job. I put money down on a new place. I'm still crying myself to sleep every night and my internal monologue throughout the day is "Omg, I can't do this"... but I am doing it, I'm moving forward each day and maintaining NC.
Through IC, I'm discovering that I was a bit of an emotional rug-sweeper. I'm pretty self-sufficient emotionally and so never really put him on the spot. I didn't want to be his babysitter or to nag him. I wanted to have a true partner that I knew was in it with me. If we needed to work something out, I was ready to talk about anything... but I also didn't like to have to have drawn out "emotional" conversations for no reason. I'm not sure if I was entirely avoidant, or if I just prioritized other things (e.g., my career). I'm still working on that. But, at the very least, I'm seeing now that a lot went unresolved. And there were signs over the years that he was *definitely* an avoidant or PD person (rarely finishing important tasks and that sort of thing)-- but I didn't fully explore them with him as a potential character flaw because, at a certain point, I would feel like he was adult and he could sink or swim on his own and face the consequences.
But, that said, I always promised to be there for him if he succeeded or failed... I just didn't consider it my job, for instance, to have to tell him over and over he had to meet his work deadlines instead of spending hours at the gym. At a certain point, it's his life. But I think I should have considered it a warning sign when he kept going to the gym anyway and got in trouble at work. At that point, it was clear he didn't respect me enough to listen to what I was saying and he made selfish decisions that affected our collective future. But he's a really intelligent guy, so he almost always "got out of" whatever he got himself into... so it got easy to forget about stuff like that.
Similarly, I didn't tell him that he couldn't have a friend who was a female coworker. I trusted him. But when she asked him, shortly after they met, to help her move out of her place because she was leaving her husband-- I told him I didn't want him to get involved. He told me he had to because she had no one else. I cried. He did what he wanted to anyway and helped her. Guess who became the OW 4 months later.
The funny thing is, with this last example, for the first time in 10 years when it came to other women, I felt something was off. My gut kicked in. Something wasn't right about this one. But he had never given me a reason to worry about him in that department before. He always had sort of a KISA complex, and they only just met, so nothing else could be up. She wasn't that attractive, anyway. Her life is a mess. She has children and he doesn't even want children. I rationalized it away.
Since DDay my friends and family have been very gentle with me... but they have started to remind me of a few things that suggest my gut knew something was wrong with him/us way before any of this A stuff happened. I'm starting to wonder now: did I rationalize/gaslight myself in this relationship and should you always trust your gut?
Here's what I keep thinking about:
It took him 5 months to convince me to go on a date with him. We were becoming good friends and he wanted more, but I can still remember the second time I hung out with him thinking to myself "he seems really, really great... but something is off with this guy... don't get involved with him." Did I listen? No. Eventually he told me we had to date or he couldn't be my friend anymore. Respect boundaries much? I was young (early 20s) and dumb and said "fine, we'll go on a date and you'll see we're better as friends." Fast forward 10 years later and here I am.
TMI: I was allergic to his sperm. Even my body said no way immediately!
It took me 6 years after he proposed for me to begin to plan the wedding. 6 years. I was in noooo rush. Even as I was planning it, close friends have reminded me that I would occasionally say to them that I felt like, if I went through with it, that I wasn't being true to myself somehow. I thought it was because I felt like I was being "transferred" from my father to him in some ways (primarily financial) and, as a feminist, I resisted that. But maybe my gut was saying something more.
I knew I never wanted to have children with him. I don't know why, I just knew. I didn't even know if I wanted children for sure. I just knew I didn't want his.
DDay happened and I immediately told my parents and best friend. They came over and I was sitting in my room, staring off into space and stunned. My mother came in with a cup of tea to tell me how sorry she was. The first thing out of my mouth? "For some weird reason, deep down, I'm not that upset." Okay, since then I've been on a daily train of despair and emotional agony... but I can remember having this initial sense of "I'm free."
I initiated 180 within 72 hours of DDay #1. Never broke it. I initiated NC immediately after DDay #2. Still haven't broken it and have no intention of doing so. I miss him like crazy, but I don't feel like I need to talk to him. People keep telling me that shows how strong I am. I think it's a sign something is really, really f-ed up with me or with this situation. I should at least want to scream at him or defend myself against his blame shifting. Something.
I could go on... but I guess what I'm venting here is I don't know how to separate the crippling emotional agony I'm in (I really, truly did love him more than I've loved anyone else in my life and I'm devastated) from all of these signs along the way. Were my instincts good all along? If so, how do I make sense of that?
I know the reason I stayed with him was because I thought he was a good man. Strong, ethical, smart, loving and kind. He was my best friend. I thought I was so lucky to find him. In 10 years he hardly said a harsh word to me. We were clearly in love. We were that pain in the ass couple still holding hands on a walk. Still texting love notes daily. He woke me up in the morning by kissing me all over my face; we snuggled to sleep every night. No one around us can even believe he was capable of an A and, of course, I never saw it coming either.
But my gut. It told me to run. Not to get involved. Not to marry him. Rationalization be damned.
And, in the end, he may have seemed ethical, but he was capable of lies and deceit. He may have seemed kind, but the way he raged at me after DDay was insane.
Maybe I'm just rationalizing even now to make myself feel a little better... but I definitely did have these hesitations from the beginning. Again, it doesn't mean I didn't love him or still love him. I just think it's weird it looks like we're going to end now in the way that my gut told me we would on the second "date" (i.e. in a ball of flames that would ruin my life).
[This message edited by PhantomLimb at 8:05 PM, July 15th (Monday)]
You had a lot of good revelations about the past, about yourself and about him. That's great. The only part that bothers me is you seeming to think there is something wrong with you, because you knew there were red flags and you ignored your gut. There's nothing wrong with you, but you just learned a hard lesson. ALWAYS listen to your gut. We all do it. We decide our gut must be wrong because everything is great, or whatever. Now you know, and you won't ever ignore your gut again. That will serve you well in the future.
WH says marriage is over: May 15, 2009.
EA#2 July 20, 2009. Legally sep: Aug 16, 2009. DIVORCED!!!! Signed Nov 23, final Dec 24, 2010, adultery listed.
I feel that my relationship with ex-shit went downhill after he proposed to me. We got engaged whilst travelling and when we returned he quit his job and had no form of income for 3 months while he focused on a new career. I was more than happy to oblige as we were in it together. Though our relationship was pretty strained at the time. This is now the career where he met OW and gave up me and his young family to have an A with. The sad thing is she moved away to live with her GF before I discovered their A.
His mother is a 1950's doormat and has always put herself last to her two sons and husband, and her husband talks to her like she is a piece of shit sometimes. All she does is apologise.
I wonder sometimes if ex thought that is what my role was after proposing. I was never going to fit into that mould.
His boundary issues really came apparent after this time too.
And, a few of my friends were unsure whether he was the right man for me since then too.
We never did really talk much about getting married or make plans for it. I didn't even tell my friends in my hometown personally as I couldn't believe the way he was treating me. Red flags everywhere!
Though I don't regret having children with him as they are wonderful and will grow into wonderful adults no matter how pathetic their father is.
It's funny because I recently saw some mutual friends of ours who have been friends with him since before we met and they were shocked to hear how he didn't even once take me out in 8.5 years. It was always me who had to do that. More red flags!
So I guess we can celebrate what amazing women we are for being strong enough to end the bullshit and focus on trusting ourselves again! :)
I do think I was broken when he picked me and when I let myself be picked.
That gut instinct was quietly shouting from Day 1 but I ignored it. I probably will again. My issue isn't so much ignoring my gut but not making a stand about it.
I did rage, cry, shout about how I was being treated and how detached he was from me and our family. I don't believe it was not listening to my gut that got me here - it was my reverting to my old FOO coping mechanism of going quiet, numb - becoming invisible that was one of the major factors in me hanging around for that treatment right up until DD.
I've been examining why I felt I needed to wait until DD to be free to leave. I had more than enough reason to leave years before. Before our first child was even conceived. But I didn't want the awkwardness of having to tell everyone and myself that I had made the wrong choice.
I felt trapped. But it was by my own hand.
I didn't want to rush into moving in together, yet we lived together 10 months in. I didn't want to rush into marriage - yet we were married within 18m of our relationship. I didn't want to break up with him but I also didn't want to commit fully.
The only thing I held out was having kids. I waited 5.5 years for that despite massive pressure from him virtually the whole time.
Yes he manipulated me. Yes he gave me the jazz hands and rushed this before I realised fully who I was getting involved with. That is his MO.
My MO is going along and keeping the peace. Like a frog boiled slowly. Not good enough to stay but not bad enough to leave is a toxic place for me.
I'll never understand it. I was happily single, I had lots of fun, lots of friends, lots of good stuff. I didn't need a man. I didn't have that biological urge to have children.
I really didn't want a failed marriage so I stayed in a failure of a marriage instead.
I'm digging with you PL. I don't want to repeat my part in this mess. But remember, we were not fools fooled - at the very least you should be able to trust your spouse.
Stepping back I can see that we should never have married, we should be getting divorced.... but there is nothing in my gut or in my FOO that made him a wayward. He was a Wayward long before I entered the picture.
What sucks is I'm starting to suspect I was a BS way before he entered the picture too.
Lots more small examples, but I won't thread jack. Just know that you're not alone.
My "silver lining" is often that we didn't have kids, and that things didn't drag out longer than they did.
Sometimes it was because I thought he loved me so much and would never hurt me, so why would I leave and roll the dice again?
That last reason really makes me mad now, obviously.
Some family and friends are also now telling me they always thought that, if I hadn't been so busy with my career, I would have broken up with him a long time ago. That I settled. That I had to put up with more than I realized with his procrastination, avoidant behaviors, OCD. (Even he said he always thought I would leave him eventually because he was so much work). But I was willing to tolerate a lot if it meant I had a true partner to go through life with.
Perhaps what we call our "gut" is just our practical selves. The part of us that can cut through the crap and give it to us straight. Yeah, we had an awesome 10 years all things considered... But I knew going into the relationship that EVERYONE in his immediate family has at least one diagnosed, serious metal illness. We're talking collecting peanuts for doomsday, multiple personality, found wandering naked in the street mental illness. I thought it would be unfair to judge him based on his family... But maybe my gut was telling me that he grew up in an environment that will probably mean he has poor coping skills. He didn't have healthy relationship models. And maybe that's why my gut said not to have his children.
Oh, and feel free to thread jack! I totally want to hear your stories and thoughts, too!
This "gut" stuff is stuff I denied and buried for years.
That's how I felt about my ex husband. The trouble with my logic was that I wasn't running out of time; I just felt like I was. I was living overseas at the time, surrounded by and working almost exclusively with women in their 40s and 50s who had chosen our career over marriage, and at 25, I accepted "my fate". So when my ex swooped in and wanted to marry me AND go back overseas together, give up his career in favor of mine? I though I'd never find a better fit, even though I knew on some deeper level that he really wasn't right for me.
He was the "great catch". The nice guy, the one who always puts you first, who is smart and funny and sensitive. Everyone raved about what an absolutely perfect couple we made. And every time someone told me how perfect we were for each other, I had this conflicting feeling of "at least I made the right choice" and "STOP FUCKING SAYING THAT!" because I knew deep down that we weren't right for each other.
We planned our wedding before we got engaged. I looked him in the eye before putting a large deposit on our reception hall and asked, "Are you sure you want to do this?" and he shrugged and said, "that's the plan" or something to that effect. I wanted him to say no so badly.
I lost my voice in dating him. I lost a lot of self respect in marrying him. I'm just so glad that things ended as quickly as they did, that he showed his true colors before we went back overseas, or bought a house, or heaven forbid had children (although I did repeatedly tell him that I wasn't willing to have children with him until he grew up, because he would have been an atrocious parent).
Omg. I did the exact same thing.
My gut too was screaming at me for a year before DDay. I just didn't know what it was screaming. X's sister actually asked me a year earlier if I thought he was having an A. I said I didn't think he would. And I held tight to that belief while he openly dated an employee, working his KISA line. ( Even after dDay he insisted he was only 'helping' her. -until I made him admit that he had kept that relationship a secret from his admitted MOW because she 'would have been ticked.')
We WANT desperately to believe in our spouses, so we do, until we absolutely can't. And then we see where, all along, we shouldn't have.
I'm afraid too that my red flag will be waving unnecessarily in the next relationship. And that I will ignore it because I will think I'm oversensitized. Or that I will miss out on a great relationship because I pay attention to red flags that are waving BECAUSE I'm oversensitzed. *sigh*
WXH finally sat me down and said "hey, if it doesn't work out - we can just get divorced."
And 19 years later, it didn't work out. I still can't believe that I fell for that line of bullshit.
I spoke to my IC about this a lot. Over and over, she told me "you did the best you could with the information you had at the time." I try to believe this, and to forgive myself for not heeding the signs (that now are gigantic red flags instead of inner niggling feelings).
It's a really complex thing to process. And to let yourself let it go, eventually...
Very happily divorced from an NPD since 2013.
his procrastination, avoidant behaviors, OCD
Through IC, I'm discovering that I was a bit of an emotional rug-sweeper.
What's your gut telling you about future plans, i.e., Divorce? Have you two talked in 2 months?
He is the one that first told me he had fallen in love with me.
This reminds me of another - XH and I were LDR for the majority of our relationship. We did six months on opposite sides of the world, 1.5 months together, 4 months apart, then 3 months together before the wedding. He told me he loved me about a month in, via skype. I remember thinking, "oh shit, he's about to say it!" and not feeling ready. When he did, my response was, "I know." and then a super awkward pause, and then "I think I might be falling for you too" because I knew that I was supposed to say something. And I knew that I wasn't in love with him.
I do think later I had some sort of love for him.
But I have gotten to the point where you or we all make choices. Were there red flags? Oh yeah. Could I see them at the time? No. But do I think it is good you can go back and now admit to yourself how bad it was that YOU let those things go?
Meaning at the end of the day WE accepted that treatment. Oh boy did I make lists. I still have them somewhere I think if I dig around....but those lists were me basically and finally vomiting these items up that were NOT OK....and writing them down and saying to myself "what the fuck?". "Look at how much I just let go? If anyone else looked at this they would think I was crazy!"
Healing for a BS is about yelling and screaming and saying how unfair all of this infidelity stuff is....and it is don't get me wrong....but MANY times if you are really honest with yourself you will admit to how much you yourself did not protect what you knew to be true and what your gut was telling you.
And after this you are never the same, just not going to happen. Whether you stay or can work it out with the WS or you get divorced and some day have another relationship down the road you now just know WAY too much about what human beings can do to hurt another.
But boy your whole story was like dejavu for me in many areas. Its a part of the stage you are going thru and it takes while to dig thru all the crap of denial we have built up while living with someone we thought we loved.
Now there are no exceptions.
Ex was in the army and lived in another state at the time we became involved. We knew each other before left for basic but he was just my friend. I had ZERO feelings for him. I thought he was a sweet and incredibly boring guy who I talked to (or rather at) on the phone and that was the extent of our friendship. We had one "date" but nothing came of it. I don't think I learned a single thing about him on that date. He barely talked.
He came home around Christmas and I was home after my first semester in college. We went on a date on New Years Eve. It was...ok. But there was something about him that I couldn't connect to. There were no special moments, no sparks..no nothing. I remember coming home late and my mother asked how the date went. I said "It was OK. But I'm NOT going out with him again." She asked why and the only answer I could give was that it just wasn't something I wanted to do again. She was very disappointed because she knew him and knew he was a "good guy" and "really liked me". I agreed.
He was relentless. Not charming. Not endearing. Not funny or engaging or romantic. Just relentless! My 18 y/o self ignored all of that. I figured he is such a "good guy" and that's what I wanted! I wasn't very physically attracted to him. He wasn't fun, exciting, charming or romantic. Things I also wanted. But he was....there. Always. And after being burned by my very attractive but very much a jackass ex boyfriend, I figured I should just let all of that go and be with the "good guy".
I gasslit myself so damn much it was crazy. I created these motivations and intentions that he never showed. I imagined what he *probably* felt and what he would say if he could better express how he felt. In reality he showed no emotion because he had none. He didn't express much because there was nothing he had to express. Other than apparently hidden anger and resentment that came out not long after we married.
He proposed. Out of nowhere!
Him: What would you say if I asked you to marry me?
Me: I don't know. Why, are you asking? (said laughing not even considering that it would be a possibility one month into our "relationship"_
Him: If you would say yes, I would ask.
(Ugh...If I had a time machine I would grab that phone, hang up on him and shake my 18y/o self silly! )
Me: Maybe I'd say yes. (Still laughing and not taking this convo seriously)
Him: Ok..will you marry me?
No pretty words. No romantic evening. No...anything. And dumbass me said yes after I figured out that this really was a proposal..sort of. Seriously I spent the next few hours figuring out what the hell just happened and if I was really engaged!
When he came home, he came with a ring. We were sitting next to each other and watching TV when he pulled out the box and held it in my direction and said...wait for it...
I looked at him like he was crazy and he didn't understand why. I had to explain to him that I was not about to open the box and put the ring on myself.
After this "whirlwind romance" we had a quick courthouse wedding on his next trip home. I remember the night before thinking that I probably shouldn't be doing this but...oh well..everybody already made plans around us getting married AND I was pregnant so I should just do it! Stupid, stupid me. Seriously, that was why I didn't back out. I was definitely not mature enough to be making those decisions.
Because he was in the Army we were married for about 4 months before we spent more than 48 hrs together. OMG! By day 3, I cried and begged God to get me out of what I had done. I didn't know what to do and wanted an annulment or divorce immediately. It felt SOOO awful being around him and I couldn't understand why. He didn't do anything in particular (other than follow me around the house like a puppy as my mother describes it. lol!) But that was part of the problem. He didn't do anything but just latch onto me like I was the oxygen he breathed. But he didn't talk about anything, or do anything, there was nothing. It was like a LONG and bad date where you resign to just sitting silently and finishing your meal before saying goodnight. Only this date wouldn't end.
Every ounce of my being wanted to get out of the marriage. I felt like he was sucking the life out of me from the beginning but couldn't pin down what was happening or why I felt that way. Instead of trusting myself I assumed I was wrong and needed to change myself and how I felt rather than have ANY expectations. I lowered them all to zero but fidelity is the ONE area where I couldn't lower my expectations. I finally listened to my gut which said "get rid of this cheating ass loser NOW!" I can't express the relief that came when I stopped fighting that.
[This message edited by Housefulloflove at 4:41 PM, July 16th (Tuesday)]
Yes, I do think we were avoidant. I thought it meant I was letting him be his own person. I think what I missed was that, if he screwed up his life/job or whatever, that actually can impact me beyond just having to help him through another crisis. i needed to be my own advocate. Instead i would just get tired of "nagging."
Not a word in 2 mos. Last correspondence between us was a notification that he cut my digital access to the NYT through his account. Before that just series of forwarded emails canceling upcoming things like plane tickets and trips, transferring accounts, etc. We will have some insurance and money stuff to work out. Talked to a lawyer who said proving infidelity would be an uphill climb, so we either just try to split amicably or the most we can probably do is send some threatening-sounding letters in order to get things like lost wages.
Other than that, about a week after I initiated NC, all of my clothes, shoes, books, etc arrived in giant boxes at my doorstep. He purchased most of the furniture (all on his cards), so I guess that's his. Over the past couple of months I've realized there is some stuff missing that I would make a case is mine (gifts, the china, my yoga stuff)... But I have a bunch of things in a storage unit here we hadn't taken care of yet (TVs, video game stuff, exercise equipment). So I suppose it might not be worth fighting over. I'll buy a new bike.
My gut said give him two months of living with OW (either literally or figuratively) and he'll come out of the fog. I totally wanted to R. But he shows no signs of wanting that or being willing to do the work.
In the meantime, I see him more and more everyday as a selfish, avoidant, liar who rarely takes accountability, cheated on the person who loved him the most, devastated our family, raged at me and has a history of abandoning people (he had a fiancÚ before me he split with before a new job and he never talked to her again).
If you met a guy who told you his last two relationships ended with him walking out on a fiancÚ , meeting someone else, staying with her over a decade, cheating on her and then waking out on her... Would you want to even date him??? :)
If you met a guy who told you his last two relationships ended with him walking out on a fiancÚ , meeting someone else, staying with her over a decade, cheating on her and then waking out on her... Would you want to even date him??? :)
Sadly, this is exactly what they don't tell you. Ever. Instead, it's spun as 'she was crazy' or 'she was jealous' or some other nonsense. I don't think my experience w/that is singular ....
Yep. One he outgrew - she was his 'first', he was a teen and she had two little girls at the time (ironically those little girls are both a few years older than OWUmpteen :vomit:). The next was a 'crazy anorexic', the next had a 'sex' problem (yeah, doesn't like having sex with someone who treats her like shit) - he cheated on all of them except the next one who cheated on him first....
I was "special" - you see. He loved me more than any of them. He learned from his mistakes dontcha know!!
*Face Palm* If I could kick my 2002 self I would!
[This message edited by StrongButBroken at 8:51 AM, July 17th (Wednesday)]