Each one asked me right away: "so has he tried to talk to you?"
To them, it makes sense that he would have tried to R at this point, right? I mean, they watched our relationship over the last 10yrs. They saw we were a great couple in love.
It is so embarrassing to have to tell them that he hasn't and that it's going on 3mos of having no freaking idea of what's going on with him.
It makes me feel like something is wrong with me. I know the problem is with him, but I think the expectation is that he would try to win me back unless I was some sort of horrible bitch to him or something. We hadn't had a fight in 3 years! Everything was fine at home until he took this stupid job and we had to do long distance. Suddenly all of this crazy came out!
But it makes me look crazy by association. I can't take him back but it would be nice for my ego and reputation if he could grovel a little.
[This message edited by PhantomLimb at 1:28 AM, July 26th (Friday)]
Maybe you can figure out a way to describe the situation with humor? Like, work on the eye rolls? And add a magic hand gesture to go with them? You can just say "I know, crazy huh, that he would just POOF?" Like it was our second date or something he was walking away from and the whole marriage and vows thing never happened? I'm beginning to think he was planted here by aliens, and then abducted because they were so embarrassed.
I mean it's absurd behavior to have an A, and then to just vanish afterwards is a special kind of cowardly.
I hope the feeling of embarrassment passes soon. There's no reason for you to believe it has anything to do with you. He's just a jerk, doing what jerks do.
Society tends to put the pressure on the BS to forgive and forget and "love your spouse back" and no pressure on the WS (because according to them "everyone makes a mistake". An affair is a CHOICE not a mistake!) It's infuriating how many people turn against the BS and not the WS. Or judge the BS (s/he must've been a bad wife/husband etc) I think they seek excuses for the WS actions to feel safer in their own relationships. If they can pin it on the BS then they feel they can control their own future and prevent being cheated on. Or they're cheaters themselves and thus excuse such behaviours as minor.
Whatever the reason: You're WS actions is all on him, not you!! It does not reflect on your value as a person. I know it's hard to face society and all their preconceived ideas but please don't let them make you feel worse. This was done TO you not because of you.
Hang in there and good luck (((PhantomLimb)))
What will make you look good is that you are standing strong despite what your WS did. When they ask about him, show indifference. Say "I don't know and I don't care." and then change the subject. It takes an incredibly strong person to show indifference after a 10 year relationship especially when the other spouse stabbed you in the back.
You have nothing to be ashamed of.
"In life, unlike chess, the game continues after checkmate." - Asimov
"Be patient and tough; someday this pain will be useful to you." - Ovid
He's had no remorse and is definitely not trying to win me back. It does hurt at times, but I think it's also a good thing. I know he isn't good for me and that I could never trust him again. I think him not having any contact with me like that is allowing me to heal faster. It does hurt though to be tossed aside like a piece of garbage after 10 years.
They are aware that he left a fiancé before he met me and never talked to her again... So I think they see the pattern that he runs and doesn't look back. It's still embarrassing that he would do it again to *me* though...
I told them that it's just as well because I know I'm not cut out to be the A police.
With one colleague she just told me I have the most self control she has ever seen because, if it were her, shed be calling every night to tell him off. She said I look strong.
The other said because he knew about the fiancé, he was a little afraid this could happen (permanent NC). I just said " I know, it's pretty crazy. I never imagined in a million years he would do it to me, too. I think it's clear something is seriously wrong with him."
He just looked at me sort of pitifully and I changed the subject back to work.
If I heard the story, and I was one of your coworkers, I would think terrible things about HIM, not at all about you.
"What did you expect? I am a scorpion."
I know exactly how you feel. It's a blow to the ego that my WS didn't beg me for forgiveness or make an attempt at R. I'm sure if you asked him he would say that he's tried everything but according to him our marriage was already over. I just didn't know it because I was pregnant with his child and....gee..idk....busy getting ready for another human life.
Anyway..it's not a personal reflection on you. Sometimes I let the negative thoughts linger in my head and I can hear myself saying, "how bad do you have to be that your husband doesn't even want to live with you and his new baby."
He acts like he lives and dies for his boy. But according to him it's me...it's all me. If he hadn't been caught in his A he would still be miserable in our marriage.
I have contact almost every single day and we keep it civil and friendly, but he isn't begging me to come back. I'm trying really hard to not take it personally. It also helps that the people around me can see from outside and they just tell me over and over and over again how messed up this was for him to do and how sad and broken he is. Oh, and my IC too.
As my BFF would say, "it's not you babe, it's him." I think it's just easier for me to say that to you than it is for me to say that to myself and vice versa.
Because of his FOO (father abandoned them and left them in poverty, lots of mental illness in the family) and his pattern of leaving people (the past fiancé) and "poofing" when facing a life transition, my IC (and most of our family/friends) are fairly convinced a lot of this has to do with a PD. I am by NO MEANS excusing him or justifying it (he's a big boy and should have kept it in his pants) but even I can go back and look at the last 10 years and say "oh sh*t, you mean the time he got a research fellowship abroad and called me every five mins crying to tell me he loved me WASN'T just because I'm irresistible, but because he might have dependency issues?"...
IC *is* helping me to see that I missed the ball on some major crazy. Unfortunately for me I still love(d) him and it wasn't enough to drive me away (until now), but I have to admit he was always a little all over the place with minor OCD issues, etc.
I just never know if it's worth trying to explain any of that, at least when it comes to people I'm closer to. I don't want to come off as sounding defensive, though.
Sal1995: I'm assuming there may need to be some contact at *some* point... but I'm determined to let L take care of that. He does still have some of my stuff (which pisses me off), but not anything so special that I can't let it go. I am quite lucky that we don't have kids and I can (technically) walk away like this.
Even if we did speak, I wouldn't know where to start. He just abandoned me in a gutter, basically, and I don't think I can ever adequately convey how horrible it's been. I don't even have the energy. And I sure as hell don't want to know how he's doing. So NC is best. But if I had the dignity of getting to hang up on him, at least I wouldn't have to sit through these lunches re-experiencing the rejection.
[This message edited by PhantomLimb at 3:25 PM, July 26th (Friday)]
Have you read any of the following?
Codependent No More
The Language of Letting Go
Just curious. I almost didn't write codependent no more because you seem so strong, but as my IC reminded me you don't have to appear "weak and needy" to be codependent. Just curious if you have read these as they have helped me.
I was not afraid to tell people, "I've tried to get him to talk to me, but he won't" or that he was ignoring my texts, calls, emails, etc. He is a middle school teacher, and my favorite explanation became that he was acting like a middle schooler who breaks up with his girlfriend by ignoring her. It was an apt and very accurate description, and everyone understood perfectly well.
I have/had a poofer, too!
After a time, FWIW, nearly ExH reappeared or resurfaced and had actually gone into hiding. He would not be in contact with anyone...I think except OW.
During false R, he did tell me that he couldn't face anyone and especially could not face me or the pain he knew he would hear and see.
He still does not fully face me now, almost two years later and what I understand from IC and others is that it's a show of intense cowardice.
A person is a person, no matter how small. -Dr. Suess
Perserverance and spirit have done wonders in all ages.
"why would you ask me that". Or you could say "umm no why would I want him to do that."
This works for a variety of silly questions people like to ask.
When Good People have Affairs
The Wizard of Oz and other Narcissists
On Grief and Grieving
The Monogamy Myth
In An Unspoken Voice
Transcending Post-Infidelity Stress Disorder
After the Affair
I Wasn't Ready to Say Goodbye
A New Normal
I would say that, of these, only "Wizard of Oz" was ultimately useful to me. The others were a good distraction when I was having a really bad day, but there weren't huge take aways from them.
WS's IC told the two of us to read a certain website that begins with a D and ends with "eggy" (I don't think I'm allowed to promote other sites openly here). I tried to read it, but it assumed the WS would want to R. Not a lot of help there on how to deal with someone who has a first class ticket on the remorseless crazy train.
I'm currently reading: The Journey from Abandonment to Healing
And Not Just Friends is next when I'm up for it. I also have Why is it Always About You? because I'm trying to figure out how I accommodated someone with a PD by mistake.
(I know this place is anonymous, but I'm willing to bet you can guess my job has something to do with reading a lot of books. )
Someone recently recommended Codependent No More to me, but hesitated from pushing it for the same reasons that you are hinting at (that I don't seem to lack strength to cut him off, I'm moving on as best I can, etc). I'm considering getting it anyway because I think codependency is a problem that he had (and has with the current OW) and, as I say, somehow I accommodated it.
Briefly, my IC thinks that what mostly happened here is that I was a career person (so always super busy) without a ton of dating experience (I had a high school boyfriend and a college boyfriend before WS and met WS when I was 21). Because of my upbringing I assumed he was normal and could handle himself in a healthy way because I was as well. That assumption obviously proved to be really really flawed.
It's been tough for me because OW is seemingly not as nice, less attractive, less accomplished, more bossy, has a child (which he said he didn't want)... so I've struggled to understand her appeal and the rejection. The only thing I got out of him was that, and this is TMI, she asked him be rough (which he never felt comfortable asking me, a feminist, to do, I suppose). Anyway, IC says that, regardless of the specific PD, it looks like he "twinned" with me and now needs someone who keeps him less accountable, who is a little less pretty, smart, etc., so he feels more secure that she won't leave him. I don't know. Sometimes I think he tells me that stuff to just to help build my confidence back up. That said, I think I told you before that I saw OW once in a family photo and asked WS which one was her and which one was her mother. She's probably a perfectly nice looking, accomplished and (seemingly) kind person in real life. Who knows.
For me, none of these books really takes the sting of all of this away... and who can really understand why he's done what he's done. I'll have to ask him in the afterlife (which I predict is the next time he'll get a chance to talk to me).
[This message edited by PhantomLimb at 7:04 PM, July 26th (Friday)]
Compartmentalizing and cowardice seems to be it. So foolish.
I found "Getting Past Your Breakup" to be very helpful. (My job doesn't involve reading books, but I probably read 15-20 on affairs, etc. as that's part of how I process things.)
I know it's hard for you to see now, but I feel you are quite lucky that he didn't string you along in false R for weeks/months/years/decades, as we see so very frequently on this board.
I remember wishing that XWH wanted to R, and then when he did, it just made things that much harder for me when I had to decide if he was worth the risk. Obviously, I ultimately decided against trying to R with him, but I feel like I would have healed a couple of months quicker if I'd been focusing on me and my healing instead of on whether I should R with him.
Be grateful he's stuck to NC, which will help you in your healing. Mine has as well, except for the occasional e-mail to ask me for naked pictures of myself. (So glad I never took any while married!) I know my XWH regrets choosing an AP who is far less intelligent, attractive, friendly, nice, etc., than me, and I'm sure yours does, too. Just be glad that he's no longer your problem!
Married: 11 years, no kids
Character is destiny