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Processing our dating years

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Must Survive posted 9/9/2013 14:07 PM

I was cleaning/purging items from my closet. I found all the old bday, anniversary, mother day cards from STBXH. Tossed in trash. I did cry.

I also found the "box" these are of pre marriage items during our dating time (5 years). I had my journal in there. Even before I had looked at this stuff I remembered we broke up once because he didn't want to "lead me on" He was not going to get serious and he felt he should tell me. At that time I was like ok, no problem. I had forgotten that he did it again about 1 year later. That time I was very upset. I completely did the 180(didn't know it at the time) and tried to move on. Now know that I was a divorced woman with 3 kids, owned my own home and had a great job with $ and travel. And he was younger.

Anyway the 2nd time we broke up I went to my therapist. I will never forget one of her comments. He wants the instant family without the work. He finally begged is way back in after a few months. Everything was fine, we ended up living together and then marrying.

Several things scream out to me. 1) I wished I had understood red flags, and that perhaps he couldn't commit and didn't know how to deal with issues. 2) The things I wrote in my journal are the same things I am saying now. I want a partner that can take the good and the bad. Not just the good 3)When I met him he owned/had nothing, made minimum wage as an office clerk. He worked really hard to move into a job that paid $ to support us also. I saw some issues with his self esteem even then.

I never forced him into the relationship when we were dating or when we got married. I was like ok, moving on. Did he force himself because he wanted the perfect family (I have since learned his family life was anything but perfect, lots of FOO issues)

I look at my thoughts, and I wonder if he ever loved me? Or just wanted the instant family.

Good thing I have counseling this week. I need to really think about what I have seen in my past journal.

Ashland13 posted 9/9/2013 14:59 PM

I can relate, M.S.

Perv chose an OW who needed a father figure/male role model but in so doing, left none here. Things in his own life became very hard-job loss and other stresses and several counselors we had think some of his FOO issues also triggered at the same time-possible MLC, if you believe in them. I believe in a form of them and think he's stuck in one and OW is juvenile and eggs him on.

Anyway...I was just writing some of this story to say that I can relate to your thoughts about "insta family" because he traded us for a different model with money, FWIH (from what I hear). The going here was rough, but some of his own doing and he shut down prior to abandonment rather than working on things he said were problems.

Like you, I went down memory lane and remembered a break up or two we had in early days and what shocked me was that it was about the same issue! This was almost 20 years ago.

Your red flag sentiments ring true here because maybe I would have handled things differently, too.

I like to think Perv had love at one time...his mannerisms etc, showed it and I hope your WH had love at one point, too. I would have trouble going on with the belief that it was all a farce because for me, it wasn't and it sounds like it wasn't for you, either.

You're ahead of me because I haven't been able to bring myself to touch stuff he gave me or wedding things...not sure when that will be. I give you credit for doing it and now you have new closet space!

Thefly559 posted 9/9/2013 15:45 PM

I know exactly how you feel , I ask that often , especially looking back on all those missed red flags! How could they ever have loved? I re read a letter I wrote to her right before we got married and she broke up with me because we had an argument , coincidentally she lost our 20,000 buck engagement ring two weeks prior ! When I read the letter back , it was the same exact feelings word for word. It was sick. ! I gave up trying to understand ? I am 5 months into divorce and d day back to back! The pain has gotten better , less and less as all on this site say ! I just hope that some of her words in our 18 year relationship were real. I keep that in my fantasy. But I cannot believe a second of those 18 years after suffering this betrayal with no remorse. I just wanted to let you know you are not alone and I wish you well!

Kajem posted 9/9/2013 15:49 PM

I had to relive my dating years, marriage, early years for my annulment paperwork. It was difficult to do, but also eye opening and healing.

All of the toughest work I have had to do has come with great strides in healing. I hope you have similar results.


stronger08 posted 9/9/2013 16:02 PM

We miss the red flags because unlike the WS we had hope in our partner and relationship. We did not need external validation from some POS. We were content in the fact that our relationships were secure. Love does that to you. Every relationship that a persons enters comes with the understanding that there must be a degree of trust. We all held up our end. It was our WS that fucked things up. Don't think for one second that you did anything wrong by missing red flags. You were just in love. And I for one will never beat myself up over missing any hint of an A. And in my case there were many. But at the end of the day I can look in the mirror and say to myself that I did the right thing. Or at the very least tried to. It took me a long time to understand this fact. And if and when the good lord brings me another person to love I will extend that trust just as I did my XWW. After all living a life of paranoia does not sound like a good recipe for happiness. Just my two cents.

PurpleBirch posted 9/9/2013 18:31 PM

I'm with Stronger. I still believe in love and trust -just not with the person I'm married to. Not sure if that makes me naive or not... Lol

laney57 posted 9/9/2013 19:57 PM

I hate all those red flags... Especially the big ones. I had (no more :)) cancer 7 years ago... He worked. He went to one appt with me over a year span. I forgave him... Thought it was just too much for him to handle (poor thing). 2 years later he cheated.
I truly believe in love and that ther are good people out there. I read this board daily and it shows me so many good people out there. I just picked a screwed up one that doesn't love me. You are better!

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