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I need to work on my self esteem...

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Harriet posted 12/15/2013 11:35 AM

There is a heap of proof practically falling on my head that my ex continues to be a philandering self centered ass, that his planned life (after breaking up with the GF he left me for with the line "I like a lot of women as much as I like you") of having several girlfriends while refusing to commit to any of them is *surprise* not really working out the way he had hoped. So he is running back to his girlfriend. She has continued to see him even after his line to her, and now that he is alone he is running back to her. And I have this thought: Why isn't he running back to me?

I want him to want me back. I can't seem to accept that it is over and he will never be a part of my life again. The thing is, I don't even want him back. I have been trying and trying to figure out why it bothers me then that he went back to his GF. I think perhaps it's a little that I am not ready to completely let go (he was my everything for so much of my life) and a lot of it is just plain old pain of rejection.

Do any of you feel like, even though you KNOW your ex has treated you like dirt and would continue to do so, you still wish they wanted you back? Why do I seek validation from someone I have no respect for? It's all topsy turvy. I keep trying to move forward. Is there a 12 step program for moving on? I would do each step!

FaithFool posted 12/15/2013 11:46 AM

My x embarked on a similar journey of ridiculous behaviour after he moved out (at my request). I was done but continued to torture myself over his brokenness for a long time,

It is difficult to separate ourselves from caring about people we were with for so long, and it can take awhile before we can start imagining a life without them. It's a process.

Journey From Abandonment to Healing is a book you should read.. It really helped me figure things out and eventually move on.

We aren't kidding when we say it takes 2 to 5 years to heal. Five years was what it took for me.

You will get there. It just takes time, tears and a lot of introspection.

phmh posted 12/15/2013 11:46 AM

"Getting Past Your Breakup" is a book that has a step-by-step plan to get you through it. Your library probably has it if you don't want to buy it. There are exercises that really helped me.

The thing is, you think that him wanting you back would make you feel better -- but it wouldn't. Nothing makes you feel better. It's just a different kind of pain, exacerbated by contact. Then you start thinking if you're making a mistake by not taking him back, might he really change after all?, etc. (It happened to me.)

You can get through this, and in time you will realize how lucky you are he didn't put you through prolonged limbo or false R.

"Journey From Abandonment to Healing" is another book that is frequently recommended here, but I didn't read it, so this is a second-hand recommendation.

As for online resources, baggagereclaim and marcandangel were very helpful for me. But it does take time, too.

Good luck -- you'll get through this!

thyme2go posted 12/15/2013 12:56 PM

Do any of you feel like, even though you KNOW your ex has treated you like dirt and would continue to do so, you still wish they wanted you back?

The answer is quite simple. You want him to want you back because it puts you in control of the situation - allowing you to then reject him. That is basic human nature.

My best advice is to let it go and take the high road - there really is nothing to be gained.


caregiver9000 posted 12/15/2013 13:02 PM

One day I thought of all the crazy and disgusting and horrible things he WANTED, and I was grateful not to be on that list!!!

Time. How I hated that answer to every question... But it is true.

Write a list of all the things that are wonderful about YOU. EVERYTHING. Ask people who know you to give you three nice things about you to get started if you need to. If your self esteem needs bolstering, then shore it up in concrete ways! Make that list.


Bluebird26 posted 12/15/2013 15:58 PM

Some try to come back as they think we will fall for their games again and for most of them it is really a game.

Some of them don't come crawling back because they have f***d up how good they had it. And they know they don't deserve you and you are too good for them. Broken attracts broken so they go for the easy targets. I mean why would the gf have him back again after that line if she doesn't have issues as well.

Maybe you are missing your old pre-infidelity life and this is why you are feeling like this.

But definitely concentrate on you, you don't need to know what is going on with him NC it is the only way to help you heal.

Harriet posted 12/15/2013 18:22 PM

Thank you, everyone. Your pep talks really help when I get down. I've ordered the 2 books (wonder what sort of ads I'll get from Amazon now!) and I will make 2 lists: one of all the stuff my ex wants that I find immoral, and one of things about me that I am proud of. And then I think I will write a plan of what I want my life to be like in 3 months, 6 months, 1 year: personal goals to focus on my future instead of looking behind me.

Thank you, SI!

caregiver9000 posted 12/15/2013 19:13 PM

I LOVE lists!!!

Immoral stuff my ex was into..... (in case you need a start)

Craigslist ads
Sex with strangers
posting pics of himself... or "parts" of himself
using a fake name
getting fired
not paying parking tickets
laughing at inappropriate things
forgetting to pay bills

And of course the list of stuff that I just "put up with" but now I don't have to:

sitting in the bathroom for HOURS
leaving socks behind couch cushions
picking his toes
watching Turner Classic Movies over and over and over...

better4me posted 12/15/2013 20:00 PM

You know, mine does want me back and I don't want him and that doesn't make my self esteem any "better" or "bigger" than your's. Rejection hurts, plain and simple. And rejection hurts our self esteem. There is a page on FB that I like--"The Single Woman" by Mandy Hale. This week she is writing daily "Things to leave behind in 2013" installments that I've found very helpful. Today's thought is "what if, what might have been, what could have been. 'Cause what could have been, could have been a mess."

phmh posted 12/15/2013 20:52 PM

Harriet -- I'll try to find and bump up the 2013 and 2014 goals posts we have started here.

Moving on with your life is really the best thing you can do. I know 2014 has tons of exciting and wonderful things in store for you!

And, if you make those lists, you'll have a head start on your exercises from "Getting Past Your Breakup"!!!

notsosureanymore posted 12/15/2013 21:01 PM

Harriet, after all is said and done from my wife and my side all the damage we have done to each other I still do feel the same way as you. I just wanted to chime in now and skip ahead of all the advice. I want her to want me so yes to the following.

you KNOW your ex has treated you like dirt and would continue to do so, you still wish they wanted you back

ok now I'll read the replies.

Harriet posted 12/15/2013 23:32 PM


phmh: I see the posts you bumped and will check them out. Also your comment really resonated with me about how, if he did want me back, it would just be a new kind of hurt and bring up lots of doubt again. That is so true and I never thought of it that way before.

I will also check out the facebook much support!

First things that comes to my mind on my ex's list:
sleeping with other married women
leaving his children out of his new life
preferring shallow relationships with multiple women
lying to his family

Things I am proud of:
running the household by myself successfully (ok, it gets a little messy at times and money gets tight, but we are doing fine)
raising the kids mostly on my own the last 2 years (and so far they are healthy and happy and doing well in school and sports)
being the one my kids come to when they feel sick or want help
making a new wonderful friend (I'm an introvert, so it's hard for me to get out there sometimes)

I feel better already. No joke.

NaiveAgain posted 12/16/2013 07:25 AM

Why do I seek validation from someone I have no respect for
This is the thousand dollar question.

Why would you care what someone who is so morally bankrupt, who has no values, no scruples, no redeeming qualities, thinks of you?

He is obviously incapable of love. Why would you even want him to want you? Because, he doesn't want someone who is healthy, moral, loving, and has any kind of self-esteem or inner values. He wants women who are desperate enough to put up with anything he decides to dish out. You should be glad that he realizes you are too good for him and won't deal with his stupidity.

Decimated posted 12/16/2013 14:31 PM

Do any of you feel like, even though you KNOW your ex has treated you like dirt and would continue to do so, you still wish they wanted you back? Why do I seek validation from someone I have no respect for? It's all topsy turvy.

I unfortunately do as well…sometimes. It is messed up!

My XWW lied and cheated on me for 2 years. I don’t think I want her back…just want what we had before she changed. Unlike most divorced couples, our marriage and family life was actually quite good before she found her old high school boyfriend on Facebook and lost her integrity. So it wasn't like it was all bad…only the last few years. She and OM are no longer together…aww, so sad.

Part of me, the competitive part, wants to win, which means getting her and our family back together. I honestly don’t know if that would be winning or losing at this point. Most of the time I feel it would be losing. As time goes by…I feel like this more and more.

The part that makes this more difficult is that she won’t leave me alone. It’s obvious that she wants me in her life. I’m ashamed to say that because I'm weak, need validation, and I don't have anyone else, we are X’s with benefits. I still find her extremely attractive. I still enjoy her physically but mentally/emotionally…not so much. Right now I just use her to get the validation and ego boost that she took from me with her affair. Wrong, yes but now it's my turn to be selfish.

Deep down inside I know I should keep going and never look back.

It is so difficult.

StillLivin posted 12/16/2013 16:00 PM

And don't forget to make a list of all the things you hated about him.
I'll start (did this before in a previous post so it's pretty easy, and found out most of our STBXs had the same qualities)
He is a morally bankrupt, lieing, lazy disrespecting POS.
Add some more to the list as your day goes by. You will find yourself laughing at why in the hell you even thought you wanted him back.

ISPIFFD posted 12/17/2013 12:51 PM

You know, mine does want me back and I don't want him and that doesn't make my self esteem any "better" or "bigger" than your's.

This^^^ Thankfully, I don't want him back at all, and every time he's informed me that his new gfs all tell him he's such a treasure that I was insane to let him go, I think to myself "wait till they've known you awhile longer..."

However, my self-esteem is pretty much rock bottom, and I figure part of it because the only guy who wanted/wants me is a lying, cheating, manipulating NPD, so what does that say about me and my attractiveness... This would be part of why I'm convinced I'll never date again -- I wouldn't believe any man who's not broken would be interested in me...

On the plus side, I really like being myself by myself. It's friends I'm still wishing I had more of. And my IC is always after me to find at least 3 good things that happen to me every day (even if it's a real stretch some days), to help boost my self-esteem so I can actually make some new friends. It's all so hard, but time and continuing to move forward are key.


[This message edited by ISPIFFD at 12:51 PM, December 17th (Tuesday)]

Whalers11 posted 12/17/2013 17:09 PM

Do any of you feel like, even though you KNOW your ex has treated you like dirt and would continue to do so, you still wish they wanted you back?

Yes - and for me it's a control thing. I don't like that he, as the cheater, got to make the decision to end our relationship. I think it would have gone a long way in helping me heal if I had had the power to reject him.

betrayed13yrs posted 12/19/2013 11:44 AM

Caregiver 9000, That is the best thing I've read in days, fucking hilarious!!!!!!!

Harriet, in terms of him wanting you, I am in that situation. My STBX wants be back bad, and I hate that in order to get through the holidays I flirt, bat my eyes, and pretty much disgust myself that I am doing the same shit I did when we were together, living a lie. Mine still denies ever having cheated, what the fuck ever!!! But, when we aren't getting along he says horribly cruel things that he KNOWS I am very insecure about, then apologizes a few days later and showers me with compliments. He actually showed me a pic of a girl he was talking to (Smoking hotttt by the way) and told me, "See my upgrade! Enjoy your single life with your pancake tits and man calves!" It took everything I had not to punch the window out in his new SUV. But no matter how much he kisses my ass and protests his love and my beauty, it does not by any means make me less insecure. My breast look like skin sacks because they got to almost a D with both pregnancies and are now down to A's. So I have a consult next month to get a breast augmentation this summer, not super big, Just a nice C to fill the damn skin back up. I also ordered T25 from beach body, and I'm going to start tanning (only a couple times a week or so to take away the pasty)! I want to focus on my kids and myself, and I can't really focus on me or anything else if I'm depressed and feeling like shit. So I'm going to try to feel better about myself and the rest will fall into place. By working out I'll have more energy for my kids, be a healthier person, and sleep better; tanning is relaxing as hell, even if only for 15 minutes (chalk that off as me time); and boobies will make me feel a hell of a lot better about myself, both in and out of clothes!

caregiver9000 posted 12/19/2013 16:10 PM

t/j sorry but

"See my upgrade! Enjoy your single life with your pancake tits and man calves!"

that is the rudest thing I have ever read your STBX is lucky to be alive and in one piece. SUV? I can't believe you didn't feed the SUV down his throat one piece at a time.

PLEASE, don't take his criticism of your physical body as an excuse for his lack of moral character or as a measure of your future "single life." Being cheated on naturally tanks the self esteem, but improving how you feel about yourself comes from something more than tanning and surgery. (((hugs))) Nothing wrong with being tan... or augmented... but LOVE who lives in your spirit.

end t/j

Celebrate being rejected by morally broken lying cheating jackasses!!!

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