Ok, I promised to think about this and come back.
In my M, there were times he was often immature and completely selfish. When he became a jerk about it, I realized I couldn't control his actions, but I could control mine. So, I would do the healthy thing and ignore him, but also make it very clear that his actions were completely unacceptable to me. I would not cook for him, clean for him, speak to him, etc. until he acknowledged that he was 1) wrong, and 2) sorry. I've gone as long as 5 weeks with this behavior (180???/common sense)
After we were M for about 2 years, he had a personal tragedy, not gonna go into all of the details. He grieved for a year. During that time, he was very bitter and very angry. He took a lot of that out on me. Due to the nature of the tragedy, I didn't always put my foot down. After a year, I finally told him, enough. You can still grieve if you must, but your behavior is unacceptable and I will walk if it doesn't cease.
It ceased. Instead he became PA. But he gaslit me so well, that I thought it was me.
He held a lot in, and didn't tell me that he was bitter with me. He started to demonize me in his mind, but never overtly showed it. This was pre A.
He was very loving and charming and affectionate.
He suffers from PTSD. Many of the same behaviors he started to exhibit once he was deep in the A fog, are similar to PTSD. Acting out, being unreasonable, fighting over nothing, the night terrors. Actually some of the stuff he did really was from PTSD.
That is when I started to become somewhat co-dependent due to my ignorance of what A and fog behavior are. I desperately wanted him to seek out PTSD therapy. And I believed in my vows of for better or for worse. I was not going to abandon him during his time of need (that's what I thought it was, didn't know it was an A fog).
I did my best to try and engage him back in the M and to get counseling for what I thought was his worsening PTSD. Though, now that I think about it, his PTSD really was becoming worse at this time too. Hmmm, wonder if having an A aggravates stuff like PTSD, etc. Food for thought in another thread some day.
Anyway, after really looking hard at myself, I still do not acknowledge problems in the M because I didn't know we were having problems in the M. He didn't start acting like a cheatinass jerk until he was deep in the A.
I believe that statement about owning half the marital problems is true with some M couples that actually have visible problems and lack of communication. However, since he didn't show me outwardly any signs of animosity, and we always talked (he just lied), I cannot own his crap in the M.
I gave him plenty of opportunities to walk if he was not happy. I also always tried to communicate with him when I had issues. I cannot control his behavior nor his sickness. Due to my ignorance of what he was really thinking, there was nothing I could have done differently.
The few red flags, and they were very few and extremely minor pre M, were not significant enough to see them as such. Honestly, he was a great H the first couple of years until his tragedy. Something in him changed forever after that. He was never the same again, even though he did finally stop grieving. I do not, however, blame the tragedy. Life isn't fair, and we have to have the coping skills to roll with the punches. If it hadn't been that tragedy, sooner or later it would have been another. I'm just commenting that he changed after that, even after he finished mourning.
Now that I know what A behavior looks like, you can believe, that is the FIRST thing I will think if I'm ever in another relationship. I will not tolerate it thinking I'm working with a SO to get help, I will just pack his shit up and toss his ass out.
Oh, wait, when I found out it was an A and not necessarily his PTSD, I did send him packing. I even helped him some with the boxes and trash bags to expedite.
My mistake was not dating him much longer before marrying him. My mistake was that I wasn't psychic and had no clue who he really was inside.
I had a good M, he didn't. His problem, his loss.
Now, as for past relationships with others, I was extremely damaged in my early 20s. I did a lot of hard work on healing myself. The problems we had in those relationships were half mine. I directly contributed.
Not all co-dependents are the same. My co-dependency was because I thought he had legitimate illnesses which for me changed the playing field of what I would normally not have accepted from a H.
Oh, and I set the bar too damn low. I married a man who wasn't quite as selfless as me. Though we all are allowed our flaws, that will be one I will never tolerate in another R again.
ETA: Even in my co-dependency I have learned that regardless of the reason for poor behavior, it will never be acceptable. I made allowances for his grieving, and later his PTSD because I am understanding and kind. I will not allow that shit ever again, though.
[This message edited by StillLivin at 10:26 PM, March 23rd (Sunday)]