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Shouldn't I hold on to a little bit of hate?

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PhantomLimb posted 4/11/2014 21:35 PM

I'm coming up on my 1 year for DDay. Overall, I've been doing really great. I've committed myself to living the best life possible and not looking back. I've been fully NC with him since Sept (even then, we didn't speak directly). You have to go back to May since the last time we had an unmediated conversation. He tried emailing me in Nov and I blocked him. His family has reached out and I've politely told them we can't be friends. So I've had a ton of distance and time to process.

Of course, I still have moments where I'm in a blind rage of hate over what he did. You know those times when you're doing the dishes or walking the dog and you think about some shitty thing he said during DDay or just think about the betrayal and start a monologue in your head about how much you hate him? Or the mini-revenge fantasies. I figure those are pretty normal.

We're in the same field and went to the same school, so there's also a chance we are going to see each other in the future at a conference or reunion. So sometimes I'll think about how I would handle that. I usually just picture walking away... or giving him a death stare and walking away.

But lately something weird has been happening: I'm starting not to care. I'm starting to get such a handle on the shitty thing he did and what a disordered wing nut he is, that I really think he's just pathetic and what does it matter. I'm starting not even to have the energy to actively hate him. He doesn't seem worth it. The revenge fantasy of running into him at a professional gathering and just walking away isn't always loaded with hate and pain anymore. Now it's loaded with a vague sense of irritation and annoyance but, mostly, I just don't care and want to get away from him.

Even more surprising, I'm starting to be able to separate the good years we had together and feel grateful for them from the complete un-love/get-away-from-me I feel for him now.

But here's the problem I have with this: part of me still wants him to know he hurt me, that he's slime, that he devastated me utterly. If I ever did see him and just calmly, without incident, walked away... how does that communicate "I almost jumped out of a window over you and, if karma is real, a meteor is about to fall through the ceiling and hit you in the head"? It's weird. It's like a part of me still wants him to know he hurt me. Another, equally powerful, part wants to just fully let go.

Is this making any sense?

TrustedHer posted 4/11/2014 21:53 PM

The problem is "should".

With time, I think things die down, but it's been 5 years, and when I'm doing stuff like mowing or cutting firewood, I still sometimes get those feelings.

I remind myself that it will never happen. Even if one of my imaginary conversations happened, even if I remained calm, even if I expressed every bit of pain and injustice -- she wouldn't get it.

And the likelihood of getting it just right, of not coming off as a pathetic stuttering victim, is just too small to be realistic anyway. It's only a fantasy.

A feeling is a feeling. They come, and you have to deal with them. You can't say "I shouldn't have this feeling". That's judging yourself.

What you need to do is say "This is the way to handle it when I have this feeling."

Pass posted 4/11/2014 22:28 PM

But here's the problem I have with this: part of me still wants him to know he hurt me, that he's slime, that he devastated me utterly. If I ever did see him and just calmly, without incident, walked away... how does that communicate "I almost jumped out of a window over you and, if karma is real, a meteor is about to fall through the ceiling and hit you in the head"? It's weird. It's like a part of me still wants him to know he hurt me. Another, equally powerful, part wants to just fully let go.

You're looking for him to develop a conscience. A man with a conscience wouldn't have done what he did. Any attempts to make him understand will fail. You can't win this argument against someone whose sole response is, "But I deserved this."

Amazonia posted 4/11/2014 22:35 PM

You're also making this huge logical leap that he cares whether or not you were/are hurt... I don't mean to sound harsh, but honestly, he probably doesn't give a rats ass what you feel or felt.

The beauty of letting go is that it's all about you. You get to let go of that toxic energy and focus forward instead.

Caretaker1 posted 4/11/2014 22:45 PM

How do you get past it when every chance she gets she rubs her new relationship in your face? It's laughable and immature but theses fuckers actually think they are turning the screw. Besides ignored these assholes what are good comebacks?

norabird posted 4/11/2014 23:17 PM

I understand wishing he could know the damage. Just let yourself have that yearning, sometimes, for now, and I think it too will fade. You are doing so well sorting this out. One day whether he can or can't understand the impact really will be irrelevant to you. But I think it is normal that you just can't let go all the way yet. You are only human.


Iamhappytoday posted 4/12/2014 00:07 AM

I understand your feelings so well. Even before we separated, I was encouraged to pursue mediation with STBXH. The benefits are great, I understand that, but having he and his fellow military OW not see any repercussions for the damage they have caused hurts. Me pursuing revenge by outing them would ultimately harm my ability to provide for my kids.

I want so much to fully let go, just as you do. At the same time, trying to wrap my mind around the fact that the people who literally brought harm to myself and my children are happy and feeling justified turns my stomach.

I sometimes pray--you know? They can even be happy with others, but having my spouse and my kids play happy family with THAT woman twice a month is so demoralizing and heart-wrenching.

People say things like, they deserve each other, etc., but when your heart is breaking and your family is gone, there's no comfort knowing the people who "deserve each other", no matter how dysfunctional they may be without my knowledge, seem to be doing just fine.

I don't have any answers, but I can commiserate. This is a terrible place to be.

[This message edited by Iamhappytoday at 12:10 AM, April 12th (Saturday)]

SBB posted 4/12/2014 01:22 AM

Give it time, PL. You'll reach indifference soon enough. The consensus here is it generally takes 2-5 years to recover in R and about the same in S/D.

I hope the sad clown never wakes up. I never want him to know how much he hurt me. I never want him to remember how wonderful I am. I never want him to miss me. I never want him to know what he has lost.

Primarily because I never want him to come fishing but also because I never want him to comfort himself that he did give and receive real love once. He did not because he was defrauding me. The love I gave was real but it was for the man he pretended to be, not the parasite he is.

He is undeserving of even the memory of me.

I would be happy to be as invisible to him as he is to me. Forever.

inconnu posted 4/12/2014 07:37 AM

Is this making any sense?

Yes, it's called healing, and it sounds like you're doing a wonderful job of doing just that.

justinpaintoday posted 4/12/2014 08:37 AM

Phantom: EXACTLY!!!

First: The move to indifference is great. It shows you are healing in a healthy way. If you were posting that after a year you were still filled with rage and hate then I would be concerned because it would be so unhealthy for you.

Second: You struggle with what so many of us do. A battle for Justice. We interpret the world in black and white, right and wrong. Your WS commited a wrong so there should be remorse for the actions of their hands. Unfortunately (I am realizing) justice is subjective. Your WS is likely unable to face the reality of their decisions. They rewrite their stories to ease their guilt and downplay the roles they played in detroying another person (one who loved them).

You wish they would have a picture like in the book A Picture of Dorian Gray that would show the true effects of their sins and when they saw it their true selves would appear. Unfortunately karma may not be so bold. Unfortunately you may not get the justice you seek.

I would recommend (taling to myself as well) that to get the ultimate revenge: Move on to make your life as extraordinary as possible for YOU. I would think the greatest revenge would be to have them see you completeley content without them.

PhantomLimb posted 4/12/2014 09:08 AM

You guys hit on something really critical here: you're right that in that fantasy, part of me does imagine him having a conscience.

I think that's been the hardest part for me all along, in some ways. Over time I've come to accept that he betrayed me, that he minimized, that he was probably in love with OW, that he probably was unhappy, etc etc. The one thing I've been really slow to accept is that he was able to devastate me, my family and friends in the way that he has, and think he did something good for himself. That still doesn't compute.

Once that sinks in, I might be able to fully get there.

Virginiagirl posted 4/12/2014 10:18 AM

part of me still wants him to know he hurt me, that he's slime, that he devastated me utterly

I struggle with this too. I try to continue on and not show him the emotional hell I am still in, 11 months out from Dday…and when I succeed, well then I think I am letting him off easy.

I try to remind myself that's an old remnant, and old habit, of wanting to feel connected to him emotionally, somehow. The fact is, no matter what all we say to them, they can NEVER EVER begin to understand what they put us through. That's our problem now.

PhantomLimb posted 4/12/2014 10:37 AM

That part is definitely crazy-making. They may know in the abstract, but they don't process it at all.

I remember when he emailed me a few months back to tell me about a death on his side of the family (no one he was close to) and wrote this whole big thing about how emotionally powerful it had been to reconnect with estranged family and then added a line about how I didn't need to call and console him, that he was dealing with it and would be okay.

Are you fucking kidding me? That still makes my blood boil.

But if I ever catch myself wondering if he feels regret, sadness, guilt, etc... I just have to remember that email. It gives me a little window into where he is at mentally/emotionally... and it is nowhere that a person with an ounce of empathy or conscience should be.

Ellejay posted 4/12/2014 11:45 AM

I think that if you are at the stage of letting go and surrendering to what is, then that is the greatest gift you can give yourself. It is also the hardest gift to accept but it is the one we deserve the most.

It has taken me three years to start to understand that nothing I could ever do or say will make my ex H suffer enough to compensate for the devastation he has caused. I have read more books than I care to admit on narcissism, sociopathy, borderline personality disorder etc etc in a desperate attempt to put a label on him so I can rationalize why he did what he did and how he could have. I have come to realize that he may not fit the description of any of these things. I think he did what he did simply because he is incredibly emotionally immature with a greater than average need for external validation. I think he does feel guilt for what he has done, I believe he does comprehend that he has fucked up in a major way, destroyed his family, compromised his financial security, his children's respect and will miss out on a multitude of other experiences until the end of his days all thanks to his stupidity. His guilt renders him impotent in reaching out to us all so he chooses to block it and pretend it is all just as it should be. Meanwhile we are all left with the feeling that he just doesn't "get it" and let's face it, he probably can't.

So PhantomLimb, if you are at the stage that you can let it go then I applaud you. Grasp that feeling by the throat and hold onto it. If you happen to pass your ex in the street, you are not obliged to let him feel that it is all OK nor should you feel unavenged if he doesn't register how he has hurt you. Just do what feels right for you and if that means shaking his hand or walking straight past him than so be it. At the end of the day we are all just passing through.



WestMonroe91 posted 4/12/2014 18:48 PM

I agree with Ellejay.
In my case, I already plan to simply ignore my STBXW when attending the same event. I will try to enjoy it as best as possible socializing with many of the other attendees. Looking forward, I already know there shouldn't be more that a limited number of required events for both of us to be in attendance.

Lola2kids posted 4/14/2014 07:17 AM

This might be a t/j but...

X in my case was a BS as well.
His ex wife cheated on him and we met after they had separated.

I asked him once how he could do it to me when he knows how it feels?
I asked him how he felt when he found out she was cheating on him. His response: "emasculated".

So I told him that I feel whatever the female version of that is.

The one thing I've been really slow to accept is that he was able to devastate me, my family and friends in the way that he has, and think he did something good for himself. That still doesn't compute.

On top of his wife cheating on him and then to still think he is just chasing his own happiness is something I don't think I can EVER understand.

justasinger posted 4/14/2014 07:42 AM

My .02

I think (if the x is one of those superficial self important types) that seeing you still hurting would probably make them feel better about themselves. What I mean is that they will say in their head, "Look at that they can't be happy without me". So looking happy without them would have the reverse effect.

lilacs40 posted 4/14/2014 07:43 AM

I'm only just starting this process but I could see that I might end up feeling this way. I try to tell myself that all I should really feel for him is pity.

He refuses to see that he could be a good husband if he did the work on himself. I told him until he does that he will never have a good relationship with another woman and that makes me sad for him.

Good for you for coming this far. I hope that one day I can be there.

WeepingBuddhist posted 4/14/2014 08:13 AM

Phantom, you are inspiration! I am 11 months and two weeks from d-day and man, I hope I'm as close to "meh" in another couple of weeks. It's not likely, but I am getting there. Thanks for sharing your journey!

PhantomLimb posted 4/14/2014 09:11 AM

Lola: I've said this on another thread at one time, but I'll repeat it because I think it has helped some people. For reasons that I'll explain in a min, one of the ICs I saw early on told me that sometimes people who have experienced a severe trauma in their lives, but don't know how to process it or express their pain over it, will (subconsciously?) recreate that situation to reexperience it. It seems counterintuitive, but in some ways I get it.

Here is why it makes sense to me: When my X left, he completely abandoned me, our friends, family. He had done this before-- he broke off an engagement before I met him and he never spoke to her again. The reason why this is interesting is that my X's father abandoned him and his family when he was about 10. Just walked out on them all one day, leaving them penniless and didn't try to talk to my X again until about 20 years later (shortly before he died). That abandonment truly scarred my X. He lived with it constantly in small and large ways. And, coincidentally, that's why I never thought he'd do what he did to me with the A-- I thought he valued my love and loyalty too much after what he had been through as a child.

His A happened while we were apart for several months because of work. OW worked in his office and, since he was new in the city, she started inviting him to her family's house for dinner, inviting him to come with her when she was running to the store for supplies and that sort of thing. With my X's co-dependent/orphan issues, it took a few months, but he eventually sort of traded me in for this new "mommy". One of the reasons I walked away and NCed him so quick when I found out about the A was because I knew he was disordered with all of his daddy issues, how he handled the breakup of that engagement, etc.

But I also look at his abandonment of me as a way for him to relive the trauma of his father leaving. When we were breaking up (it happened over about a 3 week period), I couldn't believe he was doing to me what his father had done to him and his family. For a variety of reasons, he was leaving me at my most vulnerable point in our life together, just as his dad had done to him and his mom.

Interestingly, his father died shortly after all of this happened. I mentioned in a previous post that he did actually reach out to me-- telling me about his pain, but instructing me not to speak to him. I heard through the grapevine that he made the biggest deal possible of his father's death. Photos of his dad, public pronouncements, openly mourning. When mutual friends would tell me this, I would tell them that I didn't discount it was a painful experience for him but that "You know, he hadn't seen or spoke to his dad in 25 years. His father reached out to him every month for about a year 5 or 6 years ago, and X wouldn't respond." My friends would get the strangest look on their faces that just confirmed that the way X reacted to the death, you would have thought that he had lost his spouse or something...

... see where I'm going with this? Several friends told me they think he displaced losing me into losing his father. He can't mourn my loss because he's a disordered wing nut, but he can mourn his dad openly (as long as no one knows the true story) and no one questions it.

I guess my point is that when someone does something so grossly and uniquely fucked up as cheat on a spouse after they themselves were cheated on, there is something monumentally broken upstairs. All of these cheaters are messed up, but the ones who know the gravity of it and the pain and serve it back up to an innocent party? That's someone who is working out some major emotional shit... and it sounds to me like it's a good thing you're out of there. That's one thing that I hold on to. If he was capable of doing this to me when he knows what the pain of being abandoned by someone you trust is like? What else was he capable of?

Weeping: Just so you know, I might be closer to "meh", but I still have bad days. Yesterday the weather was lovely and I had some flashbacks to two summers ago when it was a similar kind of weather day and we had just moved into our new place, had taken the dog to the park and just generally had a great day together. I brought the dog in from a walk after dinner last night and actually had to hold on to a door frame for a sec because the pain of it just hit me so hard it was like a punch to the gut. I had to take a few deep breaths before the feeling passed and I went about my business again. So you still live with this for a long time. My goal is to just have more good moments, than bad.


[This message edited by PhantomLimb at 9:14 AM, April 14th (Monday)]

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