This isn't who I am. With XWH, it was different. He was the king of putdowns and underhanded slights, so I eventually learned to tune him out. This is different, or at least feels different.
I'm not going to win any photoshoots for Victoria Secrets nor will I win any beauty contests, but I've been happy in my "self" for a very long time, despite XWH. I have loose skin from massive weight loss (290lbs to 115, then maintained around 135lbs for years). I have scars and stretch marks, but I was ok with ME.
When SIS and I got together, I actually felt like he "worshipped" my body, flaws and all. It was a great relief (especially compared to XWH). It didn't feel false, if that makes sense. He wasn't flowery with the praise, just accepted my scars and flab as a part of me.
Now I can't stand to be undressed in front of him. I keep seeing messages he sent to people praising them on how "hot" they are or that they "may be 50, but have the body of a 20yr old".
I actually go into the bathroom to put on my undergarments and wont come out unless I'm wearing a robe or at least a teeshirt that covers me to mid-thigh.
I wanted him to leave and now I want him to be around constantly to reassure me. One minute we're chit-chatting and speaking just fine, then the next minute I can't stand to look at him.
I was laying in bed the other night and rolled over and asked him to just hold me. He immediately did then I just burst into tears. I dont cry. Especially in front of men. Ever. But I was a basket case.
I also hate that I'm asking HIM to reassure me when I'm also angry and hurt due to HIS actions.
How do I deal with this?
[This message edited by GabyBaby at 10:20 AM, July 21st (Monday)]
WH#2 - Committed suicide in our home prior to divorce being final
XWH #1 - legally married 18yrs. 12+ OW (that I know of).
I edit often for clarity/typos.
It's so early. I'm sorry that your confidence has plummeted but I have faith it will return. You deserve to feel accepted and loved and wanted as you are. I'm so sorry that's lost for now. As for the cognitive dissonance, of hating him and wanting reassurance...theres no easy way out of that. You could try the 180. But I get what you're describing. It' so, so normal. He hurt you, and you want him to make you better, but you're angry, and he may not be able to, yet you want it to be fixed by him...
With XWH, I was so skeeved out by what he was doing (especially by the end) that I didn't want him touching me in any way, let alone seek reassurance from him. So this is a new feeling and range of emotions for me.
I have pulled back, that's for sure, but I don't want to 180 while he's doing everything I've asked and more. I think if I get to the point where I need to 180, that's the point of no return for me and I'm not ready to go there yet.
I felt so dirty. I felt so ugly. I felt hideous. I felt unlovable. I felt deformed and abnormal. It turned my stomach to be naked in front of him. I was so very, very ashamed. Even when I absolutely had to know that he was in the house to feel somewhat secure, I couldn't have him in my eyesight because I was so very ashamed. It was a horrible time of push me-pull you. It took some time before I was remotely comfortable around him. Because although he looked like my H, he was a stranger dressed in my H's skin clothing. (((hugs)))
D-Day, June 10, 2012
The thing that helped me to move beyond that stage was finding something just for me that helped me remember that I loved myself. I joined a half marathon training group that met twice each week. During those long runs, I just beat out all of the pain and anger. Getting into great shape helped too. Yoga is another great one. Something that lets you meditate and get back in touch with your body.
As for the neediness and desire for reassurance, it passes. I'm pretty sure that is a lot of what is behind hysterical bonding for a lot of us.
I remember that feeling so well. I'm a "bigger" girl, and was never really self conscious being naked around wxh. After D-day, I kept myself covered with him because it didn't feel emotionally safe with hi. Since he left, I haven't been self conscious.
He and his MOW talked about how disgusting my body was, and she was kind enough to tell me of those conversations.
You are a wonderful person, but I understand that it's a form of self- protection.
While I was nodding in agreement with a lot of what you all posted, Williesmom, I think you nailed it. I don't feel safe emotionally with him anymore.
Gaby, the thing is, SIS wasn't thinking about you when he was porn surfing/ego fishing .
That doesn't make any BS I know of feel better.
To know that we weren't worth a thought when OUR thoughts usually center on how to make things better/easier/more comforable for our families.
Some of my issue with SIS seeing me undressed is the images I know he was searching. Like FixYou said...I doubt he was searching for chubby, scarred, middle-aged women. What he was viewing fit my body type back when I was 17-18yrs old. That's definitely NOT how I look now.
My other thoughts are that he simply doesn't deserve to have that piece of me anymore. He had it, didnt appreciate it, so why give it to him?
Worked for me, so I wanted to throw it out there.
I may try this in the near future.