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GabyBaby posted 7/21/2014 10:16 AM


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)]

hardtimesinlife posted 7/21/2014 10:21 AM

As you know it's the roller coaster of emotions. Just ride it out.

norabird posted 7/21/2014 10:33 AM


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...

GabyBaby posted 7/21/2014 10:52 AM

Thank you both.

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.

Skan posted 7/21/2014 17:26 PM

Ah heck, I used to do the exact same thing. I felt violated if he saw me in a state of undress. Me, the woman who walks around the house nude and sunbathes in the raw in the backyard! And after DDay, I couldn't look into his face if I was partially undressed, I would grab covers and wraps to cover myself if he walked in while I was changing, and I actually flipped out, screamed like a scalded cat, and threw everything in the shower at him when he walked in on me showering one day.

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)))

Althea posted 7/21/2014 18:36 PM

Gaby, I remember those feelings so well. It felt like such a violation. My self esteem was just crushed.

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.

Williesmom posted 7/21/2014 19:55 PM


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.

GabyBaby posted 7/21/2014 22:37 PM

Thank you ladies.

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.

FixYou71 posted 7/22/2014 02:59 AM

Oh Gaby, I can relate big time. My H (and yours) viewed women who's sole purpose was to seduce and arouse. Knowing the positions they must have been in and the views he had are a big source of mind movies for me. I have sobbed many times to the point of feeling like I am causing actual physical damage to my heart because the pain would be so bad.
Knowing he has see what he has seen, knowing that is what he WANTED to see (not searching for chubby women with c-section scars, boobs that have breastfed, veins on their legs and stretch marks & cellulite) made me feel so utterly ugly. Every flaw has been magnified x 100 to me. It feels impossible that he would ever want to look at this, that anything I have to offer could be even enough to arouse him much less make him happy or excited. I am trying not to think that way but so far very little improvement. I try, for the most part to cover parts of my body when we are physically intimate. I do not change in front of him. If in the same room I hold up a blanket to change behind or use other techniques so that he won't see this disappointing body.
I hope that as time passes and your H hopefully gets his mind out of the gutter that you will regain that comfortable, loved and accepted feeling.
I'm so sorry. I know how much it hurts. I read your other thread (wow! Lots of responses! Didn't feel I could add anything to that one but I do know your story now and the need for him to be the one to comfort you is normal. It sucks but it is. So is the feeling like you have a split personality. One minute feeling somewhat ok and the next feeling like you need to run far and fast. It is the fight ot flight in you and it is horrible to go through. I feel crazy when it happens and I must appear crazy too. It's literally in an instant. Our mind won't let us forget that we're in danger (or at least perceive we are). Most likely you werent like this with your XWH because you had such a dysfunctional relationship and you were emotionally detached already.
I hope you're able to keep food down now. Keep trying to take care of yourself.

Ostrich80 posted 7/22/2014 04:24 AM

I can so relate to what your saying. I no.longer dress or undress in.front of ws, I've been with him since I was young and had a nice body. I feel like I'm being compared to ow and to my former young body. I.just feel so awkward now. A man that's been thru all of the births of our kids and seen me at my best and worst, someone.I never felt insecure around. Idk its just so different. I'm sorry Gaby, I know it sucks so bad.

happenedtome posted 7/22/2014 05:22 AM

Gaby, the thing is, SIS wasn't thinking about you when he was porn surfing/ego fishing . . . . That crap was never about you. It was/is about his own brokenness. So he wasn't comparing you to any of them. It is so unfair that your self confidence has taken a hit because of his crap. Dang, Lady.! You dropped down from 290 to a maintenance weight of 135 that you have held for years?? Do you know how awesome that is? And I can't remember how old you are, but any of us middle aged women, especially those who have been through pregnancies, have all sorts of stretch marks, flab, and sags (except those who have had work done), You will get through this and get your confidence back, but you just got a hell of a shock from the last person who should ever hurt you and it is going to take time to recover.

GabyBaby posted 7/22/2014 12:12 PM

Gaby, the thing is, SIS wasn't thinking about you when he was porn surfing/ego fishing .

He said nearly exaclty that when I asked him why he thought repaying me for working 50+ hours per week to keep a roof over his head, food on the table etc was license for him to screw around.
"I didn't think" and "I wasn't thinking about you" were his answers.

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?

TheIrishGirl posted 7/22/2014 12:50 PM

When I was having really strong push/pull I asked WH to pursue me. He didn't know if I wanted him near, so he defaulted to giving me space. Then I felt rejected and needy since I more often initiated the hugs, asked to be held, etc. It helped. He'll hug me, rub my back, kiss my forehead, or whatever. And I feel loved/wanted/cared for. But if I'm in a spot of 'get the f*ck away from me' I don't hesitate to tell him don't touch me right now.

Worked for me, so I wanted to throw it out there.

GabyBaby posted 7/22/2014 13:03 PM

That's not a bad thought, Irish.
In addition to him doing the work to fix himself, he needs to put even more energy toward pursing me than he was putting into his other activities.

I may try this in the near future.
Thank you.

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