BW (me) & FWH both over half a century; married several decades; children
I agree with you, tushnurse. Many a BS (and WS, too) come here not happy with themselves or loving themselves.
Funny thing is, I did love myself. I was happy with most of my life. I took responsibility for my own happiness. I was strong and independent, too. Because of my FWH's strange working hours (retail management) I was, essentially, a "single" mom. And, FWH resented me for it.
I can remember a few times him looking at me disdainfully and saying "You really think you are something, don't you?" and I was shocked. No, I don't feel I am anything spectacular. However, I like who I am. I have worked hard on myself, starting when I became a mama the first time, 35 years ago. Do I have areas that need improvement? Heck, yeah, but I work on it when I become aware of it and don't beat myself up for it. He resented that I was happy with being me. Because he wasn't happy being him and blamed me for it. He resented that I didn't "need" him. He felt that I only "needed" his paycheck.
OTOH, I was co-dependent, too.
I found my happiness in life, based on keeping H and kids happy. A lot of damn good that got me. A spouse that criticized me at every turn to stroke his own broken ego, and two kids that didn't really respect mom because she was a doormat for H, and them.
Actually, for me, it was more just the kids. I had put up a big giant wall with FWH. Because of all the criticism, I knew there was nothing I could do to please him, so basically, in my actions, I just gave him a big "Fuck You!" . I mean, I wasn't 180'ing him physically, but mentally and emotionally I was.
Was that a total t/j of your thread? I am so sorry. I just wanted to agree with you, but to also point out that some BS's already were doing that. Many may say if I was really healthy and loved myself I would have left the shabby treatment. I feel, in the back of my mind, I was getting my ducks in a row. I was dreaming of the day when last son graduated so I could feel free to leave. I was detaching from FWH. Not enough that it didn't hurt like hell when I was betrayed, though.
d-day 3/10; LTA
"Oh, why do my actions have consequences?" ~ Homer Simpson
"She knew my one weakness: That I'm weak." ~ Homer Simpson