Nez - in may ways, he's better off if he was able to recognise it and name it,even if you ignored that.
I was unable to understand what was happening and why I reacted like that. I thought I was a horrible,terrible, shouty person. I 'knew' how nice he was, how he hardly ever got angry. I felt awful for keeping on asking him to do things that he'd promised.
Pre-dday, we hardly ever argued, but when we did all my anger fear would come out and it would go on for hours, mainly because although he'd sometimes admit to the surface incident, he'd refuse to talk about the deeper and ongoing patterns. He'd say sorry, but deflect the conversation and we'd go around in circles for ages. Me getting more and more frustrated because he seemed to think that if he said sorry, the conversation was over. If I kept going, somehow i became the 'bad unforgiving spouse who couldn't accept his apology. I could, but me (being codep), i wanted us to work on the deeper issue and he just...kept trying to make it slip away, like jello. So the awful dance kept going on...and he resented me more and more.
Throughout our M I worked so hard on improving myself so that I could live up to my 'wonderful nice guy' husband. No matter how STBXH would like to paint out M. I thought we were happy (he let me think we were) and that it was only my own insecurities and issues that caused any friction. So I worked on them.
I KNOW that I became a healthier person the further our M went on. But STBXH painted me (both in his head and to others) as worse and worse as time went on. Can you imagine living like that? And then when he started flirting with a friend of mine via email ( ) it got worse. But he hid it from me. The he met Fat Bottomed Girl and he stopped hiding his contempt for me, so much.
I STILL didn't understand what was happening. I had no idea this was passive aggression and no idea how to deal with it. My self esteem had sunk. I assumed that the anger i saw in him was caused by me. So I started doing this thing called 'assume love'. You basically assume that your H loves you, no matter what. That if you think they're angry etc, it's you just projecting your own issues. You act lovingly and they're supposed to respond. The more I did it, the worse he got and the more he plunged himself into the A. You see, he didn't want that from me. He WANTED my anger and did worse things to try and provoke it. And I still blamed myself for it all.
So when dday happened. I was a trembling devastated mess. I had zero self esteem. I begged him to stay. He was openly unremorseful for 4 months. Then he pretended for another 4 months of false R. And I let him treat me like sh*t. He never stopped blameshifting.
Even after he left, for months I kept hoping he'd come back,trying to start deep and meaningful conversations with him. Trying to fix it all by myself.
When I told people about his A (after he left). No-one could believe it because he's "such a nice man". And then i started finding out how he'd been making me look bad to people for years...because it made him look better. His p/a, by the time he left (whether conscious or not) had left me quite isolated. He'd dissuaded me from keeping in contact with any of my old friends.Tried to turn me against my family and his, with just small comments and looks, pretending he was looking out for me. He had full control of the finances. I genuinely didn't know how I could survive as a single mum.
I wasn't like this when we were married. I had a lot of flaws, but I had very good self esteem. I was a go-getter. nothing could phase me. Living with him for 14 years changed all of that. I own my own codep & am working on that. But part of it was that his p/a abuse happened so slowly and gradually that I didn't realise.
Now I know. Now I'm getting myself informed. Now I'm working on myself & learning to let go of who he is (he's unremorseful & refuses to admit he's p/a despite being diagnosed by our MC). i wish I'd known about p/a years ago and had the tools to deal with it. and,if it wasn't for our children, I wish I'd known the warning signals so i would never have married him. But that's mostly because of his lack of remorse and denial about p/a.
Nez - You've taken 2 huge steps that my STBXH won't. You're facing your A. You're admitting your p/a....If your BS is willing to work with you, then I hope you make it and I admire your courage to face what you've done and who you are. I wish more people could do the same.