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Divorce/Separation Post Reply     Print Topic    
User Topic: Dealing with my own regret
PhantomLimb
♀ Member
Member # 39668
Default  Posted: 7:43 AM, August 21st (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I'm not blaming myself for my WS's/STBXH's A.

But I've been in IC and had NC long enough to have mostly moved on from trying to evaluate WS and his motivations too much.

So I've been working on myself. Doing the best I can.

I've begun to move on to aspects of our M/relationship in which I played a role. Keeping it short: while I was always there for WS when he was sad or angry or what have you, I rarely asked him to share or explore his emotions with me. I figured he would share if he wanted to and assumed he was by and large emotionally healthy. I figured he was allowed to have an interior life that was private and didn't need to explore every last thought with me.

So, for example, I would occasionally ask him why he never talked to his former fiancé anymore or why he never talked about her. He would give me some canned answer. I figured he had his reasons. Case closed.

I'm realizing now that wasn't particularly great. On a basic level, I should have been more interested in how he worked. Post-A I can see how things like the fiancé issue were red flags.

And I shouldn't have assumed he was put together and well-adjusted in all cases. The A being the #1 case in point!

Maybe if I had pushed for a more open relationship or asked him to be vulnerable around me more-- and he either started spewing the crazy like he did post-DDay or continued to block me with trite answers-- I would have realized before M that something was off with this dude and we didn't really know how to communicate.

Anyway, that is a broad example. But underscoring it is the question: how do you deal with your own regret about certain ways you handled things?

One of the reasons I wanted R was because I wanted us to learn to talk to each other and communicate more effectively. I wanted to get to know him even better and understand his fears, how he could have done this, how we could be closer and stronger, etc. He didn't. If I ever think about WS and OW together (and I rarely do), that would be the one thing I would envy: if they had that together because she bothered to push. And I never did.

I guess another way to ask it is: how do you separate your anger and disappointment that your M failed from where you need to be accountable without falling into that self-help crap about taking partial responsibility for their A, etc.?

[This message edited by PhantomLimb at 8:10 AM, August 21st (Wednesday)]


BS / D

Posts: 863 | Registered: Jun 2013
Lola2kids
♀ Member
Member # 32789
Default  Posted: 8:05 AM, August 21st (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I was thinking (I'm not sure this makes sense) that in your situation, what if he had straight out said to you that he didn't want to talk about his fiance and their breakup and that it was something that he just couldn't share? Would you have pushed then?

I have the same questions as you. Where did I go wrong? I didn't push when he seemed to be brooding about things. I didn't ask him about his failed marriage. I was trying to work on our relationship, not thinking that his past affected us. I was naive and I was wrong.
I can take responsibility for that mistake because I have actually learned from it and will try not to make the same mistake.

I don't think that they are able to learn from their mistakes. Your WS or my ex. Case in point is the ex fiance he refuses to deal with. He refuses to contact you now the same way he dealt with the fiance. Same mistake, different person.
You at least are looking into yourself and trying to figure out how you can be better. You are the better person really.

Does that make sense?


BS: (Me) 47
Kids: twins DD(10)
D-Day April 18, 2011
Him:out Sept. 11, 2011
He moved to Europe June 27, 2014.
"They say that absence makes the heart grow fonder but I am growing more and more fond of his absence"

Posts: 1386 | Registered: Jul 2011 | From: Ontario, Canada
cayc
♀ Member
Member # 21964
Default  Posted: 8:15 AM, August 21st (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

If I ever think about WS and OW together (and I rarely do), that would be the one thing I would envy: if they had that together because she bothered to push. And I never did.

Firstly, no, she's not pushing. She's getting conned just like you. You didn't get depth with your stbxwh because of lack of interest or pushing or whatever on your part. You didn't get depth b/c he doesn't have it to offer. He keeps everything superficial b/c if he doesn't, then he'd have to face his shit and well *that's* never going to happen.

I too had thought the "magic" of R would be that suddenly xWH would be introspective, and want to share, grow, change. What a fool I was. R for him was merely another guise at rugsweeping.

Here's the thing. If you are an honest, emotionally whole person, it's easy to be conned by guys like your stbxwh. You don't evaluate his actions or lack thereof from a place of understanding psychopathy. You evaluate it from your own perspective. Hence the "well he must have his reasons and they must be legit" b/c for YOU they would have been.

Once I learned what my xWH is, only then could I look back and see the reality. But as I was living it? I interpreted it as if it were me. So I gave xWH the benefit of the doubt, after all, he *loved* me, right?

Except he didn't. So when I look back, I do get angry with myself for being so gullible. For not questioning when I knew something was wrong. For not standing up for myself. For me it wasn't that I was co-dependent or weak. It was merely that I assumed an awful lot based upon how I am.

So I did those things because I'm a decent, sensitive person who is loyal and true to my partner and my friends. Those are not bad qualities at all. But they are qualities that make one susceptible to being conned.

I'm savvier now. I'd like to think I wouldn't get tricked like that again. I'd like to think I'd look more closely and challenge more.

But who knows. Mostly I"m ok with myself. But I still get angry when I think about it. And it's still possible to bring me to my knees in pain if you attack me in a similar manner to my xWH. I hope this aspect goes away, but who knows. 10 years of being gaslighted, it's got to take some time to get past, wouldn't you think?

All in all, I don't think you did anything wrong. You gave him the benefit of the doubt until it was clear he didn't merit it, and then you initiated D. That's how it's supposed to work. Innocent until proven guilty. Living the reverse is called being prickly and defensive and that's no way to live for sure.


"The difference between involvement and commitment is like ham and eggs. The chicken is involved, the pig is committed." -Martina Navratilova
"The question isn't who is going to let me; it's who is going to stop me." -Ayn Rand

Posts: 3089 | Registered: Dec 2008 | From: Mexico
PhantomLimb
♀ Member
Member # 39668
Default  Posted: 8:22 AM, August 21st (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

what if he had straight out said to you that he didn't want to talk about his fiance and their breakup and that it was something that he just couldn't share? Would you have pushed then?

I think if he ever said something like that, I would have thought "woah" and felt really dismissed and unhappy.

He always gave me just enough info to feel like I was being told something, but I wasn't really being told anything. He would say: "I realized she was bossy and not very compassionate. That's why I picked you; I knew I wanted to be with someone who cared about people." In retrospect, I think he was being evasive and snowballing me with that (duh). And he always told this story about how he would pull the shades and hide on Sundays because he wanted to watch the game but she always wanted to go run some errand or something. He went on a trip with some guy friends before the wedding and one of them stepped in and told him that he seemed like he wasn't very happy with her. And after that he says he knew it was over.

So, sort of detailed, but really not.

I'm probably guilty of accommodating him too much. I got an answer that wasn't hostile and I was too young/dumb/inexperienced to realize it was evasive (he was only my 4th boyfriend ever). I didn't want to make him uncomfortable.

We were probably pretty shallow with each other emotionally in retrospect, actually.


BS / D

Posts: 863 | Registered: Jun 2013
PhantomLimb
♀ Member
Member # 39668
Default  Posted: 8:26 AM, August 21st (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Here's the thing. If you are an honest, emotionally whole person, it's easy to be conned by guys like your stbxwh. You don't evaluate his actions or lack thereof from a place of understanding psychopathy. You evaluate it from your own perspective. Hence the "well he must have his reasons and they must be legit" b/c for YOU they would have been.

^^^^ YES.

And, frankly, I bet he cons himself.

You didn't get depth with your stbxwh because of lack of interest or pushing or whatever on your part. You didn't get depth b/c he doesn't have it to offer. He keeps everything superficial b/c if he doesn't, then he'd have to face his shit and well *that's* never going to happen.

This is why my IC says he'll never break NC with me. He's not capable of facing his shit. It was a difficult concept for me to grasp at first because it's so weird to me. Why would you want to hurt someone like this and then leave them in the mud and not try to help both of you heal? Why wouldn't you want to be a better person? Etc etc. But I'm starting to see it.

[This message edited by PhantomLimb at 8:28 AM, August 21st (Wednesday)]


BS / D

Posts: 863 | Registered: Jun 2013
Nature_Girl
♀ Member
Member # 32554
Default  Posted: 11:21 AM, August 21st (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

My thoughts are like cayc's. When STBX didn't open up, I stupidly assumed that he was still emotionally healthy, just not wanting to "go there" on this or that subject. When he refused to discuss his first marriage & what went wrong, I assumed he was simply so hurt & embarrassed that he, a nice Catholic boy, had been divorced. Even though he mentioned a few things which were flaming red flags, I chose to ignore my gut & move on.

My biggest regret is that I ignored my gut. I chose not to investigate, not to push. I made so many assumptions & gave him the benefit of a doubt.

Never again.


Me = BS (Stay-at-home-mom)
Him = EX-d out (abusive troglodyte NPD SA)
3 tween-aged kids
Together 20 years
D-Day: Memorial Weekend 2011
2013 - I DIVORCED HIM, I'M FREE!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RBOJpIwF47Y

Posts: 9673 | Registered: Jun 2011 | From: USA
SBB
♀ Member
Member # 35229
Default  Posted: 4:31 PM, August 21st (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Here's the thing. If you are an honest, emotionally whole person, it's easy to be conned by guys like your stbxwh. You don't evaluate his actions or lack thereof from a place of understanding psychopathy. You evaluate it from your own perspective. Hence the "well he must have his reasons and they must be legit" b/c for YOU they would have been.

Except he didn't. So when I look back, I do get angry with myself for being so gullible. For not questioning when I knew something was wrong. For not standing up for myself. For me it wasn't that I was co-dependent or weak. It was merely that I assumed an awful lot based upon how I am.

THIS.

Except I have realised I was broken when I picked him and was picked by him.

I understand the introspection - I don't do it about the M anymore, I do it about me, me as an individual and future me in a relationship.

None of us want to make the same mistakes but at this point in time I'm working on healing from this - I'll tackle WTF was wrong with me for not only choosing so poorly but allowing myself to be cajoled into an M and having children when deep down I knew there was something wrong with him.

I was thinking about this the other day - I always knew that if I became ill or disabled that he would not take care of me. I knew I would take care of him.

I passed it off not as a deficiency of character but a deficiency of being able to cope. I now see that it is both but the question for me is why did I still proceed?

Was it hope? Was it falling for his 'potential' rather than who he really was? Was I transferring my own thoughts, feelings, emotions, morals on this guy? I suspect it was all of the above.

At the end of the day there is no doubt in my mind we should never have married so D is the right thing to do.

It still doesn't excuse all of the other stuff - all of the hurt, betrayal and cruelty. I honestly didn't see that coming. I thought his was a passive fucked-upness, not an active one.

I could not have been more wrong.


I may have reached a point where I'd piss on him if he was on fire.... eventually!!

Posts: 5558 | Registered: Apr 2012 | From: Australia
PhantomLimb
♀ Member
Member # 39668
Default  Posted: 6:27 PM, August 21st (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Makes you wonder who these AP are that they would want them at all. Are they just more broken than our X/WS? Maybe it's a case of water seeking its own level when they leave...


BS / D

Posts: 863 | Registered: Jun 2013
HurtsButImOK
♀ Member
Member # 38865
Default  Posted: 6:39 PM, August 21st (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Makes you wonder who these AP are that they would want them at all. Are they just more broken than our X/WS?

Maybe, but remember it took us a long time to see/admit the deficiencies our WSs had. At the start of the relationship they had their very best mask on to sucker us in.

Its helped me somewhat to accept that what I perceive to be added cruelty and disrespect during this process is actually how he has always been and how he has always treated me. Truth is that I have changed and am no longer willing to tolerate the disrespect. Took the anger out of it for me and added validation that he is not the partner I need or want in life.


Me: Awesome - 35

"I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel". –Maya Angelou

"When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be". –


Posts: 729 | Registered: Apr 2013 | From: Australia
PhantomLimb
♀ Member
Member # 39668
Default  Posted: 7:47 PM, August 21st (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Took the anger out of it for me and added validation that he is not the partner I need or want in life.

This is almost word for word what I said to him when I ended it the first time after DDay1. Maybe that's why I haven't been able to get truly angry yet. It's just a fact: he has entered into a territory with his actions that is simply not something I can live with or tolerate. It's why I 180ed him and NCed so quickly. It was clear he had no bandwidth to deal with his issues and the ones I now had as a result of his A.

And as soon as he started blameshifting, I'd be damned if he was going to put any of that on me. I could tell OW was helping him generate his ridiculous claims (it didn't sound like him at all) and all I could think was that I no longer wanted to be a topic of conversation between the two of them. I figured if I were gone, that was one less log on the fire of whatever it was they were cooking up together (and had been for months). Then he'd have to live with himself, her and his choices.

Funny how strong I was/felt during that process... and how crushed I've been since walking away. It doesn't even seem like it's same person.


BS / D

Posts: 863 | Registered: Jun 2013
SBB
♀ Member
Member # 35229
Default  Posted: 8:59 PM, August 21st (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

The hurt felt when it was all finally over was grieving for my lost hopes and dreams and realising I never had a chance. The anger is for having wasted a decade of my life and for bringing children into this mess.

I don't think the real grieving started for me until I reached this point. Before the it was all abject shock, hurt and humiliation. Now that that part has passed it was time for me to grieve it like a death.

What you are feeling is completely normal. As they say here there is no way through it but through it. We all think/hope/search for short-cuts but the truth is there are no short-cuts.

I found this part really surprising and difficult to reconcile within myself - why am I grieving someone I loathe? Because I'm not grieving him, I'm grieving what I could have had, what I lied to myself and told myself I did have.

I don't want to grieve, I want to erase him and all of it - unfortunately I can't.


I may have reached a point where I'd piss on him if he was on fire.... eventually!!

Posts: 5558 | Registered: Apr 2012 | From: Australia
PhantomLimb
♀ Member
Member # 39668
Default  Posted: 9:10 PM, August 21st (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

This week a girlfriend told me that she thinks that I'm mourning my loss of options more at this point than I am actually mourning the loss of him.

I thought that was pretty clever. It might even be close to the truth.

I miss him terribly, of course, but usually those feelings are punctuated by the memory of one of his choice DDay verbal jabs and my missing him is tempered pretty quick.

I knew something was fishy when NC seemed to be relatively easy. Nothing about the healing process has been easy-- but NC has more or less. I went from texting/calling him several times a day and Skyping every night to cold turkey and, save a few moments, haven't felt much of an urge to speak to him.

My guess, relating this back to my original post, is that we had a pretty shallow emotional life together. Right now the only thing to talk about is emotion and I know he's useless to me. So NC it is.



BS / D

Posts: 863 | Registered: Jun 2013
persevere
♀ Member
Member # 31468
Default  Posted: 10:42 PM, August 21st (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I always knew that if I became ill or disabled that he would not take care of me. I knew I would take care of him.

I passed it off not as a deficiency of character but a deficiency of being able to cope. I now see that it is both but the question for me is why did I still proceed?


I've thought the same thing many times. Although he lied continually and I was completely unaware, why did I excuse the deficiencies I DID see?

THAT is what scares me about a new relationship - if I don't know the answer to my question, how can I prevent repeating the pattern?

[This message edited by persevere at 10:44 PM, August 21st (Wednesday)]


Me: BW-44
Him: XWH-44
Together 9 yrs
DDays: 1/10/2011
Status: Divorced 4/27/11

Above all, be the heroine, not the victim. - Nora Ephron

It is our choices...that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.
- J. K. Rowling


Posts: 4516 | Registered: Mar 2011 | From: Texas
Sparkles
♀ Member
Member # 39901
Default  Posted: 11:10 PM, August 21st (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I guess another way to ask it is: how do you separate your anger and disappointment that your M failed from where you need to be accountable without falling into that self-help crap about taking partial responsibility for their A, etc.?

This is such a good question. I am the type of person who likes to take a situation and turn it around and see different perspectives on it. I understand that can be tiresome for other people - especially those who don't feel comfortable digging around for why they feel a certain way or why so and so did this, etc. It feels disrespectful, like you are invading their personal space... and this:

I figured he would share if he wanted to and assumed he was by and large emotionally healthy. I figured he was allowed to have an interior life that was private and didn't need to explore every last thought with me.

So, I guess as far as digging into things I probably should have pushed/questioned more that turned out to be giant red flags, I don't feel responsible. He probably would not have answered truthfully because he didn't want to know himself. As for my other imperfections that may have contributed to the failure of the M... well, I can work on those, but they certainly didn't involve cheating, lying and actively hurting my family.


Posts: 138 | Registered: Jul 2013 | From: In a better place
SeanFLA
♂ Member
Member # 32380
Default  Posted: 11:04 AM, August 22nd (Thursday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I've thought the same way as this regarding exWW. I thought she was emotionally healthy until the cat started coming out of the bag. She is a lot like your exWH. Apparently her avenue to fixing things was to bottle everything up, for years. I never knew. I tend to wear my heart on my sleeve a bit with things. You can generally tell when something is bothering me. My IC at the time told me the problem was with her. I never had a reason to prod her about stuff because she was so good at hiding it. When I look back I realize I've only seen her cry like two times in 21 years. If she ever did it was when nobody was around. She didn't even cry when either one of her grandparents died or when my father died. That told me that she's a great actress.

I also realized that she was unhealthy in that she only had one pseudo relationship with a guy before she met me. In my opinion now she was a relationship virgin. Probably someone I should have never married because she didn't know how to express herself to me emotionally. We never fought, argued, etc. And yes at times I kind of thought that was strange when I heard of our married friend's having arguments.

Just recently I read something somewhere that said..."Those couples who never fight are doomed to fail." The really hit home with me. I too have that regret you're talking about. Like maybe I should have pushed her more. But you know it's hindsight. You can't sit there and blame yourself for NOT being a mind reader. My exWW was so emotionally unhealthy that she actually said to me..."Well you should have known even though I never said anything"


BS(me) 48
WW 46
1 son 14 yrs old
Married 18 yrs, together 21 yrs

"You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have." ~ Bob Marley


Posts: 1469 | Registered: Jun 2011 | From: Zombie Land
Topic Posts: 15

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