and I was co dependent.
That is your half of the M problems.
I've said before it's easy to be 'healthy' in healthy relationships, our unhealthy aspects come out to play when we're in unhealthy relationships.
You teach people how to treat you - that was my half of the M.
But it's a bit chicken and egg - why did I choose a guy like him? What drew me to him?
Familiarity. He exhibits all of the "good" stuff in my FOO which was actually bad. But it was familiar. He also exhibits the bad but I ignored them.
He wasn't beating me with his fists so I wasn't being abused. That's what I told myself. I'm better than my mum. I'm smarter than her. I'm stronger than her. I lived it - I'd know if I was being abused. She was a dumb, dependant, low self-esteem kid of 19 when they got together. I was a strong, smart, independent, high self-esteem, formidable woman of 27 when we got together.
It was how I 'knew' I was happy. Those grand romantic gestures he made for those first 5 years? Exactly what my father did to my mother in the days/weeks after beating her to within an inch of her life. That subtle emotional abuse of doing things as gifts to me then resenting me for it? For not being grateful enough or for being a burden? Exactly what my mother did to my father, and still does to me to this day.
And she lapped it all up - loved it. I did too - from my father, my mother and then from my husband.
I survived me very volatile and violent childhood by becoming invisible. Numb. Made myself as small as possible so as to not bring attention to myself and bear the wrath of either of my parents. Both abusers in different ways. My mum was the 'good' one but did more damage with her emotional abuse IMO.
My husband was an abuser too. I survived my marriage using the same exact tools.
I vomited violently when this came up in IC. That realisation was so shocking I sit here now well over a year since that lightbulb went off and I want to vomit again now.
It is all his fault that he is an abuser. 100%. It was not his fault that I put up with it and reverted to my toxic FOO coping mechanisms.
Straight after DD I reverted to my next favourite coping mechanism. Sleeping around as much as I could. I am considered a mad hatter here. I don't consider them RAs. I don't consider them affairs. I consider them the actions and choices of a broken, broken individual choosing to harm herself for a change. I did more damage to me than anyone else ever could. I don't consider myself a WS - not just because it is uncomfortable (it is), but because that would make him a BS which makes me livid. I'll examine why later. I'm not ready to right now.
It's a bitter pill to swallow. As my beloved uncertainone used to say in the Wayward forum - being a BS does not give you a cape. Some of us are better at fidelity than they are. Some of us are better at giving love than they are. Some of us are better spouses than they are. Some of us as better at life than they are. Some of us are better human being than they are.
But somewhere along the line we betrayed and devalued ourselves in tolerating unimaginably bad behaviour and treatment from them. Well before the infidelities.
Yes - he is broken, fucked-up, evil, FUBAR. That he chose to lie and cheat to me for years is all on him. That I allowed it is all on me. No matter how much of a good wife I thought I was being - he would have cheated on a far better wife than me. I would also have tolerated a worse husband than him.
The cheating was the dealbreaker. Why wasn't the other stuff dealbreakers? In many ways worse than the cheating but not dealbreakers. Why?
It was the cheating that brought my ego into play. His cheating humiliated me and THAT is the part my toxic FOO coping mechanisms didn't work on.
My ego is what saved me from that M - not my good heart.
This stuff is hard to work through and beings up a lot of unimaginably difficult thoughts/feelings. I know I have to otherwise I will be on the road to WH2 or being a WW myself.
We always comfort each other on this forum that the WS's life won't be any better apart from us because 'broken attracts broken.'
Newsflash: at one point in our lives, we were the broken attracting their broken.
Ex-shat and I were toxically codependent. We thought we were meant for each other...that we were soul mates. Shit, our toxicity just happened to be a perfect interlocking match. At some point I figured out that we were in this never ending cycle of miserable bullshit and I wanted change. He resisted. I pushed harder to change. He went out and had an affair and now he's reinforcing/perpetuating his codependent cycle with someone else. (extra points to him for snagging a stripper out of the deal )
I ended up using the trauma of his infidelity and divorce to work on my codependent and passive aggressive tendencies. You would not recognize me today from who I was 10 years ago. But to change, I had to own who I really was and how I really behaved. That was tough and humbling. I wish I had not been that person all those years ago and had made better choices...but I wasn't. And now I have been given the opportunity to be that better person.
It may take two to MAKE a marriage (though they both will have to give more than 50%), but it can takr just one to end it.
Sorry, but the "half of the marriage" thing may be repeated often enough to be accepted widely, but it's grossly oversimplified bullshit. There are bazillions of marriages undone by the actions of one.
Two steps forward and one step backwards, is still progress.
The way I see it, I'm 100% responsible for my behavior and actions during the marriage, but those did not add up to causing 50% of the issues in the marriage.
I know I was not perfect. I know there are ways I could have been a better spouse and partner. But I was a hell of a better wife than ex was a husband. I dunno, he may still see it otherwise. But ya know, not my problem any more.
Pretty pretty please, don't you ever ever feel
Like you're less than, less than perfect
I spent a lot of time on this in both IC (where my counselor had not met XWH) and in MC (where my counselor had met XWH and was always in the room when we spoke.) Based on what was said on SI, I was convinced that I had to take half the blame for the marriage, but after spending many hours on this, both counselors told me that it wasn't true in my case.
Of course I am not perfect, but had I not married a severely personality-disordered person, I would have been in a happy marriage, whereas his relationships are all going to wind up similarly because of who he is.
Why did I choose him? Because he'd become such an expert at wearing the mask and he'd fooled everyone. I was 20 and he'd had a lot of practice at hiding who he was. He knew how to say/do the right things (an intelligent sociopath is scary!)
Even with the benefit of hindsight, I didn't ignore any blatant red flags (of course with 20/20 hindsight, it's easy to call "red flag" on quirky behavior.)
Why did I stay? Because I believed in marriage and I was determined to make it work. He was under a lot of stress in residency/fellowship, and his 9-year odyssey of becoming a doctor was about to end. I was certain things would improve once he was finally a full-blown physician. Plus, things weren't that bad. We had a ton of common interests, took vacations frequently, didn't fight about anything, were on the same page about everything (because he was pretending to be someone he wasn't, I found out later.) There were isolated incidents of mask slippage that I attributed to stress of physician training.
When our MC asked him to help me solve my half of the problems in the marriage, all he could come up with is that I liked to read and that I saved for retirement. Instead of reading, he thought I should be watching him play video games and praising him for his prowess. He never could explain the retirement one since I made enough money to still do/buy whatever he wanted.
I do think it's useful to self-examine and find ways to improve ourselves, but I don't subscribe to owning half of the marriage problems in all cases.
Married: 11 years, no kids
The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short; but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark. -Michelangelo
I do fully own the fact that I used to be so dysfunctional that I chose him as a partner. I also fully own the fact that I chose to have children with him, and even worse, I stayed with him after the children were born and exposed them to his evil. However fucked up they are as adults because I stayed too long in the marriage is on me.
But the marriage? Hell no.
I do agree that I am responsible 100% for my actions or more precisely, my reactions in the M.
As for 50% of the M problems? That's a hard one. Like many others, my codependent behavior as a response to his behavior was my responsibility.
My WH has been blaming me that I turned the kids against him. Of course I did not do that, but as I've been thinking lately, I am to blame that I put up with so much crap that it did affect the kids. I wish I was stronger and left a long time ago, and I'm to blame for that.
But blame is a hard word.
I'm getting to a point that I'm no longer going to assign blame to anyone. He is who he is, and I do know that no matter what his choice to have an A, is 1000% on HIM.
When I told some of my friends I was going to file for D they completely understood why I would want to...and they didn't even know about her cheating.
[This message edited by StillLivin at 10:26 PM, March 23rd (Sunday)]