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Spouses/Partners of Sex Addicts - 20

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Superesse posted 9/3/2020 10:31 AM

Dee, that inability to care about another's pain, or the tendency to get a sick satisfaction in another's pain, is one of the hallmarks of a criminal psychopath.

After his arrest for soliciting, I attended the first CSAT assessment my SAWH's attorney recommended he see. Well, from my classwork in Abnormal Psych, I recognized the CSAT was using a lot of the Psychopathy Checklist to assess him. When we left, I was shaking my head as we went to the car, and SAWH defensively asked me "What?" I just blurted out "I think he suspects you're a Psychopath!"

The thing is, this makes no dent in their perception of themselves. They are too self-focused to even be brought up short by a professional pointing out they likely have a serious personality flaw - or 2 or 3.

However, the darnest part of it all for me has been, that the same lack of ability to care about other's pain or viewpoints, could ALSO stem from a different mental mindset: that of an high-functioning autistic - which I strongly suspect my SAWH is. My hunch was confirmed by a Special Education teacher I met, who had to divorce HER autistic, serial cheating husband, choosing instead to be a single, working mom to their 3 young children, all with autism in various degrees. (There is a strong genetic component to ASD.) She said despite the extra work, she felt much more peace in her heart and home as a single mother! After I told her just a few of his winning ways, she bluntly stated "Your's sounds like he's somewhere 'on the Spectrum,' to me."

So, who knows?

But regardless of their diagnosis, your point is right on: if they were the kind of people who could comprehend another's pain, all this wouldn't have happened in our relationships! WHEN do we GET that? Especially when it resides behind their kind-heartedness or their smiling, easy-going facade...Whooo. Crazy!

Skeeter, NC Day 11, right?

Black Raven
, hope you are feeling stronger and decide what to do for yourself. Many here have been down the road you are on, sadly. We are pulling for you.

skeetermooch posted 9/3/2020 10:46 AM

if he were the kind of person who could comprehend my pain, he wouldn't have been the kind of person who would have done the things he did...It took me time to comprehend that he really could not feel what I was telling him. That is why these men are dangerous to normal people. It's beyond that they don't care. I think it's that they can't care.

That's what I come back to over and over again. My STBX lacks humanity, empathy, compassion, things that should be innate or easily developed in childhood. My STBX-SA isn't swayed in the least by my pain.

DevastatedDee posted 9/3/2020 11:09 AM

But regardless of their diagnosis, your point is right on: if they were the kind of people who could comprehend another's pain, all this wouldn't have happened in our relationships! WHEN do we GET that? Especially when it resides behind their kind-heartedness or their smiling, easy-going facade...Whooo. Crazy!

It's the kind-heartedness and the smiling easy-going facade that makes it so hard to comprehend. This is a special kind of threat. I never would have described my XWH as unemotional and cold. Never. I wouldn't have described him as unempathetic. I would have told you that he was tender-hearted and kind. I would have told you that his weeping after DDay was a sign that he had feelings. He does have feelings. He can cry buckets for himself. He can feel so much anger and pain and love for himself. I had to look at his actions to believe what he was showing me. Actions, not words, not tears, not loving facial expressions. Once I looked purely at actions, I saw it. I saw how he loved his dog, but I was the one who did everything for our dog. I saw how he loved his daughter, but when she was with us, I was the one caring for her. I saw how he "loved" me, and he had been sleeping with other women behind my back for I don't know how long. Once I left him, OH BOY it was quite obvious. I had a therapist from a rehab post separation call me and ask if he had ever been diagnosed as with antisocial personality disorder. She was pissed, I could tell, so she was a bit unprofessional. She said that he had told her he cheated on me with prostitutes and said he couldn't understand why it bothered me so much because he didn't love them. Said that after all those months of tears and words and fake remorse for all the pain he had caused me. That moment is honestly when I fully got it. I had already left him before I fully internalized who he is. He isn't on the spectrum. He either has or has lots of characteristics of a personality disorder of some sort. He could not get it. He could pretend to get it like a champ. That shit is scary to me.

Maybehurtforever posted 9/3/2020 11:51 AM

Dee,

He could pretend to get it like a champ. OMG this is what I think may be happening to me. His ability to fool me repeatedly has been proven and now it is what I expect.

The good news is I had my first absolute moment where I was actually blissful at being on my own. It didnít last long but Iím sure clinging on to that moment.

DevastatedDee posted 9/3/2020 12:25 PM

You will have more of those moments! Just putting all of that SA drama down and walking away can be the most freeing thing. All that black cloud of addiction, just removed from your life. This will get better and easier.

skeetermooch posted 9/3/2020 13:48 PM

Yes, Superesse, NC day 11!
Tomorrow he's supposed to be served with the divorce papers.

Actions, not words, not tears, not loving facial expressions. Once I looked purely at actions, I saw it.

Yes, that's the trick and it is a trick - because they do all of the more cosmetic stuff so well. When I look at his actions alone, I feel like a fool - his actions pretty much never aligned with his words. He invested the majority of his energy, money and passion into his career and his whoring.

he couldn't understand why it bothered me so much because he didn't love them. Said that after all those months of tears and words and fake remorse for all the pain he had caused me

Yep, mine cycled from remorse to saying shit like that too and back again. I was amazed at how knowledgeably he articulated remorse, the few times he did, only to revert to a "what's the big deal?" attitude.

My son is autistic but also extremely empathetic. He's one of the most intuitive, sensitive people I've ever known. Of course it is a spectrum but I would argue that being autistic doesn't incline someone to cheat.

I think we get caught up in the why's but we already know all we need to know when they cheat like these SAs, that alone tells us they're capable of doing things normal people wouldn't do.

Superesse posted 9/3/2020 14:23 PM

Yeah, Skeeter! Find something outdoorsy to keep you busy, and wish I could get anthing done here...it's about the 5th day in a row of hurricane remnant weather. Hot, muggy, humid, then rain for a while, get everything wet and moldy, then repeat.(I know I shouldn't complain, much of the US is in drought.) But I did tell my doctor I think I have S.A.D. Need to break out of this prison, and soon!

Our nearby University just shut down in-person classes, due to rapid rises in + Covid cases over just one week. I dread more fear and misery in the months ahead, for our area. One professor, 3 weeks ago, was quoted in the news predicting this exact outcome, since the university decided NOT to test their 22,000 returning students, like most of the major universities in the state. Today, local news quotes students and parents saying they think the college only opened so they could collect the tuition, and they waited until the full tuition refund period was up to make this decision!? Crazy.

I believe I need a U-Haul!

Skeeter, you will know this, but how autism manifests is so variable, and even that Special Ed teacher told me her 3 boys were each different in their challenges. But a lot of having empathy, I think, is early life experiences with the primary parent, too. (kudos to Skeeter!)

However, one thing I learned the hard way: not all generalizations about psychological disorders ought to be relied upon! My Psychology coursework on autism gave the standard description of autistic individuals as: "very loyal, maybe even honest to a fault." Yeah, I could deal with that even with the "social awkwardness"! But sadly, that generalization misses a significant number of cheaters with high-functioning autism (which used to be called Aspergers). If you think about it, the hallmark autistic's difficulties grasping another's reality could be part of what we spouses experience? Yeah, except for the level of malice aforethought. In cases of autistic acting out, it is thought by researchers they truly DON'T GET HOW their physical infidelity affects their loved ones (I can't remember where I read this. Somewhere online, plus that teacher's real-life experience).

Once we see a repeated disregard for our well-being, though....it looks more like antisocial PD - or worse.

I bet my excuse for my own rose-colored glasses (my DENIAL mechanism) staying stuck on my head so many years would be my searching to sort this all out; to me, one of those diagnoses seems less hopeless than the other...yet the effect on my health over time, is the same, regardless. I just kept kidding myself.

[This message edited by Superesse at 3:17 PM, September 3rd (Thursday)]

crazyblindsided posted 9/3/2020 15:06 PM

that inability to care about another's pain, or the tendency to get a sick satisfaction in another's pain, is one of the hallmarks of a criminal psychopath.

This was the sticking point for me my STBX's lack of empathy. I still cannot understand it. He watched me literally falling apart in front of his eyes. I withered away from not eating or sleeping, I was an emotional mess and then I attempted suicide because I did not see a way out from the pain. He saw all of that and still continued to see the MOW and I continued to downward spiral. Then he put me through False R for 2 more years. Evil just pure fucking evil is the only way I can describe it.

He can flip on a dime too like everything is ok and he is this "really good person." I think it's strange that he has to announce that he is a good person. Who does that? Why not just prove with actions that you are a good person, well his actions don't show that.

My STBX was diagnosed with strong NPD tendencies, but I also think he is anti-social because he has a past criminal history of forging checks and stealing.

Ugh just writing that out makes me sick WTH was my problem thinking he could become a better person

[This message edited by crazyblindsided at 3:07 PM, September 3rd (Thursday)]

skeetermooch posted 9/3/2020 18:47 PM

Once we see a repeated disregard for our well-being, though....it looks more like antisocial PD - or worse.

Yes. My son follows the rules of polite society. He may be too honest but he is rigid about doing the right thing, being responsible, respectful, etc. Autism doesn't impact his moral compass. Even if he doesn't understand why something is hurtful, he can abide by the rule not to do it. In my years both working with autistic kids (I did this throughout college) and my experience in the autism community as a parent - I haven't seen rampant immorality or lying. Maybe it's a contributing factor in some SAs but there's got to be more to it with this chronic cheaters.

He watched me literally falling apart in front of his eyes. I withered away from not eating or sleeping

Same here. Only he kept seeing hookers ;/
I'm so sorry he drove you to attempt suicide. These people are poison.

Then he put me through False R for 2 more years. Evil just pure fucking evil is the only way I can describe it.

Un-fucking-believable.

...he is anti-social because he has a past criminal history of forging checks and stealing.

Mine has a criminal history as well - robberies. He claimed it was because he was in the throes of a gambling addiction. He did so much great stuff with his life before and after that episode that I believed his criminal behavior was a sort of breakdown. He claimed he hadn't gambled in over a decade when we met - turns out he was doing that as well as cheating.

I think it's strange that he has to announce that he is a good person.

I actually think this is a manipulation/brain washing technique. The continually tell us they're good people - so much so that we start to believe it. They plant a lot of messages that we readily take in because we love them and have no reason to doubt them. Now, I know that's a red flag. A cheating ex bf used to do this too. I always thought it was bizarre. Good people rarely announce that they're good people. It's not something they have to talk themselves into or talk anyone else into. They want to be good people but they know their behavior says otherwise.

WTH was my problem thinking he could become a better person

We believe in the goodness of people. We don't judge. We believe in the possibility for change and we pride ourselves on these values. These are good values to have. Unfortunately, we met a couple of first class con artists. Their good sides may be real but they are too damaged and dangerous to be safe partners.

HeHadADoubleLife posted 9/4/2020 09:15 AM

Skeeter, so proud of your continued NC! You're doing great, keep it up!

Superesse, happy to hear you're thinking about looking at your legal options now! You'll feel so much better once you're free of him. I'm sure the fact that he's a foreign national complicates things. I know I would have been scared to move, and would have ended up in limbo in that situation too.

I know it sounds crazy when you read all the stuff about my dad, huh? You know what's crazy about all of it though? Up until 2 years ago, I would have never put all of that together. Did I find him annoying sometimes? Yeah, of course. Did his joke-telling seem off-color and ill-timed? Sure, but that was just dad being dad. I would have just shrugged it off. Up until all of this blew up, I honestly would have told anyone what a great guy my dad is. I probably would have described him much like you describe your dad, Dee.

My therapist is the one who blew it all wide open for me. After digging in about my childhood for a couple months of sessions, I would rehash stories from my XH, and she would say "And who does that sound like?"

*Raises hand* Also in the misfit group. I could have fit in with the in-crowd once I grew out of my gangly, stringy hair, reads for pleasure in the corner phase, but by then I knew how fake they all were, and I was more comfortable with my own random group. I think my younger years really set me up to be a student of human nature. I'm very observant, content to just watch and pay attention to how others interact, body language, semantics etc. This is why it surprises me so much that I didn't see him for what he was. It wasn't the first time I had encountered people whose actions belied their stated intentions. I've always been pretty damn good at reading people too.

Here I thought I was being the cool wife letting him go out with friends and not being a nag.
Here we were, being mature adults and assuming they were too. Yep, very familiar.
Of course. We didn't assume they were doing insane things, because we aren't insane.
It is weird that these men like feminist, strong women - but I suppose a clingy partner would make leading a double life logistical difficult. They want us busy. They want us successful.
So in a way, I was exactly who someone would want if they wanted to get away with a lot of sneaky stuff. I wasn't clingy, wasn't all in his business, didn't need to know where he was at all times and didn't have the interest in policing another person. I wasn't demanding because I didn't need him. I appreciated anything he did because I was so used to taking care of myself.
THIS^^^ Also, IMO, choosing us as partners is the ultimate form of faking it 'til you make it. They wish they were like us, and they think that our healthy independence will rub off on them somehow, or maybe seep into their souls through osmosis. Turns out it doesn't work that way.

I could always tell when my XH was in a healthier swing, because things were more calm and he was more focused on how well I handled things. Very appreciative, and wanting to learn from me. But the second he wasn't perfect at it, down the shame hole he would go again.

It didn't hurt that when he spiraled out like that he now had the perfect kind of partner - the one who would give him his space, and let him go out to blow off steam. Knowing something was off, and understanding that he needed some time to process it. NOT knowing that his way of processing it was meth and NSA sex.

I was a strong independent woman when I met my XWH. He seemed to love that, but he also hated it...I wasn't conditioned to depend on a man to do things. It didn't occur to me that something like a broken washing machine was "his" job. So my independence attracted him at first and caused him to resent me later.
Yup. We converted our dining room to a bedroom for one of the girls, and needed to put some curtain rods up in a wall in the alcove that didn't have any studs in it. So she and I went to the store and bought some 2x4s to anchor them, had the shop guys cut them to the size we had measured before we left the house. Then came back and used my drill to attach them to the wall, install the rod holders and the rod. He came home that day and said "Why didn't you wait for me?" My answer - I was perfectly capable not only of doing it on my own, but of teaching younger DD how to do it, so it didn't occur to me that we needed to wait. He never used the term, but he felt emasculated by all sorts of stupid shit. I was like dude, I'm not helpless, I'm not going to ask you for help with every little thing. If that's the kind of woman you want in your life, you picked the wrong partner!

And the whole time we were together, he was either mad because I called him during the day and interrupted his precious work or he was mad because I didn't call during the day to check on him and tell him I love him.
OMG, this!! If we were to right a collective memoir, it would be titled Damned If You Do, Damned If You Don't: The Spouses of Sex Addicts Story.

On the subject of how we each got here, I thought of another possible shared history question: who was like me, such a loner teen that the whole "dating scene" was missed? Like, you never got invited to the Prom, and by the time you were out on your own, you were already feeling behind the other girls your age, therefore "grateful" for any attention? This could certainly explain some things I did....
I was more in the middle ground. I dated in high school, but it was all spotty and I always kind of felt like a pity girlfriend. My first highschool bf I was hooked up with through mutual friends, and then he broke up with me after 3 months because it was "too hard to be long distance" (he went to a high school about a 30 minute drive away). Second bf was the new kid in school from out of state, we "dated" which basically consisted of making out at his house before his mom got home, only went to prom together because we were dating, then he broke up with me a week later, also at the 3 month mark. I basically started feeling like I had a 3 month expiration date. I ended up going to senior prom with a guy I had very briefly dated my freshman year, and he hung out with his friends the whole time while I sat at a table by myself, then he ditched the after party. The common denominator among all of them was me, and also the fact that I wouldn't sleep with any of them. I think this feeling of having an expiration, of not being useful because I wasn't sleeping with them, is what made me susceptible to the love bombing from XH.

To meet him, you'd never think he was an a#hole. Very hard worker, calm nature, mostly kind-hearted, rarely gets angry...people get the impression I'm the one with a case of the GRUDGE.
It's easy for us to look like the crazy people - they've made us nuts. My STBX is so well-liked, comes off as such a sweet, unassuming guy - I am totally sure there will be plenty of people who think I was the problem.
It's the kind-heartedness and the smiling easy-going facade that makes it so hard to comprehend. This is a special kind of threat. I never would have described my XWH as unemotional and cold. Never. I wouldn't have described him as unempathetic. I would have told you that he was tender-hearted and kind.
Yup. I would have told you he was one of the most compassionate, caring people I knew. Loved his daughters, deeply. Cared for me equally as much.

Actions, not words, not tears, not loving facial expressions. Once I looked purely at actions, I saw it. I saw how he loved his dog, but I was the one who did everything for our dog. I saw how he loved his daughter, but when she was with us, I was the one caring for her. I saw how he "loved" me, and he had been sleeping with other women behind my back for I don't know how long.
Yes, that's the trick and it is a trick - because they do all of the more cosmetic stuff so well. When I look at his actions alone, I feel like a fool - his actions pretty much never aligned with his words.
Yup. And my upbringing with my dad is why I think I so easily fell for this.
He can flip on a dime too like everything is ok and he is this "really good person." I think it's strange that he has to announce that he is a good person. Who does that?
To hear my dad, to see how emotional he gets etc., how he can go on and on about how much he loves his kids and adores his wife, you would think he does. I mean why insist so strongly on something that isn't true? I never had any reason to question him on it before. I just took him at his word. Just like I took my XH at his. He could write you a novel about himself as the hard-working single dad with the heart of gold who just wants the best for his daughters and is so happy to find someone so great to share his life with (me). But normal people don't have to convince people that they're a good person. They just go about their life being a good person, and that's that. I think they're trying to convince themselves as much as they're trying to convince others.

He could not get it. He could pretend to get it like a champ. That shit is scary to me.
I was amazed at how knowledgeably he articulated remorse, the few times he did, only to revert to a "what's the big deal?" attitude.
This is the single scariest part to me. This is my biggest fear in dating again. I was duped before. I can't physically, financially or emotionally handle being duped like that again.

And the doctor yesterday confirmed prolonged stress can cause most of the symptoms I've had, including even my recent elevated fasting glucose. So now I'm going to have to watch that, too...the fun never ends.
Yup! I've had arthritis since middle school, but it definitely flares up when I'm stressed. The whole 6 months after DDay I felt like an old lady and could barely use my hands to grip anything because my knuckles were swollen.

BlackRaven, having your therapist on the phone with you while you took that call is fucking genius!! FWIW, I wouldn't be satisfied with any of the mumbo jumbo they fed you either. Sounds like stock answers to me. Maybe I'm just jaded. Or maybe I've just been on this merry-go-round one too many times and now don't believe an SA can be vulnerable that easily.

Like secondtime wrote

The progress addicts make are so slow. And you are right to question the vulnerability.

I didn't know it at the time, because we never took on rehab or any sort of 12 step, but I wrote several impact statements over the years. I do think it's worth it. Yes, I did often see changes in him for a time after one of our heartfelt discussions/reading of my letters. But after the first couple of go-rounds, I kinda knew that would be short lived. It really did help me process things though. It was good to get it off my chest in writing, without being interrupted or derailed when the focus/attention was drawn to his shame.

I had always thought of girls with daddy issues as being needy and clingy and unable to do anything for themselves. I'm not any of those things. Thought I would be able to steer clear of the dating/bad picker pit falls because I wasn't like that. I was too smart for that. Well, that was all a lie.

Oh, and re: criminal histories. I put together a lot of strange stuff after DDay. I mean, meth use in and of itself. Plus whatever he did to get it. Plus the escorts.

But I'm also pretty sure he stole one of our cats. He just came home one day with a cat, and then refused to take the calls of the shelter even though we needed more medication for his eye infection. He told me later that he had told them he would pay them the second half of the adoption fee later, so he wasn't picking up their calls because he didn't want to pay. He wouldn't give me the phone number to let me handle it. I was livid, and I let him have it. I still don't really know where that cat came from.

He did a similar thing with his car once. Went to get it smogged, but they were trying to fix the machine. They offered to switch out his headlight bulbs for him while he waited. He left after they had finished, convinced them not to make him pay for it, saying he would come back when the smog machine was fixed. He never went back, took it somewhere else to smog it. To his chagrin, I ended up going to the place and paying for the lights myself, then charged him for it.

Oh, and he was always trying to steal stuff from restaurants. Like if they had a glass that he though was cool, or some kind of fancy plate or something. He would take flowers out of the vases on the table to give to me and the girls, even after I told him how uncomfortable I was and to please put them back.

I wonder how many petty scams like this he has pulled off over the years. Another benefit of the non-nagging wife - you can scam people all you want as long as she doesn't find out about it.

skeetermooch posted 9/4/2020 10:22 AM

I had always thought of girls with daddy issues as being needy and clingy and unable to do anything for themselves. I'm not any of those things. Thought I would be able to steer clear of the dating/bad picker pit falls because I wasn't like that. I was too smart for that. Well, that was all a lie.

Yeah, me too! I am super independent in every regard. I always thought my daddy issues were resolved. My dad disowned me at 18 and even though he half-heartedly tried to reverse course a few times over the years, I've never looked back. I never pined for my father's love. I was always aware, even as a child, that he was nuts, controlling, creepy and violent. I was not happy to not have a dad but happy to not have that one around. Even so, it wasn't something that preoccupied me. I explored it a lot in therapy, cried tears over it and even recognized and appreciated the parts of my dad that were good - he was incredibly bright and good do anything well. My dad wasn't an issue for me. Yet, here I am - one asshole after another.

They wish they were like us, and they think that our healthy independence will rub off on them somehow, or maybe seep into their souls through osmosis.

Yes!
My STBX admitted in a few intense moments that he wanted to be me. He was jealous of my life, accomplishments, esteem in the community. He wanted to take up what I do and cautioned me not to be jealous if he ends up more successful at it!! I thought this was a bizarre thing to say to your partner. I was more than happy to teach him everything I knew and I would've basked in any success he had. Of course, I doubt he can put his penis down for long enough to accomplish anything.

NC - Day 12!

He's supposed to be served today.

DevastatedDee posted 9/4/2020 10:41 AM

Of course, I doubt he can put his penis down for long enough to accomplish anything.

Served today...this is a good day, skeetermooch!

DevastatedDee posted 9/4/2020 10:43 AM

If it helps, I don't have any daddy issues and I still fell for one of these people.

BlackRaven posted 9/4/2020 11:41 AM

Do any of you know if your SA was abused/ sexually abused as a child? (Message me if you prefer)

DevastatedDee posted 9/4/2020 11:41 AM

Mine was.

skeetermooch posted 9/4/2020 11:51 AM

Thanks Dee!

Maybe our issues didn't necessarily play a crucial role - maybe in how we coped with red flags or discovery - I definitely know how to suffer, tolerate and put my needs to the side. They are such skilled actors I think it would take someone who's been through this to see one coming, even then I don't know that I'll ever trust my picker. My ex bf was a cheater too - my previous marriage was to a narc. I *think* I can see a narc coming now, but the cheaters, I don't know. I'll certainly steer clear of love-bombers and anyone trying to close the deal too quickly - that is most definitely a baseline red flag with disordered people.

The one thing I would pay attention to as well is mixed signals - both of the cheaters were confusing, running hot and cold, during the courtship phases, ie. saying they were hot, hot, hot and then not trying to get together for weeks or acting cool and then flipping out and declaring their love when I pulled away. I guess that's attachment issues - they attach oddly and confusingly.

[This message edited by skeetermooch at 11:52 AM, September 4th (Friday)]

HeHadADoubleLife posted 9/4/2020 12:50 PM

BlackRaven, re: your question.

I donít have any definitive proof that mine was. But his older brother and sister were both molested by their grandfather. He insists he was never touched, but I wouldnít be surprised if he had suppressed it, or was just straight up lying about it.

My therapist also said that trauma affects all family members, so even if he wasnít the one molested he could have felt residual effects of it that would cause him his own trauma.

Not sure if it counts, but he was exposed to porn and sexuality in general at a VERY young age. Like elementary school. His older brother showed him his dadís porn, and told him what masturbating was. Depending on how in depth that convo actually went I could imagine that in and of itself could have been a trauma.

DevastatedDee posted 9/4/2020 13:05 PM

Thanks Dee!
Maybe our issues didn't necessarily play a crucial role - maybe in how we coped with red flags or discovery - I definitely know how to suffer, tolerate and put my needs to the side. They are such skilled actors I think it would take someone who's been through this to see one coming, even then I don't know that I'll ever trust my picker. My ex bf was a cheater too - my previous marriage was to a narc. I *think* I can see a narc coming now, but the cheaters, I don't know. I'll certainly steer clear of love-bombers and anyone trying to close the deal too quickly - that is most definitely a baseline red flag with disordered people.

The one thing I would pay attention to as well is mixed signals - both of the cheaters were confusing, running hot and cold, during the courtship phases, ie. saying they were hot, hot, hot and then not trying to get together for weeks or acting cool and then flipping out and declaring their love when I pulled away. I guess that's attachment issues - they attach oddly and confusingly.

This is where I fall short on figuring this out. Signs. I just didn't have any that are normal signs of anything. Close with his family? On a surface level, check. Took nearly a year of being around them a lot to really see some of the unhealthy dynamics. Hot and cold? Not really. Maybe a couple of times I can look back and see now what might qualify as hot and cold. It was hot for years until it was suddenly cold after we married, so? Love bombing? Maybe a little, but not until we'd dated for a while, so it seemed like a natural falling in love.

The signs I saw were weakness. Given that I don't expect men to be a stereotype, I could handle emotional weakness without looking badly upon him. I interpreted it as vulnerability. I see that it was weakness and not vulnerabilty now. He did let me handle things like all the paperwork for buying our house, but I chalked that up with me just being better at that stuff. Truth is that he got frustrated too quickly at anything that was hard to him. His brother is a loud brash narc and he and I were having a political argument once that got too intense and went personal, but XWH didn't defend me. I saw that he feared his brother and wouldn't stand up for me. That was a red flag I caught. The other big one was after we married and I had breast reduction surgery. He didn't take me to the hospital for the surgery. My parents did. He worked that day. He didn't really take care of me afterwards when I was recovering. He was weirded out by the whole thing. That was one that I didn't let go and called him out on. That showed me something that I didn't like at all. I went from Gs to Cs, you guys. I didn't lose all boobs and I had hoped I was more than giant boobs to this man. Ha.

Those were my main red flags. With hindsight, I can find little ones that flew right under my radar at the time, but those were the big ones. Those happened deep into the relationship and were balanced out by him being otherwise really sweet and romantic. He looked at me like I was the only person on earth, just love shining through his eyes. I thought of them as struggles that we could get through, not indicators that he was a really fucked up person.

It does worry me that someone this damaged could fool me so profoundly. The consolation is that this kind of guy is rare and most men aren't anything like this. I've said it before, we won the fuckwit jackpot. I hope I've learned to spot this particular kind of guy, but there is no way on this earth I would have seen this coming. I'm not a codependent person. I don't have huge FOO trauma that I was re-enacting.

I don't think it's healthy to put this all on ourselves, like we're defective and that's why we attracted these defective creatures. No doubt we all have things that we can work on, but never forget how very good these men are at wearing a mask of "nice guy".

Ooh, editing to add. My main red flag that I WILL NOT repeat is that he was a recovering addict. Supposedly clean for years. Knew exactly how to behave and speak about his past to sound very reassuring about never relapsing. I cannot give a recovering addict a chance in the future. I may miss out on a good man, but it is not worth the risk to me. I am far too burned to do that again.

[This message edited by DevastatedDee at 1:09 PM, September 4th (Friday)]

Superesse posted 9/4/2020 13:36 PM

Skeeter, NC Day 12 and he's supposed to be served, what have you planned to do for your wonderful self, today? Put down that phone, GF! Any interesting reactions can always be revisited later....or heard about through the grapevine (your lawyer!)

HeHadADoubleLife, you make me think heavy duty stuff here about FOO, and it IS a process of having the smoke clear so we can look back at the similarities. I will be sure to use that line from your therapist "And who does that sound like..." oh, yikes. Tell me we aren't THAT DAMN SCRIPTED!?

You know what I bet? It's the unspoken, the hidden, the denied aspects of our parents that we tend to find in partners. Now why that is, I have no idea.

Example: my father drank very heavily until he almost died at age 48 and hit bottom, had a miracle (a substance abuse counselor confirmed very few at that stage come back), decided he didn't want to die and swore off alcohol for the rest of his long life. Had another 40 years. But the damage was done, my mother had already left him, both my brothers grew up abusing drugs and/or alcohol just like their Big Bad Dad, and into their 60's are still substance abusers with the personalities to match. They also both lost their wives due to their verbal abuse and sexist attitudes, probably started by their early sexualization - finding my Father's stash of Porno magazines. I remember 2 innocent little brothers, but that was a LONG time ago! My late (younger) sister married a SA early, bore him 3 children, suffered his infidelities as a SAHM, told me after her divorce my brothers had tried to play sex games with her as a 9 year old, (again, the porn influence on teen boys!) and sadly, she died at age 54 from squamous cell cancer of the breast, very rare type, untreatable, that could have migrated from the HPV cervical infection she told me she got from her SAWXH and didn't follow up on after her divorce. (My gyno doc said it was a possible cause of her cancer!)

So despite all this, the one thing I NEVER did wrong was follow the stereotypical script psychologists warn about: the oldest daughter usually marries an alcoholic "just like Daddy Dearest." I was the oldest, but I saw the destruction to my family and wasn't about to replicate that Martyr Complex my mother had modeled! (It almost killed her with ulcerative colitis, before she left when her youngest left home. And even thiugh she quickly remarried, she died early, age 65, from some kind of colorectal cancer. My surgeons 2 years ago when I had a polypectomy told me her having had ulcerative colitis was a big risk factor for late getting colon cancer...)

So: 2 of my family DEAD before their time (the only other women), 2 brothers Shadows of what they could have been as men, and the Old Man himself was granted a second chance at his life and thrived, it seemed. Maybe he had better genes to survive his own abuse! He was a loner, (I guess his secret porn habit was enough for him.)

Even though I thought we had healed our earlier, frosty relationship, and I never threw his alcoholic years in his face, that same hidden sickness/personality was what really has wrecked my own life story when it showed up in my BFs and I didn't run away, screaming! Nope, instead, I just married one SA after another.

Black Raven, as I wrote the other day, mine was sexually abused, as are way over 75% of all SAs were. However, It does us very little real good to feel pity for them. Our understanding and accomodating their history While waiting and hoping does NOT effect a change in them! So even if/when this comes out with your SAWH, please, please guard yourself against doing what I did, and thinking he can shuck off that FOO like an old coat, if he really wants to. It just isn't that simple and they have years of therapy ahead, with probable slips.

skeetermooch posted 9/4/2020 13:58 PM

My main red flag that I WILL NOT repeat is that he was a recovering addict. Supposedly clean for years. Knew exactly how to behave and speak about his past to sound very reassuring about never relapsing. I cannot give a recovering addict a chance in the future. I may miss out on a good man, but it is not worth the risk to me. I am far too burned to do that again.

Yes, I hate to say it but I agree. No more addicts. When I started dating him one of my friends said she would never date a recovering addict and I thought it was so harsh - live and learn.

The other thing I learned is that gambling addicts are often sex addicts - so anyone with a fondness for gambling is out to.

And....

Just check tracking - HE HAS BEEN SERVED. BUH BYE MOTHERFUCKER!

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