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Canít shake off the things he said when he left me

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Summer1976 posted 5/24/2020 04:17 AM

Iím not leaving the children, Iím leaving you.

You have let yourself go.

You are boring and have no sense of adventure.

You are always complaining about my family.

I almost called our wedding off.

I slouch when Iím with you.

You never compliment me.

Iím not attracted to you.

Youíre always tired from work.

You emasculated me.

Itís been a year since he suddenly left but I still canít get these things out of my head. Married 16 years, 2 children. No one has ever spoken to me like that before. He had met another woman, 16 years younger. The day I knew he was leaving was the day he left. No conversation, no counselling or offer to work on the marriage beforehand.

I was raised by very encouraging parents who always lifted me up and had faith in me. They both died a decade ago so I donít have them to pull me out of this. I wish I did. These things he said eat away at me, I feel they are slowly destroying me, eroding away. And heís very happy with his new life, house and girlfriend. Iím trying so hard to heal but Iím really struggling.

I took more hours on at work 10 years ago because he wanted to start his own business. I tried to support him and our children.

I want to be invisible and just be here to function for my children. I feel ugly, ashamed and humiliated. I avoid people. His family also have eroded my confidence over the 20 years Iíve known them, his mum told me I was fat during my first pregnancy.

I donít know the answer to this. Self care doesnít seem to be doing much.

This is all very out of character for me, I used to be very self assured within. Not arrogant but I always felt that I was OK and a happy, kind and caring person who lives her family, friends and pets.

Thank you for reading.

The1stWife posted 5/24/2020 04:27 AM

Iím so sorry for you. You have been discarded and insulted by a coward.

Yes heís a coward. Because a real man would not have done what he did. He could have come to you and expressed his unhappiness. He could have worked on the marriage.

Instead he chose to lie and cheat.

In typical cheater fashion he blames you for his affair. That is a cowardly thing to do.

Please know nothing you said or did or did not say or do caused him to cheat. In his mind he thinks he found something better. But he didnít. He just found something new.

And heís delusional in thinking this new relationship will last or make him happy. The OW didnít get a prize. She got a defective person who abandons a wife and family for his own selfish pleasure.

Please get some counseling to support you through this emotional trauma. It will help you rebound. It will help you recover.

[This message edited by The1stWife at 4:28 AM, May 24th (Sunday)]

OwningItNow posted 5/24/2020 06:17 AM


I am sorry for your pain, but the things he said are so unnecessarily cruel. Leaving someone after so long is horribly vile anyway, so why would he need to add all of these additional insults???

Have you returned to counseling? You should because you feel bad, and a good counselor can help you reframe these things properly to remove the sting. For example, when you wrote the list of all he said, I thought, "Wow, what a miserable bastard. Only someone who hates themselves and hates the world lashes out like that."

I am putting a lot of tiny pieces of information about you, your exH, and your M. This is what I see:

1. A man who had a lot of selfish hobbies and did not care about being absent from his family.
2. A wife who did not say No and rearranged her life so he could do what he wanted.
3. A man who acted like a teenager with high adventure, thrill seeking hobbies.
4. A man who wanted to be his own boss, so his wife financially backed his business idea.
5. A man who left for the vanity of having a woman 15 years younger to make him feel young again.
6. A man who had control issues and frequently raged at his son as he became a teen, showing he has no true love and respect for others, just himself.
7. A man whose father behaved the same way.
8. A man whose mother accepted this poor treatment just like you did.
9. A man whose family treated you badly and continues to do so. Your exH never stood up for you, and you haven't stood up for yourself, saying you want to respect them.

Have you researched narcissits and codependency? It seems obvious to me that this toxic family has created a selfish monster, and your tendency is to value this monster and the toxic family. Where is your anger? Where is your sense of self-protection in this life with him? He has been gone from your M most of the time, and even when there he has been cruel. What are you missing about him? You need to figure out why you think you are the cause of this man's poor treatment. You are not. The problem isn't that he left, it's that you didn't kick him out long ago. He is a terrible person, and you've cut him way too much slack.

Find your anger.
He is not good enough for you. He never was. Start adopting that mindset. If we marry a serial killer because we love his good side and because we are kind people who try to love them in spite of their "flaws," why are we still so shocked when they finally murder us, too? It was always going to happen because he's a cold-blooded ass, not because you did anything wrong.

P.S. Why did you almost call the wedding off? (Or was it him?) I bet you saw some red flags that concerned you. Him bringing that up 20 years later is how narcissists are. They never forget a perceived insult because their egos are so fragile. What a total waste of your sadness. He doesn't deserve a minute of your thoughts.

[This message edited by OwningItNow at 6:23 AM, May 24th (Sunday)]

fareast posted 5/24/2020 06:45 AM

Sorry you are going through this Summer1976. Owning it now said it better than I can. Find your anger. Your WH is a complete jerk. Please do get into counseling. Even though he said these terribly cruel things to you over a year ago, you still let him near you again during this shutdown and got hurt again. Stand up for yourself. He does not deserve anything from you. Do not engage with him. Simple responses. File for D and move on with your life. You deserve so much better.

Alonelyagain posted 5/24/2020 06:59 AM

Iím sorry that youíre experiencing such pain. From personal experience and reading it play out repeatedly in the JFO forum, the WS consciously or subconsciously rewrite the marital history in cruel fashion in order to alleviate the guilt that theyíre feeling for betraying the BS who they once loved. Years ago, I read in a self-help book that the most damaging thing we do to ourselves is negative self-talk. For the most part, I was able to get rid of my own negative self-talk. I think that you would be helped greatly if you could do the same. I suspect that youíve adopted your parentís encouraging parenting style with respect to your children. Please try to apply it to yourself.

[This message edited by Alonelyagain at 11:48 PM, May 24th (Sunday)]

Summer1976 posted 5/24/2020 16:40 PM

Thank you all so much for many wise words and accurate observations. I have a lot to think about.

I realised today how much more relaxed our home is now. I donít think Iíd seen it before because my mind had been elsewhere. I have also noticed that both my children have become more caring. The drama is gone from our home.

BearlyBreathing posted 5/24/2020 23:06 PM

The lack of drama, of walking on eggshells ó so great. It is funny how that peace sneaks up and takes us by surprise.

Your WH said those nasty things to justify his awful character. If those were true, then he canít be blamed, right? But they ARE NOT TRUE. They arenít. You know this, somewhere in your heart of hearts. You are kind and loving and dedicated and loyal and hardworking.

Please get some IC. I think many of us BS have issues of our own that we can use this time to address. Why did we put up with that Sh*t for so long? Why didnít we trust our intuition or confront them for being jerks? Why do we believe any of their bullsh*t? If you are co-dependent, then address that.

You are the prize. And you need to work to remind yourself of that. Reframing does work (takes time). If there are things you want to change, now is the time. Lose 10 pounds? New hairstyle (well, when quarantine ends), new clothes, new hobby.... do it.

You know cheaters lie. Your XWH is a run-of-the-mill cheating liar. Donít believe him.

LadyG posted 5/25/2020 01:52 AM

He will possibly be saying these things to the AP one day, so shake it, like water off a ducks back.

16 years into my Iíll fated marriage, I was told the same things.

32 years into the marriage, I was the best thing since slice bread except that I had grown and had grown to ignore him. I lost all respect for my WH.

I too worked 7 days a week, up to 16 hours a day so he could have everything including his own business which I ran and made profitable and it was thriving. I was The quiet achiever, working in the background while he swanned around looking like he had it all down pat.

I left him and now all he has is what I allowed him to have.

Heís selfish, greedy but also inept at running anything, even his last A, ended in debt and disaster. Only my WH could run up debts in an ill fated A. He regrets giving his ex AP Financial support. NOT MY PROBLEM!

Stay away from his family. My ex MIL is a a Rug Sweeper!

EllieKMAS posted 5/26/2020 09:23 AM

Fuck that guy. Seriously.

I know what it is to play those negative tapes in one's head, but truly you have to retrain your brain when they start playing. It's easier said than done I know, but the reward is well worth the effort. When you start down the rabbit hole, counter it with positive thoughts. And if you're unable to do that? Feel free to scream obscenities inside your head at him. Cus seriously, what a dick move.

YOU are the prize. YOU are beautiful. YOU are amazing. YOU are a good mom. YOU were a good and supportive spouse. He is a pathetic cliche.

thatbpguy posted 5/26/2020 10:05 AM

He had met another woman, 16 years younger.

This seems to me to be the genesis for everything he had to say. He has a new, younger, shiny model for now and as a result he has placed you in the light he has. But he will tire of his new chick- and she will tire of him as well.

He's a lazy pig. Always will be. Unless he buys their love, see how long the kids respect him when they are older. They won't. In the end he will be a bitter man.

josiep posted 5/26/2020 10:11 AM

The sudden and abrupt end to the marriage, and in my case, the ghosting that followed, are demoralizing, degrading and beyond cruel. It's trauma inducing and I wonder if you could seek a counselor who specializes in trauma AND infidelity?

It's so very hard to reach the point that you believe in your heart of hearts that you had nothing to do with his abominable behavior. But it is true. And he said all those things because he had to - it's how his own psyche protects itself. Otherwise, he'd have to look in the mirror and recognize what a horrible thing he did (and is doing).

Hold your head high. Hug your children. And carry on. He's not worth one more tear.

[This message edited by josiep at 10:13 AM, May 26th (Tuesday)]

IrishGirlVA posted 5/26/2020 13:13 PM

Words hurt, no doubt. I remember every hurtful thing anyone has ever said to me. The only thing I have to keep telling myself over and over AND OVER again is...

Consider the source.

Cooley2here posted 5/26/2020 20:22 PM

One of the hardest things for us to to realize is that we have put our faith and trust into a seriously bad person. Itís so devastating to realize that you have slept beside, made love to and had children with a person of this poor caliber. It happens to so many people. Look at the number of people on this site. Donít believe him. Do.not.believe.him. You have worth. He doesnít. He is a nematode. And thatís on a good day.

Thanksgiving2016 posted 5/26/2020 21:52 PM

Ugh what a POS he is. Start a journal and every single day write something good that happened. Anything. The cashier at the grocery store smiled when I thanked them. You are the adult for your children. The unwavering constant in their lives. You know your worth and donít let his jealousy of that wear you down. You are a thousand times better and he damn well knows it.

Summer1976 posted 5/27/2020 06:03 AM

Your words have completely transformed my mindset.

We ARE the prize!

Thank you. x

squid posted 5/27/2020 07:16 AM

These are often just projections of his inner self onto you.

Deep down inside of him there is a massive hole. He feels it. He just doesn't know how to fix it. So he blames you. Crazy thing is, he doesn't believe the thing that is wrong is internal. It HAS to be external. Therefore, it must be you.

How could you make him feel that way??!! It's your fault he feels the way he does!

You know what will definitely fix it? A shiny new toy to distract him from the festering pile of pigshit that is his soul. Right. Makes sense.

He is a low-life coward that lacks any courage to face his own demons.

From now on, focus on self care as a way of improving yourself for you and your kids only. Remove his insignificant ass from the picture. Don't compare yourself to a spineless slug. Hell, even slugs are better than him. Slugs at least wake up every day and handle their shit the way they're supposed to. Him? Not so much.

He isn't worth your consideration. He does not deserve it.

Forgive yourself a lot too. Remember, you didn't cheat. You didn't leave when things got tough. You held to your vows and didn't unilaterally change the conditions of your marriage to suit your selfish wants.

Your kids will revere you far more than him. That I know. They may love him, as they should since he is their father. But they will always look at him with a smidge (maybe a lot more) of disappointment for not stepping up when he needed to.

You don't have to worry about that. Stay focused on loving your kids and being the stable parent they need.

Good luck.

[This message edited by squid at 12:13 PM, May 27th, 2020 (Wednesday)]

free2016 posted 5/27/2020 11:03 AM

I would like to back up previous post about projecting his inner self onto you.
I'm 4 yrs from DDay and my WH did not leave, so I have had a lot of time to observe his behaviour in light of my discoveries of who he is as a man. Of course, I knew him before, but not the dark side that he hid so well. There were red flags and I had suspicions but I could not even imagine that people are able to act so cruelly towards their own spouse. Cheaters selfishness and stupidity still surprises me but not astonish.

Given my experience, I read what he said as this:

Iím not leaving the children, Iím leaving you.

READ: I am leaving children and I know that I betray them but I do not care because I'm too selfish and won't put their wellbeing above my own. I love myself too much to put them first.

You have let yourself go.

READ: He have let himself go and he hates it.

You are boring and have no sense of adventure.

READ: He is boring, have no sense of adventure and he hates it.

You are always complaining about my family.

READ: He always complains about people, including family

I almost called our wedding off.

READ: He doubted that he could be a good husband (he was right)

I slouch when Iím with you.

READ He slouches most of his free time.

You never compliment me.

READ: He never compliments you

Iím not attracted to you.

READ: He feels unattractive (He is right given that he is boring, complains about everyone and slouches.:))

Youíre always tired from work.

READ: He is always tired from work.

You emasculated me.

READ: He feels emasculated. (And he should given what a looser he is)

Now, try to think about what he said through his REAL feelings and see if there is any truth to it.

The1stWife posted 5/27/2020 15:34 PM

Free2016. I live this. Best post ever!

Braveyogi posted 5/27/2020 17:03 PM

Summer1976 - you got some really good perspectives and I wanted to share my take. I just wanted to say I've been there too (I could've written your post), and still have to contend with the propaganda he lays on the kids. He married the OW who is 15 years younger (sound familiar? )and they are on kid #2. The latest story he told my son is that he left me b/c I'm a weak person, a scardy cat, and he needed a stronger woman in his life. This rattled me for a couple of days - both for the character assassination and how this may impact my son's view of me. I turned to a couple of trusted loved ones and asked for their perspective, which has been very helpful. I came to the realization that everyone (including him and OW) has strengths and weaknesses. Awareness of the weaknesses or growth edges is a mark of maturity, along with a celebration of our strengths. Constructive criticism is helpful and inspires us to continually improve ourselves. Cruel insults hurled at our deepest vulnerabilities is - in my opinion - a sign of immense insecurity, weakness, and lacks any semblance of compassion.

I don't know your story, but your ex sounds a bit narcissistic and definitely (as others noted) cruel and likely projecting as others said. Mine was narcissistic, and the following are suggestions for you:

Books (check them out on online libraries if you don't want to purchase them)
- Will I Ever Be Free from You Dr. McBride - Divorcing a narcissist and rebuilding your family
- The Journey From Abandonment to Healing
- anything by Pema Chodron
- The Happiness Trap Dr. Russ Harris - check out the sections on defusion which are awesome!
- You are a Badass (I'm not finished yet but it has good suggestions)

- ask 5 people you love and trust to write out 5 things that they value about you. You need to hear some good news and be reminded about your awesome qualities.
- Journal - write about all of this, how these things he said impact you, the veracity/falsity of them, what you would say to him if you could, what you need to say to yourself.
- get really clear in your heart about your narrative/story and find a way to question what he has said. Right now it seems like you're taking it as the truth, but think about any good journalism and they always have to fact check and have evidence. For ex, it's true that I am a scardy cat about a few things - such as downhill skiing, however, I promised my son this winter that I would take lessons and learn to ski so we could do it together. So my XH was right - I am a scardy cat ABOUT SKIING AND willing to face my fears and overcome them. (which i think is pretty darn cool). If something in this list is true for you, maybe it can be something you process with a therapist. What sucks is that he never gave you a chance to work through any of these things.
- Mostly, befriend yourself. Practice being kind to yourself, which is clearly something he didn't display toward you. Make friends with that part of you that was so deeply hurt by these comments from someone you loved and trusted, let that part of you speak. You're not alone and right now, you really need to take such good care of yourself.


[This message edited by Braveyogi at 5:05 PM, May 27th (Wednesday)]

The1stWife posted 5/29/2020 07:15 AM


Heís still blaming you for his affair. Your XH is a coward - IMO

Interesting how he blames YOU for the SAME behavior he has. 🤣 ROFLMAO

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