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How to forgive myself

dfdxb posted 9/21/2020 07:37 AM

STBX and I are living together while I've filed for divorce. Ive asked him to move and he won't and I cannot afford to right now (it will also affect my rights during divorce where I live). It's been tense to say the least. He's been making minimal efforts to change my mind yet won't agree to divorce.

We had a horrible fight last night. I said things that were awful, threw something at him, pushed him and might've spat at him. I think the neighbors heard I honestly feel awful. It's not who I am so I apologized.

Now he is raging at me, saying I have always been horrible with my words and basically a psychotic b*tch. He's brought up lots of old fights and my apparent lack of empathy (I think of myself as an empathetic person) and it's made me doubt myself and just feel so low. Maybe I did push him into cheating. Maybe I'm not capable of love. It's even making me doubt my actions with regards to divorce. If I make changes maybe things will get better??

Any advice is welcome - feeling like a horrible person

The1stWife posted 9/21/2020 08:00 AM

Hmmmmm..... YOU making changes to avoid a Divorce.

Does he plan to make any changes?

If not then I don’t see a successful marriage do you?

BTW - he sounds like an angry unhappy person too. Maybe it’s best you both just recognize this marriage is not worth salvaging.

Don’t take things people say in anger to heart. It’s said to hurt you intentionally. It’s not always true —- it’s just words used to hurt and deflect the real issues.

Try not to engage in these arguments. It’s not healthy. It’s painful. Walk away or leave the room or premises. You will be better for it.

nekonamida posted 9/21/2020 08:43 AM

If you're such a terrible person then why does he want to stay married to you so badly? He should be running to the nearest lawyer if you're as bad as he says you are.

That said, you have behaved poorly and that needs to stop before he calls the cops on you. You don't need his permission to D and you should not stay married to someone who makes you want to lash out and compromise your own integrity like that.

DevastatedDee posted 9/21/2020 08:51 AM

Oh honey, pre-DDay I was nothing but kind to my XWH. Post-DDay, I screamed at him, tore his character down with my words and threw a water bottle at his head one night as I loudly informed him in detail of what a complete piece of shit he was on our front porch for all the neighbors to hear. I'm not a dramatic, violent or cruel person, but infidelity brought out some interesting sides of me. I didn't apologize to him once for anything I said or did during those moments because he didn't deserve my apology and your WH doesn't deserve your apology either.

There was a period of time when I was working on leaving and he had decided that he would not leave the house while I did so. I woke up each day filled with rage and stayed that way all day long.

This is NOT you and it is NOT your fault that he cheated. He doesn't respect you or he would take you seriously and leave. He is not required to agree to divorce for you to divorce him. What he's doing now is disrespectful and messed up. You want him to leave and get out of your life and he is flat refusing because what he wants is to have you there no matter what you feel. His wants are all that matter to him. You're furious and you should be furious.

Anna123 posted 9/21/2020 08:52 AM

and it's made me doubt myself and just feel so low. Maybe I did push him into cheating. Maybe I'm not capable of love

Typical gas-lighting. If you can't trace the path of the arguments origin, it may be what was happening here. If it wasn't, you were obviously wound very tight because------- HE BETRAYED YOU AND NOW WILL NOT GIVE YOU THE SPACE YOU REQUESTED.

This kind of abuse can lead to this kind of an over-the-top reaction. Please forgive yourself. I know a woman that went through the same as you, who is the most peaceful kind person I know, and she lost it when her cheater, living at home pushed her to that breaking point. You are not alone. Now that it has happened you seem insightful enough to avoid it again. In the end we control ourselves.

I recall going through the same stage as you, wondering if I drove him away. One of the reasons I didn't let him return when he asked was because I feared my own outburst and maybe my son would hear if he did. I am not an 'outburst' type person. Cheating partners can bring that out in a person. In your case, him refusing to leave yet, refusing to divorce, is vicious and cruel, not the actions of a loving person but the actions of someone worth divorcing asap.

There is a reason people here repeat over and over "cheating is not the BS's fault". Never. The reason this reminder is constantly needed, is the cheater 99% of the time twists realty to blame the BS, like yours just did.

He could have told you "Hey, dfdxb, you are a psychopathic, non-empathetic b**tch, either change or I want a divorce" back when you had one of those WAY BACK IN ALTERED TIME earlier arguments. If what he says is true, why would he stay with you, lie, mess with your head, and bang someone else. It makes no sense. He would have been wanted a divorce to get away from you. At the very least, even if you had your own issues to work on (all people do), he is a shitty husband and a divorce would make sense even on that level.

Be patient with yourself, these circumstances suck. No contact going forward is the only way to go, especially in the same home. Yes or no answers if needed. No emotion. He does not deserve to speak with you. And one more time, you didn't make him cheat. That's like saying you made someone steal or murder someone. It doesn't work that way.

It is worth looking at your doubts for your own self-growth, but his choice to deceive you proves he is not worthy of joining you any further on your path. Take care.

Unhinged posted 9/21/2020 09:39 AM

I'm not a dramatic, violent or cruel person, but infidelity brought out some interesting sides of me.
Rage is a powerful emotion. It's bad enough to find our your spouse had an affair. All the shit that follows discovery--whether it's continued lying and deceit, trickle-truth, defensiveness, deflection, blame-shifting, gas-lighting, or any fucked-up combination thereof--is enough to trigger rage. I think the rage I felt, more than anything else, is what so thoroughly unhinged me.

Don't be too hard on yourself. I think most of us understand "rage" a lot better than we did before being betrayed by our spouse. It's one thing to understand the definition of a word; it's quite another to experience it.


One thing I've learned about infidelity over the years I've been a member here is that the state of the marriage is completely irrelevant. I've read from members who truly believed they had a good (or even great) marriage. I've read from some who truly believed they had a shitty marriage (myself included). And, of course, there's everything in between.

Could you have been a better wife? Sure. "There's a better way, everyday," an old boss of mine used to say. I could have been a better husband. That wouldn't change the fact that your WH has issues which he can't or won't recognize, address and rectify.

It's not your fault.

landclark posted 9/21/2020 09:44 AM

So he's basically forcing himself on you and forcing you to stay married, and then getting mad that you're upset about that? Sounds like a real asshole to me.

Anybody is going to struggle with that situation. You're not the horrible person here. He is.

crazyblindsided posted 9/21/2020 13:32 PM

Sounds like a narcissist using fights and your reaction to blameshift. It is one of their specialties. DO NOT ENGAGE WITH HIM only for finances & kids (if you have them). Look up gray rock and start using it.

LadyG posted 9/21/2020 20:28 PM

If you're such a terrible person then why does he want to stay married to you so badly? He should be running to the nearest lawyer if you're as bad as he says you are.
I asked my STBXH this very question only this past week.
Sounds like a narcissist using fights and your reaction to blameshift. It is one of their specialties.
This too I can relate to.

I was fortunate to be able to move out after years of suffering in silence.

When STBXWH refused to agree to Divorce and continued to torment me, I fought back for the very first time in my life.

WH ran like a little bitch to tell everyone that I attacked him.

The Police and DV Counsellor have reassured me that they see this all the time. My Abuser Narc had lost control over me. Unfortunately for me that’s when these men become even more dangerous, so I learnt the hard way. I have a NC court order In place now.

SlapJacks posted 9/22/2020 16:00 PM

I honestly feel awful. It's not who I am so I apologized.

Look...everyone around me says that I am the calmest person you would meet, especially in a crisis. In crisis, the world slows down and the choices become very simple for me and they make sense. It's weird but the confidence I have in my decisions in those moments is almost uncanny.

Fast forward to DDay....I came very close to getting physical w/ my WW. I overturned a concrete table, punched a few holes in the wall, busted a door, yelled so loud I know the neighbors heard, and did other stuff I not really proud of but I have no regrets. No one damn bit. Out of all the adversity I have expereinced in life, this was something that I could not handle in the moment.

So, go easy on yourself. And NEVER, EVER apologize again, unless you truly do something wrong. Righteous anger is good. Righteous anger is grounded in scripture.

This0is0Fine posted 9/22/2020 16:19 PM

Hard 180.

https://survivinginfidelity.com/healing_library/confrontation/simplified-180.asp

ShatteredSakura posted 9/22/2020 16:40 PM

If you're such a terrible person then why does he want to stay married to you so badly? 

Odds are it's mostly gaslighting. The whole point is to make you doubt your reality. They're desperate for you to see it their way because that exonerates them of their guilt.

ExWW has said somethings about me being terrible to my face that I still think about and get sad over. She was self admittedly the type who would say things in anger and later claim she didn't mean it, but what is said in anger still can haunt you later. That goes for BS too.

A year later I still have to remind myself of the reality when these thoughts come around.

nekonamida posted 9/22/2020 17:15 PM

I asked my STBXH this very question only this past week.

LadyG, if you don't mind, could you tell me what he said? I have always wanted to know what a spouse who chooses to hurl false accusations like this says when confronted.

My XWBF was a bit smarter when playing this game to make it look like he was on the verge of leaving when he threw out a bunch of accusations and put downs out of no where. He frequently backed off or came running back until I was the one to agree to the break up but at least he tried to make it look like he wasn't going to stay with terrible, no good, little old me.

WhatsRight posted 9/22/2020 18:30 PM

If you screamed at him, pushed him, and spat at him, I truly respect you for apologizing to him. No matter how we are wronged, we can still behave properly ourselves.

But please don’t for a second think that losing your cool for a New York minute - after what he has done - makes you a bad person. Hell no!

And most especially never let the thought enter your mind that “maybe you pushed him to cheat“. You were in the same struggling marriage… He acted horrible to you… Did he push you to cheat?

I’m so sorry you’re going through this. I’m going through a similar thing myself. My FWH is not exactly well, and I am his caregiver. After his infidelity he chose not to work on the relationship… So nothing has ever been resolved… 14 years now.

There are days that I say some really horrible things to him. I try to apologize each time... Not so much for him… But for me… So I can remember the kind of person that I am and that I want to be.

Big hugs to you and wishes that your nightmare will soon be over.

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