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Joined: May 2004
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Hi -

I've been going through this awhile - and reading a lot, but haven't posted much.

STBX left almost two years ago to be with OW. We had been married 18 years and have a DS7 and a DD9. He came back about three months after he left, but left after two weeks and hasn't given a glance back. He said at the time, and has never given any indication that he didn't mean it, that he never loved me.

I was shocked and pretty much destroyed. I always thought he was my best friend and my home in life and would never hurt me. And I was angry too. I didn't handle this well and was unable to save my marriage. I've learned a lot on this site - but I don't know what good it will ever do me now.

The divorce proceedings have been going on for a while now. The joint parenting agreement is in place - and it looks like we'll be litigating the final division of dwindling assets.

But what I'm finding the most hard these days is that he acts to me like I'm the devil incarnate. I think that he believes that this is all my fault - that I deserved this, and I know that the sooner he can get rid of me legally, the better. And my anguish these days is that I am starting to believe that too. I know I wasn't a perfect wife, but I really did love him and I truly had no idea how much he really hated me. I don't understand how I could have spent 20 years with him and not seen how he was feeling - how can I now trust my perceptions about anything around me?

For a while there, I thought I was doing okay. But for some time now, I haven't been. I feel the hatred from him whenever I talk to him. I'm becoming sad all the time and believe that I must be some kind of horrible monster for someone who was with me for twenty years to care nothing now about what happens to me at all. He cares about the children, so he cares what happens to me only insofar as it affects their happiness. I'm finding it very hard to live with myself. I am believing what he does - I deserved all this and was some sort of evil creature all those years.

Has anyone else been through anything like this? How did you get through it?

thank you.

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Sounds to me like he's projecting, which could be happening for one of two reasons:

His subconscious may need a justification for his behavior. Leaving you if you're a great wonderful person doesn't make sense, so he casts you as evil (who wouldn't want to leave an evil person?). Whatever guilt he may have for leaving you is suddenly assuaged by the reassurance that you deserved to be left.

But also, it's not uncommon for people to project on others those personal traits and characteristics they reject in themselves. Possibly, your husband can't face those parts of him that allowed him to do what he did, so he projects those traits on you.

Either way, it's not you. And your husband doesn't have the power or authority to define who you are. So don't let him. I hope you've got plenty of friends and family in your life who don't talk to you with venom and hatred. Trust their behavior toward you more than your STBX's. And if necessary (in fact I recommend it), get yourself into counseling and work this issue out with a therapist.


and I knew then that I would have to live, and go on living: what a sorrow it was; and still what sorrow burns but does not destroy my heart --Jane Kenyon
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Thanks very much for your thoughts, mikeb9. I appreciate the time you took to help.

I think you're right about the therapy. I stopped it awhile back - but think I need to revisit.

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FS, The cheating spouse almost always finds some way to blame the betrayed spouse for their immoral behavior. Remember, they are living on Fantasy Island and only care about themselves. But darn it all, there's always this nagging guilt and they often lash out at their spouses for "making them feel guilty."

For now, limit your contact with your STBX. talk to him only when absolutely necessary and, when possible, allow your lawyer to communicate information about the legal issues. Don't sttand for his hateful behavior. Tell him point-blank you are finished with his garbage and if he cannot be civil and polite when he needs to talk to you, not to even bother.

Remember this one truth: This isn't about your self-esteem. This is about your husband being a complete and utter failure as a husband AND as a man. He's the one who destroyed your marriage, not you. Do not allow him to make you shoulder his guilt and shame. Reject it utterly.

Therapy is probably a good idea. A therapist will be able to guide you to your strengths and help you dismiss your husband's toxicity.

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Hi,

I’m so sorry that your husband is treating you this way. I’m not surprised though. It is so very common for the spouse that leaves the marriage to spend a lot of time rewriting the marital history. He need to justify what he is doing so he sets you up as some horrible person. No one would live in a marriage for 18 years if they didn’t have love for their spouse. He did. He might not remember it now, but I’m sure he did. Do you have any old letter or cards that he sent you through the years? If you do get them out and prove to yourself that he did love you.

You know, it is sad that he is doing this. He once stood up in front of a room full of people and declared his undying love for you. He tells you now he never had any feeling at all ??? It is called fog talk and that is what he is doing.

Do yourself a favor and don’t pay attention to what he says. Try not to interact with him at all if you can manage it. If you must, demand that he treat you with respect or you will just not participate in the conversation. You are still his wife . . . it is about time that he remembers that. If he continues to verbally accost you have your attorney help you get a restraining order. I don’t care if you were the worse wife in the history of mankind, you are still a person. This man had a two decade relationship with you and it resulted in children. He needs to show some deference to the mother of his children.

MEAN PEOPLE SUCK!!!


What we think or what we know or what we believe is, in the end, of little consequence. The only consequence is what we do. ~ John Ruskin
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"It is so very common for the spouse that leaves the marriage to spend a lot of time rewriting the marital history. He need to justify what he is doing so he sets you up as some horrible person."

Oh, but this is so very true!

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Thanks CUH and CN for your thoughts and help. I really needed to hear your words.

I guess this whole journey is a process - we all need to keep working on ourselves and not let up on that.

I appreciate your writing to help.

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Findingstrength---You said,

"I've learned a lot on this site - but I don't know what good it will ever do me now."

I learned alot here too but now I am heading for divorce. But what MB did for me was to teach me about marriage and what my needs are as a women and a wife. I was able to define what I needed to WH for the first time and he was able to be upfront with me at that point and he honestly admitted he could not fill my needs (and probably did not want to). Learning about marital love will help you if you ever find another. You will be able to know better if the next guy has what it takes to be a committed partner because of what you learned here. You are also learning about yourself and you will grow as a person which is incredibly valuable.

As a woman, self-esteem has been a major struggle for me. Men get their self-esteem mostly from accomplishments and their occupations. Women get most of their self-esteem or self-identity from relationships. I can totally relate to your feeling bad about yourself because I too have not had too many good relationships. I have a tendency to pick dysfunctional friends and of course, an alcohol-abusing spouse so I "read" their inability to care about me as my being unlovable. Alanon is helping me alot with this. Positive support is the key to self-esteem and also some good, loving relationships. Letting God love you, too, is the ultimate but I find emotional pain causes me to shut everyone out including God. There has to be some way our worth is re-enforced cause everyday life can really beat a person up.

Don't listen to a WS----they have no credibility in my book. Who can trust their judgment?

TW


D-day 4/01 for WH ( who also abuses alcohol). Married 34 years. Separated 9/01. WS moved back 5/02 to work on M but unwilling to let OW go. I moved out of our home (which I waited 25 yrs for) on 11/02. Legally separated, trying to make the decision to divorce now. OW is gone and WH sees all as a huge mistake but still drinking.
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My situation is very similar. W left our M and cheated on me. I tried so hard to save our M and I was very nice to her even though she put me through ******. Yet, during our separation she has been very nasty to me like this is all my fault. I think she's trying to project the blame on me like your H is doing to you. But, you and I both know that it is not our fault our spouses did what they did. I think in your heart you know that you loved him and would not hurt him the way he has hurt you. That's what's important in holding on to your self esteem. I to have not felt very good about myself lately, but I know in my heart I truely loved her and always will and I know that I never compromised my pride in all of this and I did all I could to try to save our M.

I think you could probably say the same. I think it's time you start doing things for yourself and If he's going to talk down to you and make you feel bad don't talk to him. And, tell him you don't want to talk to him if he's going to treat you bad.

I think someday both of our spouses will come to a realization that what happened was their fault, not ours.

Throughout all this, I have found a lot of strength in my friends and family, and also in the Lord and maybe you can to.

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Hi tossedwave and bigbuffs, thanks for your words which were really of help to me.

Although, truly I would wish this experience on noone - it helps to hear that there are people in the world who do undererstand what I am going through and are struggling through similar things.

Self-esteem has never been my strong suit - but never before have I felt as worthless as this has made me feel. And though I have never been a very religious person, I turned away from it fairly completely when I found it was not helping or providing me with any solace during this roughest time of my life. Unfortunately, I have very little family - but I do have some good friends and they have been a support to me. It is hard not to feel all alone sometimes - and you who have written to me have truly helped me to feel that I am not so all alone in the world. I thank you deeply.


And thank you for reminding me bigbuffs - we did not have a perfect marriage - but I never, ever would have wanted to hurt him like this. And I wanted to change to fix whatever pain I may have unknowingly been causing him.

Again, I thank all who have written to me for your words and thoughts. It means a lot during this horrible time - and I promise to repay this kindness back to the world when I am able.

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Findingstrength,
You know, so many out there can identify with what you have wrote. I know for myself the very same thing Is happening. My WW constantly tries to put blame on myself, she goes around saying our marriage was terrible for the last 6 years, and that's all my fault. She says I forced her to seek A. It Is a terrible thing we go through, having someone we loved do this to us (When I say loved and not love, that Is because she Is no longer the person I loved. She is indeed possesed by an alien) I still love the woman I once was with, but that Is not the person, who is with me now, the one that want's to hurt me, I don't know If anyone else has noticed but her laughter even seems fake. The other point I would like to say, we are the stronger, because we held our vowes, we were willing to work at the M, to learn and to adapt. They have chosen a different path than we. We will come out of this better than ever, the next relationship we have we will bring a greater understanding and communication and ability to identify EN. They will keep spiriling in disaster


Me BS 44 WW 38 Together 11 Maried 9 EA 7/9/05 PA 7/23/05 9yr old son + 14 Step S + 21 Step D DV Day to come
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Dear FindingStrength,

I very much agree with the idea that WS's have to find something to justify their own selfish actions. They will find any weakness, any fault of yours and magnify it a 100 times to be able to point the finger at you: "See? How could I be M'd to a person who never bothered to wash the dishes after dinner, but left them in the sink until the next day?"

My H even tried to convince himself I was getting "old and a little demented" (at 43, haha) because I accidently left the backburner on. The fire from that burner is very small and you don't notice it in bright sunlight. So when he noticed that in the evening when it got darker, he made a big fuss about it. Until he left the backburner on himself a month later. He was very embarassed.

I think that if I were a depressed, somewhat unstable and slightly demented woman, that would have been a wonderful excuse for H to remain M'd to me and enjoy the pleasures of sex with OW and P's etc. while having someone at home waiting for him for companionship. That way he wouldn't have to feel guilty for giving into his SA.

Unfortunately, we seldom get our WS's to "leave the backburner on themselves" so that they have living, undeniable proof of them changing reality. My STBXWH is still deep in self-justifying fog and denial... just not about the backburner anymore <img src="/ubbt/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />. So I'm trying not to take his opinion of me too seriously, even when that's hard to do - I must. I'm moving out in 1-2 weeks and that won't be a day too soon.

After D-Day 3 WH would not go into therapy for what I suspect to be an addiction to sex. He would just "not do it anymore", like he promised after D-Day 1 and 2. I then told him I wanted to end our M. He was all tears and heartbreak, yet he started dating OW (plural) just one week after that.
To this day he claims he will drop all his new GF's for me, that he still loves me, that he wants to start over with me. Yet when I tell him it's hurtful to me that he's dating OW and having sex with them while I'm still living in the same house with him (until I can move out), he simply says "Yes, I understand" and keeps doing it.

Just imagine how your WH has to justify leaving you and hurting you and your children, and how he can't afford OW to think he still cares about you (because she'll probably give him he11 about it).. imagine the twisted, self-justifying denial that will come out of that !

I also think you should avoid any contact with him. He will not make your life better, not even when OW leaves him at some point - I guess HE'll be the one needing help then.


[color:"purple"]When we lose sight of the well being of others, it is like losing sight in one eye. (the Dalai Lama)[/color]
The Neutral Zone Theory
Doing the right thing vs being a good boy/girl
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Finding Strength - been there and done that too. I don't know if my story applies to you or not - but in case it resonates with you, here goes:

Through various means including counseling (with two counselors who saw us together, and him individually before we split) I have come to realize my H has a personality disorder - narcissism. Narcissism, Borderline Personality Disorder, and Sociopath are in the same family of PD's - and it is these I'm going to talk about. I don't know if any of the following applies to other kinds of PD's or not. Except generally it is true that people with any kind of personality disorders see the world differently. It is like they have a filter through which they see the world that changes how that world looks - but they are the only ones using that filter. To them, their filtered world is the real one.

If you are with someone whose view of the world is skewed differently from yours, you may talk about the same things, and seem to be on the same wavelength, but in fact, are not. I learned from a friend with a PhD in Psych that these disorders can be hard to detect - even by trained professionals, much less people who are in relationships with them. Their skewed perspectives may not come out for some time - and may in fact get worse over time - at least for the category of PD's that includes narcissism. The way a person with narcissism, for example, is at the time of marriage may not be the way that person will be 20 years later. If that person's view of reality is different from yours, many things that have happened throughout the M may have been interpreted differently and you never knew it. So, in the end it can seem like that person rewrote history - or wasn't honest about where he/she was at.

BUT the most important thing to remember is - people with the PD (narcissism family at least) believe the world they see through their filters IS the real world. They truly believe they are right and everyone else is wrong. This also means they blame others instead of themselves.

My PhD friend put it this way: If three respectable and responsible people say you have a tail, you should at least turn around and check. The PD person will continue insisting he doesn't have a tail and everyone else is wrong. And as I understand the narcissist, he will eventually say YOU are the one who has the tail.

All this means they can easily fool those in relationships with them, as well as trained professionals because they are not being untruthful or dishonest ACCORDING TO THEIR VIEWS OF THE WORLD. Therefore they come across as being sincere in what they say, and they believe they are. And they often sincerely believe their flaws are your flaws instead of their own.

Those who have been in these relationships need to know it is not their fault, and is not a result of bad judgement on their part to not have seen it. Their experience with a person with PD is NOT indicative of their future judgement. And especially, they need to not buy into the craziness which paints them in a bad light. This friend of mine has years of education and years being a practicing therapist before going into teaching. He will tell you he avoids seeing a certain family member of his, because her PD is so unsettling - and emotionally draining - for him.


Waiting for dawn...
...but not afraid of the dark.

DDay: Sept 26, 2004
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D Final: Oct 10, 2006
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FS,

I am in the same boat. My WW paints me to be a rotten person, blames me, says she never loved me, etc, etc. I does flush the self-esteem down the toilet. Don't listen to him - he is only trying to justify in his little mind that what he is doing is because of you.

I am going on a year since my wife left. I am doing better but have a ways to go.

Keith

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DeJaVu

I read what you posted and it really sounds like my X. It is so sad because I would give my life to help her and she will not let me.

Keith

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...it looks like we all belong to the big BS's club!!! My husband also blames me for pretty much everything - the fact he has always felt unhappy, empty, sad, etc., which made him do crazy stuff like marijuana, watching porn, getting arrested....it's basically all my fault. Oh, wait, he DIFFERENTIATED a bit.... so that is sounds more accurate... "it is my fault that I did what I did and got arrested - but I am so glad that it happened, because now I know what my problem is and I am not going to lie to myself anymore. I will be true to myself." then he wants to end our marriage, so basically he is saying this marriage is over because I made him suffer to a point he had to do what he did....


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