Now he says he loves me and I'm not sure that his version of love and mine, where I couldn't bear to hurt him, are the same.
I know its a basic question, but I'm still hurting and I need to sort this out in my mind.
D Day 11 November 2012
You can't scale a mountain in a single step
lies til June 13
I always tell people that my first marriage failed because my definition and my exes definition of marriage just didn't match. I wonder if that is the case here sometimes too.
I could not bear to hurt him in this way. And it is not like I was a raging bitch - in fact the opposite. And I was begging for intimacy throughout.
Yes, I am curious to see other (more experienced) responses too...
Freud observed a "death drive" in his subjects which "... is the drive towards death, self-destruction..." We all have it, it may manifest itself differently in each one of us and at different times in our lives, but Freud taught that we all have that drive.
This has been my lesson this year. The manifestation of self-destructive tendencies is not one of moral failing but proof of a deep brokenness, someone who has not sufficiently developped their sense of self-preservation. someone who is not fully aware of their own value and who through their own actions has damaged their self-esteem has no defence against self-destructive tendencies. In their emotional isolation they give into their most selfish desires. We are innocent by-standers in their self-deluded "tragi-comedy", part of the collateral damage.
Self-destructive tendencies are inside each one of us, but it doesn't mean they have to manifest themselves.
We are in R.
I was also sexually abused as a child. I can tell you from personal experience that that really messes a person up! I was molested at age 5, and from that time on I thought that boys and girls were supposed to get naked with each other and play naughty. Somehow, from that day on, I managed to always find the screwed up kids who had most likely also been abused and we could then participate in our destruction together. I was on self destruct in a big way, I just didn't know any better. I did figure things out when I was an adult though, and have done a lot of work on myself to get over that.
My H....not so much. He never addressed those feelings and those things that happened to him. So he still was filled with MUCH self hate, guilt, shame, all kinds of toxic feelings about himself, even into adulthood. On the outside he was fine, he was a great guy, it was the inside that was royally messed up.
His A wasn't about me, it wasn't about thinking about me, it was about finding another way to hurt himself and show himself how little he deserves to be happy and how he's a terrible person. He hated himself more than he could possibly love me at the time, because he was too broken to be able to love me like he should have, like he does now.
His "version" of love has always been right, but he couldn't love me deeply until he learned to love himself finally. It has taken him many years of IC/MC/reading books, talking countless hours, crying, rehashing his own past as well as our M past, to get to this point.
Sometimes we (the BS's) are collateral damage to a self destructive WS who is bent on harming themselves in any way shape or form. It really isn't about the BS.
He was simply trying to make himself feel better – he was trying to escape from himself, he wasn’t where he wanted to be in his life, he wasn’t happy with our marriage, he wasn’t happy with our kids- he wasn’t happy with his career and the affair was a release from real life– I asked him “..and how did that work out for you? Did it make things better, did it make you happier?”. He admitted, it didn’t. In fact, it made things worse, he was stressed out much of the time. An affair is nothing more than a selfish act and the wayward is the star of his very own reality show.
I think we could ask that same question in lots of different scenarios. If my mother and father really loved me they wouldn’t have _________. If my kids really loved me they wouldn’t have ______________. And the list can go on and on.
I’m not trying to minimize affairs at all – or pretend that I could possibly justify my H’s actions at all. Once the dust settled, I wondered how he could live with himself - all the lying and sneaking around and the broken NCs, not whether I doubted his love for me – the real problem was he didn’t love himself or respect himself very much during that period of time.
We both came from prior marriages that ended with infedility on our ex's part and had discussed many times early in the marriage about how hurtful that was to us. We swore to each other if things in our marriage got that bad we would either end the marriage or go to MC, but we would never cheat. I thought our marriage was solid and never for one second thought he was cheating and lying to me.
Now I can't believe him when he says he loves me. I no longer feel the love that I thought we once had and I don't think I could ever feel it again even if he was the picture of a remorseful spouse, which he hasn't been. He tries in his own way to make me feel safe now, but will not fix what is broken in himself. He is an extemely selfish person and I overlooked a lot of that when I had my rose-colored glasses on. I now point it out to him when I see him being outright selfish and he will apoligize, but I don't think he really gets it or thinks about it.
What kind of monster would he be to love me all the while intentionally, and selfishly, causing me so much pain.
Personally, I would not want to R with someone that *loved* that way.
The truth hurts, but I have never seen it cause the pain that lies do.
Recovery is building a pyramid of inference from which to climb and see clearer, and heavy usage of the reflexive loop.
Then she got caught. And it hurts like hell.
What she showed for me during the A is contempt. To me, contempt is the opposite of love.
Coming to terms with that is my biggest struggle in R.
Good luck and stay strong.
We talked last night and he said he 'shelved' his love for me. Still there, but put into another compartment.
He didn't want the emotional bit, just the sex, and the sex was part of trying to re-enact the abuse.
He's read 'How to Help Your Spouse Heal from Your Affair' twice, and is putting it all into operation. I know its going to be ok, but I don't think I'll ever truly understand. I've decided to give it some more time, and maybe I'll have to accept things and move on, rather than understand.
Thank you all so much. I feel so much better for all your answers.