I spoke with a friend today and she said, "There is a difference between kicking a dog because it is barking at you and kicking a dog because it is biting you" which was somewhat validating, but of course, she is biased.
So I have been considering the "reason" STBXWHRL gave for being unhappy in our M...there is only one he has given...the way I treated him..."Back in the day" (when I didn't want to give up on my M again) I asked him for specifics...there have been a few that he has brought up...
While on a business trip shortly after being remarried we were at a club with other business associates..."grip & grin"...STBXWHRL was standing next to the dance floor with some other guys...this chick went up to STBXWHRL, turned her behind to him and started grinding in his crotch...I was outside on the patio but had a clear view of this...I motioned for him to come outside and told him I wasn't feeling comfortable and requested that he move a few steps to the left or right until she focused on someone else...he got irritated and said he wasn't doing anything, I reassured him that I was not accusing him of doing anything, that it was about my comfort levels and to please try and understand. He stated again he was not doing anything wrong and felt I was being ridiculous and went back inside. I got a cab and left...humiliated, hurt and very disappointed.
He says I treated him badly for leaving him there...was my reaction over the top?
Again, this has nothing to do with validating him...this is for me...
Okay, in the midst of D-Day's I have admittedly "verbally" abused STBXWHRL...I have said things that I am ashamed of...terrible things...am I the only one who has done this? Does it make me a "verbal" abuser? Is it abnormal?
In another for instance he gave...we have 2 small dogs (well he does now-well, no, they mostly live with OW since he travels..I can't have pets where I live) anyway, they are very hairy dogs...One day STBXWHRL was shaving the dogs on the kitchen counter. I asked him not to do it anymore ( I am in foodservice and ServeSafe certified and a little OCD when it comes to cleanliness in the kitchen...not something new to him...). He agreed to either shave them in the garage, the bathroom or outside. About 6 weeks later, he is shaving the dogs on the kitchen counter again...I reminded him that we had agreed he would not do this anymore...he said he was sorry, he forgot. I said could you please remember the next time and reminded him of all the places dog dander ends up when he does this. Another 6 weeks go by...he is shaving the dogs on the counter again, this time I asked his wth his problem was, told him I felt very disrespected. He was full of apologies, he's got it, won't happen again...UGH...GUESS WHAT...HE DID IT AGAIN...this time I went into full bitch mode, yelled, called him and inconsiderate asshole and didn't speak to him for several hours.
He says my anger was over the top and I had no right to treat him that way. What would you do? Was my reaction over the top?
There was an instance when I was trying to quit smoking...health and financial reasons...STBXWHRL would smoke in the vehicle with me...asked him several times not to...did no good so one day we were on our way to meet his boss (also a friend) who was also trying to quit...I mentioned that STBXWHRL smoking in the vehicle with me in it was one of my challenges to quitting...I didn't do it intentionally...we were just talking...the boss/friend looked at STBXWHRL and told him that was f'd up...
STBXWHRL said this was terrible treatment...
Then there is the fact that I asked, then begged, the bitched about the broken kitchen light that went unrepaired for 7 months...
He says my reactions should never happen in a healthy relationship...
I could go on and on...am I a verbal abuser, abnormal...has anyone else gotten pissed at their SO and acted in ways you wouldn't normally?
On the other hand...he mentioned to me once that I was forgetting to turn lights off when I left a room...it was true...I stopped and actually found myself turning lights off after him...didn't say anything to him...just turned them off.
I'm scared to become involved in the future...some part of me believes that I would have never said some of the things I said if he had been more respectful of my feelings...at the same time, I grew up in an emotionally, verbally, mentally, physically and sexually abusive environment and I wander if it hasn't been me all along...
In each of the instances you mentioned, he became passive aggressive and did exactly what you asked him not to do until finally you became angry. Then he accused you of overreacting.
Seriously, it reminds me a a little kid poking his finger to within a millimeter of his sibling and repeatedly saying "I'm not touching you...I'm not touching you..." and then tattles to Mom when the sibling loses it and beats the crap out of him.
So then add his PA to his gaslighting and then next thing you know, Starzjourney thinks she is crazy and starts to question every action she takes. HE is the one who was acting terribly.
(((hugs))) Be kind to yourself.
You do realize that he is a passive aggressive asshole?
We did go to one MC (ended when I found out about PA w/ new OW) and we had to do a temperament analysis...counselor said STBXWHRL seemed to have PA tendencies and I have read a little about it...a little bit of validation.
At the same time, I just don't know if that's an excuse for my behavior..."inconsiderate asshole" is likely one of the kinder names. He says I pushed him away...I feel like I had to pull away because I couldn't control my emotions at times...I did feel like I was going crazy...I do know that things are more peaceful in many ways for me now...I don't flip out like I used to but then again, I'm not in a romantic relationship with someone who is hurting me either...hell, I don't know what I am getting at...maybe I am just ashamed of the way I treated him because I don't believe it's the norm for me but feeling shame for the way I treated him also doesn't feel normal...
I freaking analyze everything...I need to work on that...
He says my reactions should never happen in a healthy relationship...
In a healthy relationship, he would have moved away from the grinding skank when you said it made you uncomfortable, because he would want his spouse to be comfortable.
In a healthy relationship, he would have listened when you asked him nicely with reasons why he shouldn't shave the dogs on the counter.
In a healthy relationship, he would have fixed the light so it wasn't still broken 7 months later.....
He was pushing you away continuously with all the PA things he did. He just wanted you to be the bad guy so he could blame you.
MY PAXH did the same thing. On Dday, he had a professional licence to be a real estate agent. He sucked at it, didn't put any effort into it, and hadn't been bringing in cash with it. He said it was due to be renewed, but he would have to take xyz course at $$$ in order to keep it. What he wanted me to do was freak out about 1) the cash it would cost 2) the fact that he had left it to the last moment, so he would have to do it ASAP, etc. What I did do, was ask him what he wanted to do, and I would support him in getting the course done, or if he wanted to drop the licence. He was furious with me.
They just want us to do things so they can put the blame on us. You aren't nuts, or undateable Starzjourney. He's a turd.
WH says marriage is over: May 15, 2009.
EA#2 July 20, 2009. Legally sep: Aug 16, 2009. DIVORCED!!!! Signed Nov 23, final Dec 24, 2010, adultery listed.
Don't doubt yourself. In a healthy relationship, he would not be an asshole. Oh and by the way, in a healthy relationship he would not cheat on you.
...he got irritated and said he wasn't doing anything, I reassured him that I was not accusing him of doing anything,
You were angry because he was doing something. He was failing to have boundaries that were respectful of your marriage. You had every right to be upset and the idea that you think you could be in the wrong here disturbs me. Honey-he's wrong.
He says I treated him badly for leaving him there
He says my anger was over the top and I had no right to treat him that way
That time you gave him chances. He proved his promises meant nothing. And so he's upset that you are upset at him for lying to shut you up? Yeah buddy-that's how this marriage thing works. You know damn well that if you have promised to do or not do something and failed to follow through 3 times in a row he'd have handed your ass to you.
Just because he can find and point out to you something you are not perfect at (and really-light switches-that's the best he's got?), it does not validate all the other bullshit crap he tries to blame you for.
You will never make sense of his words because he is not truthful and uses words to hurt you. You can't trust what he says because the only thing he uses words for is to hurt you.
Now what you have to do is to stop being his heavy. He has pounded this garbage into your head for so long, you believe it enough to doubt yourself without him even saying a word to you. Stop carrying out his ugly work and bashing yourself.
You for sure aren't perfect but the reasons you listed here are bullshit. I'm still waiting to hear the example for how you were so horrible and unkind to him because you haven't posted any.
Honestly you sound like a woman beaten down from years of verbal and emotional abuse. You can get stronger. You don't have to continue in this dark place where his words haunt you.
Are you in IC? Someone has to help you see that you have rights too. You deserve to be loved, respected, and to expect your husband to be honest and faithful. You sure picked a turd painted like a lemon the last time but you can do better in the future.
Delay is the deadliest form of denial. - C. Northcote Parkinson
Your standards aren't up for negotiation just because he/she can't meet them.
Two steps forward and one step backwards, is still progress.
One of the "signs" was blaming someone else for my behavior...I guess that's what it feels like I am doing...blaming him for me yelling, or getting mad, saying terrible things...I do feel like this is going to haunt me...I don't know what a healthy relationship looks like so how the hell am I ever going to know if I am in one...I have M friends who can be fussing at each other one minute (verbally abusing the hell out of each other) and look like honeymooners the next...
I know I probably need some IC...
It will always be your fault. Nothing will ever be his fault. And you will buy into his BS as long as you are codependent. Go to IC.
It sounds like he used your reactions against you.
But, they weren't the actions of someone manipulating they were the REACTION of someone wanting to be cherished, respected, and loved.
IF he loved you, he wouldn't KEEP shaving the dog on the kitchen counters.
If he loved you (and valued your marriage) He wouldn't continue to stand there when someone was grinding into him! Let alone yell at you for feeling (justified) uncomfortable!
If he valued you, he would have changed the lightbulb sooner.
Because each one of these events got a reaction from you - he is using them to manipulate the blame away from himself and his actions. Now you are the one who is feeling badly for yelling at him, and I am willing to bet, he is playing the victim really well.
He sounds like a master manipulator...don't fall for it.
YOU didn't blow up at him the first time, you were REPEATEDLY ignored before you blew up... it was a build up (of being ignored) that caused the reaction. If you break the law repeatedly, the consequences rise accordingly. Its the same with people.
He isn't listening to you, why are you listening to him?
I used to unfailingly apologize to my ex for having emotional reactions to his abuse. He was a master at setting the situation up, then manipulating it so I'd react emotionally, then fuel the flames until I apologized. Sometimes he would do something really terrible, then twist the situation around so I ended up detailing for him a laundry list of all the terrible things I did so that he wouldn't feel bad about himself by comparison.
I now very clearly see it for the abuse it was. At the time I felt crazy and out-of-control.
He's pushing and pushing, and then when you react, he's like "See? See how she is?".
I call major bullshit on this guy.
Marriages that start this way, stepping over the bodies of loved ones as the giddy couple walks down the aisle, are not likely to last.
I think you will see yourself there quite a bit.
This is classic P/A behavior, the WS does something very inappropriate, you as a BS call them on it, they get angry or mad as in "how dare you try to tell me what to do" kind of bullshit, you decide as you did....rightfully so....to go home and not watch him act like an idiot. And YOU become the one who did something wrong.
Its very hard to leave a P/A, they love to blame the BS for everything that is wrong in the world. Keep working on yourself and try to stay NC as much as possible.
I too reacted vehemently to the X's perceived transgressions because of his cheating on me and regret it now. That's why SI regulars recommend the 180. It puts you above the fray. However, it's water under the bridge now. Use this knowledge as you move forward with your life. Introspection is a good thing if it takes you to a better place.
He is selfish, immature, and a master manipulator and a bully. Healthy relationships do not have people that behave like him in them.
He is pushing your buttons, and he knows which ones to push because he installed them.
Your job...focus on you and YOUR healing. I was in a situation like you, and I needed a lot of outside help at first. I couldn't tell what was real or not. I had no boundaries, I took on his guilt, shame, and blame. I was a doormat.
I had to learn how to be a healthy adult.
To take one of your examples, his allowing someone to grind on him was unacceptable and embarrassing to you, but your walking out on him and his business associates was unacceptable and embarrassing to him. Your reaction was based on your experience with his infidelity, but his coworkers did not know this.
I guess you could have said, "I'm leaving, are you coming?" Then if he chose to stay - it would be on him.
I was a maniac; I raged at the X. All in the name of trying to save my marriage. I regret the behavior, not the consequences to him of my leaving and divorcing him. I should have just 180'd him and moved on. I realize now that I cannot change anyone's behavior; I can only change my reaction.
(I know because I have my own list - and I did shut up, and eventually shut down. I didn't ask him to do or not do a damned thing -- The lawn went un-mowed for 3 months, he rebuilt a huge engine on the dining room table, He recorded music through the night including listening to it at full volume, he stopped taking out the trash. And I just shut up - I didn't want the fight, and I didn't believe I could win one anyway, or that anything would change.
His idea of a healthy peaceful relationship is him doing anything and everything he wants without any comment from or concern for you! That isn't a healthy relationship!!
And while you are questioning how you handled yourself and what you said, and if you got too aggressive... I am on the other end of the spectrum wondering why I didn't yell and scream at him to knock it the F off! Why I just shut up and took it, why everything had to be his way... I wish I had yelled, cussed and screamed, and stood up for myself just once... instead I made my needs as small as possible - until I all but disappeared -- that ain't healthy either!
There's a middle ground - a place where healthy relationships occur. But healthy relationships take two introspective people who care about each other... It doesn't sound like either of us had that advantage.
I could go on and on...am I a verbal abuser, abnormal..
at the same time, I grew up in an emotionally, verbally, mentally, physically and sexually abusive environment and I wonder if it hasn't been me all along...
You are not the abuser honey. You were just in another abusive relationship with your STBX. You did not earn that abuse. You had been conditioned to accept it and trust that the criticisms must come down to you.
But they don't. They come down to his being a jerk.
Learn to trust that you are a good, normal person who deserves better. It is the truth.