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Emotional Divorce

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doggiediva posted 6/26/2019 10:36 AM

Is the house co-owned by both of you?

If not, prepare yourself with an exit plan..)...Your WH may go off the rails, do something crazy that may leave you homeless whether you like it or not..

In my case, my WH canít force me out of our house until he files for divorce and gets a court order for me to leave..In that case, he would owe me 1/2 the value of the house, which is completely paid for..

At the moment I am living off of my pension, I am 12 years older than you...I get that the odds of rebuilding a comfortable and sustainable life post losing 1/2 of everything goes down the older we get.

Many of us lose our hope of ever retiring..Either we have to drag our achy stiff bodies in to work ( for as long as our employers will keep us), or we make do with extreme poverty..Both of these scenarios spell out a low quality of life.

Long story short, protect yourself legally to the best of your ability, if you donít plan to divorce..

[This message edited by doggiediva at 10:37 AM, June 26th (Wednesday)]

Chrysalis123 posted 6/26/2019 10:47 AM

Everything you described about why you love your husband is from the past. From a long time ago. It's like we are looking at a mirage, isn't it?

Because the things you describe were lovely....but that is not the man you live with now.

In the beginning it was intoxicating, fast, and fun. He dazzled you and you were smitten and in lust with this gorgeous guy. You mentioned some red flags from the first days, but you kept on.

And then, the mask fell off. The real guy appeared and caused a tidal wave of destruction for everyone in his path. Your sons want nothing to do with him. That in itself speaks volumes.

What are you teaching your sons about relationships?

In my humble opinion, you are very busy rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.

So busy trying to make this right....on the Titanic.

I hope the book resonates with you.

[This message edited by Chrysalis123 at 10:49 AM, June 26th (Wednesday)]

nekonamida posted 6/26/2019 11:00 AM

Why do I love him? He represents my entire life, or the last 37 years anyway. He is my first love. My first kiss. He was like some rare unicorn I would see throughout the years, hearing he was at a party or something and going just to see him. He was my cousin's best friend and would ask my cousin about me too. I wouldn't date him because he was an awful slut, star hockey player and ridiculously good-looking. he used women like kleenex and I strangely enough had too much pride to be disposable. He makes me laugh, and even better, I make him laugh. In the midst of a horrible argument I can throw in a comment that startles a genuine belly laugh out of him and he looks at me like I'm the most incredible person in the world. My knees still go weak a little when he comes in the room because he is so handsome to me. When he kisses me my stomach does that lovely curl almost every time. He works his ass off and is compulsive about taking care of the house stuff etc, sometimes too much lol. The three times in 23 years that he has actually opened up to me and we talked all night I was floored by how he felt, his fears, his genuine vulnerability. I hold those times and that man like a shield when he is a dick to me. He is startlingly gentle and caring when life really really requires it like when my mom died. He has been there for all my experiences, memories, highs and lows for over half my life. He is the first person I want to call and talk to when things go well or badly. And many other reasons.

OwningItNow: He is cruel and thoughtless and selfish and unfortunately not remotely self aware so cannot see flaws in his own thinking or fault in his actions. I have read at least 4 books on NPD and it doesn't fit. Fits a bit but not really. I think is just an arrogant selfish man who was put on a pedestal his whole life by his friends and family and never forced to face consequences of his own actions. If a woman didn't want him, he moved on to the next. If he was bored with something, he quit doing it and moved on to the next thing. If something went wrong, it was never his fault. He hates my need to dissect and analyze things to find reasons. He thinks when I ask a question about his opinion on something or his actions (to get a deeper understanding) it means I am telling him he is wrong.
He is tough to live with for all of us because he nit picks and will never ever let anything go. he makes us all feel stupid and has not been a good father. His criticism and strange need to make sure my boys know what a rock star athlete he was alienates them. It is an odd competition. And his treatment of me especially in the last 10 years was the nail in the coffin. i am not a perfect mother-workaholic, loud, high standards, etc- but I did everything for my boys and they know I love them and am so so proud of them. My eldest son has literally hated my husband since he was 13 or so. And since we caught WH cheating on Christmas Eve (he was the one who opened the naked boob text messages) he will not even be in the same room as my husband unless I am there or talk to him without being addressed first. He is moving out in a couple months and said he will not visit unless I am here and if anything ever happened to me he would never see WH again. Younger son is 17 and has a different personality and dislikes WH as well. LOVES when he is on nights and will not spend any time one on one with him. Both boys and I have an incredible close relationship which is thrown in my face that WH is an "outsider" and "no one listens to him" in the house. Honestly, he has created his own issues but thinks it is their (my) fault.

I have whiplash for how quickly your account of him went from gentle, caring, hard working, and easy to laugh with to emotionally abusive tyrant that the kids hate. No wonder you are struggling.

I really do hope that you get some counseling and tackle this issue head on. It seems to me that most of your reasons for loving him weren't based on things he does but how you feel about him. The knee weakness, the stomach curl, how you value how omnipresent he was in the peripherals of your life growing up, how handsome you find him, etc. But all of the bad points about him are specifically things he does. Verbally tears you and the kids down with criticism and nit picking, gets upset when you so much as make small talk by asking a question, the cheating, his bad behavior that stems from needing validation that isn't earned, etc. I get the strong impression that the man you fell in love with and the man that you have as a husband are two completely different people.

You do put him on a pedestal and you can't seem to untangle how you feel about him - which has little to do with how he behaves - and how he actually is in terms of how he treats you and the kids. It's shocking to me that you still feel such strong love for someone who shuts you out emotionally, cheats on you, and treats you like an idiotic servant whose only job is to serve him and worship the ground that he walks on. That is what you need to explore in IC to get through this whether or not you R, D, limbo, whatever.

You need to find you again and take your power back. But also be in a place emotionally where you can analyze yourself better so that this:

I strangely enough had too much pride to be disposable

Becomes true because it as odds with your actions. No one with too much pride would stay with a person who treats them with anger, resentment, disdain, and disloyalty like your WH treats you. No one would love someone who does that if they had too much pride. They'd suck up those fireworks and sparks, pack it in, and get the hell away because their pride would overshadow any needs they could have to be tied to someone who did this.

He does treat you like disposable because any single one of his actions could land him with a D. Any single one. That shit doesn't fly with healthy, happy people. He doesn't care that he's taking a chance every time he acts out because he believes that you will never leave him no matter how many times he treats you like you're disposable. And if you do, he's already got a new woman lined up to take your place. I guarantee you if your oldest DS leaves, your WH will be surprised and then will blame you/DS/the weather on it. If you leave, he will be surprised and then blame you/the dog/the weather before immediately dating his new victim. The only reason you are not divorced right now is not because he values you more than that - and he may genuinely value you on some level just no where near what you deserve - it's because he's comfortable for now and you haven't pulled the trigger yet.

Tomorrow he might not be so comfortable and then you will be disposed of. It's not like he isn't thinking about it with lines like, "Today we are divorcing again," and "You're not the only one suffering in this relationship." Even if you never grace the door of an attorney, you need to prepare for him leaving you.

NorthernMSB posted 6/26/2019 11:04 AM

whatisloveanyway: Honestly, I don't know if I can be happy. I catch myself sometimes falling into the trap again of wanting something from him emotionally. As I said, it isn't contentious in daily life, but that relative peace takes an effort on my part not to step on conversational landmines. Been doing that for years so I know where they are buried. He does not seem to have any deep emotional needs etc and needs nothing from me beyond all the usual things I do to keep everyone's life running smoothly. I do EVERYTHING. finances, cleaning, laundry, taxes, outside maintenance, groceries, scheduling, etc so on. My WH would be utterly screwed if I was not here and he knows it. He ALWAYS says I don't need him for anything. I can do everything myself. perhaps part of the issue.
Strangely enough, I think I scare the living hell out of him. His general view of women as equals is not great, his mother very much the traditional 50s style homemaker, taking care of my FIL and everyone treating her like she is ditzy. I did all my WH's summer school homework the first year I met him, (I was 14 and he was 18) allowing him to graduate high school. I went to university at 16 years old, absolutely devour books (probably 10-12 a week or more), have a genius IQ (can't you tell by the situation I have found myself in!!) and there honestly has never been anything I have not been able to do, learn, or muddle my way through successfully. My WH has read 3 books in his life, probably has undiagnosed ADHD, was a great athlete, has a college degree in a trade, has worked manual labour jobs his whole life, does not have motivation or drive enough to do any of the things he thinks he wants to do, is easily frustrated when something does NOT go his way. I have ended up with smashed IKEA furniture many times when it didn't work. he was successful with women on a surface level because he had absolutely no standards. The joke amongst his friends is that he would start hitting on 10s at the beginning and if turned down would work his way down until he was successful, even with a 2 or 1. He didn't care, it was only about getting off. I see a lot of narcissistic qualities in him but honestly, he isn't stupid, but is certainly not smart enough or motivated enough to be deliberately manipulative. He does rewrite history and has no empathy and is seriously incapable of seeing his own flaws let alone try to fix them. I have lived with him for 23 years and still it often feels like there is no one there. he is like a big blank wall I slam up against constantly. I have reached the conclusion there might actually be nothing behind the wall beyond basic needs and surface stuff. Are there people who just live their lives with no internal landscape?? We have companionship and when working on something it is great, cooperation and both working in concert. I do many things alone and he works out at the gym. It is peaceful as long as I make no demands. Thanks for the hugs. I will take all I can get!!

[This message edited by NorthernMSB at 11:14 AM, June 26th (Wednesday)]

NorthernMSB posted 6/26/2019 11:18 AM

diggiediva: We own the house jointly. But only bought it 4 years ago so no equity. If we split I would get it. He works over an hour away and would find something there. I will never get to truly retire but have the luxury of working from home now writing. That is my job, and as long as my brain keeps working, I can keep working. Just need to pay my debt from out financial fiasco off and then maybe can live on a pension eventually. Canadian pension isn't substantial.
Thank you for your kind words and I will protect myself...and my kids...and my dogs...and cats...

[This message edited by NorthernMSB at 11:42 AM, June 26th (Wednesday)]

NorthernMSB posted 6/26/2019 11:26 AM

Chrysalis123: Unfortunately no. It is not all from the past. I still have all that now. And strangely enough it was never fast and fun with him. Even right at the beginning. I married him literally three months after he moved in. We didn't even date before he moved in! It was a weird situation of "knowing" this man for 14 years but not knowing him. Both of us wanting to date each other but the timing never right, him with someone/me single, me with someone/him single and then both single and we kind of just locked it in before circumstances changed. For me it was like I wanted something for over a decade, really wanted it, and then I got it, and when I unwrapped it, holy fuck...didn't know what it was and want the hell to do with it! The Monday after we married we were back to work (2 days later) and that Wednesday and the weekend we had his 3 year old daughter. No grace period or fun. I was pregnant 5 months later and life took hold.

He is all I have said and of course more, bad and good, and so am I and so are I expect you. There was no mask that fell off, the bad parts just got worse as life struggles appeared. He is not a person equipped to deal with problems with grace, at all.

My boys are fine. We talk all the time about everything and I am upfront on reasons about staying. They understand they are responsible for their actions and are both men I am proud of always.

I am not trying to make this right, too fucked up to do that! I am trying to make the situation bearable for me.

[This message edited by NorthernMSB at 11:46 AM, June 26th (Wednesday)]

NorthernMSB posted 6/26/2019 11:41 AM

neckonamida: You know, I have always told him he has two personalities and he gives me whiplash emotionally sometimes with the quick changes. But he is all the things I have written. A combination of good, bad, caring, cruel, and many other things. Makes it hard to gain solid ground for me.

I must note, he really isn't handsome anymore...just to me! That is probably one of the issues, he was THE man and now not so much. He has told me that is one of the reasons he cheated with the 6 week woman, to see if he still "had it" He does not. He very definitely needed the validation he was NOT getting from me. These woman do not see the farting, ball scratching, couch laying, gristle crunching ( I HATE the noise it makes when people eat the ends off of chicken joints!!), never making the bed, technology/current events challenged, chauvinistic, toenail clipping man who I live with daily. As stated here before, affairs are all fantasy and rainbows and glitter. Fuck that shit.

I don't have him on a pedestal, he is part of the family I take care of and like to take care of. I am happy when all the beds are made and smell like outdoors from the clothes line, the floors are gleaning, fridge full of good food, laundry folded, etc so on I like that shit. I also work 2 jobs but get real satisfaction from everyone being happy. My love these days is not as strong as it used to be. Sometimes I am not sure it is there at all. Let's just call it a wary watchfulness. I wait to see what he is doing and either ignore him or engage in pleasant conversation. I am not putting myself out there anymore but wish it was different.

I am not disposable to him and he knows it. I have been upfront and clear that divorce is not off the table and damn if I won't boldly put down adultery as the cause with both of the APs names in the filing. He knows it. And if I do that, yes it will all be my fault for sure but will it matter?

Maybe he did suffer in the relationship. I am a bitch for sure and certainly put him pretty far down the list when the kids were young or work was crazy. I did for sure. But he is a grown man who could have opened his big mouth and told me how he was feeling. And as a grown woman I would have done everything in my power to fix it. He cheated instead because it was easier. He will never leave me. Never. He will threaten, slam around, talk about it but will never leave me. That I do know even through all this shit. I am not delusional or lying to myself about that. When our marriage breaks up, it will be because I pull the plug.

[This message edited by NorthernMSB at 11:49 AM, June 26th (Wednesday)]

OwningItNow posted 6/26/2019 12:43 PM


This thread is hard for me to read--the strong, competent you--working hard to earn love from the cruel, selfish WH who is always distant, taking from you and using you. He is a man who is hated by his children and behaves as a cold, unentagled shell of a person. And yet you cannot let go or detach, hanging on and desperately wanting his love. For 37 years! You never even dated, just gave yourself to him.

Omg, this is the definition of codependency.

You are not able to see what we can see reading this thread, but I hope you will work with IC to learn about your own power and find happiness. (Hint: it will not come from earning his love but instead from earning your own.) It is very hard to read of someone begging for love from a monster and staying put when they don't get it. My chest feels heavy with sadness for you. This has been my own painful journey, and I remember the deep hurt all too well. You feel your determination to stay and fight shows your strength, but unfortunately we can see that your brain is tricking you. Staying and fighting for a future here actually shows your one weakness, the childhood wound that you cannot overcome.

Good luck to you.
IC is the answer.
This man has never in 37 years given you what you need, and he will not start now. You gravitated toward him because he spoke to your childhood vulnerability, and the inner child in you desperately wants to fill that hole. It can happen, but not with him.

cocoplus5nuts posted 6/26/2019 12:58 PM

Are there people who just live their lives with no internal landscape??

Yep. They are called sociopaths. Think Ted Bundy.

NorthernMSB posted 6/26/2019 14:24 PM

To everyone reading this. I am under absolutely no illusion of the entire fuckedupedness of my relationship. Jesus, I know exactly what I would tell a friend or family member in the same situation. RUN, and perhaps bump him with the car on the way out of the driveway or kick his gristle eating ball scratching self to the curb and change the locks.

OwningitNow: I AM intelligent, competent and all that. I have my own strengths and weaknesses and am very self aware. I do not have any deep childhood wounds or voids I need to fill from that time. Pretty good childhood generally, perhaps abandonment issues from being left alone in Canada at 16 in university all by myself with three cats in my own apartment while my parents left to live in North Africa and sister was in the US at college. I remember being very very ill once literally laying on the floor of my living room too weak to get up. Before cell phones...and thinking I could actually die here and no one would find me for weeks...and the cats will eat me.

So, maybe that is one of the reasons I fight so hard. Maybe not.

My relationship was far from perfect, ups and downs, those moments of what the actual fuck am I doing here?! and is this worth it? and what the hell did he just say to me?? And everything else a long relationship entails. I actually thought we were pretty normal because you never ever know what happens behind closed doors in other marriages. The stories I heard from friends seemed similar or worse. You don't realize you are giving up little pieces of yourself for peace, or to oil the waters, or because it bothers the other person, or to please them, or because honestly you are freaking exhausted.and then you give away another piece and realize you have nothing left.

I have read several books about codependency and honestly, it doesn't fit exactly either. I actually dislike labels and diagnoses, and simple explanations of behaviour and actions. People are wonderfully terrifyingly complex and to be perfectly honest, I think everyone is responsible for their own actions and choices and then you live with them. I might be codependent, he might be a covert passive narcissist, my parents might have been emotionally unavailable, my sister might be self involved, my kids might be spoiled, etc so on. But everyone makes their own choices, no excuses. You make the choice you can with the information you have at the time and live with it or make another choice after the fact. I don't actually give a fuck if my WH felt like he was not a priority or that his kids don't respect him or that I wasn't loving or adoring enough, or that he suffered. I don't give a fuck. I don't give a fuck if he was abused as a child (he wasn't) or his ex girlfriend broke his heart and he never could commit emotionally again even to me (yes, that was his excuse for cheating and it was his 22 year LT AP that broke his heart ). I DON"T CARE. He made the choice to cheat on me. No excuse, no reason, no nothing will make that okay or absolve him in any way.

I know my marriage is a train wreck, no illusions, not complaining, not looking for his approval of affirmation of any type from him, not even looking for a happy ending...I am making a choice with the shitty information I have available to stay the fuck out of his way, live generally the same way with no real interaction. Not pleasant, not unpleasant, not satisfying or happy, just content for now. With new information that choice might be different.

cocoplus5nuts: Oh my God. I know you weren't trying to be funny but your answer just made me spit my coffee on my keyboard laughing. Holy Hell. He probably is a sociopath, certainly crossed my mind a few times.

cancuncrushed posted 6/26/2019 21:28 PM

Yes. My xwh is very much npd. Of the worst kind. I would like to point out in my 36 years of marriage. I said the exact same things. I never wanted to be divorced. I never wanted to be alone. I never wanted the relationship to end. I never wanted xwh to cheat or leave me. He decided it all

The truth is. He was always in control. I never had a say. I came to SI many years before it really soaked in. My xwh is npd. And once I saw it. Once I accepted it. Everything blew up. He knew I now saw him He had no mask No cover. All hell broke loose. Itís true. You should never let them know you know. They become worse. They behave worse. You havenít even come close to experiencing what they can do. I donít mean to scare you. I donít mean to categorize all. I read these same things. I thought this wasnít xwh. I was very very wrong.

Read about trauma amnesia. Trauma bonding. And the chemical addictions in your body that keep you wanting him. Itís real. They control you more then you know. Now Iím paying hard.
He left me for ap 13 months ago. I still struggle with missing what I wanted us to be. I believed we could be so great. If he would just stop. We were so close to having it all. Yet he regularly destroyed it. It was always just out of reach. I well remembered how great he was for a time. I knew it could return.

Thatís planned. Dangled carrot. It keeps the hopium alive. That hurts. Nothing was real in my marriage. I was living a fantasy of my own.
He created that wonderful fantasy then kept it just out of reach. I wanted it badly. It looked and felt so right. For a short time. This is all done on purpose. They really are stringing us along. Mind games.

I look back now and remember my fresh pain. My old pain How I talked and talked. Asked a million questions. Tried to r. Read so many books. I couldnít eat sleep. Function. And he was just playing me along. Nothing was honest or truthful. Just manipulating me. And enjoying it. Enjoying his. A

[This message edited by cancuncrushed at 9:49 PM, June 26th (Wednesday)]

weddingbelle posted 6/26/2019 23:58 PM

So sorry NorthernMSB, you're really going through It! My husband always said he was just going to move closer to where he works and not divorce after our son graduated from college. Said he didn't want to ruin me financially. We're still together, at the moment. I've kind of been emotionally detaching. I find it's much easier by making friends and having plans. I've always told him that I'd like him to be by my side and figure all of this out, but if he can't keep up, I guess he'll be left in my dust. Please, I'm asking you to take care of yourself and value yourself, because you deserve more. Even if it's only from you!

NorthernMSB posted 6/27/2019 08:29 AM

Chrysalis123: I read Why Does He Do That by Lundy Bancroft yesterday as per your recommendation and not really him. He uses some techniques used by abusive men but I am sure most people do to some extent generally. He does not try and control my choices, clothes, friends etc., he is never ever jealous, if anything he is pathologically unconcerned with anything to do with me. I am invisible, just the magic housekeeper and assistant who lives in our home. He is so detached that it makes me suspicious when he does express concern about anything to do with me. So it was an interesting read but not really reflective of the situation.

cancuncrushed: I am so sorry about what happened to you. Sucks. I can see why you might think there are similarities but I don't care if I'm alone and I have been divorced. This is my second husband. I have no issue with divorce, just losing everything in my life I have worked so hard for because of his poor impulse control and selfish choices. We certainly have always had an imbalance in our relationship with respect to our earlier patterns (me the adoring crush who loved him and chased him and him the jock on a pedestal) but I am in control of pretty much everything else in our relationship.

The most interesting part of all this is I spent many hours last night thinking because of the book listed above and I know that he never put on any sort of mask. He was unapologetically who he was, take it or leave it, from 18 years old on. His inflexibility, borderline abusive comments, indifference, emotional detachment, ignorance, lack of interest in anything intellectual, and negative view of women were all there. I chose to get on this ride with my eyes wide open. Really really stupid but I did it knowing who he was and I didn't even think I could change him or he was really sensitive underneath. I got on this ride and I guess I can't now want my money back.

Did I deserve to be cheated on? No, strangely enough that was actually a huge devastating shock. I knew he was a dick but didn't fathom the extent of his arrogance and lack of regard for me. Did he lie? Yes Thousands of times but not about exactly who he is and his limitations emotionally. Did he plan any of it? No. It just never occurred to him that he was doing anything wrong really because it was what he wanted to do and he liked it. No plan or intent. He didn't think of me or our family at all. So no conflict in his mind, no overlap of his satisfaction in these other women and me. He never promised me anything. Not happiness, not contentment, not undying love, not emotional support, not sexual satisfaction, not anything. No stringing me along with visions of the life I wanted. No string.

weddingbelle: Thank you for the response. We are also together. The parameters of that will have to be discussed eventually but I am checking out for self preservation sake. I would like it to be different and told him so but will not invest anymore. I am going through a bit of a health crisis right now which I hope to have real answers for next week so will concentrate on that issue. It will either make all this shit a moot point because I won't be here long or I will have to depend on him briefly for recovery. Either option sucks and I don't even want to ask him to pick me up from the hospital, seems too vulnerable somehow.

[This message edited by NorthernMSB at 8:30 AM, June 27th (Thursday)]

sisoon posted 6/27/2019 10:09 AM

Gently NMSB, what do you want? Even if you don't think you can get it, what do you want? It's important to know.


I read a lot of co-d in your words. That's not a criticism; it's just feedback. I hope you check it out with a good IC.


Um ... most people can, in fact, figure out how to take care of themselves at 16, especially if money is available - but it's pretty far out of line for first worlders. You're not legally an adult at 16, and you've got another 7-10 years before your brain matures fully. IOW, the vast majority of 16 year olds really are still kids, and kids need parents.

IOW, your childhood sounds like it had more trauma in it than most of us experience.


If your H is undiagnosed ADHD, I have deep, deep sympathy for him. That doesn't mean you should stay - in fact, splitting is probably the better course by far, since ADHD is hard to live with for attention excess people, especially when his behavior is so antithetical to partnership.

OwningItNow posted 6/27/2019 10:53 AM

A person does not need to do every single thing on a list to be considered that thing, whatever it is. My daughter does not have all symptoms of gluten intolerance but cannot eat it without breaking out in a rash. Just because you or your H do not meet all characteristics does not mean you are not struggling with issues related to that thing--codependency, narcissism, abuse, or whatever. When you overlook all the issues there and say, "Nope, we are not that thing," you miss out on the chance to work on those qualities. It's those qualities that we are all seeing that need changing for you to find happiness.

His inflexibility, borderline abusive comments, indifference, emotional detachment, ignorance, lack of interest in anything intellectual, and negative view of women were all there. I chose to get on this ride with my eyes wide open.†Really really stupid but I did it knowing who he was and I didn't even think I could change him or he was really sensitive underneath. I got on this ride and I guess I can't now want my money back.

This statement is showing a quality found in codependency, a need for someone like a drug--often someone who shows very little positive benefit in our life. Don't worry about the label of codependency, but look at the issue found in codependents: why did you choose and stay with someone who is so unhealthy for you, someone who gives you so little love and appreciation? Why would that be acceptable to you? And if you say that it's not acceptable, so now you want him to change (another quality found in codependents) why did you not leave him long ago when he didn't change? And if you say you loved him, why did you give your love to someone who gave you so little in return? We say here that love is a choice. So why did you make that choice and hurt yourself like this? The answer will begin the work you need to do if you want out of this pain.

[This message edited by OwningItNow at 10:59 AM, June 27th (Thursday)]

FEEL posted 6/27/2019 11:30 AM

In reading the first post in this thread, the communication appeared very toxic. With responses from him, like that I'm not sure why you would want to communicate with him at all? It seems pretty clear there no empathy, remorse or compassion for the situation from his side.

I think we can all feel empathy for the us BS's. That's why so many of us are here. A place to be heard and listened to and often receive some advice from someone who has been there and is thinking clearly from a better place with the trauma largely past them.

So when it comes to empathizing, I can relate to the pain you must be feeling. I can see many responses here sharing that sentiment as well. It can help to be heard and have your feelings acknowledged by others when your WS can't do that for you.

Having said that, you can post here as much as you want and have people empathize with you (especially when your WS can't or wont) but that is not going to fix your situation. So this comes down to YOU. YOU have a choice whether you want to be HAPPY and if so how you are going get there. We can all listen to your story and empathize, but we can't make you happy. YOU NEED TO TAKE STEPS FOR YOUR OWN HAPPINESS.

Good luck.

nekonamida posted 6/27/2019 12:07 PM

A person does not need to do every single thing on a list to be considered that thing, whatever it is. My daughter does not have all symptoms of gluten intolerance but cannot eat it without breaking out in a rash. Just because you or your H do not meet all characteristics does not mean you are not struggling with issues related to that thing--codependency, narcissism, abuse, or whatever. When you overlook all the issues there and say, "Nope, we are not that thing," you miss out on the chance to work on those qualities. It's those qualities that we are all seeing that need changing for you to find happiness.

Yes, so much this!

Northern, of course you don't want to believe that your WH is abusive and that you show signs of codependency. So your mind immediately clings on to whatever rational you can to justify why he can't really be all that bad. Controlling a partner's choices in clothing and jealousy are such a small segment of the behaviors described in WDHDT that it's laughable to say the book can't apply to him because of it.

Here are some quotes that do apply:

Lundy Bancroft:

One of the prevalent features of life with an angry or controlling partner is he frequently tells you what you should think and tries to get you to doubt or devalue your own perceptions and beliefs.


20 years of him raging and hearing my faults. My appearance, my family, my achievements, my nerdiness, the ways I load the dishwasher, clean the house, drive, shovel the driveway, fold the laundry, my parenting, my movie choices, my personality, everything...all the time, nothing ever right. Nothing ever good enough.


He's two different people. I feel like I'm living with Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.


You know, I have always told him he has two personalities and he gives me whiplash emotionally sometimes with the quick changes.


Your abusive partnerís cycles of moving in and out of periods of cruelty can cause you to feel very close to him during those times when he is finally kind and loving.

Almost no abuser is mean or frightening all the time. At least occasionally, he is loving, gentle, and humorous and perhaps even capable of compassion and empathy. This intermittent, and usually unpredictable, kindness is critical to forming traumatic attachments. When a person, male or female, has suffered harsh, painful treatment over an extended period of time, he or she naturally feels a flood of love and gratitude toward anyone who brings relief, like the surge of affection one might feel for the hand that offers a glass of water on a scorching day. But in situations of abuse, the rescuer and the tormentor are the very same person.


The three times in 23 years that he has actually opened up to me and we talked all night I was floored by how he felt, his fears, his genuine vulnerability. I hold those times and that man like a shield when he is a dick to me. He is startlingly gentle and caring when life really really requires it like when my mom died.


Abusers drive wedges between people, by accident or by design.


Both boys and I have an incredible close relationship which is thrown in my face that WH is an "outsider" and "no one listens to him" in the house. Honestly, he has created his own issues but thinks it is their (my) fault.


-He drives recklessly or speeds up when heís angry.
-He punches walls or kicks doors.
-He throws things around, even if they donít hit you.


is easily frustrated when something does NOT go his way. I have ended up with smashed IKEA furniture many times when it didn't work.


Friends say: ďHeís mean.Ē But she knows many ways in which he has been good to her. Friends say: ďHe treats you that way because he can get away with it. I would never let someone treat me that way.Ē But she knows that the times when she puts her foot down the most firmly, he responds by becoming his angriest and most intimidating. When she stands up to him, he makes her pay for itósooner or later. Friends say: ďLeave him.Ē But she knows it wonít be that easy. He will promise to change. Heíll get friends and relatives to feel sorry for him and pressure her to give him another chance. Heíll get severely depressed, causing her to worry whether heíll be all right.

This whole thread is an example of the above.

He doesn't have to wear a mask to trick you to be abusive. He doesn't have to give a flying fuck about your clothes, friends, or be overly jealous to be controlling. He doesn't need to explicitly say that he wants you to act in a certain way to be controlling. He's perfectly capable of meeting the criteria outlined in WDHDT of belittling you, causing you to doubt yourself, devaluing you, and oscillating between kind and gentle and angry, intimidating, and cruel. And through those behaviors he is able to control yours because:

He knows he used to be able to control you with charm, affection and promises. He also remembers how well intimidation or aggression worked at other times.He may switch erratically back and forth between the two like a doctor who cycles a patient through a range of antibiotics, trying to find the one that will get the infection under control.

Even the examples given in the book show that each woman deals with an abusive spouse whose behaviors lean to the extreme in some areas but not others. No example given perfectly encompasses each behavior outlined. It's silly to rule him out because he doesn't exhibit every behavior when not a single case in the book met your criteria to be considered abusive.

[This message edited by nekonamida at 12:08 PM, June 27th (Thursday)]

cocoplus5nuts posted 6/27/2019 12:50 PM

NMSB, nothing you have described about your H's behavior or your relationship is normal.

Odonna posted 6/27/2019 13:15 PM


With compassion, I have to note that all your threads on SI are essentially the same. You love him and want tenderness and attention, and he is a cruel dick-wad who had both a 22-year EA for the entire duration of your marriage and a recent short PA, and wants you to rug-sweep both while he continues to abuse you. Nekomida mined through some of those prior posts very effectively, and I hope you take that - and this - to heart.

I was encouraged when you posted you had had your first IC session, many weeks ago, but despite questions you never say any more about it. So I assume you are not going. You need to.

As it stands, you are forever going to be in this agony of reaching out to him for tenderness and attention, knowing that what you will get is cruelty. Can you really be with someone who says: "I am sick of you!"???? I could not. What are you modeling for your boys?

Nearly everyone on SI is giving you the same advice, yet each of your threads shows absolutely no insight into your situation, and repeats the exact same litany of agonized complaints.

Please DO something, for your sake and for your boys.

NorthernMSB posted 6/27/2019 16:46 PM

nekonamida: wow. You took some time to do all that and I appreciate the effort. I guess you have proved the point effectively. He is abusive. My decision to completely withdraw is probably a smart one. I will continue with that action. Thanks again, it is humbling for a stranger to take that amount of care with a response.

cocoplus5nuts: I'm pretty sure I said I was aware of the fuckedupedness of my relationship, even without the added cherry of infidelity. I actually have not read much on this site that struck me as normal relationships so I appear to be in good company.

Odonna: I started this thread because I am NOT seeking tenderness and attention anymore and was asking if anyone else has created a similar dynamic. I don't think he is capable of it, never has been except in spurts and on his own terms. He had two EAs. the last 6 week one was sexting, pictures, and videos. They never had any the of contact beyond online and phone calls. Just to clarify. He did kiss the 22 year affair partner.

I am talking to a therapist, and a lawyer, and an accountant which is why I feel an "emotional divorce" is the best option right now. They are also in agreement and hammered out the details.

I am not reaching out for anything at all from him?, I am not even getting a ride home from the hospital from him even if the news is as bad as I think it is going to be. I don't want anything.

I didn't realize I was complaining. I am sorry for whining. I am sorry you think I do not have insight into my own situation, I actually thought I had a pretty good handle on the facts and repercussions. My boys are perfectly fine. I am proud of them and they are utterly sweet and gentlemanly to their partners. They are wonderful young adults who know what they want and are doing great.

I am DOING something, I am detaching completely and just wanted some advice from people who have done it. Not everyone can leave or reconcile or divorce so this is the best I can do right now to get out of infidelity.

I will not start anymore threads. I am embarrassed that I obviously am coming across as pathetic and blind. That view of me is kind of sobering. I have taken your advice which is why my little support group put together our plan. Thank you everyone for all your caring advice.

[This message edited by NorthernMSB at 5:30 PM, June 27th (Thursday)]

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