Lately I have been reading here a little. I suppose that I belonged here when I joined way back when but somehow missed it.
I feel all of your pain so acutely. I was there. My hope is to share my perspective and maybe it will give a bit of hope to some that this does get better. I will state that this is so hard. Having the person that you loved and you believed loved you just walk out the door is devastating. The pain and subsequent self doubt, questioning, self blame is pure hell. The betrayal is devastating and then the immediate discard...just incomprehensible.
So, I am now 5 years from divorce and 7 years from dday #1.
dday #1 I discovered cheating with a woman he was working for. He is a "contractor". In reality he hacks through home improvement jobs by searching for how to videos on youtube but I digress. He knew her for 3 months. On dday, I confronted and he walked out within the hour. I was crushed, confused, in such pain, I screamed until I lost my voice, had night terrors when I could sleep, lost 30 pounds in 30 days, projectile vomiting, I was a mess. This was the man that promised to love me "forever and a day". In reality it was always abusive. He was Jekyll and Hyde. I just chose to believe that Jekyll was the real deal and Hyde was the aberration. It shocks me now to look back at what I lived with.
3 months later, he was sniffing around, so softly, so gently. Unfortunately I had become so isolated during the marriage that I had no support system. None. I used to have the thought of just being peripheral to everyone else, I did not matter to anyone, I felt as if I died that no one would even notice for weeks.
I let him back. I forgive myself now but that was probably the most destructive thing I could have done to myself. I didn't know at the time but he had gone through thousands of dollars and was broke. He had a 401k that he cashed out while he was gone. He spent it all. I lived in hell with him for almost a year. He became arrogant, angry and eventually physically violent. It seems that once he devalued me I became even less to him.
dday #2, 5 days before Christmas. Instant replay, another woman that he was working for. I confronted and he was out the door.
There is a whole lot more. He was extremely cruel, vicious texts followed by drunken so sorry texts, you are my true love texts followed by you are a whore, not a real person texts. Pure crazy.
I divorced him. He lied on his financials. I had to go to court to get the $300/month that he was ordered to pay. The financial mess he left me was awful. I have just begun to climb out. I had to do a short sale of my house, file for bankruptcy. I am starting all over at 59. It still stuns me that someone that claims to love you and be your partner for life can walk out with no concern about how you will survive. That quick shift from partner to not caring if you end up on the street. That was probably the part that took the longest to let go of. He just did not care what happened to me.
It took me about a year after the divorce to finally completely block him. I changed my phone number, changed my email, changed my car and moved! I finally feel safe from him. He has been through multiple girlfriends, one even contacted me to ask if he is a sociopath.
My life now is getting better. It was hard. It took me so long to recover. I spent lots of time reading about abuse with lots of ahaaa! moments. I began rekindling friendships. That was tough too. Some people were not very understanding, my sister was the worst. Some were amazing. My best, lifelong friend was my life line. He would text me every single morning just to say hi and have a good day. Such a simple act but it helped to remind me that I was not so alone.
We started playing music together, going to open mics and even had a couple of gigs. I started to connect with new people, that helped me to gain some confidence in myself again.
Then I started dating, mostly once and done. It was terrifying but it also helped me to gain confidence. Eventually I did meet someone. Almost 3 years and we are living together. It is easier and harder all at the same time.
I trust him and that shocks me. He is consistently the same every day! I do find that I have this internal anxiety still, not sure if it will ever pass. I do recognize it though and can calm myself by understanding it is just coming from the abuse of the past and it has nothing to do with the present. When my SO says something or does something that triggers me, I speak to him about it. It isn't easy, I feel like I am jumping off a cliff, it may take me a couple of days to actually speak but I do. So far, it has gone well. Notice that I said "so far", there is still this part of me that just cannot feel safe completely. I just look at like a little glitch in my operating system. Just have to know it is there and work around it.
My whole point of this is to show that life does go on. I don't know if the effects of this treatment will ever pass completely. I do know that I am grateful to not be with someone that could treat me so poorly. I have a good life now. There are still some rough spots. My best friend is now in the final stages of brain cancer. I will be forever grateful that we had that amazing time together. From him, I have learned what a friend truly is, what love is, not romantic love but committed caring.
My heart aches when I read here. I remember that intense pain and wish that I could help you. The only thing I can offer is my story.
For now, just stay strong in the truth. People capable of treating you like this, not valuing you as a person but as an appliance, easily replaced and discarded...they are not worthy of you! You are worth so very much more. This type of behavior, it is just not normal. This is indicative of someone with an empty soul. You have lost nothing in them. It is hard to come to terms with the loss of time, the loss of dreams, the loss of your reality, very hard. At some point though you will get to acceptance. You have to grieve and that takes time.
You will get better. The pain will subside. You will feel whole again. Sending much love to all of you suffering through this.