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Heartbroken ...

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Triedntesty posted 2/24/2021 21:13 PM

Btw look up ways to calm your sympathetic nervous system. You're having a trauma response. You're in fight / flight mode which makes your body have a reaction to the fear and stress. To calm this response try getting out of bed and having a hot shower or a hot and cold shower (alternate temperatures), do something physical to release the stress reaction and to distract you away fr your racing mind. I went through waking up with panic symptoms like you and this would knock me out and I'd be able to fall back asleep. I also recommend praying, hard core every morning and every night. Praying and good therapy, a good circle of friends/fam is how I'm surviving. Don't forget when you do the right thing, the honest righteous thing, the universe is ALWAYS on your side.Its not on the side of lies and deceit.

Venus1 posted 2/25/2021 23:24 PM

Look up the relationship between narcissism and codependency Ö You may be sacrificing your needs to placate him and to make him happy, you're a giver at your own expense, these are telltale signs of being codependent.

@Tridntesty Ė Oh, Iím definitely guilty of this! My best friend got me this book, ďShould I Stay or Should I Go? Surviving A Relationship With a NarcissistĒ and itís FANTASTIC! I highly recommend people read it if they think their wayward spouse has narcissistic tendencies. I never saw my husband as being narcissistic, but he definitely has exhibited behaviors and traits the past 2-3 years. The gaslighting, lack of empathy, manipulation, entitlement to having an affair, blaming, etc. the past few months Ö as I read the book I keep thinking, Ďyes, thatís my WHí, Ďand thatís my WH tooí, and Ďyep that tooí! And Iím realizing that my co-dependency is part of it as well. I think itís why Iíve had such a difficult time letting go ... my head saying one thing and my heart saying something else. But, Iím getting really angry realizing that I have been used and quite frankly verbally abused. My WH may have PTSD from actual war, but I too have been living in a war zone of a sorts the past few years, and especially these last 6 months. The trauma from infidelity and a narcissistic partner is so REAL!

Venus1 posted 2/25/2021 23:48 PM

A friend of mine sent me a quote by Maya Angelou that I wanted to share. "When someone shows you they don't care, BELIEVE them!"

I have struggled the past two months to accept that my WH has changed into the person he is today. He has acted so differently than I expected him to (eg, he's blamed / gaslighted / continued to lie, when I expected him to be remorseful, apologetic, and to try and make things 'right'). So, I printed this quote and put it on my bathroom mirror to read every morning as I get ready for my day. The truth is that my WH hasn't apologized or tried to fix the damage he's caused me / our marriage / our friendship, and has shown his true colors. He really has shown me that he doesn't care. While painful to learn, I have to start taking what he says and his behaviors at 'face value'. I am hopeful that this will help me move forward in my life and that I will be able to find happiness again and that I can chose joy over heartbreak.

Another one of her quotes that I like is: "I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel."

I've asked myself if there is anything that my WH can do or say to make this better, to fix the damage done. And the answer is no. Because while I may be able to forgive my WH for his behavior and his affair eventually, I'll never forget how I've felt the past few months. How he's gone out of his way to break my heart, diminish my feelings, blame me, let alone that he actually moved out and left me. While I may have good memories from the first 13-14 years of our relationship, the recent memories and how they made me feel will be burned in my mind / heart forever.

For those of you that are a year or two out of infidelity, or even reconciled with your WS, how did you learn to trust again? I'm really struggling with trusting people in general right now. It's like I've built up a wall to protect my heart while I'm trying to heal and figure out what I want for myself and my future. Trying to work through this in IC, but I have always trusted fully and loved fully, so this is a new thing for me.

Venus1 posted 2/26/2021 01:49 AM

OMG! Iím so angry right now. I just got this in an email from my WH!

Did you change the ring password? I should still be allowed access to that as a security feature to the house I also own. Until I get the safe and the rest of my things out of there that is communal security and there is no reason I shouldnít be able to access it.

How about I donít want you watching me go in and out of my house every day. Or spying on me and what deliveries I have you jack@ss! Itís bad enough you have access to the garage for your business and can see when the garage door opens and closes. I donít have access to your ring video to see when you come in and out of your apartment. Seriously, who does he think he is? Why does he need to monitor the front door anyway? Does he really think Iím not keeping the house safe? Youíve got to be kidding me!

Letís not forget ... you are the one who wants to be alone, you moved out and left me, and you are the one who doesnít know if you want to be married. How about give me space to heal from all the stuff youíve put me through and leave me alone. Youíve lost the right to know what Iím doing or where Iím going or how frequently I walk the dogs or whatever. And Iím sorry, you had six weeks to move into your apartment. Itís not my fault you left stuff here!

Not responding since itís not worth a response. Hard 180!

sandylee posted 2/26/2021 02:58 AM

He wants to be able to watch your comings and goings, more specifically to see if you're seeing anyone.

You live alone now and don't need him watching over you or the property.
I'd either ignore his email or tell him you've changed it, as it makes you feel uneasy/uncomfortable.

Assure him that the house is safe and secure.
I'm quite sure him not having a password in no way affects the home insurance in the event of a claim.

I'm glad you changed it before he did. He's lost control over you and he doesn't like it. Too bad for him.

sandylee posted 2/26/2021 02:58 AM

He wants to be able to watch your comings and goings, more specifically to see if you're seeing anyone.

You live alone now and don't need him watching over you or the property.
I'd either ignore his email or tell him you've changed it, as it makes you feel uneasy/uncomfortable.

Assure him that the house is safe and secure.
I'm quite sure him not having a password in no way affects the home insurance in the event of a claim.

I'm glad you changed it before he did. He's lost control over you and he doesn't like it. Too bad for him.

The1stWife posted 2/26/2021 05:44 AM

The hard 180 is your best response.

He has a cheater mentality - I donít want to be married to you BUT I donít want anyone else to have you either.

Sadly one of my earlier posts predicted this behavior. Because you are now rejecting him (to protect yourself) he doesnít like it. Forget that he caused this situation (of course HE doesnít view it this way) but his mindset is he doesnít like rejection.

Iím sorry you are dealing with this but itís to be expected. Just know you are doing the right thing. You were very kind and understanding and patient for a long time. He expected that to continue.

Typical cheater mentality

Freeme posted 2/26/2021 06:53 AM

Did you change the ring password? I should still be allowed access to that as a security feature to the house I also own. Until I get the safe and the rest of my things out of there that is communal security and there is no reason I shouldnít be able to access it.

Wow! the mental gymnastics he needed for that excuse is unbelievable.
Not having access to what you are doing or thinking is driving him insane. Besides wanting to keep tabs on you he was also baiting you into a fight...contact. For a Narc that is losing control any contact will feed their ego. Fantastic job of not responding. Hard 180. You've got this.

Shockedmom posted 2/26/2021 09:25 AM

The absolute gall is astounding. Ignore his attempts to control your life. He is learning his actions have consequences. Let him stew over his own inadequacy. Guard your privacy. You are heading straight toward healing and a better life without this new version of him.

ChamomileTea posted 2/26/2021 11:49 AM

For those of you that are a year or two out of infidelity, or even reconciled with your WS, how did you learn to trust again? I'm really struggling with trusting people in general right now. It's like I've built up a wall to protect my heart while I'm trying to heal and figure out what I want for myself and my future. Trying to work through this in IC, but I have always trusted fully and loved fully, so this is a new thing for me.

I'm six years out now, and as far as I know, the naive, innocent trust we had starting out never returns. But... that can be a good thing. Trust is no longer my default setting. I wait for people to SHOW me that they're trustworthy. In a way, it's more respectful of yourself because you're no longer afraid to make judgments and set boundaries. Cautious doesn't necessarily have to mean anxious. You end up leaving room for observation until you've reached your final assessment, and even then, you're still willing to revise your data if needs be.

I felt like you do, grief-stricken like I'd lost something. But after awhile, I realized that this was a change which could serve me.


Regarding your WH and the "ring" device. I don't think it's a mistake to ignore that, but OTOH, I don't know that I would. I might respond and tell him that if he's so goddamned worried about his property, he should come and get it. You're NOT his personal servant and you're NOT his mommy. It's NOT your responsibility to keep track of his belongings. He fired you from the job of caring about what happens to him and his stuff.

Don't assume that this is about romantic jealousy over you and worry over what you're doing or who you might be doing it with. If you're reading about narcs, you'll see that it may be just as simple as you not doing as you're told and leaving his property unguarded. Narcs always have a use for the people around them. You've been downgraded from wife to grounds keeper. And for all we know, that's the limit of his interest. Since your first post, this has looked like an exit affair to me, which if accurate, means he's not coming back and doesn't have any interest in repair. That doesn't mean he can't circle back for kibbles or that he won't have expectations about how he thinks you're supposed to behave. You are still of use, even if it's only to keep his stuff from getting stolen during the discard.

I'm sorry if that sounds harsh. I just want you to be looking at all possibilities so you don't get caught flat-footed and unprepared. It's so easy to read meaning into the WS's actions, but when we do, we have to remember not to project our own NORMAL psychology onto a defective one.

You're doing well. Really, you are. I know it feels messy and all over the place, but that's just typical for adultery situations. You might start thinking about getting him and his stuff completely out of your space though.

((big hugs))

Venus1 posted 3/9/2021 22:34 PM

Itís been about 10 days since my last post. And sometimes I feel like I take two steps forward and five steps backward in this whole healing process. After my WHs emails about the ring password, things escalated just like many of you said they would.

Saturday was my birthday and my WH brought me flowers, chocolates and a card that said the following: ďI know things arenít that great between us right now, but you should know that you have inspired and touched so many peopleís lives, including mine. I hope you have a good birthday and focus on happy times. I love you.Ē First nice thing heís done or said since D-day, but didnít read too much into it.

On Sunday, my WH called to talk about some ďfinance stuffĒ. He asked to split our car insurance bill and cell phone bill up, as he felt it would save us money. I figured it was the perfect opportunity to ask if he wanted to delete his phone number on the joint account since he already has a new phone (I essentially called him out about his burner phone). My WH had the gall to say that I gave him ďno choiceĒ for getting a new phone number because I was spying on him and who he was talking to. That he got it because he didnít want me to know he was still talking to his gf. Are you kidding me!? So disgusting! He proceeded to then ask me for a divorce! The day before ĎI love youí, and Sunday a nice screw you.

Yesterday I spent time splitting the joint Verizon bill, getting my own insurance, changing the Netflix password, etc. Even replaced the locks on the house! I sent my WH an email confirming that I did, and he not only called me within two min of sending it, but when I didnít pick up the phone, he showed up at the house. Pounding on the door and ringing the doorbell. My folks were here for dinner, so I answered the door.

Oh he was pissed off! My WH went off the rails about how he's done with me, how he just wants to move out of state because Iím so horrible, etc. I told him that I refused to let him hold me hostage anymore, so if he wants to move he should and that I wasnít going to put up with it anymore. I also told him that him showing up unannounced is not respecting my boundaries and that he needed to leave. My WH said something like ďyou really hate me donít youĒ. And I was like ďI donít hate you but I donít like who you are right now, I donít respect your behavior and decisions, and you are acting completely unhingedĒ. That while I asked him for space and to not talk for a few weeks so that I can heal a little, here he was showing up at my doorstep wanting answers because something wasnít going his way. My WH proceeded to say he's been checked out of our marriage since Jan 2020 and so he just wants to sell the house and be done with it. That divorce is the only option.

You guys were right Ö exit affair! ☹ No question about it now!

My folks said I was calm, held my ground, and that my WH didnít listen to a word I said, was condescending and cruel. I was glad (and sad at the same time) that they witnessed it (from the other room where they could hear), because after my WH left I broke into tears! I felt like I took so many steps back. I knew it would get worse before getting better but some days I still feel so weak and overwhelmed sometimes! But, they were there to remind me how strong I am.

The truth is that my WH doesn't like that I'm not complying with how he thinks this should go. He doesnít like that Iím standing up for myself and setting hard boundaries. He doesnít like that Iím not sitting at home, wallowing and so overwhelmed with sadness that I want to take him back. He has this victim "poor me" attitude, blames and deflects onto me instead of doing anything constructive. I just donít understand how he thinks lately or what he expects. I donít recognize him. I think he may just want this to go away or to just be easy (rug sweeping), but you canít have that when you are being a total jerk the past 10 weeks, have no remorse for having an affair, and couldn't care less about me and how I'm doing right now!

One thing I didn't appreciate is how tired grief makes you! Is it normal to be tired ALL THE TIME!? Even when I sleep well I am exhausted. And my WH has this impression that I am doing a-okay, but he can't even comprehend what I'm going through. Why are cheaters so clueless!?

[This message edited by Venus1 at 10:47 PM, March 9th (Tuesday)]

Cooley2here posted 3/9/2021 23:08 PM

Triedntesty explained this to you. The primitive part of your brain doesnít recognize the difference between a lion trying to kill you or your husband manipulating you. It knows you are in danger so it floods your body with adrenaline and other hormones to get you ready to run. Itís an automatic response to a dangerous situation. It then takes hours for your body to calm down. Because you have these threatening spikes you are now constantly ready for danger. Your body is constantly flooded with very powerful hormones. It sounds like you have a form of PTSD. It means that every single thing that causes you stress now makes your body react this way. I suggest EMDR therapy.

ChamomileTea posted 3/10/2021 07:07 AM

TriednTesty and Cooley2here are right. The "lizard brain" can't tell the difference between clear present danger and emotional response. In either case, it floods the body with adrenaline and cortisol in order to be ready for action, fight or flight. So, it's natural to be tired afterward. That said, this can also plunge you into situational depression because the neurotransmitters, hormones, and adrenals aren't steady and even. You'll want to see your doctor for stress management and keep a close eye on your symptoms.

It's not really surprising that your WH was kind to you on your birthday and then turned right around the next day and acted like a monster. You've described his behavior as narcissistic and that's true of lots of active cheaters. The thing to bear in mind is that there are three types of manipulation that the narc will employ.. charm, self-pity, and rage. Once you see it, you can't un-see it and everything starts making sense. Your WH was hoping to keep you sweet in order to make the divorce easier on him, so he puts in all his charm on Friday, but there you are questioning him on Saturday, so in comes rage. Clearly, he still feels like he that's HIS house and you changed the locks, so more rage.

I know it's hurtful that he doesn't care how you're feeling, and maybe you're still looking for some proof that the guy you thought you had married is in there somewhere. But that's a thought which can hold you back and leave you vulnerable to more hurt. His actions continue to speak volumes and his actions say that he does NOT care about you or the pain he's caused you. As you can see now, sweet words and charm are reserved for manipulation, for getting you to behave the way he wants. I'm sorry because I know how painful that is to hear. But I think your best bet right now is to get with your attorney and protect yourself. Find out what it takes to get his property out of your residence, make sure you're getting at least half of all marital assets, etc. If you get control of the divorce process, maybe you can have it at your own pace rather than his. In any event, he's shown you that the kid gloves need to come off, right?

Hang in there, Venus. Believe me, we all know what you're going through. We've all experienced that moment of looking at our dear one's familiar face and not being able to process the extent of their perfidy. It's like they're a pod person but they still LOOK the same, like you should be able to trust them but you know you can't. It's going to be okay, not today and not tomorrow, but the pain is temporary and finite. Hold onto that. Eventually, we do come out on the other side.

((hugs))

Freeme posted 3/10/2021 07:26 AM

He seems like a child having a temper tantrum. You go along with the seperation - He throws a fit about not having access to the codes to the house. You call him out about his burner phone

he already has a new phone (I essentially called him out about his burner phone).
He wants a divorce.
You prepare for the divorce by seperating things financially - He throws a fit coming over to your house and yelling to sell it...(it's like he is trying to one up you).
He is trying his hardest to push your buttons to break you but you aren't budging.

Emotionally you might feel like you took five steps back but you did very well in front of him. Please keep moving forward. Try to ignore his tantrums... he is running out of things to throw a fit about. He is trying to make you his punching bag and you aren't allowing it.

Bigger posted 3/10/2021 08:02 AM

Gently Ė because in many (most) ways you are on the right trackÖ
Please be careful that your actions are done in a LEGAL way. Changing locks on his house (his just as much as yours due to being married) and denying him entry can be seen as domestic abuse. If he had called a locksmith and the police then chances are he could force entry and even have you led out in cuffs. How do I know? Because I have placed cuffs on men that denied their wife entry into the family home.
In that way it was a blessing that your folks were there because they can validate that a) he knew you had changed the locks and b) that he was agitated.

All this asking for a divorceÖ
Divorce is something you DO. You donít ask for it, you tell your spouse you are divorcing and then you go file. I encourage you strongly to do a couple of things:
a) Go read up about divorce in yours state. Understand at least the basics on how debt and assets will be treated, support, savings, pensionsÖ
b) Start searching for an attorney.
c) Be aware of the advantages of filing first. Generally the advantage is overrated, but IMHO it gives you slightly more control of the speed of the process AND it can allow YOU to apply for prime residence of the family-home while the divorce is going on. That in turn allows you to change the locks.

Sofarsogood posted 3/10/2021 08:07 AM

Above all,please take care of yourself. You deserve better than this. Have you consulted with a lawyer?

The1stWife posted 3/10/2021 10:29 AM

Why are cheaters so clueless!?

Because itís a way to avoid and deflect ANY responsibility.

They believe they didnít do anything wrong and they had a reason to cheat. And an exit affair solidifies that too.

Good for you for standing g up to him. Cheaters HATE they canít call the shots.

Venus1 posted 3/10/2021 14:37 PM

@Cooley2here @ChamomileTea

I definitely am in flight or fight response right now! I feel like everything in my life is being threatened and I have to be ready for anything that might happen since my WH is so unpredictable. Never in my wildest dreams did I think my WH would show up pounding at the door making a scene for the neighbors to hear.

Iím more and more convinced as time goes on that betrayed spouses experience PTSD of some kind, regardless of the detailed experience. The death of a spouse / marriage by ďchoiceĒ of your partner is different than other losses in the sense that it literally changes every single thing in your world going forward. Iíve noticed that the way I eat changed, the way I watch TV changed, my friend / family circle dynamic changed, my financial status has changed, the way I work out changed, the way I breathe changed, my physical health and body changed (since I have lost weight), my sense of humor changed, the way I watch movies and listen to music changed, and my hobbies even changed because the hobbies I did with my WH arenít there anymore. This effects your confidence, self-worth, and self-esteem. You are handed a new life that you never asked for and one that you may or may not really want. Itís gut-wrenching, horrific, and life altering. All I can say is thank goodness for IC --- it has helped me tremendously!

@ChamomileTea
I remember reading on SI once that cheaters will say and do anything to make their own narrative. And this is exactly what my WH has done! Heís a typical narcissist using charm, self-pity and rage to justify his actions and his self-interests. And you are right, I canít not see it anymore. It is SO clear now! It actually makes me sad for him, because he canít see how it makes him truly the Ďbad guyí. And like you said, I see my WH standing there in front of me and itís just a zombie Ö heís dead, but walking around as someone else. I know one day that hopism will completely go away. For now, just taking those feelings day by day.

@The1stWife
My WH really hates that he canít call all the shots right now. Itís sort of empowering to stand up against that and just say Ďnoí. Maybe I never did it enough before? Or that it was never this extreme that I tried to keep the peace?

@Sofarsogood and @Freeme
The phrase I keep using lately is that Iím dealing with my Ď5 year old husbandí. That the adult I once knew has reverted to childishness and tempertatums to try and get his way. I just keep telling myself to let it roll off my back like water on a ducks back and to just not be emotional around him or to shut the conversation off when he acts that way. Sunday I did cry for about an hour after our talk because even though I knew why he got the burner phone and that divorce is the best option for me, he was very cruel! I want to stop giving him any power over my emotionos, but it is difficult, especially since Iím a caregiver. I do know that I canít be in a marriage with someone who has a girlfriend, is narcasistic and treats me the way he does. I can forgive, but Iíll never forget the way heís made me feel, so my focus right now is to get stronger every day so I can deal better with the 5 year old.

I have retained a lawyer and Iím getting things in order. In my state there are a few things to consider (and line up) before Iím comfortable with filing. Right now my assets are protected, Iíve changed the locks on the house so feel safe, all bills (except the taxes and mortgage) are all separate now so I can do even more of a hard 180, and I have a support network.

Anyone struggle with living alone after the WS moves out? First time for me in 17 years and the house is so quiet! And I have these weird fears that I never had before. Maybe itís just because my sense of safety and sense of security was wrapped in my WH and our marriage (which I do think is natural)?

And any tips on clearing the mind before going to bed? My mind races ...

[This message edited by Venus1 at 3:29 PM, March 10th (Wednesday)]

ChamomileTea posted 3/10/2021 18:04 PM

Anyone struggle with living alone after the WS moves out? First time for me in 17 years and the house is so quiet! And I have these weird fears that I never had before. Maybe itís just because my sense of safety and sense of security was wrapped in my WH and our marriage (which I do think is natural)?

I've heard that it helps to redecorate and move things around the way you like them. If you have to sell the house, I wouldn't put any money or effort into painting, but I'd certainly get new bed coverings and take down anything that reminded me of the trauma.

You might consider getting a dog or a cat if you're not allergic. Most people don't think of cats as guard animals, but I know a guy whose cat woke him up in a fire and saved his life. And when you come in from being out working or shopping and find your cat draped across the furniture, snoozed out and relaxed, you know there's no intruder in your home. You might also add a little white noise or music if you can tolerate it. I couldn't listen to music at all for a full YEAR after my WH's betrayal. It just seemed full of triggers. My kids had put a Big Band station on my Sirius though, something to do with a video game called FallOut. Anyway, it wasn't triggering. So, I got a Pandora channel of Big Band going. It's cheerful and no triggers to speak of. I also listen to Japanese Koto when I just want some background noise. It's just soothing tones and chimes. If you haven't tried it, look for it online. Very serene.

If you can afford it, consider getting a security system, at least for awhile until you feel more settled.

And any tips on clearing the mind before going to bed? My mind races ...

You'll sleep better if you're physically tired. Try some light exercise, maybe take up yoga so you can incorporate some meditation. Journaling all the poison out of your system can help. But a tip from my IC was to just let it all pour out onto the page, but end each entry with something optimistic. It can be anything: birdsong, the scent of coffee in the morning, affirmations of gratitude, whatever. It's a way to train the brain to LOOK for the positive. Getting your pain out in a conscious way leaves less for the subconscious to process overnight. I used to wake up every few hours because my brain REFUSED to process the trauma. Even the slightest hint of my WH's adultery introduced to my subconscious caused immediate waking. It took a long time to resolve that, but things do get better.

[This message edited by ChamomileTea at 6:07 PM, March 10th (Wednesday)]

Venus1 posted 3/11/2021 15:59 PM

Today I've been feeling like I've given up on my marriage. Has anyone experienced this when considering divorce? I know logically I'm merely choosing myself and my health/safety/wellbeing, and that I can't change my WH, but I can't help but feel like I'm giving up somehow. UGH!

And why can't my WH help me heal by showing a little empathy!? I know I can't expect anything of him, but why can't he see how much pain I'm in?

[This message edited by Venus1 at 4:44 PM, March 11th (Thursday)]

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