As always, you’ve come miles since your last post, Sigyn. You’ve even taken on one of the OW.
they all brag about living an authentic life. They have NO scales over their eyes, to hear them tell it. They have discovered ultimate honesty, they say, by being being open to having sex with anyone and everyone while their sucker spouses are bound to some archaic and stifling life of being tied up in pointless rules.
I honestly think that for this type of person, serving themselves exclusively with no rules of honesty or loyalty or integrity to others is what they think of as their "authentic" selves.
We would think that authenticity has some relationship to honesty, but I think their definition might be more being "true to themselves" in a very twisted sense of that expression. They indulge themselves completely at the expense of others with no concern about whether or not they have to be dishonest or unfaithful or complete frauds. And they look at the rest of us as useful suckers (spouses, colleagues, friends) or co-conspirators (APs and friends who act with them in dirty business). My WH, when cornered, would often defiantly ask what I (or his mom or his dad) expected when we knew he was a pathological liar. This served to make everyone back off and try to reassure him, but it also was him defiantly declaring that he had no intention of behaving differently It was him saying that he was "authentically" a liar.
Of course, somewhere they know that none of this is true and that they are frauds, which serves to fuel their bitter resentment and anger.
One big thing I learned is that WH talked about me quite a bit to this OW. He told her where I work, what I do, some of my childhood and upbringing issues, really private things about me, too. This kills me. It is completely unforgivable, in a sea of unforgivable things.
Yes, this for me was one of the biggest betrayals of all. I spent years living vulnerably and openly with this man. And nothing was sacred to him, especially not my trust and faith in him. I have all of his correspondence—both work and private—with her and other unsavory friends during this time. He talked about me in one measure or another to all of them. The sharing of my private information was power and some kind of revenge to him for some perceived slight and it was power to her too. She did this with multiple men too and TOLD MY WH about the private things about THEIR wives that she had been given. It was the homage that they offered each other in their transactional relationship. I’m sure that they both felt that they were able to be "authentic" with each other in the sharing of their true, base, nasty natures. It was like they both reveled in owning that they were faithless, lying, fake people. They each "trusted" the other to praise and admire images of themselves that were completely fraudulent. My WH was very clear that he was lying to her, but I’m not sure that at the time he was clear that she was also lying to him—that she didn’t believe that he was intimidating and brilliant and. . . She just believed that he served her purposes, and one of them was the buzz she got from feeling that men were betraying their spouses on her behalf. They used each other.
I initially thought that the last thing in the world that I want is to be complicit in my son's father hitting rock bottom, but in the last few weeks I'm starting to see that what would be even worse is being complicit in him staying where he is right now. He truly does look like he's collapsing, as VezfromTaz wrote. It is incredibly painful to watch. Which also makes me think that WH has been watching ME collapse but feeling none of those same things.
This is where we get trapped, isn’t it? Like so many others that have posted here, I kept getting sucked back in to HIS pain and then, like you, remembering that he had not found MY pain to be compelling in any way. I gave my WH a list of things that I needed from him. It didn’t change much over time. But he remained completely committed to the idea that my healing should happen in a way that was comfortable for HIM, and he continually tried to refocus my energy on what HE was going through, how hard it was to alter lifelong behaviors, how much he was a victim of his childhood and others and my lack of complete attention to him and his needs and feelings. One thing I was clear on was that this time my needs had to be addressed.
It took me five years of imagining that he was working himself up to actually doing any of the things that I needed. He continued to lie and withhold information. I made excuses for why there wasn’t any change, why he wasn’t doing any of the things that I had made very clear that I needed, why he continued to believe that there was some kind of mutuality in the injury. He was incapable of having any kind of conversation about the A without counter-attack, deflection, blameshifting, dishonesty, rage, stonewalling, and on and on. He was incapable of hearing ANY kind of feedback of any kind about the smallest thing. His behavior was continuing to affect my kids.
FIVE YEARS. Until one morning, I woke up and the first thought I had, in a completely clear, calm voice that was not my own was: He hasn’t done any of what he committed to because he doesn’t WANT to. Period. I got up, went in the bathroom and took my wedding ring off. I never put it on again. . .and when he noticed, THAT was something that he thought he had a right to be upset about.
So I’ll just say again, like a lot of others, that he is feeling pain for himself here and no one else. He expects you to fix it and to sacrifice yourself and what you need to do that. He isn’t even looking for a compromise where each of you give a little (which is completely unreasonable in this situation where he has done what he’s done). He’s looking for you to put yourself aside completely to make it better for him. . .like always.
I don’t say this because I’m worried. You are seeing things so clearly here, and that’s why it hurts so much. When we really have to see what they are instead of what we believed and hoped and depended on them to be, it is so horrible. As kiwilee, VezfromTaz and others have pointed out, it is a complete destruction of the reality that has always existed in your mind and heart about your marriage and family and husband.
I know intimately how hard it is for our entire being to truly accept that the reality that you have lived in and based everything in your life on does not exist. It’s why I use the word mindfuck so much, but it’s really a mind and soul and heart fuck. It’s what produces the back and forth of rage and devastation and horrific sadness and guilt and doubt, doubt, doubt.
You have amazing IRL support, your therapist kicks ass, you are the lighthouse, and you will get where you need to be in your own time. I have a strong feeling that it won’t take you 5 years for that inner voice to tell you what you need to accept. Thank you for sharing your story here and bringing all of this wisdom together in one place, Sigyn. Sending hopes for strength, peace and light as more holidays approach.
[This message edited by NowWhat106 at 3:01 AM, Friday, December 9th]