Monday, June 26, 2017

This was written by another survivor.

I am feeling weird. For the first time in my life I feel like I am making some progress in my emotional healing. I guess there are many unaddressed issues. He brought it up to me that everything is not ok on his end with me. He mentioned something about me not wearing his ring and I said I was not going to until he apologized. Then he started saying some things about me always laying down the law and him feeling like a whipped puppy and I’m holding the newspaper. That is not the case. But I do feel like I need to have the upper hand because I am afraid of him controlling me.

I am still afraid of him abusing me. I am still afraid that I will become comfortable with him and that he will start the verbal abuse again or I will just get used to it again as soon as I let down my guard.

I believe that I love him. I know that I care about him. I want to work on our marriage. I didn’t know that having a love relationship and a partner would be such an emotionally treacherous journey. I wonder if it would be like this if I were with someone else.

I want to keep confronting the things in my life that I feel are bothering me or stopping me in my growth. I kind of hold back at group therapy when he is there. I feel afraid to address the things about him because I don’t really know how to address them. I can only bring things up that I am aware of. There are probably so many things within myself that I am unaware of.

Like this issue with my daughter. She has been acting difficult and angry and I feel alone in my parenting. He doesn’t see that part it just seems like he relishes in the fact that she is angry at me maybe because he identifies with it. I wonder if I should even say anything. What is going to happen is I am going to shut down to him again and look for a way out. That’s what I always do when I feel trapped and cornered. I don’t want to keep on doing that. I want to settle down and be happy.

Why do I even entertain the thought of going to lunch with this other man? Am I still not happy in my marriage that I would look at that? I guess I don’t trust that my marriage or my relationship with him will really pan out. It never has and I don’t have anything to go off of except the fact that he is going to counseling and seems to be trying. I don’t even feel like going out to dance and drink and put myself out there. I feel like curling into a comfortable ball and just being me.

I guess I need to address the issue of me cheating with him. I don’t know why I did that. I guess if I keep asking ‘why’ I will keep on defending my position. Maybe if I just tell him he will just hate me and get away from me. I did it for the same reasons I have always done it – trade sex for a feeling of love. I always equated it with love, just to have those moments of feeling like I am the center of someone’s world and I am important to them, so important that everything stops – time, appointments, distractions, whatever. But then it ends and life goes on.

I still need God. I need Him in my soul. I feel like I am rushing to get some type of answer by going to church. Maybe I should go to church somewhere else so I can go on this journey alone.


I am afraid to admit the cheating, especially the recent episode. I am more afraid of what my daughters would think of me. They would probably hate me and for what. I have so much to lose. Do I want an open and honest relationship with him? Not really. He takes advantage of that. He uses it against me. I don’t know if I want that with anyone right now. I need to work on what is going on with me and continue in my journey.

Monday, June 19, 2017

How did I become a co-dependent?

I have asked myself this question time and time again. How did I become a codependent? I believe that the biggest contributor to me becoming a codependent was denial. I never admitted that anything was wrong. I denied my feelings that there was anything that was not right. I denied that reality was just that, reality, and I kept telling myself that things were not wrong and I was just perceiving them as wrong. I know that this sounds crazy.

I never had the opportunity to develop my self esteem. I was always looking for everyone's approval. I continued to give and give and give, thinking that eventually I would be given approval of what a great job I had done. A codependent is use to having to work for their attention.

A narcissist is just the opposite. They create a false image of theirselves, just like the codependent does, but this person desperately need the attention and affection of others. They need that supply to maintain their self esteem. When they have received their supply of attention, they become the monster.

The narcissist creates anxiety. Their moods can swing one way or another in just a moments notice. They can go into a rage without warning and take it out on those around them that love them most. People around the narcissist are use to walking on egg shells. Because the codependent has made it a habit to deny their feelings and suppress them, they do not run from the urge they have to run.

This was just one step in being a codependent. There were many more steps involved as well.

Her Eyes

I saw it in her eyes
She had no more will to live
It seems it always ends this way
when you give more than you have to give

If there was just some way
that I could reach them all
I want so much to help
How can I hear their call?

She tried to tell just how things were
She showed it through her eyes
Now her hell on earth is over
to never see brighter days.

I wrote this in January of 1986.

There are so many people out there that are fighting the same battle today that I fought for so many years. I remember days that were so dark that all I wanted was to die because it hurt so much. Then there were the good days that followed after the painful days. Where things were wonderful and peaceful. He would give me gifts and treat me like a new bride. Then life would happen. The bills would come due with not enough to pay them. Kids would need things and we would have to choose between this or that. Eventually the pressure got more difficult to bear and the cycle would start again. Each cycle increases with intensity as the cycle phases grow closer together.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Impossible Choices

There are times that there are no win situations and living like this only gets worse as time goes on. At first he was just demanding more time. When I was taking care of our five kids, I was often overwhelmed because I didn't have any help. I asked for help with them and he would start shouting orders to the kids to do things. Often the chores he assigned were not age appropriate, like telling a two year old to take the kitchen trash outside when the bag was as big as the two year old and the dumpster is out back in the alley. It is no wonder there was a trail of trash all the way to the dumpster. I need the help of their father, not a drill sergeant shouting orders.

Eventually we became alienated from our family and friends. We didn't have people over to our house when he was home because we didn't know what might happen. We didn't visit the family either.

At first I thought that he loved me and he just wanted to spend time with me. He often threatened to leave only to unpack his bag as he lectured on how I made him so angry and that he only knew how to deal with me through his anger. I know that he didn't want to leave and as I said, I really thought he loved me. But later I discovered that it wasn't because he loved me that he was not wanting to leave, but he didn't want to leave because he didn't want to feel abandoned. He needed me there to do things for him and give him attention.

When the kids did something wrong and he got involved, he would discipline them. If I interfered because he was going overboard, he would then tell me that I had to choose between him and the kid. I couldn't have both as long as there was a kid in the house that would not obey him. What parent asks another parent to choose between them and their kids? This is a no win situation. If I choose him, although it would temporarily diffuse the situation but then he would hold that against me. What kind of mother would choose someone over their kids? He would lose respect for me.

He wanted control but when I gave him control, he lost respect. If I tried to take control, then he would find faults with the things that I did and demean the things I did.

He wanted me to choose him, and if I did, it was never enough.  If I didn't, then it was an unpardonable sin and he would berate me, calling me all sorts of names.

Relationships are full of compromises, but never should it be one sided with one partner calling all the shots and the other taking orders. When faced with impossible choices, it may be time to reassess the situation. Impossible choices will always be a no win situation.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

He can't love me the way I want to be loved

I was recently talking to a friend who divorced her husband. She and her ex-husband are very good friends which was a foreign concept to me. I had always thought that when I was married to my husband, he was better to other people than he was to his family, so it would be much better to be his friend rather than be his wife. So little did I know. I learned that as difficult as it was being his wife, it was much more difficult trying to leave him.

I didn't realize that he didn't love me until I was talking to this friend. She told me that she felt that her husband didn't feel about her the way she felt about him. He was her everything, her mate for life. Obviously to her, she was not that to him. How did she know that? How could I have known that he didn't love me?

You can see that he doesn't love you if he treats you much worse than he treats others that he is just an acquaintance. An example of this would be when my son came to me and said that his dad would not talk like that if someone else was here. How could my ten year old son see that before I did?

Another way to know that he doesn't love you is when they are not there for you when you need them the most. An example of this would be when our youngest son was hospitalized. The day of surgery, he went to work. I was a breast feeding mother and needed help holding this child since he had to fast from midnight the night before. He cried because he was hungry and my milk would fall. I needed my son's father to help. Where was he? He was at work.

What about when your birthday comes and your spouse goes shopping all day long to buy himself clothes, gadgets and then at the end of the day get you a stationary set with day planner stating that now you can get more done during the day with the planner. What person spends the birthday of their professed love of their life buying for their own pleasure and waits till the end of the day to find a gift on sale and then present them the gift in the store and say, "See honey, I was thinking of your birthday all day long. This is what I am going to get you."

I guess I should have thought something was wrong before we walked down the aisle to matrimony, but then again, I was just a dumb teenager thinking that love cures everything. Just before that fateful day was April Fool's day. The night before we were in a disagreement. It was my mother's birthday and we had spent some time with my mom and brother. He was obviously not wanting to be there and a big fight evolved from a simple misunderstood statement. We were up very late and I had finally gone home to bed. He calls before six the next morning and tells me that he wants to call off the wedding. This was hard for me to understand as I was still half asleep and not comprehending exactly what he was saying. By the time I caught on, he had told me that it was an April Fool's day joke.

If you and your person that you are married to or considering marrying have a complete difference of values, think twice before jumping into that relationship. Try to be on the same plane of understanding.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Polyamorous

Ok, I have heard the term before but I had never really thought about it. I was from a very fundamentalist church that preached monogamous relationships. I knew people of the sixties were into those types of relationships, but I didn't know of any popularity in the present day.

I looked it up to find the definition and found that it means someone who is in a physical and intimate relationship with more than one person. During this time that my spouse was trying to talk me into this, he stated that people sleep with people outside of their marriage all the time and we call it cheating. Being polyamorous just means that you are not considered cheaters anymore, but you are being in committed relationships. He told me that he loved me and that he wanted to share that love with others. He went on to let me know that this new friend of his has so enlightened him to this way of life and he was so excited to find someone just like him.

I talked to my doctor when I went in for a check up. I had become very angry, which was not my normal mental state. I tended to be a quiet person that was more laid back and rolled with the punches. I thought maybe I was going through menopause or at least starting to experience it. He asked me a question. "Did he deserve it?" which threw me off. "Did he deserve it. I am not here to discuss my husband. I am here to fix me." was my reply. I knew I can't fix others; but if I need fixing, I can fix me.

He continued to prod with other questions until I started to burst out with tears, "See I told you that I have become very emotional. Now I am crying in front of you." I told this man that had been my doctor for 30 years about what was going on at home. I had never told anyone. That was the rule. What happens inside, stays inside.

He told me that there was a very small percentage of the population that is reported to live this lifestyle now and that I did not have to accept it. He suggested that unless I was a willing partner, then it was time for me to leave.

I found a counsellor during this time who was actually polyamorous. I didn't seek to find a counsellor who practiced this lifestyle, it just happened to work out this way. I think that I was referred to her because of my situation and that I was trying to figure things out. I still had not left the man that was insisting on this lifestyle.

The counsellor told me that she believed that this had to be something that everyone wanted to be able to be a successful relationship. She felt that if I could not accept this, then I should not be forced into it. She went on to say that people that are truly in this type of relationship would probably say the same thing. Polyamorous should not be forced on anyone.

I began to question myself. I am married to a man that would let me sleep with anyone that I wanted to without fear of being left or called a cheater, then why was I so unhappy?

I knew that I wanted a committed relationship and I thought that I had this commitment because we had five kids together. I wanted to love one man and to be loved by one man. A certain woman in this polyamorous life told me that she got into it because her wife was cheating on her and she wanted to stay committed to the marriage and knew that her wife would not stop cheating. She said she had to make a choice, stay with her wife and love her through all of her faults. She told me that she had to realize that she would never meet all the needs of her wife and she had to deal with that. I have now come to the point that I feel sorry for this woman that was pressured into this lifestyle. She has no respect for herself to demand what she really wants.

Don't blame yourself

When I first split from my spouse, it was nothing that I would have expected. I remember thinking many times that when I left, it would be hard, but nothing I had been through had prepared me for what actually happened.

I had not expected the attack that I got when I left with the kids. Through most of our 36 year relationship, I had often thought that if I ever left him that I would not have any financial help from him, but I did not expect the attack that I ended up getting. He tried to control what I did with money and the car. I didn't answer the phone fast enough so he threatened to take the car. I told a close friend who helped me to leave and he attacked her. How could she put her nose where it doesn't belong. He knew that I had been with him and knew him better than anyone else. I held many secrets that he did not want out and for this reason, and this reason alone, he tried to control me. He could control me when we were living together, but when I was no longer under his thumb, he had to find something to control me.

I asked him when we split up to tell me what I had done wrong.

I read a comment in a conversation he had with his girlfriend on Facebook:

GF: Did you hear from Juli anymore?
Husband: Constantly. It's like we're married or something. She wanted to know if I still loved her.

I remember this day. He was venting to her about how bad I was. I took this hard because I believe I tried very hard to keep our relationship together. I had always prayed that there would be a day when he would come to me and tell me how much he appreciated everything I had done for him. That day never came. I spent our marriage trying to keep him happy, and he never appreciated it and only wanted more. When he told me that he wanted to have a physical relationship with this married woman, he told me that I had given him everything he wanted and now why couldn't I give him this. Just because they were sleeping together, that didn't mean that he wanted a divorce.

The comment that he made about 'it's like we're married or something.' really bothered me too. We were still married and no one had filed for divorce at this point. I just couldn't understand and blamed myself for all of this.

I probably owe this woman a thank you though. If she had not been a sounding board for him, we may have stayed together.  I read her comments to him and I know that she feels that I was wrong and that is ok.

"You know I never wanted it to be like this."

"I didn't want any of this for you but the more in love with you I've fallen, the harder it was to walk away and the harder it has become to just sit back and watch you suffer in this toxic relationship."

I blamed myself too for a very long time. Sometimes I still do. I relive the different things we have done and the things I have said. I keep thinking that I could have made things better, but I seriously doubt that anything I could have done would have changed a thing. I may not have been perfect, but I was not to blame as the one who was toxic. Keep that in mind when you think of your own life and remember: Don't blame yourself.