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.