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She's going back, he's abusive, I'm lost. What do *I* do? (Page 1)

Woman I've known MANY years - 15 plus. Had a crush on her forever, while we were distant she kicked him out, I found out months later. Unhappy in my relationship, I ended it and began seeing her. Both of us happy, she seemed to have gotten away from him. She has 4 kids, 2 from a first marriage, 2 with this man. She is far along in divorce proceedings but considering putting them on hold. Spent some time in family counseling for boys, he has been trying to win her back all along. We had plans to move in with one another in the future, we had discussed marriage down the line. I felt something was off, tried to get through, now I know - she still has feelings for him, thinks he has "changed", and while she still feels some love for me wants to work on this with him. For the last year we've been inseparable, I'm now told I was smothering. I do love this woman, I am this guys polar opposite - I want an equal partner with a voice and have tried to demonstrate as much. We've usually gotten along well, never had an angry fight. She asked to be "friends" and says he's okay with it - I have said no. I have tried hard not to lash out, it's very hard. She is going to continue to counsel with him. We both have read" Why does he Do That: Inside the Minds of Angry Men". I gained insight as did she - it fit him like a glove and she highlighted nearly every page!

Her boys are out of control, they do not respect her (7 YRO), they obey him. He has been mentally abusive to her for years - demeaning, angry, ruins family times with outbursts, addicted to porn, the works. He has physically abused the children, boys and girls and the state was notified about some of it - none sexual in nature. His bedroom encounters with her have been demeaning as well and often not satisfying. I suspect that because he can control "his" boys she is more willing to go back, it's the easier path of less resistance. We were making progress with the children I thought, I love them too, losing them hurts me nearly as badly as losing her - I never got to say goodbye. I do not believe he can change, I feel she is going to get hurt again, I cannot watch the train wreck but I won't be so far that she cannot reach me. I am trying hard to not enable this behavior but it's pretty tough.

I know that one's heart cannot be controlled or accounted for. I know that she feels love for me even if it's diminished now and I recognize that she has love for him. However I cannot fathom how she has gone back, it cuts me to the core that she is willing to trust him and throw our relationship away so readily.

I do not know how best to proceed, I am losing my best friend and my lover. Not lashing out in pain is nearly impossible. I'd appreciate some insight as to what she must be thinking. Woman who have survived this I'd like to know what I can do to reach her. I realize that she must get this out of her system, that she must go through it. I just do not know what *I* can do if anything. Does this EVER work out? Could he really have changed? Lundy pretty much says no way in nearly that many words. She even said that she might not speak out if she became miserable again, I guess this is just so very draining. I think she feels she is unworthy of happiness.

I have experienced alcoholism, my mother died from it. I understand co-dependency and likely this fits me some. I know that I have a reflex to try and save others. This is a woman that I care the world for though, I am willing to make sacrifices for her that I wouldn't any other. I am seeing a counselor as well, I'd see one with her but I doubt she will involve me.

I'm rudderless, any thoughts would be helpful.
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replied May 25th, 2009
hello
I am that woman. I have a man like you also. I am not married. I was engaged to a man I've been with for 6 yrs whom is emotionally and psychologically abusive/neglectful. I do not have children. I left him last summer, met this new man whom adores me to no end. You are him. And here is all i can tell you given my experience. Everytime I cut ties with him with no explanations, I wasn't thinking about him. I was thinking about me. I believed my fiance could change. The answer is NO. They do not and will not and cannot change. It's control for him. Its all about having her, not loving her. That is my situation also and i know it but I want to believe so I stay. Recently though I have started building the strength to leave and I have once again called my new guy (u) for support and understanding. Is that fair? Probably not but I am so confused and not in the right state of mind due to the relationship. I did have deep feelings and connection but what you have to understand is that an abuser robs you of all your self esteem, they take your confidence, they beat you down and convince you in your head you are crazy or not good enough and cannot possibly survive this life without them by your side. You believe he is right. They turn you against everyone in this world and manipulate/control you. When your with a man for this long, your fear controls your life. Regardless of what anyone says to you (family...friends...lovers...people who actually care), (read my story if you have time, its posted) I also accused my guy of being smothering...its because he is healthy and he knows how to love and I've been in such an unhealthy relationship for so long I dont know what that is suppose to feel like. I don't know how to do it and its scary and new and out of my comfort zone. i will leave one day, that day will be when I stop believing he is going to change. that is the day i will leave and that will happen only by watching him stay the same. everyone is different and has their own limit. i hit mine once and left than i got sucked right back in. move on with your life and if your love is pure and true when she hits her limit, she will be back. dont sit around and waste your life though cuz her limit may be next week or in 10 years. everyone is different.
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replied May 25th, 2009
Thank you!
What you have said makes a great deal of sense and I believe matches much of what I am witnessing. My heart breaks for you as it does my friend. Her actions seem to make so little sense right now but I'm not in her head. She once told me that everything she loves gets taken away from her yet she has pushed me away instead. I can understand that she must go through this and see if he has really changed, I do not believe it is possible. He is at least getting counseling but it's for "anger management" which I do not believe is the true root issue. So far as I know the only time and place that he loses his temper is with her and her kids which speaks volumes.

Most of all I want her to know that I do love her, that I will wait, that she does have a healthier alternative path - as you do. I have tried to tell her that I respect her, that she is my equal, and that I want her as a partner not a submissive but I am not sure she believes in herself enough to accept it. She is weak with the children, her boys in particular have learned from their father and act out when they are told NO. I believe that she is doing this in large part because he can control them and will bring stability to that part of her life - until he loses it and hurts them again. What then?

Presently I have no desire to move on. I have spoken with friends who have also gone through things like this, they believe it will be a matter of months before he's back to the way it was. She says she is going to be careful and they have therapist support so it might take longer. Is cutting my ties with her completely the right thing to do? If I am her friend through this I feel I'm enabling the behavior and ripping my own heart out. How can I make sure she knows I still care for her, that I am not so hurt that I hate her? I want her to know I understand she must do this, that I don't support her decision, and that when she comes to her senses I will not hold it against her. I can forgive her as I hope your friend can forgive you. I want to have a healthy relationship with her but I don't know how right now.

I'd like VERY much to read your story, I'd like to understand. Understanding this and knowing it's not something I've done helps.

Thank you for sharing, you have given me some measure of assurance and hope that all is not lost.
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replied May 25th, 2009
Sweethome - u still there?
Talk to me please, encourage me. I am trying so very very hard to be strong but it's tough. Thankfully I work tomorrow and will be surrounded by friends but this weekend has been one of the darkest in my memory. I have been reading various books, none paint a rosy picture for her. I believe that time is the hardest part here - I am pretty sure that with enough time he will screw it up but I find that trying to wait for that is nearly impossible. Certainly she needs to go through this and I am trying to resign myself to that but surely there's no way i will do this a second time if asked. She had expressed feelings for him in the past earlier on, it seemed she had gotten past it because he acted like a jerk. Now he has learned not to do that and is being smooth, a "Disney Dad" to the kids. Should I resign myself to her being beyond saving? I've known her forever and had feelings for her all along, I cannot help but feel that she can break this cycle. We were working on making a life together, I feel abandoned now. A month ago we were talking about where to place my furniture and now she's going to go back to giving him a chance. I should feel angry I suppose but mostly I'm disappointed and confused. I feel like my thrashing around is just making it worse but I do not know what else to do. Rudderless indeed....
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replied May 26th, 2009
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my mom married my dad and stayed with him for 22 years, they had 4 kids, she left and came back to him, he broke her bones, he was physically and mentally abusive to us all.

that gave me and my 3 siblings a tramatic childhood, adulthood, it even effect our relationships, how we raise our kids. my brother is abusing his daughter and she inturn is sleeping with a lot of guys to mask that pain.no one is speaking to each other, there's so much pain and anger, 1/2 of us dont know how to love or be compassionate.
you ex sounds like she went through some things my mom went through.

my abusive dad would charm her when she left him, then when she got in the house called her an idiot and he wanted her to pay the pills, and take care of the kids. she repeated this over and over. would leave and go back to him when he cried and say he changed.
i m sorry she left, my concerns is about her kids, like my mom she never knew staying with my dad would effect our whole lives. she regret it afterwards, but damage done. 1/2 of us dont even have respect for my mom to put us through that. and my brother isnt speaking to her at all, he took it hard, i think he really loved my mom and he was hurt by it all.

your friend probably think its better to go back with him b/c of the kids. but wait 10-15 years from now. i pray that they dont have to go through what i had endured.
you cant do anything, but maybe be her friend. i sure that would be hard. but if she leaves him one year later, wouldnt you be scared that she will go back?
if you stay her friend and he messes up, she would feel like she have a place to go. meaning you could be the reason that she leave him when he messes up, as appose to her not having anyone at all.
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replied May 26th, 2009
I cannot go back to "friends"
This woman was my lover for nearly a year, someone I was interested in for far longer. I felt like our relationship was healthy. I was supportive of her and I don't think I tore her down. Being her "friend" would mean that I would have to support her while she endures whatever he dishes out, she might even stay longer if she thought that somehow she was supported by her friends.

Should she get to the point that she wants out she DOES have a place to go. I WILL take her back. Will I be concerned that she will go back again? Yeah, I will have some concerns. However I think if she comes back I will insist on some couples therapy and make sure that she gets some real help. If she does indeed go back a second time that's it - I'll walk far and fast.

I understand that it's not possible to control one's feelings. I can understand that as father of two of her children this woman wants her "family" to be together. That he is able to control the two boys who are most ornery makes her life easier too. However it's pretty clear to me that they are picking up his habits and when he wasn't there it was they who were throwing things and acting out. Even her daughters seem to be less respectful than they should be and who can blame them?

I think that this is all something that can be fixed. When things ended between her and I the boys had made a little progress and at least had some respect for me - respect not borne from fear. I'm just not sure what happened to end things. I think he has been working on her and that maybe she just got tired. She hasn't just let him back in near as I can tell but I have little doubt he is going to say all the right things and do all the things he needs to in order to get back in. Once he's there pushing him back out will be tough. I do not think one of her daughters will stand for it either and I wouldn't blame her if she left to live with her father.

I guess I just don't understand why she would risk bringing someone around who had been physical with the children and so angry with her. I was respectful and while not perfect I sure as heck didn't have to attend classes to know how not to treat her or her kids! This isn't a stupid woman and so far as I know she wasn't abused herself. She may not have had the most loving of families but I don't think there was anger.

I'm still feeling pretty lost today. I did send her an email but it wasn't nasty, I've not heard back. I think she is just plugging her ears to anything I may have to say - I need to stop talking. <sigh>

I want to make it through this week. If I can make it through this week then maybe one more week, then a month. If I can go a month I can go three. If I make three and things still suck I might make six. After six months I do not know what I will do, a year seems like an awful long ways away...
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replied May 30th, 2009
She and I had a long talk. My absence from her life was apparently as hard on her as it was on me albeit short. she DOES still love me, she admits it freely. However she does have feelings for him still. I have explained to her all the things I've researched and read, her eyes are wide open. She knows the risks but is confident that if he hasn't really changed that she can take care of it. I fear it will have to be something pretty bad though for her to no longer believe that he is going to get better. I'd ask her about it but I know it wouldn't help. Her daughter is very upset that he's around, I don't know how she will solve that. I have told her I'm waiting for her although she's not asked me to. I know it could be a month, 3 months, 6 months, or even longer. I cannot understand how she is comfortable always having to look over her shoulder wondering when he is going to explode or why she would take this chance. I guess I am nearly as bad being willing to go through this with her.

I am currently joining a dating site to try and find people to get out of the house with. The more alone time I have the worse it is. I need the weeks to fly by not crawl and weekends are the worst - I suddenly cherish work!

I do not know what the ending of this story will be. I fear that she will get beaten this time and still go back for more. It breaks my heart to have thoughts about my friend wondering if she is just too damaged or broken to salvage. Wondering if even she and I could have anything healthy after she's been through this meat grinder. I feel I need to break contact with her but know if I do it will hurt her badly too. I'm pretty twisted up inside, I can only hope that he doesn't break his previous record of 4 months sans abuse. I cannot help but wonder why I am not good enough for her, good enough to break her out of this cycle. Why is she so addicted to him and why couldn't she show that sort of dedication to OUR relationship when we had it?
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replied May 30th, 2009
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i feel sorry for her! some say they change but most of them dont.
my mom gave her 2nd verbally abusive husband 7 chances & therapy, & it didnt work. he was set in his ways.

my physically & mentally dad would cry for her back, and retreated to abuse when my mom got comfortable.

i m very much concerned about her children.
i guess she has to find out for herself. i don't mean to be negative about her husband changing.

the last question you asked, answer is, she has history with him, and maybe it is that what she is holding on to.
good luck
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replied May 30th, 2009
She does indeed have a history, I think she just wants to get it worked out for her kids. I don't think that she realizes that she may be hurting them, that they are learning his behavior, and that one of them will not stand to have him around. She has told her daughter that this time it will be different, he's STARTED anger management counseling, I think they will do couples as well. I have zero faith in this guy and am trying to hold my tongue so as not to harden her resolve or force her to defend him. I know that if he makes it as far as the bedroom that his true self will come out. I am not insanely jealous of that but I've witnessed the emotional damage he caused there firsthand. I am praying that if she sees it again she will remember how different it was for me and that I never told her she was "too much work". If I could hate this man it would probably not be for having hit the children but for the mental damage he did to her in the bedroom. No one should be made to feel so defective!

My fingers are crossed that this is the last time. I know that after we spoke she had doubts but that I also ended up lecturing her which wasn't my intent. I cannot change her thinking, I cannot control her feelings, all I can really do is offer her something better and swallow my pride knowing that I could be her second pick and not her first choice. If she comes back we will have much to work on, meanwhile I am trying to get myself together better to pass the time. We used to be a family, my home was her's and my apartment homebase, now I'm on the outside looking in and it sux!
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replied May 30th, 2009
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lecturing is okay, it shows that you care. i would lecture anyone i know if they made the same choice.

i was just thinking about when i was with my mentally abusive ex of 5 years. i wish someone hurt my feelings and yelled to truth in my face. i was in la la land. until i fell out of love with him, that's when i let him go. and at that time it wasnt anything he couldve done or said.
just like R.Kelly song goes when a women is fed up it aint nothing you can do about it. so she has to get fed up with him.
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replied May 30th, 2009
Well, when she had him out of the house and we began talking after a dry spell I thought that things were "safe". It was a pretty big shock to me to see her go from almost hating him to allowing him back in! Where did the anger go?! She used to get so upset when he would try to paw her physically, but the anger is gone now. I swear I think it was some of the counseling, once she and he went to a session or two in order to work on the kids she was suddenly putty and I was "smothering".

I won't yell at her, I've certainly lectured her enough. She sees this scenario in books and thinks that in her case it will be different. My biggest fear is that I will be unable to stand waiting, that I will thrash around and push her away. I am limiting contact, I am trying to no longer tell her that I feel she is making a mistake, I am hoping that time will solve this for me. But time is moving glacially in my world. I no longer have my companion and I have NO family at all now. I am leaning on friends but THEY have families and lives of their own. I have to travel most of July, my goal is to MAKE it to July and then be so consumed with work that time will pass. End of August is my end goal, make it to end of August intact and still talking to her. I hope that in that time she will let him in and he will make mistakes. I hope that she is as strong as she says she is when he does make a mistake and that the door will hit him HARD on the way out. When that day happens I will try to be there but I'm going to be awful wary. This has been one of the most painful things to go through, I will NOT do it more than once.
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replied May 30th, 2009
Sorry, I have been absent. I am still here.
I am still here. Funny enough, last week has been a little dramatic but might be able to answer some of your questions as my story has played out. My fiance and I have split. He has wiped me out and left. I changed the locks, flew my mom here and am okay for the time being. I am going to make the break this time, it only took 2 months and he was right back to the same things and behaviors as he was before and I really believed the therapy and the engagement were going to change everything. PEOPLE DO NOT CHANGE. That has been beat in my head this past few days. But of course, to stop the pain I wan to call my guy. I cant do that and I can't do it for multiple reasons but it would be the most selfish possible thing I can do. You have to think about yourself in your situation. Do you ever feel she is using you? Cuz I feel even though he loves me and I know that he is there that there is a part of me that would be very selfish right now and I would question if I was using him or not. I do not want to but sometimes it happens.
To answer or rather comment on another one of your statements about wasting your time etc. I think that she does love you but right now she does not have the same definition of love is. Her definition is only through her experiences so her degree of love or ability may be different than yours, yours was formed from your experiences and you havent had the same ones. She has learned behavior that this man loves her and being treated bad is all that she deserves in life. She does not want healthy love because she doesnt know healthy love or how to do it or how to feel it or even to be comfortable so with that I say baby steps. But first you have to sit back and wait for dumb*** to mess up, and I guarantee you he will. Its just a matter of when. Everybody kept telling me I would do it when I was ready. I got ready. It took FOREVER and I am still not recovered but I am out. And I havent called my guy yet bcuz its not fair to him. I have to heal on my own. I have to get bettter on my own and then I do plan on giving him a call and we'll see how this all plays out but for now, he just can't be the one for me to lean on. And he resents that alot. but I will not allow it. I just reread the whole post and replies and I dont agree with the lecturing. That is not the answer unless you want to push her further and further away. Be there for her when she needs you to be and sit back. You have to go on with your life, keep busy. The time will come. Its been a year for me and my guy asked me ALL the same questions. Its an addiction though. You have to get to the point where you know that this person can no longer control your mind. I had a master manipulator in my fiance and if he wanted to he could have convinced me the sky was purple. I am a Master's educated outgoing attractive woman. I am what all my friends say the strongest person they've ever met. I got f***ed and it took me 6 years to see it all. Its very hard for a strong woman to admit they got dupped, they were weak .. off their game and are not a victim. They were made a victim without even knowing it. Thats rough. The other really rough part is there is no fist in the face. If he just would have punched me or beat me, than I would clearly know that he was abusing me and it wasn't right but he didn't. He manipulated and used mind control and psychological warfare. If you get time read or check out Beverly Engel's book The Emotionally Abusive Relationship. Its the reality. I wouldn't feel bad for her though, she doesn't need your sympathy, my guess would be she is a very intelligent woman which makes it even harder to admit defeat, which is how we women like this end up this way. I could not fail. I had to change him. I had to get my happy ending. I had to prove everyone wrong, that this man loved me enough to change. He didn't and neither will hers. That I know for sure. But she could read every book you could say every word she could see 5 different therapists (I only needed 3 lol) and it wont matter. She has to wake up one day and say I HAVE HAD ENOUGH. and then the process of healing and then the possability of another relationship..very very slowly. Not alot of men I know have this kind of patience. I know mine does but I also know I want to get better no matter how long that takes bcuz if I am broken, my next relationship wont thrive either. Once she leaves, she is still going to need time.
Dont put so much focus on her, LIVE YOUR LIFE. She will come around, until then you need to LIVE!! Enjoy your summer.. go out meet people... have fun. Take up a hobby. You may not get a tomorrow and your wasting all of your todays waiting for tomorrow...LIVE YOUR LIFE man. LIVE. thats all I got tonite.
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replied May 30th, 2009
And never consider yourself 2nd pick. Ever. This is not a competition. It is not a game and it is not about you being better or him being better etc. What it is about is that you have to be supportive for her and once she feels comfortable in her own skin, and has her own confidence back, she will be capable of making good judgements. This may take a very very long time though. You have to realize that. It's not the history (baggage) either. Its the fear and its the hope. Hope that he could love her enough to change. And fear of the pain when it comes to leave. You can' grow with out the pain. Its like a heroin addict and he is the drug. Even tho he is not good for her, she clings. Because when its good, its good. Its an addiction. Its weird I know but its true. Than she leaves and the pain starts and she gets scared of feeling the pain so for the short term she goes back and tries yet again. Not realizing that the answer is to feel that pain, go through the process and then ..only then will she ever find that happiness and contentment that she is so desperately lacking. I dont know this for sure, this is just what people tell me and I want to believe they are right because even as I sit here and type this I am praying that my fiance just knocks on the door and comes back. But just like a heroin addict, you have to go through withdrawals. Anyhow, Im totally babbling now. Ask me anything, Im an open book these days. I was abused and I know it. Thats the first step. Oh and it hurts like hell to leave.
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replied May 31st, 2009
Thank you so very much for posting back. As I type this I have just been texting her. Keeping it light, asking about her day, she went to a carnival with the boys, had fun blah blah. We chatted till a little late when she said goodnight. I'm pretty sure he is spending the night. I fear for her. The possible sex doesn't bother me, it's physical. What he may do to her mind though, that keeps me up at night. He makes her feel defective, not worthy, he demeans her. I learned all of this when she and I were together and I tried very hard to help her get past it and I think we did well. It may not happen tonight but it will happen that he will let loose. His jealousy of me will come out, he will punish her, she will suffer. I doubt it will happen at first, she's too strong. But once she is comfortable that he's better, once he thinks I am not around - or maybe he knows I'm around and gets so jealous he cannot stand it - he will be nasty.

I cannot help but feel second best. I have attempted to offer her something healthy, to tell her she is my partner and equal, and yet she chooses to go back to him while still professing love to me. I hear how you say she doesn't feel worthy of real love and I know that she does feel that way inside. I have tried to reinforce her self worth but I feel like I must have failed. She claims I smothered her, I cannot help but feel I could have done better.

I truly hope that this is the last time. That she turns to me and her other friends who are waiting with open arms to catch her.

I know from my reading, my research, even my observations that the children are being damaged and that her boys will likely grow to be just like him - as he grew to be just like his father. Her mother in law is thrilled she is "back", the father in law less so. I understand why - her strength is a threat as his wife would LOVE to leave him too! I love those kids too now, their minds must be spinning wondering what's going on. I am sure he has spoken to them and said more than he should, I hope that they do not forget me - the older two girls certainly will not.

Of course I should get on with my life. Sadly the last year of my life has been dedicated to her and our family, now lost. My attempts to be there apparently just made things sour. Now I have to play the light hearted guy who's "okay" with the crap going on, hurts is an understatement! But I cannot keep telling her to leave, cannot keep telling her how I feel, it will only frustrate her and harden her resolve to make it work. I have joined a dating site but I just cannot find myself able to pursue any of the women it presents me. I feel like it would be unfair, indecent, to waste their time when truly my heart is elsewhere.

The weekends are the worst, time drags slowly forward. Weekdays I can spend buried in work surrounded by friends and supportive coworkers. Weekends though I am mostly alone as my friends spend time with their families. Come July I will be traveling a great deal on into August. I hope that June passes quickly, I'll be marking time via the agonizing weekends. My fingers are crossed that she reads the books, that he doesn't find them, and that maybe something reaches her. I've sent her Patricia Evans phone number, she spoke to me briefly and it was helpful. I cannot force her to do anything, nor would I, but sometimes feeling like the solution is SO close if she would just DO something really hurts. I have never in my life felt so powerless, it's agony. I do not know how long I can watch this especially in slow motion as time plods forward. I hope that when over she can still love me, to go through hell only to find ashes at the end would kill me. The kids need help too, the damage to them will take forever to heal I fear.

You've said to ask you anything. Honestly I'm not sure where to begin. You're obviously not stupid, you express yourself well and recognized your situation. How could someone take your sense of self worth from you? I know that no physical contact makes recognizing the abuse harder but this man has hit her children and it caused her to get him out - only to return! You have a friend waiting for you but are not calling, have you at least let him know you are on the mend? That the call will come? Does it help or hurt to be in contact with him, should I continue my close contact? Will something more healthy be missing something for you, will you crave being controlled? If you're guy is anything like me, reach out, his heart would appreciate it. 6 years for you is a long time, I think this has been going on even longer with her. At what point is all hope lost?

I'm exhausted now, not eaten much, and I'm likely going to drink in order to sleep which concerns me but pills haven't helped. My weight is free falling and for once when I goto work I'm wide awake all day despite lack of sleep - the stress level is through the roof. I know this isn't healthy but for now at least I cannot relax. I've begun reading the anchor book, ceased reading others as they all say the same thing and raises my stress level further. I wish there was some sort of support group available, real people who I could speak to face to face but all resources seem geared towards victims stepping forward and not any of the collateral damage.

I wish you the best of luck. I hope that you realize that going back would likely end with things escalating further as he took greater possession. Please be careful, lean on your friends, pour your heart out to them. Talking about it makes it more real, at least you can stand up and state you were abused. My gal cannot do that and seems to get angry about it. I do not know why, it's not her fault, she is blameless, yet I think she feels shame. Do not feel that, know you are NOT alone. Pray for me, pray for her, pray for yourself. I've never been a religious man but I am so close to throwing myself on the steps of a church in hopes of a miracle it's not even funny but I cannot imagine a God who could be so cruel as to do this to us.

Thanks for listening, I know I sound truly pathetic and co-dependent. But I was honestly happy just a few short weeks ago, had plans made, and everything I have has been taken from me. Short of something really bad happening to her I do not think it could get any worse. Gutted is an understatement. I hope that he doesn't last longer than I...
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replied May 31st, 2009
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What hobbies do you have? Any outside interest? The best thing you can do is tell your friend that you will be there if she needs you but at some point you need to decide to get off the train.
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replied May 31st, 2009
I completely understand what you are saying. Without a doubt. My situation, I have told my guy that my fiance has moved out and my mom is here with me. He has kept his distance respectfully so and I admire that so much. I want him to live his life. I don't want him to live mine. Mine is not fun and its very painful and its going to take me a long time to get where I need to be to enter into a healthy loving relationship again. Until that time comes, and I don't know when it will, mybe next month maybe 3 years, I don't want him to stop living. I have done this to me. He does not have to pay the price for my mistakes. I talk to him. I know the day will come where I can be the woman I need to be for him but its not today and unfortunately I cannot give him a date to mark on the calendar, so until I can, I want him to live. I think the dating site is a good idea. I dont think all people on there are looking for marriage, you could just use it as a networking tool to meet people in your area, meet new people...find new interests. My guy is very self-confident himself and I truly believe if my day never comes that he will move on and he will find what he is looking for and that is exactly what I want for him unselfishly...because real love is unselfish. I don't want his world to revolve around me, if it did, I am not sure I would ever be able to go to him.
To answer your question about craving control? No that doesnt happen. I don't think anybody actually craves being controlled. Its a helpless imprisonment that does not resemble any meaning of the word "good". It is not something you crave because most of the time you do not even recognize it is happening.
The way that my self worth was taken from me was a very gradual process, it starts really small and then it multiplies in time. You just get beat down and beat down and beat down until you look at yourself in the mirror and dont even recognize what it is you see. I am still really beat down and am still really wanting to be back with him, even though I know its unhealthy and I am not sure why that is. He convinced me that I am nothing without him. I am not sure how he did it exactly step by step but it started when I had fake nails, he said how he likes real nails better, so I grew my nails out. Than he didnt like this..so I changed it. Emotionally he was very distant always cuz that is the way his father was and I took it personal and thought it meant I had to love him more, if I just loved him more, he would love me back. He would finally realize how much I loved him and change. But thats the kicker .. people dont change. Yes they can change minimally, compromise for relationships but your genetic makeup and who you are is pretty set. Than he would play this push pull game with me. Where he would leave and I would beg beg beg for him to come back and he would not answer any calls...etc. So I would feel abandoned and alone. When he would come back I would do everything he wanted so he wouldn't leave again. When in a healthy relationship you don't leave, you sit down like 2 adults and express your feelings and come to a resolution. He turned it around to make it like there was something wrong with me and no matter what I did I would never find another person to love me as much as he did. Which I now kinda (getting there) realize that what he perceives as love, I don't need in my life. Close contact question. For you, I would say No. Only because I think its damaging and it forces her to make some choices. And she has to live with those choices. I guarantee once you start backing off and not calling/texting/emailing/seeing her, less contact that she will reach out for you more. Maybe not in a healthy way but she will because she is constantly doubting her situation and if you remove yourself from the situation, she will be forced to make a choice. It would probably be the hardest thing you would ever have to do but it will tell you exactly where you are at. As for her, no she doesnt want less contact, even if she says she does, why? because why should she? She has her cake and can eat it too. Clique I know but thats really the truth. Youre not making her make any decisions. She has zero consequences for her actions in the relationship between yourself and her. I didnt reach out to my guy for 2 months. And he left me alone that whole 2 months. He has expressed how painful it was for him and I have a lot of guilt but whether it was this or that or whatever, I saw the light. That does not happen for everybody though everyone is different.
As far as support groups, where do you live? They do have support groups that you could sit in on. They have emotionally abusive relationship support groups. I don't know if you realize this or not but what she is doing to you IS a mild form of emotional abuse, you're just letting it happen.
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replied May 31st, 2009
Breck, I used to spend a good bit of time with my dogs. I used to help some with a rescue group but it has folded and right now I couldn't handle a pet. In the past year through various circumstances I and the ex lost 3 dogs - I will not chance that right now. the woman I am interested in and i actually talked about a pet but I said no, that the kids needed more focus. The right move it seems. I used to be into cars and spent a great deal of time working on one. An accident that wasn't my fault destroyed the car and I spent 3 years wrangling with lawyers to get a reasonable settlement. I sat on that settlement a year and, feeling comfortable with the new life, recently bought a NICE car to work on. Less than a week later things had gone to hell and I have no energy to devote to it. She and I had been talking about moving in together, the money I had set aside to possibly buy a house - which she was NOT interested in - went into the car. I've now owned it less than a month and am considering selling it to possibly buy a home instead as this could be a long haul. Other hobbies? Not really - computer games. Something that has me alone in the dark pushing buttons. <sigh> I'm not athletic but thankfully not terribly out of shape. I've bought rollerblades but suspect my progress there will be SLOW as I'm pretty clumsy on them - it looks like fun though. Currently I'm tempted to liquidate the new car, one of my other cars, possibly a third, and maybe even my daily driver which is a solid car. I'd be able to buy a house big enough for her and the kids - enough so they could all have their own bedroom but I might have to get out from under a previous mortgage to do it and lose 17 years worth of equity since prices are in the toilet. I'd be able to rent rooms and have company around if I did that. I'm currently throwing away $1700 a month on rent which seems silly but was supposed to be temporary - and now isn't. I've made no firm decisions, I guess need to speak to a realtor and finance person to figure out where I stand. I make a decent salary, I feel I have much to offer.

I have been reading a book - "how to be an anchor in the storm" although now it's published under a new title. In it they describe a range of behaviors that friends of an abused can display. They range from distancing to rescuer with anchor in the middle. Obviously I fulfill the rescuer role! Reading this book it seems that someone who is rescued is more likely to go back, can you believe it?! It says I need to be more measured and neutral, not to make plans for her, not to shower her with books and information - which I have done. Instead I simply need to be available and ready for when she reaches out to me. I need to create some distance both for her sake and for mine. I honestly am not sure how to do it.

I will try to start today, again. I have already messaged her Good Morning knowing full well he is likely laying next to her or worse on top of her. I will try to ignore the phone for the rest of the day. I already know that distance from me causes her pain too. I won't sulk or be vicious about it but that pain is something she is going to have to get used to some. I will be reachable, I will respond to HER, but I think it is time I stopped giving her attention for "free". I have stated to her before that I couldn't let her have her cake and eat it too - the advantages of my willingness to give with whatever advantage she gets from him. I think this is a healthy path, it is also a path that is steepest and hardest for me right now. Sadly I need her or at least feel I do, that isn't so healthy for me either. I do not know how to solve that, dating others probably won't be the solution. My prospects for women at work are slim I think. I guess I will see what happens but frankly right now I do not see a way out here. I cannot help her through this, she must live it and fail at it. He must repeat his cycle, she must tire of it, and then she and I can maybe build something. If I can have someplace safe for her available or even someplace nice for some other mate it would be good.

As for support groups - I am located in Fairfax Virginia. It's kind of sad but there's a part of me that simply wants to wash my hands of this. To walk away from all of the emotions, turmoil, grief, and short lived happiness. To write her off and the kids too. It's selfish but this is taking away so much of ME that doing so would be like removing a limb to save the body. I do not like tons of therapy as it just churns my soul. I do not mind talking about my feelings - obviously - and had tried to get her to do the same with only limited success. Building something healthy with her might take a lifetime to achieve, finding someone else healthier would surely take less time and effort. But my heart loves her, my soul wishes to help her, I have known her for a large part of my life and walking from that, denying those urges, would force me to lose much of my self I fear. Frankly I see nothing but dark in this tunnel and sadly I find myself hoping that he doesn't take too long and that his explosion is so bright and obvious that no one will be able to deny it - even her. I won't be there to say I told her so but rather to try and patch what's left. I hope I can last that long, I feel like the candle is burning at both ends rapidly. I left a 13 year long-term boring lifeless relationship and my home of 17 years to "take a chance" on this woman I've felt for for so long. There's no going back but looking backwards sure makes me wonder. I wish I'd my eyes more open then, I could have done this better and perhaps have avoided this relapse.

Anyway, it is I now that is rambling and feeling sorry for myself. I can only hope that someday someone will get something from my experiences that's worthwhile. Sweethome I hope you find happiness as anyone who has gone through this tarpit deserves. I hope that you can find the strength to survive this, it would truly be a shame for someone who's so self aware of what's going on to go back. Good Luck to you, please do not be a stranger. I'll continue posting as things progress here, I'm going to need all the help I can get and then some. <sigh>
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replied May 31st, 2009
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Sweetheart I will say this as nicely as possible. Get into therapy. You have a dangerous obsession with her and you need to break all contact period! Right now I do not believe even friendship would be a healthy direction to proceed on. Look at life positively and not so negative. Quite frankly life stinks! But you have to go with the punches. As they say when life hands you lemons, make lemonade. A broken heart is always the last to heal.
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replied May 31st, 2009
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in his defense he did say he is going to communicate with her as little as possible, he's going to try to keep himself busy.

i disagree with you breack08, he's heartbroken and he needs someone to talk to that's why his messages are long. i believe his head is in the right place. everyone doesn't need to see a therapist (i seen one). i think time will heal his broken heart.

he needed to talk, to vent. i can relate to what he's going through and i sympathize with him.
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replied May 31st, 2009
I am seeing a counselor. She feels I need to get a life and I am trying to do that. However breaking contact while she is vulnerable will simply reinforce her feelings of low self worth. It would make her feel abandoned. When I felt I had no choice I DID cut contact completely for a week. I was miserable and as it turns out she too was miserable. She is confused, she hasn't made a solid decision it seems. She is being careful - believe me she isn't a stupid woman at all. She is far more aware than I gave her credit for and I have told her so.

I am reading, I am learning, I am trying to gain some patience. Am I obsessed? Probably a little, frustrated is probably as good a word. My world was turned upside down inside of a two week period. I thought we were committed, sensed something was up and wanted to work it out, then this.

If we do get back together we will both likely undergo counseling together, I would want that anyway. She needs to go through this first, I won't want to do it again if I can help it. We shall see. I am trying to be patient, and I think the next few months will be long ones.
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