How to recognize and recover from the sociopaths – narcissists in your life › Forums › Sociopaths, narcissists, psychopaths as partners › Can’t seem to wrap my head around my whole 13 year marriage was a LIE!?!?
March 24, 2020 at 10:45 am #56537
I finally got my husband out of my house and put a protection order on him, so going NC has been easy (for now) 3 weeks in.
His behavior has always been a bit off to me, i remember thinking throughout my whole 13 years if he really loves me then why does he; cheat, lie, steal,blow our money on his drugs, gambling, how could he not ever just let me love him? He always tells me im cheating. How does he love me? The 1st time i experienced the ST or discard was 5 years in our marriage. He told me he couldnt handle us and we needed a break. Now, in his defense we were fighting about everything and being a battered woman from previous relationships i beleive i put a lot of that on him. He was having pressure at work and blah, blah so he left. I thought i was going to die. Bc he was so different than anyone i had wvwr been with that he was my knight come to resuce me from all the hell that i had already been through, and he would NEVER leave me. But i was wrong. And that is where it began. I found out he was doing meth, he got into a relationship right away and with my step sister at that. And we separated for a year almost to the day. One i called to.check on him bc i had had a baf dream about him and we got to talking and he starting with the love bombing and telling me how.much he missed me. I had waited so long to hear these words that everything else he had done to me was nothing since i had longed for this day for so long. Long story short we got back togehter. He moved me to the next state over where he had moved to and i gave up everything to go at a drop of a hat!!! Up rooted me kids, quit my job and everything. Once we all got there, he didnt even have the decency to clean out his girlfriends (my step sister) things from her living there so not only did i have to see it, i had to get rid of it myself. I found out i was pregnant not long after with our second child (i had 3 boys from peevious relationships that he cared for as his own, they never saw their fathers) and we had a daughter together so this is our 5th child at this point. Just.months into us all being back together his shady behavior began again. He would leave for days to weeks at a time and not answer my calls or if he did he would say he was working and would be home when he could. I had no job and no car now and im pregnant. So, i just waited. This went on for the entire time i was pregnant, never helping get ready for the baby. He came to one dr apt, the ultrasound to find out we were having a girl. But i did everything by myself. I was getting close to my due date and he was on one of his drug binges and ST and one night i had went into labor. I hadnt seen him for a couple of days at this point but as i laid in bed praying that this was false labor bc i had no way to the hospital, i called him repeatedly only to get no answer. I left voicemails and text messages still nothing. Finally i was abke to.track him dowm by reaching a friend of his and telling to.advise my husband i was in labor. Finally he showed up and i had her only a couple hours later. He was there for her birth, cut the cord, he ever cried. But only hours later we was gone again. I stayed there at the hospital most of the time by myself. He came to bring me home only to leave again for 2 months. I had a new born baby, 4 kids on summer break, no car, no money and was all alone. Finally things get better for a moment then out again he was, the baby was about 8 months old. This time while he was on a binge and was on the ST i.tracked him down as i went to the store. ( i finally had a car at this point) i see his truck and pull in. I knocked and nothing, the door was unlocked so i entered only to find him with another woman!!! So i go NC AGAIN but just months later he talks his way back and how hes off drugs for good and wants to.go.to church and restart our life. I fall for it again. Things are ok for a little while but always fighting about something, so we move again to start fresh. Things are amazing no drugs, no fights, everything is great until around Christmas time (thats when we always split up) its about 2 years from our split and this one comes from no where. All the sudden he stops coming home saying hes working. When i call he never answers i never can understand how.someone could just ignore the person the love with such coldness. I could cry, nothing, beg and nothing. I would get so worked up i would leave nasty messages then call back to apologize. All the while this is his fuel saying look how crazy you are. You need help and this time i will not come back home till you get help. So what do i do i want my husband and my family so i think, man maybe i really am crazy and i need help so i find a dr and start my therapy the dr gives me meds and i take them thinking this is the solution but when i tell my husband that isnt good enough, now he needs to see change. So months go by and he is still playing his games. I am begging for him and nothing its almost like he feeds off of it. The more i want him the more power he had and he has me where he wants me. I know i am rambbling at this point but this is the 1st time i have ever really wrote about it and it seems like i just cant stop, my apologies. Anyway he tells me he doesnt know how to tell me this and doesnt know if we can recover or that he may never be able to come home… so my mind is racing….not knowing what he ia about to say he tells me the girl i caught him with well she had a baby and she believes its his. inside i am DYING!!! a baby?!?! But to prove i am better and not crazy i tell him we can worke through it. This son of a bitch, keeps doing everything he can to me and to make sure i dont act out he tells me now??? But that still wasnt good enough for him. Now he knows that i will pretty much accept anything he does. So he keeps going on with his single life while im being tortured. This goes on for a while and not only does he do whatever now hes on drugs and thats only gets worse and worse. To the point that i leave him and move once again back to my home state but a differnet town where he can not find me. I change my number and move where he has no idea where i am. Complete no contact!! Now i thought i was doing so good and i finally started to feel like i was detoxing. But something isnt right… something with my body. I go to the dr and they tell me that i have 3 STDs!!!! I have never had one and was so humiliated, scared, sad and betrayed. So after i come down from the shock i call him several days later to inform him he needs to get treatment. He then tells.me that hes fine, i must have gotten them from whoever i am sleeping with. Lol i wasnt sleeping with anyone but him, whenever he would show up sweet talk me and then leave me after he got what he wanted. Now at this point he has a way of contact so he tries to stay in contact but i try again no.contact but make the mistake of telling him if he wants to talk to me then he will have to come clean 1st. It took a couple of days but he said ok, ok i did sleep with ine person one time and she must have had something but i still feel fine, i must not have it. Lol ok, yeah right. I told him that i didnt beleive that and he then said well thats the truth baby i dont know what inl was thinking just a moment of weakness. So what do i do??? Instead of being angry i move him out with us. Lol thinking back im like my goodness everytime he ever did anything to devalue me i rewarded him. So we r back together and i take him to get him treated. We start doing bible studys and going to.church, he even got Baptisted just months after being home. But this too quickly faded. Soon again we r right back to fighting and now he is accusing me of sleeping with someone i worked with 10 years ago (which this is a fight we had all the time) but.now.he claims he had proof. So he sends me a pic of a woman having oral sex with a man and SWEARS that is ME!!! Im thinking omg this dude has completely lost him mind…there is no way that is me, it doesnt even look like me. After reading and learning about narcissistic people and i believe that he is a covert N, this is where either his masks startd slipping or i am finally able to see things in a different light. It only gets worse frome there. He started not coming home again and is at the casinos now. He has ni money and when u ask.him where his money is, then i need to give him a detailed statement of every dollar i have spent and since i.cant account for every dollar then he wont tell me abything. And tells me he doenst have to answer to anymore blahh blah (insult after insult) so now i know something is up and i start to call him out on everything. And let him know i know what he is doing i would say that he is deflecting everytime he would turn things around on me. Now i have learned its called projecting. Anyway to finish up things get really bad bc i had ask him to oay the electric bill for 155.00 he says yeah i will pay it.. then does.t this goes on for days until i tell hin this is the final day and it has to be paid otherwise we will get a shut off notice. He says i will pay it tomorrow this was march 3 2020. So that night march 3rd he never came home. So inthe morning march 4th. I found him sleeping on the couch. I was up.getting ready for work and getting the kids ready for school. I asked him if he had paid it. He says yes. I asjed again, your sure you paid it? And again he says yes. I had asked for the conformation number to put in our bill file and he tells me its in his car i asked him to get it but he wouldnt. So, i called the electric company on speaker so we could hear together that he (didnt)pay it, and wouldnt you know i was right!!! Nope, never was paid. So at this point i was mad and.told him to leave that if he is going to blow on his money on the casino and god only know what else then he needs to go. I told him he is only costing me more than hes worth and thats when he got up and in my face balled up his fist and told me that i will respect him or he will beat the shit out if me. At this point 2 of our 3 boys are in their rokm and hear him say this and tell him “dont talk to.my mom that way” he jumps up and now is going to fight (like fight like a man) our boys who are 13 and 14. I had to get in front of him and threaten to call the cops in order for him to leave my boys alone. I did call them after the kids went to school and file for a protection order. Now 3 weeks in and i cant seem to let go. Even after all the shit i wrote and seeing how bad he has treated me i still love him and think maybe hr is just lost and not a N or maybe he will be the one to change. Or why me? No, not me not my husband he really did love me this cant all be fake, a lie. I cant even being to think about it in a spiritual manner where his soul is dammned for hell?? This man that i love? Or what about he is going to move on and have another… another gf or wife? Moe babies? I cant imagine my.life without him?. How can i ever be happy even though i havent been happy for a while but its all i know. I was 24 when we married now im 36 and my whole adult life was a lie? I just cant accept that.. im so sorry for writing a novel but i know that all of u know this feeling and we r all on different stages of healing, please any advise would help greatly.
March 24, 2020 at 2:53 pm #56540SunnygalParticipant
struggle- In her Book Husband, Liar, Psychopath, O.N. Ward talks about her long term marriage and divorce. She gives alot of insight. You might read it.
- This reply was modified 1 week ago by Sunnygal.
March 24, 2020 at 6:40 pm #56556
Hi Sunnygal, YES, this is a must read book. You can find book chapters free here on Lovefruad just do a search up on the right corner of LF.
March 24, 2020 at 6:36 pm #56555
Hi Struggletobefree, sending you HUGE HUGE HUGE hugs!! 💜💜💜
You have just described what it’s like to be sucked into a manipulative sociopaths con game. it’s a true nightmare.
The emotional roller coaster is hell. Right when you think they will give you peace & calm…their chaos begins again 0 to 60 in 5 second.
I’m so sorry that you are enduring this hell on earth. You deserve so much better. Everyone here has been thru exactly what you have been thru. I’m so glad you found your way to Donna & Terry’s wonderful site. And so happy, that you had the courage to post your story. This was so brave of you to do this! So pat yourself on the back…this is a huge step in the healing process.
The more i want him the more power he had and he has me where he wants me.
YEP!! That’s what they do…sociopaths narcissist & narcissist LOVE power & control over others…they love the mind games to get anyone to jump thru any hope they want. He is doing the same to these other women he has caught up in his web of deception too. He is a Sick twist man!
I know i am rambbling at this point
That was NOT rambling…that was telling the long long long tail of being sucked into a sociopath con game. DO not worry about “rambling”…just keep typing out your story…this is part of the healing process = TO BE HEARD!
The bulk of victims of a sociopath never tell anyone…so this is why it is so vitally important to vent out the hell that you endured. SO keep doing this! Keep venting here at lovefruad or in a journal. or both. Get all his crazy behavior out of your head.
One of the first steps in break free from him mentally is to get your body healthy again. You have been under a tremendous amount of stress with this jack a$$ and having so many children plus work. Everyday stress of raising a family & working is hard enough on the body…but, throw in a evil sociopath messing with your mind & heart that is on another level of daily stress.
Did you know that most victims of a sociopaths suffer from PTSD? From all the stress the sociopath puts them under?
On another site the site creator ask the question “Did you have heath issue when with the sociopath?”…over 400 victims posted YES…and the symptoms were very similar…all issues of Adrenal fatigue.
I believe from my own personal experience being married to a sociopath (now ex thank goodness) that part of the PTSD issue is adrenal fatigue. Please look up the symptoms of adrenal fatigue on these two sites & the net:
Dr Lam. com
Adrenal fatigue. org
both have a comprehensive list of symptoms…here is the short list:
cant handle stress
etc…look at their list its’ long
If your adrenal glands are fatigue…your body & mind do not work well to be able to find the door out of a abusive relationship. This is part of the reason why you still want to be with him. The adrenal glands regulate the body’s blood pressure, blood sugar, cortisol & adrenaline levels (fight, flight & freeze mode) and over 50 hormones. The adrenal glands are a huge deal..and you are stressed out your adrenal glands will become fatigue…and when this happens it wreaks havoc on your body & mind.
SO, i would highly recommend that you find a good Endocrinologist doctor (doctor that deals with adrenal glands) to test you for cortisol levels (see adrenal fatigue .org for info), thyroid T3 & t4 test, hormonal imbalance (natural when you are stressed out) etc.
To heal your adrenal glands you need plenty of rest & relaxation (that’s hard to come by with children lol) but, try, plenty of sleep (again difficult with kids), possible hormonal balancing, and most importunely a very clean diet to flood your body with much needed vitamins and minerals which your body is most likely depleted right now from all the stress you have been under for years.
Watch the free documentary called “Super juice me” on you tube
you tube channels:
Jason Vale juicing
Joe Cross Juicing
Jay Kordich juicing
Dr Joel Fuhrman super immunity
Dr Mindy Pelz
You can buy a cheap juicer at walmart for $30 or use a blender (see jason vale for info on blending juices).
I know right now it feels like you will never mentally escape him…I want to tell you, YOU HAVE ESPCAED HIM!! You should be so incredibly proud of yourself for kicking him out & filing a restring order against him. BRAVO! This is HUGE. You also moved away from him..another huge step.
YOUR GUT INSTINCTS ARE TELLING YOU WHAT YOU NEED TO DO…DO NOT TURN AWAY FROM YOUR GUT INSTINCTS NOW…LISTEN TO THEM…HIS WORDS ARE ALL LYING WORDS…BUT, YOUR GUT IS TELLING YOU THE TRUTH.
What is your gut telling you?
TO RUN RUN RUN AWAY FROM HIM FAST!!
You keep escaping from him. You keep running to a new town…your gut instinct knows who he is and that he is VERY DANGEROUS!
Please watch the video on you tube titled “Oprah Gavin Debecker interview you tube” and do a search on LF up at the top for The Gift of fear by Gavin Debecker. This book will remind you to listen to your gut…ESPECIALLY WITH YOUR HUSBAND!
I will write more later. Keep posting here..keep venting. This is a wonderful safe place for you to vent, learn & educate yourself.
Also, Check out Donna’s books in her book store & she just posted a book list on her “Lovefraud blog” *click up at the top. Her books are a must read. The more you read and analyse it to what you have endured the more your mind will open up from the Brain washing & mind control (ANOTHER REASON WHY YOU KEEP GOING BACK TO HIM)…so keep reading.
Look up what SUnnygal posted up at the top right search bar. The book author of that book write about the nightmare she endured and was kind enough to put chapters on Lovefraud for all to read. This will help you to. Glad Sunny posted that book for you.
WE HEAR YOU!💚
WE BELIEVE YOU!💚
WE ARE HERE FOR YOU!!💚
SENDING YOU HUGE HUGS💜💜…you are going to get thru this hon…and once you do you will slam the door shut on him for good. So keep reading & venting.
Also, call your local abuse center and GO for free counseling & free women group meeting..these women group meetings are powerful at opening your mind up from the hell you are enduring and will help you to slam the door shut on this evil sociopath.
Look up also Donna’s videos on her Lovefraud blog section.
March 24, 2020 at 7:42 pm #56559
I got the book on kindle unlimited and started it today. Thanks
March 24, 2020 at 8:05 pm #56560
Wow thanks you for all your wonderful advise and kind words. I was in tears while reading most of it. Its amazing to talk to people who know what i am going thru, most peoplebi talk to dont even know what to say when i share my story, except u deserve better than that….leave him. But to know that you know what im talking about is a great relief. I finished the book When love is a lie and that is where i found this site, she shared that she wrotr on here and how it helped her.
I wanted to ask a question that i never have had any insight to no understanding.its very very personal and one of the most difficult things for me to discuss but here goes nothing;
And sorry for all the typos im on my cell 😬.
My husband for the best part of 4 years would have sex with me all the time while i was sleeping!!!! Or i would wake up he either was messing with me with his hand, his penis or even is mouth sometimes. I had told him so.many times that makes me feel nasty, dirty, devalued and disrespected. He would apologize but either the same day or even hours do it again. I would cry to him to let him know how that made me feel and he would tell me how attracted he was to me and he just couldn’t help him self seeing me laying there.. (makes me sick) and that he loved to have sex with me bc he felt so close to me. But i would tell him, i am completely ignored outside of the bedroom therefore its hard for me to connect inside the bedroom. And also, he he wanted to have sex wake me up. Shake me or kick me idk but wake me up 1st, dont start and then in the hopes that i would wake up…he again would apologize and just do it again. This went on for 4 or 5 years. I mean he would do this for hours to the point that i would have to make the choice to wake up and sleep with him just so i could sleep bc i had work in a couple of hours or stand my ground and call him out everytime and hope he would fall asleep. Now sometimes i.would wake up and bc my body did respond to what he was doing we did have sex amd i enjoyed it for the.moment but the second we were finished i felt shameful and used. So towrds the end i told him that if he continues to do that to.me imma start to hit him. So that same night he did it to me again and i did just what i said i hauled off and slapped the shit out of him…..then he acted as if i just woke ip from a dead sleep and beat him WHILE HE WAS SLEEPING. He would say “wha…wha… whats going on, why r u hutting me???” Omg what u were just messing with me.
But when i would try to be romantic with him and i see him sitting on the couch i would climb on him and kiss on and try and be sexual with him he would say “stop that, why r u being silly???” So.i cant understand why he could sleep with me.in my sleep but while im up and willing he would be shy and weird??? Am i the only one to deal with this??? Is this narcissistic behavior?
Thanks again Jan7 for u wonferful words i will be.looking up all the wonderful tips u gave me.
Oh yeah and i did have several issues while i was with him. During our 1st SL i had to get my gall bladder removed. Lol i had never had any issues but all the sudden it was bad. I have anxiety, depression, insomnia and insomnia is the worse. I have the hardest time.losing weight i have gain 80 lbs since being with him. 😭 and i am working on losing that now. I have no sense of self worth he has stole that from me. But i do have my kids. They r my joy my my love amd they are very supportive of my choice to divorce their daddy. So that helps me. I hadnt looked up the adrenal fatigue but will be doing that soon and taking notes.
Thank you again you have no idea how much better i feel already having someone on my side.
March 24, 2020 at 8:43 pm #56561
Hi Struggle, YES!! my ex h did the same while I was sleeping. Several times but, it was not the normal. Like you I was very upset. I did not equate this to being abuse and actually rape until I was watching a Dr Phil show where the wife describe this same act that her husband did to her.
What your husband is doing to you while you are sleeping IS UNACCEPTABLE! HE IS SEXUALLY ABUSING YOU!
My ex h did the same…if I initiated sex he was not interested. IF I said I was exhausted (which pretty much my whole marriage I was exhausted do to his craziness) he wanted sex. If I said I would like to go out to dinner & not cook he wanted to stay in. If I said I wanted to say in he would yell at me to get dressed & go out. It was nothing but craziness with him. But, he camouflaged it so that I thought I was not being a good wife. I never denied him sex.
Sociopaths all want CONTROL & POWER over others. While you were sleeping this is what he was doing to you = having control & power over you. And while you were awake.
You’re doing great hon. I know you feel like you are lost…but, you have made some many amazing changes…you had no job or car. And now you have both. You did not have your own place now you do. You will get the weight off. One step at a time.
YES! Victims of abuse suffer from PTSD…have anxiety, depression, insomnia etc. I even had panic attacks when I left my ex, which now I know is normal with leaving a sociopath. That is part of the reason so many victims return to their abuser = to stop the anxiety & panic attacks. This is a adrenal gland issue..the adrenal glands are producing lots of cortisol & adrenaline. This is causing the anxiety. But, once you go back the anxiety will continue because the sociopath know how to push their victims buttons to stress the victim out (body release more & more & More adrenaline & cortisol).
I would recommend you also watch the free documentary called “sick fat & nearly dead” on their site same name.
When I found out that my husband was having a two year affair with a coworker (I had suspicion but he keep twisting my head away from my gut) I too had to go and get STD tested which like you, I was so embarrassed. Thank goodness my doctor was so kind & told me it’s very common for wives to come in after find out their spouse had affairs. The day I was there the doctor said there was another patient in the room next door going thru the same!! CRAZY what these bastards put us thru. For me, it came back negative but I had health issues for quite some time that I still am dealing with.
Im sorry that you had to endure having to go get test & the outcome. Makes me sad for you.
I’m so glad that you have your wonderful children. They see the truth and now that you deserve better. That was a powerful moment when they stood up for you…but, also very scary. You made a great choice to divorce their father. You are teaching them a very important lesson = to be good to others.
Keep posting. We are here for you!! Wishing you a good night. Talk with you tomorrow.
ps look up Magnesium vitamin/mineral either pill/salt bath for sleep. And benefits of taking epson salt baths (you can find epson salt in the Pharmacy section of your grocery store or at Walmart they have it in the cosmetic section $5 (?) for a bag. Then just read the direction for how much to add to a bath tub soak (before bed). Magnesium is needed for sleep & relaxation. Most adults are deficient in magnesium. Or magnesium pill found in the vitamin section.SO you most likely are deficient too since you can sleep. If you are taking Rx talk with your doctor. This is why it’s important to get tested for vitamin & mineral deficiency, most adult are deficient…plus added stress causes deficiency.
March 24, 2020 at 8:46 pm #56562
I have no sense of self worth he has stole that from me.
This is normal when in a relationship with a sociopath.
This is why it is very important to focus on your health…get your body working correctly & that will help your mind, spirt & body to function correctly. And you will gain your strength back with regards to your self worth.
Lookup “Dr Daniel Amen depression Ted talk’ (just do a search on the next for that or on you tube). And see his other videos on improving the brain = good clean food, vitamins etc. HE has NY TIMES best seller books your library no doubt have so look those up but, you can find a lot on you tube of his lectures.
All this will help you.
March 24, 2020 at 11:26 pm #56563
Jan7 thank you again for ur wonder insight. After thinking about ur post, i did finally break down and tell my best friend what my husband was doing to me. Bc his behavior was becoming more and more off the wall it really began to scare me and i thought he was going to hurt me. So i started sending her all the screenshots of the nasty text messages and our full conversations so there was proof. I was really starting to get worried bc i kept feeling like i was going to die like in my gut i kept feeling like this where i was preparing myself amd ppl around me just in case ( i was unsure how i was going to die, i just had a feeling) anyway my friend is the one to tell me that this was rape and i just lost it. “No, not.my husband, rape?!?” But yeah she was right. This is where i started looking up spousal rape and its a real thing but hard to prove…but i have text messages🙂 just in case.
Also here is another bit into my life.
So since i.was having trouble sleeping for such a.long time and i was becoming more and more aware of my surroundings. I.started to self medicate and started smoking weed, only at night just to help me relax. Well my h and i had been fighting a lot (this was recent) and i he had wanted to talk so a couple of days after everything cooled down i had agreed to talk to him but he wanted to smoke to calm our nerves and maybe the conversation wouldnt get heated. So i agreed. Now in this convention we were high and calm and this is where he admitted to me that he realized that he feels like he is above me and not just me but everyone. That no one compares to him and he doesnt want to feel this way he wants to go to therapy to get help. He stated that the hell that he thinks that i am.putting him thru is actually the hell i am living. I thought wow, this is the most honest he has ever been. Now a normal person would have been afended by this, but not me i thought i was odd to hear it from his mouth even tho that i felt this way for so long. I guess i was so excited that he finally spoke truth that we had amazing sex. So he tells me i am beneath him and i have sex with him???that doesnt seem very normal. Then again nothing about this relationship is normal. So now im thinking this is gonna be the changing point we r gonna.make it. But….. i followed up with him daily to see if he made an appointment for therapy and nothing.. 2 weeks and still nothing. Not only nothing but he back tracks and this is when he started staying out all night, gambing. Now why did he tell me all that stuff about him being above me and wanting help and never does anything? Was it because the weed made him slow down and think more clearly or is this something that N do. Or is this is mask slipping?
And as of now i have been sleeping way better. I have been sleeping with a sense of peace where i know i will not be woke up with my panties down and someone on top of me. I havent felt such freedom as far as sleep goes in a long time, i have learned that long hot showers really help me relax and i dont havent had any issues of sleeping for 3 weeks now. I know there is a lot of things i need to do still but at least sleeping is better.
March 25, 2020 at 12:51 am #56564RedwaldParticipant
I’m sorry, it really must be tough to get your head around an awful experience like this, going on for so many years. How can the man you “love” so much possibly behave so cruelly and atrociously?
Well, Donna would say that what you’re feeling for him is not truly “love,” but addiction, This is why it remains such a powerful attraction that’s hard to kick, even though you’ve learned how harmful this man is for you. There are good articles to read on this site about how you can remain “hooked” on a chronic abuser despite the damage it’s doing to your life. One of them is “Why you can become addicted to a sociopath.”.
Another article particularly relevant to your own husband’s behavior is “Intermittent reinforcement: conditioning helps explain why we stay with abusive individuals.” This second article is enlightening in itself. It explains in terms of behavioral psychology why sporadic reinforcement of a behavior–that’s to say, when a behavior is rewarded only intermittently as opposed to every time–it creates a powerfully addictive incentive to continue the behavior, even if in the long run you get punished for it far more often than you get rewarded!
As this applies to casino gambling, an addiction of your husband’s, the gambler doesn’t win every time he gambles. He loses more often than not. Yet he does win some of the time, and the knowledge that losses are normal, while there’s always a chance, a hope of winning next time, keeps him stuck at the table, even if he ends up bankrupt.
I’m not trying to “excuse” your husband’s wasteful behavior by saying this. Of course he should have paid that electricity bill instead of gambling the money away! I’m only explaining it in part, which is different. I hope you don’t mind if I say he’s a damned fool on top of being a Grade Z asshole. Incidentally psychopaths (which he could well be) are prone to addictions of that kind.
But the point of all this is that you yourself can be unknowingly caught in an addictive trap of this kind. Every time your husband “hoovers” you back into his clutches with a new round of lovebombing, excuses and apologies for previous behavior, pleas for forgiveness, and promises of change and undying love, you feel like you’ve “won”! ”At last I’ve got the ‘knight errant’ back that I fell in love with!” After that he gradually slips back to treating you like crap: the “losing run.” Yet the nature of addiction is that you keep focused on the eternal hope of “winning,” of “hitting the jackpot,” of finally getting and keeping the man you fell in love with–the “image” of a man, rather, because it was never the reality–while discounting and ignoring all the times you “lose,” and the pain it’s caused you.
Unlike him, you have good excuses for staying addicted to him this way, in spite of your losses. You could never have seen it as an “addiction” to start with. Just as important, he, and others like him, if they had half a brain in their head would at least know that in casino gambling “the House always wins” in the long run. How else could the House finance those luxury Vegas hotels and scintillating floor shows? That means the punter nearly always loses to pay for it!
You on the other hand could always hold out what seemed a realistic hope that your husband might reform and change for the better, permanently; so your praiseworthy persistence and loyalty in forgiving his multitude of sins might be rewarded in the end as you deserved. How could you know otherwise?
That brings me to another point. Somewhere on this site there’s an article on the so-called “Just World Hypothesis,” though I’m having a hard time finding it. It alludes to the belief that this world we live in is “just,” that people in the end get the rewards–or the punishments–they deserve, in return for their behavior, good or bad.
Many people adhere to this belief out of wishful thinking, that “everything will come out right in the end.” Sorry, I don’t believe a word of it. It’s a pathetically naive, “Pollyanna-ish” illusion. We don’t necessarily “get what we deserve,” not at all. Not here, at any rate.
We may indeed get our rewards in Heaven, or our punishments in Hell. Since you go to church, and since you’ve tried so hard to do good, to display Godly love and forgiveness, to “turn the other cheek” time and again in the face of your husband’s abuses, I don’t doubt you’re due for a reward in Heaven! But we don’t necessarily “get what we deserve”on this Earth!
There’s a guy named Chester G. Karrass who’s advertised heavily on airline magazines especially, to catch the eye of the business traveler. He conducts seminars on “Effective Business Negotiation,” which some people claim have helped them. I’ve never attended one myself, and I’m not suggesting you should either. I’m only drawing attention to the slogan Dr. Karrass has touted for years. It reads: “You don’t get what you deserve. You get what you negotiate!”
I’m afraid that’s life. If you let a jerk like your husband walk all over you time and again, you’ll never get what you, as a decent and dedicated human being, deserve. He’ll never change. In fact, every time you let him get away with doing this, in terms of behavioral psychology (again) you’re only rewarding his lousy behavior and encouraging him to do it all over again. Unfortunately you can’t “negotiate” with these types either, because they’ll never compromise. All you can do is kick their ass out the door and go “No Contact,” as you’re already wisely doing.
Still, not to ignore your point about the hardship of “wrapping your head around” these disastrous thirteen years of marriage, part of the trouble with this addiction business is that the constant hope of reward keeps you eternally focused on the Grand Prize, the hope–actually an illusion–of finally winning the “knight errant,” the vision of “Sir Galahad” you believed you were seeing when this relationship started. It becomes a shimmering vision of the goal to be attained, like some Holy Grail. At the same time it focuses you away from the squalid reality of what a pathetic excuse for a “knight” this guy was, so that you’re seduced into discounting the reality while plighting your troth to an illusion instead.
In consequence, wishful thinking turns truth on its head. It’s the vision that seems “real,” while the ugly behavior can be dismissed as “oh, that’s not the real ‘him’; he’s got ‘problems, that’s all, which Love–my love–can overcome.”
Sadly, with most of these abusers it is the ugly behavior that’s the ‘real’ him (or her), while their ‘loving’ behavior is at best an effort they can never keep up, and at worst just plain fake, a pretense designed to take you in and keep you captive to their wants. Now there are genuine “white knights” around–don’t lose hope–but this guy was never one of them. Don’t be fooled by a vision of Camelot.
She left the web, she left the loom,
She made three paces through the room,
She saw the water-lily bloom,
She saw the helmet and the plume,
She look’d down to Camelot.
Out flew the web and floated wide;
The mirror crack’d from side to side;
“The curse is come upon me,” cried
The Lady of Shalott.
Those words courtesy of Alfred, Lord Tennyson. My mother was fond of quoting those lines. Not that she was a victim of any curse, luckily. It was just that an old schoolmistress of hers used to recite that verse with such dramatic flair, many decades ago. We’re free to interpret it however we like. The Lady was captivated by an enchanting vision; and when “the mirror crack’d,” the vision was shockingly shattered.
In our un-poetic world, that’s hard indeed for anyone to wrap their head around. I’m very sorry.
Just as important for the future, I believe, is the “mirror” through which you’ve been seeing the world for all of your life. I’m very sorry that you’ve had, not just a thirteen-year marriage to a chronic abuser, but at least two relationships before that (since you used the plural) that were also abusive, and physically so. I gather it was only in that last encounter that your husband “got physical” with you, but of course that didn’t make his previous rotten treatment and betrayal of you any less agonizing.
The point I want to draw attention to is that you have a history of relationships with at least three abusive partners. Such bad luck is unlikely to be an “accident.” It has causes.
It’s far from unusual that many people–men and women both–find themselves in the same situation, having a whole string of bad relationships behind them. In fact it’s common. You’re by no means alone. And it’s regrettable that people like yourself are often inclined to make negative prognostications about this. At best they tell themselves they’re “fated” always to have miserable relationships. At worst they blame themselves for some supposed “flaw” in their character. Some even imagine they “deserve” the abuse that’s been heaped on them–hewing to that nonsense about a “just world,” believing that if they’re being abused, that must be because they’re “not worth” any better treatment. Whether they believe such rubbish or not, they’re likely, despite their hopes for a better relationship, to end up believing that their hopes are futile, and that they’re “never likely to get anything better.”
So it’s understandable up to a point that you saw your husband as a “knight in shining armor,” even if he wasn’t. ”At least he didn’t beat me!” Not until the end, anyway.
So part of what I’m urging is about raising standards of expectation to demand the kind of partner–imperfect as we all are, but “perfectly imperfect,” as one therapist put it–the kind of partner anyone deserves simply as a human being. And not to settle for anything less. And the question is “why do many people put up with anything less?” At any rate, why do they end up, not just with one abusive partner, but a whole string of them, as you’ve done?
It’s important to realize that this is not due to any supposed “moral failing” on your account; still less that you “deserved” this fate. It may very possibly be true, as you said, that due to your previous relationships with abusers you “projected” some of that behavior onto your husband, and criticized him for things he hadn’t been doing. Maybe. So yes, you might be harder to live with than some people without your unfortunate history, which was never your fault.
Whether that’s true or not, it was still no excuse or explanation for your husband’s own lousy, cruel, and callous behavior. That’s all on him. With a better and more sympathetic partner you could well have gotten things sorted out between you, no matter what your past “issues” were.
Again, this all boils down to your personal history, and how that “history” may have conditioned you, ironically not to learn the right lesson of history–to avoid this kind of abusive treatment, and this kind of person, at any price!–but a wrong, “twisted” misinterpretation of history that gets some people more deeply embroiled in it as they go along.
Including the idea, for instance, that if this ill-treatment is all you’ve ever experienced, maybe it’s “all you deserve.” (Wrong, wrong, wrong!) Or that it’s all you can ever expect. (Wrong again!) Or that just because a new partner seems “better” than the previous pack of losers and abusers, he (or she) is necessarily a trophy to be treasured–rather than a suspect to be wary of.
Sure, previous painful experiences may leave anyone, like yourself, feeling “prickly” and needlessly defensive, which might sabotage any new and fresh relationship with a better and healthier partner. However, the other side of that coin is just as true. Any significant relationship with an abuser can erode and destroy self esteem, leaving anyone with less self confidence than they had before, more inclined to self blame–and more vulnerable to exploitation by a later abuser who can recognize a “soft target” when he or she sees one.
So while so-called “common sense” ought to tell us that anyone who’s been burned once should be able to avoid any such danger like the plague in future–“once bitten, twice shy”–the truth is, as another saying goes, that “common sense is far from ‘common!” Reality is so often the opposite: that people burned in a previous abusive relationship are often more, not less likely, to be exploited again, because they’ve been “softened up” in advance by previous abuse–the way an army “softened up” by artillery fire is more vulnerable to subsequent attack, or the way a body weakened by previous disease is more vulnerable to future disorders.
I’m not pretending this always happens. Not at all. It doesn’t have to be inevitable. It only happens until victims wise up to being abused, as you’re obviously doing. Congratulations! Luckily there is a point where many victims say “I’m mad as hell and I’m not taking this any more.” Just like Popeye ripping the lid off his can of spinach and pouring it down his throat. “Da-da-da dah de dahhh, da da-da-da dah de dahhh!…” Then he kicks the crap out of the bully Bluto.
But the question is, where and when did this previous process of eroding one’s defenses begin?–the weakening of personal standards of expectation, self-confidence, self-worth, and self-care? Not necessarily with that first abusive relationship. Not at all! Experience shows that it usually began long before: in childhood. A defective childhood conditions many people to become victims of abuse in later adulthood. (It can also turn others into abusers themselves, but that’s another story.)
So when anyone like yourself has been battered by a whole string of abusive relationships, I urge them to ask themselves what their childhood was like, and how it may have unwittingly conditioned them to continue becoming victims in adult life. Even subtle emotional abuse and undeserved neglect can do this.
This toxic conditioning operates in several ways. It can send the message that the child in question is “not important,” “not worth bothering with,” or downright “bad,” and therefore “not worth” a good partner in life; even “deserving of punishment.” It conditions the child to tolerate abuse and neglect, instead of rebelling against and rejecting it. (“This is the best I have any right to expect.”) It “normalizes” abusive behavior in the child’s mind, among adults he or she has observed or been subjected to, so that a child encountering such behavior in later life, instead of thinking ”Gee, that’s f*cked up, the way so-and-so is behaving,” accepts the behavior as “normal” and tolerates being a target of it themselves. And of course, any child from a screwed-up family often takes the first chance they can to escape from it–which sadly results all too often in “jumping from the frying pan into the fire,” landing up in a relationship with some toxic person or people who resemble only too closely the same kind of screwups they were so anxious to escape from in the first place.
Any of this may or may not be true for you, but I would urge anyone in your position to ask themselves this question anyway: ”How have I been conditioned by others, against my will and my own wellbeing, to accept being a victim of abusers?” You may find the answer will surprise you. You might also find, as others have, that you’ve admitted many other abusers into your life that you’re well rid of, while just as surprisingly ignoring good friends who might have helped you. That’s pure speculation, I know, though others have found that too, to their benefit.
The shattering of that mirror, the destruction of the illusion it’s been presenting to you all these years, disrupts your life in the most frightening way. You may need to reassess your entire life, and the way you’ve been treated throughout it, from childhood onward. It’s a scary process; yet the outcome may put you on a firmer footing as you proceed from here. I absolutely urge you to get competent therapeutic help–as long as you can afford it–to assist you in getting all this sorted out and coming to terms with it. You’ve had a rotten adult life so far, a life of lies and betrayal, yet you’re still young enough to turn that around–and kids to live for–for a better future. Your life is far from over!
Good luck for that future!
March 25, 2020 at 11:21 am #56568
Wow thank you for taking your time and really trying to talk about each section of my life. It is greatly appreciated. There was so many things that you touched on that maybe had a bit of a light bulb go off. I know some things that u touched on like the pattern of abuse and may be even stem from my childhood i am starting to recognize.
I watched one of Donnas live youtube discussion yesterday and she said that we are not in love but addicted to these people. Thats a hard pill to swallow but then again this whole thing has been life shattering. I watch several you tube videos by Lisa A Romano and Melonie tonia Evens and they both say being in this type relationship and going No Contact is similar to kicking a heroin habit!! 😲 but now that i am going thru it i can totally see it. Because we wait for that tiny moment where they come back so say what we so long to hear and thats our HIGH and it actually releases something in our brain the same as heroin. Thats scary to think about. I will check out the articles that you suggested forsure. Thank you
You explaining the gambing for him to the way our relationship is also hit the nail on the head. Spot on!!! Your right, i have never seen our relationship as an addiction but i see it now there more i learn and educated myself and talk to u magnificent people!!!
When you speak about the punishments and rewards that we think we deserve. I have come to the understanding that yes maybe i may never get rewarded here on earth for my loyalty or for what i have endured from not only my current husband but from the other relationships. I have come to be ok with that bc i now know a sense of freedom from breaking away now and that is a reward in its self. But on the other hand yes, i did allow him to treat me the way he did and i think i stated in one of my other post that, everytime he did something bad i rewarded him and that is only showing him that he can do whatever he wants and treat me how ever and my self worth is non existant therefore do what u will and i will take it.
The more i think about the beginning of our relationship and how wonderful it was, it only lasted for a little while compared to the 13 years. Even when he would come back that love bombing only lasted for a short period of time. But i was expected to change indefinitely whatever it was about me he couldnt stand. I am loud, blunt and dont take nothing from no one ( but him) and i felt like at 1st he encouraged that but as it effected him he tried to change that about me and slowly he did. I am more of an introvert now. He has taken away my personality. My point being is that i think you are right about the “real him” being who i have seen for so long and the beginning was the show that he wanted everyone to see. And my God everyone loved him, my friends, my parents, my siblings, everyone!!! But little by little with each ST they grew to hate him. I literally have no one left that can stand him even my kids most times cant understand why i stay. But i thought by giving up on him i was giving up on God that i prayed for so long to change him and restore our marriage. I am now growing impatient and tell God i cant do it any longer. In a sense i feel like i am disappointing God by not holding on.
When you speak of the poem it was mind blowing. I love that and hate it at the same time. Yes all the abuse that i allowed myself to put up with. I have been looking back at my childhood and learning that my mother is a uninvolved mother. My parents divorced when i was 8 and my dad married the next week after my parents divorce was final and started a family immediately and my brother and i were dismissed by him. My mother was never loving, i cant think of a single time that my mother hugged me and told me she loved me as a child. Now she was a single mother and worked to 2 jobs to take care of my brother and i and we never really saw her. So i had no parents love and effection. I rebelled and got pregnant at 15 and a child at 16. ( which i raised and he is now 20 🙂) but with me i felt like any affection was the affection i was missing my whole life. And with my current husband it feels like i married my mother. My mom, now that i am an adult she doesnt bond with me or my children. I feel like she feels she wont bond with them bc that is taking away from my responsibility as a mother. Bc she the type of mother that did her job by raising me and my brother now her job is done and isnt raising my children, even tho i never ONCE expected her to. So by me saying that i married my mother i feel like i am always waiting for that attention i never got and with my husband that little attention always waiting for him to comeback and accepting the bullshit that he put me thru. Always waiting for love!!! 😭😭
So seeing the mirror shattered is my whole life at this point it is a very hard pill to swallow but on a more positive note this is probably the most insight i have ever had on my life.
When i met my husband all those years ago i was still young and had 3 boys and i was coming out of a very abusive relationship i mean he almost killed me and when i met my husband who was so kind and understanding and accepting to the fact that i had 3 boys and he wanted to take them on. He would tell me i dont know how any man could never want to be there for their children ” i could never do that” however now i learned that not only could he do that but he would do so in such a cold way. But he had all the right things to say to me back then only to learn it was all part of a plan. Maybe from the beginning maybe not, maybe after seeing that i would allow him to treat me that way it only became easier to take advantage of my love and commitment to him.
I did often wonder if this is it for me? Is this what i deserve? A life of abuse? A life of unhappiness? For a moment i was going to settle for the sake of my children i didnt want them to hurt again at the expence of me this time breaking up our family, they had been thru it so many times already. That i told myself i will stay for them and then after they are grown, leave him. But i really think i would have gotten very ill or died maybe by his hands maybe not but i knew in my heart that i couldnt do it. I prayed my kids would understand. I was eating ibuprofen like candy due to headachs everyday. I had mood swings, anxiety, depression so bad some days i fought to get out of bed. I would eat my sadness away or cry in the shower. I just couldnt take it, i thought i was going to have a nervous breakdown. I learned that i was wrong. Like u said i didnt deserve that.
Little by little he had taken away my sense of awareness the ability to recognize that i was being abuse bc he didnt hit me and that i had no worth and that he really did love me that is why he kept coming back bc God was on our side and fighting for us. But i dont know how much of that was really God at this point. Bc i know God doesnt like divorce but he doesnt like for his children to be treated badly, abused, cheated on, and always putting urself 1st. I felt like i did every thing for that man. I waited on him hand and foot, cooked, cleaned, raised his children, was his personal sex slave, been walked on, walked out on, and all with a smile on my face, otherwise i would be punished. It pisses me off to think off i have been thru and how he took advantage of me and this whole time.i was thinking he was Perfect!
Perfect….lol the sad thing is i used to tell him that when he 1st met!!! He must have been thinking BINGO!!!! Now, i got her! God he had me fooled, this whole time thinking if I work hard enough and pray that “perfect” man would find his way back. He would always tell me i created him, that this was years of abuse from ME that turn him to act this way. To do meth and to cheat. Its crazy to read what in saying if someone else was telling me what im saying i would be like why the hell did you stay with that monster?? Its so hard to see while ur in the midst of it. Thank you again for ur views and suggestions i will be checking out all suggestion and all are welcome. I have court (hopefully ) on April 1st to talk about continuing the No contact order or the kids visitation so i am trying to prepare myself with all info and make sure i am strong enough to face him.
March 25, 2020 at 6:31 pm #56570Donna AndersenKeymaster
struggletobefree – welcome to Lovefraud. I’m glad you told your story, and I’m glad others gave you such wonderful advice.
Your husband is definitely disordered. Yes, it is a hard pill to swallow, but the truth will set you free. The key for you is to understand that he will never change. He will never be the partner you deserve. Usually hope is a virtue, but continuing to hope that he will come around will just lead to more lost years for you.
Cut him loose, then focus on your own recovery. It will be bumpy, but you can do it.
March 25, 2020 at 7:04 pm #56573
Thank you for your advise. Yes, the people on here are amazing and full of great insights. I know yesterday on ur live youtube video you had said that my husband cant love me or my kids, and that hit me like a punch to the gut!!! But i know everyone is right. I just worry that i will take him back after all this, after the research, after letting people know the real him for the 1st time (even tho they know, im sure) i told them lots of behind the scenes details. I did this so i really had no way to turn back. But i cant say with 100% assurance that i wont. It scares me to think about it. However i will keep posting and hopeful continue to get great advise and support so i make the right choice.
Thank you again Donna your words of wisdom were much needed.
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