August 23, 2021 at 12:15 am #66359
I am so glad that I found this forum. I feel as if I am going absolutely insane even with the help of friends, family and a counselor. I think I need some people who understand to actually validate that my feelings are REAL, and that I am not just losing my mind.
I am married to T and have been living in his country for many years. At first, when we got together, it was like a dream come true. He was kind, doting, humanitarian (he even helped an old man on the street get home on our 3rd date), and he seemed like a genuinely good man. I was head over heels in love with him! We started living together about 6 months after we met. We got married a year and a half later. Everything seemed perfect. There were some weird things, like he refused to buy me an engagement or wedding ring, but he said that in his culture, they didn’t do that (not true, I found out later). Most everything since in our relationship I have chalked up to “differences in culture.” I feel like one day, everything was fine and now 7 years later I have somehow woken up in this nightmare and I cannot BREATHE. It is taking all of my strength to literally just stay alive. I’m not suicidal, I mean it is taking all my inner strength just to exist as a person when all I want to do is curl up in a ball and lose it completely. I also feel like I am possibly being dramatic, or exaggerating my feelings. I know that he doesn’t see the things that have happened the way I do. I know I’m not lying, but just telling people all of this is FEELS like I am. I’m sure some of you understand what I mean.
Over the years, T has done some truly hurtful and crazy things imo. I’m just going to list some of them below so you all may have a better picture of what he can be like. In between doing these things, he always cycles through realizing these behaviors are wrong, telling me I’m perfect and he is the problem and will change, and going right back to them again. That is if he admits they even happened!
-cheating (who wouldn’t he cheat with!? Prostitutes, any woman who he can get. He’s cheated on me numerous times, thinking he is smart and I don’t know. He makes it a point to have friends who do the same, then always points out how awful they are to me because again, he thinks I don’t know.)
-If I go out with friends, which is very rarely, he always asks me who is going to be there. If it’s women, he leaves me alone. If there will be men or it’s a public place, he will call 3-4 times during the evening and usually stop by under the guise of being a caring husband who wants to pick me up. I thought this was cultural, but I’m starting to rethink it.
-lying. If his mouth is moving he is lying. About anything and everything. He thinks I don’t understand his language so he lies to his family about his going’s on in front of my face. Think the sky is blue? Think again! It’s green and always has been dummy.
– because he believes I can’t speak his language, he tells lies about me to everyone we know. His friends and family all hate me (some have come to understand the REAL truth recently though).
-he never usually calls me names, but I have heard him tell his family I’m stupid, or tell his friends I’m fat (I’m not fat, I’m well within a normal BMI).
-he hides his cellphone, and tries to talk away from me so I don’t know what he’s saying. He has 2 phones.
-he remembers everything differently from me. To me one thing happened, to him that never existed, or the way I remember it is wrong. I always forget the good times, I only focus on the bad.
– silent treatments, out of the blue screaming outbursts, feel like if I’m not perfect, he will become angry.
– he used to yell at me about the house not being clean when it was spotless. He even told me one time the “correct” way to mop stairs. He also got mad if I cooked food because he didn’t come home, since he was out playing with his other women/friends. He said I was wasting food, although when I tried to call him to ask if he would be home for dinner his phone mysteriously is turned off, his apps don’t work, he has not battery etc. Incredibly, his phone is in a constant state of disrepair.
-when our child was born, they cried a lot. He took the child to a friends and started telling the baby she was his mom. Because “she knows how to be a parent.”
-he never celebrates my birthday, Mother’s Day, Christmas anything. But his country holidays are important and I should attend all events. He gets in a mood if I don’t.
-has started smirking or laughing when I get upset about my poor treatment. This really frightens me, as it makes me feel like I am nothing but his property. It makes me feel like he is going to become violent.
-On the note of violence, he’s never been physically abusive to me, but I’ve seen him kick a dog across a room. He threatened to kill himself and our dogs if I left him.
-refuses to speak his language with me and says I can’t speak it, even though I have had no problem communicating my issues to his family in his language. His family says he just doesn’t want me to know it so he can continue on with his cheating easily, and I think so too.
– edit, because I forgot to add his various illegal activities. It is like does not even care he commits crimes, it’s NBD!
Recently, he has been out of the house under the guise of working. He’s been gone for about 2 months, but he comes to visit our child on the weekend, or will pop in and out of our lives. We never know when he is coming as he doesn’t call, he just shows up. When he is with me, he pretends that everything is absolutely fine. In reality, there is no job. He’s cheating on me and living with another woman. I KNOW this because after he left, his family kept telling me I was the problem until I broke down and told them he doesn’t support me or my child and listed some of the behaviors he does. His family started paying attention to our issues and showing up to his other house, where they found his girlfriend and promptly informed me. I also knew because he took our young child to meet her and my child told me. When I told him I know, it’s the usual deny deny deny.
He doesn’t call me names to my face at the moment, but he will make such strange comments such as:
-continuously told me he raped me in my sleep and when I told him that is disgusting laughed and said I can’t take a joke. This happened numerous times.
-informed me that he put out his resume for work as a delivery driver and a modeling agency called him because he’s so good looking.
– told me he doesn’t want to come home because he can’t touch himself and our 3 year old is messy (duh!).
-told his entire family he was making a lot of money, told me he has no money at all and can’t pay for even basic necessities such as food or rent.
– told me various body parts of mine looked gross repeatedly (almost every day).
There is so much more than this obviously, but I am only saying what I 100% remember here. I am at the point now where I am waiting to start a new job and considering my next moves to get away from him. I am absolutely destroyed from all of this. My therapist doesn’t want to use “labels”, but I feel COMPELLED to know what I am dealing with here. I know that you all are not professionals, but I would like your honest opinions because you have lived this. Does this person seem like a narcissist to you?
August 23, 2021 at 12:55 am #66363
Hi Jackoutofthebox –
You are being severely abused. To stay in his vicinity is like drinking poison that will destroy you. Sometimes we don’t realize the extent of the damage until we are removed from the toxin (him) and that is when so much effort needs to be made to rebuild our self esteem and self love. Do not allow yourself to be destroyed. The way to rescue yourself is by going “ No Contact “. There is much information about how to do that here on Love Fraud.
Blessings to you
August 23, 2021 at 1:02 am #66364
Thank you so much for this validation, it does mean a lot to me to hear it here, from a person who has been there.
I wish I could go NC with him, I truly do. But the situation is complicated by me being in his country, and is having a child together. I want to run back to my country, but I can’t, because it is illegal and not so simple.
In your opinion, do you think he is just an abuser, or would you class him as a narcissist or sociopath/psychopath?
August 23, 2021 at 1:19 am #66366honest7726Participant
Dear, first I am so sorry that you are going through this and glad you reached out.
He seems like a narcissistic person and he usually mimics your personality in the beginning to get you to feel like you both are made for each other and are on the same lines of understanding.
You are a great person and so giving that is why you were an easy target. Don’t let your child get poisoned by his ways and the best way is to move to a completely different place and have no contact with him at all.
This will be hard as you will keep feeling sorry for him as you have a kind heart but you need to do this for yourself and your child.
Change your number and move away from him and make sure you establish no contact. Trust me after a few months your mind, body and soul will align again and you will realise what has happened to you.
Everything in your life will settle it will take time but you need to take the first hard step no contact.
Take care and keep us posted on your Journey
August 23, 2021 at 2:01 am #66368
Thank you so much for your comment.
That honestly all seems like a lifetime away, but I am doing my best to keep him away from me as much as possible. He keeps coming and going from this woman’s house, one day showing up, another just disappearing, and it’s like I do not have time to prepare myself for his arrival ever, so I’m in a constant state of panic and fear. I feel so awful for my son, and believe me, I feel the same way you do. I want my kid away from this monster. Myself too.
I’m gathering my money, I’ve finally after years of silent suffering spoken to my friends and family. I’m now speaking with my therapist about putting plans in place and I’ve contacted a lawyer. I’m very worried he is going to become violent over our child, but I have actually become physically ill from having to deal with his on again, off again, in and out, love bombing to get me back then turning around and doing it all over again, so I know I need to get out. It is driving me absolutely batty!
If you’ve had a similar experience, I hope you’re in a better place now. I hope that this forum will be a way for me to heal from all that he has done to me. I will keep you updated.
August 23, 2021 at 1:27 am #66367
Hi Jackoutofthebox –
I think I am quite adept at recognizing severe abuse ( which you are experiencing ), but I do not have the expertise to know how to categorize a person’s character disorder. I think Donna Anderson would be able to give you a more concrete reply about that.
August 23, 2021 at 6:38 am #66369Donna AndersenKeymaster
Jackinthebox – He is some variation of a sociopath – could be narcissistic, antisocial or psychopathic. The precise diagnosis doesn’t matter. He is exploiting and manipulating you. He will never change. You will never be able to make it work, and he will continue to mistreat you.
Your only real solution is to leave. I recommend you make plans to go back to your home country and take your child. But do not tell him. If you tell him your plans, the abuse will escalate. And he will do everything he can to make it impossible for you to leave, such as taking all your money.
You said it in your post – you are his property, in his mind.
You are perceiving the situation correctly. It is time to protect yourself.
August 23, 2021 at 8:08 am #66370
Thanks so much for replying. I guess I want to know what he is because he has so many friends, everyone loves him, I just feel like nobody sees the monster. I don’t trust my own thoughts, he gaslights me so much that I sometimes feel like I don’t know what reality even is. My therapist seems to think there is a wounded heart in there somewhere. I beg to differ, I refuse to feel sorry for him, I’ve spent the last 5+ years feeling sorry and I just feel like he is a house pest I need to identify to get rid of.
I’m having some problems with just leaving. There are international treaties which cannot be violated and in many cases, the children are actually returned the abusers country. I don’t think this is very well known about, and it causes me so much additional stress. I’m worried he will escalate the behavior if I file for divorce here, as you have said, and I have nobody (no family anyway) to protect me should he do so.
I am very glad to know that someone who has suffered in the same ways I have can identify who he truly is when the mask is off. It gives me strength in feeling I am not alone in this. Thank you for that. I’m currently reading one of your books. Thank you for being such a great support for people who have experienced this.
August 26, 2021 at 5:50 pm #66380Donna AndersenKeymaster
jackoutofthebox – I am so sorry for your situation. You are correct that because you are in another country it causes serious problems for child custody.
Therefore, the first thing to do is to recognize that you can trust your own thoughts and feelings. He is gaslighting you. He is trying to make it that you cannot think. Educating yourself on what he is will help you.
Also, do your best to work on your emotional recovery. Even if you cannot physically leave him now, you can emotionally disengage. If you can do that, maybe you can begin to see options that aren’t apparent now.
August 28, 2021 at 1:43 pm #66388
Thanks for your reply. I have been finding some various coping strategies, and I’m feeling a bit better now, as I know how to disengage from the situation. Luckily at this time he is not at home often, so I don’t have to deal with his behavior constantly.
I really am in a tough spot in regards to child custody. Whether I can take my son back to my country or not, I have decided, doesn’t matter. I will be divorcing him and separating myself from the situation as soon as I am financially able.
August 27, 2021 at 12:06 am #66383
Hi Jackoutofthebox –
I wanted to apologize for being so adamant about going ” No Contact “, because there are techniques to stay out of the poisonous effects of an abuser ( whichever type of character disorder they may have ), while still being physically present. Many people are in a situation where for different reasons, they are not able to fully remove themselves from an unhealthy situation, but at the same time keep their emotional health intact. In her book, ” Healing From Hidden Abuse ” by Shannon Thomas, she addresses this issue and also explains how to do it. In any case, know that we are right behind you with support for your every step.
August 28, 2021 at 1:47 pm #66389
There is no need to apologize. The situation is really very complex, especially because I am living in his country so have no family based here. If I were able to just pick up and leave I certainly would, but I need to maintain a job to get the money to get out of the situation. I really do wish I could go NC with him, it would be a dream come true!
He is completely spiraling at the moment and is all over the place. I’m somewhat worried for my safety if I try to disentangle from him at present, so I may try to wait until he has stabilized a bit, but if he doesn’t, I will still be leaving.
I have found some tips, like grey rock to disengage myself from him. I’ll be speaking to lawyers shortly about what the next steps should be. Thank you for your replies and support! They mean a lot to me.
August 28, 2021 at 5:59 pm #66392
Hi Jackoutofthebox –
You are taking all the perfect steps. The important thing, which you have really gotten, is to acknowledge that he is the one with the problem, and therefore you can rationally take steps outwardly or inwardly according to what is to your best advantage at the moment ( using strategy ). What happens to alot of people, is that they begin to doubt themselves and think they are to blame for all the problems in the relationship, and then try to ” improve ” themselves etc etc. etc. Then they have really ” gone down the rabbit hole “. So i wanted to congratulate you on staying true to yourself. It isn’t always easy when all their lies are so confusing.
August 29, 2021 at 8:47 pm #66411
Admittedly, I did spend a lot of time blaming myself. For our whole marriage I didn’t understand why he was doing the things he did and I thought it was me. I didn’t know about the affairs and the illegal things, I just knew he treated me poorly. I had my suspicions, but I thought it was my fault for not being enough. I did not see that this was a pattern of behavior, as I was just living it day to day, not thinking about it as a bigger picture.
I am really very lucky, because I didn’t like my husbands behavior I made the choice to move in with his in-laws. My husband’s step mother had a father like my husband, and once we started talking, she realized what was going on. She has been so supportive in telling me that I am doing everything right, and that this is not my problem. I thank my lucky stars every day that this woman came into my life. I really do not know how to thank her for everything that she has done for me. She is going against her own family because she sees how this affects me and my child. Not only that, she’s brought half of them over to my side, to try to get me and my son out of this situation.
Once my husbands family told me what was really going on (and it wasn’t just his stepmother, but also father and brother), it made me feel like I am not in this alone. Other people can see this. For so long I was all by myself and nobody knew who he was because he was telling everyone I was the problem!
Thank you for your kind words and support once again. They have been so helpful in me seeing things clearly.
August 30, 2021 at 7:11 pm #66426
Hi Jackoutofthebox –
Wow – your post was so inspiring ! I loved hearing about how you actually moved in with your in-laws ! what a great decision that was. And how wonderful that they and especially your Mom in law really gets what is happening in your relationship and are supportive of you. That warms my heart. I know that what you are going through is challenging, but having that support will help significantly in many ways, and especially to keep your mental perspective and keep you from getting gas lighted. I don’t know if you say the post that I made for you and honest on her post stream, but I suggested a book by Mira kirshenbaum called ” Too good to Leave, Too bad to Stay “. Why I am posting so much about her book is that it is like a road map into, I would really say, all the exact issues that come up in relationships, so that you can exactly pin point what is going on. Otherwise, we tend to get way overwhelmed by the other’s behaviors and do not have the tools to sort it all out. Her book gives the tools. It was originally written for people who are feeling ambivalent about their relationship; whereas you definitely know the score and what you want. Nevertheless, as I said, it is good to have a fantastic map like she has provided. She has been a couples therapist for many many years, and really knows her stuff, plus she just has this way of being able to translate emotions so well. I have read it so may times and still come up with many aha moments.
Anyway, keep up the great work you’re doing. We’re right with you.
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