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Love is a leap of faith

Lovefraud recently received the following email:

Hi Donna,

I’m a huge fan of LoveFraud and can’t thank you enough for making it happen. I know from your story that you’ve found a wonderful man. Β So have I, and we’ve been dating about a year. He’s an upbeat, nurturing person with a great sense of humor and good boundaries!

Still, I’m finding it difficult to let go and love him. I’m really surprised how long it’s taking me to let go of my fear. (I’ve been out of my marriage 4 years and did a lot of healing before I met new guy.)

Could you address this in one of your articles? I see a lot of info on how to recover, and how to spot a spath so you don’t hook up with another one. But what about when you find a good guy? I’d love to hear about other people’s experiences, how long it took them to relax into love, and anything they did to facilitate the process.

First of all, I am very glad that you have found someone special. So let’s address the situation that you’ve brought up letting go of fear so that you can fully enjoy your new relationship.

Here’s the most important concept to understand: The key to finding and enjoying a good, healthy relationship always lies within ourselves.

If you’re still feeling fear about the new relationship, it means that you have more healing to do. This is not a bad thing. Keep in mind that when it comes to our emotional lives, another word for “healing” is “growth.” So as you move forward, you’re getting to the deeper issues that may still stand in the way of emotional fulfillment. When you address them, you grow.

Whatever you’ve been doing to get to where you are now, keep doing it, focusing on the last remnants of the fear that you feel:

  • If you’ve been working with a therapist, ask him or her to help you.
  • If you’ve been journaling, ask yourself what you’re afraid of, and write the answers.
  • If you’ve been processing your emotions, allow yourself to feel the fear, until it is released.
  • If you’ve been meditating, focus on the fear, and let the cause come into your awareness.
  • If you’ve been using EFT tapping, state the fear as the problem you want to resolve.

Emotional growth is a lifelong process. All relationships are opportunities for growth.

Interim steps

Sometimes there are interim steps between getting rid of the sociopath and finding a true life partner.

If you’ve read my first book, Love Fraud, you may remember that I started dating a man, John, seven months after I left my sociopathic husband. John was a normal, affectionate, caring man. We had a lot of fun, and I truly felt love with him.

The relationship ended 10 months later. Quite frankly, the end of that relationship hurt more than the end of my marriage. My ex-husband had betrayed me. I grieved the loss of my money, stability and self-esteem. But I no longer loved him; I was glad to get rid of him. When John and I broke up, I was heartbroken. We did share a love, and it was gone.

Eventually I realized that my relationship with John was never meant to be permanent. We were both taking the initial tentative steps out of emotional disappointment. We cared for each other and supported each other for almost a year, and then it was time for both of us to move on.

Our partner’s problems

Even with Terry, who is now my husband, there was a time about a year into our relationship when it almost came apart. The problem wasn’t our relationship, but other issues in Terry’s life that made him feel like he couldn’t continue.

Sociopaths, of course, often have problems in their lives. So how do we tell the difference between a healthy person with a problem, who deserves our love and support, and a sociopath who will be an unending source of turmoil?

The difference is that when a sociopath has a problem, we’ll feel manipulated, deceived or bullied into fixing it. When a healthy person has a problem, we won’t feel used when we’re offering support.

I knew that Terry had to face his issues. I hoped that we’d be able to stay together, but there was a chance that our relationship would end. I knew that if that happened, it wasn’t because I was deficient. I’d be unhappy, but I’d eventually pick myself up and start again.

Always risk

Keep in mind that there’s always risk involved in entering a relationship, whether or not you were previously betrayed by a sociopath, and even if the other person is relatively healthy. When you reveal the contents of your heart, there is a chance that your feelings may not be reciprocated and you’ll end up with a broken heart. In short, that’s life.

If a relationship doesn’t work out, it doesn’t mean that there is something wrong with you. It may mean that you and the other person were only meant to travel together for a short time. It may also mean that the person was just a stepping stone to the real love of your life.

Love is a leap of faith. As you heal, you’ll be able to find the courage to make the leap.



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193 Comments on "Love is a leap of faith"

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Donna, THANK YOU for this article!! This is something that is often raised in discussion, and I appreciate your insight.

Healing and recovery are a lengthy process – I know of too many people (men AND women) who have begun “new relationships” so quickly after their spath experiences only to recognize that they had aligned themselves with another toxic partner.

Thank you, again, SO much for this.

Brightest blessings

Donna:

What you have said here is 100% true. No one knows when they enter a relationship if it will last two weeks, two years or a lifetime; it is always a chance we have to take. When I married, I didn’t know it would not last. Relationships can be very hurtful, but without chances, we will never know if they will work out or not. It is all about chances, but we have to be READY to take those chances. I know I am not ready and not sure if I will ever get there, but even THAT is a chance I have to take!

Louise, if anyone had told me that my entire life would have been upended 18 months ago, I would have told them that they were crazy.

It’s going to take a LOT of recovery for me to ever take that risk, again. I have a lot of work to do on myself before I am even willing to entertain the idea of dating, much less a relationship! LOL

My counselor said the other day that in time I would think about ‘settling down’ as he put it. What?! The idea of being anywhere near an intimate relationship with a man is anathema to me.

Donna, I would be interested to know how you managed the risk-factors when you met Terry. Seriously, I ask this because it’s something that I can’t even imagine for myself, ever again.

It’s not like I hate men, by any stretch of the imagination, and I honestly DO believe that there are healthy relationships out there. I just don’t believe that I’m capable of entering a relationship, of any sort.

Brightest blessings

TeaLight…….I’m gobsmacked. Just……….wow…….

My counselor told me countless times that “never” is a long time. Okay. It is. But, she also understood my trust issues. Additionally, I used to have a healthy sex drive, and I cannot even tolerate a mild “love scene” in a movie or television program! I’m WAAAAAYYYYY too damaged to be a candidate for a relationshit. (snort, guffaw)

Brightest blessings

Truthspeak:

I felt that way about my job. If anyone would have told me six months before I left that in six months I was going to give it up, I would have told them they were crazy. Funny…I have said this many times!

I think we may all be ready again at some point for another relationship…who knows…just like we didn’t know our lives would change because of some psychos in this world, we also don’t know what is up ahead.

Truthy, I know, how bloomin’ presumptious of him. I know about the ”love scene” avertion, that’s getting pretty strong with me. There is a UK advert on all the time at present for a bed company, it shows a couple snuggling up in the semi dark, in their comfy bed and I hate it. Truthy, will YOU be my Valentine? πŸ™‚ x

Tea Light:

I know…it’s hard to think about getting close to another man. That in itself is what hurts me…that because of what Scousepath did to me, I may never feel those wonderful feelings again, yet he goes on. I just don’t know how to get past these feelings and counseling doesn’t help.

Lou, will you also be my Valentine? I deserve two, it’s been a rough 12 months x

Louise, same, here. For me, it’s ironic at how my world went from what I believed to be “safe and secure” to something out of a Lifetime movie took about 30 seconds. Of course, I had heard tell of situations like mine, but they always happened to someone else. The irony…..

You are 100% spot-on that we have no idea what’s on our own Life’s Path, ahead. I just do not have any idea how to keep an “open mind” about matters that I am so fearful of. And, I mean I’m terrified of a relationship enough to simply say, “Not gonna happen, ever.”

I would appreciate some serious discussion on this.

Brightest blessings

TeaLight! LMAO!!!!!!!!! “Valentine’s Day” = “Singles Awareness Day!” πŸ˜€

Sorry lou I posted my silly post over you. Lou, I saw the other day that you were thinking about scousepath’s spouse and her family, and I thought…no Lou! Get the scousepath family out of your mind! I know, it’s extremely hard, but really, the road forked for us and the creatures, and now there are not on our road, and we’ve got to look ahead. Yes, I admit, I think about Mrs Bates, ( the younger, not the mother) , and I have to kick myself. She is not my business. He put her in my head, wrongly, becuase he is unfaithful and sick and triangulates and manipulates women. But their wives do not belong in our heads. And thinking about the life they have with the creatures is a total waste of time, if it’s ‘good’ for them , it’s only becuase they are blind to the truth, or are being lied to expertly day in day out. You know the truth of scousepath, and you know he’s no good. Mine is no good either, and his wife is a total stranger to me and I must not think about them. x

Truthy, I’m a cheap date. I promise. SWALK πŸ™‚ x

LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tea Light:

Me, too. I actually turn my head or just look away or turn the station when any type of kissing comes on the telly. Hate it…it’s awful to feel this way. x

Even the most wonderful “true love” relationship WILL end one day, unless you both hold hands and jump off a bridge or die in a building falling on you, there is a 99.999% chance that one of you will die first, leaving the other one, either with an illness that you know about or suddenly in an accident like my husband did.

Very few couples, no matter how loving don’t have one member die before the other one, leaving one member alone.

In our culture for older (over 60 especially) there are many more single and widowed women than there are single guys, so if you weed out the drunks, psychopaths, and nere’do’wells, that doesn’t leave a lot to choose from and there iis a lot of competition from younger women for these same guys.

So I recognize that there iis not a lot of chance for me to find someone around my age (66) who is reasonably healthy, interesting, smart, so I pretty well accept the fact that just about anyone I WOULD be interested in is going to marry some gal about 15 years younger than me. LOL But you know, being alone doesn’t have to equal “lonely” or “dissatisfied”

Having a “partner” is not absolutely necessary to be happy.

Donna, I don’t believe that I’ll ever get to “that point” that I won’t ever be fooled, again. That’s what I mean – I have too much work to do to trust myself, I guess.

Doing the work is enough of a challenge. Cripes, and the prospect of vetting out a date is beyond my capacity to manage.

Tea Light:

I agree. I know I shouldn’t think about them. It’s none of my business what they do. It’s hard though. x

OxD, your response actually caused me to sort of tear-up. You lost your husband so tragically – that relationship ended. Wow…..now, I feel like a petulant child and I’m going to have to have a discussion with inner child about “fairness” and how Life simply doesn’t guarantee it.

Sobering moment for me, and I honestly and truly appreciate it. I mean it – I needed that wake-up, today.

Brightest blessings

Lou, it’s very, very , very hard, I know, I really do. I know he hurt you. There’s no easy way of getting through, we all know that’s the hard truth, but we’re better off without than with them, that’s the essential thing to always remember despite the horrible legacy of having those self critical messages playing constantly that you have been ‘discarded’, undervalued , mistreated, taken for a fool, etc. At my lowest points I still think he is the ‘solution’ to those feelings, that if I go back, he’ll magically make me better, make me feel lovable, valued, special, and so on. At my lowest, she is the ‘chosen one’ and I’d rather have the lies and the bubble, the illusion. But that’s all BS, that I tell myself to make the horrible facts go away, the facts I don’t want to accept, which are that I was easy prey because I am vulnerable although I spent years telling myself I was strong and clever and priding myself on my ability to read people like a book. Becuase I lived in books. Wrong. People can’t be read like books. They can trick you, and your IQ has nothing to do with it. If you are vulnerable, and are in need, then these creatures can take you for a ride to hell and back, and that’s the fact that has to be faced and dwelt upon, not the illusion that life with a disordered man could ever have been good, or nurturing, or romantic, or worth having. x

Truthy, there’s no guarrente that ANYTHING in this world is going to “last forever” even the BEST relationships, be they romantic or friendships. People die, people change, people move away…it just is a fact of life. A couple of years before my husband was killed I had what I thought was the “perfect” life…a job I adored and got up anxious to go to work, etc. the only “fly in the ointment” was Patrick was in prison but he was going to get out and go straight, so everything was wonderful in my life! Then my dad got cancer and My husband got killed in the plane crash and things started to spiral down hill from there. So it is back to the old about the one saying that is ALWAYS TRUE “This will pass.” If things are wonderful, it will pass, if things are bad, that too shall pass. So the only real constant is CHANGE.

My losses are not “worse” than others’ losses, because all pain is TOTAL per Dr. Viktor Frankl and I totally agree, the pain fills us entirely.

Oxy, my counselor keeps talking about Frankl. It was strange early on as he said ”I’ve been talking about Viktor Frankl as you’ll remember from the other week” and – I was in a diazepam / citalopram soup at the time – I thought huh? It’s Oxy on LF who talks about Frankl, not you. Lol. I couldn’t remember anything my counselor said for the first weeks. Not consciously any way.

Dr. Viktor Frankl was in a Nazi prison camp and lost everything in the world except his life. He wrote a book called “Man’s search for meaning” about the EMOTIONAL states he saw his fellow prisoners experience and it is an exceptionally enlightening book for me. I just found out the other day that he is still alive actually and gave a talk in Rhode Island. I had figured that like most of the survivors he was deceased. Anyway, you can find copies of the book on Amazon and I highly recommend reading it. It is a small book but wonderfully packed with much information that will help us with our own healing from trauma.

OxD, your words are true: things change. Life is a constant flux. I posted that it’s my own fear of being exploited that’s encumbering me. And, the more that I type, the more that it’s coming around full-circle that it’s my fear of my own vulnerabilities that keeps feeding that nasty Monkey. It’s STILL fear-based thinking going on in my brain and it’s getting pretty tiresome!

Strictly aside and insight would be appreciated: why do I associate my sexuality with what the exspath is? How does someone “get over” that association?

TeaLight……yeah, the “Aftermath Fog.” Eugh…..thank goodness it’s temporary!!!

It’s very interesting how certain themes always comes up here on LF when most suited. I have not dated, but I’ve had some very interesting experiences I’d like to share when it comes to dating.

To make a very long story short: I went to a course where I met alot of new people last week. There were alot of men I felt very attracted to, some was attracted to me. The whole incident triggered me alot (because they were offcourse very toxic people) and it was so easy to see how those men felt threatened by me/ exited by my resistance and started to use “control” to dominate me – cat and mouse play. Right then and there I decided I was not going to date yet and pulled my self out of the situation because it did have an attraction effect on me. For the first time I made a real choice about dating instead of something like “just happened”. It made me take a real close look at my self and my own choices in men, how I’ve never really seen the difference in a good man vs a “toxic” man. For me, personally, I’ve always chosen the “wrong” man, perhaps a good man for someone else, but toxic for me.

Last night, a previous ex of mine took contact again. We dated ten yrs back, but remained friends. He is currently in a relationship, but hitting on me as if I was his The One he was waiting for. I felt smitten by it ( a typical loophole to fall in love with “the care showing” person no matter who it is) and began to wonder if he might be the one after all? But then, it crossed my mind, that this man has been emotionally unavailable as long as I’ve known him. He’s always on the search for something better and admitted that his current girlfriend is not the one. To me, he repressents the all well too familiar pattern of my own history. An emotionally available man is what I know. If I choose to date this man I will be right back in the trauma again, because he will never change. When I’d thought this over again, I can clearly see his insecurity issues within him self, always looking to be validated by others- just as the men at the course. This is not what I need in my life. This is not what I want in my life. He is handsome, a “gentleman”, wealthy, has alot of friends and a great family – I’d be living a very “good” life with this man, if I want to. The thing is, I can now set a boundarie for my self and to him. I can actually make a real healthy choice for my self by my self. Even with all the things this man can offer me, he is toxic for me – again: just as the other men at the course. I will not date this man, even if I long for a relationship.

What is very validating for me, is that I can somewhat see now what and who is toxic for me. I can clearly see how I’ve followed a pattern in my choice of men, but now I feel uplifted that I can stay clear of such men. It comes with the boundaries within my self, the trust of gut instinct, the hard inner child work I’ve been doing. Offcourse it was so very tempting, but if I’d let my wounds lead me, I’d be fooling my self all over again. Taking the time in healing my self is the most important thing in my life. If I do not heal, how can a relationship with a healthy man ever work? The good news is that I now also see that there are some very good men out there, they just weren’t what I first thought.

I don’t know if this made anything clear, it’s just personal thoughts I’ve been going through lately. I think that somewhere down the road, after the hard work, we’ll be the ones with pockets full of rainbows.

Sunflower, I have to say that your recent experiences are profound and your ability and WILLINGNESS to learn the lesson is a very, very strong and encouraging epiphany. For yourself, and for me, personally.

Wow….just………………………wowwwwwwwww

Brightest blessings!!!! And, TOWANDA!!!!!!!

EDIT ADD: and, dammit, I WANT that, Sunflower!!! I want that experience of realization for myself. I want to actually feel that association between my boundaries and my issues. If that makes any sense, then YIPPEE.

You are a sweetheart Truthy, you really are πŸ™‚

You’ve probably allready have, you just don’t know it yet. The trick is to take a step back when you’re in the situation. Oxy may explain this much better than me, but there is a NLP exercise you can use. In my language, directly translated, called: 3 position meta. It’s about stepping out of the situation, leaving you and the other person behind and take a good look into the situation from a neutral position. And another lesson is to learn to receive good things. People pleasers (not saying you are one, but I am) have a hard time taking what’s given πŸ˜‰

Edit: “how to spot a dangerous man” workbook is also a very good help in finding the toxic patterns in the past relationships.

Sunflower, I agree with Truthy. I think you’re well on the way.

Sunflower, you are learning to set boundaries FOR YOURSELF and to not allow yourself to get too close to men (people) you know are toxic no matter HOW ATTRACTIVELY PACKAGED THEY ARE…..TOWANDA!!!!! GOOOD FOR YOU!!!! HOOOOOOOORAY!!!! Big HIGH FIVE!!!

Thank you for your kind and loving support πŸ™‚

Truthy, I feel contaminated by the expath’s sexuality. It’s not my sexuality, that was null and void. I felt like the lovebombing had emptied ‘me’ out , made me a vessel for him to fill with his sexuality. That;s going to take a VERY long time to get rid of. Sexuality is such a complex and highly intimate mix of the physical , the emotional , the psychological. For ‘normals’ anyway. Bad sexual experiences, or a partner with a paraphilia that you discover and are repelled by, that’s a very complex trauma to work through.

Truthy, are you perhaps in some way carrying a feeling of being responsibility in some way for his sexual acting out ( of his hatred of / fear of women – or his mother, perhaps) ? Do you think maybe you feel your own is tainted by association in some way? x

Tea Light:

That is what I try to tell myself…that I know I am better off without him than with him. Thank God I AM past the part where I feel if I go back, he will make me feel better. I USED to feel that way, but not anymore. I learned after getting burned many, many times from him that he was only going to hurt me more so at least I am past that part.

I do still feel that way though that she is the chosen one…that it wasn’t meant to be for me…that he met her 20 some years ago and it wasn’t me. I even told him this…stupid me.

Me, too. I was always so independent and strong, but he saw this and wanted to break me down. I was just a HUGE challenge for him and once he conquered me, he was done. I know this because can you believe this…OW even told me that he asked her what he had done to her to make her fall for him and it was in context to me…he was asking her what he did to her so he could do the same thing to me to make me fall!…can you believe it? Well, yes, I know you can and so can I…he is a bastard. He knew that I would be hard to break so he was even asking her for tips.

He is no good, I know. x

Sunflower:

Good stuff. Good for you! It really is all about just removing ourselves as soon as we feel what we felt BEFORE when we were being duped. That is why I feel confident that I won’t be duped again. If someone is duping me, I know I will feel it…I just know I will and I will remove myself from the situation. Hell, I removed myself from my job…left it all behind because it was so toxic…I think I will be able to do it with just a silly man. I hope I am not sounding arrogant. I am not. I just feel confident that this won’t happen to me again. Perhaps it’s because I didn’t date much before Scousepath either so there is not much chance for me to even be duped. He was just a special circumstance and that’s why I feel it’s so hard to get over. OK, I am rambling now…sorry.

Lou, that man views women as prey, and it seems like men like that, who are married, want the mask of a ‘stable’ family life, the ‘cultural capital’ of being married as the sociologist Bourdieu puts it, view the wife as an object, like the house, like the car, like the wardrobe of clothes, like the cute , high acheiving kids, a status symbol, another one to check off the list. That structure has to be preserved, so they try and keep their infidelity and predatory behaviour quiet, or lie if they are caught, or worm their way back in if she threatens divorce. So the OWs are treated to the ‘real’ them, the them that hates women, and wants to punish them by proving how stupid and emotional and easily led they are etc. So it may look to the OWs that are discarded and treated with open disrespect that his wife is ‘the chosen one’ but that is a mistake. She is a dupe, and a possession, and his infidelity is an act of extreme hostility and contempt for her. They hate and fear women, is what I’m saying! And we have to stay away and not regret staying away.

Yours is a particularly nasty specimen Lou in that he openly used one woman to plan his seduction of a second woman, whilst no doubt his wife thought they were working on rebuilding their marriage. x

Sunflower, you sound like you’re doing great, well done to you for coming so far! x

Thank you Tea Light- hope you are doing much better πŸ™‚

Well, not doing great exactly, it’s very hard and VERY painfull work. BUT the reward is worth it. It’s something about the sense of achievement.

Louise, sounds to like you are having a hard time nowadays? Stay strong, you’ll get through it. You are very right. One may not smell what’s in the air, but when the body refuses by getting really ill, something bad is cooking…

Tea Light:

Exactly! I couldn’t have said it better. You bet he wants the facade of the family man with everything to show for it. The wife, house, kids. He wants that. It gives him stability. I know when he was separated, he was miserable. He wanted his life back. So that makes me have cog/diss, but I have to tell myself that he only wanted it all back for his selfish reasons; not because of them and that is sad. He hates ALL women including his wife and I feel bad for her. Although he did say to me one time, “I don’t hate her.” Hmmmm. Yeah, he should be kissing the ground she walks on for putting up with him!

OMG…exactly! I KNOW that his wife thought they were rebuilding the marriage while he was still out philandering. BIG SIGH. He may be better now, but I doubt it. I keep telling myself that perhaps he is being good and staying faithful? Do you think there is even a slight chance? x

Sunflower:

Oh, I have been having a hard time for quite awhile. It comes and goes. Hopefully, it will all work out in the end. Thanks.

There’s a chance Lou but taking into account the facts, this man has opportunity (his workplace and work related social events) motive (he hates women and enjoys humiliating and manipulating them) so why would you conclude he’s changed? He’s clearly comfortable lying to his wife and is adept at covering his tracks. There’s no reason other than a road to damascas type moral awakening why he should stop and he’s not the moral awakening type from everything you’ve shared about him. Anyway love it’s harder to accept he didn’t end it because he nobly realised he loved his wife. Harder to accept he doesn’t love her but still went back and that he is probably still tom catting about. Not because you aren’t great. Because he’s a *#%# x

Tea Light:

I agree that he has not had a moral awakening that would make him stop, but what if the wife absolutely threatened him that if she found ONE MORE thing, he was OUT?? I bet that would set him straight. Or I wonder if he found out SHE was cheating? You know how that is…it’s OK if they are doing it, but don’t let the wife do it…they don’t like that a bit. I think that would pull him back into reality if he found out something like that. It may keep him in line.

Totally right…it would be easier to accept if I knew he went back and was being faithful because that is what he is supposed to be doing and I would love for that to be true…for him to be a family again with her and the kids. But if that is the case, he could have easily told me that when I was trying to get closure. Yes, it is harder to accept that he went back yet he is still tom catting about because if he is tom catting about, why isn’t he trying it with me? To be clear, that is NOT what I want, but it hurts to know if he is out there that it is not with me, but I think I know why…he KNOWS how I feel about him and he doesn’t want that…he only wants to play around and he KNOWS I am not the type to just play around with so he will stay away from me. I think I get it now. I think I just figured it out as I type. He thought I was someone he could dupe and when he realized he couldn’t, he stopped. I think skylar and I figured this out awhile ago, but I tend to forget when I get caught up in my emotions. Thanks so much, Tea Light, for making me see things. You explain things very well. x

Skylar…are you out there?

Tea Light and Louise, I beg to differ. These philanderers objectify ALL women, not just their wives. Sure, they compartmentalize. “The wife goes here, along with the kids and the house, and the bills and little Johnny’s soccer game. She’s a great gal, but she’s boring. πŸ™ Because I work so hard and she just doesn’t do it for me anymore, I deserve to have a little fun. The new women is arousing exciting, and makes me feel like a million bucks. Wow. What a rush…and she thinks I’m wonderful. I’ll keep her over here, and enjoy it while it lasts.” Then, after awhile the fun goes out of it when you start to act like a wife….he already has one of those, he sure doesn’t need another one, and then you become more trouble than you’re worth. You are stepping out of his intentions for you….as is his wife, by the way. She’s damn tired of catering to his ego, so he isn’t getting the adulation he so rightly deseves. She’s bored to death with the jerk.
He is terrified of real intimacy, and prefers to go for intensity….so he moves on. Fresh blood. They are insatiable.
You are giving him far too much credit if you think your lover is leaving you alone out of respect for you….because he know’s you want a real relationship….well, maybe, if he’s even a little bit of a nice guy, but, we already know he’s a liar and cheat, so, I think it follows that he’s a womanizer, and they just use everybody.

Oh, and I wanted to add, there is nothing the wife can do. Nothing. It’s a no win situation. She can put her foot down and make demands and he’ll lie connive and cheat, and ACT AS IF he’s changed. Nope. Doesn’t work. She can give up and have an affair and feel like a lying ass cheat, too. Doesn’t do much for her self-esteem or her desire for true intimacy. She can turn a blind eye and pretend everything is fine, while inside all her hopes and dreams are dying a slow death.
No, the three C’s apply here. I didnt CAUSE it. I can’t CONTROL it, and I can’t CURE it.

Louise,

There are two reasons he’s not philandering with you imo
– a) because you gave him no drama and actually kept boundaries
– b) because it’s the sole way to hurt you

You have too strong boundaries to let a lover think bad of you and make you demean yourself… but an exllover who jilted you for another woman is exactly what makes you pine and struggle.

When you say “he KNOWS how I feel about him and he doesn’t want that”he only wants to play around and he KNOWS I am not the type to just play around with so he will stay away from me,” I think you are making a mistake with that thinking. He’s not just a player after easy pickings. He’s after those who’ll give him easy access to drama and attention, even if they want a serious relationshit. But you already grey rocked him before you ever heard about the term and why. And that is why he’s destroying the lives of other women instead of yours.

My situation is a double edged sword. First of all, after my experience, I trust no man. I’ve gone out on a few dates, but I am just not comfortable. The other problem I have is poor body image due to breast cancer. I am not quite done with my reconstruction yet. I am slender and built reasonably well, but I can’t even stand looking at myself without my shirt, let alone letting a man see me. I have a profile on match.com, but it will be deactivated at the end of the month. I’m just not ready to get really close to a man. I’ve come to the conclusion that I am just not ready to date.

Rocelle, on line dating is not safe in MHO…and especially if you are vulnerable because of body image or any other reason. Take care of YOU first. God bless and congratulations on your recovery (((Hugs)))

kim:

Thank you for your post. I always love hearing your perspective as I know you were on the other awful end of it. It’s obvious these guys only want flings. You described it all so well in how they compartmentalize and they are bored with the wife (mind you, they would get bored with ANY wife…we know it’s not personal) so they go out and look for excitement, but the minute the OW wants MORE, he bails. In my case, this is why he started pursuing me because the OW in my office started getting serious about him even though they both were married. I think that he felt “safe” with her because she was married and he thought she wouldn’t demand more, but she did. She was totally in love with him and ready to leave her husband for him as her marriage was already pretty much down the tubes. But he was like whoa…of course that is not what he wanted…he only wanted all the fun. To go along with what you said, he even said to me verbatim, “I don’t need a wife replacement.” I will never forget him saying that and to be honest, at the time, I didn’t really know what he exactly meant by that, but later realized it was for two reasons…1. He already had a wife and therefore didn’t need a replacement (literally) and 2. He didn’t need another “wife” like you said above…he already has one of those…he didn’t need another woman clinging onto him…he only wants to play!! So everything you said above is spot on and you should know…you were there unfortunately and I hate that you do know it so well because it means you experienced it. I get what you are saying about me giving him too much credit, but don’t you think what I said is partly true?…that he knows I want a real relationship so that is why he leaves me alone? After all, isn’t that what we just said…he doesn’t want that…he already has the whole serious “wifey” thing at home…he just wants to play! So if he knows I would want more, why would he want anything to do with me? That is all I was saying as far as why I think he doesn’t want bothered with me (well, one reason; I’m sure there are many).

I think it is sad that there is nothing the wife can do. I wish there were. But I know you are right and it’s tragic πŸ™

If you are here tonight…can you please write to me to let me know what you think? Thank you.

darwinsmom:

Thanks for your post.

I don’t know…I did give him some drama at one point and he still didn’t want a relationship with me. But I think it’s because at that point, he was over it. Who knows. It makes my brain hurt. I did grey rock him though before I even knew what it was. That is just my personality. Oh, well. If you are here tonight (or this morning), please write and let me know if you have anything else for me. πŸ™

Louise,
there isn’t a black and white answer. The reason is, because, before the spath lies to you, he lies to himself.
Then it’s a done deal. He believes what he tells himself.

Remember George Costanza, “Jerry, it’s not a lie if YOU believe it.” It’s an infantile solution but it works for them. This is the root of narcissism –bypassed shame. They lie first to themselves and then to you.

So your spath makes up a reason for why he is cruel to you. He could rationalize that you deserve it. Or he could rationalize that he really wanted to have sex with you. The real reason is just shame and envy. He hates all women because he envies them and they make him feel ashamed because women get more attention than he does.

As Elaine Morgan pointed out, look at any men’s magazine, it has beautiful women in it. Now look at any women’s magazine, it has beautiful women in it!
hmmm.. wtf?

Women, get all the attention. Everyone is obsessed by beautiful women. Spaths can’t stand it.

Elaine put forth the theory that human beings were aquatic for 10 million years before they RETURNED TO LAND. We are the naked ape because we lost our fur while we lived in the ocean.

In her book, The Descent of Woman, she points out that when you live in the ocean, the only way to get attention is to vocalize. Your family can’t really see any part of you except your head, which is floating above water. So human beings (or their ancestors) learned to speak, just like whales and dolphins vocalize. Attention is what allowed survival. We could point out danger or food. We could communicate without body signals, by using vocalizations. But in the end it was about getting ATTENTION.

Spaths need attention. They feel like they can’t survive if they aren’t getting all the attention. Shame, is the feeling that you are excluded from humanity, rejected.

So you can think about all the reasons why your spath rejected you and I’m sure he rationalizes all of them. But in the end, he just couldn’t stand not to get your attention, your emotions. You gray rocked him. It was devastating to him. Good for you.

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