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RESOURCES PERSPECTIVES: Dealing with betrayal bonds

Editor’s note: Resource Perspectives features articles written by members of Lovefraud’s Professional Resources Guide.

Rebecca Potter works as a licensed mental health counselor in West Palm Beach, Florida. She can be reached at: [email protected]

Surviving betrayal and trauma

By Rebecca Potter

Rebecca Potter profile in the Lovefraud Professional Resources Guide

I recently attended a workshop by Dr. Patrick Carnes, Ph.D., author of The Betrayal Bond. I was shocked by the denial of the psychological community regarding the trauma experienced by survivors of emotional and sexual trauma. I took my worn and used copy of The Betrayal Bond to Dr. Carnes for his signature. He signed my copy and asked, “Why used?”

Dr. Carnes’ work has helped me surface from the web of pain and confusion developed while trying to safely escape an emotionally, verbally, financially abusive husband. When I left, I was further damaged by my exposure to the legal system and Family Court. There was no place that I could go to receive treatment, attorneys took advantage of me, insurance companies lied and hid fraud that they had committed with my former mate. Need Dr. Carnes ask why my copy was used and battered, somewhat like me?

Just get over it and move on

This was the attitude I faced when I tried to find professional legal help. The pain in my body was so real, yet invisible to anyone else. I couldn’t explain the terror that I felt when I had to sit in the same room with my former husband: The intense emotion I felt when he told the courtroom lies and the court believed those lies without evidence. The permission that the Court gave to him, which allowed him to further abuse me and how I was ignored and told, “Just get over it and move on.”

The impact of sexual addiction induced trauma

The field of treatment and intervention for disorders related to compulsive sexual behavior and sexual addiction is a new emerging field. Research has focused on the sexual addict, creating models for diagnosis and treatment, while the partners of sex addicts have been neglected and ignored.

Current clinical treatment models prefer to address the partner of a sex addict as a codependent or co-addict, which basically implies that the partner has their own disease termed: co-addiction or codependency. Codependency is in a category of a process addiction—an addiction to certain mood-altering behaviors, such as a tendency to behave in overly passive or excessively care-taking ways that negatively impact one’s relationships and quality of life. Other process addictions include: gambling, food, shopping, spending and hoarding.

The clinical needs of partners of sexual addicts continue to be ignored, minimized, obscured and gravely misunderstood. Partners actually often experience clinically significant sex addiction induced trauma. These traumatic symptoms are a result from the direct impact of sex addiction:

  • chronic patterns of sexual acting out
  • relational perpetration
  • emotional abuse
  • deception
  • betrayal
  • psychological manipulation

Traditional therapists continue to ignore the symptoms of trauma. These partners often present with symptoms that match rape trauma syndrome and post traumatic stress disorder. Sex addiction-induced trauma is a highly specific type of trauma that involves symptoms of fear and panic of potential disease and contamination, fear of child safety and potential of child molestation, social isolation, embarrassment, shame, guilt and intense relational rupture and attachment injuries.

Neglecting the treatment of trauma and focusing instead on co-addiction and codependency are inadequate and clinically contra-indicated, wrought with moral and ethical challenges. Partners and spouses of sex addicts are a profoundly and clinically traumatized population requiring informed care and ethical treatment.

Recovery

I know, because I experienced similar trauma. Recovery has been a long road. I still experience flashbacks and have adrenal fatigue when my symptoms are triggered. I have started women’s and men’s relationship recovery groups. We meet each week to support each other with the withdrawal of leaving a chaotic relationship and help each other process the deep brain injuries from the exploitation and trauma.

I also suggest that survivors participate in online support groups if they are not able to find a trauma therapist in their area. One online group : www.adultchildrenofalcholics.org. There are phone meetings daily. The websites will list the phone meetings. The pain that you are experiencing is real and must be processed with those who understand trauma.

I look at my marriage as an educational process that I needed to experience to assist others in healing. Yes, my ex will marry others and commit the same abuse. There will be many women and children harmed by his manipulation.


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154 Comments on "RESOURCES PERSPECTIVES: Dealing with betrayal bonds"

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Okay, I’ll say THANK YOU REBECCA for this great article! So many of us have been damaged by the trauma bonds….and you are so right that the professional community has more or less not even noticed the damage the betrayals have done to us as individual people and as a group.

Welcome to Love Fraud, Rebecca, glad you are here and am lookin forward to more articles like the one above! God bless.

YES….Thank you Rebecca for your participation in LF and doing what you “KNOW” to help other survivors.

We have found, many therapists don’t ‘get it’…..and this adds to the frustration of the recovery process. We go at it alone…..and keep searching for those elusive answers.

I’ve come out of alot of situations in my life….but i’ll tell ya…..living with a toxic person has topped them all…..people in general don’t get it….and yes…repeatedly we hear….”JUST GET OVER IT” it’s been xx amount of time….”MOVE ON”.
Family’s don’t support, friends are confused and the courts….well….that’s a whole different battle.
If it were only that easy!

I’m sure as a therapist in WPB, you will be seeing some of the spath I was involved in for 28 years, new dupes in your office…..at one point of another….he twilights in your area.
I wish I had contol over protecting the world from this person…..but alas….I know differently.

“I look at my marriage as an educational process that I needed to experience to assist others in healing. Yes, my ex will marry others and commit the same abuse. There will be many women and children harmed by his manipulation. ”
This statement by you is soooo how I feel.
His sex escapades…..and realing in young girls as he parties into the night with men….just makes me sick.
Then comes the drug dealing…..and conning.
WPB seems to be a great spot for him……he’s been protected and taken in in WPB by sooooo many. He creeps into the superficial….the money folks with kids or a left of center lifestyle of sex and drugs. They think they’ve met an angel…..but he’s the devil in disguise.

Thanks again for your contribution to LF and all you are doing to share your life experiences in order to help others and show them the way!

As we know….life DOES get better! It’s a rough road!

EB

We’re starting this thread over. At the suggestion of a Lovefraud reader, I got rid of the prior comments which were necessary at the time but not on topic.

Thanks Donna, for cleaning up after us…

Regarding this article, it’s a very important one for anyone just leaving the relationshit with a spath, because the spath has been manuevering to isolate and control the victim since DAY 1. He doesn’t stop just because you are getting a divorce or moving out. He will continue to manipulate all those involved, including attorneys, cops, judges.

Someone posted on another thread, that during their split with the spath, it seemed that a “perfect storm” had been brewing, things started going wrong in other relationshits etc….

Same thing happened to me. But I understood that it was the work of the spath. He had, over 25 years, inserted people into my neighborhood, my family and the cops. These people were willing and able, ready to be called on by the spath to perpetrate whatever attacks were needed. You might think I’m paranoid, but I’m not. This is how they all work. Even my Best Frienemy suddenly turned on me and when I told him that my spath was doing unbelievable things, he told me to “Call Oprah”. WTF? Spath had gotten to him because he was closet gay.

The spath had cops doing his bidding and even the county sheriff, an elected official. The spath is not that powerful, but he can sense immediately those who are already corrupt, just as he can sense who is vulnerable.

BlueJay posted on another thread that her Spath’s brother was manipulating the attorney into billing her for HIS personal agenda. Yes, they are perfectly capable of that. That’s why we need to have solid boundaries and the same ability as the spaths do to recognize a corrupt court official.

Between the spath, the spath’s minions, and the fencesitters who come out of the woodwork when they smell blood in the water, we really have our work cut out for us. WE ARE THE MINORITY. ACCEPT THAT. Find others like us and build your army.

Rebecca, Donna

Thank you for a really on-target post.

Everything you said sings to me (except I don’t know what relational perpetration is). Can anybody help there?

I have said soo many times here, on LF, during my recovery, that I feel like I have been raped. I do. In a way, it was worse than rape for a couple of reasons.

First, my spath was so-over-the-top sexually I spent more hours with him having sex with him in our 3 year relationship than I had in my entire adult life, and I’m mid-40s. So part of was the sheer amount of the sex. It was like a 500 hour rape.

The second part of it is that I really loved him, or who I thought he was. I physically felt it in my heart and in my bones. When he was with me, I was making LOVE to him. Little did I know it was only a mirage.

For me, sex was emotional. For him, it was functional.

Grief comes in stages as does recovery.

All weekend long my body has been actually physically shaking.

I’ve been thinking of all the hours we spent having sex, and I am brused, abused, shocked, traumatized. It was all lies.

Then I find myself sorting through things he said, things he did, getting lost in what skylar says is “COG DIS”. I’m having the ridiculous conversation with myself, “he loved me” and then “but he hurt me”.

I find myself in another phase of COG DIS where on the suface I’m thinking that I SO WANT HIM TO LOVE ME STILL.
And the other part of me wants REVENGE. I can’t believe he did this to me.

I am sitting here on my couch this morning, getting ready to go for a 10K, and I just don’t know what to do with my grief and my pain, except to sit in it.

Superkid

one/joy_step_at_a_time

Sk – i am sure that you will feel better after your run, with those chemicals coursing through your body.

you said, ‘I’m thinking that I SO WANT HIM TO LOVE ME STILL.’ SK – he never loved you. love is a verb. that’s the piece of info which will dissolve the cog dis. he played you – that’s the truth of it.

((((hugs))))

Rebecca, My post to you got removed with the other posts, but will just tell you how much I enjoyed your article and how right on it is. I am looking forward to more great articles from you!

The dismissing of the victim’s distress as “co-dependent” or “enabling” (though actually we may have enabled them some, I think that comes with the territory of being abused) but that doesn’t mean the victim is RESPONSIBLE for the abuse, which is how many professionals seem to respond to the victim, “treat” the abuser and blame the victim.

While I accept responsibility for my own “enabling” of my personal psychopaths, none-the-less, I was NOT responsible for their abuse. I have learned now to set boundaries, and no longer enable them, but was in NO way “guilty” of what someone else did.

Thanks, and glad that you are here. Your article was I think very helpful to all of us, but especially to those who are newly out of a relation-shit with a person high in P-traits. Patrick Carnes is also my HERO!!!! My copies of his books are also well worn.

Again, welcome to LF! Looking forward to your articles in the future!

Oxy…your post is at the top….

Oops! Thanks EB! Not only CRS but BLIND as well! LOL

Donna, you are getting your message across and thank you for all your efforts otherwise I would have gone mad x I did make a contribution to this article re: “current wife”, the message is out there, thankfully.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/home/you/article-2047902/Relationships-Beware-charming-man.html

Hi LF. Welcome, Rebecca. Great article, and very timely for me.

I finally asked the library to track down, ” the Betrayal Bond” for me and issue me an inter library loan, though I haven’t recieved it yet. I have been wanting to read that book for the last couple of years, but since I am out of all bad relationships and haven’t even dated in several years, I didn’t feel any real urgency….

This is the strange thing: I was in an extremely toxic relationship for seven years and was obviously trauma bonded! I finally got free of that relationship 4 years ago, and began the process of working through the grief and anger, etc. etc. Once it seemed I’d found some peace with that, I found myself obssessing over my decades past maariage, and I am finding that it all feels like it happened yesterday!!! That was the biggest heartache of my life and so totally mind warping!!!

After a gross infidelity in which he left me a Dear Joan letter, and got in his car, only to return and act like it was all in my imagination…..long, long story….but we tried to work it out and I stayed for another 6 years. I got treatment, but he didn’t, and the treatment I was recieving focused on me and my problems, so he was not discussed much, but it’s quite possible he had a sexual addiction…he had many symptoms,including impotance with his wife and porn addiction. While it’s probably 10 or 15 years old, a very good book on the subject is entitled, “Women, Sex and Addiction”, and explores both the psychology of sexual addiction in women, but also sexual co-dependancy, and also goes into what lies behind the addiction of male sex addicts. It’s a very compassionate book and at the same time, very healing and empowering! I highly recommend it.

I know this is a long post, but don’t have access to pc of my own so don’t get here much anymore, but wondered what you all think about this current obsessing over the past. This is a past I thought I had dealt with, but, I am now remembering things that I repressed, or disassociated from, altogether…..these memories, while painful, are clearing up alot of cog dis that used to torture me and make me feel crazy. I long ago decided I had to give up trying to wrap my mind around the situation with first crazy making, heartbreaking husband, because I would never know the truth, and I would never know what really happened.

Also want to know whether you’ll think that emotional abuse is a big enough a buse to be considered traumatic? Can it lead to PTSD and all it;s inherant symptoms??

I have become aware of my ability to disassociate, and how often I have done it…

Any comments, answers, or advise is appreciated. Thanks.

Oh and SK, I soo identify with your post, above. I have been doing a lot of theraputic writing lately and I just wrote something like, “I need a daisy, then I’d knoe for sure…he loved me, he loved me not. Crazy. But I still don’t know.

I’m trying to remember the chonology of events, which is really hard to do since it was 23 years ago.

And I’m afraid of having false memories, too.

What was most traumatic about the whole thing was that he convinced me that our problems were all because of the pressures and time constraints of his job. I waited 5 years for him to finish that tour of duty, and thought that we we be starting our new beginning. Sometime in the lat 5 or 6 months he fell head over heals in love with someone else. But I could see the guilt all over him, and he actually got more attentive. He played love songs for me….you know the one’s, You’re the only one for me….this is only a phase, and we’ll be together forever….then at the zero hour, when his tour of duty was over and we were a week away from packing up and moving to Florida, he leaves me a dear joan letter, and leaves on an out of town errand that would supposedly keep him over-night, but he comes back with tears in his eyes and his face in his hands. Until then, I hadn’t noticed the letter, addressed to me and sealed and unopened. Just like bad drama, I happened to see it, and reach for it, and he pleaded and begged me not to open it….so, I didn’t.

Just to give full account to the cog dis, we went to an awards ceremony, out of town in a fancy hotel, where he had me in one room and her in another. We met each-other, and while I’m sure she knew who I was, I didn’t have a clue who she was, (but, I did know something was wrong and suspected he was cheating). She left the ceremony, then talked to the band in the hall and asked them to dedicate, “save the last dance for me” to my husband, Which the band innoscently did. Not long after that, we were dancing to, “can I have this dance for the rest of my life. We drank a martini that night, because he had only drank one, before and it was on our wedding night.

He dissappeared for hours and I went up to our room alon. When he came in, in the wee hours, he was more cuddley and loving than he’d been in years. WTF?

That was two and a half weeks before our schedualed move, and the mystery letter. Did I say, WTF?

Damn, guys. I’ve got to go. I really wanted some feed-back. Hopefully, I’ll be back tomorrow afternoon. Send me some white light, please. This stuff is tough. I didn’t even remember the letter til yesterday.

Kimmy
He’s not a sex addict. He’s an spath. Game player. Mindfarker. Eating cake and having it too. Just not into you yet wanted you to give up your life b/c he’s looking to see if the grass is greener (it’s not for him but it is FOR YOU.) and he was playing the BULLLLLLL.

He cuddled in the wee hours b/c he thought you’d be mad and he wanted to calm you. WHY weren’t you mad?

Heartbreaking. NAME him for what he is and don’t give him any more exuses b/c excuses keep you hooked.

So so so sorry.
Katy

Kim

What a slime. I am so sorry.

Superkid

Hi kimmie;
You KNOW what that letter said (spelled it out)…..YOU KNOW where he was that night (with her). and you KNOW why he came in late and cuddled up to you……(guilt and appeasment of you)
From my experience…..once our eyes are opened (like with your recent toxic experience ), we have to go ‘All the way back’ through our lives to figure out ‘how’ we got to ‘today’. I don’t believe we can just focus on ‘this episode'(latest hub) or fragmented healing. One turn leads to another. We may be able to keep parts of our past at bay…..for a while…..but it doesn’t make them ‘go away’. Healing also doesn’t come in an ‘order’, we tend to deal with the most pressing first, which uncovers undealt with garbage.
Learning about sociopaths and toxic people has been the tallest order i’ve encountered in my life thus far. And the biggest challenge to heal from. Healing is letting it out, recognizing it, grieving…..and then closing our eyes and seeing where we land. Once one issue is dealt with, another comes out of it.
I think it’s highly normal what’s creeping out currently.
I can relate to you with my parents. I KNOW theres a problem…..but I just didn’t want to, or haven’t had the energy to address ‘that’ part of my life wholy. It’s still there……and it still creeps into ‘active’ mode……but until I disect it completely……it’s left unturned.
I haven’t brought it to the surface voluntarily, because the spath consumed me…..then healing from that consumed me, then the divorce consumed me, then my illness consumed me….and onto the foreclosure and financial mess consumed me…..My parental issues played a roll in ALL of the above…..but I had to focus on only so much at a time…..and that part of my life was the only one I could set aside….for now.
It WILL rise up…..It does RISE up……and it WON”T go away until addressed.
I think this is what is happening with your emotions in regards to first husband. He’s also in your life on some level. (If I recall) You KNOW what he is….that has been no secret for you….so NOW is your time to address it.

We do not have a choice in grief and processing…..nothing ever goes away….you’ve just kept it in a box….until now!
Sometimes that box swells so much it explodes and makes a mess in our lives…..and that is telling you…>NOW IS THE TIME.

Once we’ve dealt with all previous life issues that brought us to ‘today’…..only then…is when we can step forward with a free spirit.

XXOO
EB

Hey EB
You are right. SPATH abuse is all consuming.

A big thankee from me. “I had to focus on only so much at a time.” ME TOO (have lots of those when I read LF posts!). When I wonder why I didn’t just accept the truth and get my act together… yeah I forgot how mindfarked I was, how physically sick, how depressed, how other issues came up, how I had to concentrate on little things b/c I was SO OVERWHELMED I couldn’t handle more than a shower, or getting food, or washing a load of clothes. Wow. If I hadn’t kept journals, I’d have forgetten the road I took to get here. It’s the same overwhelming mindset that looked for excuses with my husband b/c the truth was too much to bear. Now the truth is fine, it’s freeing. Weird how I had to learn to empower myself and reconnect with myself b/f I could handle the truth. And then forgive myself for being so gullible, a dupe, weak, ridiculous, silly, thick headed, foggy, whinney, wussy…

I am on solid ground now and nobody to fark with. I don’t react. I’m not defensive or knee jerk any more. I THINK and I plan my response to be effective and concise. Have to give credit to LF, wouldna happened without wise words of support and examples from remarkable LF members.

Kim

When did all this happen? Was it recent?

So, the good news is, if he’s still with HER, he’s probably cheating on her too. He hasn’t changed. It grosses me out that he came into your room in the wee morning hours. It was a total slime thing to do. It was intentionally evil. He was getting off on being with her, and then with you.

The martini was a kick in your face. It was intentional. He wanted to hurt you.

When you think about the crying episode, was it fake? He may have realized he should be doing SOMETHING, mimicing a film or ?

Run, Kim, run. Don’t look back. You want a guy who would never do that to you. Who is appreciating YOU.

sk

Coping – You won’t offend me if you need to vent and take out some anger issues on future trolls. Practise make’s perfect.

Kim,

I agree with Katy and EB. But I would qualify Katy’s statement a bit – he might have been a sex addict, but he was probably a spath first and foremost, with sex addiction as a sub-characteristic.

Lizzy made a good point to someone the other day about how Ss love to walk the tightrope of “almost getting caught.” That is so true, and I think we should put that on the Top Fifteen Red Flag List. Mine did that to an astonishing degree, and your Hotel experience sounds like the same thing to a T.

But the main thing I would add to the others’ comments is that with Ss, not only is the reality worse than we imagine – it’s worse than we CAN imagine! So whatever vileness you think might have been in that letter, it’s a safe bet that it was FAR WORSE even than your blackest fantasies.

It sucks, but I think that’s likely the truth of the matter. In fact, it’s kind of like those Russian “Nesting Matryoshka dolls”: Only with Sociopaths, instead of the cute pudgy girl, it’s more like a horror within a horror within a horror within a horror within a horror within a horror within a horror within a horror within a horror! And just when you think you’ve at last come to the FINAL horror – voila! – there is yet ANOTHER horrible little surprise lurking inside!

You can almost get PTSD just thinking about it!

Kim – I am so sorry your going through this, I hope you can see the light that you must just go no contact with this freak..hugz

Constantine….Ahhhh, the voice of calm and reason appears! 🙂

“it’s more like a horror within a horror within a horror within a horror within a horror within a horror within a horror within a horror within a horror! And just when you think you’ve at last come to the FINAL horror ”“ voila! ”“ there is yet ANOTHER horrible little surprise lurking inside!

This statement is SO TRUE! I didn’t find out EVERYTHING at once. It ALL wasn’t the straw that broke my back…..the drugs were…..but even then…..I never suspected dealing… (DUH EB!). I was so focused on the betrayal of our kids….it never occured to me he was dealing!
BUT…..the betrayal on our kids was what made me boot him….I was DONE at that point! THEN arrived the news of bisexuality, preying on children, swinger parties and the drug dealing….in my face.
I recall, saying….there is NOTHING I would hear about him that would shock me at this point. And it did keep coming…..even now…I hear stories of what I was living….and had no idea.
I think if we can just fast forward our emotions to bad is bad is bad is bad…..and accept it was BAD…and WORSE, and still could find or hear WORSE yet……it protects us from the shock each time.

Thank you Constantine!

Constantine
bullseye. thx for the right words.

spaths can have addictions but being an addict is not the main problem.

and unlike normal stuff where our imaginations are worse than reality… spaths are worse than we can imagine. nesting dolls is great metaphor.

for previous poster who asked, yes you can get ptsd from emotional abuse.

EB, Katy,

Yes, I went through the same thing with mine. With me, it was the “horror” of thinking that my fiancee all of the sudden went back to her divorced husband. But the “horror within the horror” was discovering that she never even left him, and was actually living with him the WHOLE TIME we were together! And the horror within that horror was discovering that at the exact same time we were “house hunting” she had just bought a new house with her husband! And the horror within that horror was discovering two years later that she was actually banging another guy at the same time we were house hunting and she just bought that new house with her husband. And the horror within THAT horror was discovering that she was actually banging yet ANOTHER guy besides me and the husband and the other guy! And the horror within that horror was discovering from the husband (on top of everything else!) that she had actually been lying to me all along about what her middle name was – since the time that we were ninth grade sweethearts!

Haha, but you guys get the point!

Point very well put constantine – I dont want to know anymore than I already know because it is difficult to wrap my brain around what I already know, ya know what I mean?

one/joy_step_at_a_time

Constantine – this smells VERY familiar. you ‘knew’ this person for a long time and in physical reality….so in this way our stories could not be further apart, but the feeling evoked by what you wrote is exactly the feeling i have about my spath. lies within lies with lies, AND a repetion of the same stroy – as if they are lazy, or are trying to perfect the con. Or perhaps they just like to see the variety of responses they get from a variety of people when using the same con.

may they all rot in hell for their evilness.

Hens,

Oh yes, I know! Even years after I lost interest in this creature, she was still able to “bite” me. It took a few more years after that, but I’m now beyond the point of no return: utter indifference, tinged with contempt and detached loathing.

When Napoleon finally died after his long exile, someone said to one of his former ministers, “Sir, but this is a momentous event!” – to which the minister replied, “No, not momentous, just a news item.” In the same way, if I happend to see my spath’s unattractive mug in the obituaries, I’d simply give it a quick perusal, shrug my shoulders and say, “Hmmm, looks like another one just bit the dust.”

And to think that I once fooled myself into believing I loved this person!

One Joy,

Yes, she was my childhood and High School sweetheart, separated by a long hiatus after college. But that’s why it hurt so much: all my dearest and fondest memories were somehow tied up with our early romance. That being so, it took me years to unravel all of that, and realize that I still had much beauty and poetry in my youth that had nothing to do with her.

But like you, I just can’t believe that I didn’t know better! However, I guess I’m in good company here – you, Katy, Sky, EB, etc., were all with your spaths for extended periods and were similarly duped. But I at least take pride in knowing that I jumped ship as soon as I found out the truth. I like her husband a lot, but I don’t envy him or respect his choice to remain with her. So if nothing else, we can at least hold our heads high on that count!

Constantine….I also met mine at a young age….I was 13. Just a BABY….and there was a ‘certain romance’ about being ‘high school sweethears……..even though he graduated as I went in. I was the baby and he was 19! That sounds so sick now….I have a son who’s 19…..the thought of him bringing home a 13 year old baby…..UH YEAH……I THINK NOT!!!!! **See how it can Bring in the parental feelings…WTF were MY parents thinking????****
May I ask you how long has it been since the lid was exposed and blown off?
Are you dating/married…..

LOL…..I too jumped ship as soon as I found out…..LOL TWENTY EIGHT YEARS LATER!!!!

(sorry…..I just had to laugh at that!)

Cons – Your in the company of many fools.
Your new here, and to save LF readers the pain of reading what unbelieveable things he did ( again) , I will give no details. I could not believe anything that came out of his mouth, as much as I wanted to, and I am sure some things he said were truth, but mixed in with one big lie.
I felt sorry for him mostly, I fell for the pity ploy while he continually lied and disrespected me. I was just always waiting for the shit to hit the fan, clean it up and keep him appeased until the next time, I ran out of next times.
It’s no wonder I walked through life with that deer in the headlights look, being forced to analyze what he was all about, revealed the ugly truth, I have been living to clean up messes my whole life, just to recieve what few crumbs of approval and acceptance I could from my abusers that kept my self esteem so low to their advantage.. Oh well I learned my lesson late in life, I am over the hill without ever getting on top of it, but at least I am done with sliding backwards.

one/joy_step_at_a_time

Constantine – I wasn’t with my spath for an extended period of time – less than a year. She is just REALLY REALLY good at mindfuckery.

Recognizing your own beauty is very important. I find now that I hide mine. She targeted it. I don’t often want to share it, and even more often recoil if I start too. Lf is a bit of an exception. And so are a couple of old old friends who I don’t have a lot of contact with.

i had a chat with one of the two who i call ‘lost friends’ (lost in the spath/ MCS debacle) and it was so amazing to ‘feel’ who i used to be through what i was willing to share with him…or rather the ‘way’ i shared with him.

EB,

Ouch, yes it hurts even more when we fall for someone at that age. In a way, no one knows us like our childhood friends/lovers – and when it comes to a love-affair, those are the ones that either turn into the “ideal marriages” (because you grow together when your personalities are still forming); or the most terrible break-ups; because no one can hurt us like the people who know us best. And 28 years might as well be sixty or seventy, since you can’t know someone any better than that! However, it’s at least good that you got out before “half time”: and that you are making such a great comeback in the third and forth quarters!

I do have a girlfriend, and when I still cared, I used to think it would be fun if the spath ran into her – ’cause she’s definitely much better looking (haha); and the spath is also such an image-conscious bitch, that it would drive her absolutely crazy! However, I’m so indifferent at this point, that even THAT is now completely meaningless to me: in fact, I honestly pray I NEVER see her again.

Incidentally, I’ve never even mentioned the spath to my girlfriend. I kind of feel guilty about that, but on the other hand, why should I let her have that influence over this relationship? I won’t lie about it, but I’ll never bring it up, and my friends won’t either. Fu*k her and her memory too, I say.

But I sympathize with you EB. 28 years means your heart must have really been torn out. Still, I’m glad to see you got back on your feet, and and that you help so many others get back on theirs as well. And there is a strange kind of comaraderie, isn’t there, in knowing others who have shared such similar experiences?!

Okay, see you guys later on. Time for my “before work” nap!

Hens,

You mean FORMER fools! And let’s hope that you still have a lot of life in front of you, where you can put your new-found wisdom to good use!

One Joy,

Yes, a year is quite long enough. A person can only feel so much pain, and then it just sort of levels off. What you went through seems to me more than enough to have reached that gruesome threshold. So yes, a longer relationship hurts in a different kind of way, perhaps. But in terms of mindfu*kery and earth-shattering awfulness, your example would be hard to top. In short, you deserve at least a “respected senior membership” to the club!

By the way, I hate noisy dogs! I went through the same thing in my old apartment, and it damn near killed me.

EB,

Oh, and to answer your other question, it’s been exactly six years since the “lid was blown off.” And I haven’t had any contact since then.

Oh, gosh, yeah Constantine… the horror within the horror within the horror…

He dumped me for someone else with hust a 2 sentence note, though a week before he had said that at least I should come live in Nicaragua, and that he wanted to live there instead of my country. Turned out he was lovebombing her for a month already and planned to live in London with her. He switched from me to her, when she probably promised him to help him with the tickets to London, or perhaps bought them already. Don’t even wanna know. But he flew to London 3 weeks after he dumped me. Turned out also that he had cheated on me 3 months before that, with a girl he robbed, and tried to keep interested afterwards. Then I recalled the ‘condom wraps HE FOUND before our door’ in the hostel where we lived together for a while, telling me it must have been some joke from the boys of the reception. Hadn’t he pointed the wrap out to me, I wouldn’t have even noticed it, let alone noticed it the second time around a week later. With all my own ‘money disappearing from my wallet’ experiences, the robbing story of the girl he cheated me with, and those of the ex girlfriend before me… I was certain that he was behind my robbery with assault in the 2nd week of our relation. When the ex-gf told me that he had attempted to visit her in Norway while he was living in Belgium with me (the ‘honeymoon’ period I had assumed that he had been faithful to me, the period I had assumed he had loved me). ANd about a month after his obligatory return to Nicaragua she was there and made a pass on her.
He and his cousin (who wants to have to do as little as possible with him as he can) told me late December a girl who rented a room at his place had been raped there, and he was helping to get the rapist… but neither him or the cousin ever were able to explain clearly how the rapist got in in teh first place. I now belief he must have raped her. That must have been a week or two before cheating with the girl he robbed. And then one time there was this call from prison to help him out, because he had gotten into a fight, and the guy was in the hospital in a coma. I was in total shock, but neither his father or other family could or would verify it, so I assumed he had come up with some crazy lie for money help. Afterwards, he told me it was a lie because he was in jail for being a neglectful father who didn’t pay child support. And yet his own father and mother paid for schooling for the mother and his mother raised his son at her home, and he complained they wouldn’t let him see much of his son and never alone.

I think the worst of him now: capable of murder and rape. If there are two versions of events, I assume the worst version is probably the most true one. I don’t need to ever find out the gory details to know it.

one/joy_step_at_a_time

Constantine – i am pretty sure the dog would be good if she were training it properly – but she isn’t. my other neighbour has a dog – who is so well trained – and a high energy dobbie. but HE knows who the boss is. he is not allowed to run around or bark in the apt. mind you his ‘folks’ also take him on runs, not just walks.

Some of these posts have an interesting commonality.
Darwinsmom, you said he pointed out condoms by the door. That was a spath tell. He was dying to tell you about his sexual escapades and the condoms he bought with your money, but he couldn’t. So instead he left the wrappers where you would see them. If I recall, Hens’ spath did a similar thing with a used condom he left in the barn and pointed it out to Hens with an accusation and a tantrum. Am I remembering this right, Hens?

This reminded me of what happened within a couple of weeks of meeting the spath. I was living with a roommate in an apartment. I came home one day and there was a paper bag and a box full of gay male porn magazines right outside my door. I was 17 years old and mortified at the thought of the neighbors seeing this. So I brought it in. It was obviously intended for either myself or my roomie. But why? Now, I understand. It was a tell from my spath. He wanted to see my reaction to it and he wanted to “tell” me that he was into gay porn. Right from the start, he was on the attack with psychological warfare.

And Constantine, I left BEFORE I found out he was cheating on me, because I knew he was planning to kill me. But as soon as I left him, everyone who knew him told me the same thing: he ALWAYS cheated on me, the entire 25.5 years.

Constantine;
It’s funny…..There were so many gaps. I never felt like he ‘knew’ me. He told me as a youngen…..”I’m going to mold you into what I want’…….that’s pretty telling huh? Then….I melted…thinking he cared about me enough to put me through ‘finishing’ school…..NOW…..I’d slap him and take stage right!
We didn’t grow together….I allowed him to ‘mold’ me. I was his gumbie and play toy.
I think he knew my buttons and my melt spots….but not really ‘who’ I am.
If he did……he would have been less vulnerable to me mascecrating him during divorce.
In the end…..I figured HIM out!
Neither of us knew each other…..I wanted to…and thought I did….but alas….I knew nothing, just studied him AFTER the lid blow off……and discovered the truths.

I had the ‘benefit’ of grieving the relationship for YEARS during it…..so when it was finally over…..I really never felt the heart ache like others. I was done, done, done. He affected our kids! That was a boundary NO ONE had ever crossed…..and it made me act without looking back! I HAD to protect my kids. I didn’t get the dear john letter or find him in bed w/ another etc…..at one point I would have said he was the love of my life….and I really thought it was forever….and worked towards that….but when it was done….I didn’t grieve a broken heart, because I didn’t remember what it felt like to love this man…..I lost that years ago, I greived the loss of a fantasy.

I’m glad you have a relationship that presumably makes you happy now. I think we deserve this. All of us.
YOU GO!

EB, your feelings were very much like mine. When it was over, there was a sense of relief. I had grieved over him for years and years. I had been willing to live a celibate life with him because I thought that’s what he wanted. (I win the prize for the most naive). 15 years without sex.

After I left him, I was so glad to understand and to finally have “permission” to leave him because I had a good enough reason: he was trying to kill me.

But even then, I would break down and cry every once in a while at the loss of my fantasy, the lies I had fallen in love with.

If I was distraught at anything, it was at finding out that I had lost most of those 25 years sitting in a cabin in the woods in servitude to a creature from hell. I sometimes thought it would be best to go back and have a final showdown, where only one of us comes out alive.

His final words ” You will never meet anybody like me again ” no truer word did he ever speak….

one/joy_step_at_a_time

i know i am under a lot of pressure – really kicked off by what is going on with mom. today i typed a word completely backwards. so i have moved on from inversion of letters and my new trouble with homonyms to full on dyslexia. the brain is an interesting thing.

one/joy_step_at_a_time

Hens:
“You will never meet anybody like me again ”

I bloody well hope not!

one/joy_step_at_a_time

Hens, I was on the bus last night and 2 uni students got on. they had painted their bodies a bright blue (don’t ask). one of them had also used blue nail [polish to protect his nails from the dye.

student 1 said, ‘dude, you didn’t paint your fingernails!? that’s gay!
student 2 said: ‘Well, tomorrow my nails will be clean and yours will be blue.’
one joy said to student 1: ‘well, that makes him smart and you stupid.’

student 1 got very serious, apologized and said it was a joke. and i said, ‘not really.’

lol – smurf’s?

one/joy_step_at_a_time

no – taller and more educated. and possibly more stupid.

football fanatic’s?

one/joy_step_at_a_time

yup. 🙂

but, they do it for frosh also. hate to think what the dye is.

one/joy_step_at_a_time

okay – am off home (am in a coffee shop). have my first counseling session at 9 am. then heavy day. i have a big event on Friday – so, it’s going to ‘be a week.’

i went to see mom last night, but not today. too tired and out of sorts. she is more alert and looks a lot better. she is more lucid – but she is sure she should be nursing the woman in the bed next to her – and she has pulled her IV out again.

i did manage to get her to take one of her meds after many tries…after she told me: ‘mind your own business.’ earned points with the nursing staff for that one.

some days i just need to not be around that.

Hens, my exspath said the same thing, almost verbatim.
“I’m something that, I’m SOMEONE that you will never hope to meet again.”

He corrected himself from something to someone, but he was trying to tell the truth in the form of a lie.

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