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You’ve May Have Been Set Up!

                                If you’ve been labeled as a “co-dependent”, you may have been set up.

What???  Set-up???  You’ve got to be kidding, right chely???

But I’m not.  I’ve basically been groomed my entire life for this role.  The role of giving too much and losing myself in the process.  I didn’t know it or understand it.  However it is now glaringly apparent to me.  It was a set-up of sorts.

I am in my early 50’s, considered the tail end of the baby boomers generation.  Growing up in the 60’s was during a time of a lot of change in society.  Music, free love, hippies and drugs, demonstrating against war,and women gaining independence for themselves.  We thought we were going to change the world and the people in it with our openness and freedom of expression.  But there were few role models to look to for guidance.  TV was still filled with programs about “traditional” marriages and families.  Mom’s took care of the house and Dad went to work.

Only my life wasn’t like that. My parents divorced when I was five (after the second time my Mother became pregnant from an affair- I didn’t know that at the time).  So it was just me, Mom, and my two little sisters in our home.  Saw Dad every other weekend until mid-teens.  When I looked around at others, most of them still lived in traditional family settings.  There were not a lot of others (that I could see) in a single parent household.

I realized my life was different but not in a bad way.  And my Mom had a decent job and took pretty good care of us.  I was proud of her, looked up to her. Wanted to be her.  She was making it work for us.  But being the oldest, I was looked to,  “to help”  with my siblings and a lot of the other responsibilities because my Mom was working.  She never was able to attend anything that had to do with school or after school activities. So my Gramma did a lot.  But I cooked, I cleaned, did laundry and took care of my sisters.  Sometimes too much-  I was required to give up doing some of the things I would have liked to participate in because I had to help out.  It didn’t seem wrong to put so much responsibility on a young person, and I was proud of myself for doing it and thought I did a pretty good job.

As a single woman, my Mom loved to go dancing.  Just about every Fri or Sat night she would head out to dance.  I would sit in the bathroom with her as she dressed, put her make-up on and chat .  Sometimes I wished she would just stay home with us.  She always was at work and tired when she came home.  Sometimes didn’t have enough patience with us.  I in many ways wished I had a traditional family, like most of the other kids.  But my parents were divorced.

I had always wished I could  go with her dancing, couldn’t wait to be old enough to do that.  I was happy that she was happy.  I missed her but it was okay because she was happy and still spent quality time with us girls.  (Gramma lived with us and was there for us when Mom was gone).

Then she would meet some guy at the bar, and if she liked him, bring him home.  I never knew if Mom’s bedroom door would be closed when I got up on weekends.  They weren’t like one night stands. Generally they would begin to live with us. Our home life would change.  Now everything seemed to revolve around these guys.  We had to watch what they wanted on TV.  Had to change what we had for dinner because he wanted something different. We did different stuff on the weekends because he liked to do that.

Most of my Mom’s attention now went to him.  She didn’t really neglect us,  just focused on his needs as her main priority. And I was old enough to know what was going on behind the closed-door.  Maybe all of this wouldn’t have been so bad if they were nice guys, or good-looking or good to my Mom. (Mom was very attractive). But they weren’t.  They were users for the most part.  And Mom was different when ever one of them was around.  But then they would eventually break-up and life would go back to normal for us.

On the weekends she would go dancing again.  Until the next one.  I don’t want to make my Mom sound like a slut at all.  There were probably only four maybe five “boyfriends” growing up and it was the time of sexual freedom for women so how could that be wrong-right?

But one morning, after L had moved in, Mom came down stairs and she had a black eye.  I heard them arguing the previous night.  But a black eye, that was not cool.  But I was young what was I supposed to say?  A few weeks went by and then one evening they were arguing right in front of us.  It was escalating, and then I watched in horror as her punched her in the face.  I freaked out, went screaming at him and jumped on his back attacking him.  No way was I gonna stand there and watch him do that.  It was quite the scene.

He was there about a week more after that. Then one afternoon, tells us girls that he is moving out and did we want to help him?  You never saw three girls move so fast, finding boxes throwing his stuff in and dumping it into his car.  We wanted him out of our life.

I knew I would NEVER accept any physical abuse in a relationship, ever.  But no one ever told me that you could be abused with words too.  That never occurred to me really, until way after I married my husband.

So my role model of how to have a relationship was shaped by what I saw.  When you’re in love with someone you focus on their needs and give of yourself to make them happy.  That’s how it worked. Whether a lover or family member, you give up,  you and do for the greater good.  I didn’t realize at the time how much I had given up so my Mom could be happy.   She seemed happiest when she had a boyfriend. The message I was learning was if you loved them,  you change things to suit them, move in together (usually after only one date or two) put aside your needs for them and had lots of sex.

I never realized how this would impact me and my relationships for the rest of my life.   My brain told me, that to have romantic love is to give yourself away to another completely.  Sacrifice for them, show them how much you love them. Do the things they like to do, cook the food that they like.  Have sex with them, often.

I was being taught to be co-dependent.  I didn’t know it was wrong. Mom didn’t either.   So I followed in her foot steps when I began to go out with guys.  If they liked me and showed me attention I would give them my all (including sex, not old enough to live together yet ) make my focus them.  I would stop seeing my friends or doing other things I liked very much.  It was all about them.  They would eventually break up with me and move on.  I would be devastated (like my Mom) then keep my eyes open for the next one.

I had no idea that this would someday be labeled as dysfunctional.  It is called co-dependency.  It is considered not a positive trait and actually seen as somewhat of a mental illness.  Isn’t that special?  To find out, now that I’m in my 50’s, everything I learned growing up about relationships is wrong.  This is what has led me to where I am now. Ugh!   This could have been one of the catalysts that contributed to my husband having an affair.  I gave too much!!  Never considered my  own needs.

I give my all to him (career, friendships, literally my whole personality was sucked away), He has an affair,  but it’s my fault because I’m co-dependent?  According to psychology experts,  I’m the one who has the problem, never mind that my spouse encouraged this all along.   Never mind that my husband has definite narcissistic tendencies, and has no empathy.  That’s okay with society.  Because I’m the one with who is screwed up.

That is so fucked up!!

All I ever wanted to be was a good girl, loved by all.   I always tried to please others.  I was taught to be helpful,giving,  kind and a hard worker and you will be loved. In my opinion, the world has forgotten about the golden rule of do unto others….

So if through this journey out of infidelity you’ve been called co-dependent and treated like there’s something wrong with you.  I say BULLSHIT!!  It is not our fault that we’ve been groomed growing up.  Basically set-up because they NOW have changed how this game of life is done. A lot people today don’t give a shit about others.  It’s all about them and their needs. And what they can gain from you, without reciprocating.

I should have been selfish and self-centered growing up I would have been fine.

Thanks MOM!!!

Grow A Pair- the final chapter!

After my conversation with my husband’s affair partner, besides not asking some questions that I would of liked to ask  her,  I also didn’t follow through on a few things that I had wanted to say.  Some things I NEEDED to say to her.  And for her to understand me, loud and clear.  Not in a negative way, (because as long as she didn’t want to go there again), chances improved that no contact continued.  So along with the little book “Wisdom especially for Woman” by . I would include a letter saying the things I hadn’t said on the phone.  The following is that letter:

Hello AP (I put her name),

     Well finally, here it is, the little “something” I wanted to give to you.  This little book is filled with little bits of wisdom especially for women, to help with living a full and sane life.

     When we are young life looks so wonderful, filled with hopes and dreams for the future.  We marry and have a family. The demands on us increase, sometimes it can become so overwhelming.  Even more so if one feels disconnected from their spouse.  It feels like you are alone to struggle with the daily battle of living, let alone be happy.  This I understand.

     Generally in times such as these the support of friends can help us through tough times.  However when experiencing marital problems, turning to a friend, who is of the opposite sex, puts that friendship into a sticky situation.  Simply because sharing intimate details in a M/F friendship is NEVER advised.  It is a line that should never be crossed.  Stepping over that line is the beginning of an affair.  Whether physical or emotional only, it has become an affair.  Due to smartphones and VPN, etc., it is possible to be intimate without ever having physical contact.

     I do not know exactly what went on between the two of you.  You both claim to have never met in person,ever.  Possibly that may be true.  However, you must know THAT HE HAS BEEN WITH SOMEONE. There is simply too much evidence, both tangible and behavioral to indicate anything else.  If not you, then who?  How many others?  Whether you did or did not, it is in the past and I cannot change that.  But I want you to know that I don’t blame you.  He is a manipulator with an entitled attitude.  I have to ask you, HAVE YOU EVER CONSIDERED THAT HE MAY HAVE BEEN LYING AND MANIPULATING YOU AS WELL AS ME??  i realize now how it’s all a game to him.  I can only imagine the things he has said about me that are not true.  The story I’m sure he told about how bad our marriage was and blamed me, never indicating how HE contributed to our problems.  Of course not, a narcissist could never admit that.

     The discovery I made that morning ripped a hole through my heart.  We were working on improving things, for sometime and it had gotten better, only to discover the affair.  I wonder what would of happened if I had not made that discovery.  Would you still be involved today??  Despite all of our problems throughout the years, I always trusted him, never doubted his word. ALL THOSE TIMES he had to work late.  I will never be that nieve  again.

     This experience has been a big wake-up call for me.  I think for HIM as well.  I have learned a lot.  I will never give up myself  for another again.  We are doing well but still have a long way to go.  His unwillingness to be open with me and accept responsibility for his actions has made it difficult for me to move past this.  Talking to you and offering forgivness has given me the ability to put this behind me.  Now if our marriage survives or not, it is no longer about the affair.

     I have no hard feelings towards you, though I will admit I wanted to scratch your eyeballs out a time or two. What kind of women would I be if I didn’t?  Despite all, I LOVE MY HUSBAND.

     I hope you realize that once your friendship crossed over the line, as we talked about, that you cannot rewind and go back to just friends.  The friendship MUST be over.  I expect no further contact between the two of you-EVER. It is unfortunate but a fact.  I ask you to continue to respect that, woman to woman.

 Since our conversation, of course other questions have popped into my mind.  Naturally I would want answers to them.  I’ve accepted i’ll never have all the answers.  Maybe it’s better that way.  I am letting it all go.  I have to otherwise it will destroy me.

     I hope you find happiness and peace in your life and possibly your marriage or wherever life’s journey takes you.  He has told me he has let it go, it was a stupid mistake and that he will no longer seek attention outside of our marriage.  I have to have faith he is telling me the truth.  It is difficult knowing how often he lied and played mind games with me.  But THAT has nothing to do with you.

 I appreciate the time you took to speak with me.  It helped me a great deal.  If we ever do get together to have that drink obviously it would have to be girls only.  I hope you enjoy the little book.

                                                               Best Wishes Chely

p.s.  Remember….the answers to our problems never lie in the arms of another.

Well there it is.  My letter written to the other woman.  I imagine there are many of you readers who are shaking your heads screaming at me, calling me crazy, stupid and a few others I won’t mention.  That’s okay.  I realize that the route that I have taken, to help in healing after my husband’s affair, is not the route many would choose.  I understand that.  What I know is that every situation is different, staying angry at her was not helping me at all.  In my situation while she made some bad choices she was not responsible for the behavior of my husband the covert narcissist.  Understanding that, has been extremely helpful to me in being able to put “his affair” behind me.  As I said in the letter, now if my marriage doesn’t survive it’s not about the affair.  It will be about the two people in this marriage and how they manage (or don’t)  the ups and downs in life.

The scary thing is that because he was able to let go so easily of what was a fairly long affair (I don’t know exactly when they crossed over that line) it confirms to me that he truly does have a level of NPD.  And what you read about the behaviors of someone with NPD (of which they ones I see hit the nail on the head) I may be in denial about the true nature of my husband.  How much more don’t I know about??

Scary, it really is if you understand narcissism at all.

Grow a Pair, part 3

At 8:30 the following morning the phone rang.  I knew it would be her.  I had wanted to have a conversation with this woman for almost two years and here I was about to answer the phone. I suddenly felt extremely apprehensive.  In my mind I had scripted what I would say to her if I ever got the chance.  But as I answered my mind clammed up. Not knowing what to say I simply said “hello”.

I wish that I had been able to record the conversation somehow, but I wasn’t prepared.  Maybe I didn’t think she would actually call.  I couldn’t even think of most of the questions I had wanted ask her.  I was shaking and nervous, I realized this could bring me  a lot of pain especially because this conversation could lead them into contact again. I hoped I wasn’t making a mistake.   I’ll do my best to recall the conversation.

I know that things started out cordial, I thanked her for calling me and admitted that it felt a bit awkward.  I explained that I had wanted to speak to her to possibly get answers to some of my questions.  Since husband wasn’t really very forthcoming.  I wish I could remember better but I was nervous and felt unprepared ( I really should of written out a list of questions to help me but I did not).

A bit of small talk about kids, and then she began by explaining that she was really sorry about being in the middle of our problems.  That it was a friendship that had escalated and kinda got out of control.  I asked her if they had ever met in person and hooked up?  And she stated NO.  I told her I find that hard to believe.  That since they were friends and during all the years (after working together) when they were in contact again that they never met for lunch or anything.  She said no.  Way back when they worked together yes they had had lunch, but not since then. Okay-maybe.  Then what went on between the two of you?  I could see that they felt never meeting in person meant they weren’t having an affair.  NOT!

She stated that mostly it was just two friends (I read “NOT JUST FRIENDS”) commiserating with one another about problems in marriages and life and they got a bit carried away.  Well what went on then? Mostly it was just flirty, baby talk to one another.  Both wishing that there was more promise in their marriages but finding that comfort with each other.  Made me kinda sick to my stomach.  My husband, baby talk?  Never been like that with me.

She said something about them realizing they were being inappropriate (yeah AFTER I discovered the text) and that they would end this and focus on repairing marriages.  That she hadn’t spoke to him since then.  Really?  I’m supposed to believe that?  And so how was her marriage going?  She tells me something about her and husband currently sleeping in seperate bedrooms and not a lot of progress in their marriage.  I commented something about well at least they have enough bedrooms in their house.  Then she says something about that they had to give up the big house they had because of expenses and the real estate bust a few years back.

Well I realized that she was not telling the truth about that.  Remember, I had gone to the town she lives in and had observed her there.  It occurred to me that she could be lying about all of it.  Or not.  Possibly she hoped I didn’t know where she lived and wouldn’t show up at her door to confront her.  Or maybe her husband didn’t know what had gone on between them and was nervous about her own can of worms.  I don’t know.  She could be playing me to the hilt, or simply deflecting fallout from our conversation.  I wish I was more prepared with questions but it felt weird talking to her about it.

We talked for a little less than an hour and in the end she told me that it was wrong of them to have slipped over the edge of that proverbial slope (my words not hers).  She assured me that they had never been intimate and guaranteed me that they never would.  That she understands now that it was wrong to have interacted they way they did. Since she had lied to me I really didn’t know what to believe.  She was probably trying to play down the whole thing save face for herself and my H, I mean did I really think she would admit the whole truth to me? No not really, but I needed to hear the tone of her voice, how she phrased things and what her reactions were.

I thanked her again for speaking with me and told her I didn’t blame her for his actions, I had no hard feelings towards her and wished her well in her marriage and life.

Aughh- I did it- had a conversation with her- but I felt I hadn’t handled as well as I could of.  Still didn’t know if any of my questions were really answered.  I was taught that you catch more flies with honey than vinegar and figured if I was abrasive she wouldn’t say anything helpful.  But now I wish I had been more direct- calling a spade a spade and shaking her up a bit more.  But I am a bit doormat-ish (believe it or not) when it comes to confrontation.

Shortly there after I received an text from her. (her in italicize, me in bold)

I’m super glad we chatted.  I hope u can rest ur mind on everything.  I promise u one wife to another no line ever crossed nor will it ever.  I will always consider ur husband (she said his name) and u as a friend and wish the best for u both.

Thank-you for your kind words-it means a lot to know the truth- What is your address, I have something i’d like to send you.  I do hope things work out in a positive way for you and your family.  Sincerely wishing good for you.

She then texted back an address

I didn’t really have anything I wanted to send (rat poison- just kidding!). But wondered what address she would give me.  The address was to a hardware store whose phone numbers had shown up on our bill in the past.  Her family must own it or something.  Why wouldn’t she just give me her real address?  Maybe her husband didn’t know a thing and might question something received at house.  Okay I could understand that.  But what was I going to send?

I remembered a little book I had been given years ago titled Secrets for Woman by J. Donald Walters.  It has a little bit of wisdom for everyday of the month- some good quotes and decided that was what I would send. I ordered one from Amazon.  I also wanted to send a letter so I could say some of the things that I had wanted to but didn’t during our conversation.

I began to write a draft of the letter while I waited for the book. There were some things that I needed to say to her.  This letter might be the last opportunity to make some things clear to her.  A very important letter- I think it took me four days to get to a final draft.  The last and final post in “grow a pair” to follow soon.

Yes you will get to see the letter.

Grow a Pair, part 2

After going to actually lay eyes on her the week before, had somehow softened how much I despised her.  I realized that she was just someone he choose because of her vulnerabilty and was a victim of his manipulation.  She fit the profile, just like me- with co-dependant tendancies,  with him portraying himself as the knight in shining armour coming to save us.  (If you’ve been a faithful reader you’ll know what the hidden meaning is).  YES,  She made bad choices,  but she really was not to blame – he was the one who had pursued it (that much he has admitted to me).

Back on topic here…

…So the next morning, I checked his phone to see if any response had been made. Nope, Nothing.

I decided to try again.

Thinking back to texts I had read between them (which was only a few) I attempted to make my texts sound like they were sent by my husband.  The following is an exact transcript  (I took pictures with my phone before deleting).  with the bold written by me as if  from my husband and the italicized are the responses received from her:

 

Hello-you off or on today

 work.. u r?

Coming your way when you off

Who is this…lol

Oh your funny-

 Can I see you today?

Seriously I lost

Your kidding right- I need to see you today

                                                                                                 Y

What’s going on?

Just been a while missing you

How’s home?

It’s ok

 Things fix?

Ya sort of

I in same boat

Ya were two souls looking for love

 What’s love?

I’m not sure either but I like what I have with you

                                                                                               With me?

You don’t agree

Hmmmm

Well maybe I mistake how you feel

You don’t want to play with me anymore

                                                                                                No comment cuz I still not 100% clear..if 

                                                                                                  u follow

Follow what ?  Maybe I should not of textd u

Call

Can’t right now

K

Do you still want me

 Call when you can

K

OMFG -I did it!  I had an on going conversation with her (texting) from his phone.

What the hell was I thinking?

Obviously I wasn’t, as I realized that if he didn’t contact her that she would most likely contact him on Monday when he’s at work.. Now I really did it.  Maybe they weren’t in contact after all?  Maybe I had just laid the ground work for them to be in contact again?

Can’t leave well enough alone can you stupid!!

Now I was going to end up having to explain how I had used his phone once he got a call from her.

Yeah sometimes I’m like that, act before I think.

So now I needed a remedy for this can of worms that I had foolishly opened.  Think Chely, think.  Surely you can get your ass out of this one.  Think…..

…..and after I deleted all the texts from his phone and I then sent her a text from my phone:

Hello this is Chely-i’d like to talk to you.  No hard feelings-just a couple of questions.  Please give me a call. Thanks

An hour later I got a reply:

Tomorrow ok?

Okay thx

Chely first of all…I sorry for any contribution I had on u guys.  Lots going on with me at time & I wasn’t thinkn n being stupid.  Look forward to chatting with you tomorrow

I appreciate that- we’ll chat tomorrow thx

And I waited for tomorrow.

Hopefully I had put a plug in the dam that would of busted open on Monday (and I would have to own up to what I did).  I didn’t really WANT to do that if I didn’t have to.  I now wanted to see where this would lead.

Dammit if he wasn’t going to give me any answers, I’ll just have to get them any way I can.

The treadmill is slowing down, I can feel it.  Sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do.

In all honesty what else did I really have to loose?

This mediocre reconciliation?

The love of my husband?

Think that one may already be gone…

…or at least the kind of love that I really need…

…no longer is just present and accounted for acceptable…

…I’m tired of that warm fuzzy roommate kinda love..

…with benefits but I want REAL.

I can have a great orgasm by myself

I have a great vibrator!

I want a partner who at least acts like he wants to be with me.

This mid-life crisis,

narcissistic,

been married along-time,

love you but don’t love you

man I married –

can really drive you to do crazy things

infidelity-sucks!!

Looks like this will be a multi-part story… look for the post next week sometime.

Be out of town for a few days, ironically  going to a wedding.

In the mean time feel free to share your thoughts about how stupid or ballsy you think I am.  Need a little input here friends! Thanks

Ladies, have you ever wanted to grow a pair??

A couple of posts ago I was talking about how I just couldn’t totally get the whole situation about his affair out of my head.  I needed to know if he was still in contact with her.  I wanted to know how she would respond if she thought it was him on the other end of the line.  I really needed to know.  What was I going to do to calm my mind?

Mid April he has a big 4-day fishing tournament that he always goes to. I have no problem with it, I know many of the guys who attend and always look forward to having four whole days without him at home.  So part of my plan was I needed to see if she and her husband were still together and if she possibly had a young child, she had not had before when I met her. (If you’re not up on past posts, husbands AP partner was a women he worked with in the past and we (boys & us) had gone to a bbq at their house once before.  She had two sons about the ages of mine.)

I knew where she lives (about 30 mins from me) and went very, very early just to watch what went on.  I parked on a side access street where I could see the house. I first pretended to be out for a walk, pausing in front of the house tying my shoe to make sure someone lived there .  Someone did.  I then sat in my car pretending to be doing paperwork like a canvasser or something.  After about 25 mins the garage door opened and a few mins later a car left, driven I assume by one of her sons and she was in the passenger seat.  I followed of course.  About 10 mins and they pulled into a strip mall and went into the dentist.  I parked nearby and watched.  No small child that I could see.  When they came out I continued to follow them but ended up in the wrong lane that went straight when they turned. I tried to turn around but of course this became a two-way highway and I couldn’t turn around. I returned to their house and waited for almost an hour, no further activity so I went home.

Even though I didn’t gain much information it still some how made me feel a bit better.  Once during the weekend he actually called me but the call droppped (usually never had any service) but he did send me a quick text thanking me for helping him to get everything together and ready for his trip.   He usually never does that so I thought to myself that’s good.  Pretty much I try to remain nuetral in response to his actions, not let things get to me either negatively or positively.  But after he got back all week he was kinda acting weird.  If I didn’t know better i’d say that the fishing trip was a ruse for other activity but I knew that wasn’t true.

He did however for the first time take a tent with him to sleep in, instead of the big beautiful motorhome that he was going in with his friend (total of 3 in motorhome).  I thought that was strange since there was lots of room.  Thenit seemed weird that all these other years there was no phone service but this year there was.  Oh my mind is so bad!  I then had decided he slept in the tent so they could have phone sex at night.  Since he would be alone.  Auughhh!

It was Sat. after fishing weekend and we had got into an argument about something, I can’t exactly remember but something about the way he was acting towards me. And it got rather heated.  We were on the patio, it was about 10:30 at night and I went in the house fuming.  As I walked through the kitchen his phone was sitting on the counter so I scooped it up and went in the bathroom.

I Texted her number from his phone: Hello Beautiful, no response.

I tried again. but it was 11 by now so I erased the texts and put his phone back.  OMG I did it now.

If you’re wondering how I was able to know her # so easily?  It is because it is one of those weird numbers that you could never forget.  It has the same area code where husband works, the prefix is the area code where I live and the last four digits are all the same.  Ironic isn’t it to be such an easy #.  I will never forget it for the rest of my life.

I’m going to keep you hanging here –waiting for the conclusion in my next post.  Naughty Girl I am!

Really? But They Seemed Like Such A Nice Family, So Normal

Once during one of our “discussions”, he had said to me that “everything is not all about you”.  While on the surface this could be seen as a hurtful statement, I understood (I think) what he meant by that even though he may not realize it.  Doing so would mean he must acknowledge the dysfunction in his family of origin.

Sometimes people mistakenly believe that all abuse is mean, direct, straight forward, name calling, drunken beatings in a lower, deprived class of people.  That is so NOT TRUE at all .  Sometimes it is blended into what is basically a warm and loving family.  This family wants what is loving and nurturing and healthy for it but (for whatever) reason in their history something stained it .  Sometimes it goes outwardly bad, easy to recognize.  Other times it grows inwardly, causing it to be sickened despite still wanting what is good.

To own this means you acknowledge  what was always presented as “perfect”, simply is not so. It is not the truth. It is a facade, all for outward appearances  It hurts to realize that your behavior was (albeit unintentional) detrimental to yourself and the one you created. If you refuse to accept this as part of your reality, you deceive yourself.  When you finally (maybe) see a glimpse of it for what it is, it’s too painful so you push it away.  Don’t acknowledge ,then it won’t be true.  Otherwise people will recognize it for the facade it was. To cover up the pain that sometimes comes along with the love, within families.

My husbands’ inability to acknowledge any of this (in our family or his FOO), is ultimately what was the cause of his affair/s. However I feel like I do see moments of a little understanding from him.  I think I’ll call it vague recognition, like when you know but you really don’t want to know. If you never acknowledge it then it can never be real.  He doesn’t want it to be that he grew up in this type of family. Who would? But not acknowledging it is catching up with him, and that is what he meant when he said “It’s not always all about you”. At least that’s what I think because I see hints of recognition from him every now and then.

Maybe I am trying to read his mind.  I have to . He doesn’t share whats going on inside very well, if at all.  This is the life of a covert narcissist.  Wishing that everything is perfect (who doesn’t) but can’t accept that life is just not really that way. We are all human with flaws and imperfections.  I think one of the most appropriate descriptions of this is from Christopher Leasch in a book he wrote a long time ago about Narcissism (can’t remember exact title).  He describes a covert narcissist as someone who;

“Although perfectly capable of lighting candles, prefers cursing the darkness”

But people pretend (families pretend, sometimes for generations) and when it eventually catches up with some of them, they try to cast that away.  Which causes hurt , to them, their significant other and children, basically their immediate family.

I guess that’s where the saying “you only hurt the the ones you love” may have come from.

That’s what I believe he means by the “it’s not all about you” statement.  That he is recognizing that much of the strife between us, was not always about us.  It was about him.  And he knows that deep inside. Even if he refuses to outwardly admit that and accept it.Heck my family of origin was pretty screwed up as well – I admit it is the root of a lot of my own issues.  I don’t like it but I acknowledge.  I know I brought baggage from childhood into my family. I know that husband and I are the ones responsible for the problems that our kids deal with.  He does not like when I say that. I don’t either but you just got to own it to change anything, ever.

I am glad to say that not all betrayeds are dealing with a narcissistic spouse.  Many may not even know or have come in contact with this type of person. If you have, I’m pretty sure you couldn’t tell, you were on the outside, looking in and weren’t privy to such behavior.  It is not uncommon for this type of spouse  (narcissistic) to go on undetected by others for a long time.  One of my good friends (who knows of my husband’s affair and is very supportive of me) even said to me recently,  “I believe you, but I just don’t see it”.

It made me realize that there may be others who cannot see it, for what it is-COVERT ABUSE!  The link below is an excellent website about understanding Narcissism written by Michael Samsel MA, LMHC. The specific article titled Narcissism as ‘Difficult behavior’  explains it so well   If you don’t have time (right now) to read the entire article (although I reccommend it )– PLEASE scroll down to the last paragraph or two that are specific to covert abuse.

It’s time for people to understand this about our society, in hopes of making changes so we educate young people on how to prevent this from happening.  We Must break the generational cycle somehow, someway.  It is destroying what are basically good people and their families. No one deserves the pain abuse causes. Sometimes, affairs can be a symptom of underlying abuse.  We need no reminders of how painful the discovery of an affair can be.  If you’ve been there you will know what I mean.