STICKS AND STONES

*** My actual post begins in the paragraph below.  But I needed to make a quick comment about the subject of “co-dependency”.  I have drawn a line in the sand on this one and stand my ground firmly.  I do not like the insinuation from many articles about this that imply that ALL the problems in my marriage are caused by me.  I hadn’t been so giving, so kind, doing for others before myself then I wouldn’t be in the position I’m in.  Well I disagree with my entire being.  Being a compassionate and caring person does not give my husband the right to be abusive to me.  I have always owned that I’m not perfect, I’ve made mistakes, but that shouldn’t give him the right to receive a “get out of jail free card” simply because I am compassionate, sometimes to a fault.  Just because people don’t witness the abuse (or receive physical injuries ) does not mean it did not occur. Would you tell a woman (or man) who came to you with battered and beaten and blame her for the abuse?  I think not.  I entered this marriage with good attitude, positive thoughts and expecting a partner who had the same goals, prepared to tackle whatever life throws at us.  Not to be belittled, invalidated, gaslighted , or cheated upon to the point of feeling like I had lost my mind.   So yes I take a hard line on this one folks. You may think I’m crazy, I’m co-dependent or a whole laundry list of other monikers.  BUT I AM NOT AND I GET TIRED OF BEING TOLD THIS.  I’m not here to win a popularity contest,  I am simply finding my way through this nightmare by standing up and no longer accepting that this is ALL my fault.  I didn’t make him a cheater and abuser.  I also respect the right for you to have a different opinion than mine .  But please don’t fault me for standing up and crying FOUL, abuse is horrid.  Covert emotional abuse is underhanded, sneaky and hurts just as much as if he had broken my body.  I know it is difficult to grasp, but please continue reading and take a look at the links at the bottom.  They certainly explain better than I ever could.  Thank-you.***

If asked to describe what covert emotional abuse looks like I am sometimes at a loss for words. Precisely because words, they are the weapons utilized by the abuser.  And they are very good at using these veiled weapons.

Words are sticks and stones.  And sometimes they CAN and DO hurt as much as a sharp blade or a clenched fist.

Yet I stumble in my attempts to help others see what I live with.  I realize that this is important, if ever covert emotional abuse is to be understood by someone who can’t see it.   I must be able to accurately describe this. The right words will give my response credibility.  So as I explore the various ways to say this,  I look to some of these websites and blogs I follow to assist me with terminology that best fits.  It is not easy explaining  emotional abuse to someone who has never experienced it.

Taken individually occurrences don’t necessarily seem so bad. However  it is the cumulative effect they have on your mind (and body) that is so devastating. Then what happens is; one of these interactions between the two of you occurs.  To onlookers, this appears (by itself it)  fairly benign.  But it is the straw that breaks the camel’s back, triggered, you react.  You are not reacting to this isolated incidence, you are reacting to the cumulative effect of years of just such experiences (you experience the hurt from all these events combined not just the one).  And those who don’t understand think you’re going crazy over something not that big of a deal alone   It is draining and it can destroy you after time.  And you do feel crazy because it’s the stupid little things that push you over the edge.

To better describe how the cumulative effect takes it toll on you I will use the analogy of the shoreline, where water meets rock.   Each day as the tides come and go, water splashes against rock.  A single drop of water on a rock certainly cannot change in the rock. The rock is strong and the water tends to splash differently each time it approaches.

However in some places,  the water approaches each time to exactly the same spot on the rock. Time after time, year after year, the water continues, relentless. As tides come to shore everyday without fail. And despite the stone being very strong, the years of that water endlessly pounding against the same spot on the rock wears it down. It takes time but without fail the rock will change. Sometimes a little or a lot.  I have seen entire rock formations change in shape through the years from the waters continuous pounding.  The rock is no match for the water.  In that specific spot the water will win out every time.

It seeps into your soul.  Changes the landscape of the rock that you are.  But the water, the water seems  not effected at all.  And because the water can look so seemingly beautiful and innocent as it wears the rock down, others have a difficult time grasping your reality.

Oh it can’t be that bad they may say, or but you have such a good life and he is such a nice guy.  And I don’t doubt that they believe that.  He IS a nice guy, as long as you’re not his rock (or baby rocks) you WILL see the beauty in him.   It is not surprising that onlookers only see the beauty of the ocean.    Not thinking how the daily, endless tide does wear the rock away over time.

So I ask of you PLEASE, PLEASE if anyone ever comes to you and asking for your help because their partner is emotionally (& covertly) abusing them.  Don’t discount what they are saying simply because you can’t see it with your eyes.  They a reaching out for help because they feel unable to escape.  If you are their true friend, give them the benefit of the doubt and believe them -no matter what!

I still love the ocean in all it’s wonder and glory.

But I will no longer allow the water to crash down on me, changing me.

And I do think they need to get rid of that child’s rhyme.

Because sticks and stones do hurt AND the words hurt just as much.

invisible abuse – how they get away with it

Are “nice” guys really covert narcissists?

how a narcissist treats their spouse

The exhausted woman-eight mental abuse tactics narcissists use on their spouses

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.

When It Doesn’t Feel Genuine

THIS POST WAS WRITTEN ABOUT A MONTH AGO BUT NEVER POSTED- MY BAD!

 

When you suffer the pain of infidelity, the heartache of an emotional  or physical affair, deception in your marriage, a disconnect from the one you thought was that “soulmate”, when it looks like your marriage is coming to and end, you begin to think “is this it?”,  “Is this really the end of our relationship?” It most definitely feels like it.

Yet for some untold reason you stay together, sort of. Both remain in the relationship and continue day to day, but are they really there? I mean their hearts. You see their bodies but do you feel their heart?  If your answer is NO! Then why stay? I just couldn’t think of the right words to describe this until I read a post written by Douglas LaBier PhD.;  Caught Between “Longing” vs. “Settling” in your marriage.  In which he describes this dilemma so perfectly:

                     

                       “caught between feelings of longing for a relationship ideal that they think, might be real but unfulfilled

                              and a pull towards settling for what they have, with all it’s imperfections and disappointments”.

That was it, the word I couldn’t put my finger on. The word is  SETTLED.    It didn’t feel like he was choosing me, it felt like…

He was settling on me.

Settling because He felt comfortable with me.  That certainly makes me feel so special.   Even with all my imperfections and disappointments I’m still comfortable, I guess that’s how I see it.  I’m good enough to be the slave laborer but not enough to be the desired one.

As Julia Roberts says in the movie My Best Friends Wedding “You order creme brulee but what you really want is jello, jello is comfortable.” I guess I am jello.  Not good enough to make you only want jello, but brulee is something you only want sometimes.  Which is the lesser insult?

He simply cant make up his mind.   I imagine it is fear, fear of the unknown.  I’ll take a guess, that this is happening for both of us.  I try to wrap my mind around  what being single again, after 20 years of marriage , would actually be be like.  Especially in this technological, youth oriented, narcissistic world we live in today.  How does someone who still has empathy survive in this world of wolves, without being eaten alive again?

I’m not really looking forward to it in all honesty.

I HATE infidelity!!!

 

 

Inspiring Blogger Award!

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Today’s Readers have something fresh for their eyes in the way of my NEW theme. It was time again for me to pick a new look to represent me. A couple of things inspired me to make a change:

1st) When I feel like I am making progress in some area of my healing, a new theme represents growth to me or some type of change. Being able to go several days in a row with triggers setting me off is BIG growth in my opinion.

2nd) A dear sister blogger CrazyKat, whose blog Try Not To Cry On My Rainbow has nominated my blog (I guess that means me!) for the Inspiring Blogger Award to which I say Thank-you very much for your kind gesture. It is a nice feeling to know, that sharing my story, about trying survive after husband’s affair, are of benefit to my readers, most often another human being who may be feeling so alone. I’ve always stated since the very beginning, if even one person was relieved of the hurt for just a brief moment. Then suffering would not be in vain. Thank-you you again Kat. The support I receive from sister/fellow bloggers and readers, continues to inspire me as well. Hugs to you ALL!–Chely P.S.   Did you notice?  I got the picture on this post and I now can embed the shortlinks –  Yippee!!!

 

The Rules of nomination:

1) Thank the person who nominated you 2) List rules of award 3) list 7 random things about yourself 4) nominate another blogger 5) contact your nominee and let them know 6) proudly display award logo in sidebar, about page or other special location on your blog

 

My nominees for this award are: Take a minute and check them out – both are worth it!!

1) Matt at the blog Must Be This Tall To Ride.  Describes himself as a divorced, single, a father, makes bad decisions and this is his journal. He has an open letter to shitty husbands that’s awesome. (Wish mine would read this). His style of writing and tell it like it is (to himself) attitude inspires me. Demonstrates that divorce is not the end of the world-just feels like it. Good job Matt!

2) Kristian at the blog Pixalated Lifestyle .  Describes himself as a world traveler, movie lover, reluctant procrastinator who has lots of thoughts scrambling around in his brain. I don’t think his description does him justice. I find that he is a young man who has his finger on the pulse of whats going on in this world, while still displaying integrity, showing his heart, and enjoying life. He has written some powerful pieces and it’s refreshing to see young people who are REAL. Good job Kristian!

 

 

RANDOM THINGS ABOUT CHELY THAT YOU MAY NOT HAVE KNOWN.

1) I was married once before, 10 years no kids. H wanted to keep our sex life from becoming boring by becoming “swingers”. We tried it, he loved it (wanted to do everyone) and It was okay, but not something I needed all the time . It wasn’t the multiple people part of it, more that he just  wasn’t as picky who we did (since I had a nice variety partners BEFORE I was married, I didn’t NEED to fuck everything that walks) so that didn’t work SO WELL for us. He ended up cheating too but I didn’t find out until after we divorced.

2) I LOVE to build sandcastles at the beach. I have my castle building supplies always packed and ready. Sometimes people tease me about it, thinking they’re too mature for that. But something about sculpting in that sand, on my hands & knees (better than dermabrasion) brings me closer to earth and what feels good, they say don’t stop playing if you want to have fun in your life.   I prefer being outside to inside any season. Much of the time I’m on the patio when I blog, yep even in the winter.

3) When I was little I wanted to be a go-go dancer in patent leather boots, inside the cage like Goldie Hawn on the show “Laugh-In”. Okay I grew up in the 60’s and still love to dance. I’ve been told I “shake it” pretty good. I have been to over 100 Live music concerts and music still moves me, but I don’t listen as much as I used to. Too many triggers in too many songs!

4) I am hooked on San Francisco Giants Baseball Team- Love going to the games in SF at AT&T Ballpark, it is like no other. My favorite players are Angel Pagan – center field, Hunter Pence -right field and Buster Posey -catcher. I’m hoping to go to spring training in Arizona in the spring. Yep -love them Giants!

5) If I’m watching TV most likely it is related to: something that explores science or expands my mind discovering ancient things,like ruins, bones, artifacts, caves & underground tunnels, etc. I MUST visit ruins in Italy and Egypt before my bucket tips.

6) I have a disease called Morgellons that is related to Lyme disease. It is no fun at all! I have a beautiful smile but it has messed my nose up some. There is still not a cure and a lot is not known about this. Scientific research is finally catching up with this ailment, for many years the doctors just told me it was all in my head. I knew that was NOT true and science is proving it.

7) If I had to live my life over again I would have decided what to “be” when I was younger,  so I could acquire the proper education for that line of work.  Whichs means I am a  “Jack of all trades, Master of none”.  I have  a plethora of knowledge rolling around in my head and know how to do A LOT of things, but not enough in one specific area to be truly useful to myself career wise.

So that’s my list- hope it helps you to know me better. Hugs to you all!! Chely

It’s more about what you don’t talk about

In the beginning (D-Day) I still believed. Believed the words that he spoke to me, the things that he told me. When he said he didn’t want to get a divorce. He had made a mistake. Me, being a person who has empathy, I felt his pain, how he could have felt alone those years as we were together, but not “really” together. So I decided I would forgive him. Leave it behind us, move forward to a new and improved relationship. Yes, take him at his word and offer the olive branch of forgiveness.

Through those first days and weeks as we talked, we spoke primarily about the needs each of us weren’t getting fulfilled within our marriage. I was thankful he hadn’t walked out on me, leaving me to figure this all out on my own. I believed he was thankful that I didn’t leave him.

It was awkward at first, communication was never one of our strong points and d-day made it even harder. So we simply started by being nicer to one another. Baby steps, tread lightly, reconciliation after d-day is a delicate process to say the least. It was difficult not knowing exactly what to do, what to talk about, how to act. Everything was different now, this marriage has a huge scar to bear-forever. A scar that needed to heal.

Trying to follow some of the advice I had been reading (I became obsessed with finding information to save my marriage) I would initiate a conversation on ideas to make sure “this” wouldn’t happen again, some new boundaries, a new “game plan” so to speak. They say when infidelity enters into a relationship/marriage that some of the “innocence” is lost. Basically the marriage you knew was over and that you must build a new one with your new history. Gently I would suggest various ideas for us to “work” on our relationship, knowing I shouldn’t push too hard.

As it had been in the past, my ideas were shot down for one reason or another (No counseling, no marriage workshops, no reading of anything of books or websites on healing after infidelity, barely any talk of the affair, events, or details). No forging of new ideas to make a better marriage. We were getting along decently and he didn’t want to jinx it with all that other nonsense I’d been reading. As usual, I back down and agree to just keep moving forward, not focused on past events.

While our interactions did slowly move to a comfortable place where we were sharing time together, being loving and doing activities and outings together. This is good I thought, but it didn’t feel like a “healthy” way to reconcile and definitely not recommended by any professional in this industry. Not the way I thought we should address our new life after infidelity. So many issues that we needed to discuss, for real healing to take place. But as usual we went with his plan.

As long as I “held up” my end of the bargain, things were actually improving on the surface. Anyone on the outside would think we have a good marriage. So despite making major improvements it still felt “hollow”. Not like what I thought a husband and wife who were trying to save their marriage would be like. No conversations about healing, definitely no details about the affair, basically superficial chit chat. Okay no conversations about the past, so let’s talk about our future, address some of the issues weighing us down.

But conversations were never about the important stuff. I felt as if I was simply spinning my wheels realizing that in all honesty he has no intention of ever tackling the hard stuff. It was back to the way it was, I walk around on eggshells never knowing if he would drop another bomb on me. He acts like nothing ever happened (never really apologized, feels no remorse that I can see), let’s just forget the past and ignore the need to create an improved future. I know now that this is not going to happen. My needs, once again, take a back seat to the “blueprint” he chooses to follow.

His words are believable, he talks a good game. His follow through totally sucks however. His actions do not match the words he speaks. Nothing but lip service. Yes the narcissist, also known as character disorder, is the master of lip service. Loves to spin his web of deception to snare the unsuspecting prey once again. At the moment I allow him this delusion. Playing the game the way he does. Let him believe all is fine. But my agenda will throw a wrench into his sick and twisted ways.

I know I cannot change him. All I can do is find my inner power. Each of us has really only one power within us, the power of choice. To choose how we will respond to any situation in life. I can decide where my path of life takes me. I have given him every opportunity to bring new meaning into our marriage. SHOW ME -don’t tell me. That has not happened, well truthfully he HAS shown me, that this will never be a partnership, working together toward our goals. My needs will rarely be addressed unless there is some benefit for him in it as well. Whether he continues to cheat at this point is irrelevant. Even if he has stopped (but I don’t think so) the way we are living our life is NOT what I want anymore. My needs will never be on his priority list. It’s just same ‘ol same ‘ol bullshit. Cordial and friendly but still bullshit.

So here’s the bottom line: If you never talk about the tough stuff, if your interactions are cordial but superficial, if you continue to wonder if he really loves you. Take a step back and see THE BIG RED FLAG staring you in the face. What you see is what you get, NOTHING IS EVER REALLY GOING TO CHANGE. I am interviewing two attorneys on Monday. I HAVE THE POWER TO CHOOSE.

“If you wonder if he loves you, you will continually look for things to tell you it is true. But if he truly loves you, you will never wonder because he will show you everyday”.
Sampra

LINK: marriage.about.com/b/2014/03/12/you-need-more

No visible scars?

What type of injury leaves no visible scar?

Do you know?

Need a hint?

It’s silent & slow.

It permeates.

Like toxins absorbed through skin.

It can even be life threatening.

Continues to injure. Leaves no visible scars.

I didn’t say NO scars,

no visible scars.

While not illegal.

A crime none the less.

Still not sure?

It’s not easy to see.

No visible scars.

But if you carry these scars, you know what I speak of.

It is the little spoke of, it is EMOTIONAL ABUSE.

A person who has higher than normal levels of Narcissism is likely to be an emotional abuser. Some are subtle, some are in your face. They can appear to be your friend or in love with you. It can be your spouse or significant other, a sibling or parent. A teacher, policeman, or your boss. A politician, or volunteer. Someone you barely know, your neighbor or your best friend. A child or an elderly person. Someone on the internet or you could be married to one!

How do you prevent emotional abuse?
FIRST AND FOREMOST IS TO TALK ABOUT IT. Unlike physical or sexual abuse which generally is attempted to be kept “private”, hidden in the darkest parts of one’s life, “as a secret”. Emotional abuse can happen right out in the open, in a family, the work place, on the playground, even in our church’s. It can take on a group mentality, or be one indidvidual. It frequently is an unwelcome legacy handed down from generation to generation.

Our world has become more accepting of these abusive behaviors; bullying, belittling, reprimanding, teasing, making fun of someone, excluding them, gossiping, teaching them a lesson, correcting, humiliating, scapegoating or to deny someones right to their own opinion. And then possibly laugh at it all afterwards and say “just kidding” like it’s no big deal. People need to STOP BEING ACCEPTIIVE of this behavior and speak out.

How can we protect ourselves from this abuse?
First Is SPEAKING OUT AGAINST IT. Stop letting the media shove this in our faces constantly making it seem more & more normal to society. The television, music and tabloid type printed material are filled with it. It is permeating our youth daily and they grow-up thinking that this normal. It is not normal to emotional abuse another human being (or animal).

Second is to stay away from abusers. This can be difficult. They are hard to spot, can seem so charming, caring. Possibly a family member or co-worker which can make this difficult. In which case awareness is the next best tool against it. In many, many ways he/she is the proverbial “wolf in sheep’s clothing”. To be able to stay away from or deal with none in our lives, we must first understand what EA is and how high levels of narcissism are a good indicator. This is Narcissism as defined by (DSM-IV):

(an individual who possesses) ” excessive sense of self-importance over and above the needs of others; grandiosity; arrogance; absence of ability to empathize and experience reciprocity in relationships; intense need for admiration/attention to fill very low self-esteem; impaired relationship skills, resulting in parasitic/predatory behaviors designed to fill one’s self-esteem in the form of narcissistic supply.”

Read that paragraph again!

Let it sink in, because this type of individual is often difficult to recognize, until they have you firmly in their grasp, by then it may be too late. Most of the time you don’t even know it’s happening to you until that point. Don’t take this lightly- the most extreme form of Narcissists are called socieopaths and psychopaths. Does that get my point across a little better? Many emotional abusers have high levels of Narcissism. Are all emotional abusers narcissists? No, but all Narcissists are abusers. All of the above disorder wrapped up in a pretty package with a bow on it (at least that’s the way the seem, in the beginning, before they hook you).

Everyone possess some narcisssism within themselves. Normal levels help one strive to do their best, a type of drive to keep on moving forward in life, in the best way. But unhealthy levels lead to attitudes of self-entitlement, grandiose thoughts, needing extreme amounts of adoration, unable to empathize, feeling they deserve so much more, than what they have. Also low self-esteem, jealousy, envy, conceit, a need to feel superior. As the partner of one, you are only there for them and their fullfilment. They will be sure to remind you on a daily basis. They also may physically, financially and sexually abuse you as well.

So why should you read my words? Who am I? I’m not a psychologist or counselor or trained in this…in any way, except through experience. I have experienced emotional abuse first hand for over 20 years in my marriage. I also grew up in a family with dysfunction. So I am only able to relate what I have lived through to tell the story of what emotional abuse (and other types of mental illness) can do to your life, your marriage and sadly your children from said relationship. Which then leaves no visible scars for the next generation to bear.

My family of origin has many EA’s within it (as does his). Since I grew up in one, I am familiar with EA or family dysfunction, experts would say, (although unconsceniously,) I am drawn to this in my relationships, because it is familiar to me . I say bullshit , I may be familiar with EA but I am not comfortable. I may have lived with this growing up but being in this type of relationship is never comfortable.

Probably one of the main things that makes it difficult to spot this type of abuser is that it can appear to not always be bad. I think of it this way; The vows I took when I married mention “for better or worse”, I realize I got both. Some of our marriage has been wonderful ,going places, doing things, years of family and friends. But pretty regularly I was questioned, punished, ignored, invalidated, belittled, gaslighted, reprimanded, embarrassed, told I was psycho, imagining things or just plain wrong about everything I thought. And all in a way that indicated he was doing it for my own good, helping me. Sometimes with a smile on his face.

He is that wolf in sheep’s clothing. Handsome, successful type that looks so good on the outside you would never think that he is an abuser. He didn’t start out that way. He was kind, loving and giving at first and that is what they want you to fall for. He tells you, you are soul mates. Sweeps you off your feet and places you on that pedestal on top of the world. Then when your deep in a relationship they begin, slowly removing the bricks from the pedestal, unnoticed until you’re balancing on one toe on the last brick, just to save your life. Mine had never been married and wanted to be a father to my young son (son was 1-1/2) whose biological was not in our lives. We met through my sister, he was her husbands good friend. His parents were still married, and lived a very comfortable life.

He came with good credentials so I was not looking for any red flags. Ones that, had I known what to watch for should of given me a clue. Never married in his mid thirties. The two previous relationships he spoke of were short term and he called both of them psycho losers (although in all fairness I’ve met and know both and they kinda are exactly that). With one he had a child, and although he saw her occasionally, he never paid child support (until forced by the state). That one always bothered me and he gave me some story about an agreement between him and her only to find out later- lies, more and more lies in the form of half-truths.

After we were married and have a son together it began. Slowly and meticulously stripping away any self-esteem, any courage, any of the passion for life that I had, until there isn’t much left of the true you. Like a brainwashed step-ford wife, making sure it looked perfect to anyone looking in. According to him, I didn’t know how to cook, drive, shop, or take care of the kids basically don’t know anything. At this point, convinced that you can’t do a damn thing, they realize what a horrible person you are and everything wrong in their life is your fault. They slyly play mind games, twisting every word or action to their benefit. It is difficult if not impossible to argue with them. They are the masters at this game. The continued, unmerciful behavior strips your ability to rationalize, to think clearly. They drive you insane and seem to enjoy every minute of it. Oh yes and they will let everyone know of your problems, how messed up you are. You are their victim, and they play both sides of this coin like a concert pianist -perfectly. Yes they will act like they are the victim as well as a hero.

“I am so wonderful for saving the crazy women from herself, the poor victim who needed to be rescued. Then just when you are about to fall off that cliff they create a new story line as THEY claim to be the victim, because the crazy one is taking advantage of their good will and caring causing all of the problems in their life. They truly believe this bullshit and now seek sympathy from others because YOU are victimizing them. The absolute worst part of all of this is that because they are SO good at twisting the tales they tell, that people actually believe them! Even people and family who know you will fall for their story. It is because they put on such a show of perfection to all who will listen that they must be telling the truth. It is all smoke and mirrors for the outside world to see. A cruel fairy tale of their creation.

The hardest part of being in a relationship of this type of person is to describe to another just what the abuse is. My husband rarely swears at me, has never hit me (well once when we were drunk a long time ago but I had him arrested but they let him out early and never even notified me of it – i’m sure he convinced them I was crazy) but would never do anything that would leave a visible scar.. Doesn’t call me filthy names, he’s much more underhanded and concerned about appearances than that. Actually to see us you would think he is wonderful to me. Because his true nature only comes out behind closed doors. The condescending voice, belittling, invalidating, ignoring, witholding finances, etc. -all of it reserved for only those special loved ones at home. Only me & the kids, and rarely anywhere outside of our home.

Basically everything I do is wrong, unneccessary, ridiculous, a waste of time, self-centered or stupid. I’m lazy, unproductive, can’t finish anything, doing it the wrong way or have no clue. Our house is a disaster and we have no money because of me. I have no good ideas and am basically worth very little to him except be his beautiful scapegoat. ( I do get to go on vacation with him, not because I deserve it but he doesn’t want to go alone). He cheats, doesn’t pay his taxes on time and I think will kick our dog (that he never wanted) when no one is looking. Our children are good for nothing and will never amount to anything- just sponges sucking him dry. Yet no matter how horrible it is you stay, can not leave. If you try, he will bring you back for more of the same (after he lures you back with promises). And still you love him because that is what you are conditioned to do. It can eventually affect your physical health as well.

The saddest part of all of this is, I believe he doesn’t do any of this on purpose. He grew up in a family where this same story took place. His family was perfect on the outside, dysfunctional on the inside. It was all he knew. The legacy was passed on to the next generation.

It is sad and it is sadistic to treat those he “loves” with such behavior. It changes who you are. Oh, it still looks like you, there are no visible scars. Nothing for the outside world to see, the shell looks the same but the inside is empty, dead, like a clone he created to replace the real you. No scars for you to show the world when you SCREAM – he is abusing me. I once told a counselor how I wished he would hit me so everyone could see his crime against me, see a scar, a broken bone, a bruise. She said to me:

HE HITS YOU EVERYDAY WITH WORDS! ON PURPOSE BECAUSE IT LEAVES NO VISIBLE SCARS.

A crime yes indeed, a sick twisted crime that leaves no visible scars. Scars that no one can see. I am scared & my children are scared.The hardest part to accept is that I knew it was wrong. I knew that this behavior was unacceptable. I knew it was not a place to raise my children. Yet I was unable to leave him. I finally accepted that this was my lot in life- but I was not going to accept the abuse anymore. No more fighting with him, I had to get control of my emotions and not allow him to get to me any longer. It was going fairly well until I discovered he had been having an affair.

As you may know, we are still married, he has mellowed in many ways with time. I still love him and would like to work to a better future. After d-day he has been so much better. I think he would like to go back to pre d-day. But for me that marriage is over. I don’t want that one back. If he can make the changes, for himself, because years of this is effecting his health as well. I need a guarantee, no more abuse, nor more cheating, a fresh start. I think a post nuptial may be in order for him, as a way for me to see if he truly means it.

If you are unsure if you or someone you know is being abused please click on these links for a very good articles of those red flags/behavior to watch for. I pray that a narcissist never preys on you or your loved ones. They are very sick on the inside, yet look like the complete package on the outside. Learn what to watch for when bringing new people into your life, or you could be here in 20 years writing a blog about invisible scars. It should be a crime!

The relationship destroyers; counsellingresource.com/lib.theraphy/self-help/understanding

Signs of emotional abuse; psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2013/02/20/signs-of-emotional-abuse/