How many miles have you logged on your treadmill?

There may be a few of you who have noticed that I’ve been MIA recently.  It has to do with a brain that works overtime,   overtime that never reaches the end of the shift.  Like running on a treadmill, always moving, feels like forward but you just never get there. It can happen due to lots of different things I imagine.  For me it has been  learning trying to live again and cope with  life beyond the trauma of infidelity with a narcissistic husband.

Even after the conscious decision to let the obsession go, my mind refuses to stop.  I have read about those who NEVER move beyond the mind treadmill.  It is actually a symptom of a type of disorder.   OMG am I disordered?  Because I still find it difficult to empty  my mind of the persistent thoughts, they refuse to go away.  And while THIS life line, that I found some 22 months ago, (through writing this blog and the reading of others’) can be attributed with my surviving after his infidelity, it can also be like kryptonite.

The fuel that contributes to the never-ending cycle in my head. I found that if I get busy and don’t check in with blogs I follow,  my mind kinda moves on to other things.  But then I find a window and begin catching up, and  my brain jumps right back on that treadmill and I’m off and running again. When I try to not think about it, it makes think about it, and I try to not think about it, which makes me think even more.  I needed a break.  My brain needed a break.  It makes one realize that there can be positive and negative in everything we do. The proverbial two-edged sword.

So why then does my brain not let it go when I make this conscious decision ?    After 20 months and much improvement in our marriage why won’t it stop?  If I attempt to bring it up he gets upset, because I think he has no intention of ever answering those questions.  Maybe it’s all make believe.   There does come a point where if you can’t ever move past it,  it will begin to push your partner away.  If you’ve gotten the answers you needed, your spouse works with you towards healing, maybe you only have fleeting thoughts, not treadmill activity, then you’re moving forward.  But if you still have unanswered questions, you may be on a treadmill too.

It’s not that we don’t spend time together (doing things we enjoy and chores too) it’s just the way he can seem so detached. I mean he’s there, I can see him physically there in the same room, yet I can feel like i’m alone. WHY?? It is one of the hardest questions I have still have. Why can it still feel so disconnected, yet seem so good? Is he still thinking of her despite everything?

Much of the research indicates that a long-term emotional affair can be very difficult to detach from. Is he still stuck on her? How did he detach from her SO easily?  No matter how good it has been between us why can’t I believe him?  Why? Because it feels like he wishes he was somewhere else.  I mean how do we work on this marriage if it’s all superficial.  He doesn’t seem to want to tackle any of the deeper stuff we need to address. And I don’t mean affair I mean us issues. It’s all about keeping it the peace, keep it looking good from the outside.  Don’t get me wrong, he has made many changes. But  something is missing. I needed to know once and for all if he was still contacting her. Since my private investigator was pretty much worthless,  I made a very bold move in an attempt to know the truth, once and for all.

 

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Newest Bedtime Ritual

It feels really strange to lie in bed most nights, next to my husband and not touch and hold him. Neither of us reaching out to each other to bring in a moment of quiet, emotional closeness that is needed to keep love alive. Oh we may share a quick kiss good-night or briefly hold hands. But I don’t feel anything connecting between us when we do. More like an obligation, we must wish one another a good night because that’s what married people do. But it is so unfamiliar, to feel like I don’t feel anything for him. Not bad, not good, just nothing. That is very sad. Very sad indeed because I also feel he is feeling the same way. I can see it in his face, in his eyes, in the sadness that is beginning to ooze out of us both as we realize our love is dying.

Oddly, it doesn’t feel bad though. It feels like a veil has been lifted, so to speak, (I never wore a veil) as we both see that our love has run it’s course, is coming to a conclusion. This chapter is going to close. It makes me sad. It hurts to think that man that I’ve loved for longer than any other man in my life (other than Dad) will no longer be my partner. It will be so weird to be single. I never ever thought I would be again. I thought I would hold his hand as we walked in the sunset on the beach in some tropical paradise, so happy together. But that was then and this now.

I must accept that this truly has been what I have wanted for a very long time. To be able to do anything without worrying if I might get in trouble from him. Being allowed to have an opinion and voice it respectfully without always being shot down. To feel valued, as a person and for the contribution I’ve made to our lives. We have loved and there has been much good but he refuses to look at it from my shoes. I think I do for him, but maybe not as much as I should have. I wish that we could have broken through that horrible legacy of narcissism that is the gift our marriage could not bear. I think he loved me as much as he was capable of. Neither of us had good examples of relationships growing up. There was sexual abuse in both of our childhoods, along with booze and drugs and all that go with that. I think we both tried the best we could but it was not a love to be forged of gold to stand the test of life and time.

I don’t know if his changing of heart has anything to do with his affair/s and sexual addiction. He of course will not see his issues and try to do the hard work. Almost no narcissist ever does. I see all the work that I personally need to do and I will attempt to make some changes. Even when we know we should change it doesn’t necessarily become easier. But I’m beginning to formulate my new life in my head see a future that revolves around my needs and wants. I think that I might move out of state. Make a fresh start. I think the less reminders of my past (especially in the beginning) would be a positive thing. I’ve always loved adventure, 22 years is the longest I’ve ever lived anywhere in my whole life.

I still don’t know how this story will conclude, what is actually going to happen. But I know right now it feels like the love has simply died. Maybe it’s best this way, slowly bleed to death instead of one quick fatal stab wound to the heart. What I do know is that I can’t continue to lie in bed next to my husband and not feel loved or loving, it’s just not right. Difficult to accept but the best thing maybe to simply let go!

If your fighting to survive after infidelity or an affair, sometimes the best thing for you both is to simply let go. Realize that some marriages are not forever even though you will always have love for that person in your heart. They say it is the greatest gift of love that someone can give, when love has reached the end is to let go gracefully. It still hurts though.

Be careful what you wish for?

What do you wish for? A big house? Car? Success in your career? Maybe a healthy family? A happy marriage? A husband that is faithful? Sounds good right? It is most likely that you know about the darker side of wishes, as in “Be careful what you wish for?” Yes there is much wisdom in that phrase. Because wishes can come true and yet the result might NOT be all roses and sunshine. What have I wished for recently?

Lately one of my biggest wishes is to know the truth regarding my husbands affair/s. To get answers to questions I’ve had for over a year. Answers to new questions that have developed due to the trickle down (or I call trickle out because NO INFORMATION comes from his lips) evidence that continues to pop-up. It continues to try to drive me crazy. It would be easy to succumb to the pain and trauma that not having the answers causes me. I had to do something. be I wished for those answers.

Being unable to uncover the truth myself, I know I need help. I Can’t do this alone anymore. I won’t keep this secret any longer. So I did two things. I decided that I was going to hire a private investigator and I needed to tell my Mom and Step-Dad because I needed their help, both emotionally and financially.

I was extremely nervous- how do you walk in and share something as big as infidelity when you’ve been pretending nothing was wrong all this time? I should of realized that their love and support was a given. But the years of crazy making, married to a Narcissist makes you second guess everything in your life. Just having a plan was helping me feel better. I felt I wouldn’t have to be in this limbo land forever. I would finally get some truth, some answers. I would no longer be treated like a mushroom, you know kept in the dark and fed nothing but bullshit. Maybe my luck was changing. I felt so much better with a plan of action.

As I was setting up the appointment with the PI, and compiling the evidence that I did have, I began to think about how I felt about hiring the PI? A part of me is feeling elated, (after months & months of feeling so lost, alone and confused I feel like i’d never know the truth). It felt good to take some of my power back. I would not be the doormat to his bakery any longer. But then I started to feel kinda funny, almost sick to my stomach as I wrapped my mind around what would be happening. I was going to get the answers i needed but I also was going to have to hear the truth. It was probably going to be things that I DID NOT WANT TO HEAR. My suspicions would most likely be confirmed and I would then have to ACCEPT THE TRUTH. That my husband was the one of the worst cheaters around. A narcissistic, personality disordered, sex addict, charming & successful BASTARD. OMG! Am I really ready to know the truth? Am I as strong as I like to believe/pretend that I am? Can I handle it? Will it make me feel better or worse? Not sure! Oh no I’m going to have to hear the truth. I’m starting to feel sick again, like I said before:

Be careful what you wish for? Your wish just might come true

Oops – don’t wanna stand on the soap box

I am writing this post in response to an author whose blog I recently commented on. I (generally) pride myself on being able to offer a differing opinion respectfully. Every person is entitled to their own opinion and I know that there are lots of different ones out there. I acknowledge that I didn’t do a very good job this time. He states that I was “high on my soap box and spewing misplaced anger”. It is true, the anger was misplaced, should of been directed to my husband, not at him, for that I apologize, that’s not my style. That aside, I still stand by my opinions and will do my best to not add misplaced anger to my comments this time around.

When I read the Blog “only partly erotic”, his words spoke to me as if they been spoken by my husband. My comments were offered because I could see the similarities and had hoped to possibly allow him to see things from a different perspective. The remainder of this post is in reply to his comments. You can see the entire conversation, from his original post, everything in between, to my reply here.

http://www.onlypartlyerotic.wordpress.com/?s=long+spoon&searchsubmit=Find+>>
http://www.onlypartlyerotic.wordpress.com/?s=long+spoon&searchsubmit=Find+>>2012/01/18/a-spoon-too-long-on-being-a-sex-addict-in-a-sexless-marriage/#comments
http://www.onlypartlyerotic.wordpress.com/2014/08/12/its-hard-to-be-polite-sometimes/

Dear Bi,

I acknowledge that you were on the receiving end of my misplaced anger. I accept that I went over the top by allowing anger to pepper my comments. For that I apologize. Despite the “snarky” remarks, surely you understand there are two sides to every story. What I attempted to share with you are some points from someone that lives the second side of the story. I will do a much better job in reply to your reply.

From your posts it appears one of your primary concerns in life is getting your sexual needs met. Since your wife was unable to fulfill these (even though you state that it started fine), you go outside your marriage to get “your fix”, without your wife knowing. By not giving Ashley the information that you seek sex outside of your marriage you are abusive to her. When I suggest that emotional abuse might be a reason that she chooses not to fulfill your needs, you adamantly state that this is not the case at all. You write in a previous post:

“But after we married she began to change. It was a gradual shift in behavior, keeping her body covered, respond less passionately to kiss, laugh at new suggestions in bed (more passionate than ever seen in a women) were ignored or out right rejected. No excuses just I don’t want to have sex. When asked why? the answer is always, don’t know, I just don’t want to”.

For something that started out “more passion than ever seen in a woman” and decreases for no “reasonable” explanation I suggest has the possibility of being from emotional abuse and to this you reply:

“Ashley’s own admission, her lack of sexual interest stemmed from three things 1) physical pain from having sex with me due to my girth 2) insecurity due to weight gain 3) lack of sexual experience sufficient to keep up with my own interests”.

PLUU-EASE! I read many of your posts and did not see that mentioned in any of them. What I do see are words written by someone who has a problem with his sexual desires, even though you do not classify yourself as a sex addict. You regularly go outside your marriage for sex yet don’t consider that abusive, only “scummy” behavior. You state:

“So as I have always done in previous relationships, I get “my fix” from other places.”

Your statement indicates to me that this situation has cropped up in your relationships before. Yet, as you say there’s no abuse. So let me get this straight; your a highly sexual person whose relationship partners start out compatible sexually yet seem to change and no longer wish to fill your needs. So they leave you no choice but to go outside your relationship for your needs to be met. Am I getting that right? I detect a pattern here.

When I note that going outside of one’s relationships regularly for sex is a description of someone who MIGHT BE a sex addict. You let me know that you don’t think of yourself as a sex addict at all (despite the title of your article) and love Ashley very much and wouldn’t want to hurt her and that she thinks you’re a wonderful husband. I imagine she might change her story if she knew the truth. Yet you write;

She’s “my reason for living and deserves all the happiness that this world can muster. Yet I betray her trust often enough that I’ve developed strong hatred of myself. I want more than anything to tell her the truth, to enlist her help in overcoming these urges I have, but that would mean destroying something beautiful, unique and precious. I can’t do that to her”.

You destroy her every day that you take away her choice, she has a right to know that the man she married seeks sex outside his marriage to fill his compulsions.

“I know one day I will be caught and everything I have and love so dearly will be taken away because of this weakness. But in that moment, tangled in sheets, I don’t think about risk, consequences or guilt”.

The description of someone who has a sexual addiction is “people who feel consumed by by their sexual urges, that it actively interferes in their personal relationships and work”. I’m not denying that you don’t have a right to have your sexual desires fulfilled, only that they should come from within your marriage, not outside, unless Ashley agrees. But you don’t give her that right. It doesn’t surprise me since you describe yourself as “selfish”, but not abusive. Seriously? No emotional abuse in your marriage? You think I’ve never told my husband that I thought he was wonderful during our marriage? I have and yet he is still covertly abusive. You hide the fact that you sleep with other women regularly and then can’t fathom how that MIGHT BE abusive to her. You are more concerned if your other sex partners sleep with another, than you are about what you hide from your wife. You choose not to acknowledge that any of this MIGHT BE abusive. I see it differently. I Respectfully disagree with you.

To respond to a couple of your other comments about me being upset that my husband is kind and caring to others but not me. Tells me that you really don’t understand what emotional abuse or narcissism is. How it is inflicted, and the circumstances involved in long term, exposure. It is very difficult to watch the one you love and care about treat others with care and respect yet invalidate, disregard or undermine everything you say, do or are. An abuser will never own up to their behavior, it’s always someone else’s fault.

You suggest that I put as much into my marriage as I do the anger in my comments. If you only really knew how much I have given to my marriage and my husband. And I do mean both good and bad. I have always owned up to the fact that I wasn’t always good to my marriage (not infidelity) after years of emotional abuse I did not want to give anymore to the relationship. Yet when I try to leave I cannot, he has this psychological hold over me –It’s so hard to explain so others understand it, but I speak the truth. There are numerous articles from trained professionals that I take my facts from (see my related links bar for a full list). Narcissism/emotional abuse changes you from the inside. It is abuse that leaves no visible scars. I have a post by the same title for a more in depth description.

https://chely5150.wordpress.com/2014/08/02/no-visible-scars/

My husband is a narcissist. (I really didn’t mean to immediately put you in that category only to see another side.) Yet I love him dearly and I despise him at the same time. After 20 years of trying to make this marriage better only to find out that he has been having sex with others for a long time only adds insult to injury. Especially since all I ever wanted to do was make him happy (and myself) as a partner who worked hard for her husband, up for anything sexually, go anywhere do anything that he requested yet he could not be respectful of me as a person. Oh sure if you ask him, he’ll tell you how much he loves me blah, blah, blah. But that’s not how he has treated me in the past- his actions never truly matched his words. In some ways he has improved as I no longer tolerate the bullshit from him.

So please dear erotic don’t judge me too harshly as I am willing to see that I was standing on the “soap box” previously. My words contain no pepper this time (well, very little). Simply my thoughts on what I see/hear from your posts. And my opinion, which I’m entitled to, as you are yours, is I think we should agree to respectfully disagree. Hearing different opinions that’s what blogging is all about, right? That’s why I read yours to try to see things from a different point of view. I invite you to read mine as well. Let me close by saying, I hope Ashley doesn’t wake up in my shoes after 20 years, wondering how in the hell this happened to her. If you love her as you say, you would not deceive her, but that is your choice to make. No soap boxes for me, you?

Respectfully still reading your blog,

chely5150

p.s. your probably right, I would possibly love your crazy sexual self, but I guess we’ll never know because I don’t cheat! (fantasize yes, never cheat).

Maybe it’s time

The clock is ticking…. tick-toc, tick-toc….clicking away each day….each day a little closer….a little closer to the worst….the worst and maybe best day of my life. The clock is ticking towards D-DAY. The day I discovered that my husband was having an affair. OMG! I think other than loosing a child, the most horrific personal injury one can ever imagine to them is to discover your husband of almost 20 years has been having an affair! For close to 11 months now i’ve had the never ending ticket on this nauseating ride. I also have come to recognize it as a blessing, somewhat.

At first I thought the blessing was that he didn’t just dump me, as too many women/men have said they experienced when they learned of their spouses affair. I thought I had a chance to save my marriage, after all it was just one simple affair, he was staying, and said we could work on our issues and make it better. I was grateful to not have been forced out of my home and life immediately. We could do this I knew we could. But as the months passed by, while we appeared to be getting along better, (we were), that was just the cover-up, so he didn’t have to let on to the world, that we are in a hell of a mess, keep those appearances up,it’s okay, it’s all fine, no worries here.

And so we did. I asked him about attending counseling, “nope, no thanks not for us”. How about a cd workshop/program? “why would we listen to other peoples opinions about us?”, I think you get the picture. It’ll all be fine, if I just do my best: to love, adore, appreciate, and worship him. (Then wait on him hand and foot then pick -up all of his messes when he done with something (project, meal, paperwork, his pack rat ways, etc.) And go with everything he says, never disagree or think I could have my OWN opinion. And be ready for sex- but only when he might want it.That was his solution. I asked where his ideas came from? What book or website? Simply replied, He asked a friend at work how we could get along better. The response he received was just to be nicer to each other and spend more time together. Weel it’s just a simple affair right? Maybe it’ll work. Sure it will as long as I play properly.

So I decide that I will forgive him and we’d move forward. Since there was to be no counseling I started reading lots of things on the internet, A LOT OF THINGS. Hours and hours and days & months of reading how to make my marriage survive, marriage after an affair, anything that had to do with me, him, relationships, infidelity, as well as narcissism in relationships. And I got some great ideas, thought I can do this, (even though anything dealing with personality disorders, narcissism or passive-agressive stated otherwise). I was different, I can make it better, he’ll be glad he stayed with me. So I tried, used the best suggestions and while we did get along better-the writing was on the wall, but someone used invisible ink.

I looked for the things, that most information recommended, would be happening, Remorse, shame, a wanting to right things, etc. as well as signs that he had ended the affair. And while he had left her a voice message the morning of discovery (he let me listen), after a short time I’m pretty sure it resumed. Truthfully none of the other signs were present either- made me wonder. There’s got to be more to it than the brief explanation he gave me all I had done wrong and his feeble apology. There’s something more happening here.

I did feel I was losing my mind again, no counseling, no talking about it or how I was feeling, it was all about him. All about how he is the victim here and basically I needed to make it up to him that I neglected him causing him to seek another. And I somewhat foolishly tried, but there’s more to it than just the dust on the surface of this old story, so much more.

My last post I decided to write about emotional abuse. I had read an article on the physical abuse a woman had suffered through and I found her story couragous. I decided to write about the abuse I knew first hand.. Covert Emotional Abuse…also known as a relationship with a passive-agressive person.

A relationship with a personality disorderded, passive-agressive, cheating, lying, narcissist, oh so clever abuser There you have it- I admit it.

I acknowledge it I am married to an abuser. And I have been living it for 20 + yeaqrs. I was glad to be married to him he’s a good catch I thought. See I was trying to have a loving, caring relationship/marriage. The problem was I was the only one participating in it. It’s my one-way love story. I guess I have writing to thank for the eye-opener that I got. Writing and reading and time. Eleven months to slowly peel the layers back on the onion that he is. I always hated onions! Slowly, I’ve come to realize that his words are simply words, there is no action attached to them. Nothing that comes from his heart (if he even really has one). Nothing that indicated he was sorry, and wanted to right the wrong and make it all better… after all he was my “Knight in shining armour”- right? Wrong- he’s a knight alright. (I’m going BIG here) But not in the way you think… you see our last name, HIS last name is Knight. (Now you see why I had to name this blog this way. Seemed so appropriate- except his armour is not only tarnished he has become the knight who fell off his horse.

Yep reading and writing and crying and wondering why he didn’t care that he hurt my heart. Yep, it’s about time…the clock is ticking………..

………….tick-toc……….tick-toc……..it’s just about time!

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/

What’s missing?

If you were to ask me what the one (main) thing that is missing in my marriage, my answer would be VALIDATION. In other words, what I live with in marriage is the state of INVALIDATION.

Invalidation: is to reject, ignore, mock, tease, judge or diminish someone’s feelings. An attempt to control how they feel and for how long they feel it.

This definition comes from a site I recently found called eqi.org. The acronym stands for emotional quotient inventory. This is an excellent site with a ton of worthwhile reading- I highly recommend it. Here’s the link: http://www.eqi.org/invalid/htm

This form of emotional abuse has permeated my marriage from the very beginning. It starts out subtly, a little comment (that’s not the way it is) about something I have said or done. As you try to explain yourself the onslaught really begins.

excerpt from eqi article:(I added the one with *)

We are told you shouldn’t feel the way you feel
We are told not to feel the emotion
We are told you’re too sensitive
We are told you’re too dramatic
We are ignored
We are judged
We are told that what you’re feeling isn’t right-it’s wrong so wrong*
We are led to believe that there’s something wrong with us for feeling the way we do

And while we know what we feel and maybe even why we feel that way, the repeated assault on our feelings/emotions does silent damage to your soul.

“with enough invalidation; one person can figuratively if not literally drive another person crazy. When you deny peoples perceptions it makes mental invalids out of them.” (from eqi article on invalidation- it does not give an authors name). http://www.eqi.org/invalid/htm

With that statement in mind maybe I have become crazy. Crazy for putting up with the bullshit, 20+ years of emotional abuse. Denying how someone feels is not only disrespectful but harmful as well. Even if you don’t agree with someone- you understand that disagreeing doesn’t mean that you think the other person is wrong, it simply means you have a different point of view. Each of us is a unique individual with feelings and emotions. A living, breathing human not a robot to be programmed. Even children must be allowed the right to feel as they feel without being put down. Constant invalidation undermines ones ability to process life’s events, to determine what needs to happen, to make wise choices. That ability gets washed away when everything you think is invalidated by another.

I really shouldn’t be surprised that invalidation continues to reek havoc in my current situation. Husband seems to think I shouldn’t have any feelings related to his infidelity. No triggers, no worries, no doubts, no wondering about what went on in his secret life. No feelings what so ever and if I try to share anything I’m feeling we usually end up in an argument and he INVALIDATES them. Does he really think that I could go on forever like nothing ever happened. He certainly must because he has not changed his attitude. He will say “I can’t believe your still stuck on that”, “just get over it”, “why do you still want to talk about it?”, “why are you still thinking about that?”, “trust me”. HA!! He continues to deny the hurt and pain that discovering this has caused me. He continues to invalidate my feelings. And he wants me to trust him. WTF Is he that big of a moron not to see how this could effect me and my outlook. Did I really expect anything different from him? I know he’s a narcissist, that he can’t FEEL the way non-disordered people feel. There is no empathy within him. I see how this effects everything between us.

I was willing to forgive him (perhaps too quickly) for past indiscretion/s, taking the sign that he didn’t leave after D-Day, that he really did want to make this marriage work. But then he refused to talk about going to any counseling, he is absolutely not transparent in his daily activities, does not want to answer any questions (except for the twice that we did talk in the beginning), does not want to acknowledge the trauma I was/am suffering from. He expects changes from me (you’d think I was the one who had the affair) the way mid-life depression cloud over him. I don’t see much effort/changes in his behavior (or in areas that I said HE needed to work on). It seems he realizing he’s not as special or wonderful as he would like to think. Just human like the rest of us. We make mistakes, we fall down, pick ourselves up and acknowledge that we’re not perfect.

I will however give credit where credit is due; I see that he trying to be nicer to me. Spending time together, having a date night about once a week, going places and doing things, even some household chores or projects that needed to be addressed. I did/do appreciate all the good things that he does/provides for me and sons. Life isn’t all bad for us. Years ago, I said “for better or worse”, I got both.

But his refusal to help me heal, and his continued secretive ways left me no alternative but to dig in and find some answers to the questions that haunted me. That was probably a big mistake on his part. While he controls everything paperwork/financial wise (paperwork nightmare) he is also a paper hoarder and a very disorganized one at that. There were at least six large tote bins of unopened mail, old statements, receipts etc. that we had recently begun to sort when he couldn’t find something for our taxes. I took it upon myself to continue what we had started. There are things that are dated fifteen years ago. A lot of it just needed to be shredded. But as I sorted the important ones into piles I found phone bills, bank statements, even receipts from throughout the years.

The bank statements revealed purchases for things/places that weren’t mine or I had never been to. Monies received from stock sales or mergers he never told me about (a lot of $$). Many, many older business cards with women’s names & phone numbers (men’s too) hand written on them. I willing to think that some of them were probably business related (let’s say 20%) but that still left an awful lot of them. But probably the most incriminating were the phone records. It makes my stomach turn just thinking about it.

He had been texting/calling the fucking bitch for at least TEN years! Yet he swears it was only an emotional affair! I’m not that stupid! It was very convenient for him to meet with her as she lives and works between our house and his work. He has the type of job that allows flexibility to come and go, and requires him to work late frequently. Obviously not as often as he proclaimed. The phone bills are what showed throughout the years, there have been many more women. (If you don’t have reverse phone look-up get it.) Credit card receipts for jewelry and hotels that obviously weren’t for me. When does this ever end? I was utterly shocked!!

Why in the world was he still married to me? If he was so unhappy why stay together? Why lure me back with promises and romance when I tried to leave him? WHY? WHY? WHY? Why had he done this? It was at that point I realized I was deep in the middle of an truly disordered man.

I haven’t said a thing to him that I know all of this. One thing I learned early on was don’t confront (immediately). He’ll just lie about it (or one of his half-truths which are even harder to decipher). Then he will know how I found out and changes the way he operates. If I hadn’t confronted him so quickly in the beginning, I could of accessed a lot more information easier. I felt betrayed all over again! The only good thing this new information showed me was that HE WAS CHEATING ON THE BITCH TOO! I will definitely someday enlighten her.

Those horrible gut feelings and thoughts that plagued my mind. They were there for a reason. To allow me to find the evidence I needed to understand what had been happening behind my back. Feelings that showed me something was not right, that I had been deceived in the past. Ah the key word, the PAST! Was it still happening???

At the moment I didn’t even really care – I finally received overdue VALIDATION! And it was feeling pretty damn good (the bad part hadn’t sunk in yet). I wanted to bask in my moment. I finally had (not from him) received VALIDATION in my marriage!! Not really the way it needs to be but i’ll take it for now.

Ha Ha mother fucker you thought you were so fucking smart- got sloppy and I gotcha you, you lying bastard!

Invalidation is toxic, long term exposure changes how one thinks and feels. Of course there are other things that are missing in my marriage but invalidation is a big one for us.

What’s missing in your marriage/relationship? Tell me one thing (behavior wise) you wish you had more of in yours. How has it effected you? Have you been able to add more of it into your life somehow?