The kickass survival site for anyone who's ever been lied to, cheated on and left for dead.
I've learned to stand up for myself throughout all of this. Before I would have ran and not dealt with any kind of confrontation. Know I speak my mind because I have respect for myself and I am going to have respect from other people. My boss is a woman who is very high maintenance but she doesn't like to train employees. You are suppose to just know how to do it. I keep a notebook at work that has everything that I am supposed to do and everything I've learned on this job just for this reason. It's my personal handbook on how to do my job. So when she tells me that I didn't do my job I bring out that notebook and tell her that I haven't been trained to do that yet. And she will attempt a quick this is what I do instead of taking the time and explaining how to actually do the job and do it right. I take a lot of pride in what I do in this store and try to follow all the rules. I have had to stand up to her a couple of times because she is the type who will talk about you to other employees and not to your face. I think that this is something good that came out of what happened to us. I found strength that I didn't know I had.Cathy
Cathy,I agree. I find it much easier to assert that I have needs now with other people. I guess I got practice and a crash course when I had to face the ugly truth in my marriage. I have a friend who has asked me to do something for her that is beyond reasonable. In the past, I would have likely just compromised myself and everyone around me to just do it and avoid having to tell her no and risk disappointing her. Now I have absolutely no problem at all in saying that I'm not able to do what she's asking. That we will need to adjust to meet my needs in this scenario. It feels like I was trying to avoid losing something before (approval from my friend), but now that I've lost everything that mattered and built myself back from that I know that I've go nothing to lose by showing up and making my needs known. Sure, she may not like me after I refuse what she's asking of me, but if she has no concern for me, that's not a real loss.
CathyLike you I found the inner strength to look out for myself first and then give my time to others! My biggest challenge is caring for a mother that was both mentally and physically abusive to my sisters and me! We knew she was messed up the whole time we lived under her roof but during the 15 years each that we lived in her house, we all had strong grandparents that taught us love! I've learned to stand up to her and call her out when she becomes manipulative! She has dementia and multiple health issues and probably only has a few years left but because of my grandparents I've become something she never could be, a strong resilient woman that doesn't put up with bull shit from anyone! Elle is constantly reminding us all that we've got what it takes to get through the mess that betrayal caused! Hugs!
I grew up with the mantra "do unto others as you would have done to you"So I grew up with putting others first, thinking of how to treat them nicely, to keep the peace and to be that nice person. It seems to work pretty well for most of my life with most people, except with husband and his parents. A lot of the time my h used and abused my kindness and resistance to confrontation. Your post Elle, though I have read the likes many times before, I have just had a light bulb moment as I read this and it relates to my marriage. I thought marriage was all about complete love, honesty, putting up with each other’s little idiosyncrasies and to an extent of putting the other one first – from both husband and wife. I thought being that sort of person would get you what you give out back. Nope. Not with my h. As much as I’ve been a happy person who was pretty much happy within myself, I now realise I have not loved myself for so many years due to me putting h first and trying to keep the peace with him and his financially draining ungrateful parents. I thought I was treating myself kindly, and I never deserved his verbal criticism of what I wore, my cooking, my friends – you name it, not all the time, but enough for self doubt to creep in. I’m thinking “how was I treating myself for him to treat my so appallingly?” As much as I realise I was not loving myself enough with my relationship with my h, I am having a hard time understanding how I could do more for me so he would treat me better as I really think no matter how I treated myself, he would always resist seeing my worth…I think I have a bit of soul searching to do.HugsGabby xo
I was taught to have the highest ethics, work hard and to be honest above all else. I went into the world expecting others to be this way too. In general the majority of my life I surrounded myself with other like minded people personally and professionally. I would give up a wonderful coveted job if it meant I comprised the way I was raised and what my beliefs were. It is still hard some days to understand why the one person who was supposed to be closest to me is the opposite of how I lived my life. Granted on the exterior everyone would think he was this way (not perfect of course but in general seemed to live his life this way) but how was I to know when he was so skilled at lying to my face and hiding any issues he had and was unwilling to share. I used to believe in karma and what you put out there you will attract. Not so much anymore. I still am true to who I am but I feel conflicted since some days I wonder if I am betraying myself by accepting him to be a part of my life still. Yes he has changed but how much of what he did is who he really is. I can hear and see it in him that he wants to be and act a certain way so that both he and I will be proud of him. But is this who he is?
Hopeful 30. This: "Yes he has changed but how much of what he did is who he really is." I have been thinking about that sentiment a lot lately. There's a topic for my next counseling apt.!
Hopeful 30,I completely agree with you about Karma. I used to believe in that, and now I know for sure that it does not exist. In fact, when I was at the doctor's office and saw one of the OW on the cover of a local magazine (literally voted wife and mother of the year!) I said OUT LOUT, "Karma is not a thing." I did not get what I deserved. She will not get what she deserves. I, too, have very high standards for my behavior and I am so proud of my character. That gets me absolutely NOTHING outside of myself. However, the inside of myself is still pretty important. I plan to continue doing the best that I can to do the right thing. I hope others (including my H) do too, but if they don't they won't get what they deserve from the outside world. Cold, hard, truth. That's not to say that actions have consequences. They do! But consequences aren't the same as Karma.
Hopeful, Your post is really similar to some of the things I talked about with my therapist yesterday. I grew up in a military family. Integrity, honesty, and hard work were very important. My entire childhood was spent surrounded by people who appeared to be similar. And even into adulthood, I've found myself drawn to people with similar values. So I was kind of wondering out loud with the therapist yesterday, how we could be so different. I said it's almost like the person I married got lost along the way but now he's back. She has seen both of us individually and jointly and she told me that she didn't feel he had ever lost his way. She said this is the way he's always been to some extent, but that now he's at a new level of awareness. He went through most of his life really being kind of selfish and unaware (or unconcerned) about how it was impacting other people and justifying the things he did. The affair was by far the worst example of it.All this therapy and work on our marriage has dredged up things my husband has done through the years, while not as horrendous as the porn and the affair, that were indications of our differences. As an example, he never told me outright lies until the affair, but he would avoid telling me things that he knew would bother me. To me, that's a lie. But I also know he grew up in a home where his father ruled everything and everyone through fear. He lied to stay out of trouble because the consequences were worse. He was always a good boy on the surface because everyone knew not to rock the boat at home. The example of an ideal marriage based upon what he was raised with was a wife who put her husband above everyone else, doted on him and let him make all the decisions. And to him, that was love. It makes me sad now to think about it. Yet he fell in love with and chose to marry me. I was almost 30 when I met him, career driven and not necessarily inclined to settle down and raise a family. I loved him, but in a different way than his mom loved his dad. I showed my love by accomplishing things that I thought would benefit us down the road. I wasn't going to answer to or be controlled by anyone. But we never once talked about any of this until our marriage blew up.My husband is happy now. He lives an honest life. He feels good about himself and how he is as a person, as a husband, and as a father. As a person who needs visible, measurable results, it's sometimes hard to gauge the changes. But I see it in the emotion he shows, in the way he reacts to me and the kids, and in the ways he tries every day to show me that he values me.Unfortunately, all this came at a cost. I bear the pain of his choices, but it's my choice to stay. I'm working on seeing the strength in that. Hugs! ❤️
BEG-Yes we have discussed this and how basically he and his family put on a front but digging deep and piecing it together you do begin to see the dynamics unfold. A huge contributor was how he was able to compartmentalize and justify everything even though he knew it was wrong. He also compared himself to patients he saw that were way worse than him so it I think in an odd way made him feel not as bad.Ann-I totally can see that with your situation and have felt that myself not as dramatic. I agree in the end it has to be about me and what I can live with. I will never compromise my values. My husband knows that too. He says he has the luxury of being with a partner that will never come close to doing anything similar to him. His only fear is that I might leave him some day and he will have messed up the opportunity of a lifetime.Dandelion-It sounds so similar to our situation. On the outside though his upbringing seemed perfect. But the expectations and entitlement was excessive. My parents never valued athletic accomplishments, social standing or material possessions. It was all about time, learning or taking interest in things. One difference for us is we met very young. So we basically "grew up" together. Of course this was one of his excuses for the affairs that he married too young and "did not get to play the field". Granted I never once asked about marriage and moved off to a different city and started my career post college all on my own. My husband has made amazing strides but I do see glimpses in his actions and his words at times of this old self. This is where I struggle. In the end I know that I cannot change much more about me except how I handle him. But he has to be who he is and make the changes he wants. He says all the right things almost all the time. But those few times he says off things I do wonder if he is forcing this change even for himself. I believe him that he has been honest and transparent since dday. We will see...
Hopeful 30 - when this was originally posted I was ignorantly blissful in my marriage [ironically this was posted on my anniversary]. I had no idea the secrets that were there that I knew nothing about. Oh how I long for that nativity. You have so often articulated my thoughts so beautifully ... and you did so even before I knew who you were and what this evilness was.I am struggling. Struggling hard right now. Actions speak louder than words, right? But when someone is so skilled at hiding and lying ... how can we trust actions or words? I told my husband that I didn't know who he was. He actually asked me how he'd changed during the affair and the truth is - he didn't. Looking back the only noticeable change was that he stopped 1 routine that we had. One. That was it. And now, I look at him and he appears to be trying ... but my fear is that this is just another facade ... another way to dupe the system.
Gabby the minute your h sees you taking care of yourself he might wake up and take an interest.. im guessing the reason for your h behaviour is all to do with his lack of self worth, nothing at all to do with you. i have a similar issue with h and his parents and I partly blame his parents who are controlling and extremely toxic for him, he doesn't see it though so I remove myself from his family and concentrate on the people I do like and want to be around. Gabby please start to take an interest in you and what you like doing give yourself time to find out who you are, I for one lost a little of my identity when I became a mother a wife but as my youngest starts primary school I'm ready to look at my life and figure out what I want from it. There are so many opportunities out there you just got to believe in yourself. Gabby are you in counselling? I think some life coaching would be a great start for you to work on some of the issues you talk about.. thinking of you all today ladies.. xxx
I am treating myself better after years of putting myself last. Probably most importantly by going to IC whenever I think I need it. Exercising again. Spending more time with my kids and girlfriends than I used to. I might have a mid-life crisis and get myself a hot little sports car. H is unemployed and I am the breadwinner so buying a new car I can afford is a healthier self-medication than many alternatives, right?