Jul. 4, 2014, 10:19 AM
My Story *Long Vent*
I’ve been waiting for the forum to reopen to share my story. I probably should do this under an alter but know I need to own this completely. I’m hoping by sharing this, others who have been there can share their story to help me know I’m not alone (or crazy) in how I feel. I really feel I need the support of people who have been there to be able to come here and read the responses when I feel like I’m having that moment of weakness when I want to call him and talk or see him again. Because I know I shouldn’t.
I’m newly single, not that I want to be. I met a man in 2008 that I was completely smitten with. It took a while for me to warm up to him but when I did, I was head over heels. But he was critically flawed. I fell for him in July and by that first December I caught him in a lie. He had spent an afternoon with his ex – at her house – and had told me he had been Christmas shopping with his mother. He wouldn’t tell me what went on, said he didn’t want to talk about it and I forgave him. A few months down the road, February 2009, I needed to have surgeries for a bone infection in my face so I was very sick. I certainly wasn’t feeling up to anything more than a cuddle on the couch with me falling asleep in short order. To relieve his frustrations, he went online and found a friend named “Amanda”. When I was in recovery from one of my surgeries, he came to me and told me that he was leaving me for her but it turns out she never existed. She was a creation of his ex to continue to toy with his life. I took him back again, saying to myself that I loved him unconditionally.
He continued this pattern of going online, doing it every 4-6 months. He would engage in conversations with random women that would turn erotic, sending them naked pictures of himself. He would use websites like “Cougar Life”, “Horny Matches” and “Adult Friend Finder”. I caught him so many times, though I’m not naive enough to think I really caught him every single time. This seemed to be a compulsion for him. He would do it late at night, when I was asleep, to entertain himself but it quickly escalated to taking over our life. The random text messages from women, because he shared his phone number with them. I watched him slip down this black hole, withdrawing from reality and seeing him become frustrated and angry with things that would normally never bother him.
I’m not a hot temper. It takes a lot to get me mad and I only yelled at him twice in six years. One episode was after finding those disgusting hookup websites in his browser history. I was so physically sick over what I saw. And the women he chose to do this with were all older than him by about 10 years and divorced with multiple children. For a guy who says he wants to get married and have kids, I doubt a 45 year old with teenagers is going to reopen the baby factory at that stage in her life. I was so disgusted by it all. He said he wanted one thing but did another. He continued to lead this double life – he presented a perfect happy relationship with a girl who loved him to the ends of the earth and to the public, we were blissfully happy. But in private, I was riding a demented roller coaster.
Things hit a real low point for me in February 2012. I found out I was pregnant. During this time he was still online, though at this point it had escalated to meeting women in person. One of the women he chose to go out with was a 45 year old divorced mother of three kids who lost custody of them in her divorce and was given just two court supervised visitations per year. He sat down with me one night and told me that being with her was *magical* and that she was amazing. I told him that he can go be with her but that should he build a life with her I would make sure he never saw his child because I would not ever put my child in the same room with that woman. There is a very good reason why the courts deemed her unsafe with her own children and I’ll be damned if I put mine with her. He also refused to tell her about me and our situation. That is when I lost my temper the second time. I’ll blame the hormones, but I saw red. I wound up reaching out to this woman, diplomatically asked her to remove herself from this situation and thankfully, she did.
My pregnancy was ill-fated. My progesterone levels were low and even with supplementation and bloodwork every other day, I wasn’t able to save my child. I was devastated. Even though I didn’t want to be pregnant and in this situation, nor did I want to be a single mom, having that happen made me realize I really wanted a baby. I wanted that baby more than I knew.
But, for him, this didn’t change things much. A week after my miscarriage we were at a restaurant with his parents and he opened his phone and had a text from someone named “V. Love” that simply said “OK”. I asked him who that was and he said his usual “just a friend”. When we got back to his parents, he left his phone out and I couldn’t help but look. His outgoing text message to her said “I had a great time at dinner with you and, as I’m sure you know, I really like you. If you’re up for it, I would really love to see you again.” That was what she said “OK” to. I asked him in that moment why he kept doing this stuff, and he came right out and said “I know you love me so much that you’ll forgive me for anything I do.”
After this happened, I sought help and asked him to join me at a therapist’s office. He did go, for one session, where the therapist flat out told him he has an addiction problem and isn’t going to be able to fix it on his own. He refused to go to any more appointments saying he can choose not to do it on his own and he didn’t need help to do something he already knew he could do. I went again, for myself, to learn how to deal with this. The therapist told me that should I choose to stay with him, that I will be living with the addiction for the rest of my life and I needed to decide whether I was strong enough for that. I thought I was and foolishly, I stayed and it never got better. In late 2013, I left. Blocked him and tried to move on.
In December he sent me a video, since I wasn’t accepting any of his contact. I played it and it was so touching and heartfelt. In that video was the man I fell in love with – not the monster that broke my heart. He said in this video that his life without me is not a good one. That there is a huge hole in his heart. He said he loved me and that he knew he was an A$$hole and didn’t deserve me but he hoped that I could give him one more shot to do things right because he was ready to be 100% committed to us. Blinded by the reemergence of the guy who had been missing for so long, I went back. And I was blissfully happy for a few weeks.
His commitment was very short lived. Three weeks ago, I found evidence in his email that he left open on the computer that he was back on the internet as early as February/March. I confronted him, he made no excuses and gave me a “Yeah… so?” look. He told me that he felt that to be really in love, you need to have that rainbows and butterflies feeling 90-99% of the time. That there should be excitement 90-99% of the time. I laughed and told him that what he describes is infatuation and not love. Love changes and it evolves. It ebbs and flows with life. It’s not a static thing. He told me that he did love me, I was his best friend and that I made his life better but that he couldn’t see himself asking me to marry him. To me, those three things – love, friendship, and life – are the trifecta of “That’s IT!” when it comes to choosing someone to marry. We at one point did almost get engaged, he bought a ring – two actually, and they have been sitting in his sock drawer for four years. Being a fan of positive visualization, I asked him if he were to ask me to marry him right now, in this moment, how would he do it? He got down on one knee in the living room in front of me and went into this lovely speech that you know he rehearsed over and over in his head and he actually started to cry during it. It was perfect. But not real. And this really was the end for us. After this he became more withdrawn, more angry and there was nothing I could do to bring him out of it. We stayed together one more week before we made it official. The last day we were at his godson’s birthday party and he pulled out his phone to check the time and it showed texts from other women on the screen.
As much as I loved him – at least loved the good man that I knew he could be – I had no more fight left in me. My heart was simply shattered. Last night, I sat with his mom to say my goodbye to her. She and I were so close and I have a deep appreciation for everything she’s done for me over these years. That was a hard thing to have to do. I don’t have my mom in my life and she was that for me for more than six years. She knows what is going on with her son and she even told me that I deserve better than what he’s put me through all these years and that no one can save him but himself. She wants me to move on and be happy and stop putting my life on hold for him. And this is a mother who loves her son and does anything for him. To hear her say that was a surprise.
I spent six years loving a man that didn’t earn it. I gave my love freely and forgave more than I should have ever forgiven and in the end, I’m left feeling utterly devastated. I really wish he could have figured himself out. I still have love for him but I know I couldn’t go on living that life with him. I’m a very transparent person. I want to know that should I die tomorrow that anyone who has to come pack up my home won’t be very surprised by what they find around my house. He seemed to be just fine living a double life. He didn’t mind having a public face and a private face and that was just not OK with me. I know in my heart had I stayed, things probably would have escalated to him becoming intimate with other women and with how much disregard he had for my feelings up until now, he would have no regard for my health by exposing me to diseases through his infidelity. If I stayed, there is a real chance this relationship could have killed me. Not through physical abuse but through his choices to devote his time and attention to other women.
I really appreciate being able to put this all out there. Just getting it into words is very cathartic for me and I know the strong women of COTH will have advice I can come back here and use when I feel those pangs of regret and sadness which run over me in waves. There are moments where I feel an utter sense of freedom and eventually I come crashing down to reality. Right now, I feel broken and can use all the support I can get.
12 members found this post helpful.
Jul. 4, 2014, 10:31 AM
So sorry you've had to go through this, Snowflake, but wow - you've already shown great strength in finally ending this.
You were really only in love with the possibility, but never the reality, of what he truly was/is.
And - you have absolutely no control over that part of his life - other than to walk away for good.
Broaden your horizons. Go out and meet new people. Divulge in an interest you always considered but never did. Keep yourself occupied.
But don't forget how strong you are now. Don't get pulled back because of "all the time you spent on him".
If tempted, remind yourself "not one more day wasted!".
Being right half the time beats being half-right all the time. Malcolm Forbes
18 members found this post helpful.
Jul. 4, 2014, 10:35 AM
Oh lordy. Honey I hope you continue with therapy - but not the one you were with as in no way shape or form should she have recommended "you need to be 'strong' enough to put up with this". No sane rational person who cared for you would recommend you stayed with this asshole after the second discovery of cheating. (I''ll forgive one instance of cheating, some guys recover from that. Two incidents of cheating? those guys will never stop.)
He doesn't have an addiction, what he has is a case of "asshole". You need help to figure out why in the hell you thought you deserved to be with an obvious complete asshole. Especially when he made it clear from the start this was who he was, and you had no strings tying you to him then - why the hell did you think you had to hang in at that point? no kids, no legal crap to sort through - were you financially dependent on him or something? can't comprehend it... Decide you are worth more girl! Get confident being on your own before you enter any other relationship, to protect yourself from falling in love with another obvious asshole.
40 members found this post helpful.
Jul. 4, 2014, 10:38 AM
PS in a more supportive vein, use the strength you finally found to pitch him to give you momentum forward on creating your new confident, independent self! Don't let yourself waste time thinking out the past, look ahead, decide what you want, make plans to achieve it, and get to work! Best of luck to you.
7 members found this post helpful.
Jul. 4, 2014, 10:42 AM
No, not financially dependent on him. I own my own home and he his. I know why I stayed. It was for nothing more than hope. The hope that he would finally get it. He had moments of greatness that kept fueling that hope and like a fool, I'd stay just a little longer to wait it out.
Originally Posted by Arcadien
3 members found this post helpful.
Jul. 4, 2014, 10:47 AM
Girl, you dodged a couple bullets in there.
There was nothing worth saving with that guy or that relationship that was based in reality. I stopped reading after the second paragraph and skimmed to the bottom hoping for a happy ending-and it was there!
I hear some words from you that make me think that some therapy or at least wise counsel would be good for you, just to sort it out once and for all, put it away and know that you really did learn the signs, symptoms and significance of what you did there. You clearly have the strength when you needed it but I'm sure your head and heart are still a tangle-you don't want to get the same scenario in a different package. That feeling of utter freedom you have? That IS the reality!
Invest in yourself and your future by putting some time into understanding the dynamics of your experience and your end of it. It will be well worth it. I'm so glad you are not pregnant (where I thought the story was going!) and free and clear of him!
“Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” Stephen R. Covey
4 members found this post helpful.
Jul. 4, 2014, 10:57 AM
Snowflake I'm sorry that you are going through this. But know that you did the absolute right thing - for yourself. You absolutely deserve so much better than what he could give you.
As far as his *cheating* - I wouldn't bet two cents that he wasn't already cheating in the fullest sense of the word. I think a trip to your doctor for some basic testing might be a wise thing for you to do given your BF's inability to stay away from other women (I just don't believe that all of his interactions were online or simply going out to dinner!)
You will feel lonely - that is so totally normal. You are missing a part of your life that has come to an end. But remember that part of what you are missing is also something that really never was. Although you got glimpses of what you wanted him to be, he was never able to sustain that *person* for long. What he reverted back to (online women, etc., etc.) was in reality who he REALLY was. And that was not someone who deserved your love.
Keep busy. Get together with friends. Ride. Hug your dogs and cats (if you have them). And above all - in time, be open to that wonderful soul mate who may be just around the corner, waiting to meet you!
19 members found this post helpful.
Jul. 4, 2014, 12:14 PM
I am so sorry. ((hugs))
Onward and upward. And I think you should continue the therapy to figure out what made you stay with a man who treated you so terribly for so long. You should have had the confidence to know you deserve better. I worry about your next relationship because often women who choose badly once do it again and again. Do the therapy now so this doesn't happen to you. Break the cycle. You deserve happiness.
5 members found this post helpful.
Jul. 4, 2014, 12:23 PM
Wow, that is quite a story! I'm glad you finally made the decision to be on your own and get him out of your life. Maybe he's an addict, maybe not, but there's no reason that you should stay with someone who treats you like shit and blatantly told you he does so because he knows you'll forgive him.
One thing that stuck out for me was your comment about "unconditional love." I don't know how or why this is a "thing" that people think they should have or grant others (aside from children, I guess). I don't love any person unconditionally. Even Mr. PoPo, and believe me, I love him lots and lots and lots. Here are the conditions of my love. You treat me well, with kindness and respect. You aren't rude to me, you don't insult me, you don't say or do hurtful things. Those are the basics and we build from there.
You don't have to love someone who treats you like shit. In so doing, you devalue yourself, you demean yourself, you lose your self-esteem and self-respect. You are worth more than that.
22 members found this post helpful.
Jul. 4, 2014, 12:25 PM
Relationships are funny things.
There is, on the one hand, the relationship we think we have with a person we think we love.
And then there is reality.
For love to be real and true, those two things have to be pretty closely aligned. Our capacity to maintain a fantasy in the face of reality is pretty strong sometimes. You loved a fantasy. You are looking at reality now.
Ask yourself how you would feel about a guy who treated your best friend the way he treated you and then realize you should always be your own best friend, first and foremost. You deserve so much better than what you had, everyone does. The biggest challenge you face is determining why you would settle for such an abusive relationship. Make no mistake, what you describe is a form of abuse.
Give yourself time to mourn. But recognize that what you thought you had, you never really did have. Let yourself heal. And never, ever, ever, ever, believe one word this guy says to you again. 6 years of your life are gone, you will never get them back. Think about that. But don't be too hard on yourself. Many people spend much longer in that vortex and never get to where you are.
You have your whole life in front of you. The possibilities are endless. Be well.
See those flying monkeys? They work for me.
8 members found this post helpful.
Jul. 4, 2014, 12:31 PM
You were never in love with him, you were in love with the ideal life you could have with him. You deserve better, and you will heal and go on to the life you should have. You need to be with someone who loves you for the wonderful, vibrant person you are, and someday you will find that person. As you have already found out, the loneliest person on earth is when you are with someone who is incapable of love. He will never find true love, just cheap hook ups, and he may someday realize what he's lost, but I doubt it. Please find another therapist, and don't ever go back to him. Cut off all contact, and start over being good to yourself, and making a future that's good for you.
You can't fix stupid-Ron White
7 members found this post helpful.
Jul. 4, 2014, 12:51 PM
You deserve a new beginning so get out there and live life!
If you have a poor mouth, you'll have a poor life. Joel Osteen
4 members found this post helpful.
Jul. 4, 2014, 01:01 PM
I believe the therapist said "if she stayed" not "you should stay" based on my reading of it...but...
You went above and beyond dear, and you deserve to be happy. I'm sorry you went through this. Go live!!!
Jul. 4, 2014, 01:41 PM
You go, girlfriend! And if it is you who wrote about the guy with the beard, love how you handled that!
AndI agree with OGP about the therapist; I bet she meant that were you to stay, THIS, exactly how it is now (with the cheating and girls and lying and so forth) is EXACTLY how it was going to be in the future. I don't think I would say, "if you are strong enough for that" but certainly one would need a great deal of...something, (denial?) to endure it. And who would want to??
Addiction is brutal, and it sucks so many people down with it. So glad you chose your life and happiness!
I remember hearing of a couple in marriage therapy. One of them,can't remember which, was or had been having an affair. The other one said to the cheater, "You just like him/her because all they do is tell you how wonderful you are!!" Well..yes! Pretty appealing! Not excusing cheating but STICK WITH THOSE WHO TELL US/BELIEVE WE ARE WONDERFUL and treat us that way!!
1 members found this post helpful.
Jul. 4, 2014, 02:01 PM
There are things we need to learn in life, and it's pretty much always the hard way. You did. And you didn't do it too late. Good for you.
I'm sort of at the other end of this (if you read other OT threads) about learning to not let people do this kind of thing to me. It takes a LONG time to learn, and you DO need support. Counseling and some groups that teach you things you already know, but it sure helps to hear again and again and again from many people in the same situation, are good.
It took me a long time to REALLY get that all people don't appreciate all that you do for the--they just take what they want, and that you can just stop and let them go, even if they have good aspects to them. It's very hard.
2 members found this post helpful.
Jul. 4, 2014, 02:33 PM
First off you are not the only that has gone through this. I know because I have with my ExH. He is a great guy but the worst husband/boyfriend due to his problem of not being able to say away from other women.
I like you went back even when I knew what he was like. Some times we just have to make the wrong choice twice to be able to make the right one for good.
I have a son with my ExH which made it harder to stay away from him. You are lucky that you have no reason to see him now. Now you just have to keep reminding yourself of that.
I am now married to a great guy that I trust fully. It was not easy I had to do a lot of work on myself to get there but I did. It was long and painful but O' so worth it. This is not easy and you are going to have moments that you will question everything about yourself but know you did not do anything wrong. Now is the time to look at all the information you have about your relationship with him and morn the lose of what you thought you had. Just remember everyone's time period to morn lose is different so don't feel you need to be over it by a set time. Take it day by day you will get there.
Just know you are not the only one to go through this.
My life motto now is "You can't fix stupid!"
Are you going to cowboy up, or lie there and bleed
Jul. 4, 2014, 03:06 PM
So sorry Snowflake. I agree with the poster who said you need to give yourself time to mourn.
Free bar.ka and tidy rabbit.
Jul. 4, 2014, 03:16 PM
I completely agree.
Originally Posted by JanM
Snowflake, when you say
the man and the monster are one and the same. He puts up a front to get you (or whoever - when you don't go back to him, he'll try to hook another "homebase" from which he'll strike off on any sexual adventure he likes), but that front isn't the real him and never was. That's why he can't keep it up for any length of time - there are people who live real double lives, who even marry 2 women and have separate families and can keep that going for long periods of time. Those people probably are capable of more true feeling than your guy, even though they're liars.
In that video was the man I fell in love with – not the monster that broke my heart
Your guy is only capable of putting on the "heartfelt" mask for short, possibly intense periods - he doesn't even sound capable of convincingly faking chagrin when he's found out. And trust me, that is huge. Most common fakers will know when and how to fake being sorry - yours isn't even human enough to know that.
Your sweet guy didn't reemerge when he sent you the video. The monster merely chose to briefly put on his mask again for you.
Proud Member Of The Lady Mafia
10 members found this post helpful.
Jul. 4, 2014, 03:30 PM
Let go of the "great guy" you know this man could be. He is choosing not to be that guy.
It is hard to come to grips with, but you fell in love with a fictional character created by this guy.
I've done this before myself, it is difficult to admit to myself and feels very strange to realize that a couple of years of my life were spent living in someone else's fantasy world.
1 members found this post helpful.
Jul. 4, 2014, 04:27 PM
you are a good person and you will find a good man to love. but it won't be immediate. Find a way to heal, grieve this past 6 yrs but learn from it. You seemt o have a lot of love for the right person. Maybe Mr wrong was just a spacer until you could get to mr Right.
1 members found this post helpful.
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