I am struggling again. Our relationship is healthier, we ar

[26865]

I am struggling again. Our relationship is healthier, we are in a new place together, but every so often I get plagued by the pain and the memories. For the most part h is good about listening, apologizing and holding me. But sometimes he isn't perfect and to be honest, I am at the edge and can fall over quite easily. Today we were talking about someone in our community who has been repeatedly making grandiose promises about charitable contributions that he would make to our community (the check is in the mail, over and over), and meanwhile we learn he is in bankruptcy. In other words, his behavior has been totally divorced from reality and his deceits have been quite deliberate and calculated to receive accolades that were not deserved. This was not a case of I intended to give x but then circumstances changed. We have been talking about it a lot between us and it stirred up for me lots of painful FOO issues as well as ways in which my h held himself out to be someone that was living such an honest life and to whom integrity meant so much. For me, lies are one thing - as in I said I was here when I was really there. But when you actively seek to paint a picture of yourself as someone who is the opposite of what you are, that is worse. It is a kind of gaslighting that is crazy making. As a child my father would repeatedly say he was someone who prided himself on being able to see when he made mistakes and his willingness to apologize. Then as an adult the first time literally I tell him he hurt me and expect an apology, I get told how hurtful I am being to him, and my mother says to me "you know your father can never say he's sorry." Ummmm what? No I didn't. Because he deliberately cultivated an image of himself as the opposite. So I have a particularly sensitive radar to that. If you are lying, shut up. Lie and be quiet. Don't compound things by telling everyone how honest you are. During the years that he was cheating, h would often say similar things. Like how important it was for him to be known as someone who never betrayed confidences that people shared in him (except mine, which he shared w his guy friends and AP's). Or how important it was to him to live honestly, for example being meticulous about business expense reports etc. And stupid me, takes that as confirmation that he would never cheat! Anyway, back to h and me. So h says to me that he knows this current situation is particularly sensitive for me because of my father's BS. And I say, "and yours." BOOM. Argument. Down the rabbit hole. H gets angry because he is being compared to this guy and to my father. I am making him feel sh*tty. And I get angry because I feel he is not recognizing that he too contributed to that sensitivity of mine. Maybe not deliberately. I get that back then he WANTED to be honest. He WANTED to be thought of as a good person. He failed to see that he was sharing my intimacies without my permission because in his distorted mind he was sharing HIS side of things so it was ok. But that was then. And this is now. And now he should be able to see that those things he said to me, whether deliberately designed to mislead me or not, cultivated an image of someone who was the last person I could expect to deceive me. Now he feels I rubbed his face in it again. And I feel badly because ....well I'm not sure why. Maybe because I realize that it really is hard for him after all this time and all his hard work to still be reminded, but I don't have a choice. I am reminded constantly. In a million different ways. And then I realize that this really never, ever goes away. In one way or another, it is part of our lives. I actually said to him that if he wants a relationship in which this is not a part, then he needs to divorce me. Because that can never happen in ours. It can fade. It can be talked about less. It can be overshadowed w new, good memories. But it is part of our past just like all of the other things that happened the last 30 years. Sorry for rambling on and on....

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[14125]
Sep 17

@after28years Certain behaviors and experiences will continue to TRIGGER certain feelings and memories. Music was a big trigger for me for almost a year and a half I refused to listen to music. Have you REALLY, SINCERELY, forgiven you h and yourself? I believe that getting over infidelity is extremely difficult. I think that in order to move on, you have to get to a place of forgiving where you also agree to never bring up the topic again. I couldn't do that with my ex because he never took personal responsibility for his choices and actions and his behavior continued to be unacceptable. Every time he did anything that reminded me of his past behavior I would bring up everything he had ever done wrong. It was like, here I had all this evidence of his wrongs that I used against him whenever he did anything similar, in order to prove to him that his behavior was unacceptable. I'm not saying to forget what had happened in the past, but you need to learn a new way to express what you experience and feel without always bringing up past hurts. If you don't trust h and haven't or can't forgive h you will always beat him over the head with all the wrongs he's ever done you. Trust me, that's no way to live. It took me a year and a half, but I finally let go of my ex. Our divorce was final may 31. I have been no contact on and off... Off now for about a month and the only time I really think about him is when I share here.

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JCAL's picture
[13260]
Sep 17

I totally understand what you are saying. They want to be perceived as one person and so that is who they show you and the world but their actions reveal a very different person. I can understand how this man making these promises while knowing that he could not fulfill them is a major trigger for you. Your H did the same to you, as did my ex. But maybe for your H you can look at all the things he has done since discovery to show you the person he is is trying to be. But you're right, it will always be a part your relationship, even if you divorce and begin dating someone new. Those feelings and triggers will follow you into a new relationship.

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[26875]
Sep 17

@Muffet very true!

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