When I met my husband he seemed liked the man of my dreams, he presented an image of being kind, supportive and loving. Always wanting to take my problems away from me and “make everything alright.”
He seemed too good to be true and I adored him.
I listened to his tales of woe of how his previous wife had treated him so badly and how she had manipulated him and physically and emotionally abused him and being an empath I felt every ounce of his pain and I wanted to take it all away. So when he said that his ex wouldn’t let him have his children in my house I immediately offered to sell my house and put my money towards a bigger home she would approve of. When he said we couldn’t get a mortgage with my name on it because I was self employed I believed him, I wanted him to be happy. He missed his children and I wanted him to be happy so even though I knew that having another child would be incredibly difficult for me both emotionally and physically I wanted to do that for him to make him happy.
We had several miscarriages, the worst of which resulted in me almost bleeding to death and an incredibly difficult birth and death of our little boy, that almost broke me, physically it took a long time to recover and emotionally I don’t believe I ever really have. But instead of being able to share my pain and grieve with my husband I had to hide how I felt in order not to be labelled “a drama queen” like his ex. We got married and still I thought I had the perfect husband and the perfect life with this wonderful man who said he loved me more than anything.
But something never felt quite right, it was like an itch in a place that you just can’t reach, but it is there niggling and annoying.
It was during this recovery that the cracks started to show. He was spending more and more time online, playing online games (or so I thought) and becoming dissatisfied with me and everything at home. He would ignore me for the whole evening and then come to bed at 2am and wake me up expecting sex. After months of this I finally lost my temper and told him he made me feel like a prostitute which shocked him somewhat, later this was used as one of the myriad reasons for his infidelity, how by saying that I had emasculated him.
It turned out that it was during this time that the cheating began. Being quite a sexual person I didn’t really have a problem with porn or him having female friends, but being me , when someone says “this is my friend” I believe them–I didn’t think he was cheating. So when I realized he was cheating it was a total shock and devastating.
We went to therapy where he told me that it was my fault he cheated because I hadn’t made him feel loved or wanted, that I had emasculated him, that I didn’t do the dishes often enough or make him sandwiches. But he promised that it was over and begged me to try again. And I loved him, so I did.
We were still trying for a baby and it wasn’t going well, we had miscarriage after miscarriage and they were not only taking a toll on me emotionally but also physically now, I was on medication that was giving me heart palpitations and I was actually quite frightened every time I got pregnant. I knew where it would end up and I no longer actually had any hope that it would work but I believed this was what he wanted so I kept trying.
Then I found out very suddenly that he was cheating again. In my heart I already knew, I had suspected for quite some time but I had not wanted to confront him, in my heart I didn’t want my perfect husband to be any less perfect than he already was. But I couldn’t actually ignore this one, he was not only out with another woman but also with her child, so it wasn’t just a fling.
And that’s when the reality of what my marriage was came out and who exactly I was married to!
Immediately I saw the real face of my husband.
The revelations that came out were devastating, undermining everything I thought I knew about my life. Not only had he been cheating with this woman for months but she hadn’t been the first, he had spent thousands of pounds on online Cam girls, gifts, hotels and flowers for the woman he was sleeping with, lying about working away and overnight stays to be with her. But it was all MY fault because I hadn’t shown him enough love, I hadn’t been tidy enough, I hadn’t been fulfilling his sexual needs, I didn’t appreciate his commute to work, I didn’t buy him presents, I didn’t make him enough meals, I didn’t do the laundry on the right day, I didn’t listen to enough, I didn’t appreciate his pain.
So many awful revelations came out, each one a bigger body blow than the last including that he had been using a webcam to have one of the women he was messing around with watch me in our home while he told her how crazy I was. That my anniversary present was actually bought whilst he was out with another woman and she chose it. That he enjoyed my pain, he enjoyed causing me pain, several times when I was crying my heart out in front of him, I happened to glance up to see him sitting across from me with a smile on his face watching my pain and revelling in it. Or the moment sitting in the therapists office he revealed that he had affairs “as a kindness” because he hadn’t felt right making demands of me when I was recovering from losing our son and unable to satisfy his needs.
He left, he moved into a big house and very quickly the new woman moved in too but he didn’t want to let me go, years of ping ponging between myself and this other woman, telling me how much he loved me and desired me and she wasn’t a patch on me, but he couldn’t hurt her by telling her it was over but he was still in love with me and wanted to get back together and could we go to therapy so that a therapist could tell me what was wrong with me and I could see that he was right and justified in his treatment of me.
And I did, I bought that, I was convinced there was something the matter with me that I just couldn’t see what it was. Three counselors and two Psychologists later, no there isn’t anything wrong with me. I am a normal woman who has reacted how a normal woman would when hurt by someone she trusted and loved.
But he cheated through the whole process every single time and each time getting caught at it and repeating the cycle of lengthy emails and texts detailing repeatedly why it was my fault he cheated and what I had to do, how I had to change and what I needed to promise in order for him to come home and resume our marriage and why therapy hadn’t work… again all my fault because I didn’t listen, didn’t understand, didn’t appreciate his pain.
The other woman is gone, he got rid of her or so he says, it turned out she was even more crazy than he is. However as she is still stalking me I doubt it. But what she doesn’t know is he was cheating on her with at least one other woman, possibly more. I caught him with one of them and listening to her tell me how lovely he is and how hard done by he is, it was like listening to him tell me all about his awful ex all those years ago. He put in for a divorce within months of moving out but on the same day the divorce papers arrived he was messaging saying how much he loved me and wanted to come home.
And this pattern has repeated, it’s like a circle: the honeymoon period where he “tries” but is actually cheating the whole time, getting caught where the blame starts to be heaped upon me, usually with very fervent declarations that I have a personality disorder, that I have NPD, BPD or am an egotist. (I’m not, I actually have had a categorical denial of that now from three separate therapists, I am actually an Empath with abandonment issues.) and that’s why he cheats and it’s my fault because…
The divorce is currently underway again, he restarted it out of the blue, just like the first time the papers just plopped through the door on the same day he was telling me how much he misses me and loves me. But this time I am letting it happen, the house will sell and we will go our separate ways, my life is about to change, I have been stuck in this cycle for so long I am actually afraid of the future, it’s odd but when you have lived in a nightmare so long, you cannot imagine anything different anymore, I don’t even know who I am anymore.
But after 4 years of this awful hellish existence but if I have learned anything from this experience it’s that I am so much stronger than I look and I may bend but I will not break.
Thank you for listening
If you would like to share part of your story, please email it to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also, please make sure to let me know of any name changes you’d like to have made–and please keep details vague enough to protect your identity and/or location if this is a concern.
My goal is to educate, empower, and inspire other abuse victims in understanding more about what happened to them (and how to prevent it from happening again), as well as how to go on and rebuild an amazing life.
Even though I have had a lot of "in the trenches" experience with highly manipulative people of all kinds, I consider myself to be a student of Narcissism, mindset, motivation, healing, and life in general, and am by no means an expert on any of these topics.
It's for these reasons, that when you are reading my information that I encourage you to hold to what helps, and let the rest go.
Latest posts by Dana (see all)
- Episode 69: What are healthy boundaries? - September 25, 2017
- Episode 68:My boyfriend doesn’t care about my feelings. Is he a narcissist? - September 22, 2017
- Episode 67:Do you have any tips for how to get my narcissist friend out of my life? - September 20, 2017