I’ve noticed a subtle change in my behavior lately. I’m a bit more lighthearted around the house, taking time to interact and laugh more with both my parents. I’m not quite as angry outside the house when I’m driving or having to interact with people.
I feel as though in the last nine months I did a lot of faking it so that my parents would not feel too worried about me. After all, I did the unthinkable and attempted suicide twice while living here (well, I was in my car, but living here at the time.) They are the ones who visit me at the hospital and they are the ones who bring me home. I finally made a promise to them and to myself that suicide attempts would no longer be a part of my way of dealing with things.
Causing that level of stress to two old people is going too far. I reigned my horrible behavior in not only for their sake, but because I finally decided I wanted to show my daughter I wouldn’t let the end of this marriage be the end of me. I had to find a way to be a better example to her and be a better mother for her.
Most of the time since then I have felt that it’s been me faking better behavior. Now at nine months out, I’m no longer faking it. The expression “fake it ’till you make it” worked for me. While I’m not out of the woods yet and I still have minor setbacks, when I read the despair of recently chumped women on the Chump Lady website, and I feel their raw and horrible pain, I know that those darkest days are behind me. Thank god.
And only lately have I begun to finally see what a monster my husband is and to really see the unbelievable harm he caused me. Sadly I still feel something akin to love for him; and I am attracted to him, but I am seeing him more and more often for what he really is: a sad, pathetic, narcissistic little man, who has never provided for his children or either of his wives. He accused those wives of terrible things and always painted himself to be the long suffering victim. All the while spouting that he is too superior to work an ordinary job and deserves to be a business owner (with the caveat that he owns the business, but does not actually go in every day to run it.). Because, you know, he’s a big time player.
I’m actually a bit worried that I still believe he is being sincere with me about anything. I suppose I’m naive that way. At this point I don’t care if he is sincere with me about anything other than giving me half of his settlement money.
I discovered that a woman at the kids center is a lawyer and is just opening her own office. I told her briefly about my situation and that I needed to see a family law attorney but was finding it hard to find one with a free consultation any more. She said she thought one of the other lawyers in her building is a family law attorney and she said she’d find out if he offers free consultations. I need to keep pursuing that.
There are important things to consider here. Perhaps a lawyer would tell me that it’s important this settlement money looks like a divorce settlement. Perhaps it will affect me tax-wise differently if our divorce is pending. Is he at an advantage right now that we are married therefore he can do whatever he likes with the money?
That said, I do feel pretty confident that while he may have wanted to screw me over at first, and didn’t believe I deserved half of his settlement, he appears to think so now. He’s asked his attorney to copy me every time he emails him to keep me in the loop. The attorney has the signed document in his office, and since the attorney wants to represent me after my husband’s case is settled, then it’s not in his attorney’s best interest to screw me over either.
But still, I need some basic advice and I need to be more proactive in getting it. This is certainly one time in my life where procrastinating or burying my head in the sand or simply thinking someone will keep their word will come back to harm me. I have to fight for what’s rightfully mine.
Yesterday on the Chump Lady site I wrote a comment regarding how my husband treated me during the last six to eight weeks before the blowup and I simply can’t believe I got to a place where living that way was okay! He had always been more sociable than me, and he needs to be around people more than I do so I was used to him going out quite a bit without me. Most of the time he asked me if I wanted to come, but it made no sense, we had so little money, I didn’t want to sit there and mooch off his friends like he did.
Plus I found it dull, and they all sit outside and smoke, and that’s really disgusting. He prides himself on surrounding himself with thinkers and philosophers but none of those “friends” were that type. In truth he surrounds himself with people he can lecture and boss around, people he thinks look up to him. That’s why they’re all young. And the young women. Ah, the young women. I can only imagine what they thought of this fascinating, opinionated foreign man (but what’s the deal with his fat older wife?).
In England they often say “cheers” in place of saying “goodbye” and he never liked that. But here, in order to make himself appear more exotic and more British, he uses “cheers” with all his pals. You may recall he’s only British by citizenship. He was actually a sort of refugee from somewhere else, a dangerous and highly misogynistic country in the middle east.
Not feeling as though he had a country of his own and growing up with two really awful parents, he never had a chance. He came to the UK at about age 8 or 10 and due to his inability to speak English and his very small stature, he got beat up a lot. He had to get tough in other ways and that’s what he did. He claims by the time he finished high school that he had a gang of friends and they ruled a certain part of west London. I don’t know how much of that is true. But he claims they’d shake people down and protect others.
In his home country he and his parents would have been part of the upper, ruling class, but in England, they were nobodies. Once when he was a teen he asked his father if he could get a job at the local McDonalds his father said, “No son of mine will work at McDonalds.” And so he continued to get into huge fights with his father to give him pocket money. He said there were times that his shoes had holes in the bottom of them and his bare feet touched the ground.
But mom is all about appearances. Her hair is dyed blonde and she wears copious amounts of make up and rings on every finger. She wears leather driving gloves as she drives her Mercedes. She shops constantly, but usually ends up taking everything back. It’s her way of keeping up appearances.
That’s enough time talking about his family. Needless to say they took a bad situation and created a little tyrant. He screams at his mother, father, sister, children and me. But, oh no, he’s not that type of a person. I am made him that way.
I’ll never tell him, but I am so lucky to be free of him. Being with a narcissist you always have to put yourself second. You don’t even get to decide which restaurant to go to, well you can, but if he hates it, it won’t be worth it.
I don’t want to delve into it too deeply, simply because of the pain, but I am fairly certain he began cheating on me about two months before he came to the bedroom door and told me to leave or he would. Because by then he was as cold as ice and it appeared utterly painless for him to turn his back, let alone to see the agony he was causing.
There was an instant message that dinged on his iPad a couple of weeks prior and I looked at it and it said, “Gosh, look how many of your IMs I’ve missed! I was working, getting off around…. We’re heading to… want to join us?”
I looked at that and said to him, “Look how many of your IMs I’ve missed?” You are IMing a woman over and over?
He tried to explain that she is a married woman and he’s friends with both her and her husband, she’s a bartender at one of his local watering holes (as if being married makes it all okay). And “don’t I remember him talking about them? He does this and that.”
I looked at him blankly. “No, I don’t recall you talking about them.” But whenever I had a memory problem he blamed my past psychiatric drug use.
I said, “Well in case you aren’t aware of it, this is inappropriate behavior on your part and I want you to stop it.” He seemed to get that, but in hindsight he did what all cheaters do, he went further “underground” with his cheating. There were never any more dings on his iPad, just the iPhone he kept with him at all times.
It’s textbook cheater stuff. If I had been prepared for this possibility, knowing what I know now, I would have kept mum and then systematically tried to find definitive proof. I recall thinking well, he may have a flirtation, but surely no more than that. Chump.
So I’m particularly appalled that he claims to this day that he didn’t meet this other woman until after I left the apartment. He has actually convinced himself of that. He holds his head high because he believes his own fucking lie. He’s told his friends and his mother, father, and children that. And they shrug, “Oh well. (we never liked her anyway).” When I realized I could painstaking go through the hundreds and hundreds of texts and phone calls on our phone bill during that time period, and I could figure things out, I could no longer be bothered. He did it. I know it. End of subject.
To be honest (and I have no way to confirm this). I feel that his relationship with his initial cheating partner has ended or perhaps she lives out of town and he only sees her sporadically and that he now just fucks around when he can get it, and he’d do it with me if I’d let him. It’s funny, for months after d-day I was in great pain thinking of “my” dick going into another woman and it made me feel ill. I felt I had real ownership of that body part of his, but now I think, “Ugh, that dick. I’d never want it inside me now. God knows where it’s been.” So, I guess that’s progress.
But imagine convincing yourself you did nothing wrong while causing your partner in life the worst pain in her life? Imagine that! If I had done that I’d be on my knees begging forgiveness! But these people are different from you and me. I guess they couldn’t live with themselves if they could actually acknowledge their wrong doings.
Sorry to make this about him. I don’t expect anyone to read this anymore. I just write stuff because I have to get it out to free myself of it.
While swimming yesterday I thought to myself, “Why doesn’t this get any easier?” It’s really hard, still! Isn’t there a point where I can say, “wow, look at me, I’m swimming effortlessly!”?
I’ll get to the pool with quite a bit of enthusiasm especially when there are several open lanes to choose from. The first two laps feel good and then this tiredness sets in and the whole rest of the time is me pushing myself to do more. After around the 30 lap mark I have a tiny window of what I think are the endorphins kicking in where, if my mind is occupied on other things, I can swim pretty effortlessly for about ten minutes. But then that leaves another whole half hour of swimming to get through. It’s hard, man!
I sometimes think that those lifeguards may think I’m a crummy swimmer, or sometimes a crabby swimmer, but they must see how much I push myself to make it a true workout. During certain parts of my set I get to the end of the pool almost gasping for breath.
I generally do 20-24 lengths of freestyle and then I give my arms a break by doing other strokes. First I do the side stroke up and back, then I do 4-6 lengths of breast stroke, then I finish it with 4-6 lengths on my back, one length kicking normal freestyle and the other lap doing the dolphin kick on the way back. This last set, with the kicks I do on my back is very, very hard.
My arms are above my head to protect my head from the end of the pool in case I lose track of where I’m at, but my legs, I kick them as hard as I can to the end of the lane, then I turn and do that dolphin kick on the way back. Since I began doing this, and really really pushing myself hard to do it, I have noticed my pants fit me differently. And even the shape of my legs is changing.
But I have not weighed in a week or so, I’m not sure. I’m afraid. I know I should weigh. I know if I don’t I might end up gaining ten pounds without even realizing it, but it’s more than I can deal with right now. The sad part is that I have to eat an amazingly small amount of food to lose weight and that’s so hard. Especially now that I’m feeling better.
I don’t know what to do about it. I haven’t given up, but I’m at a loss. All I’m doing right now is trying not to freak out about it, and trying to cut back on the sweets I eat. And of course I force myself to swim or walk six to seven days a week.
I haven’t communicated with my husband for several days now and now’s the time when I start to worry that he’s run off and then I send him a dumb text and he texts back, “call me.” So I’m trying really hard not to do that because it always backfires. If he had something to tell me about a development in the case, he’d probably call. After all, he has no one else to talk to about this. None of us expects this case to settle until a day or two before the trial in October so there’s no point getting hopes up.
Since I have begun to see patterns in how I let him upset me, I have to change my behavior. I don’t want to be on the emotional roller coaster any longer. He may look down on me because my life is dull by comparison, but I don’t have a problem with that.