Looking in the Mirror

I was reading an article this morning about emotionally abusive relationships and narcissist abuse.   I was surprised that many of the characteristics described me.   Here are a few that I engaged in:

1)Making her account for her time

2)Snooping through her things

3)Make her the scapegoat for all the problems in our relationship.  I mean she was cheating.  I could have forgiven her, but to continue to do it in my face or even behind my back was very hurtful.   What if she got pregnant or an STD?

4)The whole “Jekyl, Hyde” .  Ok one minute, then angry the next.   PTSD, triggers>?

5)Accusing her her cheating.  I mean she was, but she probably wasn’t always texting her ‘lover’ every time i accused her.

6)Felt entitled to respect.   I mean shouldn’t your spouse respect your feelings especially if their behavior is inconsistent with everything they led you to believe they were ok to marry.

7)Felt entitled to sex.  I was tired of being rejected time and time again.  No matter what I tried, it was the same thing.  It hurt, but I didn’t want, nor had the time to cheat myself.

In fact, of the 44 things on that list, I was probably guilty of at least 38 of them at one time or another.   Now, I’m really questioning myself.   I mean, I don’t believe I acted that way before she cheated.   Sure, I occasionally went through her cell phone, before the affair but seriously, it was really rare when I did that.  Plus I caught her going through mine a few times.  I didn’t have anything to hide, but I figured if it reassured her, I was ok with it.

Even right now, I’m blaming her for the way I acted.   But she was unapologetically having an affair.   Ended it with the guy, then started an emotional one with “a friend” she cheated with earlier in our marriage.   I wanted to keep my family together, but at the same time, are they suggesting that I should have just allowed her to continue having it.   Trust was broken and she kept lying about things.   She betrayed me and didn’t really try to repair the trust as she kept up with her secrecy.  I suppose I was trying to control her, but not a way that I thought was unfair.   I figured the things she was doing was not only unhealthy to the marriage, but also hurtful and disrespectful to me.   I don’t think women understand how disrespectful it is to a man if another man has sex with his WIFE.

In addition, I was being hurt, but he provided a ‘distraction’ to keep her from addressing the issues in the relationship.  As long as he was her emotional tampon, she could just ignore all of the issues she faced.  If I allowed it to continue without addressing it, she’d continue to lose respect for me as her husband.   Moot point now that I think about it, once she cheated, all of the respect was gone.   Once she betrayed me and humiliated me for her affair partner’s sexual gratification and ego boost, it was dead.

Was I justified in this?   In retrospect, I shouldn’t have had to do all of that in order to maintain the relationship.   Still though, I felt blindsided.   Should I  really have been able to “read” the signs instead of relying on her to just tell me she was ‘unhappy’.   I really did try to talk to her and tell her how I felt.   Was I wrong for expecting her to reciprocate?   She shut down.  I even tried the whole not talking and let her talk thing and conversation just ended up on stupid things like what happened on love and hip hop or some unrelated joke about what some guy was doing on instagram.

In a marriage, how do you walk the line of self-respect when your spouse offends you.   When she doesn’t apologize or even worse, apologizes and yet continues to violate your boundaries.   What about in cases of stonewalling or “shutting down” as she calls it?  It would have been much easier if I didn’t think our kid would be so hurt and affected by it all.   I could have just walked away.   But, how could i just walk away without taking him into consideration?

Articles like this don’t take into consideration that cheaters/adulterers can drive a spouse crazy.   My wife once told me that her affair partner’s baby mama was crazy and followed them in a car once.   I’m thinking that if she was acting crazy, it was probably because he was making her crazy by lying, gas lighting, and cheating…”HELLO”.

I know we’re supposed to take control of ourselves, but to absolve someone of making you act that way is irresponsible in my opinion.   I didn’t act this way until she started violating the covenant and boundaries we had in place.   I was hurt, lost, and confused.   I couldn’t just walk away from our responsibilities and expectations.  We had a family and a kid depending on us.    Maybe I didn’t handle it in the best way  looking back.

If someone repeatedly punches you in the face, are you supposed to just sit there and take it to prove that you’re the bigger person?  What if something is preventing you from running?  Do you just take it just hoping that they’ll either 1)see the error in their ways or 2)their arm gets tired.

We all know that cheating/ having affairs are wrong and very hurtful.  Hell, one of our favorite shows used to be ‘cheaters’ and we’d both laugh at the person caught whenever their response would be anger for being followed.   We didn’t show that person any sympathy, but yet now, when she’s angry for being “followed”, she deserves better treatment somehow.

Like I said, I could have forgiven her if she had just stopped.  I was willing to take that L and humiliation.   We could have gotten help, gone to counseling.  What’s wrong with that.  What’s wrong with walking away amicably had we decided that we just couldn’t fix it.  Why did it take all of the disrespect, hurt, and humiliation.  She absolutely knew that she was in the wrong for this.  She knew that I was in a lot of pain, but didn’t care.   As if our friendship meant nothing in the end.   Perhaps, I could have been a better husband, but surely I didn’t deserve all of that.

Articles like this totally absolve her from any responsibility she might have played into turning the relationship in to the toxic mess it ended up becoming.  I was just reacting to the pain she caused me.  I didn’t even start doing that until she sucker punched me a few times.   I told her it was disrespectful and hurtful, and she already knew it, but chose to continue doing this.

I now know it’s for the best to have separated myself from this.   Maybe I wasn’t perfect, but I was willing to find out what my contribution to her unhappiness was.  She just had to talk  to me.   So it’s hard not to put most of the blame on her for escalating to this point.  It’s sad, but I wonder if she’ll ever even acknowledge it.

 

 

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