Thanks AVR I meet my therapist today, been a while. I am still so confused because I continue to feel if this marriage were dead (over two years now) and he can't be the husband I need and the partner I want why does it continue to hurt so much, shouldn't it be easy to walk away.
I sure do understand and that didn't leave the minute I walked out the door either. I realized that I was truly committed to this man and that I felt that I would be by his side thru thick and thin which I was. I endured a great deal thinking that as long as we could just keep it together that one day it would all work out but the violations to the marriage never stopped no matter how much we talked, how much counseling we had together. One of my counselors told me my husband was passive-aggressive so I read a book on PA, I showed him the book, talked, read thing to him, he read the book and he could identify with it and he did seek help....help for himself and joint counseling but he could not break free from his ways. 50+ years of living like he had if there was the slightest bit of anything that made him upset he reverted right back to his old ways. I saw there was no possibly way for change. He was not meeting my needs and I had felt lonely for years. I had a choice...I could either live like roommates with this man for the sake of having a roof over my head or I could get out and try to find a new life for myself. Right up until the day I left I continued to cook and try to engage him in conversation. We lived in the same house for 8 months from the time I contacted the attorney. We'd had many conversations about the relationship needing to be mutual but he could not give. I became more of an observer in that last 8 months. He had so much opportunity but he chose to plug himself into his electronics, go where ever as he wanted and he chose to ignore me which was typical and as he did this I reflected on a life I had spent raising 5 children while he pretty much did the very same thing. I was his caretaker and quite honestly I think the only reason we married was out of convenience on his part. He had sole custody of his two sons and I never saw that he actually wanted to raise his boys but I came along eager and willing. I was the one chasing him and making excuses for his actions, I supported his lies, I drove for him when he drank and I partied with him for a very long time. I was the one that changed. I opened my eyes to the truth. I felt such obligation to this man and I could not let go of that obligation, the reason I still cooked for him until I left. I did keep wishing that I would hear the words, "I messed up, I can see it now. I know I hurt you and I am sorry. I have been a terrible father and husband. I have a real problem with addiction and I can see why you wanted to leave me." Instead though I got nit-picking from him on every word of the divorce decree, him wanting it changed repeatedly which basically burned up all the money I paid towards attorney fees, and more. I hurt him so he sought revenge which is the dance we played our entire marriage.
The holidays were tough and now Valentine stuff is out in the stores and I think of the times I had my husband to share these occasions with but unfortunately my mind wants to recall the good times not the times when I searched for cards or a gift to buy for a man that I had no more love or trust for. We get used to our very strange living circumstances, we adjust even if it is not healthy. To finally walk out after so many years takes a great deal of strength.
My last counselor was awesome! Once she realized I was definitely not going back to my husband she told me that as I sat in her office the first time telling her what I had been thru in my marriage she said she wanted to tell me to run. I reflect on that day and how calm and detached I was as I told her about my marriage, it was almost like looking at someone else's life. I had become so numb to my own feelings. I was emotionally dead. I was diagnosed with PTSD which she helped me thru. She told me my husband was narcissistic and at the time I could not see it. Once I left I bought a very good book on narcissism and boy oh boy do I ever see it now. I realize too that he has no capability to treat another person any different. He is the perpetual victim and it was my rearing by a mother just like himself that allowed me to cater to such a selfish man who had no compassion for me. I am the type that who is very caring and compassionate and always willing to help others but there are many of people out that willing to abuse that generosity. Relationships have to be mutual in all ways, they have to be a working effort on both parts. My marriage never was.
Surround yourself with those who can support you. Read about narcissism and passive-aggressive behavior if you think it might fit, keep focus on you and what you need to be healthy and on your own. Don't mention anything to anyone that you feel would try to keep you from leaving, if that is what you want. Mutual friends are going to have some trouble with this and they will try to stand by you both but it is real hard to see pics of your STBX or your ex (future) in a pic with some "friend" that stood by your side to support you and you had no idea that they were in touch. I had to let some people go, blocked my ex on FaceBook, went no contact all to relieve my own stress and help me get on with my own life. I did not want reminders of my ex. My relationship with his family had been severed many years ago so that part was easy. We had truly lived very separate lives for a long time. It was just a matter of me letting go of the obligation (which I have done now) and I have to stop reminiscing of the good as it did turn very bad, and I had to realize this man was not capable of love which I very much needed, I realized too that I would never get validation or an apology as this man was not capable. In his eyes he was the victim because I could not make him happy. I had stopped supporting him, stopped chasing him. And since I left I have stopped wanted things to be different between us but it took awhile.
I now making new friends....I moved away....did not want the slightest chance of running into this man and I wanted to be closer to my daughters who are adults. Being with my children and grand children has been real helpful. I spend a great deal of time working which I find productive and helpful. I am starting to develop my own interests outside of the marriage and I actually have had the opportunity recently to talk to a couple gentlemen who I have been able to laugh with and enjoy their company.
You are strong! You can do this!!! There is light at the end of this tunnel...keep heading towards that light!!!