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Discussion Starter #1
I have read using a friend's account. She thought I might find some help here and she was right.
Now it is time for my question/ thoughts so my own account.


My situation:
divorced for 5 years. After 15 years of marriage he somehow fell into a depression where his world was grey and it was all my fault, had been my fault for 15 years, he had NEVER been happy. He said. We separated then divorced. He has continued to be angry with me.

We rarely communicate but if we do, such as he wants some random thing I have to search in the cellar for then he is angry when I take it to him. I genuinely felt sorry for him, a little less sorry when a work mate revealed he had been having an affair with a secretary in the company but he was suffering from some sort of mental problem. The personality change was dramatic, the paranoia frightening. the suicide attempt the last straw for me. I pulled myself together, was miserable for quite a while, re-formatted my life.

3 and 1/2 years ago I met a man online and we met in person after a few weeks of texting. Initially it was all a lot of fun. We had interests in common and he was attentive and thoughtful.
He wanted to be exclusive which after 6 months of, in reality, being exclusive from my side I agreed with. I was not looking for a 'husband' or a live in partner so I was happy.
I began to question some of his ' stories' - some a little too fantastic, others seemed to deceive. As a salesman he certainly had a way of twisting conversations to suit him. However his angry response to being questioned was a surprise.

I dismissed my suspicions as being the result of my earlier experiences, being deceived and not seeing it. Bad idea!

I was contacted by another woman who claimed he was supposedly in a relationship with her. He said she was just an acquaintance, that she was a psycho..
The rest does not need to be spelled out.. I was one of several women, he is a serial liar, lies as a matter of course, often about things that do not matter, rarely tells the truth and explodes when confronted, never admits he is at fault or is lying, even with evidence in front of him. In addition to having a series of relationships all over the country. which he denies, even with concrete proof.

A few months ago, after a rage about a question about a journey he said he took he said "it is over" because I was questioning his whereabouts, controlling his life. He was surprised when I agreed.

I agree such a relationship is and was bad for me, very bad and actually the last few months were emotionally rather damaging.

My question: Why does it all make me so sad? Two months later why can I lose a day in the "what might have been' . I miss the fun, and I miss the man behind the liar.

I wonder how to move on as I seem to be caught in this mess. How do I ever trust anyone again?
He completely fooled me and I hate that I do not trust anymore. To be honest I was rather naive I suppose. I believed what people told me. Now I look for the manipulation behind every comment. Its exhausting and depressing. I work, come home and journal to sort my feelings. It is not helping. I run. I think about where it went wrong, knowing it was him but still questioning my role .

I assume people here have experience in living through an experience like this. Where do I start? Thanks
 

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Well, I have several suggestions.

There are several books about picking the right mate. Someone will chime in with the titles.

You need to read those and see if maybe you have been doing something wrong in your picking.

Second, some therapy may help with a couple of things. Married for 15 years to a man like that, a long term cheater that never had the balls to own up. That has to do some damage.

Then your first time out this happens. It could not hurt to talk to someone.

And the next thing that I would think about is this. It is OK not to trust anyone. There are a lot of creeps out there and you need to guard yourself.

There is nothing wrong with being cautious and NOT TRUSTING EVERYONE. Lots of women, and some men, are way too trusting of people. The thing to do is let them prove themselves. OVER A LOT OF TIME.

And the last thing is this. When someone goes into a rage about something stupid, or really a rage at all, that is a huge red flag. You don't, at that time, have years invested in that person, so when you see that, tell them to take a hike.

DO NOT PUT UP with drama, anger, shady behavior, or anything like that. EVER....
 

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My question: Why does it all make me so sad? Two months later why can I lose a day in the "what might have been' . I miss the fun, and I miss the man behind the liar.
You still miss him? Ask "why do I still miss that rageful narcissist?" "Why am I attracted to narcs?"
and "what does this have to do with my family of origin?"
 

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You cannot learn to trust others until you learn to trust yourself.

What do I mean? From what you wrote, you knew through most of the relationship that something was wrong. But you did not trust your own intuition. He fooled you because you allowed it. You made excuses to help him cover his lies. When you questioned him, he became angry at you but you put up with his anger and made excuses for it.

Learn to trust your intuition.

When I left my abusive and lying husband I got into counseling. During the first session the counselor asked me what i wanted to get out of counseling. I told her that i wanted to figure out why I chose to be with a man like him. Her response was that she could tell me the answer to that easily. She told me that I did not pick him, he picked me. That liars, abusers, con artists, etc. look for people who put up with their nonsense.

Keep in mind that the level of lying your ex boyfriend did is a form of abuse. He lied to control you and to control the situation for his own gain.

What happens is that they start out with something little. In your case it was lying. A little lie. A woman who trusted herself would have dropped him on the first lie, or at least on the 2nd lie. But no, since you do not trust your own intuition, you made excuses. Each time he lied, the level of lie increased, and each time you worked harder to cover for his lies.

He chose you through elimination. While other women he dated probably dumped him quickly when they realized that he was lying to them, you stayed. So by elimintion, you were the last one woman standing. Well except in your case there was that other woman who lived someone else that he was lying to as well. It seems that his life job enables him to live a double life.

Learn to trust yourself. Trust your intition. And when a man does wrong, end the relationship then and there.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thank you for your replies.
I guess some where inside I know all this its just hard to activate. It really helped to have it all verified.

I had a friend describe me as a Golden Retriever personality: met the world with a smile, looked for a friend in everyone, loyal and kind. She meant it as a compliment. It has not served me well.

I would be interested in reading something as my options for therapy here where I do not speak the local language fluently are limited. I tried one therapist who told me to just be blunt, say what I think and do not think about the consequences. I do not think that is a way to deal with the world, spewing forth my every thought without moderation, insisting on people listening to me above all others. I can not live like that but do think I have to care more about myself and less about hurting the feelings of others. ??

Is he a narc? I have tried resisting labels as it said as much about me as him but I think you are right. Did he pick me? Quite likely.
I am good at giving affirmation and reassurance, happy to acknowledge what is good about someone, will praise actions and success. I saw him often angling to hear I appreciated him. At the time it was not a problem. Why not tell someone you are happy to see them, or that the gift was thoughtful ar that their idea about a book or a movie was insightful. Now, if I believe posts about narcissism, it fits a pattern.

Though probably better to just think of him as a particularly self serving and nasty individual who at times made me happy.. That is the clincher. It was exciting and fun, for the that time I was happy. I wonder with people like him, do they consciously manipulate or is it so ingrained that that is the way they see the world. He commented on a particular President that he lies so much that he eventually believes his lies and that becomes his truth. I thought then, you are talking about yourself as well.

What am I doing about that? Finding fun.??
Nothing at the moment. I am licking my wounds and making some big life decisions, at a bad time.

FOO issues - very likely. My father became loud and angry and shouted, rarely, but when he did because it was so rare it scared me. I learned to avoid it by keeping quiet. Difference with my father was he always ashamed and annoyed with himself and apologised, reassuring me that he loved me. He was a man of his generation and would hate to think that this situation I am in was his fault..

I hear manipulation in every comment. I look at friends with suspicion, hear their words as manipulation.

Worse things have happened .Others have bigger problems. I am independent, financially in a good place, interesting work, healthy.

Thanks again for your thoughts. Good to know I am not the one who is losing the plot.
 

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..........After 15 years of marriage he somehow fell into a depression where his world was grey and it was all my fault, had been my fault for 15 years, he had NEVER been happy. He said. We separated then divorced. He has continued to be angry with me.

We rarely communicate but if we do, such as he wants some random thing I have to search in the cellar for then he is angry when I take it to him. I genuinely felt sorry for him, a little less sorry when a work mate revealed he had been having an affair with a secretary in the company but he was suffering from some sort of mental problem. The personality change was dramatic, the paranoia frightening. the suicide attempt the last straw for me. I pulled myself together, was miserable for quite a while, re-formatted my life.

...............................................
Thank you for your replies.
I guess some where inside I know all this its just hard to activate. It really helped to have it all verified.

I had a friend describe me as a Golden Retriever personality: met the world with a smile, looked for a friend in everyone, loyal and kind. She meant it as a compliment. It has not served me well.

........ I can not live like that but do think I have to care more about myself and less about hurting the feelings of others. ??

Re boyfriend:

Though probably better to just think of him as a particularly self serving and nasty individual who at times made me happy.. That is the clincher. It was exciting and fun, for the that time I was happy. I wonder with people like him, do they consciously manipulate or is it so ingrained that that is the way they see the world. He commented on a particular President that he lies so much that he eventually believes his lies and that becomes his truth. I thought then, you are talking about yourself as well.

What am I doing about that? Finding fun.??
Nothing at the moment. I am licking my wounds and making some big life decisions, at a bad time.

FOO issues - very likely. ...........

I hear manipulation in every comment. I look at friends with suspicion, hear their words as manipulation.

Worse things have happened .Others have bigger problems. I am independent, financially in a good place, interesting work, healthy.

Thanks again for your thoughts. Good to know I am not the one who is losing the plot.
As a pleaser, it was devastating for your husband to negate your 15 years of efforts. An unsuspected affair deserves more pain than you have mentioned. His on-going anger triggers you (FOO), but is not your fault. However, you began second-guessing yourself.

Now the boyfriend:
Con men are usually charming, but deceitful. Many are fooled. He may even be a sociopath with no conscience. You do well to examine yourself, but don't let him determine your capacity to love yourself or your happiness.

I'm wondering if you have a tendency to be a perfectionist?

Don't know if this is relevant, but:
These are what a wise man on this forum once referred to as "Number 3's". It is a cryptic reference to Anthony DeMello's "Awareness" when he discusses a type of healthy selfishness.

1: when we do things to please ourselves.

2: when we do things to please others.

3: when we do things to avoid feeling bad.

Because Number 3's are driven by guilt rather than love, it leads us to tie expectation to them, which leads to resentment when the expectations are not met.

Stop doing the things that lead to you resenting you.

Above all: develop a healthy love for yourself first and foremost. Through that, you will naturally draw people into your life who share those values, and eventually eject those who do not.

Great book for you to read before you ever date again: Getting The Love You Want. Explains why you keep picking the wrong people. Best Wishes...
 

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You feel sad because you bonded, give you brain time. Also because I think you have had two bad experiences. You need to trust your gut more, really you need to fix your picker which would include trusting your gut more.

Frankly I wouldn't say this to most but I think YOU need to be more cynical, there is a real danger in seeing the good in everyone, some folks are not good except at hiding the fact that they are bad. There are people who belong in relationships and people who don't. You want to be one who belongs and you want to avoid the folks who don't at all cost. But part of being one who belongs is having really high standards. Really the thinking has to be black and white, some behaviors should just disqualify someone as a potential mate for you, and you shouldn't feel guilty about that. No one can be saved they have to want to save themselves.
 

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I had a friend describe me as a Golden Retriever personality: met the world with a smile, looked for a friend in everyone, loyal and kind. She meant it as a compliment. It has not served me well.
You sound like a joyful person to be around. :)

I tried one therapist who told me to just be blunt, say what I think and do not think about the consequences. I do not think that is a way to deal with the world, spewing forth my every thought without moderation, insisting on people listening to me above all others. I can not live like that but do think I have to care more about myself and less about hurting the feelings of others. ??
There is a middle ground between being passive or aggressive in your communication. You could try reading about assertive communication.

Is he a narc? I have tried resisting labels as it said as much about me as him but I think you are right. Did he pick me? Quite likely.
I am good at giving affirmation and reassurance, happy to acknowledge what is good about someone, will praise actions and success. I saw him often angling to hear I appreciated him. At the time it was not a problem. Why not tell someone you are happy to see them, or that the gift was thoughtful ar that their idea about a book or a movie was insightful. Now, if I believe posts about narcissism, it fits a pattern.
I don't like giving labels like that to people, either, it's over used. Kind of like the borderline personality disorder that laymen try to give their exes. He could just be an ass who enjoys cheating. He may have narcissistic traits, but what does it really matter? He hurt and used you but it's over now. And there is nothing wrong with telling someone you are happy to see them, if you notice someone angling for it in the future, it could be a sign of low self esteem or insecurity in them.


It was exciting and fun, for that time I was happy. I wonder with people like him, do they consciously manipulate or is it so ingrained that that is the way they see the world. He commented on a particular President that he lies so much that he eventually believes his lies and that becomes his truth. I thought then, you are talking about yourself as well.
I think people always know on some level.

What am I doing about that? Finding fun.??
Nothing at the moment. I am licking my wounds and making some big life decisions, at a bad time.
The best thing you can do is learn from this experience, that takes time and reflection. Do some things you enjoy during this time and take care of yourself. If you value yourself, other people are more likely to respect and value you too.

I hear manipulation in every comment. I look at friends with suspicion, hear their words as manipulation.
Don't let who he is change who you are. The only way he can win is if you let him.
 

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You say that you miss the fun you had with him. What have you done to replace that in your life? What healthier activities and people do you have going on?
Any clubs or hobby groups you could join?

I also think counselling might be of benefit to you.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Sunsetmist

The pain of the discovery of the affair was secondary to the idea that he tried to kill himself because of me. His words. That thought took a lot of soul searching to convince myself it was just not possible to be my fault. The affair then made sense actually, and perhaps was a relief, indicating there were other reasons for his suicide attempt than the fact that we bought a dog ( another reason he offered)

Perfectionist?

How did you know that? Yes I am, especially of myself.
I have learned to keep most of my perfectionist thoughts to myself.. I think. though they do surface at times.
My mantra
People are doing the best they can, even when it is not very good.-cynical probably.

Charming and deceitful

I would have to agree. Except when the charm dries up and the temper erupts. I am not missing that

A healthy love for myself I will buy the book and think on that. I do try to avoid making people feel bad, and am happy when I can make them happy. I have been thinking I should be a better friend to me sometimes. Certainly the past year at least I have not done that.

Violet 28

I still try to be joyful. Mostly doing pretty well with that. It's a bit of fake it until I make it.. but it will come. Support from here has helped I have to say. At times he had me wondering was I mad not to appreciate his wonderfulness!! You folks have affirmed I was not imagining emotional abuse at some level.

Don't let who he is change who you are. The only way he can win is if you let him.

I have to remember that thank you Very true and surely do not want him to win.

SoKIllMe

I should have trusted my gut, you are 100% right. don't ask me why I did not.
Can not even explain it to myself properly.. Think I liked the attention, I enjoyed the shared activities, I liked having someone who cared? Well seemed to care at first glance..

Trust my gut Good advice.
 
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