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Broken After Being Left (he disappeared)

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  • This topic has 17 replies, 4 voices, and was last updated 9 months ago by Tee.
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  • #419221
    Sammie
    Participant

    Hello

    Please help me. I’m so broken.

    It’s been over 5months since I was left. I had a miscarriage and my ex looked after me for a new days and then he disappeared. He didn’t break up with me properly. He said he had commitment issues but said we would see each other again.

    He kept secrets from me like moving to London. He didn’t tell me about this. He just kept telling me it was temporary and that he would be coming home. We had a stunning Xmas and NYE and then I miscarried. He left my house on 14th January and I never saw him again. He got on a plane to Thailand and got back months later.

    When he came back we talked. He said he wanted to be here for me and that he would never find another woman like me. He wanted to support me with ongoing medical appointments. Then on 29th March he told me he didn’t know how not to self sabotage and couldn’t have me in his life.

    Throughout the relationship he would disappear and come back. He would routinely ignore me. I asked if he was busy if he could just tell me instead of ignoring me for days. I also asked if he coined apologise when he was mean to me.

    I tried to be thoughtful and compassionate as he has family issues and problems with his mum.

    At the end he disregarded it ever being a proper relationship despite it continuing for years.

    I think he found someone else in London but didn’t tell me. He wasn’t very good at only having one girl at a time.

    I realise he is terrible. He treated his previous girlfriends really badly too. My heart hurts so much because I feel empty.

    I want to feel love and have someone I care about but I’m 34 and I don’t know how to meet new people. I’m going to socials and trying online dating but I’m having no luck at all. I get offers but I’m not clicking with anyone.

    If he is in London with someone new, I don’t want to be here in Leeds miserable on and my own. I did nothing wrong. I tried to be lovely all the time and it isn’t fair because he lied and cheated.

    It feels like bad people always win. It’s not fair.

    #419236
    Helcat
    Participant

    Hi Sammie

    I’m so sorry to hear about your miscarriage as well as the ex boyfriend who treat you so badly. You didn’t deserve any of his treatment. You deserve so much better!

    It sounds like you’re doing all of the right things dating. Bear in mind that these things do take time.

    I can understand how much it sucks to be alone while he is potentially seeing other people. It might be important for you to take some time to heal from this situation because there are a lot of not so good guys out there and if you can’t set boundaries and protect yourself  you could end up in a bad situation again.

    Wishing you all the best! 🙏

    #419280
    Sammie
    Participant

    Hello Helcat

    Thank you for getting back to me.

    I’m doing a lot of self care. I used to cry in my car every morning back in January and my friend pointed out that I’ve not done that in months. I am crying less.

    I’m just so disappointed that someone who meant the world to me would change his mind so suddenly. Three weeks before he left me, he declared his feelings for me. If we had arguments and problems I would have understood. But he was the one that was always difficult and I was always trying to be understanding.

    I don’t want this on my mind anymore but I’m stuck in a loop of confusion and it is preventing me from moving forward. 🙁

    Sammie

     

    #419281
    Tee
    Participant

    Dear Sammie,

    I am sorry you had a miscarriage and that he disappeared soon after that, only to be back 2 months later. He expressed his willingness to be there for you. However, it didn’t last long, because on March 29, he told you he cannot stick around, and he disappeared again (Then on 29th March he told me he didn’t know how not to self sabotage and couldn’t have me in his life.)

    I understand your disappointment and bitterness, however the writing was on the wall all of this time. He was never a solid guy. He cheated on you, was lying to you and had been disappearing on you before:

    Throughout the relationship he would disappear and come back.

    He would routinely ignore me.

    He wasn’t very good at only having one girl at a time.

    He treated his previous girlfriends really badly too.

    At the end he disregarded it ever being a proper relationship despite it continuing for years.

    I tried to be lovely all the time and it isn’t fair because he lied and cheated.

    You’ve been together, in this strange relationship, for years. You tolerated his behavior and were kind to him and full of understanding. You found excuses for him (I tried to be thoughtful and compassionate as he has family issues and problems with his mum. … He was the one that was always difficult and I was always trying to be understanding.)

    His behavior was abusive, Sammie, but you tolerated it for some reason. You were tolerating his bread crumbs, and you believed him when in March he told you he’ll stick around, finally.

    I’m just so disappointed that someone who meant the world to me would change his mind so suddenly. Three weeks before he left me, he declared his feelings for me

    Unfortunately, his leaving you stranded fits into his so-far behavior pattern. He was doing this all the time. He was never committed, never stable, never there for you. His sudden proclamation of love in March was more of an exception to the rule. His character unfortunately hasn’t changed in Thailand – he remained the same cheating, lying, uncommitted guy.

    I am sorry, Sammie, but that’s the truth about him. His proclamation of love was just an episode, which didn’t mean much. Because his character remained unchanged.

    I don’t want this on my mind anymore but I’m stuck in a loop of confusion and it is preventing me from moving forward

    If you are confused about his motives, I hope you can see now that his disappearance and leaving you stranded is consistent with his so-far behavior and character. You were confused so far, I’d dare say you didn’t want to see his true character. You were deluding yourself a bit. And I guess he was contributing to your confusing too, with his constant back and forth, the promises he gave you but never saw through.

    It feels like bad people always win. It’s not fair.

    I am afraid you let him “win”. You let him get away with his sleazy, cheating behavior. You were always kind, compassionate and loving. And he took advantage of your goodness.

    But if you open your eyes and see him for what he is, you won’t be taken for a ride anymore. The bad guys won’t win anymore, at least not in your life.

    You have the chance for a fresh new start, without this toxic person in your life. The world is your oyster, as they say. But you’d need to develop more self-respect and more discernment, so you don’t settle for bread crumbs. You deserve so much more!

     

    #419292
    Helcat
    Participant

    Hi Sammie

    It’s good to hear that you are practicing self-care and things are getting a little easier day by day.

    Throughout your relationship he disappeared and came back.

    Do you think the relationship permanently ending might have anything to do with the miscarriage? Statistically rates for couples breaking up after a miscarriage is quite high.

    It sounds like he took it quite hard literally fleeing to a different country to temporarily escape the situation. And you had to deal with your pain alone. It’s really hard to come back from that.

    His instinct seems to be to run from intense pain. Perhaps he left permanently because it hurt?

    I can only imagine the pain you’ve experienced, you were going to have a child together. Losing a child and a relationship are two really big losses very close together.

    #419439
    Sammie
    Participant

    Hello Tee & Helkat

    Thank you for your responses.

    To add detail, the pregnancy and miscarriage were both unexpected. I was in denial about being pregnant as a coping mechanism. And then we only found out for certain when I went to hospital. That was when it was confirmed that I had been pregnant. I was then heavily in denial about miscarrying as I just could not believe it.

    He supported me for 3 days and then disappeared. He was passionately against children so I don’t know how it made him feel.

    We had a wonderful Xmas & NYE and he already started ignoring me. He also brought a box of my things back over Xmas so I believe he had already made his mind up to leave.

    Tee, I’m grateful for your honesty. I needed to hear this. He was toxic. He was hard work. I was also scared of him. I could get a bad stomach every time he told me he was on the way to my house. I would be physically sick.

    He was so lovely to me at times. He took me away for my birthday and planned lovely days out for us. He would do little things like make sure I had medicine. He would tell me he would always have my back and be there for me.

    I did feel loved at times. What makes it so hard is that at Xmas/NYE, he was so lovely but I think he has already made his mind up to leave. It’s the dissonance of “he seemed to care but he left anyway”.

    But, before this I was a strong, focused woman. Who I am now, I don’t recognise. But at the start of the year I asked the universe for peace, and then he left. I think I have been gifted this man leaving my life.

    Since then I have redecorated my house, got myself an amazing new job, I’ve been attending socials to meet new people and I am going travelling.

    Every day is working towards what I told myself I needed on January 4th this year. I need peace.

    Thank you Tee and Helcat for being supportive. I really appreciate you guidance. 

    #419449
    Sarah Jeanne Browne
    Participant

    He is not for you! You can do so much better. You deserve respect. Mixed signals = non-interest or full follow up or commitment. Make a list of what you want in a relationship and hang it on the wall. Remind yourself of it any time he tries to make contact again. It’s time to move on from him. Karma will take care of the rest.

    #419453
    Tee
    Participant

    Dear Sammie,

    you are very welcome!

    I was in denial about being pregnant as a coping mechanism.

    He was passionately against children

    I can see why you were in denial. Perhaps it was because you knew he was very much against children and you didn’t want to face the prospect of raising a child alone? And in general, I guess you knew on some level that he was a bad and unreliable partner, so you knew that having a child with him would have been very hard.

    Tee, I’m grateful for your honesty. I needed to hear this. He was toxic. He was hard work. I was also scared of him. I could get a bad stomach every time he told me he was on the way to my house. I would be physically sick.

    You’re welcome, I am glad it added some clarity. And if you were scared of him – wow, that says a lot! Was he physically abusive too?

    He was so lovely to me at times. He took me away for my birthday and planned lovely days out for us. He would do little things like make sure I had medicine. He would tell me he would always have my back and be there for me.

    Yes, that’s the worst: the abuse mixed with seeming kindness and care. That’s called trauma bonding: we get attached to the good times, when we felt loved and cared for, and we disregard and minimize the bad times, when we were abused. And we hope that some day, we’ll only get the good times and that the bad times will stop…

    I did feel loved at times. What makes it so hard is that at Xmas/NYE, he was so lovely but I think he has already made his mind up to leave. It’s the dissonance of “he seemed to care but he left anyway”.

    Yes, he gave you the appearance of caring. But really, he didn’t care. Because at the end of the day, his behavior was hurtful and abusive.

    But, before this I was a strong, focused woman. Who I am now, I don’t recognise. But at the start of the year I asked the universe for peace, and then he left. I think I have been gifted this man leaving my life.

    I am glad he left your life and that you found a measure of peace. And I hope you won’t take him back, if he comes knocking at your door again. It’s great that you’re finding your strength again: you’ve got yourself a new job, you’ve redecorated your house, you have been going out, and you’re planning to go traveling. That’s all amazing!

    A lot of the times, we may be strong in other areas of our life, but in the field of romantic relationship, we suffer. We might have a weak spot for not so good guys. I don’t know what your experience with men was before him, but if you see a certain pattern, it might be worth to work on it and heal it.

    I wish you peace and strength and lots of healing!

     

    #419455
    Sammie
    Participant

    Hello Sarah & Tee

    Thanks for your advice, Sarah. I shall write this list. That is a very good suggestion.

    Tee, with the denial of pregnancy, I was terrified of telling him. I thought he would leave immediately. I’ve never been as stressed as I was with him and I carry guilt in thinking that perhaps this is what caused the miscarriage. I was afraid he wouldn’t be there for me and he proved me to be correct when he disappeared when I was in hospital. There were complications which made me very unwell. I was in hospital while he was in Thailand.

    As for being physically abusive, it felt more like degrading me. I’m petite and very small and he was 6ft tall and stocky build. I would do a little hip bump to be playful but then he would shove me with no regard to the size difference. He once pushed me into the refrigerator and held me there by the back of my head, unable to move. I didn’t like this. I’m not sure why he pushed me into the refrigerator like this but it felt degrading.

    What you have said about trauma bonding has really helped. At the moment I’m trying to understand why my brain is acting in the way it is. I’m a scientist for my job and understanding things like trauma bonding is very helpful.

    In terms of previous men. Some have been fantastic, caring and respectful. My last good relationship ending because we wanted different things from life. I have an ex husband who ended up being unfaithful but it ended amicably. We were very young when we met and it just ran its course. His error in judgement was not a reflection of the decade I spent with him. Most of the relationship was very good.

    My biggest issue at the moment is the dissonance in my head between thinking I’m a failure if I don’t have a partner and what I actually want, which is time for me. I think women have a lot of pressure to be in a relationship. I’m often asked “but how are you single?” and this makes me feel like I’m the odd one out.

    When I am well, I am self sufficient. I own my house, travel by myself and generally don’t have any problems making new friends.

    I have been on some dates and I panic before going out. Then panic if they come near me. However, if I’m meeting male or female friends, I’m absolutely fine.

    I would like the option of being able to meet someone when I am ready but at the moment I see the damage that my last relationship has caused. It is currently preventing me from having a future with someone new. I’m not sure how to get past this fear of men when they are potential romantic partners.

    Again, I’m so grateful to you for responding and helping me. All of you are a life line. Thank you 🙂

    #419459
    Tee
    Participant

    Dear Sammie,

    you are most welcome!

    Tee, with the denial of pregnancy, I was terrified of telling him. I thought he would leave immediately. I’ve never been as stressed as I was with him

    Hm, it seems you felt guilty for getting pregnant accidentally, and because you knew he was strongly against children, you felt you “messed up” and he’ll be angry at you and leave? Did he have anger issues, btw? Because you said: He was the one that was always difficult. He was hard work. I was scared of him.

    What you described as him pushing you with full force disregarding your size, or pushing you against the fridge and holding you there, not letting you move – that’s physical abuse, if you ask me. Or at least using physical force to intimidate you. You called it degrading, but I think it’s much more than degrading. Words can be degrading, but this was physically threatening. No wonder you didn’t like it.

    Have you told him you didn’t like it or you stayed silent?

    I was afraid he wouldn’t be there for me and he proved me to be correct when he disappeared when I was in hospital. There were complications which made me very unwell. I was in hospital while he was in Thailand.

    I am so sorry, Sammie. That’s really horrible. You laying in hospital, having complications after having miscarried his child, and he is vacationing in Thailand. Perhaps he told you it’s just too much for him and he needs to get away from it all? Like, he made himself into a victim?

    I carry guilt in thinking that perhaps this is what caused the miscarriage

    Please don’t blame yourself. I can tell you that my mother was very stressed while carrying me, and yet I was born a healthy child. I think it’s written in the stars, as they say. I am a little fatalistic in this respect – I think it was meant to be like that.

    In terms of previous men. Some have been fantastic, caring and respectful. My last good relationship ending because we wanted different things from life. I have an ex husband who ended up being unfaithful but it ended amicably. We were very young when we met and it just ran its course. His error in judgement was not a reflection of the decade I spent with him. Most of the relationship was very good.

    I see. So this one is more an exception to the rule. But it could also be that you’re a bit overly forgiving and understanding towards your partners. I mean, your ex husband cheated on you, but you explain it as his “error of judgment”. That’s nice, but I wonder if there is still some unprocessed anger at him?

    If you’ve processed it and healed it, then fine – then indeed you are free and no hard feelings. But if you force yourself to be kind and understanding, that’s another pair of shoes. Because you did force yourself to be kind and understanding towards your last ex, who was emotionally and potentially physically abusive. So I am just putting it out there, in case you need to re-evaluate your earlier relationships too.

    My biggest issue at the moment is the dissonance in my head between thinking I’m a failure if I don’t have a partner and what I actually want, which is time for me. I think women have a lot of pressure to be in a relationship. I’m often asked “but how are you single?” and this makes me feel like I’m the odd one out.

    I have been on some dates and I panic before going out. Then panic if they come near me. However, if I’m meeting male or female friends, I’m absolutely fine.

    I understand. You don’t want to be abused again. And you don’t need to, Sammie. You don’t need to force yourself into a relationship. I think your priority should be to heal and completely understand how you were abused and how to prevent abuse in the future. Because there might be some gaps there, where you were blind to some of the abuse, and are only now waking up to how bad it really was.

    I would like the option of being able to meet someone when I am ready but at the moment I see the damage that my last relationship has caused.

    So allow yourself time to be ready. You don’t need to rush into another relationship. As I said above, I think you still need to fully grasp in what ways you were abused, and potentially if you were overlooking abuse (albeit milder) in your previous relationships.

    It is currently preventing me from having a future with someone new. I’m not sure how to get past this fear of men when they are potential romantic partners.

    I think the confusion about what is and what isn’t abuse, and what you should or shouldn’t tolerate, might be adding to your fear of men at this point. You don’t want to be abused again and it could be that your panic attacks serve to protect you from abuse. It could be that your panic attacks are in fact a defense mechanism and prevent you from getting into another relationship without properly healing.

    If you equip yourself with good knowledge and awareness of what is abuse and how to protect yourself from it, I think your fear of men would subside too.

    What do you think? I hope my assumptions were not too much and too off the mark.

     

    #419476
    Sammie
    Participant

    Hello Tee

    With the pregnancy, I’m not sure how I felt other than denial. I don’t want children unless I find the right person and I knew I would not want children in this scenario. Then I miscarried so I didn’t have the chance to process being pregnant.

    As to whether or not he had anger issues is hard to say. He internalised everything and wouldn’t even speak with friends or family about anything. When his relationship before me ended, he moved back home but wouldn’t discuss anything with his family.

    I could see he was hurting deeply and I picked up on low self esteem. He seemed to crave validation from women. He would routinely dress in certain ways to get compliments from women at work or when he was. Then he would talk a lot about women to me and what he liked about other women’s appearances, but refused to compliment me. When we used to go out, I would get a lot of compliments from strangers and he didn’t like that I got this attention. Going as far as to laugh at me for being complimented, like he couldn’t understand why people fuss me in the way they do.

    You’re right about the incidents with the physical aspect. I didn’t say anything because I was too scared. There was a lot that happened where I was too scared to say anything.

    It’s worth noting that a couple I know met him a few times. Their feedback was they said they had a bad vibe from him, that he seemed disinterested in my life and that I wasn’t myself. They said I had anxious energy when they visited and he was staying over.

    As for him playing the victim. He did actually always blame other people for things. Like his relationship before me, he says he was abused however I highly doubt it. He blames other people for his bad behaviour. As for him going to Thailand, it was planned before I miscarried. I honestly just think he wanted to go and have a “single man lifestyle”. He was overweight as a child and is very self conscious about it and part of my thinks he wanted to sleep with women to prove his attractiveness to himself.

    I think you’re absolutely right about panic attacks being a defence mechanism. I don’t want a repetition of this pain and trauma.

    With regards to my ex husband, I’ve worked through this and no longer hold any feelings towards what happened. I had therapy to work through this. I’m actually grateful for what happened as I’ve been able to create my own life. I don’t hold a grudge to him.

    However, to the ex we have been discussing. I’m working on accepting what has happened. I want to let go of what has happened and move on to aid my healing. However, his behaviour is unforgivable in my opinion and he won’t be getting my forgiveness.

    I feel safe that he won’t reach out again as it feels final this time. I don’t think he is capable of having the emotions to be able to miss me. So I don’t think he will be asking for forgiveness anyway.

    Thanks so much, as always 🙂
    <p style=”text-align: center;”></p>

    #419491
    Tee
    Participant

    Dear Sammie,

    you’re welcome!

    His behavior was definitely abusive. First, the threat of physical violence, which was maybe never explicitly expressed, but you felt it and were scared. You were also scared to mention anything and complain about his intimidating behavior, once the behavior passed (I didn’t say anything because I was too scared. There was a lot that happened where I was too scared to say anything.)

    So I assume you were living in fear of him physically hurting you?

    Another aspect of his abuse was him commenting on other women’s looks, probably to make you jealous and hurt you. At the same time he didn’t like when you got compliments for your appearance, he outright laughed at it. Probably it made him angry and jealous, and his ego was hurt. It shows some narcissistic features actually – like he couldn’t stand that you would get compliments and in that way, be “better” than him.

    When a guy talks like that about other women in front of his girlfriend, it is abuse, because he is trying to hurt her and put her down. It’s very likely a narcissistic thing – he did it to feel better about himself. And possibly to make you jealous as well, because he is showing interest in other women.

    As for him playing the victim. He did actually always blame other people for things. Like his relationship before me, he says he was abused however I highly doubt it. He blames other people for his bad behaviour.

    That’s another main feature of toxic people: always blame others for their problems and their bad behavior. Never take responsibility for themselves and their actions.

    As for him going to Thailand, it was planned before I miscarried. I honestly just think he wanted to go and have a “single man lifestyle”. He was overweight as a child and is very self conscious about it and part of my thinks he wanted to sleep with women to prove his attractiveness to himself.

    Okay, so you knew that he was probably going to Thailand to sleep around. But it seems you rationalized it, explaining it to yourself as just some immature behavior, which is the result of his self-esteem issues. And so you “understood” it.

    I think that’s the trap you fell into: you tried to be so full of understanding for him and his supposed “suffering” (or his self-esteem problems or whatever), that you explained away even the most egregious abuse on his part. The threat of physical violence, the sexual remarks about other women, the cheating….

    Please don’t think I am judging you. I think I actually understand what happened: this guy is most probably a covert narcissist. And you fell victim to narcissistic abuse. That can definitely break people down… like it broke you down.

    Covert narcissists always play the victim, so I guess you fell for it too, trying to be compassionate and understanding. But it was a trap because he was abusing you, while you might have felt sorry for him…

    With regards to my ex husband, I’ve worked through this and no longer hold any feelings towards what happened. I had therapy to work through this. I’m actually grateful for what happened as I’ve been able to create my own life. I don’t hold a grudge to him.

    I am glad you worked this through and healed. So there are no hard feelings and you could really move on.

    Back to this guy: The problem with narcissistic people is that they will misuse your goodness and empathy, and turn it against you. The kinder and more understanding you are, the more unrestrained they get. The more you give, the more they take. And suck you out completely. Perhaps that’s what happened to you too?

    However, to the ex we have been discussing. I’m working on accepting what has happened. I want to let go of what has happened and move on to aid my healing. However, his behaviour is unforgivable in my opinion and he won’t be getting my forgiveness.

    You don’t need to forgive him – specially if it means excusing his behavior and letting it happen again. His behavior was inexcusable and a clear abuse! So you’d need to see that clearly and in fact feel anger (healthy anger) towards him, which will enable you to never allow such a thing to happen again. After that you’ll be able to know what is acceptable and what is not, and set clear boundaries. So that it never happens again. You will also be able to recognize abuse pretty early on, instead of excusing it and tolerating it.

    This healthy anger will subside and eventually you might even forgive him – as in not hold a grudge against him, because holding grudges prevents us to move on. But first things first: allow yourself to feel anger and outrage for having been abused like that (in a safe environment, preferably therapy), and then things will become much easier. And I am sure your panic attacks will stop too, because you’ll know how to recognize abuse and protect yourself from it next time.

    I feel safe that he won’t reach out again as it feels final this time. I don’t think he is capable of having the emotions to be able to miss me. So I don’t think he will be asking for forgiveness anyway.

    I think he is only capable of feeling sorry for himself. He is not capable of feeling any empathy for you. He might actually contact you some time in the future, since he used to reappear in your life. If he does, it will be to receive his “narcissistic supply”, i.e. to drain some more energy from you. But if he does, you’ll know what to do. In fact, I’d block him everywhere, so he cannot even bother you again!

     

    #419498
    Sammie
    Participant

    Hello Tee

    Thank you for the insight. I’ve just read up on covert narcissism and he does fit the traits. I had always assumed narcissist were charismatic and obviously manipulative. I can see that covert narcissists are different to what we typically think a narcissist is.

    You asked if I was scared of physical abuse. I wasn’t scared of this, I was very scared of emotional abuse and him being cold to me. He would hide his emotions so I was afraid of what he could be like if angered but never actually saw him angry.

    I feel anger sometimes but mostly I’m in disbelief. I’d say I can’t believe that it came so out of the blue but at the same time, it doesn’t surprise me. What did surprise me is leaving me when I was still poorly and needing hospital treatment after miscarriage complications. That was a level of low I could not have predicted.

    I am bitter because I know he doesn’t suffer. Everyone else suffers instead. He rips through peoples lives like a natural disaster. I am trying to work on letting this go but the unfairness of it gets to me.
    <p style=”text-align: left;”>I will be having therapy next week so will start to feel the anger, like you say.

    </p>
    I don’t have any social media so it’s difficult for him to contact me. I don’t think he will be back for his narcissistic supply though anyway. He used to put me down in so many ways .. my job, the house I own, the way I live my life.. so if you say he put me down because he was envious or he felt I was “better” than him, he probably won’t get an ego boost from me now.

    I just long for the day where I can look back at all this and think “wow, he was terrible. I can’t believe I was actually upset over that”

    Thanks so much! Have a great day.

    #419521
    Tee
    Participant

    Dear Sammie,

    you are very welcome!

    Thank you for the insight. I’ve just read up on covert narcissism and he does fit the traits. I had always assumed narcissist were charismatic and obviously manipulative. I can see that covert narcissists are different to what we typically think a narcissist is.

    Yes, covert narcissists are much more difficult to spot because they are not outwardly bragging and full of themselves. On the contrary, they are more introverted and even may seem fragile and insecure.

    There is a very good youtube video on covert narcissists, titled “The mind of a covert narcissist: What to look for“, by Barbara Heffernan. She is describing a lot of the features that your ex also had: introverted, seemingly low self-esteem, the “poor me” stance etc.

    You asked if I was scared of physical abuse. I wasn’t scared of this, I was very scared of emotional abuse and him being cold to me. He would hide his emotions so I was afraid of what he could be like if angered but never actually saw him angry.

    Oh I see. You were scared of “offending” him and driving him away, if you complained about his behavior or about anything that disturbed you about him. You were scared to criticize him, right? Because he might get offended and leave?

    I feel anger sometimes but mostly I’m in disbelief. I’d say I can’t believe that it came so out of the blue but at the same time, it doesn’t surprise me. What did surprise me is leaving me when I was still poorly and needing hospital treatment after miscarriage complications. That was a level of low I could not have predicted.

    Right… because it was probably the lowest thing he’s ever done to you. At the time you were still “under his spell”, still hoping that he would come around some day and start loving you properly. That’s why you were willing to forgive him, once he returned from Thailand and said those sweet things. But now in retrospect, you see how low his behavior actually was, and how selfish he was. Now it all clicks into place, I guess.

    And yeah, it does leave a normal person in disbelief. Like, how could someone do such a thing? But a narcissist unfortunately can, since they have no empathy whatsoever.

    I am bitter because I know he doesn’t suffer. Everyone else suffers instead. He rips through peoples lives like a natural disaster. I am trying to work on letting this go but the unfairness of it gets to me.

    Right. I get that you are bitter, because it’s like innocent people get hurt. You are this innocent person who got hurt. You showed compassion and understanding for someone who had no compassion and understanding for you. It hurts. But I think the best revenge is to get back on your feet, get your life back in order, and rise above him. And never allow to be fooled like that again.

    I will be having therapy next week so will start to feel the anger, like you say.

    Good, you do that!

    I don’t have any social media so it’s difficult for him to contact me. I don’t think he will be back for his narcissistic supply though anyway. He used to put me down in so many ways .. my job, the house I own, the way I live my life.. so if you say he put me down because he was envious or he felt I was “better” than him, he probably won’t get an ego boost from me now.

    Sorry, didn’t understand this: do you mean he wouldn’t get an ego boost from you because you wouldn’t let him, or because you don’t feel good about yourself at the moment, so he wouldn’t be motivated to put you down? You did say you redecorated your house and found a great new job, so I guess he would have something to be envious about.

    I just long for the day where I can look back at all this and think “wow, he was terrible. I can’t believe I was actually upset over that”

    Well, he really was terrible. And what you’ve been through is not a small thing. He was a master manipulator and you fell for it. But I guess one of the lessons is not to justify the abuse. Not to seek excuses. I don’t care what his childhood trauma is – if he is cheating on you, that’s abuse and is inexcusable. So in that sense, have less compassion for the abuser and more compassion for yourself.

     

    #419568
    Sammie
    Participant

    Hello Tee

    Thanks for sharing the YouTube suggestion. I have watched it and it makes a lot of sense. It has helped me understand more about a covert narcissist.

    It helped to know that he does not empathise and has no empathy. It’s funny because I remember now he has said before he lacks empathy and that his previous girlfriends have said he is insensitive. I mustn’t have thought much about it at the time because he was being so nice and the opposite with me.

    “But I think the best revenge is to get back on your feet, get your life back in order, and rise above him. And never allow to be fooled like that again.” This has really helped. Yes, I shall rise above. This is time for me now. Time for new adventures and genuine connections.

    “Sorry, didn’t understand this: do you mean he wouldn’t get an ego boost from you because you wouldn’t let him, or because you don’t feel good about yourself at the moment, so he wouldn’t be motivated to put you down?”

    So I meant he can’t get an ego boost because he is unable to put me down anymore. I don’t think he would risk the rejection. Also, given the state he left me in and some of his self awareness of being a bad guy (he is self deprecating sometimes) I would hope that he would know better and think “I’ve hurt her enough, I’m going to stay away” even if he did have the urge to reach out.

    While I do believe he is a covert narcissist, he acknowledged he needed professional help which suggests some amount of self awareness. With this in mind, I feel I won’t hear from him again.

    “I don’t care what his childhood trauma is – if he is cheating on you, that’s abuse and is inexcusable. So in that sense, have less compassion for the abuser and more compassion for yourself.”

    This has helped greatly too. Thank you for helping me reframe my thoughts in this way. I will have more compassion for me.

    So, for a happy end to the story: a met with a friend this week and we went climbing. I’ve not done this before and I had a great time.

    We went for a drink after and I told her how scared I was of being alone and how I’ve not been without a boyfriend since I was 13 (I’m now 34 years old). Her reaction was “WOW! This is such an exciting time for you!”. “What do you mean?”, I asked. She said me that I now have all this time for me, time for adventure.

    We set the date, 31 May 2024, to meet one year later. For me to give her the debrief on everything I will have done over the next year. I bought a notebook on my way home to document my journey and all the amazing experiences I’m going to have.

    Thanks as always, your support has made a huge impact and will always be grateful 🙂

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