April 10, 2019 at 7:45 am #288459
1. Smooth transition today when picking up kids and acting polite with ex. Also giving extra hugs to kids.
2. Hard to do. How do you promote love when you don’t feel it?
3. Was thinking of past scenarios and what’s ifs and made myself stop with the ocd thinking early am.
4. Need counseling and working on it
5. No idea how to prepare but I need to work on my boundaries and red flags- learn how to walk away from someone instead of ignoring the red flags.April 10, 2019 at 8:12 am #288465
Your objectives from yesterday and today’s report:
1. To promote your kids’ transition with the separation- “Smooth transition today when picking up kids and acting polite with ex. Also giving extra hugs to kids”- well done!
2. To promote you loving yourself- “hard to do. How do you promote love when you don’t feel it?”- think: what choice will promote my mental health and what choice will harm my mental health, choose the first.
3. To promote you dealing with your anxiety better (lowering it)- “Was thinking of past scenarios and what’s ifs and made myself stop with the ocd thinking early on”- well done, repeat next time.
4. To heal from the specific abuse you suffered in your marriage- “Need counseling and working on it”- I hope you find a quality counselor/ therapist, maybe even a support group specific to the abuse.
5. To prepare yourself for a future healthy relationship with a man- “No idea how to prepare but I need to work on my boundaries and red flags- learn how to walk away from someone instead of ignoring the red flags”- you can make a list of the red flags you ignored before, a short, clear description of each red flag you encountered and ignored before.
anitaApril 10, 2019 at 11:03 am #288535
1. Agreeing to meet up at a sports bar to hang out for first time. He had been there with friends. I show up and he’s extremely drunk. He doesn’t move just stares at me. I instantly feel uncomfortable bc of that and a woman of around my age staring at him like she just lost her dog. I left 2 minutes after being there. I should have dropped him then or anyone that gets drunk knowing they are meeting a female.
2. Him telling me this can’t go anywhere because he’s done raising kids. It was rude and I should have said bye right away.
3. Seems focused mostly on himself during sex. Funny it wasn’t like that before we had sex.
4. Allowing me to think his wife cheated on him. He just never answered the question when I asked him so I assumed. I thought he came from a relationship where he was treated negatively. I think it was the other way around but he didn’t clarify it until way later. He cheated on her before they got married but were together with their first child.April 10, 2019 at 11:15 am #288543
These means then, that in the future
-you will not have a second date with a man who is drunk when you show up for your first date with him –that you will not continue to see a man who tells you that he is done raising kids (better ask a man how he feels about raising kids before you get involved with him romantically or physically)
-that you expect a man to be honest and straightforward with you in a relationship, and
-that he will be a considerate lover.
Right here is your preparation for a future healthy relationship with a man (#5).
anitaApril 13, 2019 at 5:16 pm #288959
Red flags are easy to spot. The problem is walking away and staying away. I was being burned and I kept going back to the fire. I would keep getting burned and go back for More like an addiction.
How do I not allow a man to walk all over me? This question used to be simple now not so much. Is it habit? I know I deserve more but I do not have the ability to walk away or tell a man to stop these behaviors. It’s like my brain turns off.
I’m afraid. I don’t have anyone to go for real advice. My best friend at work is a 26 year married guy named Ben who acts like his 55. I’m asking my mother to help me pay for counseling. I’m calling Monday. I worry counseling will not help my brain.
lindseyApril 13, 2019 at 6:27 pm #288969
I want to reply to you better than I am able to do now, so will be back to you Sunday morning, about 12 hours from now.
anitaApril 14, 2019 at 6:30 am #288989
Regarding counseling you wrote: “I worry counseling will not help my brain”- a capable, empathetic, dedicated counselor/ psychotherapist, over time, within the professional counseling setting, when you feel comfortable and safe in that office, trusting that person, over time the counselor can make it so that you feel comfortable/ safe enough to access certain feelings regarding experiences in life that you don’t want to access now.
For the counselor to help your brain, that is, to promote healing in your brain, it takes you feeling safe enough, in “good hands” so to speak, those of the counselor’s to feel that you can survive being aware of feelings that are now pushed down, repressed. I am guessing that you remember certain painful experiences in life but without much feeling. To help your brain, you need to remember how it felt, not just what happened.
“Red flags are easy to spot”- not necessarily. I will give you an example from what you shared about the short relationship with M. I am taking the example and using it out of context, that is, I am not judging that relationship now, only using the example: the two of you decided to not date publicly because you are co workers who work and live in a small town etc. Later on you wanted to date publicly and he didn’t. It is not a red flag that he didn’t date publicly- that was his preference, his choice, and you agreed to it. When you changed your mind and he refused to date publicly, his refusal is not a red flag, it is his preference.
Another example, he told you that he didn’t want to raise young kids, yours. That is not a red flag, that is, again, his preference. If he didn’t suggest to you before that he wants to raise your kids, then he didn’t lie before and not raising kids is his preference, his choice, not a red flag.
You have to tell the difference between a man’s preferences/ choices that you don’t like and red flags.
Examples of red flags: a man calling you names, a man telling you that the two of you are exclusive but he sees other women, a man telling you lies, factual lies about his life.
What do you think about what I wrote so far?
anitaApril 14, 2019 at 11:42 am #289025
yes I hear what you are saying. I believe I did not listen to his preferences. I ignored them just to be with him. I feel that I would ignore preferences that do not align with mine right now if I were dating and I have in the past because I’m desperate for some type of connection. My brain goes into tunnel vision of seeing the relationship through to the end and not stopping it when things are not right. In the past I’ve “ghosted” men mostly in college. I would just not answer the phone and avoid them without breaking it off. I did it several times.
i believe for me there is a difference between loneliness and wanting a connection with a man. All this stemms from my mother cutting me off emotional when I went to college I know. I also think that during the last few years with my ex husband and being forced to sleep with him has harmed me more than I realize. I felt like a prostitute and that I was being used in different ways during the end part of the marriage.
lindseyApril 14, 2019 at 1:25 pm #289029
Without sexual details, without the specifics, can you tell me about what you mean by “being forced to sleep with him”- how were you forced? And what feeling “like a prostitute” was like for you?
I think I know something about how difficult that was for you, and again, without the specifics, keeping it general enough so that you don’t feel too exposed here (and I don’t want the detail personally), will you tell me?
I will be away from the computer for a couple of hours or so.
anitaApril 14, 2019 at 2:11 pm #289031
i would say from around 2014 – 2017 my relationship with my ex husband went from bad to really toxic. I don’t know why and there was no one thing that happened. There was an agreement to meet his needs once a week. If I did not act interested there was lots of yelling right before and after. I noticed that for about 3-4 days after the act his mood was improved and I got a break from the verbal abuse. I felt over time I was prostituting myself in a sense for him to act nicely. This was never a strong point in our relationship. I never really enjoyed it.
He hit me once around 2016 and I continued meeting his needs. I would cry during and after and go in a different room to sleep. I hated myself after. Trying to talk about it with friends or my mother was hard. I got “that’s your husband so you have to do it” or “ just pretend it’s someone else” kind of comments.
i did not feel like anyone understood what I was going through and I believe it effects me now in ways i am not recognizing.
LindseyApril 14, 2019 at 4:27 pm #289033
I need to be away from the computer longer than I thought, all the way to tomorrow morning. Will be back with you in about 14 hours from now, read and reply to you when I am back.
anitaApril 15, 2019 at 8:44 am #289105
You wrote earlier about M, “I.. allowed M. to do whatever to me because a part of me was not even there” and “I do not have the ability to walk away or tell a man to stop these behaviors. It’s like my brain turns off”, and “My brain goes into tunnel vision of seeing the relationship through to the end and not stopping it when things are not right”.
Your brain functions well in the present in some contexts, work for one. You are able to remain employed and you are able to take care of your children much of the time, to live independently in your own apartment. But currently and for some time, it hasn’t function well in the context of relationships with men, particularly your soon-to-be ex husband and with M. To function well in a relationship with a man, you have to be there, but part of you hasn’t been there, cut off, disassociated.
For your brain to function well in the context of a relationship with a man, you have to be able to walk away from abuse, to assert yourself, two things you weren’t able to do. Your brain has to be turned on, not off and your vision needs to be wider than a narrow tunnel vision.
All this means that at this time and for a while, you need to stay away from relationships with men. Resume the aim of a relationship when your brain functions well enough in that context, when it is on, when your vision is wider, when you are able to assert yourself and walk away from abuse.
Resume the aim of having a relationship with a man when you know that you will no longer beg (“I was begging (M) not to end it”) and when you are able to get to know a man without sex for a couple of months at least, before considering sex. You have to talk with a man you meet in a public place, such as a coffee shop, ten times at least, in ten different days, before being alone with him.
A part of you has to protect the part of you that can’t take care of yourself in this context. Not all of you is out of control, is my point. Operate from the part of you that has control. This part does exist!
You shared that with your soon to be ex husband, you had a bad relationship that turned worse, “about 2 years of the coercion sex” before no sex of the last 1.5 years of cohabitating (before you moved out this April). During the worst part of this marriage, “There was an agreement to meet his needs once a week”. If you didn’t, “there was lots of yelling”. If you did, “his mood was improved and I got a break from the verbal abuse”. You felt like a prostitute, “would cry during and after” and “hated myself after”.
What took place there was sexual servitude/ slavery. How dare he? It enrages me!
Tell me, Lindsey, how does it feel when you see him, are you angry at him? And how did that sexual slavery stop in the last 1.5 years of living with him, did he have mercy for his slave and stopped enslaving you?
April 15, 2019 at 1:13 pm #289161
- This reply was modified 6 days ago by anita.
Most of the time I feel nothing when I look at my ex husband; other times I feel a general dislike. While prostituting/sexual slave is a bit dramatic, my body was being used to meet a need and I was not part of that need. I was trading that for nice behaviors from him for the household. It ended when I felt I could not have sex with him anymore and we cohabitated for 1.5 years.
I was still enslaved in a sense for the 1.5 years. I felt trapped in every sense of the word. It made me depressed and very angry with everyone around me, mostly my family. Daily I was told by him what I wasn’t doing right and that I gave up on the marriage and stopped trying.
Feeling trapped and not able to really take up for myself or make him stop I believe caused the disassociation.
I really like how you said a part of me had to take up for and protect the other part of me. I feel protective of her. I don’t think she deserves what has happened to her and I want her to get empowered and feel strong.
LindseyApril 15, 2019 at 2:05 pm #289171
“I want her to get empowered and feel strong”, and a part of you is strong and has that power that you need. Operate from that place of strength, of power.
You shared you begged a man- never beg again. Never have sex with a man who yells at you. The strong part of you will not allow those things to happen again. Let that part make your choices every day.
anitaApril 16, 2019 at 5:31 am #289225
First of all, I send you a big hug for all the pain and frustration you are going through…Been there myself.
Secondly, YOU ARE MUCH STRONGER THAN YOU THINK! Trust me on this. Those manipulating, narcissistic people think they can put us down. No honey, they are wrong. And you are the living proof of that. Who is he anyway is he God? Is he a president? Is he flawless? Process that for a bit. He’s a pure nobody. Move on.
You have closure by seeing how immature and unfitting he is for you. But I also agree with Mark. Write a letter and burn it. Hope you log again and inform us about how you feel dear xoxox