Feeling humiliated - or am I getting things out of perspective?

(27 Posts)
ThinkingItThrough Fri 07-Dec-12 23:37:06

Hi is there anyone around who can help me to work out how to cope with something. I feel really alone tonight and worrying over something stupid and people here have helped lift my spirits a bit in the past. I posted a couple of weeks ago as my ex-partner was taking his new partner to our local church and I felt betrayed and embarrassed by it.

I tried to stay strong and not mention it, but yesterday I did email him about something to do with the children and added a couple of lines on this issue to try to politely say how awkward I felt about it and did he realise? I said that I felt I cound't go any more. He has sent back a furious email and says I have no right to ask this of him and to even ask is an attempt to control and manipulate him and his new partner. He has shown my email to the new partner and she is furious too and has told him I am trying to control them. Reading between the lines it seems she is staying with him this weekend, meeting my seven year old daughter for the first time (my son and daughter are staying with him this weekend).

From other comments, it appears likely that he and the new partner are taking my children to the church together on Sunday. This is where we all used to go as a family and it feels as if he is making a huge point. They have already been together as a couple which I found hard but now to take my children and appear as a 'family' themselves seems really cruel. Or am I making too much of this? Is it totally normal behaviour and me that is over sensitive? I can't ask them not to go, I can't even ask them to use another church in another village as he says that would be an infringement of their freedom. I've just got to get over it somehow. I just feel sick and as if I'm being publically replaced and humiliated, even to my children. Am I over-reacting?

ThinkingItThrough Fri 07-Dec-12 23:53:46

Sorry - I mean ' I said I felt I couldn't go any more'. I even spellchecked this in Word first but added a line in and bingo - a typo - sorry!

Maybe this isn't a religion problem, maybe it's a relationship thing. But I think this is a less busy forum and people might be a bit less judgemental. I know I would get lots of the 'he's a b*****d type of support on a busy forum but though that's gratifying in the short term, I have to work out a way of dealing with and accepting this and living with it and that's what I want help with. I'm not very 'faithy' by the way. I know I believe in something but I don't really know what it is or who I talk to in my head (in a kind of internal conscience way, not completely bonkers and hearing voices - yet!).

ThinkingItThrough Sat 08-Dec-12 00:23:40

I have been crying my heart out over this tonight. Not really the issue alone but how someone I loved for so long and had 3 children with could change so much and act like this - be so unfeeling and trample all over our family memories.

But now browsing around Mumsnet, I've read about someone who lost their baby daughter and is so strong and I feel ridiculous to be upset over this.

But then I just bottle it all up again and I think it is making me ill. I don't know what I might do some days under all the pressure but I manage to carry on, I just don't know how long it takes to come out of it all and how it's affecting my children while I grieve. Might be depression - how would I know. Other times I am fine for a while but I really don't know which way the balance is going.

I need some coping mechanisms to hold onto - maybe not directly God (that's where he's gone) but something simple to start from.

Does anyone have any positive thoughts that helped them when they were at rock bottom over something?

TuoComeOComeEmmanuel Sat 08-Dec-12 00:34:49

ThinkingItThrough... I am so sorry for your situation. I only came on here in order to log out and turn the computer off, so please forgive me for this very short post, but you sounded so sad that I didn't want to read and not post something so that you know at least that there's someone out here. I will be thinking of you.

Just two thoughts... Firstly, just because other people on here (and out there in the world) are suffering in their own (awful) ways, doesn't mean to say that your own suffering is invalidated. What you are feeling is real and painful, and you deserve to be listened to and comforted. So keep posting if that helps, but accept your sadness as part of this process, and don't try to deny its reality or bottle it up. I don't think that will help.

And secondly, I don't know whether you are depressed or not (I mean, in the sense that I'm not qualified to make a 'diagnosis'), but it definitely sounds as if you could do with some help and support, so why not go and see your GP? (S)he may be able to help...

Oh, and, for what it's worth, I think that your ex is behaving totally unreasonably around the church issue. But I also think that that's only part of the issue here...

Sending you strength and prayers. Hang on in there... and keep posting - it can be slow on this section, but support is out there.

ThinkingItThrough Sat 08-Dec-12 01:16:22

Thank you so much TCOCE. It is so lovely that a stranger takes the time to read my worries and send reassurance. I am a bit worried that GP will put me on medication or try and sign me off work, either of which I really want to happen. Maybe accepting sadness and seeing it as a positive is the way instead of getting angry with myself for being sad. I might google the 'stages of sadness' or similar and see if I'm on the way up or way down! Looking out for the prayers winging my way. I'm not a total believer so always feel a bit stupid and self conscious trying to pray myself but other people's always seem more powerful and the thought of them is really heartening. Going to bed a bit happier. Thanks!!

luisgarcia Sat 08-Dec-12 01:28:49

Oh dear.

Well, on the church thing, maybe for him it isn't about making a point or being cruel, maybe it's something important to him?

On the other hand, is there a neighbour or confidante you could have a heart to heart with over a coffee?

ThinkingItThrough Sat 08-Dec-12 02:53:03

Thanks Luis - I am meeting a friend tomorrow for coffee so that will probably help.

TuoComeOComeEmmanuel Sat 08-Dec-12 20:26:27

Hello again, ThinkingItThrough (I'm really reluctant to abbreviate that to it's initials wink!). I've been out all day but thinking of you.

I do think that the church thing is quite unfair of him, but your posts make me think that it's more a 'last straw' kind of thing rather than the whole problem, which is why I suggested you talk to your GP. (S)he might not resort to medication, you know... They may be able to suggest other things that would help. But, equally, medication might not be the worst thing in the world if it's a short-term way of helping you to get past the worst, most crippling, of your grief for the relationship you thought you had. After all, if you had a broken arm, you (probably) wouldn't refuse painkillers. So if there's something that can help you to get over this - less physical, but no less real - pain, then why not?

I know you say that you're not a wholehearted believer, but you might find it helpful to come and join us (or just lurk, if you feel more comfortable that way) on the prayer thread on here. There are others there in a similar position to you, and you'd find a lot of support. I will add a message there for people to pray for you, anyway, as you find it comforting. (And you might find that you can pray for others more easily than you can for yourself. I returned to faith relatively recently, and to start - like you - didn't feel at all sure about anything, and I found that I felt uncomfortable thinking about praying for anything for me, but could - and wanted to - pray for friends who were at that time in a difficult situation.) Anyway, I'm not pressuring you - that's the last thing you need; it's just a suggestion. Rest assured that I am praying, anyway.

Have you thought about taking yourself (and DC if that's practicable) to a different local church? You might find that a fresh start is easier than going back to the church you and your ex went to together anyway.

I'm glad to hear that you're getting support from a friend today. Try to keep busy and to surround yourself with people who care about you and are good listeners. Take care!

TuoComeOComeEmmanuel Sat 08-Dec-12 20:26:56

Gah! Second time today... its initials; not it's!

DutchOmainthestable Sun 09-Dec-12 10:54:58

I read you OP last night, encouraged by TUO and started to write a response.
Somehow it did not sound right and I left it till this morning.

As I understand it you were not married, but had children with a man who has now left you for someone else, but is still attending the same church as you were as a family.
I'm not at all surprised that you find the situation unbearable. Even if you were not married, the fact that you have children with this man and that you are both Christians would, to my mind, presuppose a certain commitment to one another. The abscence of a marriage licence does not condone adultery, whatever your 'partner' may think.
The fact that he was 'furious' when you pointed out, in the gentlest terms, that you were struggling seems to mean that he knows very well that he is in the wrong with his new girlfriend.

I would have a word with the vicar/minister/pastor of the church to explain my absence, since I am totally amazed that he can get away with such behaviour.
How old are the children?

As TUO said, do come over to the prayer thread, as you will find a lot of support there and a number of people who have been through similar, if not quite such crass, behaviour from the fathers of their children.

HardlyEverHoovers Sun 09-Dec-12 13:16:08

OP, you are not being at all over sensitive, anyone would feel devastated by this. The other posters have given some really good practical advice on what you can do about it. Have nothing to add, just wanted to write as my heart goes out to you.

ClareMarriott Sun 09-Dec-12 16:05:36

Thinkingitthrough This is going to look as if I am going against the grain but you have'nt, as yet, said how long ago you split up from your partner. If your partner has now met someone new and is part of a couple, however hard it may seem , surely he has a right to take HIS own children with his new partner to church. If you have said to him once that he is inconsiderate doing this, how will it look to him and your children if you say no to the next thing and the next thing. If a certain time has elapsed since you parted, perhaps this would be a good time to accept that he is creating a new life for himself and do so for yourself. Then your children will see that after all the heartache, you are both happy ( and still love them )

newgirl Sun 09-Dec-12 16:11:50

If you are known at the church then I would imagine people know you are the mother and will just get on with their own lives/thoughts - so any 'humiliation' is purely in your mind. I think they are being insensitive but well, people often are - we tend to see things fro
Our own pov. Can you go with a friend and be brave?

DutchOmainthestable Sun 09-Dec-12 16:52:16

I have now caught up with your August and November threads and oh my goodness, what he has done in the name of Christianity would make the angels weep.
You say that the children are teenagers, that must make it even more difficult since you will have to make all the hard decisions and he can just be a zoo-daddy and have all the fun.

I still would have a talk to the rector that got him into the Alpha course with such devastating effects, I bet he will be quite upset that anybody should take the steps that your 'partner' has taken.

Please do not think that God would be angry with you, you have not done anything wrong.

As for not believing the Bible verbatim: no Christian does.
If you don't believe me google Levitical questions and have a laugh.

FelicityWasSanta Sun 09-Dec-12 17:03:44

Hi OP, just read your posts and its moved me to pray for you as well.

Please find strength and encouragement from the prayers you are getting from all the different corners of MN!

I too encourage you to talk to an elder/pastor/minister at the church, they will be able to help. I'd also suggest having a long think about what it is you want- do you want to stay at this particular church? Or would you prefer a fresh start? Forget how the ex is making you feel and just consider your feelings for a moment, think about the churches leadership - is it strong, reliable, trustworthy? Think about the people, are they kind, supportive, welcoming? And the worship- is it Godly, are you learning, growing and benefiting from it? Are your children?

Depending on the answers to these I would persevere or find a new church.

Of course him going with the OW is painful- a good church will recognise this and offer you support.

This sadness will pass. God bless you.

cloutiedumpling Sun 09-Dec-12 20:32:06

I also think that having a chat with the minister may be helpful. Thinking of you.

CharlotteCollinsislost Sun 09-Dec-12 22:17:31

OP, I've just read through your threads and I'm wondering if you've heard of spiritual abuse? It's a way of attacking you by using religion, bible quotations and so on. Your ex seems to be out to get you and using Christianity to do it. I might be on totally the wrong track, but have you ever thought or said that he is controlling or manipulative? Just the way he reacted to your voicing of your feelings made me wonder.

zulubump Tue 11-Dec-12 14:57:37

Hi ThinkingItThrough, I read your post the other day and had previously read your other thread when your partner did the Alpha course. Sorry for not posting before, but I have been thinking about you quite a bit and thought I should post something. I feel quite angry for you at how your ex has treated you and I really hope that you are getting some support from people at your church.

I did an Alpha course a few years ago and would call myself a Christian now (though, perhaps like you, find bits of the Bible hard to believe). My husband is not a Christian and I would never dream of patronising him for not believing, let alone leaving him altogether.

I think you are doing an amazing job coping considering how you are being treated. I really hope your church is not condoning your ex leaving you to find a Christian partner. You are the mother of his children and I am shocked that he was so unwilling to make an effort to preserve his relationship with you. If he really felt that leaving you was the right thing then the least he can do is be sensitive to your feelings and give you the space to grieve.

By the way, I believe that Relate offer counselling to help people cope when they have been left by a partner - I don't think you have to have both partners there, just one can attend. I know a friend whose wife left him and he tried to persuade her to come to Relate with him. She refused so he went on his own, which he said helped him come to terms with it all.

I will be praying for you. And by the way I talk to God a lot when going through tough times, often ranting at him! You could give it a try! Please let us know how you are getting on.

demisemiquaver Wed 12-Dec-12 00:34:40

FULL of sympathy,it almost makes you want to return to when divorce was 'non christian' this type of SMUG HOLINESS gives divorce a bad name...can imagine others wanting to show how tolerant they are in parish ;well some behaviour shouldnt be tolerated. HOWEVER, that wouldn't mean folk not dead sympathetic to you too:they might not know how to say so without possibly causing offence tho.....Maybe you should try another place, as well as still going to your own(poss at diff times from the SMUG PAIR). Try liting a candle and offeering up all your angst for otheers and kind of 'pass the problem into God's hands, then try and give yourself a wee treat.....things can on ly get better?
will light a candle for you myself..

VikingLady Wed 12-Dec-12 12:04:13

I'm not a Christian, but the phrase "what would Jesus do?" seems appropriate. Your ex hasn't thought this, and does not seem a very Christly Christian (iyswim). You seem a lot more like that, even though you say you are not sure about denomination/exact beliefs.....

You sound lovely, and anyone who knows you and your family will know you did nothing wrong, and you have no need to feel any humiliation. Though that is easier said than done! I have no useful advice, just wanted to say you sound like a very nice person trying to cope with hard circumstances, and I am absolutely sure that the vast majority of people will see that too.

sashh Thu 13-Dec-12 09:57:22

Are you still arounf Thinking

I remember your origional postss.

Your ex is treating you deplorably (?sp), and your children too.

Do not feel humiliated, that is what he wants. He is being cruel.

Go to YOUR church, maybe meet with a friend beforehand, or someone from the congregation so you have someone to sit with you.

Stay dignified.

Talk to your priest/vicar / minister, not on Sunday, make an appointment and talk this through. That is what these people are for, to counsel you, as well as to lead prayer on a Sunday. If he/she has any humanity they will ask your ex not to attend.

Your ex is making an ass of himself. Publicly.

Go to your GP, get a week or two off work and some pills to help you through this time.

neontetra Thu 13-Dec-12 12:15:30

So sorry you are going through this. I will pray for you. Your ex sounds like he has had some sort of breakdown, to be honest, unless he was always strange, irrational and horrible. He and his partner are behaving in a profoundly unchristian way, and making idiots of themselves to boot, and everyone at your church will see this. Are there perhaps any members of the congregation you could confide in? There are some brilliant older women at my church who give me great advice.

jingleallthespringy Thu 20-Dec-12 10:07:05

Poor you ((hug)). I don't know the back story but I've got the gist from this thread. I'm so sorry Thinking. He (they) is being very cruel and it is a huge betrayal. YOu are not being unreasonable to feel devastated by this. It must be acutely painful.

I have recently been badly betrayed and can attest that the pain is acute. I find the psalms very comforting to read re 'do not let my enemies triumph over me'. In the bible God is very hot on this type of thing, basically can't stand it (I wish I could think of some scriptures to back that up - I will have a look). He also labours the point that he is close to the broken-hearted - if you think that Jesus was betrayed and it cost him his life when he was innocent, so it's not as if God doesn't entirely empathise with rank and cruel betrayal. Your ex sounds like a horrible bully and I agree that he is spiritually abusing you. As it happens, I had the same from my ex so I'm with you on that too.

Try to keep close to God. He is so wonderful and kind and doesn't expect this or that to be close to you. ime people get their comeuppance but it usually takes a while. In the meantime, I think you are going to need (professional?) support through this - do find someone you can talk to, whether priest or counsellor. and do try talking to God about it. Praying is talking to/communicating with God - you don't have to follow a set pattern, it's a relationship. In my worst moments I can only manage a few words, sometimes not even that, so don't think you have to come up with an all-singing/dancing formula.

Thinking of you and praying for you ((nother hug))

ThinkingItThrough Sun 23-Dec-12 22:41:46

I am so wonderfully moved by all the care and reaching out in each and every response here. I have been kept so busy in the last couple of weeks that the PC has had to stay more or less switched off (that 's when the children aren't monopolising it!). I have a few mins tonight and have just been so lifted up by all the posts since I last checked. As a very quick update, I did try to ask if he and his new partner could attend elsewhere but it does seem almost a point of honour to them that they attend there together. There is more to say on this I think and to respond to a few of the questions that have cropped up. It might take me a couple of days to do this - something else related to this has happened today and I need a bit of thinking space (as well as the (no) small matter of Christmas). I will pluck up courage to look at the prayer thread and re-read all these posts several times over to get all the advice and support I can. I feel so lucky to have been sent all these positive and powerful thoughts and prayers - the next few days are going to be tough and I want to internalise some of this brilliant advice to see me through! And to Tuo -You are absolutely right, I didn't realise the initials after I had set the name up but then it just expressed where I was at so well that I couldn't be bothered to change it! Think I'm going to have to! Merry Christmas one and all. x

cloutiedumpling Mon 24-Dec-12 09:34:49

Thinking of you over the next few days.

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