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AIBU to still want to set the record straight with ex-DP?

(26 Posts)
Hedgehead Mon 17-Feb-14 23:42:15

Been married for a couple of years. Before I met my DH I had a relationship for ten years with a man who was 20 years my senior. (I was 20 when we got together, he was 40)

It was doomed from the start because no matter what I did, I could never make him happy. Looking back now with retrospect, I can see that he felt very insecure the entire time, and his dissatisfaction came out of a lack of trust in me. From the beginning he was jaded towards women and held the belief that they were 'out to get' men, get pregnant and then take their life savings in the form of child support. As a naive 20 year old who had not even thought about any of that stuff, I saw it as just a quirk.

Years went by and I really loved him deeply and desperately wanted to marry him and "help him heal" because apart from the distrust he had some wonderful qualities and I thought if I just waited "two more years, one more year" I could convince him that women were not that bad.

Anyway, I realised I was never going to convince him and when I hit 30 I just woke up one morning and was tired of struggling to convince him. I left very abruptly, lived alone for a year or so, then met my DH and got married.

My ex used this to justify that his belief "all along" (ten years!) had been correct, that he knew I would eventually 'go the same way' as all other women. He turned our mutual friends against me and played the "abandoned old man" card and now refers to our relationship with phrases like "ten years of suffering," "years of pain," "a decade of torture."

I STILL (STILL!) feel a whole combination of emotions about it. Anger, some days, that he could not see that he brought this on himself. Anger that he turned people against me. Compassion, that he must be so sad inside to have had to frame the world like this in order to function. And still - unbelievably - really deep love for him (platonic love) and a sense of loss and grieving for what we had.

Some days I wake up and want to write him an email or go round and shake him and explain how much I loved him and how he never saw. Other days I want to rip him to shreds for making my life so difficult all that time. Sometimes I want to email all our mutual friends and write something like this (^^^) explaining everything. I always end at the point where I just wish he could SEE what happened, I wish he could look back on our relationship with love and be grateful for the time we spent together, but he cannot.

Four years later he is still so angry. He hates me, I have become the embodiment of all his worst fears about women. He sends me some horrible emails - abusive - almost, which then descend into begging/not understanding. Sometimes I cave and reply and remind him how much I loved him. My DH has threatened to 'break his knees' but that is obviously NOT the solution.

I have tried a year of not speaking to him hoping he'd get a grip, get some perspective, but he just picked up again where he left off.

Which emotion is the right emotion? What would you do to deal with this once and for all?

LondonForTheWeekend Mon 17-Feb-14 23:50:38

My Dad has a phrase "to have lived so long and learned so little".

Suggest he sees a counsellor/psychologist/somebody
Tell him he is harassing you and you want nothing to do with him after he spews venom to your friends
Write him a bullet point list, no more than four short paragraphs (summarise your Op) and let that be your automated reply to him

LondonForTheWeekend Mon 17-Feb-14 23:51:20

The right emotion is piteous contempt btw

Hedgehead Tue 18-Feb-14 00:25:13

Thank you Londonfortheweekend.

My perspective of it has been scewed by experiencing all these different emotions and not being able to take a firm line with it in my mind. Explaining it to others in a balanced way is also a problem because he is a sympathetic character as well as a bloody awful one. Lots of people say "just let go" and I know I appear like a mad woman, or like I'm not over him, to still be in contact, but it's not that...

it's just the injustice of his beliefs... before he met me, while we were together and now after we've finished. He is happier with feeling he was 'right' than to see how things really, actually are...

Hedgehead Tue 18-Feb-14 00:29:30

I also feel sad for him that he has to go the rest of his life believing in something that is fundamentally not true. You know, like all women are out to stiff him.

And as far as I know he's had NO bad experiences - ever. He was with a woman for ten years BEFORE me and projected the same ridiculous assumption on to her. He said she got so broody and frustrated that she became aggressive and left him. That was the story I was fed when we got together.

badbaldingballerina123 Tue 18-Feb-14 02:17:24

My ex is a loon and has all sorts of daft ideas . I couldn't care less , and if friends believe his insane ramblings that's up to them.

Your ex can believe whatever he wants and I'm not sure why you care seeing as your married now . The problem of emails is easily solved by blocking him . I would be very very concerned if my spouse was as concerned about his ex as you are.

FabULouse Tue 18-Feb-14 06:13:13

He's an abusive arse wipe with whom you should have no contact at all. You would benefit from talking things through with a counsellor to reach acceptance of what happened and integrate it into your history so that it doesn't cause you such angst. Recognise the 'unfinished business' for what it is - it is not going to be helped by continuing to discuss it with him. He's not going to suddenly see the light. I know it's very painful when someone holds on so tightly to such a fixed view which destroys their relationships - he can't love and be loved. His problem, not yours to try to fix.

bragmatic Tue 18-Feb-14 06:25:28

So he's almost 55 and still an emotional cripple? I wouldn't waste your time. It's convenient for him to put you in that box labelled 'conniving, manipulative little jezebel' . Because what is his alternative? He doesn't want to take a good hard look at himself, he won't like what he sees.

I don't think you have unfinished business. He does. You can't finish it for him.

Roshbegosh Tue 18-Feb-14 06:46:07

bragmatic is spot on. His belief means he can put all the blame squarely on his ex-partners and perceive himself as a blameless victim. You must accept that you will never shift that in his head. You have no reason to continue to be so involved with him now. Move on. Cut all contact. He will never say "I'm sorry, you are right" and you will have to accept that and stop chasing him for the validation you want. You are giving him way too much power, you are not the naive 20 years old with the all-knowing older man now. Look at where you are now and who you are now and cut him loose.

CogitoErgoSometimes Tue 18-Feb-14 10:20:37

" What would you do to deal with this once and for all?"

I think the way you're going to deal with it is to understand the dynamic of emotionally abusive relationships and accept that you were a victim. His behaviour was classic crush and control and it is very insidious and long-reaching, especially when the abuser wants to keep in touch. You may want to take a look at the Freedom Programme which is designed for survivors of male abuse. Naturally you cut all contact.

CogitoErgoSometimes Tue 18-Feb-14 10:21:56

I should add that, before you cut contact, you mail this man and keep a copy saying that you want nothing more to do with him, that he cannot contact you and that any breach of this will be reported to the police.

CogitoErgoSometimes Tue 18-Feb-14 11:05:54

"I also feel sad for him that he has to go the rest of his life believing in something that is fundamentally not true. You know, like all women are out to stiff him."

You realise he doesn't actually believe this? This is his 'lure' as it were - blame. By saying to young naïve you that all the other women in his life had been conniving bitches that had let him down and made him frightened of commitment etc. then what he achieved was to make you especially determined to show he was wrong. This made you very controllable because you wanted to please.

You might find this article Are you Dating an Abuser illuminating, particularly the section on 'blaming'. As predicted in the article, you are now the object of the blame.

Offred Tue 18-Feb-14 11:14:54

Don't engage with him any more. I get the injustice is difficult but you have to let go of all the people who fall for his ridiculous and misogynistic views. They aren't worth it either for a start!

I think the reason this is happening is the following;

He believes women who don't do what he tells them/wants all the time are screwing him over. He chose you as a 40 year old man because you were a naive 20 year old. This is because he thought he would have more chance of controlling you. He banged on and on about his ridiculous affected belief in order to keep you under control and he hates you so much because he thought he would be able to keep you under control for longer than he did because he had deliberately selected you for your vulnerability. The fact that 'even' you wised up eventually and left him makes him very, very angry therefore because 'are there no women who will know their place?!'.

He is not worth your time and energy and nor are his crowd of enablers.

Offred Tue 18-Feb-14 11:17:35

Should clarify that's what he chooses to believe re women screwing him over. It is really about him being in control of other people; in relationships and also in how he is thought of by other people.

Offred Tue 18-Feb-14 11:22:46

Any sane and healthy person would look at him and say "Riiiiiggggghhhht, you've never had a successful relationship at 55 and that's because all women are evil.... OK(!)" <deluded loser>

If people don't react that way then you don't need them.

ThinkFirst Tue 18-Feb-14 11:26:30

You're never going to get the kind of closure you want from this. After 4 years you're still emotionally caught up in his crap. The only thing you can do is let it go, block him and let him live with his delusions.

Yes, it's frustrating that some people believed his lies about your relationship but you can't change their opinions either.

Let it go and concentrate on your marriage.

teaandthorazine Tue 18-Feb-14 11:30:24

Why are you still even in contact with this sad, bitter old fucker?

You're not responsible for issues that were clearly well in place even before he met you. This is deep-seated stuff that you cannot (and shouldn't even want to) change.

Block him. Ignore him. You're a grown-up now, you don't have to have anyone in your life that you don't want.

HappyGirlNow Tue 18-Feb-14 12:28:51

Seems like you're revelling in the high drama tbh.. Just let it go and get on with your life.

MadBusLady Tue 18-Feb-14 12:40:47

The perspective shift you need is that it was all an act. You were taken in. You still are being taken in. This is how he gets attention and women running round after him in a doomed attempt to be "the one who makes it all better". Your post is shot through with "rescuer". Stop taking him seriously, stop taking the relationship you had with him quite so seriously. See it for what it was, a pathetic emotionally restricted man taking massive advantage of a much younger, trusting woman and getting her to dance to his tune. Not the violin-filled tortured love story you have written in your head - and which he tacitly encouraged you to write.

If you do this properly you may find you get quite angry. This is good.

Hedgehead Tue 18-Feb-14 14:54:16

Wow, thank you very much for the replies, exactly what I needed to hear! I am going to print this thread out and put it in my wallet to remind myself....

BeCool Tue 18-Feb-14 15:15:03

Why are you STILL investing so much of your precious time and emotions on this man? I say this with the best intentions but you do sound a bit fucking obsessed about him.

Do yourself a massive favour and LET HIM GO!
Move on. Really really really let him go and move on.

What does your current DH think about all this energy you are directing towards your loser emotionally crippled ex? I would be very concerned personally if my partner was doing this.

It's OK to cut all ties completely and focus on your reality. Now & today. Who cares what he moans on about? Stop wasting your energy feeling sad for him.

Move On!

bumbumsmummy Tue 18-Feb-14 15:19:21

You can't save him from himself truly let go

Why is it so important to convince him that he's wrong and you are a good person after all

Cut all contact

queenofthepirates Tue 18-Feb-14 15:24:39

Lordy, it took ten years and you couldn't convince him, an email or a phone call won't change a jot. Sad really because he could be quite content if he allowed himself.

BeCool Tue 18-Feb-14 15:26:17

The thing I have learned from dealing with difficult/abusive/etc men over the years is the best thing you can do ever is ..........
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.
.
.
.
.
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.... detach completely.

Logg1e Tue 18-Feb-14 15:31:30

This is fucking crazy, stop spending time and energy on this. Spend it on your husband and yourself instead.

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