Advanced search

So annoyed at myself - I still allow him to make me feel AWFUL about myself! Someone please come and talk some sense into me!

(38 Posts)
ChaffinchGreen Sat 21-Jan-17 13:58:21

Just over 10years ago I finished a four year relationship with a narcissistic, arrogant and extremely vain individual. He had some good points of course but these seemed to diminish as the relationship went on. He had the ability to make me feel awful about myself, awful about the way I looked, my weight, my figure, the way I spoke, the things I found important, etc. He constantly criticized me and used to say it was his job 'to keep me grounded and make sure I didn't get above myself' which translated as ensuring I had zero confidence. Then I was a nice size 10, and actually when I look back at photos I think I looked pretty good! I left him in the end as I felt he was destroying me and holding me back (he wouldn't allow me to pursue studying). Fast forward to now, I am very, very happy with my life. I'm married to the most wonderful man, we have two beautiful children, I pursued my dream job after I left ex and alongside this got a PhD and now am quite senior in my field. I have however gained some weight and do look older of course (made worse by two children who seem to be allergic to sleep!). But I am comfortable with me and who I am.
I bumped into ex today, I'd literally thrown on warm baggy clothes to take my boys out, I had brushed hair at least but no make up, but I felt comfortable. I saw him and it was as if ten years of confidence building melted away. He was with a much younger woman (he's mid 40s now (he was quite a bit older than me!)) and she must have been early 20s. Very beautiful girl and they had a very young baby with them. He said hello but literally looked me up and down with disgust. He said 'I'd changed a lot', I commented on their beautiful baby and honest to god his response was 'yes and doesn't xx [his girlfriend] look fantastic when the baby is only 8 weeks old'. I just felt suddenly frumpy, ugly, fat (I'm now a size 14) and just wanted to get out of there.
I'm so cross with myself, but still feel like crying. In all logic this man is quite frankly an arsehol (and I don't like swearing!), I have everything that matters in life, I have a great life... why oh why can someone drag me down so much on superficial judgments which don't matter!!!
Ds1 must have picked up on it as we walked off he said 'that man didn't seem like a very kind man'. I was literally holding back my tears.

Sweets101 Sat 21-Jan-17 14:01:22

Sorry, all i can think from reading that is his poor GF!

Sweets101 Sat 21-Jan-17 14:02:02

(And your son sounds lovely) smile

Finola1step Sat 21-Jan-17 14:04:37

It blindsided you, that's all. Don't read too much into it. Be kind to yourself for the next few days. But pick yourself up, dust yourself down and crack on. Do not give him head space.

lionsleepstonight Sat 21-Jan-17 14:04:47

What a shit bag. It's amazing how much power we can let people have. I've no advice except to say you sound strong and amazing and did so well to leave that man and build a great life for yourself. Don't waste any more time thinking about that. Don't allow him to still do this to you. You can stop this. I pity his new trophy girlfriend, bet he bullied her into losing every pound. You sound great OP.

OohhItsNotHoxton Sat 21-Jan-17 14:05:43

That poor woman. Imagine having to live with him and having his child.
You had a very lucky escape and sound like someone I'd like to know. Your son has obviously been raised by caring intelligent and aware parents.
I do think it can be difficult to not go straight back to past feelings when we happen across a situation that triggers memories. There is some research that explains why the brain acts that way but I'm on my phone and and can't link.
Put it behind you and be glad you aren't tied to him forever by having his child flowers

Finola1step Sat 21-Jan-17 14:05:56

Oh yes, and be proud that your ds has been brought up so well. Smart lad you got there.

NotYoda Sat 21-Jan-17 14:06:02

Yes, his poor girlfriend.

I like swearing and I'd says he's a cunt.

dingdongdigeridoo Sat 21-Jan-17 14:06:27

Oh forget him! You have your own lovely family now. He knows he's lost power over you and would do anything to make you feel bad.

My first thought was also 'poor woman'. I bet she's been made to feel terrible about herself.

EyelinerAndSpraypaint Sat 21-Jan-17 14:07:08

you sound pretty awesome OP, good career, loving family.

Listen to your DS1 - he sounds completely right, this ex is NOT a nice man.

This ex's opinion isn't worth a moment of of your pain. Be strong.

SmellySphinx Sat 21-Jan-17 14:09:53

Pah! What a complete and utter prick. All I got from your post was WELL DONE to you for getting away from this hideous individual and improving your life. How awful for his poor, poor girlfriend. He quite obviously has huge issues if all he did was, and continues to do is put you down. Very telling sign of his own insecurities. Screams of jealousy and insecurity it really does. He's practically a walking advert for it

SmellySphinx Sat 21-Jan-17 14:09:56

Pah! What a complete and utter prick. All I got from your post was WELL DONE to you for getting away from this hideous individual and improving your life. How awful for his poor, poor girlfriend. He quite obviously has huge issues if all he did was, and continues to do is put you down. Very telling sign of his own insecurities. Screams of jealousy and insecurity it really does. He's practically a walking advert for it

ChaffinchGreen Sat 21-Jan-17 14:10:47

Thank you and you are right I did pity her - she did give me a sort of apologetic smile, I certainly got the feeling she was uncomfortable! I need to out my logical head back on, but a pp got it spot on it was like when you smell something and it transports you back there, bumping into him took me straight back to the person I was then, rather than undoing who I am now I suppose. I wanted to tell him all that, I wanted to say 'look what I achieved' but on reflection, based on who he was then and seems to be still be now, these achievements are meaningless to him!! Ds in only 5, nearly 6, and he often amazes me at how perceptive he is! I am so proud of him, and his little brother (however mad they can drive me on other days!)!

PastysPrincess Sat 21-Jan-17 14:12:44

Aww looks like you've done an amazing job raising your little one for him to notice. I think you should listen to your little one; he isn't a kind man. Change your feelings of inadequacy to feelings of relief. Thank god you didn't end up having kids with him and having to look great 8 weeks post birth.

picklemepopcorn Sat 21-Jan-17 14:16:39

Remind yourself that he may think she looks good for someone who has just had a baby, but her judgement is pants if she's stuck with him, she is going to have to invest significant time and effort in superficial stuff to keep him happy, there will always be pressure about choosing btn his needs and the babies...

All he did today was remind you what a fantastic choice you made to get away from him, to develop real life relationships, and prioritise being your own person rather than someone else's Barbie doll. Well done you! flowers

CaoNiMa Sat 21-Jan-17 14:20:40

He sounds like an absolute fuckmonkey. You sound fab. Don't let his meaningless opinions affect you. flowers

barinatxe Sat 21-Jan-17 14:23:50

It sounds like a horrible situation. Unfortunately seeing exes years later tends to have the effect of pulling us back into our past life, undoing the changes we've made over the years. The mind has a longer memory for pain than it does for happiness.

You can't undo the damage he did to you all those years ago. But you can try to look to the positives. Think about all the changes you have made over the years, how much better off you are now. All those things are precisely because you are not with that man anymore.

It's understandable to have reacted the way you did. Seeing him, speaking to him, instantly brought back all those negative feelings. You said "I saw him and it was as if ten years of confidence building melted away" which shows that you instinctively put yourself into a weak position even before you spoke to him. In other words, even before he said anything or did anything, you felt yourself in a position of weakness, of being inferior, of being judged. That is not your fault of course, but it is something that you can work upon.

The mind does funny things, especially when we are caught off guard as you were here. Spend a few minutes thinking about how much better your life is now, and ask yourself whether there is anything that would likely to have been better if you had stayed with that man - I seriously doubt there is.

Remember that you left him, and for good reasons too. The chances are that he saw this as an opportunity to snipe at you for the "wrong" that you did to him all those years ago, ie leaving him. People do harbour resentment about this sort of thing. He probably wanted to "prove" to you that you made a mistake, or at least that he's better off now. So what? If he's in a happy relationship (IF!) then good luck to him. But you don't have a relationship with him now, and by God you don't want to. Above all, you don't need to feel down about yourself because of him.

You recognise that his "superficial judgement" doesn't matter. All that matters is that you are happy with your life now, much happier than you would be if you were with him.

FurryLittleTwerp Sat 21-Jan-17 14:25:51

She may well look good because he pressurises her to look a certain way sad

You look less than glamorous at times because you can be comfortable that you don't have to impress anyone by your appearance.

I'd rather have your life smile

RubbishMantra Sat 21-Jan-17 14:35:28

Flip it on it's head, and see it as a positive that it wasn't you standing next to him, holding a new-born, most likely bullied into "looking great", like some sort of trophy.

You must have incredible strength OP, to have got away from this man who obviously knows how to press your buttons in order to make you feel like crap.

chipmonkey Sat 21-Jan-17 14:36:31

Of course he's with a much younger woman. Guys like that target younger women as they think they'll manipulate them more easily. That poor girl was probably presented with a gym membership as soon as she left the labour ward and her food has probably been policed.
Your son sounds very perceptive! You should be very proud of him AND of yourself. The best and cleverest thing you did was to LTB!

yorkshapudding Sat 21-Jan-17 14:37:02

What a fuckwit.

His girlfriend may well look "fantastic" but I bet it doesn't stop him treating her like shit. Also, how sad that the only thing he think of to say to someone he hasn't seen for so long is focused on his partners appearance! Not what should be at the forefront of any decent man's mind when they've got a new baby. He sounds deeply insecure to be honest. And I feel sorry for his girlfriend. Imagine feeling pressured to look glamorous all the time because your other half is so obsessed with how you look and comments on it to other people. Must be exhausting.

flappynewyear Sat 21-Jan-17 14:42:29

Count yourself lucky that you are where you are and not with that ratbag. He sounds like a complete loser. flowers

Bluntness100 Sat 21-Jan-17 14:45:11

Well, firstly nearly everyone hopes if they bump into an ex it's going to be when they look beyond fab, However often we are just not that lucky. It's Sod's law. 😃

Secondly looks like he's got s penchant for younger women he can bully and who think he's great. He sounds like s total twat. You know he is, so stop stressing about it, a size fourteen isn't fat, you probably look great with no make up, or better than you think at least, and he probably just wanted to make uou feel bad as you ended it. So don't let him. 💐

The80sweregreat Sat 21-Jan-17 14:49:44

The poor new girlfriend! You had a lucky escape from him and, in a few years, she will be the one being traded in for a newer model i bet. Men like him never change. The pressure to look good all the time must be exhausting!
You have done great. Chin up and remember your achievements.
Children always know whose good and bad too!

RubbishMantra Sat 21-Jan-17 14:49:48

"That poor girl was probably presented with a gym membership as soon as she left the labour ward and her food has probably been policed."

Probably bought her memberships to the gym and Diet Chef for Christmas, "because he cares". sad

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: