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These feelings have caught me off guard

(5 Posts)
Rattleandhum Wed 15-May-19 06:06:20

Cutting it short I feel a mess so please be kind. I posted this on another topic last night but it wasn’t the right one so hopefully this is.

My husband and I have done nothing but bicker and argue for years and years and years. He is an EA and has been PA at times in the past. I’ve also put up with a lot from his family who have made me feel like crap over the years (with very little support from my husband and they have ea him over the years so he doesn’t see it and definitely doesn’t see it as wrong!)

We have two very young dc and he has recently gone to stay with his mother close by. It actually feels like he has left me for her which sounds ridiculous but she has never liked me or supported our relationship and seems to be loving having her boy back rather than steering him to sort out his marriage and save his own family from divorce.

I’ve got a distant and numb feeling emotionally toward him and have had for some time. He has hurt me so much that it’s like something has switched off inside me and won’t allow me to go back if that makes sense? I really want to care and love him like I used to and have the will to fight for us. I love him but I’ve reached a point where I can’t ever see us going back to where we were or would want to be now. It actually breaks my heart. I know from my part I would fight to the death to save us if I thought he would do the same. I’ve learnt that all the trying and effort has almost always been on my part. I’ve lost all hope and all faith in him, in us and our marriage. I really am heartbroken by these feelings and the reality that I’m coming to face. I’ve given up because I don’t feel like things will ever change regardless of my actions, because he will never value me or our relationship.

He has an important operation tomorrow and I saw him today. I really, really wanted to support him and be there and comfort him but I didn’t. I couldn’t get the words out. I just didn’t know what to say to him. It’s like I don’t know him anymore. I do care and I do still love him very much. All we do when we see each other now is snipe and bicker, which I suppose is sadness and resentment and bitterness all coming out. I really wanted to be there for him for this but I didn’t even know what to say. It’s like he is a stranger to me and that makes me feel absolutely devastated.

This isn’t a short relationship, it’s 16 years. I honestly feel like a switch has just turned off inside me and I can’t give ‘us’ anymore. There has been no ‘us’ no ‘team’ for years. We’ve never felt like a team although at times I felt we were strong together.

I can’t get past that he has left me and our children. I understand the reasoning but for me it’s the final straw.

I feel so sad that I couldn’t comfort him today, like I knew he needed me too and I feel awful about it. When he left he looked so hurt and angry.

It’s made me view things differently. Before I always had hope that we could turn things around, that I could turn things around. ‘If only I did x,y, z.... it would be ok’ that sort of thing. I’ve run myself ragged over the years and it’s got me nowhere.

And 16 years in I’ve now got no job, two young dcs to look after and a husband living with his mother as he ‘can’t stand to live with’ me anymore. I’ve done so much for him over the years. I’ve given up this last year, I really have, and I have felt that sense of loss.

I’m never going to be able to go back to where we were and make this better. I’ve realised I can’t do it on my own and he doesn’t seem to want to try so I’ve given up.

I am broken.

OP’s posts: |
Peridot1 Wed 15-May-19 06:14:55

What is it you love about him? Because he doesn’t sound loveable. He has emotionally and physically abused you.

Him leaving should be the final straw. I think it’s good that he did.

You can’t change him. You never could. He is who he is. He is what he is.

I get the switch thing. I feel similar at the moment with my DH. After over 30 years together he made one comment that flipped a switch for me. I’m still here as DS is about to sit his A levels but I’ve mentally checked out. No abuse here though.

Have you heard of the Freedom Programme? It might help you.

Rattleandhum Wed 15-May-19 06:27:13

Peridot, yes, I feel like I’ve now checked out of my marriage - mainly because I believe he must have done so years ago.

He can be so lovely...hence 16yrs. But those times were always dotted with shit even when I felt they were not at the time. He has a way of making me love and want him, I can’t explain it but I’m thinking of this analogy I read about years ago with two birds and it makes more sense:
Two birds in separate cages, each with a bird feeder. One bird feeder has a button that releases a treat every time it’s pressed. The other bird feeder only releases a treat once every now and then regardless of how often it’s pressed. The first bird only presses the button when it wants to eat. The second presses it’s button none stop until it’s beak hurts. It’s a silly analogy but it feels like how I feel I’ve been hitting my head off a brick wall for years and how I’ve been trained to keep trying, even when there isn’t any hope in change.

I’m sorry you feel that your switch has gone too, it’s a horrible feeling.

I will look up freedom, thank you x

OP’s posts: |
Peridot1 Wed 15-May-19 08:13:20

I get that analogy. You try to change your behaviour to make them change but you can’t make a person change or love you as you deserve to be loved.

QuentinWinters Wed 15-May-19 13:15:53

I think in an EA relationship you become conditioned by the other party to think all the issues in the relationship are your fault. So when the scales fall as well as dealing with facing up to what's going on you have the conditioned part if your brain telling you that you can fix it if you try. When the truth is you cant fix it on your own.

You feeling numb is your subconscious trying to protect you as you come to terms with the fact that your marriage isn't as you believe it to be.

It's horrible. I'm a year down the road and the numbness is mostly gone but I do still have days where I feel like a failure and that if I'd tried harder my marriage wouldn't have ended. Even though I know rationally I'm much happier now and my stbex was EA and not healthy for me

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