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How do I stop being so cross with myself?

(20 Posts)
maparole Sat 11-Jan-14 22:15:09

I split from my very abusive exh recently. We were married 12 years and have a 10-year-old son.

I have no guilt or regret whatsoever about leaving him, because he was absolutely ghastly in every way and I no longer feel a thing for him. However, I continue to be incredibly cross and guilty that I didn't do it sooner. In particular, I feel terrible that I let my ds live in such a horrid atmosphere for so long.

There is one time that keeps playing over and over in my mind. It was during my pregnancy. We were on holiday and he had been an absolute shit to me all week, culminating in his bumping the car and then screaming at me about it. I packed my stuff and started driving home with full intention of never looking back. However, after a couple of hundred kilometres I bottled.

To be fair, a very major contributing factor to my change of heart was thinking about what effect this would have on my dad - he was dying of cancer at the time and had been so thrilled about my pregnancy. But still, I keep saying to myself NOT GOOD ENOUGH! If I had just kept going, I could have got my baby right away from it all before he was even born sad.

How do I get past this bloody pointless guilt?

CogitoErgoSometimes Sat 11-Jan-14 22:31:23

If this is recent, I think the anger you're describing has to 'work through' naturally. That slapping-yourself-on-the-forehead why-was-I-so-dense feeling will diminish over time. I think it's a kind of delayed reaction to the stress you suppressed for so long. I'd suggest you counteract it by starting a list of positive things you've achieved since giving him the heave-ho and adding to it daily. Chart every victory and see yourself progress.

You could also take a look at the Freedom Programme. I think you'd benefit from some structured counselling.

Minime85 Sat 11-Jan-14 22:36:27

agree with cogito that's its part of the process. we could all go over the what ifs and it is what you need to do too to come out the other side.

i think there are reasons things happen when they do. well done on making that decision now and good luck.

FolkGirl Sun 12-Jan-14 07:47:27

Yes, I agree with cogito too.

It is part of the process and it will lessen over time. You just need to find something positive to do to counter it in the meantime.

Making a list of things you have achieved is a very good idea, along with making plans for what you are going to do next.

The big turning point for me was about 10 weeks after my exh left when I finally felt able to take his name off the car insurance and sort out other paperwork things. I felt absolutely elated. And applied for a new job (which I got) the following day. Once I started to feel better about things, it all started to snowball.

Good luck.

ThinkFirst Sun 12-Jan-14 08:48:20

Nothing practical to add to what the previous posters have said, but remember there really is no point in dwelling on what you could have done, it's in the past and can't be changed. Put it behind you and let go of the guilt. Be proud that you did find the strength to leave and you're not still stuck with him.

Handywoman Sun 12-Jan-14 09:21:06

maparole just wanted to say am in a very similar position: was with an abusive STBXH for 10 years. Finally chucked him out after a particularly awful week in June. For about 10 weeks I was absolutely elated and on cloud nine. Then I plunged back in to a depression and realised I was feeling guilty also, but couldn't work out why. No real advice, except to say you are not alone. The emotions are so powerful and messed up it is going to take a lot of time to figure out. I just got rid of my sofa which had a permanent imprint of his arse on it (it lived there permanently while I single handedly raised the kids and ran the house). I have also started a programme of mindful meditation and this helps enormously to stop me judging myself and my feelings. I have also started a course I've wanted to do for ages. I am on a waiting list for counselling because I need to work through it all in a structured way in order to truly move on. Please be kind to yourself.

Handywoman Sun 12-Jan-14 09:23:05

I also wanted to say well done for getting out of the relationship. You have done a brilliant and wise thing.

CogitoErgoSometimes Sun 12-Jan-14 09:31:08

@Handywoman.... I completely understand the sofa!!! My nasty exH left 20 years ago now so you'd think it was ancient history. But only the other day I decided to get rid of a lovely old piece of furniture and was met with lots of surprise from friends and family. I made some excuse about it being time for a change of decor but the truth is that it's one of the few things in the house that still reminds me of him. smile

lekkerslaap Sun 12-Jan-14 09:36:04

It's in the past so you need to mentally 'let go' of it.

One or two sessions of hypnotherapy would help you this. It really does work.

Well done on leaving though!

Handywoman Sun 12-Jan-14 09:38:32

Yeah it's so symbolic, in many ways. In fact in the awful days leading up to the split featured a horrible horrible tantrum from him when I disagreed about buying a new sofa (we couldn't afford one). I just got a replacement for free (my Dad replaced his sofa so now I have Dad's). I love the feeling of his belongings leaving the house. It's like I feel emotionally safer with every object associated with him, leaving. Bliss! smile

Kernowgal Sun 12-Jan-14 10:50:59

I felt such joy the day I got rid of the sofa in the house we shared. It was a beast of a metal sofabed and weighed a ton, and he'd dropped it deliberately while we were carrying it in.

I sold it on ebay but if it hadn't sold I'd have burnt the thing in the back garden while dancing around it and whooping.

Sympathies, OP. I still get moments of anger 18 months on, but now it is more about all the things I'd say to him if our paths ever crossed again, together with furious disbelief at the things he used to say to me.

CogitoErgoSometimes Sun 12-Jan-14 10:59:02

And the kitchen!!! (Sorry to derail the thread OP) When we first moved here and the place was a wreck we fitted the kitchen in a spirit of youthful optimism for the future, getting on so well, working together... really happy before it all went tits up. I can finally afford to replace it this year and I know, as they smash the thing up and lob it in the skip, a big part of me will be punching the air, but a little corner of me will be sad all over again.

maparole Sun 12-Jan-14 11:05:45

grin P'raps being able to chuck a few things would be cathartic. Unfortunately, I was the one who left, so I don't have anything to throw envy

Wishyouwould Sun 12-Jan-14 11:07:20

I'm so pleased that I found this post as I'm going through a similar thing although me and my STBXH separated a year ago.

He was awful to me during the last few years of our marriage. Swinging between cold and distant to verbally abusive. He has anger issues and a drink problem which he still won't address. We have 2 DC together and he has been completely vile to me since the day I told him it was over even though he admits he wasn't happy either (I'd rather be in a bad relationship than on my own - his words)

He has now started seeing someone else and even though I don't want him this has pushed feelings of immense anger to the forefront. I feel angry that he is taking her on nice dates when he couldn't even speak to me. I'm sure he is on his best behaviour and she will be thinking 'what a great guy' when actually he is an abusive and emotionally stunted. Why do I feel so bad now?

lekkerslaap - tell me more about the hypnotherapy - have you done it?

Sorry to gatecrash thread OP. I also feel gutted that I didn't end our sham of a relationship earlier. I wanted to separate a couple of years earlier but he was distraught and asked me for a second chance. Nothing changed except that I went onto Prozac and he carried on as normal.

maparole Sun 12-Jan-14 12:56:42

Not gatecrashing at all ... it's interesting to hear the experience of others.

Strangely, I am not the slightest bit angry with ex. I think I have been wrung dry of any emotion where he in concerned. I just feel sort of ... contemptuous? Not even that strong; I just wish he wasn't there, like an irritating wasp or something.

CogitoErgoSometimes Sun 12-Jan-14 13:10:59

If you don't have anything to throw you can still 'chuck out' other things. Like the PP who took their ex's name off the car insurance, there are other ways to get rid of the stains they have left on your life. I found myself eating foods I loved but exH hated.... just because I could. I spent time with people he'd been snotty about and banned from the house. I took up hobbies that he'd sneered at, went places I'd always wanted to go. I'm not sure my 'screw you' approach was what you'd call mature smile but every little act of rebellion felt bloody good.

Wishyouwould Sun 12-Jan-14 13:11:28

OP this is exactly how I felt. Why didn't I end things 3 years ago when I wanted to? The feeling of anger have only surfaced since he told me about his new relationship, it's very frustrating!

Wishyouwould Sun 12-Jan-14 13:16:02

Cog I've done similar things. STBXH is an obsessive fan of a blue football team. We weren't allowed anything red in the house. Really. I have since bought red duvet set, cushions, throw, place mats, you get the idea!! smile

CogitoErgoSometimes Sun 12-Jan-14 13:26:34

'Go Reds' Wishyouwould. It's kind of petty but strangely satisfying at the same time, isn't it?

bunchoffives Sun 12-Jan-14 13:30:21

Ha I've posted about THE GUILT a few times on mn (under different name).

Mostly re ds who was so much more affected than I'd realised. DS even said some of the exact same phrases to me. I've read up on BA and DC and tried to channel the guilt into positive action now re ds.

I think it just takes the time it takes - leaving and recovering. But you did leave and that's a great thing to hold on to. Some don't. sad

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