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I sabotaged my marriage :(

(53 Posts)
Lozislovely Sat 15-Feb-14 12:47:55

My 20 year marriage broke down last year and having had 7 months of fear, anger, hurt, more anger, sadness, even more anger and finally acceptance, I've had a light bulb moment.

I sabotaged my marriage without realising it because of my low self esteem. I realise now that I expected my XH to 'fix' me, blamed him for so many things, used refusal for sex as a weapon, even when he told me he loved me.

I made him miserable because I was miserable, dragged up the past all the time and didn't live in the present moment.

I always thought I was never good enough for him, he would cheat or leave. I couldn't bear to look at myself so didn't want him to look at me either. And even when he still fancied me I didn't believe it.

So now I sit here and wonder if I've left it too late to attempt to try again?

XH has said he doesn't want to hurt anymore and I understand that now, just wish the fuck I'd realised what I doing before it was too late hmm

akawisey Sat 15-Feb-14 13:11:55

OP sorry you're going through this. But tbh unless your ex h was a saint and you were abusive to him throughout your relationship I doubt very much that this was all your fault. And you can't MAKE someone else feel something, their feelings are their own.

You've hinted at something from the past though. Did he have an affair?

Lozislovely Sat 15-Feb-14 13:18:06

No, no affair. We were both very stubborn people though and that didn't help.

I know it's not entirely my fault. My part was to project my anger at him, not always verbally like turning him down for sex.

I have suffered with depression on and off since the birth of 2nd DS 15 years ago but always felt my depression was someone else's problem and not mine. Because of my low self esteem I struggled to believe in me. XH tried to help me so much and I just kept pushing him away.

lookingfoxy Sat 15-Feb-14 13:21:44

Have you explained this to him, would he consider couples counselling ?

Lozislovely Sat 15-Feb-14 13:25:05

We are meeting for a coffee on Monday. I think he feels that I am having a 'blip'.

I've recently changed medication and started CBT and it has totally opened my mind up as to how my behaviour was.

We were NC for 6 months and in that time I did a lot of thinking, reading, learning to understand me but I'm not sure whether that will change anything about how he feels.

If it doesn't, that is ok but I feel so sad .

akawisey Sat 15-Feb-14 13:28:35

Depression is such a bastard, isn't it? Sucks the life out of a person and their relationships when it takes hold. But depression doesn't define who you are as a person.

I'm assuming you've made the decision to grapple with it though? It may be too late for the marriage but it isn't too late to make changes OP.

akawisey Sat 15-Feb-14 13:31:05

Oh x posted. I hope you salvage something with him OP. 20 years is a long time.

Lozislovely Sat 15-Feb-14 13:32:42

No, that is true.

The thing is that people have always said what a nice person I am, confident, caring etc. and I've been screaming on the inside 'no I'm not'.

I've been too hard on myself, overthinking and analysing too much that I forgot who I was.

When people have said 'be kind to yourself' or 'stop being so hard on yourself' I'd think it was a throwaway comment!

akawisey Sat 15-Feb-14 13:54:11

Well, I can certainly connect to your experience. Time was when compliments from people were like me putting on a coat that didn't fit properly so I shrugged them off as mistakes - or worse- them not seeing who I really was. So I know where you're coming from in a way. I so hope this turns out well for you.

akawisey Sat 15-Feb-14 13:57:33

who I really was should've been in inverted comma's. See? Old habits die hard OP, but they do die smile.

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Sat 15-Feb-14 13:58:21

Do you know what you actually want, Loz? When I read that your husband says he 'just doesn't want to hurt anymore', that sounds to me as if he hasn't closed the doors on your marriage but would rather be apart than in the maelstrom of emotions it sounded as if it was for much of the time.

I have a friend who did similar; their solution was to have a frank discussion (after a period of separation) to decide if they actually thought they wanted to be together anymore. They decided they did and drew up a 'contract' for both of them with expectations and zero-tolerance behaviours outlined. They also listened to each other's 'flashpoints' and decided between them what would be the immediate fix when those happened. For example, my friend has a tendency to get stroppy, flying off the handle when she's stressed. It's a flashpoint for her and between them they agreed that whatever he was doing, he'd stop and go and hug her tightly till she calmed down and he'd make her laugh then so that whatever it was that was bothering her was out of her system. She does similar for him.

They're very happy, more so for not having to dwell on "if only's" they would have endured at an end of their marriage that neither of them would have wanted.

I think you need to talk - both of you - with no distractions because from what you've posted, it's either an ideal opportunity to re-set or the end of your marriage for good.

Best wishes to you both, Loz.

rainbowfeet Sat 15-Feb-14 14:02:54

When you describe yourself you could also be describing me.hmm

I have decided I am best alone as I am useless at dating, worse in a relationship.. I just try to keep functioning for my. 2 dc's but life in general is a struggle.

Really hope you can fix your marriage.

Lozislovely Sat 15-Feb-14 14:09:00

Thanks Lying. I honestly do want to try again and not because I don't him to find someone else, or because I don't think I'm hankering after something and hoping things will be good.

It's that I believe that we have a future.

In trying hard not to contact him too much that I seem like a stalker, but after 6 months NC there's so much I want to say.

Lozislovely Sat 15-Feb-14 14:13:00

Oh Rainbow, what are we like eh!

I tried so hard to fixate on hating him when were splitting up, telling myself I didn't need him or anyone, that everything was his fault not mine to I think, protect myself or not wanting to admit he was right about how I was feeling about me????

If he doesn't want to try again I'll have to learn to accept that as I do want him to be happy, whether that's with or without me.

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Sat 15-Feb-14 14:15:01

Write to him, several drafts if necessary so that you're happy that you're saying what you really mean, telling him what he means to you, what your marriage means to you - and what you want for the future and how you see that future together.

At the end of the letter, ask to meet him, somewhere neutral.

The benefit of a letter is that there is no misunderstanding if you write it well, from the heart and in language he'll understand. He can also go back and re-read it, the words are there.

Lozislovely Sat 15-Feb-14 14:20:44

That's a really good idea Lying, thanks smile

I have been making 'notes' on my phone, almost for my own therapy really so will be able to refer to those.

I going to a realist though, I can't make him get back together with me and I do honestly realise that. But until I try I won't know will I?

ajandjjmum Sat 15-Feb-14 14:23:32

Perhaps write the letter for when you meet for coffee, and if you feel that you want to, give it him at the end to read alone?

Really hope things work out for you. smile

Lozislovely Sat 15-Feb-14 14:27:50

Thank you ajandjjmum.

I've got a feeling it's going to end up more of a book than a letter. I'm looking forward to getting pen to paper (once I find some paper that is)

LEMmingaround Sat 15-Feb-14 14:31:35

So you are turning this all around on yourself - that is your low self esteem that is. The question is - why did you have self-esteem issues in the first place?

I suffer from terrible self esteem issues and i regularly "self-harm" by lashing out at DP.

The CBT will be useful for you but you may have to accept that actually, your XH may well have moved on and really not be able to go back. Improving your self-esteem will help you with this, it will help you realise that it takes two to make a relationship and it very often takes two to make it break down. If i were you i would be concentrating on yourself and if you and your ex do try again, well, thats a bonus. But you need to be in a place where you can accept that and move on with your own life.

arsenaltilidie Sat 15-Feb-14 14:35:31

The hypocrisy on this thread is astounding.

For most abusers, the cause of their abusive behaviour is from Low Self Esteem. The man that doesn't allow his wife maintain friendships is afraid she will run away
The man that tells his DW is ugly and no one will find her attractive is doing it so she's afraid to leave.
The man that keeps bringing up the past its because he feels he can't compete.

But at the end of the day, saying I have Low Self Esteem/Depression is simply not a good enough reason to be an abusive twat.
Admitting you have low self esteem and was abusive is a start but it does not mean all is well.

You need to go through counselling before you even think about contacting your Ex.
You need to work out why you have low self esteem and how it affected you.
Failure to understand how your LSE affects you then the abusive behaviour will eventually come back again and you will continue to hurt your DH.

Lozislovely Sat 15-Feb-14 14:39:17

Totally agree LEM.

I've given it a lot of thought. I still don't fully understand why I have periods of low self esteem but I do know that I get myself into a cycle of self destruction because I won't listen to what I'm being told - I've found it hard to take compliments in general down to body image issues that I've created in my head. I now have the urge to run down the street naked because I am now happy with me. So what if I have a baggy belly, strange nose, big feet etc etc, its who I am!

I do know that if XH doesn't want me back I'll have to deal with it. Perhaps I'm asking for forgiveness?

We both admit we should have tried harder and what our faults were. It's now a case of seeing where we go from here.

Lozislovely Sat 15-Feb-14 14:43:53

Arse - I don't think I was an abusive twat.

We had really good times and we also had bad times, instigated by both of us.

I never abused him nor more, but we treated each other with disrespect at times. He's admitted his faults and I have mine.

I am trying to get to the bottom of why I feel the way I am and will continue to do that whether the marriage is over or not.

worsestershiresauce Sat 15-Feb-14 15:27:44

Lozis I second writing to him. It is so much easier to pour out your heart on a piece of paper. DH and I ruined out marriage, despite loving each other. We turned it around by starting to communicate again. We still email, write notes, talk. It keeps us close.

Lozislovely Sat 15-Feb-14 16:13:19

Thanks worsester. I'm sorry you went through this too.

We let communication slide massively, not helped that I worked days and worked nights so we became like passing ships. We both acknowledge that this was a contributing factor.

arsenaltilidie Sat 15-Feb-14 16:26:46

*I expected my XH to 'fix' me, blamed him for so many things, used refusal for sex as a weapon, even when he told me he loved me.

I made him miserable because I was miserable, dragged up the past all the time and didn't live in the present moment

My part was to project my anger at him, not always verbally like turning him down for sex*

You blamed him for many things
You used sex as a weapon, probably withdrew affection.
You made him miserable

You were abusive but at least by the sounds of things you are genuinely trying to fix yourself.

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