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Runaway Husbands and Abandoned Wives?

(56 Posts)
Langoustine Sat 10-Oct-15 15:54:56

How many of us are out there?

How many, like me, had a DH who they thought was very loving towards them, loyal, trustworthy and felt they had a healthy marriage only to have their DH disappear without ever indicating any unhappiness?

My DH followed the script from the book to a tee. Dropping the bombshell "just like that" after dinner and leaving within minutes. The reasons he gave later were as the book says "trivial or fraudulent". He became cruel overnight and tried to make himself the victim for the suferring he had endured of which he had never mentioned even in passing before.

No remorse, anger directed at me, friends and family turned against me, no interest in helping me or making it any easier and he redefined everything and our marriage and life as I saw it.

Would love to hear from anyone else, and how they came on over the years. I am 2.5 years in and while I have healed in many ways I still struggle with certain elements of it.

Mainly all the people who believed those lies about me. How I did not know who he really was for all those years. How I am supposed to feel about him in retrospect beause I feel both love and hate. Self esteem and fear all th time and needing reassurance from people.

There's a bit of me that still feels just totally bewildered and can't believe it ever happenned. In hindsight I see flaws in him (selfishness, manipulation) that I did not see back in the years when he loved me and chose to treat me like gold.

I do wonder where I will be in 5 years, 10 years or how marriage with someone new will work.

Anyone else out there?

Aussiebean Sat 10-Oct-15 21:53:49

No, not me but it sounds like you are incredibly strong and those people who believed the lies aren't worth it.

Hopefully in 5 years you will be very happy and the only thing you feel towards your ex is pity.

whateverloser Sat 10-Oct-15 22:13:27

Yes- completely! Will update shortly- tablet needs charging!

WellWhoKnew Sat 10-Oct-15 22:19:02

Me. Chatted on the phone in the morning regarding our future plans etc, etc, etc - all normal. My marriage of fifteen years ended 12 hours later.

18 months later now.

He deceived everyone. The man I loved and the man I was married to were two very different people. On a rational day I know that. On a bad day, I blame myself.

I struggle some days to make sense of it. Other days I just live with a feeling of "this terrible thing happened to me but I'm okay - no more, no less".

I do think it kills something inside though.

The hardest part is people asking 'but why?'. I don't know why, I just know he did and picking up the pieces and rebuilding my life is hard.

pieceofpurplesky Sat 10-Oct-15 22:40:58

Yep me too. Could have written your post. Actually had sex just before he told me. Said he did it to 'see if he had any feelings left'. Had no other indications.
He absolutely lied to and manipulated friends who now think I am the most evil woman on the planet. What he told them was all bullshit.
I am 15 months on and whilst getting better sometimes I get eaten up with that total shock of betrayal and the fact that his life has moved on happily - still seen as local sport hero etc. He comes Out smelling of roses every time.
He doesn't have DS over night - never wanted him for the first year - that is apparently my fault, could only have him for 5 days in the summer holidays, October booked up with meetings, last Feb his colleague was off and may he had to go away with work - yet people I hardly know tell me how sad he is I won't let him have DS!!! All bullshit. He doesn't want him at weekends as plays football and coached football!!

WellWhoKnew Sat 10-Oct-15 23:02:48

Oh yes I remember the 'goodbye shag'. It was shit.

I'm sorry to give you this bad news purply but I'M THE MOST EVIL WOMAN ON THE PLANET. Definitely - I know this - because he said so in a court of law!

Just so you know.

I have met many other EVIL WOMEN. I like and respect them. They even make me laugh (cackle). Worse, I actually think they are lovely.

So clearly I am deluded.

wintersocks Sat 10-Oct-15 23:13:42

yep. me too. goodbye shag also. I'm seven years on OP and still find myself wondering what happened, from time to time, although I think about it less now. If someone new asks about it I feel like I need to give them a 'reason' and worry that they might think there must be something awful about me to have made him do it sad It's different with people who witnessed it though.
I recognise in mine the same traits you've mentioned, selfishness and manipulation, although not at the beginning, just like you said.
It is shocking and awful and flowers to everyone who's been through it.
Life is far better for me now but its hard still having to see him (because of dcs) and deal with him really.
I haven't been able to really let another man 'in' and have commitment issues I think. I have had short-ish relationships which have restored my faith a bit though, and I do feel optimistic about the future.
It does get easier.

wynkenblinkennod Sat 10-Oct-15 23:17:08

Happened to me too. Together 32 years. He rewrote history and it was all lies. Never heard from my now ex mil or sil. They never once phoned to see if my daughters and I were ok. Nothing. They cut us off. Same with friends of his. Now 2.6 years in, mostly ok but sometimes I feel as if I will never get over the betrayal and his treatment of me and his daughters. Trying blinkin hard though as I would never want him to think now that at times I do struggle. Oh, and wealthy ow climbed out of the woodwork soon after .....

wintersocks Sat 10-Oct-15 23:21:30

keep going wynken you're past the worst now. Same happened to me- re wrote history, he'd never been happy hmm no contact from in laws or his friends no doubt he made up some crap. These people show their true colours eventually I reckon and will probably do it to the next person, even if that takes a while.

WellWhoKnew Sat 10-Oct-15 23:22:48

Tthe bank statements revealed the awful truth for me.

Anyone looking for a dirty old man in a girlie bar? Just PM me.

summerwinterton Sat 10-Oct-15 23:24:49

I am 4 years in. The man I adored changed overnight into a monster. He doesn't bother with DC, has new family now. His loss. I don't miss him at all, but I miss the man I thought he was sometimes. But am happy to be on my own rather than living a lie with a git like that.

wynkenblinkennod Sat 10-Oct-15 23:41:19

Isn't it odd how they can switch off from their own children but go on to live with someone elses? They don't seem to look back or regret anything? They just walk away into a better life. I do not understand that. I also don't understand how they could trust each other? My daughters have very sporadic contact with him now. He moved 3 hours away without even telling them!
I feel for all you ladies on here. Would never wish this on anyone (except ex and ow!!)

Langoustine Sun 11-Oct-15 00:55:48

Thanks everyone for responding. I sometimes feel like the only person on earth this ever happenned to, but I read the book and know there are others. I get the feeling (even with people who know and love me best) that they think something must have given it away, something must have been wrong between them...but genuinely if someone had asked me that morning I'd have said he was 10 out of 10 satisfied with our marriage and thought I was the most wonderful woman on the planet. He didn;t even act strangely in the days before it all.

Like a lot of women in the book he'd just been on a business trip, and if anything he was quite clingy. Was very strange actually as he seemed sad and hoe sick instead of excited and he wanted to talk a lot every day and facetime a lot. He came back with lovely presents and we literally jumped into each others arms and he said he never wanted to go away from me for that long again. Two weeks after that he was gone! Total headfuck.

So much of what you say is like reading my own thoughts and feelings. WellWhoKnew it is the same for me. Sometimes (despite knowing I did nothing) I do blame myself. I can't imagine how a decent, worthwhile person's DH would do this and there must be something less about me. I agree something inside dies.

purple my DH was exactly the same. Everyone thought he completely adored me and that he was the nicest person in the world (me included) and he said the most awful lies about me, while crying into people's arms and he successfully made me take the blame. I had people literally hate me.

wintersocks me too!!! When people ask me "why" I am so scared to say "I don't know" because I feel the will naturally assume there's something awfully wrong with me. It does get easier, but I also have commitment issues. I keep getting told by men that I test them and push them away.

Wynken the same with my MIL, SIL and BIL. Literally that entire family cut me off on the day he left me. Within a week they had blocked me on Facebook. I still have not got a clue what he told them but apparently something about me being unhinged and hysterical (which obviously I WAS) and probably told them I had an affair? Who knows.

summer yes...exactly...adoring sweet man became a onster overnight. That's exactly it.

Does anyone else have problems with any of this...

1. Nightmares. I find I have recurring nightmares, especially with MIL and sometimes where he is just atacking me.

2. Envisaging a healthy marriage for the future. I mean, I date people but honestly can't imagine anyone loving me properly. I feel soiled or defunct!

3. Disassociation. I sometimes feel separated from my past like it happenned to someone else.

WellWhoKnew Sun 11-Oct-15 01:24:09

1. Every time I sleep. And sometimes when I'm awake too. For the ten months I was getting divorced, I was lucky to sleep for four continuous hours. I'm still an insomniac. I hate sleeping so I rarely go to bed. Freedom for me will be sleeping without dreams. I could cope with them if I knew I could wake up without the carnage of my life dominating.

I suspect that will take time. At least nowadays I sleep four hours a day.

2. I don't date so I don't know. I'm working on just being okay with myself. I have no wish to try have a relationship with anyone else. I really don't need someone to validate me. I need to validate me.

3. All the time. People tell me I'm strong. I'm formidable. I'm clever. I'm brilliant. I'd like to feel all those things rather than be told them. Some days I do. Sometimes I don't.

What I DO know about me is that I survived him leaving. Whilst I crumbled, I still fought hard for me nonetheless. I'm also spending time helping other women cope with that. I take pride in paying it forward.

Just like other women looked after me when I was collapsing.

I now know that when I look back at this era of my life I know I will have made a difference.

Which is fine with me.

whateverloser Sun 11-Oct-15 08:24:50

Mine left after 17 years of marriage and 5dcs-the youngest of whom was 10 weeks old. He told me 'I don't want this anymore' and left. He hasn't spoken to his daughters since- this was 18months ago and now never sees any of the children. He pays no maintenance as is completely under the radar a far as cms are concerned. He has told terrible lies about me too- I have really struggled with this, as reality and his version are polar opposites. I am a single parent, working full time with 5dcs. He is having a wonderful new life, it would seem. On good days, I know that he is vile, and cheated and lied ( I found out a lot when he left); on bad days, I feel despair.

wynkenblinkennod Sun 11-Oct-15 08:35:58

Langoustine, everything you said I have felt too. I actually thought, at one point, that everyone was looking at me and thinking I was the monster! I was bereft, hysterical and didn't understand what was going on. I had no idea he was going to leave, it all came as such a shock.
My eldest daughter was pregnant at the time abd my youngest about to sit important exams, and I am ashamed about it now, but I did fall apart.
However, I am doing my best to not let this define me. I have started doing some volunteering for a charity close to my heart, have made new friends and as a family we have all had lovely times together. And I think ex is missing out on that. My daughters do not invite him to anyrhing at all. He is nowhere near us for xmas, birthdays, christenings. This was his choice by his behaviour. And tbh I actually think he is stuck in a type of limbo. He is not involved in anything to do with his own family and i have heard he does not have anything to do with ow's children either, through their choice. They do not want him at any if their family events either!
Sometimes I think I feel sorry for him, then I tell myself to get a grip as that would be taking it too far!!

wynkenblinkennod Sun 11-Oct-15 08:40:06

Wellwhoknew, just want to say I was a major lurker on your thread, and I really think you handled everything brilliantly. I am a little bit in awe of you at what you have acheived!
And all the other ladies on here, sending you love and hopfully we are all iver the worst of it now. X

wynkenblinkennod Sun 11-Oct-15 08:45:32

Sorry x post whateverloser. One day this will come back to haunt him. And by then you will have moved so much forward, that you will wonder what you ever saw in him. X

wintersocks Sun 11-Oct-15 12:33:41

OP I have also been told I'm pushing men away! Thankyou for starting this thread - I can look at you ladies even from what you've said here and think no, its not your fault, you can and will move on and deserve healthy relationships in the future. It can be easier to see in others and be so harsh about our own situations, not helped if ex has been really nasty after and blamed us, which mine did.

To answer your questions;
1. no nightmares thankfully, that sounds hard.

2. It's hard to envisage a healthy marriage, and if someone likes me I panic. At some level I worry if there's something faulty about me

3.yes, it does seem like the past happened to someone else. I find it hard to imagine being married now. - I think that's the hardest part - not them shagging someone else so much as pissing all over the past, treasured memories, and everything that has been invested in the marriage, then trying to trash us and our reputation into the bargain. It's so very destructive and unnecessary and impossible to understand. I don't know if you can really get that unless you've been through it, so again thanks for starting this thread and connecting people - it can be very isolating. brew

wynkenblinkennod Sun 11-Oct-15 13:48:50

I also have nightmares and I can never imagine trusting another man ever again. And yes to the pissing over our marriage, I cant think of any of those 32 years without it being tainted in some way. I really feel scarred by it all. Just hope though as time goes on I will be able to look at the past and I will come to some sort of peace with it iyswim?

RedMapleLeaf Sun 11-Oct-15 14:18:45

I thought that the book was brilliant - an antidote to the (few) people who planted seeds of doubt by saying, "well there was obviously something very flawed with your relationship if you didn't see it coming" as if I was either delusional or so self-absorbed I didn't see the pain he was in.

For me, it was as though a bomb had gone off in my life, but now I can see so many positives coming out of it. I think the trick is to experience every emotion and not try to deny the difficult feelings and also to focus on the future. When I look back I think, "that was a really happy, positive, healthy relationship and I wish him well". I try to keep the fucking horrific ending in perspective of the whole relationship.

Langoustine Sun 11-Oct-15 16:02:50

wellwhoknew your attitude is really inspirational. What a great idea to plough evergy into helping other people.

whatever, I'm so sorry. Mine left after 3.5 years and no joint DC, so it was easier in many respects than when I hear the tales of a lifetimes spent with someone and loving and trusting them. It must make the betrayal all the worse.

wynken, lik you I also find myself feeling sorry for him. It's so hard mentally to picture him as a "bad guy" beause he never was! I have often felt like aliens took over his body when he did this.

winter I think I project an image to the world of a strong, attractive and in control woman who knows her worth but really I am play acting. I feel there is something deepy wrong with me.

Redmaple i know excatly what you mean. I think a few people said to me that I could not have loved him that much or had sch a great marriage if he was so unhappy and I was blissfully unaware. That haunts me, because looking back he seemed blissfully happy...he really did. This in itself is the problem I have with new men in my life. I want PROOF they like me. I am analysing every word, every text, I am timing their calls. All subconscious and all horribly self destructive.

For me the phases of going through it were first total and utter shock, and when I say that I mean medical shock, not merely suprise. I remember those first months I just kept babbling away nonsense and pacing the room and I have no recollection of anything I did except stare at the wall waiting for someone to tell me it wasn't real. That last probably 2 months after which there was about a year where I slowly began to let reality sink in bit by bit and the horror that this was true let itself in. All the while that was slowed down by my fundamental belief that he completely adored me and there must be something wrong.

My belief that he:

a) loved me with all his heart
b) was incapable of behaving so cruelly even if he didn't

Were the stumbling block for me. I just could not believe it, and if I am honest still can't. I believed that he was superior to me in terms of morals and kindness and I thought I was his entire world.

I am not sure about making peace, but I certainly had a very complex grieving process. I had to both accept the loss and the sudden and complete change of my life, the loss of all financial support, the loss of home life and everything that was my "normal" with the shock that he had done what he did.

It seemed at every hurdle I discovered something new. Something more shocking. His membership on dating websites. His profile on "Shagaholic" where he has used photos of him masturbating in our bedroom. I honestly had absolutely no idea and we had a wonderful sex life.

I had to grieve the man I thought he was and was so sad and missed him so much. Even now, I feel like it is two diferrent people.

I am still quite young, still young enough to have children and to live a life. I keep ending relationships over silly reasons that I see as "proof" he doesn't care about me and that makes me sad. I would like to think I had the strength to know that I am worth loving, that no one will ever do this to me again.

Hugs to all of you who have coped with this. It's an experience unlike any other.

RedMapleLeaf Sun 11-Oct-15 16:22:46

It is an experience like no other, and I have gained so much from it. If you took me back before that day, would I choose this? No, I wouldn't, but it is what it is and there have been many positives.

Honu Sun 11-Oct-15 18:31:11

summerwinterton said 'but I miss the man I thought he was'.
Oh so true! I grieved for that man so much!

I'm further down the line than you ladies - about 20 years. The grief is still there but mostly overlaid with 20 years of a good life. I have a new DH, a very different sort of man, whom I love dearly. I am a much stronger, more independent person but I cannot totally trust anyone and have had to learn to live my life like this.

summerwinterton Sun 11-Oct-15 19:17:43

Langoustine, your story is v like mine. He worshipped me for years, right up to the last days - then all of a sudden he cut that off like a tap, and transferred his affections and life to the OW. Utterly bewildering.

I think you need to grieve for the future life you thought you had planned.

I dunno, I still feel shocked about it all sometimes now. Your whole world tilts on its axis, and everything you held true and dear vanishes. I remember feeling untethered for months. Lots weight, hair fell out, no sleep. Hideous. But I am proud to have got through it, and who knows what the future holds. I have to say I would want proof too, and I thought I had it. And for that reason I can't face dating and putting my trust in anyone who could just end up being another liar.

I never thought a life alone would be good though, but it really can be. That is something to be proud of I think.

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