Advanced search

Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.

On the anniversary of when he left

(30 Posts)
almostmissr Fri 13-Nov-15 14:14:35


This is a reverse thread, on the anniversary of when he left me, which is written out in the perspective of my ex. This is his side of the story as he tells it to me (and to himself) and exactly how I know he would word it. I wondered if anyone might read it as I sit here - feeling pretty low and let me know what you think about it?

Maybe give me some analysis? He always made me feel like it was my fault. Like I did something wrong or was not good enough but reading it back I feel perhaps like I was just a bit player in someone else's game?


I met a girl when I was going through a painful separation and subsequent divorce (my wife had stopped loving me and met someone else) and we fell in love very quickly. Where my ex wife hadn't wanted sex for years, she was passionate and always wanted me and made me feel alive again and having her made me feel like I could cope with losing my wife. She was pretty and I knew quite far out of my league but she seemed to like me for me.

This girl was 30, I was 35 and she was a friend of a friend so I knew she was great before I even met her. As soon as I laid eyes on her I couldn;t think of anything else. I started to phone her every day and see her as much as I could and I felt like if I had her my life would be okay and I did anything I could to get her. I felt like I absolutely needed her and could not live without her.

I proposed to her pretty quickly, after a year of dating and before my divorce was final but didn;t give her a proper ring as the time felt not right. I felt like she was my soulmate and the reason I'd gone through so much and that life could finally begin with her. She made me feel completely happy all the time. She was kind and funny and a good listener.

I asked her to move in with me (this required her to relocate and give up her job) and she also had a child of her own and so did I, so it was a big step. I assured her that I loved her, that we would be a family and that I would never treat her anything but good. We both wanted marriage and more children.

Once she moved over, my ex wife made a lot of waves with it. She wasnt happy with me having someone new (even though she did and had been with him long before we separated) and she did not want me living with my new girlfriend, so I asked my new girlfriend to hide away a bit to avoid making waves. It went on like that for about six months before we came out in the open with it all. At times I even asked my new girlfriend to go away for the weekend so I could be alone with my DS and not upset the apple cart with the ex wife.

My girlfriend was at home alone a lot. I know she missed her friends and family and her job and I tried to spoil her as much as I could. I arranged little suprises and trips and things to do together. At the same time though I felt too arkward going through the divorce to introduce her to any of my friends or take her to any events with me. I also had quite long standing commitments to a few sports clubs and activities at the weekends with my ex wife; which I continued to do because they were important to me.

I know my girlfriend struggled a bit with the lionliness but she was always happy to see me and we couldn't keep our hands off each other and got on so well with no arguments. At times he'd cry but I'd hug her and she'd tell me that it would be fine and that she was only being silly. She did ask me to curb my activities or start doing some with her, but it was really difficult. People depended on me.

Over time she asked me quite a few times about having a baby together. She was aware her clock was ticking and I'd told her i wanted one right away but when it came down to it it didn't feel right. I was worried what my ex wife would say and that my own son might feel replaced so in the end I let my girlfriend know I didn't want more children and she accepted this after we'd been together three years.

I missed my son a lot in the divorce and felt so angry and sad that another man was living with him now, but my girlfriend was so supportive. She was happy for us to have him every weekend (which meant we never went out as a couple) and she was happy to have him during school holidays too even though I was at work and she had to look after him herself. She treated him like her own, cuddled him and told him stories and washed his clothes and he loved being at our house and formed a close bond with my girlfriend's son so we became a family.

In terms of our relationship I tried my hardest to be a good Dad, good stepdad and great partner to her. I loved her, she was my world and I always told her that, and I loved the way she looked aftr me and made me healthy packed lunches and worried about how I felt. I think I was always there for her too. I couldn't wait to grow old with her.

Our relationship was great on every level from my perspecitive and my only gripe was that her son had some special needs that were sometimes a little draining. I did my best though.

I did love her a lot, and in the end I proposed properly to her after four years, with a ring and all of it and wanted to be with her forever. She wnated to set a date, but my ex wife's Dad got ill and I felt it was the wrong time so we put off an engagement announcement. Then after that my sister got engaged and I didn;t want to steal her thunder. In the end we waitied 7 months to announce it and set a date.

What happenned though is that over a few months she changed. I noticed she wasn't getting dressed every day out of her pajamas, and she was quite nervous and cried a lot. I asked her what was wrong and she said she had no life and was lonely. I would bring flowers home for her and cuddled her and told her it would be okay but she didn't get any better. I was out most nights with various commitments, but when we were together I would have dne anything for her. I wanted her to get out and meet new people but she never did.

Some days I would come home to her crying instead of smiling and with all my stress at work and money troubles I started to doubt that I still loved her. I didn't talk to her about this. I kept teling her I loved her and would never leave her but after about six months of it I decided I couldn't take anymore.

I packed a bag when she was away for the weekend and moved out. I couldn't face her to tell her. Part of me still, loved her and wanted to be with her and losing her hurt me a lot but she was just diferrent and I felt I didn't make her happy anymore and had no idea what to do. I just had to escape.

I got my own house, without telling her, and set up a bedroom for my son and decided to make a go of it on my own. She was devastated and she had to move back with her son to where she came from on very short notice and without a job, so I know I could have handled it better but I was just in a bad place. I just felt like I stopped loving her, that's all.

hellsbellsmelons Fri 13-Nov-15 14:38:35

I think he sounds like an arse who wanted everything his way.
He was way too keen to keep the ex happy rather than keeping you happy.
You had uprooted and he wouldn't introduce you friends.
He isolated you entirely and that is very controlling.
You had depression, understandable, and he didn't even recognise it or support your through it.
The going got tough and he fucked off and left you in the shit.
You are far better off with this fuckwit out of your life. Keep it that way!!!

Does that help at all?

(And I think he posted about all this at the time - did he??)

Inexperiencedchick Fri 13-Nov-15 14:52:56

OMG, I'm so sorry.

This is awful!!!


CatThiefKeith Fri 13-Nov-15 15:24:54

What an absolute arse of a man. I hope you have more support now. flowers

InTheBox Fri 13-Nov-15 15:32:03

That must have been quite cathartic OP.

He sounds like a future faker. Here's a good blog post about it but I'd recommend a good read of the site as a whole to see a different perspective.

And of course keep posting. How are your circumstances now?

BloodontheTracks Fri 13-Nov-15 15:35:44

What a weak, weak weak man. I would also sincerely question if some of the stuff around the ex-wife was absolutely true, particularly at the beginning. He seems to have lived a shallow, selfish existence. He wants to be where things are always happy, even is he is causing the unhappiness. Best rid. Be with someone with some soul.

almostmissr Fri 13-Nov-15 16:01:36

Thank you for replying, I know it was so long, very kinn to take the time and yes - cathartic because I never really did that before and put his side of the story out in black and white and until I did I never properly saw quite what a twat he was.

No he didn't post at the time, I did, but from my side.

At the time, honestly, I completely believed he absolutely loved me. For years he was really the only adult I ever saw. Deep down I probably was very unhappy and angry but he was so NICE to me, so romantic, so full of words of how beautiful and fantastic I was that I felt like all people have to make sacrifices for love and it never occured to me that I was the only one doing that.

I loved him so much, and was so entwined in believeing him and me was all that matterred that I lost myself so badly and never saw it. It took so long to see it. I thought he was such a good, kind, moralistic person that I felt it must be all my fault.

I know I had depression but I'd not really understood it or seen a doctor and I kept asking if he loved me still as I knew i was not as much fun to be around and he kept saying "more than ever".

Then he left and told me I wasn't fun anymore, that I'd sucked his love away, that I'd drained him and moreover he actually took the line to me (and everyone else) that he had driven himself into the ground trying to please everyone and made himself a martyr. He nevr gave me a chance to speak back or tell him my side. He just ran away.

I reacted to all of this from such a weak position. Begged him not to do it to me and DS. Begged him for counselling. Begged him for anothr chance and promised I would get better and go back to my normal self.

He just told me it was too late and he didn't love me anymore. He just didn;t accept responsibilty for any part of it, or for me being ill. He just kept saying he could have handled it better but his life was easier and more relaxed without having to deal with my illness.

It's been an awful period of going through this, and so hard to let go of so many years of thinking he was such a beautiful person and letting in maybe the possibiltiy that he wasnt

almostmissr Fri 13-Nov-15 16:04:14

He twisted if you see what I mean

He made me tink he was devoting all this time and energy to me or for me, but really all I wanted was to meet his friends, go out sometimes, have a car, see him more often and feel part of his life locally.

He ust kept giving me flowers and underwear and weekend mini breaks and cuddles and I felt like I was being selfish wanting the other things.

Now he has done all this and told me it was MY fault. That I drained him and ucked away his happiness....but no...he sucked away mine.

I wish I had some chance to tell him that, to stand up for myself.

He twisted it so much I have sepnt all this time believing it was me and hating myself for failign him and the kids.

almostmissr Fri 13-Nov-15 16:06:57

And sorry to circumstances are now good.

I went home with DS. Went back to work and have done very well with that. Still a bit of debt left from when he left me without a pot to piss in or a roof. I spent a fortune on counselling and lost control for a while but am stable now.

I can be obective and see how much bettr my life is...friends, family, familiarity and a life of my own but of course I feel guilty for putting DS through it and also have some quite serious problems forming new relationships with appropriate people.

He by turn has his life in a mess. He ended up losing his job twice, wrote of his car, got into debt and never got another girlfriend.

almostmissr Fri 13-Nov-15 16:11:13

My depression disappeared the day he left and didn't come back. Ironically

hellsbellsmelons Fri 13-Nov-15 16:19:02

I'm glad you are now rebuilding your life.
He really was a controlling abusive arse.
All abusers make you believe it's all your fault. It's not though. None of it.
You are just a nice person who trusted someone who completely and utterly dragged you and your self esteem down to nothing. That's what they do though.
I'm very pleased to hear he hasn't found another poor woman to do this to.

Have you done the Freedom Programme yet? You can contact Womens Aid or do it on line.
It will help your future relationships. You can set boundaries and spot red flags very early on.

Keep going and look after your lovely DS. You'll get there.

almostmissr Fri 13-Nov-15 16:25:17

I read that and honestly cant get my head around the idea he was abusive

He was just so nice!

I was free to do whatever I liked, so did I not just do it to myself?

InTheBox Fri 13-Nov-15 16:28:44

almostmissr, how do you know what became of him? Do you still have some mutual friends or how would you have otherwise known?

Here's a hand to hold and it's great that you're getting it all out. How old is DS?

I'm glad to hear that things are much improved. In your title you say this is the anniversary of when he left, and it's understandable that it'd bring out some unpleasant feelings but how many years has it been since you last had any sort of contact with him?

You rant away and post as many messages as you need to. We are listening.

InTheBox Fri 13-Nov-15 16:34:13

I was free to do whatever I liked, so did I not just do it to myself?

No you didn't. You see the thing about these sorts of people is that they make you believe that it is entirely you with the problem and make you second guess yourself so you retreat further into yourself with depression getting worse and worse then you find yourself depending on them more and more. All whilst they act like prince charming.

They are cut from an entirely different sort of cloth. I can understand that relationships don't always work out but he had absolutely no right to put you through that sort of hell.

almostmissr Fri 13-Nov-15 16:37:55

He phones me or write once in a while to tell me how awful life is, and is still very angry with me for causing it.

DS is 12 now.

A friend is taking me out now. I don't feel that sad or upset, thanks, just still so confused aout the turn my life took and why and how I can trust myself to feel like I can be loved by someone through good times and bad so I can move on.

I still feel a bit disloyal saying bad things about him. He basically thinks I ruined his life.

BloodontheTracks Fri 13-Nov-15 16:41:58

That makes sense with what you have posted here. In that his character is extremely narcissistic (I say this in a conversational way, not a diagnostic way). What you describe is someone who does not take responsibility for themselves, blame is the way that many of us project outwards our bad feelings on the inside. Most of us learn this is a childish response and not always accurate. He does not seem to know this. He makes himself feel better by leaving and blaming others. He left. Not you. And now he is blaming you for his life not working out. I strongly suggest you drop any contact. He is not a positive force in your life and never will be by the sounds of it.

BloodontheTracks Fri 13-Nov-15 16:43:36

I think you need to forgive yourself for making a mistake, and even see how it ha made you grow. This is a great opportunity for recognising in yourself how you deserve to be treated and how other people manage their pain badly. Don't make this about castigating yourself, that is what you did by being with a man who treated you poorly for so long. Don't replace him with your own self-judgement. You are over it and in a better place and have made a success of things. You're great.

almostmissr Fri 13-Nov-15 17:01:30

Agree with you bloodonthetracks about his personality. Looking back everything he did bad was someone else's fault and he painted himself as a victim and truly believed it. Was just his way.

For my own sense of peace moving forward, and ls feelign confident in my own trust of myself...would you say it was fair to summarise by saying:

I met a very weak and selfish man who showered me in love and affection and promised me the earth and did not deliver on it. I became sad, quite naturally, and once I was no longer happy and beneficial to him he cut me loose.

My part in the blame of my own story would then to have been:

a) not realised from day one that it wasn't right or fair to behave the way he was and isolate me and not include me in his life / put his ex wife first constantly and that if I could repeat history I might now know better and identify much easier that someone was taking the piss and also to learn that isn't "love".

b) to perhaps have taken more responsibility for my own life, relied on him less, maybe gotten out there and joined a few clubs and gotten a job and not expected my life with him to have been all there was.

But that even given (a) and (b) it;s not okay to do what he did, and that a loving partner would have just talked about that and worked it out.

I just need to feel clear in my head if that makes sense. And I don't want to say I was entirely blameless because I did nothing about it.

almostmissr Fri 13-Nov-15 17:03:57

Also, so cathartic writing this out! I'm feeling so much better. Thanks MNers for listening to me flowers

SoDiana Fri 13-Nov-15 17:10:18

I guarantee the extent of his introspection was more along the lines of 'the woman is mad'.

wallywobbles Fri 13-Nov-15 17:28:16

Well, yes you did do it yourself, that is why this kind of abuse is so damaging, because we do it to ourselves, and we agree to it, on the promise of a perfect life.

BloodontheTracks Fri 13-Nov-15 17:44:16

Maybe, almost, and I think it is really heartening you are taking this anniversary as an opportunity to look at what you've learned and how you can grow from this.

I would avoid the way you seem keen to blame yourself in your post. If I were being super challenging I'd wonder if there was something a bit off-kilter about the beginning of your narrative, either from him or from you. Something about the love affair and ex-wife stories feel a bit unmatched. And this behaviour afterwards suggests secrets still being kept or shame still being present. Nevertheless.

But from what you say I think the best description is that you fell for a man who is immature emotionally, and yes probably also weak and selfish. And very good at beginnings. It feels that if one party makes a move as large as your seemingly was, that there is a responsibility and a commitment to the size of that and to the shape of the relationship. It feels like he was not prepared to adjust his life in a way that one would expect, and that neither of you were capable of communicating effectively and maturely about that at the time, You became isolated and he became avoidant and selfish.

Basically the reality did not meet up to the dream, for either of you, and rather than address that, he avoided it weakly, did what was easiest for him at every opportunity then ran away. If I were you I would look at what attracted you to him in the first place and why whatever that was meant you were happy to be a secret for so long, and make so few demands.

Often, when we are treated like this is relationships we assume it is because we are with abusive partners. This can be true, but sometimes it is because we ourselves fear getting too close to someone, so actually someone who doesn't make time for us and place demands on us allows us the independence and the distance we quietly crave but as women can rarely admit to. There was an inability for this relationship to properly integrate and reach the point of true partnership, either through him involving you in his life or you breaking free from 'lost little girl at home' or 'mother figure making him a packed lunch'. There is a lack of partnership and equality here. Normally I would associate this with a relationship that has gone from an affair into a reality, or long-distance into reality. But the transition has never truly occurred.

I would look into your own heart and think about whether you in fact have any intimacy issues that meant you were prepared to put up with this for so long. And even to question whether your depression may have been a response to the marriage planning itself rather than its delaying. The very fact you are here trying to piece together a narrative for yourself suggests you are both smart and able to alter stories in a way which is helpful to you. You are now trying to allocate blame, as he has done, and splitting it between yourself and him. It may be you need to move forward from thinking in this way, and recognise the relationship was an experience from which you can grow, not a fault to be assigned.

Inexperiencedchick Fri 13-Nov-15 20:03:10

I think OP is still hurt...

almostmissr Sat 14-Nov-15 16:51:45

Thanks so much everyone. I went out last night and onestly did not even think about it, so that's a good sign that the healing is so far aong the road now.

I think at this point it's more about me, growing and as you say learning and finding belief in myself that it's okay to trust someone else and know this won't happen again, that there's not something unlovable about me and also that I have some control over my own future.

BloodontheTracks Sat 14-Nov-15 17:08:04

Good news. I'd also recommend reading the work of Cheryl Strayed who is great about these turning points.

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: