My husband of 10 years suddenly left me 6 months ago, with ZERO warning, and is ever-so-cliché-ly dating his former office manager, 14 years his junior. I honestly had no idea he was so unhappy in our marriage that he would have an affair, let alone leave me, our 6 year old daughter, 3 dogs 4 chickens!
We were truly best friends, so I’ve actually lost TWO people. What I can’t understand is:
1)How he could turn into this completely different person, so lacking in morals and integrity,
2)How he could just act like we don’t have 11 years of memories and love between us, and
3)Why he has become so hateful and nasty towards ME ever since he left?!
Please help shed some light on this for me — so that, maybe, the cannonball-sized, sucking chest wound I carry around can begin to heal.
Dear Smart (You’re plenty smart, just chumped),
Some people are shallow puddles. We just thought they were deep.
How could he turn into a “completely different person”? He didn’t. That’s him. That’s who he is — a guy who can walk away from a 10-year marriage and a six-year-old child. The office secretary didn’t wave her magic stapler and transform him into a man with no morals. He had to have that lack of integrity in the first place to be able to run off. The other woman could be anyone. Where sparkly kibble dispensers beckon, narcissists follow.
Some people connect and commit and other people are just biding their time waiting to “trade up.” Remember junior high where you thought Amanda was your best friend, but then Stephanie invited her to hang out at Pizza Hut? And having had a taste of pepperoni and the higher social strata, she dumped you? And started wearing Guess Jeans and spiking her hair and acting all snotty, and you thought “Who is this person? I played BARBIES with you! I know what a DORK you are! I LOVED THAT DORK. Come back!”
You married an Amanda. She’d chuck your true love for a chance with the Cool Kids.
How he could just act like we don’t have 11 years of memories and love between us?
Because you know where the Barbies are buried. You represent The Past. He wants a do-over. A chance to sparkle for a new sucker and extract value from her. (She’s 14-years-younger arm candy. Winning!) He doesn’t love and remember the way you do, because he’s not that deep. See shallow puddle comment above.
Why he has become so hateful and nasty towards ME ever since he left?!
When he looks at you, he sees abandonment. A wife and child he walked out on. Who abandons people without so much as a warning? Assholes. Vile people. People with shit for character. Cowards.
But he is the Great One! He can’t be Wrong. Cognitive dissonance. So he has to blame you. You’re the REAL asshole!
I’m sure you were less than thrilled with his actions. I’m sure you demanded accountability, an explanation. You stopped providing kibbles. Of course he’s hateful. You’ve gotten in the way of something he wants. You don’t matter. You don’t have needs. Do not remind him of your agency. You’re an extension of him, and when you get uppity like that, it unnerves him. You’re supposed to be in perfect sync. If he leaves you, you should be OKAY with that, because it’s what HE wants.
If you ate the shit sandwich and consciously uncoupled and stayed “friends”, why I’m sure he’d sweeten up a bit in time. (So long as you don’t go reminding him of his obligations. Don’t be a killjoy.)
Do you know the kind of person I’m describing, Smart? A narcissist. Read up on them. That’s what sort of person does what he did the way he did it — a disordered person without empathy. He wasn’t all there — he was a shark in a people suit like the cartoon above. He showed you the real him. Now, you just need to believe it. You’ll grieve the hologram you thought he was, but trust me, he’ll keep reminding you of who he really is.
And THAT guy? Good riddance.