I fell in love with a serial cheater and closed my eyes completely in the beginning to the signs. I’m struggling with how stupid and blind I was.
I won’t bother with all the details, it’s all the same story. What I want to know is how to heal.
It’s been 8 months since I left and I am still haunted. Every time I see a hotel I cringe. So many triggers everywhere of all the lies. I ruminate over what the truth really was – where was he really on X night when he told me Y, etc. Everytime I see a pretty woman I imagine him cheating on me with her, or being with her now. On and on, it’s torture and I can’t seem to control the memories.
The worst is that I think about what he is doing now, how many girls he has (he had a “harem” he called it, when we met), did he find a girl he can do swinging with and give him everything I couldn’t? Is he happy and feeling free, while I am suffering? Open relationships exist and they can work, and he told me that was what he needed. And I am stuck in the past, feeling sorry for myself, and angry at sex because it took love away from me, angry at men that sex is so important, while he is out having all this great sex. I hate this part of me that wants him to be miserable, and wanting him to be miserable is keeping me in misery. I am jealous of him, because he has found what has made him happy, and I seem almost to revel in pain and this victim identity. He has found an answer to his life, and I can’t seem to create mine.
There’s anger on this site, and it does give me some relief from feeling bad about myself. But I don’t feel like judging and hatred is what will free me, it’s forgiveness I need. He is not a bad person. Yes selfish and extremely emotionally immature, but this doesn’t make him evil. Many people love him. He has many activities and is a people magnet, full of charm and positive energy. I wish he would wake up and say his life is empty and he wants to change, that he would do anything for me to come back. The truth is almost certain that he is happy sleeping around and feeding his ego, and felt relief when I left that he could be free of the burdens of a traditional relationship. He admitted he is a sex addict and he loves it, and it is the best addiction to have. He loves his identity of this sex god, he feels admired and in control. He says life should be fun, free and fluid. He said, I know you feel betrayed, but it had nothing to do with respect and my love for you, this is who I am. He seems to have come to terms with ‘who he is’, and runs free with it instead of beating himself up over it, which seems pretty smart to me.
I hate that I am doing this to myself. I’ve spent the last 8 months working on serious self actualization. I’m dating, but can’t seem to develop feelings for the men. Feeling good with someone else actually hurts because it makes me imagine him feeling good with someone else, and how good he was feeling with other women while we were together. I can’t forget him because I don’t want him to forget me, and he probably already has with all his new women. It’s really stupid and totally self debilitating.
How do I stop all these triggers of memories, asking all the questions that have no answers, being jealous of his life and other women, wondering what he is doing now, if he is happy, if he met a woman that gives him what he needs, blaming him for my inability to create the life I want, blaming myself, missing what seemed so real, allow myself to meet someone new and have fun again?
I’m doing all the right things and I’m on the right path, working on myself and especially my thinking, it’s getting better. But I feel, conceptually, there is something big I am missing.
I’m not clear that you’re a chump. Those “details” you don’t want to mention seem to leave a lot out of the story. How exactly did this guy lie to you? He told you he wanted an open relationship and that he had a “harem.” That’s pretty super, abundantly clear that he’s not into monogamy. You didn’t divorce him, so it doesn’t look like you had a formal commitment from him, or a mortgage, or children.
Instead, it sounds like you fell for someone sparkly and are really upset — at yourself — for not being able to tame Mr. Sparkles into an exclusive relationship.
That’s disappointing. It’s something of a time suck. It’s a life lesson. But it is NOT being a chump. Those people on this site whom you dismiss as angry and judgmental? They had REAL losses. They got that thing you so badly wanted — “commitment” from Mr./Ms. Sparkles — and it blew up in their faces. After they had years invested and children. They didn’t get a memo upfront that their partner wasn’t into monogamy — they got defrauded. The cheater extracted value from them, let them keep on investing deeper into the relationship, and mindfucked them for cake.
You on the other hand, appear to have gotten exactly what was advertised — a self-identifying “sex god.” Who doesn’t want to be “burdened with a traditional relationship.”
I seem almost to revel in pain and this victim identity.
Well, that’s nice to try on new identities, victim or otherwise. From my read of your letter, however, your victimhood was a choice. Actual victims (people who aren’t just “identifying”) didn’t get a choice. They did not consent to abuse. Now, that’s not an argument to stay stuck in self pity. We don’t control the things that happen to us — but we do control how we react. IMO, sticking around for more abuse is staying a victim. This site encourages mightiness and gaining a life. But to do that, you have to know what kind of situation you’re escaping and call a spade a spade. Cheating is abuse. Chumps ARE victims. They aren’t playing at it.
I’m calling you out on this because if you want to heal, you need to realize you have agency. And tangling with a cheater should give you some empathy for others, and not dismiss them as unforgiving. Now then, let’s put your spackle through the Universal Bullshit Translator.
He is not a bad person.
Bad people do bad things. Is he a liar or isn’t he? Doesn’t sound like you know yourself. He told you he wasn’t into traditional relationships, had a harem, likes things open. But then you’re triggered with lies? If the guy is sending you mixed signals? That’s one big signal to RUN. He’s not available for a relationship. He’s a mindfuck.
People who mindfuck tend to be Bad People.
Yes selfish and extremely emotionally immature, but this doesn’t make him evil.
Okay, do you WANT a selfish and extremely emotionally immature boyfriend? Does that sound like boyfriend material to you? He doesn’t have to cross over into arch Evilness to be a bad match.
Many people love him. He has many activities and is a people magnet, full of charm and positive energy.
Sparkles are nice. And… then let’s factor in “selfish” and “emotionally immature.” Now sprinkle “harem” and “open relationship” on top. Still want this guy? I mean, go to Toast Masters, swing a cat and find some other active, positive person.
I wish he would wake up and say his life is empty and he wants to change, that he would do anything for me to come back.
His life isn’t empty. It might be .0002 inches deep, but empty? No. See “harem.”
I wish unicorns were real. I wish the path to weight loss was carbohydrates and clotted cream. I wish a certain presidential candidate would fall down a well.
You can waste time wishing, or you can deal with the reality you were dealt. He’s not available for the kind of relationship you want.
The truth is almost certain that he is happy sleeping around and feeding his ego, and felt relief when I left that he could be free of the burdens of a traditional relationship.
Okay, you want a traditional relationship, so why again are you with this fuckwit?
He admitted he is a sex addict and he loves it, and it is the best addiction to have. He loves his identity of this sex god, he feels admired and in control.
How nice for him. Do you admire him for this? Is this someone you wish to be closer to? Addiction implies he doesn’t have control over his impulses. But he feels “in control”? That says to me he enjoys mindfucking people. His “addiction” is just another manipulation.
Again, nothing to miss here. Carry on.
He says life should be fun, free and fluid.
Good luck with that, Sex Addict. Guess he needs a nice chump then to do all the adult things like pay bills, and work the straight job.
He said, I know you feel betrayed, but it had nothing to do with respect and my love for you, this is who I am.
A guy who betrays people. #feeltherespect
He seems to have come to terms with ‘who he is’, and runs free with it instead of beating himself up over it, which seems pretty smart to me.
He has zero empathy and that seems “smart” to you? Okay. Is that the crowd you want to run with? Are those your values?
Until you figure that out — who you want to be and what your values are — yeah, you shouldn’t be dating other guys. They’ll fail to be Mr. Sparkles. Dear God, they might even treat you nicely and not require a never-ending pick me dance. But you won’t know, or appreciate this until you get your head screwed on straight. So stop self-medicating with those other guys and spend sometime alone untangling your own skein. Figure out why you think Mr. Sparkles is some kind of catch. Or why competing with the harem seems at all appealing. Or why sex makes you angry. Not all men are like Mr. Sparkles.
Know your worth. When you know it? He can sprinkle magic stardust all over his harem and you won’t care.