I dated a guy this year, for almost a year, and about 1.5 months ago he broke up with me.
I’m divorced (10 yrs ago, emotionally and verbally abusive ex-h) no kids. He has a kid, and has been divorced about 5 years. Upon reflection (probably with the rose colored glasses still hanging off my face since it’s still a little early) I didn’t see any jarring red flags, we seemed to have a very good relationship. His child seemed to like me, and was comfortable around me. But, about two months before it ended, he started getting weird, saying things that didn’t make any sense, word salad, he got very vague about future plans, and started dropping snide little put downs for the most ridiculously minute things, and it started to gradually snowball. Total 180 degrees in terms of treatment of me.
I noted that over those past months he seemed to be spending more and more time with his ex-wife and his child as a group — events that I was not invited to attend. In a moment of Chumpiness, I mentally made note of it as something to further observe, and this is probably where I should have ended the relationship. The final week of our relationship he gave me the most heinous level of silent treatment and passive aggressive put downs on a level that was comparable to my ex-H. I found myself subconsciously going into gray rock mode, something that I haven’t had to do for years, not since my divorce from a decade ago.
A few days after continued silent treatment, I received a break up email (yes, that’s right, an email) explaining that his XW came to him about ten months ago and expressed that she wanted to attend marriage counseling (or in this case, post-MC?) with the final goal of reconciliation.
He also explained to me that he wasn’t completely honest about the nature of the divorce. In the past, he had told me that it was an amicable decision, no fault of anyone, and that they had drifted apart. He had told me this story several times. He then explained what really happened: he discovered that she was having an affair, he wanted to reconcile and attend MC, she refused, moved out and took the kid with her, she and their kid moved in with the affair partner, she got her divorce, and then proceeded to cohabitate and have a relationship with AP…for the next 5 YEARS. With the divorce, she ended up getting alimony (which ends in like 2 years) and he paid child support.
Fast forward to this year. The affair partner and the XW broke up about 4 months ago, and then a couple months after that is when this entire thing allegedly started. In summary, this man was not at all as advertised. He told me that he decided to end our relationship because his XW has stepped out of her miasma affair bubble she wanted to reconcile, and his strongest argument in believing her was that: “she sounds like herself again”.
He agreed to try reconciling with her, which he patronizingly explained to me was for the sake of the child, so that he has a two-parent home. Apparently this type of dynamic is the preferred healthy and nurturing framework to experience as young child. Throughout his entire email he played the victim, never offered a sincere apology to me, and continued to offer up his child as the sole reason for wanting to reconcile with her. Which I don’t buy, but whatever. Side note: in the email he never said anything expressing that he wanted to do this for their relationship, i.e. “I want to do this because I still love her, etc etc” — that’s the level of cowardice that he demonstrated in his words.
When this happened, I was devastated, and I’m still heartbroken. Despite my hurt, I know I didn’t deserve to be dropped like third period French, and I certainly don’t deserve to be with someone who has the emotional capacity of a character in a Sweet Valley High novel (despite him being in his late 40s). I know that I am pretty, financially and emotionally stable, I’m very smart (although apparently not re: this event) and independent. But I ended up in this revolting mess and I am very angry at myself and at these two people.
I feel like this man (and possibly also the XW) turned me into “the other woman” during this entire matter, when this was not something that I caused. I feel like I was the sacrificial offering in their reconciliation pact, where all of their past relationship problems and hurt from the affair has been dumped onto me, I am now more or less The Evil One, and I feel like I’m drowning under their untouchable pile of leprosy covered shit sandwiches. Now that they are unburdened of their evil humors, I can’t stop imagining that they are skipping off to a happy and fulfilling life that is picture perfect. It makes me feel like I lost and they “won”. Of note, since the relationship ended, I have continued to go no contact.
CL, are they going to recover and be a happy and thriving couple/family? How do I emotionally reject all of garbage that I feel was dropped in my lap? What is so terrible about being with a pretty and smart Chump? I’m in my late 30s, and now I feel like I’m never going to find a good guy who can love me and accept me for who I am.
Please knock some street smarts into me,
The Anti-Other Woman
Here’s what I’m reading: You got dumped by a lying, two-timing shit weasel… and you’re wondering if he’s happy.
HUH? I mean, who cares? He’s a creepy man with lousy life skills, you’re not tuning into that channel.
I get that you’re disappointed. That you wasted a year of your life. That he snowed you and misrepresented himself, but you MUST step back and not catastrophize.
now I feel like I’m never going to find a good guy who can love me and accept me for who I am.
He is not that guy. Thank God you’re not wasting another moment with him. This has nothing to do with how lovable or unlovable you are.
How do I emotionally reject all of garbage that I feel was dropped in my lap?
By REJECTING it. Stop untangling his skein. Stop cross-examining his lame excuses and dubious timelines. Keep on the path of no contact.
We’ll go back together and call bullshit on his story, and then let’s dust off and move forward. You with me?
But, about two months before it ended, he started getting weird, saying things that didn’t make any sense, word salad, he got very vague about future plans, and started dropping snide little put downs for the most ridiculously minute things
Acceptable to you, or unacceptable? Did you talk to him? “Hey Phillip, you seem rather distant and irritable. What’s going on?”
Now, he’s a lying cake-eater, we know now, he probably would’ve lied — but you have this conversation for YOU. Don’t spackle. Send a shot across the bow. “Dude, you are behaving like a jerk. I will not tolerate this shit. You are on notice.”
This is ethical — you’re giving him a chance. But you’re in the deciding seat. You are ALWAYS in the deciding seat. Good enough? Acceptable? Thumbs up? Thumbs down?
In any shitty situation, you have choices to stay or go. You don’t have to pick me dance for someone’s attention. If you feel he’s squirrelly, that’s ENOUGH. Figure out your values, and stick up for yourself.
A few days after continued silent treatment
DUMP. The silent treatment is contemptuous.
In the past, he had told me that it was an amicable decision, no fault of anyone, and that they had drifted apart.
I am HIGHLY skeptical of anyone who says their marriage ended because they “drifted apart.” He isn’t sea garbage. (That would be an insult to sea garbage.)
A naive person either believes this crap, that marriage is a boring cocktail party (“Oh excuse me, I need to fill my drink…”), or they may think We Drifted Apart is politesse. How nice. He doesn’t want to speak ill of his ex.
No. We Drifted Apart is what cheaters say. It’s impression management. I Didn’t Do a Bad Thing. A nebulous cloud descended on my marriage, we fell out of love. Who can fault clouds?
The majority of people divorce for very painful reasons — infidelity, untreated mental illness, addiction. It is rarely amiable.
He then explained what really happened:
He’s a liar. You have no idea what “really happened.”
he discovered that she was having an affair,
That whole story seems concocted to me. Let’s say she was cheating. Then how on earth are you the OW? Until recently, she was living with her affair partner? Huh? Also, it’s very common for cheaters to claim they were chumped. Anyway, it doesn’t matter because he has been lying to you for MONTHS, pursuing another relationship, while he was letting you invest in him. NOT OKAY.
Either this guy is a total fabulist (my vote) or he’s so pathetic that he wants to reconcile with his cheating ex-wife 5 years after the divorce. In either case, he isn’t healthy relationship material. So….
I can’t stop imagining that they are skipping off to a happy and fulfilling life that is picture perfect. It makes me feel like I lost and they “won”.
Reconciliation with a cheater is hell. (Ask a few million of us how we know.) And fraudulent people are not happy or fulfilled — they’re shallow. There is no picture perfect life here, so stop torturing yourself with these thoughts. REFRAME. You LOST a mindfuck. A con. A guy with super shitty life skills.
Imagining you’re some villain in their story is at least a part in the drama. STEP OUT OF THE DRAMA. What’s more likely — and is evidenced by his casual, self-serving email — is that you don’t matter at all to him. Or his ex whatever she is.
So, fuck him.
And if he circles back (they often do. I suspect he’s hoovering his ex-whatever she is), NO CONTACT.
You’re young, you’re pretty, you’re smart. And you’re fuckwit free. You win.