Until I change myself, the pattern will continue

Until I change myself, the pattern will continue

Unlike many posters on this site I am a male victim of emotional abuse. I met my partner when I was 20 years old and she was already married. In a complete whirlwind courting period where she asked me to marry her and divorced her current husband. Four months after meeting her we were married. I spent 20 years in a marriage with extreme emotional abuse. I was always told how other men were better than me in every way. Not once in 20 years did she tell me she loved me, but rather she had married me because I was a ‘good person’. She had affairs that I always forgave. I was not allowed to talk to women or I was accused of plotting to sleep with them whether they were 12 years old or 60. I was cut off and isolated from my family, my children were told that they had a ‘single mom’ because I was so useless. My children were told that in front my face, not behind my back.

Eventually 15 years into the marriage my grandfather died and something inside me came alive and I resolved to break free. I had terrible guilt at the thought of leaving and it took 5 years of building up the courage. Towards the end I started to see a psychologist who told me that my ex showed all the symptoms of a psychopath and that for my mental health I should leave. It took someone else telling me to leave to get the courage to do so. My self worth was so low and fear so great that I had a severe panic attack and believed I was having a heart attack and ended up in hospital alone with nobody to call.

Over the past 5 years since the divorce I have slowly healed, but still have a long way to go. I have just ended a second toxic relationship that fortunately has only lasted 18 months. In this last relationship some of the patterns of my marriage were repeated, some unbelievable lines were crossed and yet I forgave. She got angry with my and had sex with my teenage son to punish me and I forgave. She lied constantly and stole and I forgave. The ability for someone to trigger such self doubt that I question my own sanity and what the facts are is incredible.

Something I really do want to share having followed this page for a long time is that ‘they’ don’t matter and neither does knowing the truth. Knowing the truth will change nothing and so I have no need to obsess over it. What matters is me and my mental health. It is hard not to question why someone can treat you like that, but it really doesn’t matter. Why I ignored red flags, allowed myself to abused is what matters because until I change myself the pattern will continue.

5 thoughts on “Until I change myself, the pattern will continue

  1. Wow was In the same boat
    And walked away from someone I love so so much.
    But I know where you are coming from.
    Good luck for the future.

  2. I’m in that 5 year space I guess… lost,blah,confused, all the above in a marriage of 26 years and I know now the knowledge and insight of research has shown great light… but I know now what needs to be done but so many loose strings..my husband is payee over my disability, my daughter’s are judged order over them guardians… I have chronic illnesses, seizure, and list with ptsd ect. Gose on… I’m trying and refused to give up…

  3. I feel your pain. I am the female and he was so incredibly mean. He was just mean. The insecurities that come out of someone who is so non trusting is unreal. I hope you are doing better. Id love to say that it gets better, but it takes time.

  4. I was in the same relationship for 40 years. My husband died 6 months ago and I don’t know how to feel. I miss him and love him but I hate it what he did to me

  5. I was married to my ex-husband, a narcissist for 40 yrs. (but separated 10 of those yrs.). He had an uncanny ability to hide his need to control. Married at 19 and eventually caring for 5 children kept me in a tangled web of always trying to keep him happy. Without consciously realizing it, I became a buffer between him and the children (trust me…they needed me there). He would verbally twist the knife, so to speak, to whomever in order to gain control of situations in order to present himself as a kind, loving, and amusing husband and parent. People seemed to love him and the more they did, the more he pretended. At home, tho, we walked on eggshells. I had never known anything about personality disorders, let alone narcissim…all I knew at the time was that it seemed as if he could not express or reach into his own emotions. I was always confused by his behavior. It often sounded like he was repeating things word forword from what he heard someone else say or from what he read in a book. Never did he seem to speak from his heart. I am an epathic “people” loving person. I was diagnosed with A.D.D. (no hyperactivity) at age 48. As I was counseled and treated for that, I began to see thru everything my ex said and did. I began to do things for me, not just for him (which I seemed to have done in an attempt to keep the peace). I began to take art and design classes and tapped into something I had not known I could even do (drawing & painting). I even won an award in a juried art show! The ex seemed to panic and told the counselors who had been working with me on the a.d.d. that I was getting “worse” (whatever that meant)!! So they had him come in with me for a counseling session. When asked why he felt I was “worse” it eventually came out of him-I had begun to stand up to him (something he had not seen enough of prior), he was feeling threatened by my having found something of my own that I loved to do and was good at , AND I WAS NOT BECOMING MORE LIKE HIM!!!
    I couldn’t believe it when I heard him say that! At that moment, the only words that came out of the counselor’s (an actual physician and psychiatrist who speciaizes in adhd) mouth were “Wow…..!”
    I spent a total of 5 years receiving counseling for A.D.D. AND the effects of being on the receiving end of narcisstic abuse. I was told that I would always recognize narcisstic behavior from there on out (I definately see it in our current President). I have learned to be honest with myself because I understand that my own behavior played a part in this. My problem now is that I see a pattern that has made me vulnerable and probably attractive to needy people. It is natural for me to understand and actually feel the emotions of people. I believe all people originally come from a good place and that life experiences mold us into the type of adults we become. Because of this trait in myself, I tend to allow negative behavior into my life without immediately realizing it. I care so much for people and understanding that there is a reason behind their behavior causes some kind of forgiveness in me that allows them to continue with their poor behavior rather than fixing it!! Im frustrated with myself and have currently pulled back from a very kind man with a slew of personal problems that he refuses to address. Ive been dating him over 5 yrs. and despite him saying he was going to do this or that to make his life better, he has not followed thru on any of it. His personal life continues to get worse despite my advice, attempts to help him, or suggestion of seeking counseling
    (he is not a narcissist). I now find myself in a place of hesitancy and caution as far as dating goes! I see my own weakness … and dont want to continue in the same old pattern of my past…but in a sense, I have! SO frustrating!!

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