Lovefraud received the following letter from a reader who posts as “WalkingInLight.” Read Part 1 here.
Towards the end of our separation a man rang me from S’s church to see if he could help S and I get back together. He told me he had spoken to S and was now speaking to me to see if he could help. I told him I still loved S but really believed he did not love me. This man said he would talk to S the next time he saw him.
Now I have to say that I had not been going to this man’s church for a couple of years because the teaching had taken a ‘strange turn,’ so I was at a different church to my husband. Even though my husband agreed about the teaching, he said he couldn’t leave that church because he respected the leadership and felt loyal to them. As soon as this man told me he was going to speak to S the next time he saw him I KNEW that S would leave that church (so that conversation wouldn’t happen) – and that is exactly what happened. Though S always tells people he left due to the teaching.
I could handle it
But once again, I started to forget all the unpleasantness, and wanted him back again (this sounds mad I know). But i felt that after not knowing what was going on in my marriage for the first 12 years, now that I did know I could handle it. I also found out he was planning to move back to his home country (which he denied) and I knew if he went the girls wouldn’t see him again.
He had up to that point made sure to see them loads and never messed them around, in fact, his relationship with them had never been so good. I went to see him and said I wanted to give it another try. He said he would do it for the sake of the children, but he was moving back home (as I knew) and we would be living there.
He also said I had to cut all ties with my friend. This I agreed to first of all, then said no I wouldn’t do that. He said I shouldn’t go back on my word and tried to bully me in to agreeing.
We spent that Christmas together in the house I was in with the kids. It was odd. He was on his phone texting most of the time, even though he’d said he loved me and wanted the marriage to work, not just for the sake of the children.
Moved to his country
We finally moved. My parents were devastated, because they used to see us all the time, but I was convinced they would come and live with us at some point. We moved to a VERY remote place, for a while I liked it. But after 2 years I realized I didn’t. I was so homesick. I asked him to go back. I begged him to go back. He said, “You can go back if you want.” Even though his family were an hour and half away we very rarely saw them.
His behaviour got a bit better over the years. He seemed less angry in general, but would still react if he felt “threatened” (asking something of him, etc.). He very rarely punched or kicked anything. He stopped smoking drugs. He became more huggy. But the cycle was still there.
He was still saying I was mental and a liar. I BEGGED him to stop saying these things and I really wanted him to admit I was not mental, even though he’d said it to me so much I used to ask my friend, “Am I mental?” She used to say to me, “It worries me that you have to even ask that.” I realized now his games and his countering, denying etc., but it still hurt.
Wanted a son
He wanted a son. I wasn’t sure, because I was 38 years old. He put a picture on my screen saver of a pregnant tummy with a little foot sticking out. I thought it was quiet sweet. I did get pregnant. Then I remembered that he’d always had this fascination with the Bible story of Jacob (I think) who put his sheep in front of the speckled sticks to make them spotty (I think that’s right). He believed in this principle. I asked him if he’d done that with the picture of the pregnant tummy on my screen saver, he just laughed.
We had a son. I had to stay in hospital for a week in the city where his parents lived. He barely came to see me for an hour a day, and because this hospital was so far from our home hardly anyone came to see me. He told me he was looking after the girls at his parents. I later found out he was just out visiting friends.
Awhile after he went to a school reunion, when I saw photos of him on facebook with his old friends I had to do a double take. He was really laughing, relaxed and looked totally different. He looked like a stranger to me; he never looked like that around us.
I was really worried about having a son because I didn’t want him to be like S. I knew S would influence him. S had always had this love of boxing, but I had said if we have a son I don’t want him to do boxing. So one night when our son was about 3, S says he is going to help out at the boxing club. I spoke to him and reminded him how I felt about it. He said it wouldn’t affect our son M.
But I knew he would influence him and before you know it M would be boxing. He would make M want to do it. I was so upset. This didn’t just affect me now; this affected my children.
I very calmly tried to talk to him about it, but he used all the usual tricks of diversion, twisting to tie me up in knots. I kept thinking of different ways of saying what I felt, hoping he would understand me this time. But I’d fallen back into the trap of thinking we were having a relationship built on mutuality, where people want to understand each other and sort the problem out. I eventually reminded him of the verse about not doing something you want to do if you know someone else will be upset by it, because then you are not “acting in love.” I really thought he would see my point, but no, he accused me of “manipulating scripture.” I eventually went to see our pastor about the boxing situation. I also told him about our marriage.
Around this time we had more counseling. I totally opened up about how I really felt in our relationship. I told him I felt totally rejected. He said he would do anything to make me feel secure. A few weeks later we went on a family outing with his parents and brother, sister-in-law and kids. Ten minutes into the walk I turn around from looking at something with the children and he was nowhere to be seen. He’d walked off with his parent.
I spent the rest of the time (at the zoo) walking round without him.
When we met up at the end he said he couldn’t find me. It was a circular walk, which we’d done many times before, but all of a sudden it was too complicated for him to work out where I was. When we got back I told him I couldn’t believe he’d done that after I told him how rejected I felt. He refused to understand or apologize for how that made me feel. I could not move passed this, not after all I’d told him. I needed him to acknowledge it.
I kept trying a couple of times a week to say it in a different way, so the the penny would finally drop and he would see my pain. This went on for 6 months. I was the lowest I’ve ever felt; I wanted to die. After 6 months he said if it means so much to you I’m sorry.
More recently he was checking out a beautiful young lady waiting by the school gates with us, really staring at her, right in front of me! I was devastated and embarrassed; we live in a very small community and people must have seen him doing it. I challenged him about it when we got home and of course he denied it. I went to our pastor again. When I got back S said to me that he DIDN’T look at THAT woman but he has been looking at a lot of women and it’s become a habit and he’d been watching a lot of porn as well.
If you met my husband you would think, “What a lovely, intelligent, helpful guy.” He is involved in a lot of community work and has run for local council, representing his political party. In fact, he took a personality test the other day and told us it came back as “amiable,” which he even laughed at. My eldest daughter (who sees what is going on) said, “well you are … to other people.”
I am going to finish now. Just to say, I thought about a year ago, if I just accepted this as “It is what it is,” and know that he reacts in this way in certain situations (most of which I go out of my way to avoid), I can get on with it.
But there is no intimacy. There is no trust, so many times he uses things I have told him in my weaker moments against me. In times when everything is “ok,” which are quite a lot of the time, I feel nothing for him. We don’t really have a relationship. It is not that I haven’t forgiven him; it is that I can’t trust him.
I know everything may look o.k. on the surface, but that surface only needs to be “scratched” and all this nastiness will spew out.
Something came up the other day. He abused me in front of his brother. (He always does this in front of his family, unless I remind him not to do it before we go. Then he will say “I never do that,” but at least he wont do it.) I spoke to him about it and he said all the usual things to me: “ I am spoilt,” “never take responsibility for my actions,” “never apologize,” “I’m a liar,” etc.
I said to him, you called me a “fat bitch” on Monday and you only just said sorry for that now and it’s Sunday night. And that’s because I said I wanted to talk things over with you. I think if anyone has a lack of responsibility that would be you. I thought to myself, this person DOES NOT KNOW ME AT ALL, AND DOES NOT WANT TO GET TO KNOW ME.
Doesn’t want to change
He wants to stay in his perception of who I am so he doesn’t have to change his behaviour. I have tried in the past to live my own life while living with him but it is very depressing and lonely (more lonely than being alone) and so I fall back into a “relationship” with him.
I am truly at a loss about what to do. I really don’t want to upset my kids, my youngest two would be very upset if the family were to break up. I also don’t know if I’m strong enough to do it either, or whether I’m too old at 44 to start again. Any thought on this would be very helpful.
I apologize again for the length and I thank you if you have managed to read all this.