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Who am I???

T Updated

I am going through feelings of doubt.

Is Ex a pig (I'm trying to be polite)?

Has my imagination made him out worse than he is?

Am I a bad person because I left him for someone else?

Have I been controlled and manipulated for years or am I imagining it?

Do my kids hate me?

Will my kids accept that I am their mother some day?

Who am I?

I always thought that I was a fairly genuine, friendly, thoughtful, kind sort of girl. I thought that I had friends. Have I changed that much or am I just believing what Ex says?

One day I believe him and accept that he is being fair and doing all he can to promote me to the kids. On those days I think maybe I've got him wrong, maybe he really is the good guy he says he is.

On other days I hate him. I remember the feeling of dread when I knew he was coming home, the trying to get everything right so that he wouldn't get cross, cajoling the kids to be good so he would stay calm. I remember things I found that where never explained, underwear that didn't belong to me, photographs (2 girls he worked with scantily clad!!) he had that there was no reasonable explanation for. I remember catching him with his trousers down (literally) when I was 7 months pregnant with my youngest. Apparently I over reacted because I shouted and it must have been the pregnancy hormones playing up! Funny, I accepted that one. Was this a normal marriage?

In 18 years of marriage I was completely loyal to him then I had too much. I fell in love, cheated and told him I was going.

Am I so wrong, so bad, such an unfit mother? My kids loved me, maybe they still do but they don't accept me the way they did. I have never said anything about why I left their dad other than I wasn't happy.

I feel that I cant do anything right, or say the right thing. How can I explain to them without telling them the whole truth, they are too young.

The one positive is my new partner. I have never regretted him. I do wonder if I was too honest, maybe I should have finished things with Ex and lied about having someone else...but I thought honesty was best.

I have to believe things will work out with the kids otherwise I would go mad but it does hurt that they have set him on a pedestal. I have to count myself lucky too because at least I see them and youngest now stays over with me (not new partner).

I suppose we all need some hope.

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Athene, Sadie & Sheila
Thanks for you thoughts. I have a long way to go with the kids. In fairness youngest seems fine but eldest is difficult, his age doesnt help. I would appreciate any practical advice anyone could give me. I might be doing things right but I'm so unsure of whether I'm doing the right thing.
Take care all
That's what manipulating controling husbands tell you and want you to believe - that you are imagining it.
Oh Tinny, I do feel for you. It is very hard, after you have lived with someone who has manipulated you and put you down for years, to retain your sense of yourself as a good person. I am also finding it hard to come to terms just with the reality of having been manipulated for a long time and the consequent harm to my children.

I am sure your children will come back to you fully in the end; you just have to hang on in there and be consistent and loving. It may even be that they have to put your ex on a pedestal because that is what he demands in return for his love. They can be difficult with you because your love is constant and unwavering, but manipulative people like your ex aren't like that; they expect something in return.

Don't worry about trying to explain to the kids. They don't really need explanations, just the continuation of your love.

Some of this sounds awfully familiar, especially the doubts about "am I a good person?" All I can say is that for me it has improved and things are now much better that before he left. After some edgy months, the kids now, I think, have a better relationship with both of us. It's still hard at time but freedom is definitely worth the cost.