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My STBX should have worked for Stalin!

R Updated
My stbx has an uncanny ability to re-write history! Her view of our marriage is one of endless misery and bad times and of course, she never loved me! Strange that. I have her cards from when we got engaged. There's declarations of love in them. Why can't people just be honest and admit tat once they did love and fel for you. I don't understand why its all about making me out to be a monster (when I am not). it doesn't make me feel bad as I know the truth of it (from my perspective) but it does make me think of her in a different, more disappointed light. Perhaps I'm being naive. maybe the only way she can justify walking out on her husband and his two children is by painting him as some sort of troll whose escaped the pages of Tolkein. Oh my... I thought I knew her. She's like one of those people possessed. Looks the same but is a different person. Anyway. We start our mediation in a weeks time then it's off to court to do battle. I'm actually so sick and tired of the grief and worry I'm now ready for the heat of combat! With a clear conscience and head held high. My youngest daughter, who started self harming recently has told her mentor at school she thinks the break up is her fault because she was a messy child and my stbx hated that about her. I am supporting her all the way and re-assuring her that's not so (although there is a grain of truth in it). My stbx hated her messy room. She hates anything out of place. If I hoovered and cleaned the house as I always did when she was away she would come home and re-do it all!!! Crazy!

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Run - please excuse me if I am commenting too much, I hope it is relevant and helps you.

Correct Shoes re the tea towel. I can see him in my mind's eye now - he would have been sniffing it loudly, nose wrinkled in disgust, looking at me with a superior sneer - 'please tell me you didn't put these on a quick wash cycle?'. Big resigned sigh and theatrically dropped shoulders.

There were many infidelities during the marriage and he was at his 'worst' to me and our child when he was involved in one of them.

If I had done everything near perfect and faultless (sometimes I actually think I did and I had thought he would be so pleased with me, but no) he would immediately and literally without pausing for breath move the goal posts to a different matter, which could be anything. For example, 'I notice you are nowhere near as prepared as I thought you would be by now for our attendance at xxxx in June and though I really do (heavily accented on the really do) try my best not to mention it it really does annoy me that you are so ....' or 'over the last 6 months we haven't done any where near enough xyz and I want you to give me some timeframes for when EXACTLY that is going to happen.

It drained me - wore me out and kept my nose to the grindstone. The more he demanded, the harder I worked to please him and then the more he demanded. The bar was constantly raised. More was never, ever enough. But that was then ...

I have since had good counselling and that together with a lot of self help (it's amazing how much time there is in the day for ME now !) has given me insights such that I will never be drawn into any similar situation. But, that is my personality and I was in the relationship from a very young age. So, as the alcoholic must avoid drink, I must avoid personalities like my ex getting too close to me. Whether they be friendships or relationships. I am not strong enough in boundary setting to deal with them, though I am getting much better. Funny how these types seem to have an antennae that makes straight for me ! Which reminds me ...

Bonus !!! - I have sorted my friendships out too since my divorce ! They were like a sock drawer - some had holes but were worth keeping, many were chucked cos they were flimsy and only good for the fairest weather when you don't need any. A very few were great keepers, durable all weather types with a lifetime guarantee.


The rewriting of history is fairly common. After all if the leaver doesnt do that, then what does that mean they will need to face about themselves? It is far easier in the short term to avoid the pain and suffering of marital breakdown by convincing themselves that they were made to do the things they did with other people, lie,cheat etc.

Its not a long term solution though. It doesnt work because victims stay angry. Angry with the ex, angry with the world, people like this want to be rescued and see the answer in another relationship because they have accepted no responsbility for what happened in the marriage. The cycle repeats again and again. Its not a life I would choose.

The biggest challenge I faced was ensuring I did not fall into the same trap as my ex. To consider myself a victim of someone else and to feel powerless in my own life. I needed to address why I ended up with someone like that. To accept responsibility for my part in all of this which was ending up with someone capable of behaving like that.

Like Nig I had to face many uncomfortable truths, realising with the benefit of hindsight why I ended up with a man who was only concerned for himself. The passive agressive behaviour that Nig describes is something I can relate to. What I did was never good enough either and I was set up to fail. Because Nig if those tea towels were dry and you had managed to catch that particular ball before it dropped to the ground, he would havr complained that tea towel hadnt been washed right. This is how the passive agressive works. Its difficult when you can really start to see the true dynamics that were at play in the marriage. But I am so pleaed that you have seen these things for what they were. Many never do and carry that projected anger and shame that was cast upon them by the ex for the rest of their days. Being dilligent about sorting through the emotional wreckage my ex left behind has really been for me painful but ultimately liberating.

Over time, I learned to focus not on my ex and his behaviour but on me and the stuff that meant I ended up with someone like that and why I was unable to see the patterns of emotional unavailability, addiction and passive agressive behaviour until he slammed the door shut that one final time and I was left alone to deal with everything he left behind.

But this journey although long and painful has been the making of me.
p.s. after they left he complained over and again that although we'd had lots of sx over Christmas (yes he wanted a performance in that area !), it hadn't been what he would describe as 'good sx'. Due to the fact that I hadn't been as 'active' or 'seductive' and hadn't EVEN taken the time to dress (I meanwhile had made a note to take back the Christmas knickers he had given me as they were obviously faulty with a big hole in the crutch !) (joking - but you get my drift, right?).

No fluffy knickers and knee length boots that year - terrible wife !

Knee length bloomers and fluffy slippers do me these days !

Yours in laughter, Nige.

..It was a complete set up. I realise that now though I didn't at the time. And it hurts. I was so conditioned to attending on his every need, and so gullible I fell into every trap. Still totally trusting and unaware of OW's presence in our life. Still cringe at the thought of that Christmas. Not so much that I did everything, I was well used to that anyway. As was I used to his complaining that none of it was ever good enough. But more so the finding fault with me in front of others truly escalated that year and I think he totally enjoyed it as proof he was 'entitled' to be doing as he was.

Nige (hanging up her skivvying apron once and for all - grin). Best wishes.
Run - commiserations, but you are in company that knows the feelings. Let me distract you with some of my musings !

In retrospect I know, when ex was in midst of his affair, I was often being set up by him.
One example, we had people (friends of parents) to stay for an extended period over Christmas, me in full time job with lots of commuting. It was usual in our relationship for me to do majority of child care, majority of housework, shopping, cooking, cleaning, washing etc. I had decorated house beautifully, as I did every year. During their stay ex inexplicably withdrew even what little but much appreciated (it made all the difference) help he would usually give me, in fact went out of his way to make MORE work for me. I was literally looking after everything on my own in between full time working whilst he was home all day and nearly every day. Me - absolutely exhausted. Meanwhile ex went to great lengths to point out in front of them (with an innocent and long suffering look on his face) where I was failing - i.e fridge was in a jumble (true - with all the extra Christmas food I had stuffed in there in a hurry between getting in from work with the shopping and cooking everyone's tea) - goodness knows when I would ever get around to cleaning and organising that fridge he said. Me - yes I am sorry I have been a bit busy working late etc, I will get to it. Every time he opened the fridge door he commented sarcastically to all that I had not got to it yet. Floor not properly mopped up after pets - me, yes, so sorry I will get there. Ex to guests - there are NO clean towels I'm afraid, it's often like this around here - big sigh and much eye rolling. Me - yes, will get a wash on, so sorry didn't realise clean towels in cupboard were all used (he had engineered this, there had been a pile of them and guests hadn't used them). After me cooking a top notch Christmas dinner, turkey trimmings etc - ex says I'd dry up but there are NO dry tea towels. Me - so sorry, some clean ones are in the dryer they won't be long (by that time of course he had sat down again with guests and TV to play the charming host, all good humour and bon viveur). I did drying up dead on my feet whilst he was calling out 'any tea made, and, that cup of tea's a long time coming, we all gasping etc'. And so it went on. Evenings I was so tired I could barely join in the games etc with any degree of vivacity after getting my little fellow bathed and into bed, though I tried hard enough. This again was pointed out by ex with a loud 'for goodness sake, pay attention, I don't think you are really into this you are mucking it up for everyone else'. By Christmas eve I looked like the housekeeper from hell and no fun whatsoever. Whilst he was as fresh as a daisy, well rested, great fun and up for a game of anything anytime. I had not even had time to wrap the presents - again I had been the one to run round buying them all in the Christmas crowds as well as doing all the food shopping. Ex said to guests, every year I get this situation, no presents wrapped till the last minute (true, if you can call last minute the week before as he did - and he had never helped though he was the one at home and me out earning our daily bread !). Of course all the presents I'd bought were wrong and ill thought out and/or cost too much which made me feel disappointed and down. I realise now that he was having his affair and was setting me up so that when he left others could hopefully spread the word 'well, I'm not surprised ... when we stayed there ... what he had to put up with, the state of that fridge etc ......

They don't even have to tell you they never loved you to justify themselves, i dont knowif its better or worse to be constantly told "i love you but..." And then to be instructed adnauseum why its all your fault it went wrong/ you can't be together/they were forced to cheat and lie.
False accusations are very cruel. Its a common part of the breakup process. My ex did it to me for about a year before I discovered her deceptions. By then she had moved so far into a false reality she started to believe that whatever untruth she spoke was in fact occurring. They know how to get at us and I honestly believe she wanted me to strike out at her. That would have been me handing over power and control to her in some way. The psychology of all this is complex and cruel I think. Some people do loose control. We are only human. Even with shouting and finger pointing and finger jabbing in the ribs I somehow kept my cool. Not easy...
You hit it on the nail when you said she looked the same but was possessed. I think many of us on wiki have said this a time or two. Mine looked possessed.
The leavers all rewrite history - they will not/cannot accept or admit any responsibility - they dont want to look like the bad guys so they come up with reasons.. My ex never complained infact always told me he loved and what a wonderful wife i was? Until he had his " Midlife crisis" and suddenly a female at his place of work was the incentive to find faults & blame me for his sudden unhappiness...Its amazing how once respected people can sink so low when another sex interest is involved..
Patrick is right; they always rewrite rules - it's their way of justifying their own actions, i.e. 'you see! I had to do it! it's because you're this and you're that...'. It's often total nonsense; tiny things that don't really matter get exaggerated to the Nth degree. One of the reasons why my ex left me was that I was too concerned about the environment! (eh?!) Hashtag: nonsense.

As for the cleaning of the house, I got that too. I was often chastised for not doing the hoovering 'properly' (whatever that means). I came to realise that my ex was someone who was generally miserable, and she did whatever she could to externalise it (and put it onto the shoulders of everyone else); her issues were her own.
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