How do I cope with knowing for sure that I made my once loving husband so unhappy that he had an affair with a friend of mine and left me? We divorced 3 years ago. I insisted on going to court because I was so angry and hurt. My lawyer got me the house, 40% of his pension and nine months maintenance. We had no kids.
I was very depressed and also going through menopause. I lost my great high paying job and stayed home. I Gained weight, but worse of all, insisted we try to adopt. He didn’t want kids and during the process he discovered his biological dad was in fact his granddad. Also, I took and used 18k from our joint account, spent it stupidly and lied about it.
Finally he snapped and had rented a house and started an affair. He walked out and put a no contact order in place then moved to the USA. All of his family cut off contact with me including my best friend, who is his sister. He said I was fat lazy and ugly, that I never had sex with him and that he didn’t love me.
So I’m trying to rebuild my life and confidence at age 55 knowing the breakdown was all my fault. I wonder, am I a narcissist or an evil person? He said I was so depressed I was mentally ill. I could have made his leaving easier and been fairer. But I didn’t and I am so lonely and angry, even now and even with counselling. Was it all my fault? How do I ever like myself again? Should I sell the house and give him the money to make up for it?
Please help. I am tortured. ~Debbie from the UK
I understand that you went to counseling. Not all counselors or therapists are the same. It sounds to me like you are rehashing the past over and over and over again and it is making you feel 100% miserable.
You stated, “I wonder, am I a narcissist or an evil person? He said I was so depressed I was mentally ill.” I say NO YOU ARE NOT EVIL!!! You are a beautiful loving human being. If you were evil, you would not be torturing yourself as you are. It was not your job to make your husband happy - it was his. I don’t care how sick, depressed or ugly you were during menopause - IT WAS HIS CHOICE to cheat and had NOTHING to do with you. He could have chosen to continue to love you through your difficult time and he did not.
You asked, “Should I sell the house and give him the money to make up for it?” My first response is a resounding no. However, I do not know all of the details. I would love to chat with you on the phone or Skype (if you are outside of U.S.) We can also discuss how I might be able to help you rebuild your life and find your confidence. You’re only 55, and I’m sure you do not want to live the next 25 or 30 years feeling the way you do now. There is a future for you… You just need to stop looking at the past and look at the future. During the call, we will come up with some easy concrete next steps you can take.
You asked, “How can I ever like myself again?” This is basically a choice you need to make - that you want to like/love yourself. Let me ask you, can you think of five things you like about you? (Even one thing you really like about you is a step in the right direction!)
You state you are tortured. This is because you are focusing on the past and all of the bad that has happened. You are in a vicious never ending whirlwind of regret and are trying to rewrite the past. The stories you are telling yourself continue to torture you, because you do not believe you deserve better - and at some level, probably feel that you need to be punished. This is NOT SO.