I was with him for 11 years and married for 10. If I had to describe the marriage in a few words it would be, chaotic, turbulent and full of extreme exhaustion. As I reflect back now, it is incredibly difficult to remember good moments, nice times, harmony; it was all a fake world by him and an illusion for me. Now lets get it out right off the bat, the illusion on my part is never indented from a self blame occurrence, it is my sincere belief this “empty, dark, nothingness man” latched on to my spirit and he vacantly floated through the “marriage image” of what I thought was my real life.
I bought into his silent “game show” he built around me called happily ever after “prince charming” is here, and “the prince’ will keep his fake world glued into my reality with intent to have me eat, sleep and breathe his silent wishes no matter what. (Exaggerated talking here, but it is my experience if I was to bleed out from the pain caused by this person right in front of his every eyes – he would lovingly be okay to watch until ever drop was gone and lifelessness was remaining. He is a sick, dark, lost, soul-less person who will sabotage anything in his path.
Life before disease–enter prince charming. I jumped into this relationship right out of a 4 1/2 year relationship with an older, wealthy “alcoholic man”. There is no doubt; work has been to be done to dissect the paths that lead me to this man. In and out of relationships like a game of “hot potato”, looking to save someone else or waiting to be saved with now knowledge ending that wonderful cycle. I really thought I did well this time, changing from the old style kind of man, the dominating, aggressive kind to this sweet, timid, polite, oh so polite British gentleman. He was my prince, my savior. He was so kind, tender, so loving. He enamored everyone in our circles, they thought I was the luckiest woman around.
In their eyes, he treated me like a princess, doting over me….
Hell, a friend even called him, her “hero”. Everyone needs a prince like him – the world echoed around me.
I knew deep inside, as much as I tried to figure it out, to fix the emptiness – something was just off.
My world to this day, everyone who knows is shocked. It is hard for their brains to arrange this information about this noble man to be something he really wasn’t. Of course it is the classic case of everyone thinking the world of this person, the picture presented of the best-est image of all. He did well with his traits that were gleaming so loud, masking the dark within. He is sick yes, but brilliant above all.
So lets get right to it, shall we? In early 2009 my relationship was at the rock bottom. I had had enough of the sabotaging, his low self-esteem, bad choices, never keeping his word, actions never matching what he promised. Fixing so many things, him, two steps from screwing up a job, living in his need for failure and me, not knowing that somehow I was silently being groomed to behave two steps ahead, trying to do the fixing before the house of cards would tumble.
He would lie, use our personal credit cards to pay for business, keep terrible accounting and sometimes putting us more than $10,000.00 in arrears without my even knowing it. There were many persistent complaints of his bad choices, but to a “non-aware” person of boundary violations, it became a circus. Year after year of pleading for responsibility of a non-functioning inept person was exhausting. His shame / blame core fundamentals running the show, playing me like a fiddle with my insecurities of fault / guilt…..It was a vicious cycle headed to this place of utter shock and pain and a re-arranging of my tender spirit.
I had enough; I had a counselor who did telephone counseling. He now was also committed to working in this passive aggressive way to the counseling. Every other week a three way call. He traveled a lot over the years, at most times the schedule was 1 week home 5 weeks away. At first we did a little work with his lying. I’d be the one to be open and kind. What is your untruths today hon? Him: “well I ate a chocolate bar before dinner, but didn’t want to make you mad over the meal you cooked.” kinda shit”. Things were kind of improving so to speak.
Then on a call he admitted to fixing the books at his job. He borrowed money and didn’t communicate about it and or replace it. (Which we had enough in the bank to replace it) on this particular call I was outraged. You cannot do that for the boss you are working for and be considered trustworthy. Not only that, what you really want to understand here is, that risky behavior would and could have cost me (and him – but he doesn’t give a shit about himself anyway) my green card here in the states.
His boss was sponsoring him and here is risky behavior for no reason, except his illness. I was out of my mind as he knew the bottom of this relationship was at it’s max, so the counselor, while on the phone, was straight and let him and myself have it, if you will. She said to husband: “Man, do you understand what you did? Do You realize that there are laws against what you did? You could be arrested for that? YOU OPERATE AS IF THE LAW AND SOCIETY “RULES” DO NOT APPLY TO YOU!”. Then she said, “I need to talk to wife here, but husband you need to hear this. I get you are probably a good person and I care about you, but your wife needs to hear this.” She turns the conversation to me, wife: “You need to understand who you are married to. You are married to a liar and a thief. Good or bad that is who you are married to, period.”
That was so much for me to even handle let alone what came next. This is the statement that shattered my life. She said: “Husband – right here, right now, it’s you and me, pretend wife isn’t here. DO YOU HAVE SOMETHING ELSE YOU NEED TO BE STRAIGHT WITH HERE? WHAT ELSE DO YOU NEED TO TELL US, RIGHT NOW?” IS there anything else? Husband: “YES.” Do you want to tell it now or to wife personally? Him: “Wife, personally” ok – phone hangs up.
Husband turns to me and says: “I have touched your friend while asleep on our couch when she was passed out one night. I am stunned, “What?” I say, him: “I put my finger in her vagina while she was passed out. I also tried to “MAKE AN ATTEMPT ON your sister (more on this at end).” SHOCK – SHOCK – SHOCK overcomes me, I fall to the floor on my knees and start to hyperventilate. I repeatedly say, “I don’t understand, I don’t understand, why would you do that?” Then I ask, “Have you done this to me?” He stops for a brief moment to recall, and then I hear, “YES”.
I ask when? How? What is this? He then states it started in 2004 whenever he was angry at me. He said it was over a 5 year period. Now this is where it gets odd in his storyline about me. He said it was on a few occasions of whenever I had too much to drink, like 5 or 6????. So, I get it that he is into intoxicated women, unconscious. However, his story is off. Later I come to find out he tried it about once a month. I have NO, not ONE memory of this. Someone once stated to me, “You were that drunk you don’t know a finger was in your vagina?” Well, after much learning, especially about the preoccupation of this disease and how someone can spend hours in their heads, it is my true belief he spent hours trying, while waiting for me to be in a deep state of sleep.
He told me of the ritual. Of placing his hand on my thigh, waiting for his hand temperature to warm to my body temperature etc. He said most times, I would push his hand away. Again, no memory. I know that with this disease the truth rarely ever gets known when dealing with an ill mind. Maybe he used a drug, I will never fully know – I accept and move on.
Back to on the floor with world turned upside down.
The next 10 months were unbearable. My rock bottom: sitting in a house, knowing the floor has been removed, stuck in a country I cannot leave to see family, my sister is the only one living close to me, and his “attempt” to claim her as a victim was too overwhelming for me to even see her. I was in shock trauma of realizing I was a victim of his.
The worst part of all for me was that, aside from it all, my security was at risk. One: if he loses his job, forget about sponsorship, and Two – you cannot have a green card with a criminal record. There was little income after paying down the thousands of dollars of debt. He was going to 7 meetings and CSAT therapist 2 x a week for 8 months. Debt went from zero in my name to thousands, thousands as he worked at recovery.
This REALLY didn’t serve me well. I wasn’t at the state to even consider how to deal with the friend that was also his victim. The next months were brutal. The good part was he when away for work So, I went straight to a therapist. For me at the moment in time, it was a “forced” let go about country security, let go about husband and marriage, (stay or go) and ALL about “Holy shit brown cow, how the hell did I create this in my life?”
I lived with daily panic attacks thinking immigration or the police would knock on my door at any moment. Within the first week I locked myself in my room, and read Codependent No More, Out of the Shadows, Mending a Shattered Heart, and every book I could get my hands on. I had panic attacks reading about the signs and traits. I would see the therapist thinking he fit every characteristic of a child molester, like he was right out of a textbook. I would have conversations with him, in fear; there was no doubt, I was in worst-case scenarios. I do not have any reason to suspect that he is a child molester and one day his therapist said in his training he doesn’t believe that he was. If he did think he was a child molester he would report it. So, I needed to let that exaggerated fear go. I did.
I basically isolated myself, I couldn’t really share this and I picked very few individuals to talk with, mostly just my therapist knew. I stayed in everyday, I didn’t have papers to work, nor could I in that emotional state. If I ran into anyone and they would ask “How is your husband?” They might as well have taken a knife and driven it right through me. I couldn’t handle that part so I didn’t place myself in a position to be asked those questions.
I was all about self-protection until I could feel okay again. He came back as the process for a green card kept him in the country and he couldn’t travel for his job. Also in my need to do self-care and self-discovery I went and took the course Breakthrough at Caron, less than a month after discovery. I was driven to get to the cause of my life ending up in this harsh reality.
It was pinnacle in my healing journey. I lived the belief that he is an ill man trying to get well, not a sick man trying to get better. For four months we lived together in a small one bedroom place. I even allowed him to share the bed. In my discussions with therapist, it wasn’t about punishment, and at that time I was also being the one, managing again, the limit to which it impacted us financially. So in the beginning it was very difficult but great training for me in some of the codependency tendencies. Plus, all the other fears, the demise of marriage, while in the residency process. Ugh it was a tough one people.
I know this is a long story. After 4 months of my choices no matter how empowering I could make, given the circumstances I found myself dealing with, I finally kicked him out.
Two things had happened. One: I became aware of how in the middle of the night I would roll over, the covers would come off and I would frantically replace them. I was starting to find self-awareness and to see the damage that no longer worked for me in my adjusting phases. Two: while I was watching a show he came into the room and there was a sex scene on the show. He didn’t stay and watch, but two weeks later he came to discuss something with me. His delivery was: “I know this will make you upset, and I know I’m fearing being rejected – but……..I would like to have sex with you and I am afraid you will say no.”
WTF! I was floored. Then I proceeded with: “How is that ok with you to say those things, do you know how insensitive that is – given what you have done to me? The nerve he had to say what came next: “Well, you have been walking around here giving me signals, gallivanting your body around!” That was it for me: I said, “You do not get to withhold for two weeks the right for me, MY right to cover my body in this small one bedroom apartment. I spoke to you about your triggers and what was appropriate.” Believe me when I say, I was not gallivanting; a person whom has been sexually violated in what is defined as rape doesn’t do that sort of thing. Hmmmm, not that there is anything to defend on my part.
That night I gave him until Sunday to leave and wrote a declaration and read it to my therapist the next day.
Fast forwarding, it took a long time to get my sense of self back, learn the behaviors that lead me on my personal journey to the kind of men I choose, to the ways in which I reacted to life, how my family of origin played a role in the choices I made along the way. I altered my way of being, changed my ways and vibrations in which I resonate in the universe. I can look back and see the outlines that were not healthy. I will never tweak a box for myself in the label of “codependent” and I will never allow myself to be the label of co-addict, as if I was a “fault based participant” in his behaviors of silent destruction.
I will say there was a “functioning defect” in my upbringing that didn’t allow me to understand the rights of boundaries; my right to know that I can implement personal boundary “allowances” so to speak. Truly, it is crazy for me to think that I tolerated boundary violations when I didn’t know I had a right to them in the first place. I come from the belief system of this: I was never, and could have never known what was the silent destructive pattern at the core of my diseased husband and marriage, I wasn’t equipped, informed to know how to “know the red flags” of this powerful dysfunction.
What I know is true for me is: growing up I became the fixer, the fixer out of sheer terror if I didn’t fix everything / everyone on the outside around me I couldn’t feel safe on the inside. Call this a co-dependency tendency of control all you want, but it’s background is from sheer terror. It’s not right, and this is not okay for a personal trait to make it acceptable to have someone abuse another human being in his or her illness. I understand the context of “co-addict” however, this would mean I knew something about this silent destructive way in my marriage and I was a participant.
Now, in addiction, especially this addiction, a Sex Addict typically utilizes their abilities to project blame to the tenth degree to justify their behavior. I get it, I was oxygen to his fire, the operative word being his – NOT mine. And I get it, putty in his hands I was. That is what any caring victim is to their predator / violator. The predator is fully aware and engaging in grooming behaviors and abilities, stealing spirit and harming the innocent. And I use innocent in the context of “not knowing” what was at the core.
Just before the Divorce was final my sister was able to share her story of the “actual” violation she awoke to on that night at our apartment. While I was asleep in the other room, he not only attempted like he stated, he succeeded, as she awoke to his finger in her vagina. Stunned and in disbelief, she tried to silently fend him off as he made three other unsuccessful attempts. She kept this secret for various reasons for over 2 years. What was ironic about her attempt to protect me, and her love for me, is when I found out about the attempt on her, I was afraid of hurting her if I shared. Well it was just too overwhelming. All from love, what if I implanted something that was not so and it damaged her more – it was a difficult time.
We are healing and with my signing the divorce I lovingly give up the right to charge him for what he has done. I am healed and have moved on from that trauma done to me. I fully support my sister’s right to prosecute him should she choose. She is in therapy and working through her process, she has two years to decide what should be her path. As for my friend, I am not yet strong enough to confront her with that and hopefully with guided therapy that will be handled with dignity and honor.
Now what I think about him, is he a classic textbook Sex Addict? I am not so sure since there hasn’t been with his program any resemblance of accountability or displays of remorse. I believe he is a lost soul without a conscience. Or he could be a sociopath or a narcissist with predator sexual compulsions. I do not know, nor do I care. All I know is he is a slippery, ill man incapable of having self-responsibility and accountability. Because of who he is it still impacts and unfortunately plays a role in my life from now on.
There are still, financial ties to clean up by sheer association. I march on. Divorce, and the system of a no fault state, did not serve my needs and me very well. Yet I march on. My security is still intact, my spirit healthy and in full bloom. And legally I am no longer attached to this toxic person. My post trauma is manageable and healing goes forward daily.
I am willing to own what there is of mine to own.
I am not willing to own his – I pass the shame torch over for his ownership of his/this disease and acting out, the sex addictive behaviors and violations.
I am unwilling to settle for anything less than an extraordinary life, full of healthy, happy relationships of equal and honorable love.
Today, everyday there after……….I choose me!
Thank you for letting me share my story.