Calm times

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losingmyself

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Calm times
« on: January 23, 2020, 06:18:13 PM »
I have been posting a lot here, and I feel so comforted being able to talk to you all. I was so sad, and frankly, just waiting for things to get worse, so I could feel justified in leaving.  Like my being unhappy, and my kids being unhappy, and not being able to be around him for 10 years wasn't enough justification to leave.
Like now. Things have been normal. Calm.
And I almost feel guilty for the things I said here. Not that they're not true. When he acts nice it's almost like I, what? miss it? I wish he would go back to being an asshole so I could hate him, or feel like he deserves it.
What the hell is wrong with me? Have I become so accustomed to his behavior that this is normal?  I think when he acts nice, I feel trapped. Like I can't leave now, it wouldn't be fair to kick him out when he's perfectly nice. And my brain says "How about this. You are choosing him over your daughter." Because I can't have a normal relationship with her if I'm married to him. It has always been like this, and it's because I chose to stay with him.
Does anybody understand? I know I'm rambling, because I can't define how I'm feeling. I just don't like it.

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ICantThinkOfAName

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Re: Calm times
« Reply #1 on: January 23, 2020, 07:01:03 PM »
Oh I totally get it.  This for sure is what keeps me sucked in.  He can be nice and considerate and I feel guilty just thinking of lowering the boom and how devastated he'll be.  I can see the look on his face and the crushed blow to his ego.  That would be hurtful and mean right?  Yeah it's so much easier when they are not being nice.  But even when he is being nice, I'm still on guard because that's usually when the bad blow ups happen.  I am lulled into that comfort and think oh it's over, I can relax.  No way.  In a way I have to think even when he is being nice he has an agenda.  Usually it's to keep you sucked in cause they feel guilty(maybe) about how they have been behaving. 

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BeautifulCrazy

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Re: Calm times
« Reply #2 on: January 23, 2020, 07:21:40 PM »
Sigh. Losingmyself, I know exactly what you are talking about. I can't describe it either. But it's yucky.
I have been taking small but concrete steps toward leaving every day for nearly a week. For days PDh has been calm, almost like a normal husband / father. Today PDh came home from work smiling and sweet, brought me a coffee, and even expressed physical affection by patting my shoulder. (Does he know? Does he sense my withdrawal?)
Now I'm a wreck. (On the inside)
The past few hours have been spent second guessing myself, almost beating myself up, wondering what the bleep I am doing and why? WHY?!
Also, Why?! Why should I be second guessing myself?! Questioning myself?! This man makes me miserable. On purpose. He is never ever going to be the person he once pretended. He is never going to be the man my children deserve or even close to what they need. He is never going to value me or treat me as an equal (for more than a few minutes at a time). He is never going to give me the intimacy or support I crave and deserve. So why do I feel conflicted at all? I think it is a bit like you say...
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I think when he acts nice, I feel trapped. Like I can't leave now, it wouldn't be fair
Although that isn't nearly all of it...
And even this nice period. It's dangerous. I'm on eggshells. Hypervigilant. I know it could turn ugly in a flash and it probably will. But he is so nice right now... am I just being negative and a jerk (like he says) because of what happened before? Is it really EVERY time? Maybe this is going to last?
And you say:
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Like my being unhappy, and my kids being unhappy, and not being able to be around him for ... years wasn't enough justification to leave.
Seriously!! Reasons to leave are not in short supply. But there is so much inside me that makes it difficult, which makes me feel stupid and weak and screwed up. And I know once he finds out, he is going to make it as difficult as possible which is painful and really scary and screwed up too.
Ugh.
If only I could teleport out of here.
You have my sympathy losingmyself.
I'm sorry, I didn't do all that well capturing things and I digressed a bit, but I appreciate you trying to put words to this very much. It always feels better and stronger not to be the only one in a particular struggle.

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losingmyself

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Re: Calm times
« Reply #3 on: January 23, 2020, 07:49:03 PM »
I think that we have learned to be happy with so very little that a little affection, a smile, a not negative comment just throws us off and makes us doubt ourselves, and our actual reality. We've been gaslighted for so long, we don't believe ourselves. That's why it's important to journal.  So we can read reality. Those things we wrote down happened, and we were right, we did feel that way.
My problem is that going in, reading that stuff, hurts so very much. I have a really hard time re-living it.  But it's the truth that they try to get us to forget every time they're nice to us.
We deserve better. We do deserve a life that's happy and fulfilling.
It's easy to say, but I have a hard time believing it about myself. And doing anything about it.  I hope we can bring strength to each other as we go through this.  Just knowing someone else understands helps so much

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eyesopen

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Re: Calm times
« Reply #4 on: January 23, 2020, 07:54:40 PM »
This reminds me of a post on chumplady.com that I read yesterday on Nice versus Kind.  The site is for people whose spouse/SO has cheated on them, but I think this particular post could be applied to PDs as well.

The gist of it was that "nice" is just an outward act and not an indication of someone's true character.  Even the most evil, manipulative, selfish person can act nice to get what they want.  They often do so as a form of impression management or manipulation.  Quoting from the post about nice, "Itís pleasantry without substance. Itís all cherry and no sundae. Frankly, itís a mindfuck."

Contrast that to kindness which is not just an act, but an expression of someone's character shown by their actions and not their words.  Again, quoting from the post about kindness, "Kindness isnít impression management. Itís about empathy. You have to be somewhat selfless to be kind. Kindness responds to people in need. A kind word. An act of kindness. You have to be outwardly focused and connected to others to be kind. Any idiot can do nice. Sustaining it when things get hard is kindness."

When people are just acting nice, they don't show real empathy.  They don't show real remorse for previous wrongs.  They may give a nice sounding "I'm sorry," but it will be of little substance and not result in any real changes in behavior to prevent the wrong from reoccurring.

To people who are trusting (a good attribute to have when dealing with most people, just not cheaters/PDs/liars/etc.), the niceness begins to make you question whether all the previous problems were really that bad.  "They're being so nice now!  Maybe things can be good between us because they're so nice."  But no one who lacks inner kindness and is just putting up the facade of nice can maintain it forever.  Eventually their true colors will show again and you'll be reminded of who they really are.

Trust who they are by their consistency of actions over time.  Often times "nice" is just a manipulation tactic to avoid consequences or to make themselves look good and you look bad.  It's so you'll forget that awful thing they said or did last week.  It's so others will think, "Wow, he's such a nice guy.  Too bad he's stuck with such a negative person."  When in reality, they have no idea what's really going on and how much the "nice" person is manipulating and fooling everyone.

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eyesopen

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Re: Calm times
« Reply #5 on: January 23, 2020, 08:20:53 PM »
Usually it's to keep you sucked in cause they feel guilty(maybe) about how they have been behaving.
I agree that it's to keep you sucked in, but I disagree about their feeling guilty (most of the time).  I think it's more frequently because they want to avoid consequences for how they've been behaving.

In the PD's (possibly subconscious) mind: "Consequences for bad behavior?  No, I'll just be nice for a few days to screw with their head until they forget."

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NumbLotus

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Re: Calm times
« Reply #6 on: January 23, 2020, 09:51:14 PM »
I knew that if I were to leave, I'd have to get my ducks in a row and accept that there would be calm times. If I felt less motivated during those times, that would be okay, but I have already accepted in my heart that things will not change for the better - there is no hope.

But I knew that I would have to have it together and wait to pull the trigger during a not good time.
Just a castaway, an island lost at sea
Another lonely day, noone here but me
More loneliness than any man could bear

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athene1399

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Re: Calm times
« Reply #7 on: January 24, 2020, 10:25:15 AM »
When I was with my uPDex, this happened as well. It's like he felt me slipping away so tried his best to act changed so I would feel bad or guilty for wanting to leave and stay with him. I think it's called the cycle of abuse.

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losingmyself

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Re: Calm times
« Reply #8 on: January 24, 2020, 12:22:48 PM »
Thanks for the nice words, I will read and re-read these posts. Just not at home.
This morning I was reading this thread, and H got up and surprised me. I didn't know what to do, and was suspicious about what I was reading, and wanted to know. I said it was personal and embarrassing.  He kept on it, I tried telling him that a human being is entitled to personal, private stuff.  He did not agree. Anything that I might not want him to see is lying and hiding things. He was so angry. I heard about all the ways I treat him like shit, and I'm just a terrible person. Finally I made something up just to shut him up. He seemed to calm down and now is back to being nice again which is exactly how you described it.icanthink.. he's being 'nice'. He doesn't know how to be kind. I am kind. I'm not perfect, but I acknowledge my mistakes,  apologize for them, and don't do that thing again. "The only real apology is changed behavior. "

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ICantThinkOfAName

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Re: Calm times
« Reply #9 on: January 24, 2020, 01:10:07 PM »
LosingmyselfÖ this is very very true.  The only real apology is changed behavior.  This is something I need to tattoo on his forehead.  I'll forget that he apologized and promised to change and then a few weeks later we are back to square one with me forgetting that he promised not to do xyz. 

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losingmyself

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Re: Calm times
« Reply #10 on: January 24, 2020, 05:57:19 PM »
He's still mad.  I had my cancer treatment this morning, and I was up going to the bathroom, didn't see a text from him for 7 WHOLE MINUTES and that was a reason for him to act like a dick when he came to see me at lunchtime.
See? Now that he's mad again, I would give anything to have him not be. I'm just going to shut off and not give him any supply.
I know it's because I'm afraid of having that conversation, and like always, I just want to smooth everything over and go on with life.  I'm just so scared of everything confrontational.
My sister was there today, and she commented that I must have gone through so much with my first H. I clammed up but thought "you have no idea what I have gone through with this one"

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Fortuna

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Re: Calm times
« Reply #11 on: February 02, 2020, 08:40:38 PM »
There is absolutely nothing wrong with you. In a normal relationship when things are calm you can expect more of the same and maybe that both of you have learned how to better communicate with one another and change your behavior. But this is not a normal relationship. In this relationship the calm is the calm before the storm, not the calm of living a good life. But we all want a normal relationship and so those calm times, they can fool our hearts and sometimes our heads into thinking this is the normal.
I recently went no contact with my mother. I waited until I was not angry, until I knew it was the right decision, but that meant it was in the middle of a calm period. It felt so odd and I'm still dealing with the emotions of it. It's not something that's that's wrong with you, It's the relationship.

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clara

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Re: Calm times
« Reply #12 on: February 03, 2020, 11:13:59 AM »
 :yeahthat:  This isn't true "calm."  This is what passes for calm in a relationship with a PD.  The eye of the hurricane may bring a few moments of "calm" but the hurricane is still all around you. 

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SparkStillLit

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Re: Calm times
« Reply #13 on: February 03, 2020, 04:46:37 PM »
I just said that in therapy today! She asked me how I felt during the calm (updh is withdrawn and essentially ignoring me) and I said "that's not calm. That's just waiting for the other shoe to drop."