How do you deal with the guilt?

  • 19 Replies
  • 823 Views
*

11JB68

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • 1980
How do you deal with the guilt?
« on: July 06, 2020, 08:47:25 PM »
I'm getting closer and closer to leaving.
I have several concerns.
One being, I do care about uocpdh, and I do love him.
I do not want to hurt him.
I believe he will be mentally devastated.
How do I handle this?
And how do prepare DS22... I wonder if he'll feel some responsibility to be supportive to his dad emotionally...
And what if uocpdh really does, God forbid, commit suicide?? What then?

*

pushit

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • 353
Re: How do you deal with the guilt?
« Reply #1 on: July 06, 2020, 10:59:11 PM »
My lawyer said something near the beginning of my divorce that will always stick with me.  I was telling him how I actually feel really sorry for my exPDw because I know that every relationship she's had has ended up with the person leaving her, and she just can't figure out how to treat people well and keep them around.

His response: Feeling empathy is a good thing, but protect yourself first.

*

Poison Ivy

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • 1368
Re: How do you deal with the guilt?
« Reply #2 on: July 07, 2020, 12:47:39 AM »
It's easier for me to handle guilty feelings in a situation when I understand and accept the limits of my control. My ex's feelings and behavior are under his control, not mine. I can't make him feel, think, and do things he doesn't want to do. I think the same is true for you and your husband. It seems clear to me from things you've said here that the holes in your marriage and in your husband's existence are not things you have the power to fill.

Although guilt is relatively easy for me to handle, it was harder to accept that there are people, like my ex, who don't care enough about me to want to change for me.


*

SeaGlass

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • 178
Re: How do you deal with the guilt?
« Reply #3 on: July 07, 2020, 03:57:44 AM »
I understand and wish I had the right words. After everything my soon to be ex has done to me and my children, and continues to do,  I still love him and feel badly for him. I think a lot of these feelings might be due to trauma bonding and codependency. We need to save ourselves and our children. I have young adult children, and am going through the same thing. Wishing you strength, and know that you are not alone.  :grouphug:

*

JustKeepTrying

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • 256
Re: How do you deal with the guilt?
« Reply #4 on: July 12, 2020, 04:17:10 AM »
On a practical note, the guilt eats at me daily.  Its the catholic girl in me.  So sometimes I journal and reread the entrees to remind of the bad.  I go  on this forum and read posts and reinforce that leaving was the right thing.

I miss his companionship but those moments were fleeting and far between.  It was like he would wake up from a nightmare and there would be this normal person having a normal conversation.  He would thing back to sleep and it would be gone.  Fleeting and far between.

I also have written on a sticky note on my cupboards and mirrors - I can't control or cure it.  Only myself.

*

SonofThunder

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • 1119
Re: How do you deal with the guilt?
« Reply #5 on: July 12, 2020, 09:32:29 AM »
I'm getting closer and closer to leaving.
I have several concerns.
One being, I do care about uocpdh, and I do love him.
I do not want to hurt him.
I believe he will be mentally devastated.
How do I handle this?
And how do prepare DS22... I wonder if he'll feel some responsibility to be supportive to his dad emotionally...
And what if uocpdh really does, God forbid, commit suicide?? What then?

I recently, upon having discussions with 2 people, started to write a Concerns/Truth list out both for myself and my opinions toward mu uPDw in a divorce.  Its similar to a pros/cons but not addressing benefits and drawbacks for myself or her (may do that one soon)

It was a very helpful practice. 

For example:

Concern:  My uPDw will be lonely until she finds a new target-companion
Truth:
-My uPDw has a large handful of lady friends and she could truthfully get together with 1 per day each week and then gather as a group periodically
-My uPDw can increase her dog rescue volunteer time from 1day, to 5 days a week.  She has many friends there. 
-My uPDw can (once covid restrictions let up), go back to teaching preschool 4 days a week
-My uPDw can invite over, or visit our adult children.

After putting all these C’s and T’s down in a list, i realized most of my concerns were care-taker type concerns and were unfounded.   I want to suggest you break down the word mentally-devastated, into specific concerns and consider each one.  You will probably find they are each out of your control, the 3 c’s rule applies, and that he has other people in his life (or quickly will) upon your departure.   My personal opinion is that my uPDw will continue to play both the victim AND the victor upon my departure, and that requires an audience.  So therefore, she cannot show mentally devastated, and will turn ‘victim’ into a smear campaign and anger, and ‘victor’ into “im better without him” and “im a stronger woman because of it” and “im going to milk all of his assets dry”. 

Not my circus. 

SoT

Proverbs 17:1
A meal of bread and water in contented peace is better than a banquet spiced with quarrels.

2 Timothy 1:7
For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.

*

11JB68

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • 1980
Re: How do you deal with the guilt?
« Reply #6 on: July 12, 2020, 11:09:49 AM »
SOT you always have valuable advice, thank you.
My iocpdh is an introvert and a home body. He had never made much effort with friends (it's been my job to reach out to them, set up get togethers), he has alienated himself from his sister and from his former best friend. His mom is deceased, his dad is likely also a pd. He has commented in the past many times that myself and ds are all he has and all he cares about. This all puts a lot of responsibility on me.

*

CagedBirdSinging

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • 212
Re: How do you deal with the guilt?
« Reply #7 on: July 12, 2020, 11:29:58 AM »
11JB68 I don't really have anything to add, just to say I am in exactly the same position. So close to leaving, but so terrified. I also feel guilty, don't want to cause pain (even though this person has caused me a world of pain), and am aware that suicide is a very real threat. All I can say is to contact a suicide helpline if you ever feel that the threat is real. Don't carry the burden alone. Reach out for help.
Wishing you luck. Stay strong x

*

11JB68

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • 1980
Re: How do you deal with the guilt?
« Reply #8 on: July 12, 2020, 11:42:53 AM »
Caged bird, thank you.
The last time he made a comment about suicide I later confided in two friends. One has a daughter with an addiction and possible pd who has made similar threats. Both friends feel this was a manipulation vs a true intention. I mentioned to my friend that I'll go stay with that if I leave unannounced I thought I might need to send his friend to go check on him or the police. She said just send the police. Idk if she knows something I don't about the friend (maybe he's not sympathetic to uocpdh?)

*

Poison Ivy

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • 1368
Re: How do you deal with the guilt?
« Reply #9 on: July 12, 2020, 12:06:47 PM »
Staying in a bad situation because of feelings of guilt about leaving might be easier than leaving the bad situation and acknowledging one's own responsibility for getting into and staying in the situation. That certainly was true for me.

*

Bowsy26

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • 140
Re: How do you deal with the guilt?
« Reply #10 on: July 12, 2020, 05:47:48 PM »
I mentioned to my friend that I'll go stay with that if I leave unannounced I thought I might need to send his friend to go check on him or the police. She said just send the police.

In my area, it is always recommended to call 911 to deal with it.  They are trained in those situations and having someone happen into an actual suicide situation could have negative results for the PD. 

Second, if the suicide threat is a manipulation, putting the ball in the PDs court forces them to deal with their fake cries for help.  Having the ambulance and police show up a couple times gives them actual consequences for their behavior.  You have to consistently do that every time they claim they might commit suicide.  And if it ever is a real attempt, the right people will be there to help them. 


*

Jsinjin

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • 509
Re: How do you deal with the guilt?
« Reply #11 on: July 12, 2020, 06:06:45 PM »


Second, if the suicide threat is a manipulation, putting the ball in the PDs court forces them to deal with their fake cries for help.  Having the ambulance and police show up a couple times gives them actual consequences for their behavior.  You have to consistently do that every time they claim they might commit suicide.  And if it ever is a real attempt, the right people will be there to help them.

I have learned from friends that when you have someone using suicide as a manipulation or when they are actually suicidal, a wellness check called is the best way to deal with it.   There are two reasons:. 1) if you are being manipulated it puts a stop to it and 2) if they need genuine help, unless you are a trained counselor for dealing with suicidal ideation, you shouldn't be the one trying to help them through the problem.   

If it is manipulation, standing your ground on this one is an absolute for getting OOTF.
It is unwise to seek prominence in a field whose routine chores you do not enjoy.

-Wolfgang Pauli

*

Poison Ivy

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • 1368
Re: How do you deal with the guilt?
« Reply #12 on: July 12, 2020, 06:21:06 PM »
 :yeahthat:

*

Rose1

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • 1138
Re: How do you deal with the guilt?
« Reply #13 on: July 13, 2020, 12:00:55 AM »
Reality is once you go through the divorce process with a pd and put up with all the stuff that comes with it, the guilt goes away

*

CoconutManna

  • New Member
  • *
  • 3
Re: How do you deal with the guilt?
« Reply #14 on: July 13, 2020, 01:23:13 AM »
You can't light yourself on fire to keep someone else warm.

*

pushit

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • 353
Re: How do you deal with the guilt?
« Reply #15 on: July 13, 2020, 02:23:48 AM »
Reality is once you go through the divorce process with a pd and put up with all the stuff that comes with it, the guilt goes away

Rose1 hit it out of the park.  Live your own life, hand their problems back to them, and the guilt will eventually fade away.

*

not broken

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • 83
Re: How do you deal with the guilt?
« Reply #16 on: July 13, 2020, 02:39:31 AM »
I try to think, "how does this (insert feeling here) serve me?"  For example, my anger helped me stick to my boundaries. Recently, I have figured out that my guilt is related to not wanting to feel "weak", something that I hated as a child.  My parents divorced when I was young and my FOO is a covert NPDand my mom is emotionally unavailable. It feels weak to me when I let my guard down to be sad about what I didn't have emotionally, or what I don't have now. I literally made the connection four days ago that being in this abusive relationship makes me feel weak, and I am pretty sure it's why I have accepted blame for years and/or denied, bargained, avoided reality for so long. Everyone has always said I am strong, and I wanted to be that person too so I thought that meant I had to be strong enough to take it. The verbal rages are something I would do anything to stop or avoid, and admitting fear of him feels weak.  I have to say, in the last four days, I have not felt the guilty pull like I have in past, and we are still in the early separation stage.

Speaking for myself: feeling guilt over leaving someone who "needs me and would be devastated without me" had a way of validating my value based on what someone else thought.  That whole second-guessing ourselves, especially when we think there is no way that it is even happening, is never-ending!  Unfortunately, it has been my experience the suicide talk or disaster thinking is also manipulation on their part to get what they want.  period.   Because inevitably, if given a little time, he shifts rather quickly and smoothly from this desperate love to blame. 

@11JB68- yes, yes and YES on your comment about them making us responsible for their feelings. this includes what I call the non-ask, ask. the non-comment, comment.  etc.  never really owning the responsibility of even something as simple as a question or request.  It's all very deliberately said without using an  "I + verb" sentence or statement.

*

Rose1

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • 1138
Re: How do you deal with the guilt?
« Reply #17 on: July 13, 2020, 04:25:55 AM »
To add, once you've seen the self satisfied smirk when you're asking for the child support pittance which is late again,  and you'd like to feed the kids,  all guilt goes and is replaced by anger. In my experience
Someone who professes to love you and the kids and turns on a dime to using them to get to you,  only loves themselves.
The rest is manipulation

*

SonofThunder

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • 1119
Re: How do you deal with the guilt?
« Reply #18 on: July 14, 2020, 09:03:11 AM »
SOT you always have valuable advice, thank you.
My iocpdh is an introvert and a home body. He had never made much effort with friends (it's been my job to reach out to them, set up get togethers), he has alienated himself from his sister and from his former best friend. His mom is deceased, his dad is likely also a pd. He has commented in the past many times that myself and ds are all he has and all he cares about. This all puts a lot of responsibility on me.
Thanks for the kind words. 

I must say, I am an introvert also, an INTJ to be exact (Myers-Briggs MBTI).  This is a bit off subject, but us introverts can be marginalized and misunderstood. My uPDw is an extrovert and she vocalizes to me and others, that I have something wrong with me.  She also try’s to reach out and plan get-togethers, and it is the farthest thing from my desires.  With regard to introversion, it is simply an opposite of extroversion, not a negative.  Therefore, as an introvert, I loathe my uPDw’s attempts to ‘fix’ my introversion.   I love my introversion!  🙂. 

Back to PD, I’m sorry he puts a lot of responsibility on you.  My uPDw does as well.

SoT
« Last Edit: July 14, 2020, 09:07:41 AM by SonofThunder »
Proverbs 17:1
A meal of bread and water in contented peace is better than a banquet spiced with quarrels.

2 Timothy 1:7
For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.

*

GettingOOTF

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • 2152
Re: How do you deal with the guilt?
« Reply #19 on: July 14, 2020, 09:20:58 AM »
As soon as my BPDxH realized I was serious about the divorce he moved in with one of the women he’d been seeing during our separation. I spent all this time and energy feeling guilty and trying to ease his transition and he just set up home with someone new. He didn’t miss me, he missed the life he had with me. I did everything for him.

The guilt didn’t go away for me until I left and got to see how he handled it.

Leaving is not easy. He won’t let you go easily. He has it too good with you and it’s effort for him to find someone else. For me I had to want to fight for my self more than I wanted to pander to his PD and insecurities and of course to my own insecurities.

I look back on our relationship and I see that he was newly out of a relationship when I met him. The pattern was and still is always there.

I also see how my guilt was really my codependency. I assumed that he, a grown adult, couldn’t live without me, that I needed to continue to put my needs second to “help” him. For me it wasn’t guilt, it was codependency on my part.