Introducing Myself

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agapear

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Introducing Myself
« on: November 15, 2020, 08:17:50 PM »
Hello everyone. I am new to this website. I am happy to have found it.
My situation is that I have been married for 17 years to a man who lied to me from the beginning with bizarre and unnecessary lies. When we met and were telling each other about ourselves, he said that he had a brother and a sister (the same as me) when he only has a sister. He said his brother was married and living in another city with a professional career and no children. He also said he (my husband) had a mortgage on a flat, had survived skin cancer and was a passionate reader (my favourite hobby is reading). It was all lies.  The brother lie unravelled when the time came for me to meet his family. Before meeting them, he said to me “I have something to tell you”. He proceeded to tell me that his brother had died and told me not to mention it to his parents. I freaked out asking what had happened. I was shocked and distraught, offering him comfort and support. He responded that his brother had died when he (the brother) was 7 years old and that his parents didn’t like to talk about it and refused to tell him where his brother was buried. I was really confused. The story about his brother being a married adult was a lie and eventually it transpired that the follow up story about his brother dying aged 7 was a lie. He never had a brother at all. As our relationship progressed, I also found out that he didn’t have a mortgage on a flat and had never had skin cancer. Also, in the 17 years we have been married, I have never seen him read a book. These are just a few of the many lies he has told me over the years. I know he lies to other people too, including work colleagues and our children. A couple of years ago, when I was at his workplace, one of his colleagues asked me (in front of my husband) how I had coped over the Christmas period with my husband being  in hospital. He had told his colleagues that he had spent Christmas seriously ill in hospital when in reality he was at home with me and our children. While my husband was attempting to change the subject, I excused myself and went and sat in the car, annoyed at being put in that situation and bewildered as to why he would say it. When I confront him about his lies, he says he doesn’t know why he does it other than that they make his life sound better than it is.
I have been unhappy for my entire marriage. I feel no love or respect for my husband. I don’t trust him at all. If I tell him something confidential, he repeats it to our children and other people. I have learnt not to tell him anything that I don’t want shared with others.
I have no friends and neither does he. He spends his spare time watching TV and following me around. He literally follows me around the house watching what I’m doing. Any friends that I have had in the past, he has been so polite and charming to them that when I have attempted to confide in them about our marriage, they react in disbelief. He shows a completely different side of his character to them. If I invite them over to the house for coffee, he sits in the room with us. It makes me feel so isolated and lonely that I’m unable to develop friendships due to his interference. The friends that I have had eventually stop contacting me. It happens every time I make a friend. We live in a small town and I suspect that he is telling them lies about me when he bumps into them. I know he does this as I occasionally see these women at the shops or when I am out walking and they say “Oh I saw your husband the other day. He said that you’ve been ... “ and they proceed to tell me things he said that are not true. For example, that I have a new job or that we’ve sold our house or that I am unwell or that I’ve been in hospital. All lies. I gave up trying to build friendships. What’s the point when I have a husband who interferes with lies and is so polite and friendly to them that they act in disbelief when I try to confide in them what he’s like?
We have three children. The eldest is not his. I was a single mother with low self-esteem when I met him. I still have low self-esteem and I am lonely and feel unloved. My family live several hundred miles away. I get on well with them but I only see them a couple of times a year. His parents are dead.
He mirrors everything I do. For example, if I start a new diet, so does he. If I stop taking sugar in coffee, so does he. If I watch a film and enjoy it, he immediately watches it. If I say that I’m considering taking up running as a hobby, the next day he will come home with new running clothes and trainers for himself. It’s relentless and suffocating.
If I criticise him, he explodes with anger. In the past, he has broke things and punched holes in walls when I have confronted him about his lies. He storms out of the house, drives around the neighbourhood and returns as if nothing happened, asking if I would like a cup of tea. Also, he never keeps promises. If I ask him to cut the grass, for example, he will say, I’ll do it tomorrow and when tomorrow comes he says I’ll do it on Thursday and a week later it is still uncut. He has no interest in anything other than work, TV and following me around, copying what I do and say.
Sorry for the long post. I appreciate being able to share this with you. My head has felt so muddled over the years and I have no one to talk to. My children are almost grown up so perhaps there is hope for the future of me building a life of my own eventually.
« Last Edit: November 15, 2020, 08:33:19 PM by agapear »

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Bloomie

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Re: Introducing Myself
« Reply #1 on: November 15, 2020, 09:12:20 PM »
Hi there! Welcome to OOTF. I am so sorry for all that you have been dealing with in your marriage. How terrible and trapped by your H's untenable behaviors you must feel!

One of the most helpful things I have learned since coming here to OOTF is a mantra called The 3 C's and it goes something like this... I didn't cause it, I can't cure it, and I can't change it. Your H exhibited this behavior before you married him. We cannot insist another person deal with what seems to be serious character issues, but we can set boundaries with consequences in place and redirect our energy and focus to what we can change, control, cure - which ourselves.

This has been a game changer for me. Redirecting my focus to figuring out what does and does not work in relationship with me and then learning to set and hold boundaries in my life around my resources, time, relationships, has taken deep inner work. I needed a therapist, a support group like this one, a older wise woman that was willing to work with me and mentor me through all of the issues in my own primary relationships to make great gains and move to a healthier way of living.

There are great resources here at the toolbox drop down menu and the personality disorder traits menu above. There are other media resources, book recommends, and insightful conversations throughout the forum.

Take some time just soak up all of the information available and join the conversations and let this wise and savvy community support you as you find your best next steps forward.

Just one simple recommend is a podcast and blog called Beyond Bitchy found here: https://beyondbitchy.com
Especially podcasts 1-7 which lay an important foundation as to what boundaries are and what they are not.

Keep coming back and sharing. It helps lessen the isolation and loneliness and validates that as hard as these behaviors are to live with, you are not alone. Many of us here have been surrounded by this kind of toxic behavior in a loved one. We can understand a good degree and we will be here as you find you way!