Now it's all my fault

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CagedBirdSinging

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Now it's all my fault
« on: July 10, 2021, 12:09:01 PM »
I know I shouldn't get into conversations with pdH, but I find it difficult to avoid when we are trying to co-parent. He uses visitation to start talking to me, and I'm afraid to shut down the conversations because of the impact that will have on the kids, if he gets into a bad mood.
We had another conversation, and he just let loose a torrent of complaints about how badly I've treated him, how traumatised he is, I'm keeping his kids away from him, he is all alone, I had no reason for leaving (he says he had corrected the bad behaviour - which is partly true), he doesn't see why we can't reconcile and be a family, I have destroyed his life....

The trouble is, I'm starting to believe him. I really feel like it's all my fault. I'm a horrible, cold, heartless person who has traumatised this poor man for no reason. He refuses to acknowledge how his behaviour led up to me leaving. He says we could have worked things out, I didn't need to leave.

I feel so lost and confused. After all that I've endured, after everything I have put up with from him, this has ended up being my fault. I'm the one being blamed for everything. I don't even know who I am anymore. I used to think I was kind - no angel, but basically kind, good-humoured, down to earth, gentle... now I am starting to believe I'm a heartless, cruel person who has left pdH for no reason. I'm having trouble remembering the bad times. Nothing seems to help. I just want his criticism to stop. I'm not able for this. This is worse than when we were together - at least I had a clear sense of who I was, and he could not make these accusations against me.

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square

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Re: Now it's all my fault
« Reply #1 on: July 10, 2021, 01:07:02 PM »
If I leave my H, he will tell me exactly the same things.

Unfortunately, our psyches can be hacked. Tell a person something over and over and they will eventually believe it.

Just like you did today, come here and tell us. We will tell you the truth, over and over. Check in with us, tap into sanity.

You couldnít work this out. You tried and tried and tried.

So either:

- On a whim, you decided it would be fun to ruin his life for no reason. Of course you ruined your and your childrenís as well, but somehow it was worth it to you.

- Or, you tried and tried and tried and realized you couldnít fix it alone, and he couldnít or wouldnít.  And the shifting sands in his head canít make sense of it.

Which one fits Occamís Razor?

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Stillirise

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Re: Now it's all my fault
« Reply #2 on: July 10, 2021, 01:18:49 PM »
 :yeahthat:

We have heard your story here. Your reasons are perfectly valid, sane, and in the best interest of your children and yourself.  The fact that heís blaming you, instead of owning  his own actions in the demise of the relationship, should tell you what you need to know. 

I endured this kind of behavior for nearly 2 years once I separated and divorced updxh. Just within the last week, a new personality has magically emerged, saying he doesnít want to fight with me anymore, and is being perfectly agreeable.  I know it is short-lived, and likely means that after playing an extremely long game of MC, and very minimal interaction, he has found someone else for supply.   I donít, for one second, believe he has fundamentally changed his underlying personality. Itís just a phase in the cycle.

Hang in there!
You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, Iíll rise.
óMaya Angelou

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square

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Re: Now it's all my fault
« Reply #3 on: July 10, 2021, 02:12:39 PM »
Ha. Iíve heard ďI donít want to fight anymoreĒ before. I always wonder, does that mean he wanted to before?

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JustKeepTrying

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Re: Now it's all my fault
« Reply #4 on: July 10, 2021, 03:12:13 PM »
It's like torture - that drip drip drip and it does wear aware whatever defense or sanity you gain from being apart. 

I am grateful for my posts on this forum and journal - whenever I felt that slippage - I would post here and then read others and then my journal and that touchstone would bring me back to reality.  Because it is reality - your thinking is sound and read - theirs is not.

We got your back.

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CagedBirdSinging

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Re: Now it's all my fault
« Reply #5 on: July 10, 2021, 04:13:30 PM »
:yeahthat:

We have heard your story here. Your reasons are perfectly valid, sane, and in the best interest of your children and yourself.  The fact that heís blaming you, instead of owning  his own actions in the demise of the relationship, should tell you what you need to know. 

I endured this kind of behavior for nearly 2 years once I separated and divorced updxh. Just within the last week, a new personality has magically emerged, saying he doesnít want to fight with me anymore, and is being perfectly agreeable.  I know it is short-lived, and likely means that after playing an extremely long game of MC, and very minimal interaction, he has found someone else for supply.   I donít, for one second, believe he has fundamentally changed his underlying personality. Itís just a phase in the cycle.

Hang in there!

Thanks square, justkeeptrying and still rise.
Stillrise, how did you cope for 2 years?
I feel like this is worse than the marriage. I am seriously doubting myself, being criticised and undermined all the time, and put under constant pressure.

I've no idea what 'normal' looks like in a relationship, I think that's half the problem.

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WaitingForSunshine

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Re: Now it's all my fault
« Reply #6 on: July 10, 2021, 05:37:21 PM »
Just wanted to say Iím sorry this is happening to you, but youíve gone through so much and  made so many smart, but difficult decisions and that shows what a strong person and mom you are. From someone who is just starting the journey of leaving, Iím blown away by the strength you have to have actually left. Itís not you, itís never been you. You made the right choices

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notrightinthehead

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Re: Now it's all my fault
« Reply #7 on: July 10, 2021, 07:20:40 PM »
Cagedbird you write  " .. He uses visitation to start talking to me, and I'm afraid to shut down the conversations because of the impact that will have on the kids, if he gets into a bad mood..." here is your manipulation. Probably all you need to do is not walk on eggshells, not give in to the blackmail - if you don't listen to my complaints I will make the kids suffer for it - to make the reason you want to leave come out.
What he tells you are all reproaches,  aimed at making you feel bad.  This is what you are getting. This is what you can expect to get in future.
If you want, write all what he says down. Sentence for sentence. Then check what he says for truthfulness. Is there another side to it? What is your truth?  Set it against his truth.
I can't hate my way into loving myself.

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CagedBirdSinging

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Re: Now it's all my fault
« Reply #8 on: July 10, 2021, 08:05:09 PM »
Cagedbird you write  " .. He uses visitation to start talking to me, and I'm afraid to shut down the conversations because of the impact that will have on the kids, if he gets into a bad mood..." here is your manipulation. Probably all you need to do is not walk on eggshells, not give in to the blackmail - if you don't listen to my complaints I will make the kids suffer for it - to make the reason you want to leave come out.
What he tells you are all reproaches,  aimed at making you feel bad.  This is what you are getting. This is what you can expect to get in future.
If you want, write all what he says down. Sentence for sentence. Then check what he says for truthfulness. Is there another side to it? What is your truth?  Set it against his truth.

Yes, in a way he is SHOWING me why I left. Instead of having a proper conversation, discussing our issues in a respectful way, and talking about solutions, he just makes demands and tries to make me feel guilty all the time. I'm starting to realise that trying to make someone feel guilty = manipulative = emotional abuse. I've put up with this behaviour from him for so many years, its become so standard, I hardly see it. If pdH wants something and I disagree, he moves straight to moaning, ST, cold shoulder, moaning more, suicide threats, labelling me as cold, heartless, cruel. I'm coaching myself to see this is not normal behaviour! And of I go back, I'll be trapped in this cycle of fear for the rest of my life.

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Jsinjin

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Re: Now it's all my fault
« Reply #9 on: July 11, 2021, 12:25:32 AM »
You're in the right, you've been under his influence for a long time and he knows what buttons to push.   I understand why you listen to him and hope and I'm sure it's very difficult and I can see how he would take advantage of the situation.
It is unwise to seek prominence in a field whose routine chores you do not enjoy.

-Wolfgang Pauli

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Lauren17

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Re: Now it's all my fault
« Reply #10 on: July 11, 2021, 12:29:34 PM »
Like others here, I've been reading your posts for a long while.  I know that you've made the best possible decision under rotten circumstances.  Please take a minute and congratulate yourself on that.
Can I recommend writing out and practicing some responses to the things he says?  That way, they will be habit when you need them.  I'm talking neutral statements that can be repeated over and over until he sees he won't be getting another response.
"I'm sticking the parenting plan we agreed to."
"I've made every effort possible with the marriage. I'm done with that now"
"I'm making the best choices for me and the children."

Stay strong.
Iíve cried a thousand rivers. And now Iím swimming for the shoreĒ (adapted from Iíll be there for you)

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Stillirise

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Re: Now it's all my fault
« Reply #11 on: July 12, 2021, 10:33:58 AM »

Stillrise, how did you cope for 2 years?
I feel like this is worse than the marriage. I am seriously doubting myself, being criticised and undermined all the time, and put under constant pressure.

I've no idea what 'normal' looks like in a relationship, I think that's half the problem.

How did I do it? Eye on the prize. I made a relentless focus on my end game.  Anything that wasnít productive in getting me to the finish line, I boxed up and ignored.  I agree with having some stock phrases on-hand, as replies.  Or, truly ignore the words coming from his mouth, as if he isnít speaking at all.

Also, as hard as this may be to accept, it is absolutely not your responsibility to build his relationship with the children.  You have gone above and beyond for them, but when the rubber meets the road, his relationship with them is his responsibility.  If he makes decisions, or chooses to behave in ways that are damaging to that relationship, that is not on you.  Protecting their safety, nurturing your own relationship with them, and modeling healthy adult behaviors are within your control. 

Children are so much more perceptive than we typically give them credit for, even from a young age.  My line in the sand became refusing to allow them to see or hear me being disrespected, or talked down to, and refusing to participate in non-productive conversations. 

I was raised in a way in which I thought I was being rude, by refusing to participate in unhealthy conversations by walking away, or asking someone to leave my home or personal space, even after being disparaged in the most demeaning and nasty ways.  I now see I was simply showing my daughter that it was ok to tolerate such behaviors, and my son that it was ok to talk to women (or anyone) in that way. 

Stay strong! Hang in there!
You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, Iíll rise.
óMaya Angelou