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Divorce Eminent...

StepUltimate's picture

... just need my StepTalk peeps to come march me past the denial (my inner 5 year old still coming up with butterflies & rainbows hopium wishes that this was all a bad nightmare...) and into concrete action toward Freedom from Toxic B.S.

My DH is a resentful, gaslighting, triangulating, covert narc, IMO. My SS21 ironically loves me. DH is in a Charm, Rage, Pity cycle. I'm not pitying him and am so turned off by the manipulating, gaslighting b.s. that I'm definitely not charmed. He raged out at me yesterday... after I told him it hurt my feelings that he totally "forgot" to get me a Christmas gift. His big concern is that be didn't get any gifts... totally forgetting / disregarding the $700+ early b-day/Christmas gifts I got him a few months ago.

I am ashamed to be in this situation. I successfully avoided marrying an alcoholic, like my bio-dad, but thought I could rescue a (seemingly) covert narc & his teenage son. Yes, I am a StepJoke empath sucker. 

Yesterday I got the verbal shit beaten out of me... because I was upset & sad hubby FORGOT/DECLINED to get me any Christmas gift or card. He blamed me, and complained I got him no gifts... when I bought ALL food, deco, stocking stuff, etc., AND hosted his fam. And bought the deco DH wanted for the event. But Eff me, rage at me, blame me, talk doom about our relationshit (not a typo)...

Many here on ST warned me two years ago that separating finances wouldn't cure DH's debt-spending problems (Harry my friend you are psychic!), and yes you were correct. He still resents me for having had to kick SSthen18 out. Now, our $$ is separate & guess who is broke as a joke with both credit card AND line-of-credit debt, in addition to his car payment. Also has medical bills, recently blamed ME for having 'put him in the hospital" with high BP & angry I'm not paying his medicsl bills.  MY EFFING FAULT.

 

Comments

SteppedOut's picture

Ugh.... I recall your posts and have wondered how you have been doing. I am sorry he couldn't grow the F up. It's just not going to. You have done your best to try and make the marrige work - HE hasn't. He just wants. And wants some more. It is NEVER enough for this kind of person. 

I just hope when you divorce (soon?!) you do not get saddled with some of his debt! And this effing prick will try... be sure to get a really good lawyer. 

Perhaps he can sell his effing sports car to pay off some of his debt.

CajunMom's picture

Don't know your background story but just from your post, girl.....get out of that mess! I'm stunned he did not even buy you a small Christmas give. That's horrible and very Passive Agressive. No one deserves to live like that. Sending you a big hug. By the way....you are NOT a Step Joke. You've done good in this mess only to have it thrown in your face and then you get more abuse...like not getting even a token gift for Christmas. You, my friend, are a GOOD PERSON who made a wrong turn into a hateful man. Time to steer another direction...and without him. Best to you!

StepUltimate's picture

My old StepTalk blogs tell the tale... I thought I'd achieved "Home Free!" when skid was "launched," but I didn't see the Dagwood-sized sh*t sandwich DH was compiling using anger & resentment as condiments, that he's been serving up since then.

Gimlet's picture

I've been doing a lot of thinking around the stages of grief because I am stuck in one (acceptance) and while I won't go into details, I think some of it might be relevant.

You used the word "ashamed" in your post.  Shame has such a special weight to it, something all its own.  It's not useful, like guilt can be when viewed in a healthy way.  It doesn't have the sometimes cleansing power of justified anger. When you've not done something awful (the only time I think shame is useful - ironically, your husband should be the one feeling it, not you), it's just a soul-shrinking diminisher of self.  As many know, I am also an ACOA (adult child of an alcoholic) and I believe shame is something that often comes with that territory.  It's so destructive because it goes beyond "what we do" into "who we are".  I don't know your backstory details but I am making some high level assumptions, please correct me if I am wrong.

Hindsight is 20/20, but now you see it in real time, StepUltimate.  That is the first step in moving through the denial and starting to move into a place where you see that you do not deserve to be treated like this.  You are worth so much more than this and there is nothing about you that should cause you to feel shame.  You've done the best you could with what you had, but now is the time to add some tools to that toolbox and to start working toward the love you deserve. 

I would urge you to find a counselor who understands addicted families.  I know that's not the core issue with your husband, but it's where your patterns began and someone who understands will be able to provide you with coaching and support.

Brene Brown also has some really good books on shame and self-love. 

((hugs)) You don't deserve to live this way. 

Kes's picture

^^^This^^^^  Plus I think you are being too hard on yourself. No need for all this self flagellation.  We live and learn - you have learned - and are taking appropriate action.  No need for shame. 

StepUltimate's picture

Yes, toxic shame as 1st born ACA. I had 22+ years 12-step recovery (ACA, Al-Anon, DA, OA*) and was at my goal weight doing fine when I met DH. Now 60 lbs FAT, demoralized, COVID-isolated, and in a new low from how I've let myself be treated by the person I'm supposed to be able to trust the most. 

 

*ETA for bulimia, which I haven't practiced for 20+ years now by the grace of God

Gimlet's picture

It's only up from here, then.  You can do this. 

You know what the work looks like because you've done it before and I have no doubt you can do it again.  The hard part will be finding that self-compassion because it's really the core of it. 

It is not your fault that he is mentally unbalanced.  You do not deserve this, period, and the fact that he's taken advantage of your soft spots is his dysfunction and illness. 

You deserve to be loved.  You deserve to be cherished.  And most of all, you deserve to be safe.  

Please feel free to PM me anytime, even if it's just for someone to listen.  

StepUltimate's picture

I so appreciate the encouragement & support. 

Aniki's picture

StepUltimate, I cannot think of a single thing to add to what Gimlet posted. Except that... I am a recovering bulimic. I say "recovering" because I liken my bulimia to alcoholism in that it is always RightThere, ready to rear its ugly head. Be proud that you are 20+ years strong for not giving into that demon!

This has been a crappy year in more way than one and I'm not going to pretend that January 1 will suddenly make everything golden. But YOU, my dear, can definitely make the new year brighter by loving yourself enough to exit this toxic situation. Prayers for strength and {{{HUGS}}}.

The_Upgrade's picture

DH and I hate buying Christmas gifts so this year we pre agreed not to get any for each other. Then two days before Christmas he double checked to make sure I had nothing stashed away for him just to be safe. If that arrangement wasn't in place it's not compulsory to buy a gift but extremely shitty to turn up empty handed. It's like coming to a dinner party empty handed and stuffing yourself silly. No one at the table would say anything, they just wouldn't invite you back. Time to revoke this guy's invitation into your life.

As for shame, I think it's a bit like depression. When you're so deep into that hole you can't see the way out. Everyone tells you what you need to do and they make it sound so easy. Yet you're paralysed and trapped in this place you don't want to be in. The funny thing about hindsight is when you look back at it you can actually feel a bit surprised that something so insignificant bothered you so much at the time. But it takes that courageous leap to take that first step. I hope one day soon you'll look back on this time in your life without any sense of shame, just relief that you got out.

StepUltimate's picture

Relate to what you wrote & agree shame = depression = paralysis. I know I have to take action.

My inner child denial is like, "If I haven't called attorneys, it's not real yet and there's still a chance I'm mistaken & this whole thing can be resolved." I know that's crazy magical thinking but am so wounded/bummed OUT I find myself ruminating magical stories. 

Hard not to feel chumped & worthless when I gave so much I've lost myself. 

The_Upgrade's picture

Sometimes shame doesn't make sense. The biggest shame I have ever felt was quitting on university. Not even StepHell compares to that dark time. I hated it. But my family prized academics and were extremely competitive. Teenage me couldn't comprehend telling my mother I just wanted to get a job and I was suicidal over the thought of teling her. That's how fkd up my head was that I thought dying was a better option than not going further in my studies. 20 years later the answer is so simple. If I just wanted to go work why the hell didn't I just go work?! Why should the opinions of aunts and uncles I barely know affect me? I got the last laugh there because I'm more financially stable than my cousins still paying off their tuition fees. 

tog redux's picture

What keeps you there? I don't think it's hope, that seems gone - it's most likely fear.  Figure out that fear and the path will be clear.

StepUltimate's picture

... really ashamed that I am in this situ, and that I was buying into the dream of who my DH presented himself as. I've been in kind of a numb fog, maintaining but seeing the gap widen the past two years. 

StepUltimate's picture

... that's exactly where I've been stuck. I have to make those calls, do the work. I can't fix this or live like this.

lieutenant_dad's picture

I had two concrete moments that made me actually get divorced. First was "cheating" after I told XH I wanted out. Second, which came a few weeks later, was actually packing up my belongings and getting TF out of our apartment. 

Divorce isn't always as simple as just picking up one day and being done. Lots of times, the relationship is over before the heart wants to give up. It took a solid 6 months before I felt like I wasn't a wife anymore. It was a solid year after we split before being divorced actually felt real. I was already dating DH by then (stupidly - how I split from my XH was NOT healthy), and I still carried the grief of my first marriage and divorce with me.

Divorce is a series of steps. Remember, it took a long time to get to a point where you wanted to get married, and it takes a long time to get out of it. Don't expect it to all make sense or feel good in a week. 

Aunt Agatha's picture

You've gotten so much great advice above.  I just want to send you a virtual hug.

You've got this.  

StepUltimate's picture

I know I'm strong enough and Gloria Gaynor's "I will Survive" is on loop in my head (orig + the CAKE version), just heartbroken and exhausted. DH also has work conflicts that almost got him fired this year. It's my 1st marriage but even I know if he gets fired I'm on the hook for his debts. 

I need to unleash myself from this mess. You are all right who type on here, "Love is not enough." Because I love a TON but my heart is crushed, trampled, stomped out.

Winterglow's picture

Have you ever seen the most"In and out "?? 

Just for the "I will survive" moment... 

 

:) 

StepUltimate's picture

Okay, I watched on YouTube and cracked UP!

Biggrin

NoWireCoatHangarsEVER's picture

You are one of my most fav on this site. You deserve happiness so yes get out of this hell and Get a divorce. I found this therapy psychiatrist on YouTube . Her speciality is narcs and covert narcs. Her channel is called Live Abuse Free . You should watch some of her videos but she has some on how how to leave a narc and why you ended with a narc. I too had an alcoholic father. You and I are empaths and they search us out for their ego kibbles . 

StepUltimate's picture

Thsnk you so much. Yes, I've been studying Narcs for a few years now (concurrent with my exhsustive ST research!) on covert narcs.  Initially to understand our toxic BM.... but more & more this past year I'm seeing it's DH's M.O. also... 

Exjuliemccoy's picture

January is the busiest month for divorce filings, and for good reason. People want a fresh start.

Have you been making an exit strategy? Sometimes that can help make things more real.

Haelsunderfire's picture

I see a lot of me in you. In this post. The emotional abuse. The mental abuse. Living each day wanting nothing but love and appreciaton, but your husband always fInding a reason to be angry or upset with you. Sounds familiar.

I've married for 6 years and recently (finally) ,add the decision to separate. My husband sounds a lot like yours except that I'm between he was loving when he wanted to be. He kept me around that way. I'm a person that needs and gives a lot of love and affection. Ultimate,y his terrible children were the last straw and his unwillingness to compromise. I was tired of giving and giving sacrificing everything to get no support. 
 

I really hope you get the strength you need to be able to be better for yourself. It's not easy. I know. But you deserve better. We all do. It's amazing the peace you will find when you decide not to be battered anymore. It's even empowering. And for those moments when you feel weak or down or insecure, we are all here as a community to reaffirm you. 

Kaylee's picture

A bit off topic but maybe not....my ex, in our early days, went overseas on a month long trip.

I did not ask for or expect a present.

I picked him up from the airport and drove him to his house. Mini wife had taken the day off to "welcome him home"

As soon as we got in the door she wanted her to presents....there followed the handing over of multiple gifts including 3 bottles of brandy, make up, perfume etc. After that performance, he handed me my "present".....a box of chocolates and a pkt of biscuits.

I was gobsmacked and embarrassed. I would rather have had nothing than that!

JRI's picture

People have unexpected, sometimes violent, feelings during a separation.  Be careful.