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Cold and selfish? Or normaL?

gabriellay's picture

Hi! I am new to this forum. I just got out of a 5 year relationship with my ex who has 2 children from his previous marriage. I have been in his kids' lives since they were very young (3 and 6, they are now 8 and 11). When I met him he was recently divorced and I heard all about how horrible his ex wife was from him and his mother. I was told she was a narcisssist,mcheater,  not a good mother, abusive, self absorbed, etc. During this time I caught him exchanging very friendly texts with his ex. Odd behavior for someone who thinks that that person is a cheater, bad mother, narcissist, abusive, etc. Fast forward to several years later we began to have problems in our relationship. The first signs were his temper after the honeymoon stage was over. He would blow up at me over ridiculous things. Sometimes he was non reactive and fine, other times the same things would happen and he would get in my face and yell at me over seemingly nothing. One time he got so angry over me wanting to discuss his daughters behavior (she threw a heavy hard cover book at her sisters head full speed down the stairs) he got in my face yelled at me and told me to leave and that I was always complaining.  I left. He retaliated by visiting a female friend and not inviting me I had never met who lived in another state whom he grew up with. I should've left then and not looked back but we got back together and I stuck around thinking he would change. Things improved for awhile and were great for several months only for him to blow up at me again because I suggested (while we were discussing moving in together) that he sell his house and downsize since he was behind on his payments and get something more affordable. He yelled at me telling me I made him feel very low and began to drive very fast down the highway and we were pulled over by the police and he got a ticket for which he blamed me for. He would not talk to me for the rest of the day after that.  He would do the same to his kids and mother at times and blow up at them over conversations that needed to be had. He was not always like this. Sometimes he was very sweet, caring, romantic and charming. Over the past year things had gotten worse. I also noticed he became quite close to his ex whom his mother and him badmouthed when I had met him. He began to take some responsbility for the divorce and was hanging around and talking to his ex quite a bit. He also began pressuring me to move in again but I was never about his temper and the way he was hiding communication with his relationship with his ex from me. I also did not get invited to several work/social events that involved meeting his coworkers and friends and when I asked him why he blew up at me and accused me of being controlling and told me to leave. Fast forward to several weeks later and his youngest daughter, whom I adore but whom has been difficult, was being very mouthy with me the entire day. When I treid to address it he screamed at me and told me to pack my bags and leave. His mother was also there and told me I as wrong ad shouldn't bring the daughters behavioral issues up as it hurts her feelings. I felt ganged up on by him, his mother and his daughter.I did leave. Other problems I noticed he was having were financial problems, large debts, and utilities being shut off and put back on. Refinancing his hosue to pay off large credit card debts. HIm taking his mother to the car dealership to cosign for him (he is a 39 year old man) instead of asking me to go with him to help pick out cars like normal couples do. He would always tell me I am too independent. I ended things for the final time and left him for good after his last blow up involving me mentioning his daughters behavior and him and his mother ganging up on me. I have some regrets because I miss the good parts of the relationship. I also miss his kids immensely as they were a huge part of my life. I asked him if I could still be involved in their lives and he told me no unless we were going to be together then told me he missed me and wanted me back. I told him I had to think about it but a couple of weeks later I noticed he is already in a relationship with another woman and they are "engaged" (even though she lives over 800 miles away). Nail in coffin for our relationship. I am heart broken. BTW he accused me of being a narcissist because I stood up for myself yet he moves on this quickly? I do miss his kids and think it is so cold that I was a huge part of their lives for 5 years and he just cuts me out as if I did not exist. Do you think his kids ever ask about me and what do you think he tells his kids if they do? That I just disappeared? I think this is so cold. It is also cold that he moved on so quickly only a couple weeks after we split up and him trying to get me back.  BTW his long distance "fiance" isn't anything to write home about. She's older, not attractive, not that it makes it any better but it owuld be worse if she was hot or younger. She also is an artist/hippie type with no kids(doesn't seem motherly but who knows) Very odd. Not bashing her but I don't understand it. I was always told I was too independent. I don't understand why he was so cold and heartless towards me either. He treated me as if I never existed now. Got rid of me on his facebook. Never calls nor texts. 5 years I was like a mom to his kids and now its like I never existed. It seems so unbelievably cold and callus. I guess everything I did for those poor kids was a big waste of time and energy and my mistake was getitng attached to them. I am incredibly depressed now and do not understand what happened. Can someone please give me some insight?

notsurehowtodeal's picture

No matter how many times you tell this story, you are always going to recieve the same advice. You did nothing wrong. You are better of without him. Your ex is an abusive, controlling man who is emeshed with both his ex and his Mom. He took advantage of you. You did a great deal for his kids and they miss you and you miss them, but you are not going to be able to see them anymore.

I am truly sorry the ending of this relationship has been so hard on you, but you need to get some therapy in real life to see if you can find some help getting over it. Have you tried therapy?

BethAnne's picture

All of this ^^^

You seem to have a lot of questions which is great but you are not liking our answers. So it is time to see a therapist to work things out for yourself or if you cannot afford that it’s time to research abusive relationships and patterns to try to understand what happened with your ex. This website shows the cycle of abuse and how it can sometimes manifest:

There are lots of other resources online and probably books in your local library too. There are probably also victim support groups near you that might help you to start to make sense of it all. 

markwvualum's picture

Your ex is an abuser who took advantage of you. He also has unhealthy, inappropriate, immature, enmeshed relationships with his mother and ex. It sounds like he needs to grow up and get help. You did plenty for his kids and they miss you. He is being abusive and selfish by not allowing you to see them. But why is this surprising? He has always been abusive and selfish and now he is being that way towards his kids too by not allowing them to see you. It is also allowing him to continue his abuse towards you. No matter what differences you had with his kids and the parenting (normal) you were good enough to be that close to them for five years, to watch them, stay with them, take them places, get to know them, etc. and now he rips you out of their lives just because you no longer want to be with his abusive A$$? He is a selfish abusive A$$. Do not forget that. Do not worry about his new relationship. His abuse and using will continue but now will be directed at her, not you. Give it time. The thing about narcissists is they always move on quickly and they always accuse others of being a narcissist. It is called projecting. It is called gaslighting. It is not normal or healthy to move on that quickly when you have been in a relationship for that long. Healthy people know this.  Healthy people take time to grieve, work on themselves, and then date casually once some time has passed. Be glad you are no longer with him. He will get his karma one day. Trust me. Take care of yourself and concentrate on being there for you. Spoil yourself. Take time to heal. Go to therapy. Go to the spa. Spend time with friends. Travel with friends. Travel alone. Go to the gym. Volunteer. Read. Journal. Meditate. Take a class. When you are ready start dating casually and if you see the first signs of abuse do not stick around. Read up on abusers and narcissists because your ex is both. Understand that you were not the problem and never were. I am sorry you had to go through this. One day when his kids are older and they hate him they may or may not seek you out. However for now you must accept the fact that you will not see them. Mourn this. Grieve this. Then move forward. 

Kes's picture

As the previous two posters said.  Your ex spends his life acting out and is a textbook narcissist - I would suggest you do some reading on this subject as you will have many Eureka! moments when you recognise your ex's behaviour being described in the books.  Part of their repertoire is flinging accusations (including that people around them are narcissists, if they are familiar with the term) in an attempt to divert negative attention from themselves. 

Of course you were "too independent" for him.  He wants someone who will be inappropriately enmeshed with him like the others in his life.   Your independence is not something that would be criticised by most people - only emotional abusers.  The poor unfortunate woman who has replaced you will come in for the same sort of treatment in due course, after the "love bombing" phase is over. 

I would suggest it would be very useful to you to invest in some therapy in order to understand how you came to be vulnerable to getting in a relationship with such a person.  This would help you to not repeat this with a similar man in the future. 


readingandlearning's picture

Too independent for him? That's a huge compliment! This "man" is a 39 year old narcissistic abusive manchild. First of all anyone that is enmeshed with their mother and ex like he is at his age, is not relationship material. Secondly he is very abusive. Your only mistake was staying with him way too long. After his first blow up you should've left and not looked back. He is a true POS. Please get some therapy. His rebound wife will be going through exactly what you did once the honeymoon stage is over and he has trapped her. It is only a matter of time. Him and his fake con artist family failed to see your value. Their loss.

Phoebe333's picture

Congrats for taking the right step and making the decision to end this relationship. You can get through this loss. Trust me/us. Take care of yourself during this difficult time. Sorry about his kids. He's a controlling sob and probably doesn't want them to have anything to do with you. Be kind to yourself while you make a new life. Try to find the things you love or new things to do. Be true to yourself. You can do this. 

Belinda33's picture

This man is abusive. I was in an abusive relationship for 4 years a long time ago. One thing i can tell you is that in a few weeks time it WILL get better. And then a few weeks after that better again. And then all of a sudden you will be out of the fog! Then you will reflect and be happy you are away from him. I think you will find a huge part of this heartbreak will actually be due to his control over you. These men break down your confidence so low that you end up feeling worthless and doubting if the issue was you all along. (If wasn’t and isn’t) this is why people stay in abusive relationship for so long and are unable to leave. I used to always run back. Eventually he got physical one day and that was the end for me. No turning back. I can tell you now 10+ years on that I still can’t believe I stayed so long. You will move on. You will find someone else who is better. There always is. Leave him behind where he belongs the jerk. Take care of you now! Keep busy and get back to doing things you love. Before you know it everything will make sense. 

ldvilen's picture

As a SP, and no one who is not would likely get this, there is nothing, nothing worse than when you feel “ganged up on” by multiple family members and your DH doesn't have your back.  You literally feel like a lamb with a pack of wolves circling you.  And, in your case, your DH was one of those wolves himself. 

People say DNA shouldn’t or doesn’t matter, and that it is all about the relationship and so on.  Yet, for the vast majority of SPs, even if they are the holiest of SPs (which is pretty much impossible), as soon as the marriage to mom or dad falls apart (no matter how many years you’ve been married), the SKs pretty much all move on, and quickly. 

This is only a part of what makes step-parenting so heartbreaking and risky!  That’s something you really don’t reach much about even on these pages.  It truly is risky to get involved with anyone with children from a previous relationship.  You never know what you’re getting into.  Sure, you may like skydiving, but one you take a leap out of that plane, who knows what is waiting for you below.  It is risky.

You sound like an incredibly wonderful person who got involved with an a$$ of a husband and his similarly selfish family.  You tried to stick it out, did it all for him and the rest of his family, and got what?  Kicked in the caboose for it.  You did nothing wrong, repeat this over and over to yourself.  So, your DH is supposedly engaged and yet he states he wants to get back together with you?  He’s a bonified man-whore.  You don’t need him.  You are better off alone than you are with the likes of him.

Regarding his kids, that is so, so heartbreaking indeed.  I’m sure you do miss his kids immensely as they were a huge part of your life.  “He treated me as if I never existed now. Got rid of me on his Facebook. Never calls nor texts. 5 years I was like a mom to his kids and now it’s like I never existed. It seems so unbelievably cold and callus. I guess everything I did for those poor kids was a big waste of time and energy and my mistake was getting attached to them.”

Your mistake wasn’t getting attached to them; you made no mistake.  Your DH and his family did.  Their mistake was not realizing your value.  Good riddance.  Take the time you need off for yourself, enjoy life for yourself.  You may find, and probably will find, after a while it’ll feel like a great burden has been lifted from you.  Then, you’ll be able to move on.

And, if you are a childless single adult, be very wary in the future of getting involved with another man with children.  You are truly better off alone than winding up being some other family’s scapegoat.  Some people might get pissed at me for saying this, but some of these families of divorce (not all, but some), due to the fallout and piss-poor parenting, wind up being “con-artist” type families.  Smiling, acting like everything is OK, and yet once they’ve gotten what they want and what serves them, the knives to stab you in your back come out.  Take care, OP, and hugs and kisses!

caitlinj's picture

    Your ex is a narcissistic abuser. The fact that he treated you that way is appalling. The fact that he moved on so quickly speaks volumes about his character and his feelings for you. Consider it a blessing you found this out now and not 5-10 years down the road what type of person he is.

     Don't worry about his current gf. She will be you 5-10 years from now only older, with less resources to move on from. She will be stuck. Thankfully you are not her.

      Step situations are risky. Like the other poster said no matter how great of a step parent you are (no one is capable of perfection,we are only human of course) when the relationship ends, the relationship with the skids ends too. I know this hurts but in time you are better off. Stepkids are fickle and loyal to their bio parents if both are still involved. Stepkids also can cause a lot of issues due to loyalty conflicts, permissive parenting, lack of parenting, thinking the world revolves around them, having way too many people coming and going in their lives, etc. Most of them have deep emotional problems. You don't want to be in a situation like this especially when they become teenagers.

     This is a new life for you. Once you are done greiving it is time to celebrate. You will no longer be subject to abuse, using, being ganged up on, thinking everything was you, etc. It wasn't. It time you will see this. God bless you. And please get some therapy. And once you are feeling better get out and meet some people. There are great people out there who are not like your ex who will make great friends. Tons of them! Enjoy life. It is short!


Rags's picture

Quit torturing yourself. Write this POS failed man and abject failure of a parent off and move on.