Nothing has just one cause. Causes fan out backward indefinitely in time.
Psych today. Jeremy Sherman Ph.D.
I read this article yesterday, so much of it resonated with me with regard to this blog and what happened to us: what is happening to others.
If there is one thing to have ever come out of what happened to us it is that I learned to listen, and understand. I know that a lot of people who read this blog are really, really struggling: to understand (why they fuck should they! Trust me I get it!) And struggling to listen to what they are being told, or in most cases not being told! Struggling to see why they should even consider the other person’s story. I get it all, I was there once. But this article and particularly the part that I have quoted got me thinking that if I told you a story of a man with no names, would you listen? Would you understand? Would it make you think?
Remember I am writing this blog and my book in the hope of helping others; as I believe many others have too. So I am going to give it a try.
A Story of A Man
There was once a man who was really funny, everyone he met laughed at his jokes and his dry wit. He was single, his first marriage had dissolved and he spent most weekends out with his friends.
To look at him he looked carefree and happy. But he was not; he doubted himself, that is why he always joked about: so that people could not see too deeply into the fear and vulnerability that he felt.
He had relationships but often he got hurt hecause he was a kind and gentle man; and he never believed that he was really worthy of the love that he received. So he took up with women who he could make laugh, who were not intelligent, who would not be able to see through him. But these women were not really the woman he was looking for, to spend his life with; but he felt safe because if they left him, or cheated on him, he could move forward without being truly broken hearted.
There were some who hurt him, invariably they used his good nature and over time he would come to be called ‘lucky’ because he was always so unlucky with regard to various things in his life. Things always seemed to go wrong and he accepted that this was just the way that it was. So much so that when he rode his motorbike he would be reckless in his riding, because he felt that really he would just get what he deserved; he felt that he was just one of the ‘losers’ in life.
Then one day he met a woman: she was everything that he wanted, she was pretty, she was intelligent, she had been successful in life. This woman had a strong personaility; she took no shit, she had looked after her and her son well and The Man fell in love with her.
At the time they met the woman was vulnerable: her mother had died, her father was gravely ill, and she had just given up her career: because the things that had happened had influenced the way she felt about what was important in life.
The Man knew that he could support the woman, he could protect her, care for her and her son, he could give them everything that they needed; and then she would want to stay with him, because he would love her so much, and take care of her.
So they became a couple; The Man could not believe that this woman loved him. He did all that he could to care for her and her son. Other people told him how they could not believe that the woman was with him, did not believe that she would stay. They told him that he was’punching above his weight’ and that eventually, one day, she would leave.
The Man asked the woman to marry him within four months of them meeting; and he was overjoyed when she said yes. But the woman was not divorced and there was a delay in the divorce being finalised, so when she suggested that they put the wedding date back from May to August The Man was worried – was this just an excuse? Did she really want to marry him? If he was honest with himself he could not see why she loved him or why she wanted to be with him.
The following year they married, he was happy, she was now his wife, she would stay. But the woman decided that she wanted to progress and wanted to go back to work so that they could buy their own home. The Man worried that if she returned to work she would not stay, but that if he asked her not to she would not stay. He had changed his job, earnt more money, but not enough to buy their own home and he knew that he had to be happy when she got a senior role in a company.
They bought their own home, and The Man changed his career again, and began to do well and earn more money than he ever had. His wife wanted to renovate their house so he worked harder to make sure she had the things that she wanted. But his wife changed her career also, and she was well thought of in her new job; was head hunted to a more senior position and The Man was worried that she would not need him anymore. He was so relieved when he wife said that she wanted to work part-time: because this meant that she would still need him, would still want to stay.
The area where they lived was changing and The Man and his wife decided to move over sixty miles away to a quieter town, by the sea. The Man thought to himself how happy his wife would be if she lived in such an idyllic spot; how safe their son would be. He knew that they could buy a beautiful home because they were further from London and he was so happy when they moved in to a large Edwardian house with a balcony, in a road that led down to the sea.
The Man was happy that his wife was going to work part-time, this meant that he was needed, that he was wanted. He could not see why there would be any other reason that his wife loved him.
But his wife decided to take a full time job, she promised it would only be for a short time; said that she wanted to help him to provide the money to renovate their home. The Man could not understand why his wife did not want to work part -time; he was worried because he knew that she was clever; that she could do whatever she turned her mind to if she wanted to; and he knew that she would be offered promotions and that she may take them; meaning that she would not need him anymore.
After a year The Man had been promoted to the highest position he could get to in his depot; he had his own gang, he had a very responsible job; he was in a better position than he had ever been in his life. But The Man knew that his wife had helped him get there; and he felt that without her he would not be able to survive. So he persuaded his wife to go part-time; and he worked all the overtime available to make up the money: Days, late shifts, night shifts. He did not mind the hour and a half drive to and from work as long as his wife was happy.
But there were times when his wife was not happy: she would complain about all of the overtime he was working; but also complain if he did not work it because they had the mortgage to pay. She bought expensive paint to renovate the house; she loved clothes, and he wanted to give her everything she loved; but despite this there would still be times when he was too tired to make love to her, and she would complain; there were times when she would become angry with him and she would not speak to him for days. Those were the worst times for The Man because he was terrified that when she did speak she would say she was leaving.
Most of the time his wife was loving and supporting; she held his hand in public places, she didn’t seem to take any notice of the admiring glances that she got from other men. But The Man did, he noticed them! When his wife would reassure him he would look at her and wonder what it was that kept her with him; she was too good for him he knew it.
At times The Man would come home to an empty house and he would check that his wife’s things were still there, because the voice in his head would tell him that one day they wouldn’t be; one day someone would take her away from him because she was too good for him.
He wondered about an old boss she had; how she would talk about him all the time. His wife would reassure him and explain that it was because he was the only person she saw each day; but the man wondered why she would stay with him when this man could have offered her so much more.
The Man was tired from all the commuting and work; his job was a responsible job, he had responsibility for people’s lives and he never seemed to be at home, to be able to spend time with his wife; this woman that he loved.
Then one day Evil came knocking.
Evil wormed its way into their lives; she made out that she was their friend. Evil seemed to love everything about The Man; she laughed at the jokes that his wife no longer laughed at; she smoked, something that The Man’s wife never did; something that The Man’s wife had always disliked about him. Evil made him feel as if it were okay to smoke. Evil would stand outside with him to have a cigarette; Evil would tell him how great he was; Evil would say that his wife took him for granted with regard to the amount of hours that he worked; Evil would say that his wife only wanted him for the money that he brought into the house.
Then one day Evil asked the man if he thought that he and his wife would always be together. The Man said that no he did not, because his wife was too good for him and that one day someone would take his wife away from him because they would be able to offer her so much more.
Evil leapt on this information: She hoovered it up as all narcs do! Evil now knew the weakness in this happy couple’s armour. Evil knew exactly what she could do to fuck up the life of the bitch that appeared to have everything. Evil knew how much the bitch loved her husband; evil knew The Man was wrong; and Evil knew that she could use his own vulnerbality and weakness against him and more importantly: his bitch of a wife.
So Evil played up to the man, she made friends with his wife and she hoovered up the fact this his wife was insecure because she had put on weight: So Evil lost weight. Evil knew that The Man’s wife was becoming wary of how many times they went out to smoke so she invited The Man out for more and more cigarettes. All the time Evil knew that she was causing arguments between The Man and his wife; and Evil loved it.
But the piece de resistance was when she told The Man that his wife had confirmed that she had an affair with her boss, just as he suspected.
The Man was distraught, his worst fears had been confirmed, his wife had an affair, and The Man knew that this meant that one day she would leave him. So when Evil then kissed him at a party he kissed her back: he had nothing to lose his wife had already told Evil that she only wanted him for his money; that she only wanted the house; Evil had told him so.
The Man could not bear the pain knowing that his wife had an affair; he could not bear the thought of her leaving him one day. He had to take control of this situation he could not deal with the thought of his wife being with someone else.
Evil told him she loved him; that she would stay with him. The Man knew that evil was not as pretty or clever as his wife; he knew that if he went with Evil then he would be safe, she could not break his heart because he did not really love her.
The Man thought that if he went with Evil the pain would go away, because he would no longer be living in fear.
So the man went with Evil, and then he realised: He was wrong!…………
I hope that this resonates with some, I hope that it helps some people just tell the voice in your head to shut up, and think about things.
Making This Better the book is now available including the journal entries for the first 5 years of our recovery & the whole 21 days of ‘The War’. Available internationally in paperback and ebook at Amazon and Barnes & Noble also available at Xlibris and Apple Books for iPad and Waterstones Bookstores for click & collect
I would love to hear your feedback. ❤️
“he knew that if he went with Evil then he would be safe, she could not break his heart because he did not really love her.”
Thank you Moisy.
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I knew it would resonate with you. It’s true, I read it to Rich and he said I had summed it up exactly. It is no surprises that some have not read it or reacted, because I wrote it to help people think; to help those who really want to get out of the hell hole they are in. M
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Thinking is overrated. 😉
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I would like the story from the mans side. For him to write this, because these thoughts are clearly what the woman think the man must be thinking.
It is easy, in hindsight and with self preservation, to imagine rational justifications for behaviours, but where is the concern that giving in to evil would hurt others? Where is the mans conscience? Why does he think an eye for an eye is a reasonable course of action?
Clearly the wife was too good for him, and she took on way too many of his low self worth issues by limiting herself. Playing small (which I do myself, so I understand it completely) doesn’t help anyone.
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I read this story to The Man, after spending 12 years tearing himself apart for what he had done. He listened and said that’s pretty much spot on. Let’s be honest, even if he had told it would it have made any difference?
I told it in the third person because it was about what I had learnt, I have never been insecure and until this happened to us never really understood the damage it can cause, both to relationships,and emotionally to the person. I have never felt a lack of self worth, and I needed to understand that to enable me to stay.
This story is from what I learnt about him 12 years ago, I could make a choice: listen, think about it and stay; or not listen not think about it and leave.
At the time that people do things like this they don’t think: the voice in their head, whatever it is saying, is too loud. Fear is a terrible thing.
I did limit myself, I lost myself, and after all this happened I never did that again. Like I always say ‘if you don’t have yourself you have nothing’. It is the first piece of advice I give to everyone. The Man had to step up to the plate, he had to face all of his fears over and over again, that was his karma. But he did, he faced everything, he fought tooth and nail to keep me. And I understood and listened, and I stayed.
For him to agree to me sharing our story, with no names changed (as so many people do) was brave, really brave and his way of showing that he is not going to be afraid of anything if he can.
Let’s get it out there that I don’t need permission for anything, but I do respect others feelings; so I checked with him first because we worked hard to respect each other again.
I think if it was from his perspective it would be different. I think there must be some thrill seeking and excitement that comes from illicit relationships. The realization that low self worth causes that is something people only really discover later. I’m 12 step program recognizing the inner lack is part of recovery.
To me it seems like this narrative gives him an excuse – I had poor self worth, my wife was better than me, I though she had hurt me an I was trying to get back at her.
Maybe it does. Maybe it’s true. I have no idea. It’s just what I read.
In this story I empathize with the wife who is trying to support her husband and who ultimately gets betrayed.
My own experience is extremely similar – I am better educated and higher paid than my spouse. People always called me the sugar mama. Maybe he felt intimidated by me. Maybe those thoughts drive him to cheat.
That’s sad for him, as he had things good. I know he sees that now too, and is seriously remorseful. But until he finds his self worth, if that’s even possible when he has lost the respect of his children, I see no future.
I appreciate your story. It makes me pause to think a lot.
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Thank you Anne. Your right Rich did what he had done all his life: he ran away because it was the easier option than facing up to his fears. But….
When he came back (and I had him back at 1st so that I could get my head around what happened, and leave him on my own terms.) I told him that he had to step up to the plate, he had to face his fears, and he had to keep up; and trust me I gave him no slack.
But he did, he was truly remorseful and I needed to make sure that I did not walk away because of pride, if I walked away it was because I didn’t like him (As I said in my first journal entry). I did not want to look back and wonder what if?
Just now I said on someone else’s blog that they have to be contrite, not sorry, contrite: feeling or expressing remorse at the recognition that they have done wrong. A few people have reacted to that, and agreed it is the right word to use, and contrition is never ending it is an ongoing thing.
I know you are angry Anna (I was so so fucking angry) but I would urge you to consider all the options before you make a decision, you can walk away at any time, you cannot always return. It can be done I know.
Sending you a hug because what you’re going through is the hardest thing I ever had to do.
Your writing has been the most helpful of any.
Craig seems so sorry…and willing to work to change.
And I like him.
And at the same time I’m afraid.
I’m an trying hard to not make decisions and to give him the opportunity to show his true self.
That said, our kids are so hurt. As teenager they had a good life and it is now changed and they are shaken. One is very embarrassed. I know he is. And he is very protective of me. And that crushes me. And so I am wary to even consider forgiveness when they might see that as a betrayal of them.
Omg. This is all just too many decisions. I desperately want to go back to how Hingis were….
Firstly you cannot go back, but you can move forward and make something better. Our son called Rich a c**t at every opportunity for the 1st 6 months after he came back. He was angry, and Rich accepted it because he thought he was a c**t too! (Tom was 17)
Like your son he was so angry because of the pain I had gone through. But they do move forward, ultimately they are their dads.
You need to put yourself 1st at the moment, if you want to try then try. Face that fear, as I said once you have nothing to lose, you’ve already lost it. But you have everything to find.
Also it is too soon to think about forgiveness, to be honest I find that hard to define even today. I think I had reached forgiveness when I realised I would not go back and change what happened! I know weird! But true.
Thank you for your kind words, I am so pleased that our story helps.
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Thank you Moises. Your blogs over the last couple of days have really helped. Thank you so much for sharing your story. I got to know about my wife’s affair <2 months back. We were in a long distance for about an year and the affair lasted 8 months.
I wanted to ask you, as you saw your husband do whatever it takes get you and the relationship back, were there moments for you when you felt, you are not interested at all, even though you may see genuine contrition/remorse. If yes, how did you get past them? I am not sure what I am going to do yet. There were no cracks in the relationship for this to happen but it did. I think it's karmic. And I also believe that you can change your Karma by deciding how you respond to it.
Your blog has been an immense help and a source of hope in this darkest hour. Thank you
I am sorry that you are in such a difficult place. I hope this entry helped to give some perspective through the pain. Moisy
Yes it did. Can you please share your perspective – I wanted to ask you, as you saw your husband do whatever it takes get you and the relationship back, were there moments for you when you felt, you are not interested at all, even though you may see genuine contrition/remorse. If yes, how did you get past them?
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Yes, nearly every day I felt like that at the beginning. There is no quick answer, i put timescales into place I saw all the small things, I tried to remain in the here and now