Hi. I, too, am going thru a divorce at this time. Extremely painful. Even more so because I was the one to file for it. He left me no choice. You see, we didn't have a "committed" marriage. A "commitment" to and from another human being was what I bargained for when I married again after 16 years of being single (after my first divorce). During those years, I figured out my pattern. Initially, I was drawn to men who were all wrong for me and I learned what signs to look for...or so I thought. I can usually spot a commitmentphobe from across a room, that is, those CPs who display all of the usual signs...fast pursuit, falls "in love" with you quickly, pulls out all the stops, etc. and I learned to steer clear of them or break off a r/s quickly if I thought it was based in "fantasy". However, this one I met thru E-Harmony - you know, the site where people who are supposed to be serious about relationships go to. I have learned over time that you ALWAYS have to pay attention to their HISTORY. That tells you a LOT about a person. Don't believe their words - look at their history. Well, this one LIED to me about something as important about having a long term (5 or more years) affair with his married neighbor - yes, the mother of his kids' friend. And the sickest part is that he DID mention her in his ad about being the person he could confide in. I am so freakin stupid and naive that I actually believed that if he was being so upfront about her, he couldn't possibly be hiding anything. AFter all, she was MARRIED and, according to him, he ate dinner by her and her husband's house often - at the husband's suggestion...after seeing the pizza man every nite and feeling sorry for him wanting him and his kids to have a home cooked meal. From what I did know about him, it was incomprehensible to me that he could be screwing the wife of a man who he sat across the dinner table from several nights a week. He was a very caring dad to two boys, a wonderful son to his parents, had been employed by the same company for over 20 years, etc. Everything about him seemed too good to be true. Anyway, I found out the TRUE nature of his r/s with her while writing out my wedding invites. Keep in mind, I am relating the story about who he supposedly was PRIOR to my meeting him. Once we starting dating, it was heaven. He was the answer to my prayers. Although I was initially not that attracted to him at first, he was soooooo good to me and so caring and loving that I kept having these conversations with myself that he was a "keeper". I felt that he would always take care of me and my daughter and that he was a gift sent to me by God himself. So, when he proposed, of course I accepted. I couldn't believe that at 41 I was finally getting married again and would have the nice big family that I had already dreamed of having. Ok, back to the wedding invites. As I sat there in my kitchen addressing the invites for the small wedding that we were planning on having with just family and very close friends, I made it to the name of his "friend" and her husband on the list. When I asked him for their address, he said "oh, she's not coming to the wedding". I said "what do you mean she's not coming to the wedding? She's been like your best friend, your confidante and should be excited that you have finally found happiness with someone." He once again said "She's adamant that she's not coming to the wedding". Well, I don't know if it was the tone of his voice or the fact that it made absolutely no sense to me but right then and there the BUBBLE BURST!!! Stupid me realized the exact nature of their "friendship"!!!! I was devestated. I couldn't believe he had LIED to me about something so important. I mean, if this affair was PRIOR to meeting me, why did he have a problem coming clean about it? B/c he KNEW that I would lose respect for him as a person because I don't believe in that selfish behavior. It is wrong if you are married and it is wrong if you are fooling with someone who you KNOW is married. There is no way in my mind to describe it except SELFISH! Anyway, and this is what is eating me up NOW....I wanted to call of the wedding, end it and move on. He BEGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGED ME to forgive him, said he was ashamed of his behavior and that that is why he didn't tell me about the affair. He said that he had realized a lot of things about himself and that was NOT the person who he was or wanted to be. Now keep in mind....I WAS COMPLETELY IN LOVE WITH HIM WHEN I FOUND OUT ABOUT THIS. My world was shattered with this news. I consider myself a pretty strong person but not strong enough to walk away from all of my dreams and the "love of my life" just like that. So, I told him that he would have to come to counseling with me (I had been seeing a counselor for several years to overcome my bad choices in men) and...get this....my counselor even fell for his "act" about being too ashamed to tell me and that he was desperately in love with me!!!! So, I went thru with the wedding. Now, I am not blaming my counselor, just making the point that they are VERY CONVINCING OF THEIR LOVE FOR YOU!!! Anyway, went thru with wedding and within MONTHS, little by little, the distancing started, the little things he used to do such as leave notes under my pillow before going to work stopped, etc. Even though I brought these things up to him ("babe, I really miss those little love notes you used to leave under my pillow" etc etc), he made no effort. You see, he HAD ME now and his FEAR was kicking in! NOw he was creating the distance in the relationship. He was slowly taking bad EVERYTHING HE HAD GIVEN IN THE BEGINNING. One of the main reason I remarried was because I really always wanted another child and at my age, didn't have a whole lot of time to waste. All of a sudden, he didn't want kids (even though while dating he had said "maybe, it would depend on his age!") You get the picture. Fortunately for me, although it HURT LIKE HELL, I KNEW what was happening - I knew I had married a CP (commitmentphobe - i.e., someone who has a claustrophobic reaction to intimate relationships) although that didn't necessarily make it any easier for me. It took me almost two years to gather the strength to file for divorce. I didn't WANT a divorce...but I also didn't want a sham of a marriage. You see, I had fallen in love with this man's fantasy and, in marriage, I was experiencing the real thing. What makes me the most sad I think is that experiences with people such as this make it harder and harder to believe in love - that it really exists. Too many people surrender to their FEARS instead of to LOVE and it is very, very sad. To those of you whose husbands or wives are running into the arms of another, what they are doing is no different than what my husband did - it takes on many different forms. Some hide behind their work, some hide behind their kids, some hide behind their lovers, but ultimately, no matter how you want to look at it, they are emotionally unavailable to you. They are NOT THERE FOR YOU!!! It is TOO PAINFUL for them to accept genuine love from another person...and because of these feelings in them that US loving them provokes, they don't understand what is happening so they conclude that it must be US, that they didn't really love us or they wouldn't feel this terror, so they move on to the next "victim". Like I said, knowing what is happening doesn't make it any easier. But to those of you who are obsessing about the "other woman" or "other man", there is only ONE THING you can be sure of......unless that person has even a greater fear of intimacy than your significant other, the SAME THING will ultimately happen to them. And if the person they hook up with is the one with the greater fear, then your significant other will one day soon be hurting JUST AS BADLY as we are now. Its a sickness. For anyone needing more insight on this, there are fantastic books written by Stephen Carter that you will SWEAR were written about YOUR relationship with the CP. The titles are "Men Who Can't Love", "He's Scared, She's Scared", "Help, I'm in Love with a Narcissist", etc. Check them out. You'll be glad you did. Sorry for this long rambling but although I am hurting like hell, I KNOW I will get thru this and find someone who is NOT afraid to love. And I know that because HEALTH FINDS HEALTH. And I will continue to work on my healthy psyche and not allow him to pull me into his twisted, tormented world. I KNOW that i cannot save him - nobody can...and he will end up desperately lonely and will never find genuine love with another human being.
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