Can we curse on AskMe? I want to.
August 11, 2010 12:22 PM Subscribe
I'm bitter and angry at my ex-husband. Also, shallow. Please help me change.
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (30 answers total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
So I was divorced 5 years ago after a 20-year long abusive (verified by more than one therapist) marriage. I was a wreck for a really long time and now am in a much better place except for the fact that I periodically become full of internal rage against my ex-husband because my life since my divorce has been so hard and his seems so much happier and nicer.
Additionally, he has started doing so many of the things I wished he would do when we were married. For example, when before he would just let me basically raise our kids alone and go alone to all their functions, he takes them on awesome vacations that I wish we had gone on when we were a family. And just recently I found out he is treasurer of his homeowner's association! I know that's a strange thing to become angry about, but you have no idea how many times I sat alone in stupid neighborhood things while he stayed home not caring.
So basically it seems in so many ways to me like he's living the life I always wanted to have with him and I keep wondering why I wasn't good enough for him to have that life with me. Add that to the fact that for 20 years, he literally did tell me that he would do more "if only I would..." and that I spent 20 years trying to do whatever he asked so he would love me and -- even though I know it's stupid -- I feel like I failed and that there really was something I could have done to have the family I wanted. In my mind, I know that's not true, that he's doing these things because I'm not there anymore to do them for him and that probably because once he had to take on the responsibility of maintaining a relationship with the kids, etc., he realized there was pleasure in it, but in my heart, I feel like I failed and like all it took for him to be happy was for me to be out of his life, even though I'm the one who left him because he was so verbally abusive and even though every time I left him, he always begged me to come back.
In the meantime, also, I'm barely scraping by, particularly since my kids are becoming over 18 and I’m losing child support and gaining college expenses and he’s gaining back the child support and earning at least twice what I make. So I’m having to watch every penny and I’m tired and irritable around my children while he’s happy and buying them cars and clothes and taking them to Lollapalooza and paying for ice skating lessons. I’m glad they are getting to do these things – I just wish I could be part of it.
So, in short (although I haven’t been – sorry), I feel like it turns out that the man who demeaned me and belittled me for years really did steal my life and that makes me angry and very, very sad.
I don’t feel like this all the time, just sometimes when it’s just too much in my face. I never mention this to my kids; I never mention it to anyone. I’ve been in a ton of therapy and I’ve actually gotten a lot better. I haven’t met anyone I really want to date since my divorce and I’m sure that would make me feel better. I personally think I’m still fairly pretty, but when I look at pictures of myself, even when I’m smiling, I think I look sad and I’m sure that vibe comes across.
How can I get rid of this? Rational thinking and explanations don’t necessarily help or at least the ones I tell myself don’t. I’ve tried several different approaches in therapy – from talking a lot about various incidents in my marriage to not talking about them and instead focusing on the present. I’m sick of seeing myself as a victim but sometimes I just want to cry and key his fucking Prius.