Relationship It hasn’t been a fairytale in a long time

This is going to be very long so thanks to anyone who sticks it out.

5 years ago I met G. I was in love with him before he ever knew. We worked together and eventually he fell in love with me too. Falling in love with him was the most exciting experience I’ve ever had. I had never felt so loved. We planned a life together, moved in together. We both knew one another had issues. I have severe anxiety issues. Times I’ve been great, times I haven’t been able to leave the house. I told him all about it. I said it could get really bad. He told me he had been severely abused as a child, and developed some unhealthy coping skills with porn, sexual images, etc: He said he had done a lot of work and those things were under control. They weren’t.
Three days after moving in together I found out I was pregnant. My kids were already older (college and middle school). The whole time I was pregnant, he was lying to me. About everything. Porn, images, girls he said he slept with but didn’t, stories of his childhood that weren’t true. I would question him, he would not only lie, but make me think I was going insane. One time he left his phone in the kitchen and music was on. I picked up his phone to change the song, and he came back in. An incognito tab was open on his phone. He said I did it. I didn’t go near that. But I sat there confused trying to figure out if I did it or not, even though I knew I didn’t. It was a very hard and confusing time in my life. After my daughter was born, about two weeks after, I went digging on my own. I found out everything I didn’t want to. I confronted him. He lied until there was no way to lie anymore. I found out he was doing these things for the three days I was in labor having our baby. To say I was hurt is lessening the pain I felt: I was devastated to my core. I decided to leave him. I was really leaving. Making plans. But I loved this man so much. Then this man got honest. He outed himself on everything. Things I never would have found out on my own. Began to tell the truth all the time, even when there was no chance of anything being found out. It made me feel so much hope.

We went to therapy. There I found out that during his childhood, his step-father would beat him badly. He spent a lot of time alone, punished in his room. His father had a large porn collection. As a child he would sneak in and watch it. His stepfather would catch him. He would try to get away with it again. Get caught. Adrenaline would fill his body over this behavior. Through therapy we found out that he was repeating this behavior with me. Not doing things for sexual pleasure, not even becoming aroused. But chasing the adrenaline, lying, waiting to get caught, punished.

Going through this fueled my anxiety that was laying right below the surface. And after the hurt came the anger. I let him have it every chance I got. I shamed him, I told him he was disgusting. I treated him as badly as a person can treat another person. I left my job, the panic attacks were too much. I fell apart.

Time passed. I worked on my anxiety. We had our son. I worked some more on my issues. Here we are with two babies, two issues of our own. He decided to go to therapy again, this time to deal with the deep issues from being abused in his childhood. I will just say it has been VERY difficult for him. It’s not easy to watch him suffer. And he is suffering. He’s bravely facing his traumatic past. But it has resurfaced some of the past behaviors mentioned above. It is incredibly hard. We have a special needs daughter, a baby, and round and round we go.

I’ve told lies of my own. I have a deep resentment for what he put me through. I have a deep resentment for the false representative he sent to the beginning of our relationship. I fall confidently in a place where I say my lies are small, your lies destroyed me. I’m learning lies are lies.

I have no one to talk to. My friends adore him. My family is grateful for him. And none of them have any idea the hell I endured. The nights I was exhausted from having a baby yet sobbing so much I couldn’t sleep. I have no one to guide me or to relate to, because no one has a partner who seeks out see through shirts online to recreate a past trauma for an adrenaline rush. No one “gets” it. No one understands the specifics of the situation.

I really don’t even know what I’m asking for here. I just wrote this all and said to myself, this whole thing doesn’t make any sense.

Im resentful of the fairytale that was taken from me. I’m resentful that I have to question his intentions. He’s resentful for the anger I put upon him. And that I can’t be the stoic woman he needs when he’s struggling. But I try. I try so unbelievably hard. I can tell you no one has given him the effort I have.

I am filled with fear. I’m filled with fear of a lifetime of trying to figure out the truth, checking phones, feeling the highs of when we are great and then the lows of when it’s awful. He’s filled with fear. As he walks through beating his issues, can I be who and what he needs me to be. Can I get and stay honest. Or are we doomed to repeat this sickening cycle over and over until one of us can no longer take it.

It would be so helpful if I had someone to relate to. Someone who could say hey, I’ve dealt with this. But I know the chances of that are extremely low.

What truly get me is this. He says I need to let the past stay in the past. And he is right about that. But how do you do that when it’s the present? How do you truly accept a behavior that keeps repeating itself, on different levels. No, he is not the lying, deceitful gas lighter he once was. I am so grateful for that. I’ve told him so many times how proud of him I am for the work he has done. But the cycle exists. He acts out, he lies, until he’s either caught or has so much shame he needs to tell the truth. It’s so reminiscent of the past that it’s SO hard to leave it in the past when little particles of that AWFUL past are all around me.

If you made it this far, thank you. I needed someone to hear me.
 

Sweetpea76

Moderator
Wow… that’s a lot to unpack.

I know how hard it is to be a supporter when you have your own anxiety/panic issues. Have you sought help for yourself? That’s probably the best place to start, because you have zero control over anybody but yourself. You have to make sure you are in a good place before you can even begin to deal with him.
 
Wow… that’s a lot to unpack.

I know how hard it is to be a supporter when you have your own anxiety/panic issues. Have you sought help for yourself? That’s probably the best place to start, because you have zero control over anybody but yourself. You have to make sure you are in a good place before you can even begin to deal with him.
Thank you. You’re right. I am doing a ton of exposure therapies for my panic disorder/agoraphobia. I’m so much better than where I was. I definitely still have more work to do before I can say I am recovered.
 

joeylittle

Administrator
@KrystalwithaK - I'm sorry to hear about the tough time you're going through, and glad you're talking about it. You might also find it useful to open a diary in the supporter's section; journaling can be helpful.

As administrator, I'd also like to let you know that we only allow one account per member. This is an international forum, and it can take a few days for new threads to get responses. If you have questions about any aspect of how the forum itself works, you're encouraged to reach out to staff via Contact Us. You'll also find lots of useful info in the Help Pages.

It would be so helpful if I had someone to relate to. Someone who could say hey, I’ve dealt with this. But I know the chances of that are extremely low.
Something you might be able to find is a local support group for people living with someone else's mental illness. NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) is an incredible resource in the US for identifying local resources. The website is www.nami.org, and you'd want to look for "find your local NAMI" under support and education.

Having people to connect with is an important part of life with mental illness - and the chances to finding that really aren't as low as you might think. Our site is one place, but support groups (where you can see and talk in real time) are amazingly helpful.
 

Mytime

MyPTSD Pro
@KrystalwithaK sorry your going through this hard time at the moment. As hard as it is, working and focusing on yourself is a great step to take. You’re starting the process of your own journey and personal growth. Putting yourself first with self-care, learning about boundaries and how to set them, continuing with your own therapy and growth.
 
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