|2 years ago :: Dec 07, 2010 - 8:41AM #1|
Hi, it has been a while since I have posted but the last time I did I got some really great advice that helped dramatically. Thanks for that. Currently I am in somewhat of a pickle and I again seek advice from those of you, who like me, feel compelled to reach out and help whenever a fellow brother or sister cries out. I am crying out...be warned this is a long one..
Almost 6 years ago I relocated and got into a wonderful job. My spouse at the time was abusive and I had to leave. He was a cheater..caught in the act and a mean alcoholic. So I left. It took me years to divorce him because I felt like a failure. But I finally did.
I eventually came to be on my own after my children all moved out. I of course felt the impact of emptinest snydrome to the point that beyond my normal character I put an ad in for a roommate. I was so lonely and I had never 'not' taken care of someone I was freakin out because I had no one to take care of. This was November of 2009.
Earlier that month I had talked with a girlfriend about how I thought I was ready to move on and start dating again, after all it had been 5 years. After hearing me lament to the point of empathy she shared that as young girls her and her sisters wrote a letter or list for the perfect man and put it in their Bibles. I told her that I had never heard of such a thing. Later that week and after playing with the idea I decided what could I lose. I was going to write a letter/list to God and put it in my Bible. I could change the list as I met or dated men and determined that, oh no I really don't want that what was I thinking!
In December I got a roommate. A young man about 28 and not originally from the area but he seemed mellow and nice so I figured well, this is what I decided so now I have to follow through. I guess I should say that upon completion of the letter/list I had also decided that I would quit drinking and focus on me, take chances and be adventurous..after all...I was alone. I had come to terms with it. It was my time now. I had been a mother or a wife since I was 21. I was 39. I needed this. I was scared. So getting a roommate was my first big..Prove it! We got along great he continued to be mellow and it was actually really nice.
One night as we were sitting around talking I asked him what he wanted for Christmas. I come from a large family, 15, and not being around them as I lived in another state I could understand how he might be homesick too. l did not expect his response. "I would like to kiss you". I was shocked. He was really young what the heck was he saying. And when I looked over at him, he was serious. So I panicked and said that I was flattered and didn't know what to say. I would think about it.
Boy did I think about it. Every possible second! I felt giggly and shy and my face would get hot every time anyone was around and asked how the roommate was going. Like I was 16 again or something. It was awful. So hard to keep under control. It came to a head one evening as I sat by the fire on a cold December night and he came out of the bathroom from having just taken a shower...he only had a towel on. Oh my! I kept telling myself look away, look away, stranger danger, stranger danger....but it was no use. I looked and I drank in. I have to tell you, the distance between the bathroom and his room are about 4 feet..but it seemed like it took him forever to walk by. So I was done. I knew it at that moment. After that it was all I could do to not faint or breathe like I had just done a marathon whenever we passed each other in our 900 sq. ft home. Ha!! It was tortuous. So one day when he was home early and unexpected he asked if I had given that kiss anymore thought. Thankfully I was in another room and he couldn't see my panic, my giggliness,and my instant red face. I told him that, "timing is everything". His comment, "there is no better time than the present". I panicked and told him that I would give him a kiss on New Years to bring in the new year. We had a great New Years night. I have never really gone out and partied or celebrated it but that night we trecked the snow in search of a decent bar. Found zero that we liked and ended up going home to start a fire and watch a movie. He did get his Christmas wish and boy was I nervous. I stil feel that way when I kiss him sometimes. That nervous first time...what if he thinks I am a bad kisser, thought.
It was awkward living with him after that kiss. It was so new to me. The age difference the family difference. He was an only child, I was the 13th out of 13. But I had told myself that 40 would be fabulous and I was determined to live life well. I bought a dirt bike at his urging and I LOVED IT! We were having so much fun together and getting closer every week. One night I was looking at him and freaked. His mouth, he had a slight imperfection. I freaked. I went straight for my Bible and opened it up. Out fell the letter/list. I skimmed its contents for what I knew. In my list/letter I had thought, I am going to put something, a character trait or something in here that I know no one will have so that if it is true and I meet my mate he will have this flaw that only I and God know about. So I will know that he was sent by God. I cannot tell you how much I was shaking. I re-read the letter I had forgotten about and was amazed by its contents and how closely it matched the man in the other room. My roommate. God had delivered him right to my door. Literally! I kept this to myself and tried to not think about it so much and enjoy my life.
I tried so many different things and was feeling like I was a Rock Star! In January I was a size 14 and pushing...I was feeling so great about life and myself for the first time in so long that I got back into shape and was a trim size 8. I felt awesome! and then...he told me one day that he wanted to move in with me again after our lease was up in a month. I said okay. We got along great and were more like best friends than anything. About 3 days before we were scheduled to move he informed me that he had found another place and thought that it would be best if we stayed friends and went our ways. We could still hang out because he really cared for me. I was devastated and probably in shock because I couldn't say anything and I didn't do anything. I just let it happen. About 3 days later he asked me over. I didn't want to. The house that he rented was one we had looked at and he had even put me down as a reference. It was common as he did rent from me but it hurt. Well at that point I figured at least I will be able to see him and spend a bit of time with him so okay. I never went back home. He asked me to move in with him several days later and so eventually I did. I was still stung by how he mis-handled things but I had never been so happy in my life and I wanted it to continue. Besides, that letter/list was still in the back of my mind. If he was God sent how could I not try to see it through. And he was fun. I had been a hermit for a very long time. My son even commented on how great I looked and how happy he was that I was finally getting out and living. He said this with tears in his eyes. So I went with it.
Several months ago I decided that I wanted to leave my job. I was getting to the point of being burnt out. I advised in employment and training and with the budget cuts and all the clients suffering I had to get out. My roommate, now boyfriend, told me he had to go back home for a bit and wanted me to join him in a few weeks. He was going across the country. So after a few weeks I decided why go and visit why not quit, invest in a business together and live life well. So I did. I quite my job of 5 years, pulled a chunk of my retirement, left my family and kids and moved across the country. HUGE CHANGES. Especially for me. He left in August, I flew out the first of September. It was great meeting his family, as little as it was and in mid September we had to go back home to put our things in storage and move out of our old home for good. While we were there I was checking my e-mail one night and as I opened my phone it took me right to it, or so I thought. It was his e-mail. I saw a Photo option and thought I would take a peek to see if there were pics of him snowboarding because he enjoys it so much. I thought it would be great. Not so much. I found two pics actually more like 6-8 of two girls who he had been e-mailing. They were not too inappropriate but testing the limits. I read the emails with the pictures and how he had been bragging about how he was going to have his own business and how excited he was and and and...he was talking like he was single. My name was not mentioned as the buyer or purchaser of this investment. I was shaking so bad the phone dropped to the floor. He came into the room to see what happened and I showed him. His excuse was that he was lonely and he was drunk. He was emailing these girls the day before I left my job of 5 years. He had only been gone for several weeks at that time. I was devastated. I had made so many sacrifices, so many. It was like I had gotten the life sucked out of me. He was my best friend. Friends don't do this. Beyond the love that we shared, we were friends first. I hurt so bad. But what could I do? No job, the investment.... the letter/list. Was God challenging me to see if I really did want what I had asked for, was he testing me? So I came back with him across the country.
We fell short of money before we could get the business fully started so now he has taken a job and I am still unemployed and receiving no income. I have no appropriate clothing because our business was supposed to take us to warmer weather, my bank account is overdrawn and I just applied for Food Stamps. I forgot to mention that I found more emails/texts. This time I was looking in his phone. I wanted to see if he kept all my texts like I do. It turns out he doesn't. But, he did save his texts to several other women. 3 of which he was trying to see again while he was here and I was still working. He was trying to hook up with his ex's. He even stated to one of them that he was so hurt that it was killing him that she was saying she was no longer interested in being more than friends because she had another man. Another one he stated he would come and see when he was in her state and as his (our) business took him there. The other was a text to someone he was chatting with on an online dating network. He was commenting on her new skin art.
Since all of this I know I have no trust in him. We are not very sexually active either. I want him but he usually turns me down. (this has always been a stressful part of our relationship) He is stressed he says. I know he is not with someone else because of our situation we are together alot. I look at him and my heart breaks at what my best friend did to me. Its all I see and now we argue whereas we never have before. I feel like I am stuck here with no life and extremely limited options since I have zero income. Unemployment pending. (pray for me) I was soooo happy for the first time in such a very very long time. I feel like I am fading again. Into that hermit. That object that men keep discarding so easily for another woman. I am pretty, I am fit, I have great admiration for people and things, I am a great cook, I am very clean, I am smart, articulate, well liked and fun and up until a few months ago I could bring home the bacon. I am reduced to an empty shell and I dont know what to do...please, any advice will be very much appreciated. I keep thinking about not giving up, about that letter/list and if this is part of a test. You would be amazed if you knew how many of those things I wanted in my man are on that list...infidelity was not one of them. It was the main reason I left my last husband and it took me a long time to get over that insult. Now what?
So finally, we are to my quandry. I have absolutely no idea what to do.
|2 years ago :: Dec 07, 2010 - 6:21PM #2|
wow. after reading this i feel like i should just go straight into holy orders when my youngest leaves home.
after three years of on and off separations i was widowed in 2002 and left with three children to raise, then ages 8, 12 and 16.
i have no advice for you but i would ask you to try this. think of me as a mother or sister or daughter who is in the exact situation you are in. what would you advise me? what would you want to tell me? then tell that to yourself.
i have to do this exercise often when i am faced with a decision. i pray the best for you and all yours manifests in your lives.
|2 years ago :: Dec 07, 2010 - 11:25PM #3|
First, thanks for being willing to be so vulnerable and share your story.
Have you ever read the book(or heard of it) "He's Just Not That Into You"? Might be an idea to pick one up, or borrow one.
It sounds very much like he has played you, as many younger men have done to older women, and i'm very sorry for that. Scumbags like him will get their just desserts, for eventually, we all reap what we sow.
If you are a partner in the business you started, i'd recommend that you audit the firm as thoroughly and completely as humanly possible asap, and if the slightest tinge of fraud or deception is revealed, to sue his ass. This would help you recoup at least part of your investment. Because there were no "loans," per se, but an investment, investments entail risk, and you may well have lost it all, unfortunately. i really wish you had written sooner, and i would certainly have made sound suggestions for just how to invest, secure your interest, and/or make him sign loan agreements.
As you are currently unemployed and on food stamps, you may wish to apply also for unemployment insurance payments, too, while you either brainstorm a business FOR YOURSELF, or seek employment using your skills. IIRC, you said that you were an employment counselor, so i would find it likely that many State agencies would have openings for someone of your proven ability, considering the number of people currently in your state; alternatively, there may be a number of corporate entities that would consider your experience a plus in any HR dept.
As to your heart, my suggestion would be to leave him asap. While once, looking at him made your heart leap for joy and flutter at the thought of him, now every sight of him reminds you of the pain and betrayal; this situation, then, obviously has a quite negative affect upon your psyche. Remember the good times with fondness and as soon as you can, attempt to recapture that head-space you were in at the initial stages, but when you can, focus that feeling on yourself.
IME, many people make a great mistake when they entrust another with the sole care of their happiness, and no one can bear that burden for long.
You may find some small benefit from reading "The Man Who Didn't Believe In Love," which starts, iirc, at post 7 here:
You might also wish to contact someone in your family or among your circle of friends, to see if they could put you up for 6 weeks to 2 months while you heal from your wounds, grow strong again, and set out once more in search of adventure.
i greatly admire you willingness to take risks with your heart again, and sincerely hope that when you DO heal, you will be wiser and more cautious/prudent in future relationships---for life entails a measure of risk, and you risked it all---and at present, seem to have lost it all. i'm reminded of the following piece of literature:
If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or, being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise;
If you can dream - and not make dreams your master;
If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with triumph and disaster
And treat those two imposters just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with wornout tools;
If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on";
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings - nor lose the common touch;
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run -
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And - which is more - you'll be a Man my son!
But who says that nothing in the above can apply to women, eh?
Feel free to visit any time, and ask any questions you may have. There are many good-hearted folks here that will do all they can to help---and if any wish to castigate or belittle you, shame on them!
"History records that the moneychangers have used every form of abuse, deceit, intrigue, and violent means possible to maintain their control over governments by controlling money and it's issuance."
-- James Madison(1751-1836), Father of the Constitution for the USA, 4th US President
|2 years ago :: Dec 08, 2010 - 8:29AM #4|
Hello and thank you both. I appreciate and take to heart your responses.
I must say that I feel a bit better about things today, although things are still not as they should be.
We talked last night. He stresses that he is so sorry that he hurt me and it was the biggest most idiotic thing he has ever done. I told him that I didn't want to hear his apologies I needed to see him put those words into action. I told him that the I love you's weren't enough, its too easy to say. He said that he was sorry that he hurt me because he was confused about us and unsure. I told him he should have said as much to me, before I quit my job. But honestly I think he knows I don't mean that 100% about the job. I was burnt out on my job and I knew I needed a strong change..when I thought about the idea of getting out of an office and trying my hand at another skill I knew there was no doubt that this was what I had been waiting for and needed, so I suggested to him that we go into the business. It seemed like the timing was perfect. Too much pressure..? Maybe. I am not about to excuse what he did but one thing about him, apart from his secret, he has always been honest with me. When we first started dating and he was unsure about us he would tell me. It hurt but I was thankful that at least he was being honest. I have to respect that he was unsure, haven't we all been..? But again I am not about to excuse what he did.
Maybe you can offer another suggestion for me, for us as I try to work my way through this. He asked me what he can do to make me trust him again. I told him I didn't know. He was sincere in his question of, "what can I do?" I am not about to guess at a mans definition of what he needs to do to obtain a womans trust again. My last husband and I never even got into that kind of a conversation, he didn't think I deserved it. I am happy that this partner asked... so if you can offer some suggestions from a male perspective I would like to pass that on to him. Thank you so much for keeping me in your hearts.
Thanks for the links Hatman. I remember you from posting about 5 years ago. Glad to see that you are still sharing your amazing insight and helping those in need. You Rock!
|2 years ago :: Dec 08, 2010 - 10:55AM #5|
Ok, the answer to the question "What can i do to help you trust me again" is "Complete transparency and completely honest communication for one year."
When he asks, "What does THAT mean?"
You could reply, "No secret email accounts. No secret cell-phones. Give me all your computer passwords. i have complete access at any time to all of your email accounts, and you will withhold nothing from me, including my ability to check your cellphone and text message history. If i call you and you don't answer right away, you are to call me back within 15 minutes or have a damn good reason why you didn't. If you violate your word to me for ANY reason, if you let me catch you in ONE LIE, we're done, we're over, immediately, no third chance, no fourth chance, no fifth-sixth-seventh chance."
Personally, i don't take too kindly to being betrayed and ripped off. Ergo, if i were in your shoes, i'd cut my losses. If someone smacks me upside the head, i take that as a clear indicator that i'm not wanted in their presence, and if i was to stay, it would simply invite further smacks to the head. Personally, i would despise having to live as "Mr. Detective" and spend hours every day looking for further lies and betrayals; frankly, i would have had enough and moved on.
"Trust me" is one of George Carlin's "3 biggest lies in the world." (One of the other two is "the check's in the mail" but the other is X-rated, not even PG, so i'll refrain from relating it.)
What your trust has gained you so far has been destitution, impoverishment, and betrayal. "If you always do what you always did, you'll always get what you always got."
Believe ZERO of what he SAYS; believe EVERYTHING he DOES.
Unless you're a closet masochist, and really---secretly---enjoy being abused, i reiterate my earlier advice; audit the hell out of the "business" you helped him start(and, no doubt, attempted to make succeed, too, giving your time and energy and ideas freely and without charge, as well), and if you find any fraud or deception whatsoever, sue the hell out of him. Get away from him into separate living arrangements asap.
From what you've related, it sounds very much like you're addicted to him. "He hurt me, but he didn't really mean it; I will give him another chance." Repeat ad nauseum.
Not me, baby; you eff me over ONCE, you're history.
"History records that the moneychangers have used every form of abuse, deceit, intrigue, and violent means possible to maintain their control over governments by controlling money and it's issuance."
-- James Madison(1751-1836), Father of the Constitution for the USA, 4th US President
|2 years ago :: Dec 20, 2010 - 1:47PM #6|
Trust, once broken, is very difficult to restore. And trust is the most basic requirement for a loving and wonderful relationship.
Hatman of course has given some excellent suggestions. I'm wondering how you have been able to communicate them and whether you have been able to start building trust in the relationship.
|2 years ago :: Dec 21, 2010 - 2:54PM #7|
Thanks. I have taken some of the points and applied them to our relationship issue. I am somewhere that I can't just get up and leave from. I don't know anyone here and my family/friends are all across the country. I do love him. He has been a strong force in my life when I was going through a pretty rough time when my kids were all gone. He helped to bring me out of my shell. I am not saying that he makes me happy. I learned, through taking chances, that I am responsible for that. However, I do believe that I am happy with him. This 'issue' will take time to go through and for that trust to be rebuilt. I am not thrilled about it but if we are willing to work through this together...Support one another...
I have been married before, several times, and by now I am more certain of what I want in a man and he has so many of those qualities. He is not perfect, neither am I. Can I say with a certainty that he won't do it again? No. But we talked about it and he knows that I will not hesitate to leave. I also learned through those marriages that you can't give up so easily/quickly/without a fight if you love the person.
I hate what he did to me, to us. But I think that I would hate it more if I were to leave and not let him try to recover this. After alot of thought and alot of conversations with him I know I don't want to leave him. I have invested in him too, not just our business. And that letter keeps coming up. I think that God brought him into my life for a reason and I haven't quite figured out what that reason is. I know I am a better person since he has been in my life and I know that some of it is directly related to him. I wouldn't say that I am addicted to him. I would say that I am adiccted to hope. A prisoner of hope. I am not getting any younger and it is not easy to meet men. You worry about his past if he is a stranger, you worry about whether he is crazy/psychotic, a murderer, a con artist...so many worries. We were friends before anything and through that friendship I came to love him. I came to realize that he is a chance I am willing to take. He is also ten years younger than me. Not an excuse but I do have some experience on him and he is going to make some stupid mistakes, we both are. But..if I am able to stay true to myself and not compromise my integrity or morals while understanding that he is only human and will never be the man of my dreams..I think I have a chance of this being a great relationship. My Jesus is the perfect man of my dreams and I won't put that false hope into a man. After all even God saw that man couldn't do it alone. I want to be the best partner I can be with no unrealistic expectations and not compromising ME.
|2 years ago :: Dec 23, 2010 - 10:54PM #8|
Isa, what I am going to tell you may seem harsh, but I am going to ask you to look at the part of your post that I have set in bold face. That section tells me two things: 1) you believe that you need a man in your life, so much so that you have been married "several times" and 2) you're willing to put up with a less-than-good relationship because you don't want to be on your own.
Dear heart, my advice is to cut and run now! This man is not the one for you. From your description of him he's immature and irresponsible. You've given up far too much for him and he, seemingly, has done nothing for you except separate you from your children, your friends, your job, your money and your independence, and taken you on a trip down the garden path. His behaviour can be described as abusive - not physically, but certainly psychologically and emotionally.
If you can't afford to leave town, and it sounds as if that isn't a possibility at present, then get yourself to the nearest women's shelter and stay there until you can get away. You have grown children? Could they send you the price of a bus ticket? Is there a pastor you trust who would be willing to help you out of this mess?
You're right; there are no perfect men, but that doesn't mean you have to settle for someone who is so far from perfect. And I'd also suggest that you give up any idea that God sent this person into your life. God may answer our prayers with a firm 'No!' or a 'Not yet!', but God never sends liars and abusers into our lives, ever!
As I said, this may seem harsh, but you're making excuses for this turkey and staying with him is only going to lead to more pain for you. I pray that you will find the strength to break this cycle of dependency and make yourself and your emotional health the number one priority in your life. God bless you!
"God is no captious sophister, eager to trip us up whenever we say amiss, but a courteous tutor, ready to amend what, in our weakness or our ignorance, we say ill, and to make the most of what we say aright." from 'A Learned Discourse on Justification', a sermon by Richard Hooker (1554-1600).
|2 years ago :: Feb 08, 2011 - 8:37AM #9|
Hello! I guess that did sound kind of harsh but thats okay, no worries.
Just wanted to let you all know that things are going well. It has been tough. A lot of talking a lot of sharing, no matter how painful and a lot of supporting each other in our current situation. (not just in our relationship) but with our business plan. I uh we are both stir crazy from living out of a suitcase and that has only added to our stress. But we talk more now. He has opened up quite a bit. He has made sure that it is clear that he loves me, only me, and regrets his stupidity. He told me he has never been in a relationship with a woman and he is unsure about alot of things. (He has only dated girls of his age or younger) At one point I left, checked myself into a motel. I just couldn't deal with his lack of progress in our relationship. In some way I think we needed the break. It gave me time to think and I believe it opened his eyes. I don't think he thought I had it in me. Anyway..
He does not want to lose me and wants to make this relationship work.I have not been easy to get along with lately. Bute even so, he has been moved to tears when on ocassion I have pointed out my pain if he says/does something to hurt me. He is opening his eyes to how he treats me. He is by no means perfect and I dont want him to be but I do want him to always try to be the best that he can be...which in turn benefits 'us'. Keep your prayers with us. We need it. I would imagine it will be tough from time to time but we also love each other and for now...it has to be the backbone, our strength. Pray for us to be lead to the right church for us. We have explored but haven't found our nitch yet. Thanks again for your advice. I would have to agree that both of us has grown somewhat in this. So much love and appreciation ~Isabel