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A Message from Michele
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Look Inside one WAW~~~~~ Then and Now #1899726
12/22/09 01:50 PM
12/22/09 01:50 PM
Joined: May 2008
Posts: 2,978
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smartcookie Offline OP
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smartcookie  Offline OP
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Joined: May 2008
Posts: 2,978
Some people think that a WAW is hard, angry, cold. In a fog. There's more to her than that.

4 years ago, a woman laid in bed at night, not wanting to wake up in the morning. There was no way out. She couldn't divorce him. He would have visitation without her there to protect them. He had never hit them, but he surely didn't understand how to care for them. He didn't even know who they were.

She couldn't leave. She had no job, no way of putting food on the table for the children she loved. She had been dependent for so long, & she trusted this man to provide for her. Now she lay in bed, wondering who he was, & how she got her. These were not the choices she would have made, if she had a 2nd chance.

She couldn't talk to him. He couldn't hear her. She desperately wanted to share herself with him. He had walls up. She couldn't penetrate them. He seemed so content to work, watch TV, eat & sleep. Why didn't he want more, like she ?

She felt trapped. She resented herself for letting him treat her this way for so long. He told her often enough, he was a good husband. She needed so much more from him. She tried telling him, for years she tried, then she cried, she begged, she pleaded, but he couldn't hear.

He was cold, hard, in a fog.

She tried everything, she read every book. She prayed her heart out. She tried to be more Christ-like. Figuring if she set the example, he would follow.

She knew it came down to two choices. Her children's happiness, or hers. She would sacrifice hers. She decided to stay, & raise the children, with this man who would never know her. When they moved out, so would she. Then she would salvage what was left of her.

She put her heart in a dusty old box in the top of the closet. It was easier. She didn't hurt anymore, she was numb.

When she finally quit trying, & tried to fill her hours with distractions, he noticed. His fog was lifting. He wasn't quite so cold, so hard. She didn't care. It was too late. She was numb. Her heart was in that box. She vowed never to take it out again.

She stumbled through her days, crossing them off in the calendar. Wondering how much longer she could live this way. Did her children see her unhappiness ? She wondered, are they better off with a single happy parent, or with two parents who co-exist ? The torment was eating her alive. What to do ?

By now, she wasn't sleeping. Wasn't eating. She pulled away from all of her friends. She was dying inside. She desperately wanted, needed to be loved, appreciated, noticed, cherished. She was a beautiful fragile flower slowly dying without water, sunshine & air.

When no one was watching, she cried. She cried til she ran out of tears. She wanted it to be over, she wanted the pain to stop. Everytime she looked at her husband, it reminded her of the pain. The pain that was consuming her. She turned to alcohol to numb the pain. Anything to make the pain go away. Her friends ask her why she's losing so much weight. She wonders, why can't anyone see that I'm dying here. She doesn't try to tell the man she shares a bed with, remember, he can't hear her.

She finally writes him a letter. She says she is done. They need to raise their children, & he's the only one who can be their dad. Now he's fully awake & out of his fog. He's scared. He had no idea how bad she hurt. He thought things were good. He's been living in a separate reality from her.

He says he'll change, he'll do anything, to make her happy. He says his family is the most important thing to him. She doesn't believe him. She's numb. Her heart is safely in that box. He tries, she watches. He tries some more, she watches. He's dying now. She's numb. Now he wants the pain to stop. She's numb. She wonders why did things have to go this far before he would hear me ? Now she doesn't want to talk to him. She's numb. Talking to him reminds her how much she used to hurt, she can see it in his eyes now. Her survival instincts kick in, at least she doesn't hurt now. She's numb.

The only place to go from numb is anger. He tries some more, she can see he's making changes. Now comes the buried anger. The anger that she wanted to express to him for all the years past. The anger she was afraid to show. He doesn't realize, angry is better than numb. He takes her anger. For 12 months he takes her anger. Sometimes he fights back, & when he does she goes numb again.

She's so scared to take her heart out of that dusty box. Numb is so much safer. Angry is so much safer. Does he know how hard it is for her. She knew the day that her children were born, that she would give her life for them. She just didn't know it would be like this.

Sometimes he tries to push her to heal faster. She's doing her best. He wants more from her at times. She's doing her best.

Some nights, the pain returns, & she remembers, & she just can't sleep. She's not numb anymore, and the anger is going away. She doesn't know how or where, but it is. She's so scared. Numb is safer. Angry is safer. If she gives in to her fear, to her sometimes overwhelming fear, everyone will call her a WAW. She wanted you to know.
_________________________


M 19 years, MC for 8 months, DB'd for 8 months
4 kids; 18, 15, 14, & 10
I was never meant to be a doormat. It took me years of therapy to become assertive enough to stop his abuse.
Re: Look Inside one WAW~~~~~ Then and Now [Re: smartcookie] #1899731
12/22/09 02:00 PM
12/22/09 02:00 PM
Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 3,082
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robx Offline
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robx  Offline
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If you don't mind my asking, was your husband physically/verbally abusive towards you? What things did he do to you?


"...Well, my favorite color is light tan. My favourite animal is puppies. I like serving the Lord. Hiking, playing volleyball..."
Re: Look Inside one WAW~~~~~ Then and Now [Re: smartcookie] #1899738
12/22/09 02:14 PM
12/22/09 02:14 PM
Joined: May 2008
Posts: 2,978
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smartcookie Offline OP
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smartcookie  Offline OP
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Joined: May 2008
Posts: 2,978
That was 4 years ago. Now, this morning I'm laying in the darkness awake again. I go to divorce court in a few hours. So much has changed. I've changed. My kids have changed. I never wanted to be divorced. I wanted my family intact. I wanted my kids to have their dad in the same house. I grew up without a father, I never wanted theirs to be absent. But.......their dad made his own choices.

He was more absent when he lived in this house. Now that he's in an apartment, when he's with them, he's sometimes actually with them. He talks to them more. He is more involved in their lives. He's taken them to dinner alone & had conversations with them that I begged him to have for years. He has taken them to doctor appointments, and been involved in getting them to and from activities. He went shopping for a Christmas tree with them the other day, he put up Christmas decorations with them. He never did that when he lived here with us. I did everything with the kids. He worked. He escaped into work. He chose not to be involved with me or the kids. He chose work.

Now that I've filed for divorce, he says he can't get a job. He's being a "consultant" and making $1500 a month, so he says he can't pay spousal support. His choice.

I was a stay at home mom for 15 years. I went out and found a job in 3 months. He has worked and made $100 K a year for the last 3 years, but now he can't find a job. His choice. I'm now a working single mom. Something I never wanted, but now I have choices.

When he and I were together, I didn't have choices. He was controlling, domineering, chauvanistic, emotionally and verbally abusive. He was withdrawn, silent, cold, and disconnected. He worked. I asked him to talk to me, compromise, take turns. He refused.

Now I have choices. I'm emotionally & psychologically safe in my own home. I'm rediscovering myself. I'm finding out that I am capable, smart, strong, and confident.

I am a kite who was meant to soar. He was an anchor. He was insecure and afraid that I would soar, so he beat me down. Verbally, emotionally, and psychologially.

I'm soaring now. I ran a half marathon two weeks ago. If I would have told him I wanted to do something like that, he would have made it sound stupid for me to even try. I didn't tell anyone, I just did it. For me, for my new self. My stronger independent self.

I was oppressed for many years of my marriage. Not at first. It started slow, gradual. He tested my boundaries to see how far he could push me. I pushed back at first, then after years of pushing, I grew tired, and stopped pushing. I let him push me further and further away from who I was meant to be.

Now.......I am finding who I was meant to be. It's stressful and anxiety ridden at times. I worry about the kids, money, what will happen in a few hours when we go before the judge and dissolve this union. But, I have no regrets. I do not want to be with this man. I would spend the rest of my life alone, broke and safe to be free of his oppression, control, manipulation, and abuse.

You may ask why I share this. I'm hoping....praying that some men/women who are controlling and oppressive and pushing their families away, will read this and wake up and change........before it's too late for their family.

At first when my husband was reading here, I was scared and freaking out. Then I realized it's the best place he could read to understand how his actions and choices impacted us. He made his choices. I made mine.

Yes I walked away from my marriage, but only because that relationship was destroying me.


M 19 years, MC for 8 months, DB'd for 8 months
4 kids; 18, 15, 14, & 10
I was never meant to be a doormat. It took me years of therapy to become assertive enough to stop his abuse.
Re: Look Inside one WAW~~~~~ Then and Now [Re: smartcookie] #1899748
12/22/09 02:36 PM
12/22/09 02:36 PM
Joined: Feb 2008
Posts: 4,585
Northeast
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Gypsy Offline
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Gypsy  Offline
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Hey sweet cookie..

What a journey. What growth. What a woman. *hugs*

No blame, only action.

Congratulations on your continuing path of health, self care and love.

You're worth it.

*hugs and smiles*

Re: Look Inside one WAW~~~~~ Then and Now [Re: Gypsy] #1899751
12/22/09 02:45 PM
12/22/09 02:45 PM
Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 4,058
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Tomato Offline
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Tomato  Offline
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Smartie ..is it really you?

Interesting.

Merry Christmas. Leave some of your cookies for Santa.

May your holiday season be a blessed one.

Ted


debut thread
Re: Look Inside one WAW~~~~~ Then and Now [Re: Tomato] #1899752
12/22/09 02:47 PM
12/22/09 02:47 PM
Joined: Nov 2009
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soleil Offline
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soleil  Offline
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What an excellent post. I can totally relate smile


Me: 29
Got a ticket to the D concert
Re: Look Inside one WAW~~~~~ Then and Now [Re: smartcookie] #1899754
12/22/09 02:50 PM
12/22/09 02:50 PM
Joined: Apr 2008
Posts: 1,408
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gucci loafer Offline
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gucci loafer  Offline
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Joined: Apr 2008
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Quote:
Yes I walked away from my marriage, but only because that relationship was destroying me.


And THAT was the ONLY reason you needed.

You did the right thing. Congratulations on getting strong and saying "enough"....

Re: Look Inside one WAW~~~~~ Then and Now [Re: gucci loafer] #1899765
12/22/09 03:02 PM
12/22/09 03:02 PM
Joined: Dec 2009
Posts: 400
Nebraska
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Dane Offline
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Dane  Offline
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Joined: Dec 2009
Posts: 400
Nebraska
SC,
This is great perspective for me, you sitch has similarities to my sitch with W. Thanks for helping me understand the feelings and the depth, and duration of the hurt a wife can experience. My wife, I am sure, has a very similar perspective.
I am ashamed of myself, and saddened that I might not be there to be a part of her soaring.
I am tempted to copy your post and print it out to discuss with my wife.
We are on the very edge of divorce, and she has expressed most of the same thoughts you have. I also probably woke up way too late.
Sometimes us men need a 2X4 too the head, being subtle does not work. You need to tell your man, exactly what you are feeling. Do not beat around the bush, or let him off the hook.
Good luck to you. Sounds like you have peace.
My prayers are with you.


M=43
EXW=42
Married=19,T=21
S=17, 14
D=12
WAW Bomb=10/09
Deep EA confirmed=12/11
EA exposed=12/12
Divorce final 11/1/10
Getting stronger every day.


Re: Look Inside one WAW~~~~~ Then and Now [Re: Tomato] #1899768
12/22/09 03:04 PM
12/22/09 03:04 PM
Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 124
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pitinmygut Offline
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pitinmygut  Offline
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Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 124
Reading your first post in this thread really opens my eyes to what my STBXW must have endured during our 9 years together.....I don't think I was as withdrawn as your STBXH, but I see a lot of similarities. It breaks my heart knowing that I am/was responsible for this.

Anyways, good luck in court today....and Happy Holidays!


Me 44/W 32
S1
M8
Bomb 9/25/09
Separate houses (about 1 hour apart)
Re: Look Inside one WAW~~~~~ Then and Now [Re: smartcookie] #1899781
12/22/09 03:20 PM
12/22/09 03:20 PM
Joined: May 2009
Posts: 3,844
Southeast
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givingitmyall Offline
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SC,

Wow! What a post. And some of it hit quite uncomfortably close to home for me.

I wish you the best of luck. All of this is very, very sad. No one really wins. I think we just hope to get over our problems with as few battle wounds as possible.

I feel remorse, sadness and regret on a level I did not think possible that I did anything to hurt my W. And I know I did. I'm not perfect. None of us are.

"IF." What a powerful word. IF I had only done this or IF I hadn't done that, IF SHE only knew how sorry and how much I've changed...Then the sadness that comes along with the realization that IF doesn't matter anymore. It just doesn't unfortunately. Damn. How did we get here?

And that really hurts.

Last edited by givingitmyall; 12/22/09 03:20 PM.

Me 43, S11, D7
M13
Bomb 4/20/09
Current
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