Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
#2598694 08/17/15 05:32 PM
Joined: Jun 2010
Posts: 1,405
A
Member
OP Offline
Member
A
Joined: Jun 2010
Posts: 1,405
Hello all, I'm back with an update--been a long time since I've been here, so long I barely remember how to navigate :-)

Anyway I guess the reason I came back today was that I came across a wedding website for my XH and his fiancé (she is the same woman he left me for 5 years ago) and I was just beyond stunned and wanted to know if anyone else has had a similar experience.

This is the first window into his life I've ever really had other than snippets of things here and there that get back to me.

Anyway this man is pushing 50 and he's got one of those websites set up that 20 somethings make. It's very showy and narcissistic, filled with pictures of them every place they have gone, etc., and then a ridiculous list of requests for wedding gifts. They say that they have a beautiful house and all the things you could ever want, but they want cash for their honeymoon and then provide a list of things that cash can go towards--like "bail" and "the country of Greece so we can own it", etc. I mean I have never seen anything like this before. Their wedding is at a super large 600 a night dollar resort. It's in the same area he and I used to vacation, but hugely pricier. The thing comes off like they ooze money. And yet I know for a fact what they make a year, and they are very middle class. I have no concept how they are affording all this--but that's not even the issue. The issue is that this bears ZERO resemblance to the guy I wasted 23 years with. He had values and was not materialistic or showy. The guy in this wedding site is the complete opposite of the guy I lived with.

The good thing is that I REALLY am glad I am estranged from him. He appears to be a terrible person from this. And I did have an email exchange with him 2 months ago re: a financial settlement thing and he ended his email with some remark about how he thought about leaving teaching to work for a non profit but realized he couldn't afford it because he "had to support 2 wives in retirement"!!! And yet I'm not a wife. And yes he owes part of his retirement to me, but that's because I had to PAY HIM about 100k in the divorce settlement!!! He isn't supporting me at all! And he said "If Don Draper can support 2 wives then so can I." ??? My psychiatrist said he was trying to bait me to keep talking but I ignored that and never replied.

Anyway I guess what makes me upset now is not that I'm shocked to find he's so different--that's typical of MLC. But I'm bothered that I wasted 1/4 of my existence on this planet with someone as repugnant as this man. By the looks of the website, he's living up some American dream of flash and cash. But the narcissism, oh my goodness. I feel like in the rare times that I feel I miss "him", which happens maybe 3 times a year, I'm missing someone who never existed. Because this person must have been inside him all that time.

I could have been single and happy like I am now, or married to someone else. I might have had kids, even. I don't know, I just feel such terrible regret that I wasted so much time on someone so horrible.

Has anyone else seen something like this? An ex who went from quiet and introverted and frugal to showy and narcissistic and spending money like there is no tomorrow, and to do this 5 years after the affair?


M45
Bomb 6/09; EA 6/10; Divorced 1/11
Proud single mom of 7 little feline girls and one little feline boy
"Fall down 53 times. Get up 54." -- Zen saying
Joined: Jun 2008
Posts: 12,602
M
Member
Offline
Member
M
Joined: Jun 2008
Posts: 12,602
People change. This could be a result of MLC or it could be just how his fiance has changed his life the same way you changed his when you were together. While you see his behavior as disgusting,he sees it as a positive and if it makes him happy, that's all that matters.

You haven't thrown away those years. It's just life. I'm sure you've changed as well, hopefully for the better.

Have you been seeing anyone?


M-43 W-40
2D - 9 and 5

Emotion, yet peace.
Ignorance, yet knowledge.
Passion, yet serenity.
Chaos, yet harmony.
Death, yet a new life.

RECONCILED AND WISER
Joined: Jun 2010
Posts: 1,405
A
Member
OP Offline
Member
A
Joined: Jun 2010
Posts: 1,405
No. I'm honestly so jaded I am single by choice unless I meet someone by chance/circumstance who has honor and integrity. And my being jaded doesn't have to do with my XH but with the quality of guys I've met since the D, and I've met them online, chance meetings in nice places, in the workplace, or by friend intro. I did online dating for over a year with a few websites and that was demoralizing at worst/annoying at best and I found it made my life stressful, so I stopped doing it. I have been approached by 3 different male friends over the years and two have attempted to make me a sort of internet/online/email affair partner and the third, a hookup/friends with benefits partner, because they say they lack certain things in their relationships and they want those things from me in secret. Two are married men and one is in a LTR. I have broken off those friendships entirely.

Once in awhile I feel lonely for a mate, but the majority of the time I'm happier being single than dealing with all these people who lack integrity. I know there are guys out there with integrity, but all the ones I come across are happily married :-)

I'm not at all resistant to dating someone, but with effort and without effort, there have been no viable options yet other than one guy I met online; I wasn't ready and I rejected him. He is a good man--but after I said I didn't want to date, he met someone else, and he's been with her since and he is so happy with her. Turns out he wanted kids (he never told me that) and she has 2 from a previous marriage and he gets to be their "dad" in a way, so I'm happy for him.

I have changed for the better--I'm way closer to family now (and friends) and have widened my world to include a lot of people instead of just a spouse as I did before. I just turned in my 3rd book for publication. I teach about women's empowerment now in a gender studies course which I never did before. I am a real writer now and I was barely that before. My father is suffering with a lot of illnesses now and I'm helping my family out and I know that before I was not one who would go out of my way to help. LOL maybe all my xh's empathy in the past transferred to me in the present ;-)

I'm an actual role model for my students now. Before I was talking the talk but not walking the walk at home as a feminist, but now I certainly am :-) So yeah I'm quite different.


M45
Bomb 6/09; EA 6/10; Divorced 1/11
Proud single mom of 7 little feline girls and one little feline boy
"Fall down 53 times. Get up 54." -- Zen saying
Joined: Jun 2008
Posts: 12,602
M
Member
Offline
Member
M
Joined: Jun 2008
Posts: 12,602
I know how the experience with your XH has made you extra cautious about the dating thing. You'll always be wary of the same thing happening with a new person. I think we're all like that. Just try having fun.


M-43 W-40
2D - 9 and 5

Emotion, yet peace.
Ignorance, yet knowledge.
Passion, yet serenity.
Chaos, yet harmony.
Death, yet a new life.

RECONCILED AND WISER
Joined: Jun 2010
Posts: 1,405
A
Member
OP Offline
Member
A
Joined: Jun 2010
Posts: 1,405
Thanks for the reply, MrBond.

My discontent at present has nothing to do with being single--as I said I'm happy and single (and I have a lot of fun in my life with friends, family, and by myself) but has to do with regretting all the time and effort put into a relationship with someone like my XH. I kind of feel like an idiot. I guess I wish I had been smarter or more perceptive. You are right--some of his changes are fueled by the fiancé and her lifestyle, while some of the changes aren't changes so much as parts of him I saw small glimpses of (the narcissism) that have only flourished full force in the context of his rel. with another equally narcissistic person.

I think Bea said it's so weird how you end up feeling sorry for the person the MLCer becomes, but I also feel sorry that I couldn't have made better choices, but I guess I wouldn't where I am now, and I'm happy with who I am now, if I hadn't :-)


M45
Bomb 6/09; EA 6/10; Divorced 1/11
Proud single mom of 7 little feline girls and one little feline boy
"Fall down 53 times. Get up 54." -- Zen saying
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 18,882
Likes: 299
K
kml Offline
Member
Offline
Member
K
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 18,882
Likes: 299
Narcissists can be shape shifters. My sister's ex is a bonafide narcissist. When he was with her, he looked like a good guy, shared all of her interests and friends. In the years since they've been divorced, he's married 3 more times, always with the same shape-shifting pattern. None of the interests and very few of the most gullible friends have stuck with him.

Now, bear in mind, the website is likely your ex's new bride's handiwork, not his. But still. Something embarrassing about someone in their 50's getting married and asking for donations to their extravagant lifestyle.

Joined: Sep 2011
Posts: 1,356
N
NLW Offline
Member
Offline
Member
N
Joined: Sep 2011
Posts: 1,356
Hi Antonia,

Good to hear from you.
Just wanted to say that I have experienced something very similar with my mlc-er - I'm embarrassed to refer to him as my X now.

He has changed into someone I could never have imagined - the opposite of the man I thought I had a relationship with.

I have 2 kids from the years I spent with him, but apart from that, I would be feeling like you - that it was a sham and a waste of my time.

From what i can gather, this man has now broken up with the OW he left us for (after 4 years) and is now living back with his parent (at age 45) as he has no ability to live an adult life that involves budgeting for things like rent, food, taxes, etc. for himself.
He continues to live a narcissistic life of indulgence and luxury on the back of someone else's income.

Just amazing, and humiliating to think I was so taken in by him.

Joined: Jun 2010
Posts: 1,405
A
Member
OP Offline
Member
A
Joined: Jun 2010
Posts: 1,405
kml interesting that you should say the website is her handiwork, because you are right--it's not that he has no influence, but I have taught writing for over 20 years and the writing on that site is definitely not his in style or correctness. It's more like his ideas and someone else's translation of them. Her name is also first everywhere. (it will be her first marriage). But I agree. The fact that a 50 something is going along with the kind of stuff that a 20something does is really tragic. I don't know if I'll ever marry again, but that last thing I'd ever do is ask people for handouts at my age :-)

NLW thanks as well for your perspective. It's very hard to look at that big a chunk of hours spent in one's life and find much meaning. I have a few friends who have said "I have nothing to show for all those years but my kids" and I don't have kids. I don't think I made a wrong decision there, but when you don't have a physical being in front of you to say "well at least I produced this child" it becomes more difficult to "show" something for all those years. And I've published a lot, but that is all since he's gone. The only thing I can really say is that the way I was duped/taken for a ride/naïve has proven to give me a lot of fodder for what I write or teach today, and my hope is (if you can forgive sounding cliché) that I can save just a few women from getting into relationships with narcissistic men who appear to be wonderful when they are something else entirely.

And I agree I feel humiliated too. But someone here years ago used to say that we do the best with what we have at a the time and not to try to beat ourselves up over it. I guess I need to keep that in mind.


M45
Bomb 6/09; EA 6/10; Divorced 1/11
Proud single mom of 7 little feline girls and one little feline boy
"Fall down 53 times. Get up 54." -- Zen saying
Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 2,538
B
Member
Offline
Member
B
Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 2,538
Hi - good to have an update You might google character trap - there is a guy writing about malignant divorce, and what he says about character traps is interesting. There is another therapist who talks about character disorder. They use these terms in part because they avoid the problems of diagnosis of personality disorder and also point up that this comes on, rather than being a long standing personality disorder.

Some of spouses here have displayed long term problems, others were committed and loving spouses for many years.

I do know what you mean about the sense of having wasted a big chunk of our lives on someone who turned out not to have been worth it.

My gut feeling has always been that the showier the marriage the more is being hidden - simple and happy weddings always seem the nicest.


Moderated by  Cadet, DnJ, job, Michele Weiner-Davis 

Link Copied to Clipboard