Dazed, confused and discarded
Well, I have been reading for weeks and decided to finally post my story and participate. I am in the minority here in that I am a man but I also am one of you in that I became involved with an N and didn't know it till so much damage was done and confusion reigned inside my head.
I had been in a most unhappy marriage to an N for 20 years. Decided to stay for the kids years ago but my sadness worsened, our communication got even worse and with my wife's refusal to go to counseling I began to think of leaving. At my job I had a colleague that I met and didn't like. She was extremely arrogant and bossy; I felt she couldn't be trusted. After working with each other for 18 months, she changed. The arrogant bossy edge disappeared and in its place was a very flirty engaging woman. I responded and just about a year ago we kissed. The passion and the attraction was unlike anything I had experienced. She was also married but told me shortly after that kiss that she was unhappy, her husband neglected her, never touched her and she had a very high sex drive and needed that in her life. I could not believe what was happening, but I did not stop it and for that I feel tremendous guilt and I am paying for it dearly now. Never thought I would be a man of low integrity--the cheater, the adulterer. Call it what you want but it is for me to reconcile. I know I made a huge mistake.
This new woman has turned out to be a vicious N. Type A all the way. Controlling and there is constant drama and complaining from her. I am the polar opposite. On our second day as a couple she told me she loved me but that she also couldn't leave her husband. On day 21 she told me she wanted to marry me and that she was telling her husband she wanted a divorce. I fell for it and didn't realize the importance of these red flags. The relationship with her was a whirlwind. So incredibly exciting. Dinners out and long conversations. She was so enthralled and invested in me and she was the most incredible woman I had ever met. Smart, kind, beautiful, caring, sensual, sexual. She embodied everything I ever wanted in a woman. Within a couple of weeks we had slept together. Like many of you have mentioned, the sex was phenomenal. Very bonding for me and validating that I am desirable (never got that from my wife). Every time we made love was emotional for both of us. She was perfect. We spent so much time together at work and then would find time on the weekends. Called each other constantly and there seemed to be such incredible intimacy so fast and it was so consuming. This was an obsessive relationship on both our parts. Incredibly intense and serious so quickly. Near constant communication and sharing who we are to one another. She even said she never believed in soul mates but I had changed her mind. Said I was the best lover and was perfect. I had never been so happy.
After a couple of months she slowly would intersperse compliments to me with criticisms. At work she'd say I was good at what I did but also would say I was not prepared and I'm poorly organized. She would get mad at little things. I answered my cell phone one day in her office and walked away. She yelled at me that I was being dismissive because I didn't say "excuse me". She was angry and attacking and it put me on the defensive. We argued in the parking lot for 20 minutes. I noticed she would never tell me how she felt when she was upset. Rather she would tell me how I was. So instead of saying she was hurt that I suddenly left her office to take the phone call, she defined my actions as dismissive and told me so. This would repeat itself many times over our 10 months together.
I also noticed that all our arguments, and there were many, would end with me apologizing for whatever and it would take her a lot of time to accept the apology. She had lots of criticisms of me. She would say I spoke in a passive way or that I used words that were too aggressive or that I overreacted or I was overly sensitive. I would tell her I was emotional about something and she would reply with disdain, "Everything's emotional to you!' I would resolve to change and soon I could see the eggshells all around her. I never knew what was coming or what would set her off. And when she got mad she was aggressive and condescending and never wrong. This was too hard. Intersperse this craziness with times of tenderness and making love for hours at a time and the intermittent reenforcement and trauma bonding were in full force. I was in love. I knew there were problems but I felt we could overcome them. We continued to talk of getting married.
One night I was to meet her and got delayed by a phone call from my mother. We spoke and I then went for our rendezvous. My N asked why I was delayed and I told her. Why didn't you get off the phone with your mother? I don't like the way you deal with her. You're too passive in the way you deal with her. You're too passive in the way you ....and she then proceeded to list the ways in which I conducted my life that were inadequate. I was dumbfounded and could not understand how inappropriate all this was. The anger was oppressive and out of proportion for what happened. We argued over this for hours. After our breakup I told her I would have appreciated it if she had just said she was hurt that I was late rather than listing the ways I lived my life in ways she found unacceptable. Her response was that she did nothing wrong, she was totally appropriate and she was just pointing out how I was similar to her exH. Over the last 3 months we were together the fights became more frequent and it was always something I did or said.
We had one week where we spent a lot of time together and we were very close. Made love 3 times in 5 days. The next week she said she needed a break. Two days later she came over to see me, we made love and then she told me she wanted to date others. But she had someone specific in mind. I was crushed. She went on the date and then told me about it (!). I could not stand to work with her anymore listening to her go on about her social life. I arranged a transfer to another department. She talked to me for and hour and talked me out of it and then later that same day told me it was a drain talking to me. Told her I was hurt by this comment and she didn't understand why. She didn't think I should be hurt. I went thru with the transfer (but before I left she said "You've had 2 days to be nice to me and you've fucked it up!") and she then said she didn't want to go out with the other guy but wanted me instead. I said we needed the space to cool off. She said that if I didn't go out with her, she would go with the other guy. I was being manipulated but relented. We were to go out, but it never happened.
She was to tell our boss about us, paving the way for us to be an official couple. I wasn't ready and told her to wait. I needed to think and deal with all of this. She then said the only way she wouldn't talk to our boss was if we were broken up. She was putting our relationship on the line to get her way. Initially I said I didn't want that but she kept pushing me that her decision to talk to our boss was logical and I was just being emotional (silly me). I eventually called her on it and said OK, we are broken up. She met with our boss anyway and then called me to say she would never ever be with me again. We were thru. Two days before the breakup we were talking wedding plans. She quit on us too easily and quickly. Prior to the break, she told me the guy she had gone out with (20 years older than her. She is 35) was too old for her and she did not have romantic feelings for him. After our break she went out with him and in 2 weeks time was in a committed relationship with him. Four weeks after that she told people at work she wanted to marry the new guy.
The pain of all this is so excruciating. I think of her constantly. The energy and drama are gone and I miss it, even though much of it was destructive. I miss the person who I fell for but I know that is not the real person who was with me. I miss the excitement, the time spent with her, holding her hand when we walked, the conversations, the tenderness, the sex. Everything. Well, not everything. Not the insults and anger and lack of empathy. I don't miss feeling on edge about what I will do next to set her off. I don't miss her blaming me for all that is wrong in this relationship. I don't miss her lack of taking responsibility for her behavior. CD is gripping me. I had been NC for 7 weeks but yesterday she called about a work related issue that could not be resolved by email. We spoke but nothing of a personal nature. Got off the phone and just fell apart. Had been doing better actually. Her desire to marry the OM so quickly really told me that my relationship with her was not special, as I thought it was. I thought and believed all she told me. Just words. Still hard to believe there was not something incredible there. Well, there was for me. I loved her and cared. I gave all that I could and it would never have been enough. I believe she sensed the end and was lining up the next man before this one had completely run its course. Had we not broken up when we did, I believe it would have happened in short order. While I want her still, she has literally moved on to the next guy, probably not even thinking of me. Still so attached 9 weeks after the break and 7 weeks since I instituted NC. The pain, though less, remains. So hard to move on. Keep wondering when she will realize how incredible we were and she will come back but the truth is we weren't. It was rocky and passionate and emotional and exhilarating and it has left me a wreck. I miss it. I miss her.