Please help, I'm trying to work out what happened? Was this my fault?
I will try to be succinct...I grew up in a broken home - had a very difficult childhood where I was abandoned by my mother and my father left for another woman leaving me with my grandparents. Dad died when I was 15, and my grandparents whilst I was at uni aged 19. Since then there has just been me. I graduated, got a good job and never relied on anyone for anything. Always stood on my own two feet, travelled the world, bought a property, had relationships but equally I was happy on my own. I never really needed anyone....until...
Two years ago, at work, I met a man. When we first met I wasn't really that bothered either way. I could take it or leave it. As I got to know him better I realised that our lives had been so similar. he too had come from a broken home, had struggled and moved away and like me was making a success of his life. Over a period of a few months we had talked and talked I thought we really had a connection. Something I had never had with anyone before in my life. I felt a real empathy with him. I understood him and felt he understood me more than anyone I had ever met. after a few months of this I thought we were happy. he was suggesting plans for the future, involving me in his life, in everything. Then suddenly things changed. I felt winded. He was in the shower and had left his phone charging in the bedroom where I was getting ready to go out. A text flashed on the screen and it was a picture of another womans vagina. I was shocked, just horrified, I didn't understand...I confronted him about this - he said it was something he had been doing for years, that he was contacting woman on line, 'playing games' with them to see how far they were willing to go, that it was all about control....that it wasn't a reflection on me. That he was falling for me and he was embarrassed about this problem and that he was trying to stop. Because I had a difficult past too I tried to understand, tried to help him. In day to day life with me he was kind and good and this problem was something we could deal with together....then one day he went out on a works do (by then we were pretty much living together) he didn't come home, text me to say he was happy, but drunk and was staying out and would be back the next day....he came back the next day. it was fine. A few days later one of my colleagues told me he had been with someone else, he denied it, said she was a liar but I didn't believe him. I pushed for the truth, eventually he told me he had kissed someone else, that it meant nothing. that he was flattered, but then felt guilty and assured me it would never happen again. I was so hurt, so degraded and I had to work with this other woman. I said nothing to her as I didn't want to humiliate myself by telling her I was actually in a relationship with this guy....she had no idea.
I became so paranoid. He continued to send messages on line, I would use my (our) computer and hack his email, facebook, anything....I would see conversations with other women over and over again....yet I wouldn't leave. He would say that he only did it because he was unhappy, because I was checking on him, that he had no privacy, that I was 'spying' on him....to be honest I know what I was doing was wrong but by then I was so in love that I just wanted him to stop. still he didn't leave me. I would get silent treatment...I would help him with work things, washng, cleaning, shopping, cooking - keeping house, I just wanted him to see how I was a good person and to stop treating me badly. He would go out sometimes (maybe once a week) after work and I would find myself anxious as I had seen these messages and was paranoid and so unhappy. I just desperately wanted him to stop. he would go out and not come home. I would text him late at night to say I was going to bed and that to ask him to let me know if he was coming back or not. he never did. He would text me the next day to say that he didn't understand what the big deal was that he was just out after work, drank too much and that I should trust him. I would lie awake all night often crying not really understanding why this man could treat me like that. I guess I had built a life in my head. like it was me and him against the world. this continued for the rest of our relationship and things got so desperate for me that one night I drove to the pub where he was at around midnight and text him I was there outside to take him home. I couldn't believe that I had done that. there he was sitting with a group of women from work, including the one he had first cheated on me with....he got in the car. Agrued with me all the way home saying that my behaviour was awful that I had followed him aroundt and that I ought to be ashamed. he was drunk and when we got to the house he started packing a bag to leave. I tried to snatch ti from him trying to stop him from leaving that he headbutted me - dislocating my tooth and then pushed me so hard that I almost flew across the room, smacking me head on the wardrobe, almost knocking me out. then he came to his senses, apologising to me saying I ought to call the police and get him arrested. I didn't. I told him it was my fault and that I pushed him into it by getting between him and the door.
Christmas eve I went to work. When I got home he was gone, and had taken all his things with him. I was devastated, panicked and alone. I had spent Christmases alone before but nothing could console me. He text me on Christmas day to wish me merry Christmas and to say he was sorry but he felt he had little choice but to leave me. That I was making him miserable. when I tried to talk to him he told me that he said ;'leave me alone you are ruining my Christmas'. I was so hurt. alone, just devastated. That day I sat alone on my kitchen floor contemplating ending my own life. I was desperate.
slowly I have rebuilt myself. contacted a few old friends - told them some of what happened - not all. Tried to make sense of everything. I have thrown myself into work. sometimes using all my energy just to put one foot in front of the other.
He has contacted me many times since. Firstly to ask me for 3000 he gave me (for furniture) - I gave it back. Then to repeatedly tell me that we are not getting back together. more recently I think he is seeing someone else. I wont go into detail but I am pretty sure - some things are more than a coincidence. he denies it, saying 'why wont you believe me?', why would I lie?', 'you are just paranoid - just like the old days'......I am so hurt. so betrayed....but more than anything so angry with myself for allowing this to happen, for being so weak, for not walking away.
I torture myself with this repeatedly and now six months later I still have days where I think this is my fault, that my checking on him made him send these messages, and my inability to walk away made him disrespect me. I was waiting for him to change, instead of leaving as I perhaps should have....does this behaviour make him a narcissist? Or am I just trying to rationalise it as not my fault? It just made me feel so unwanted, unloved and now I am left with no one, I have no family and I'm too embarrassed to tell my friends what happened to the full extent, I am seeing a therapist for my childhood abandon,ent issues. Why do I still miss him? I don't even feel angry. Please help. Your advice would be gratefully received.