I'm actually a little nervous posting, as I have never posted on a forum before.
I've been pouring over the message boards here for about 2 months, since I stumbled upon the forum when googling 'no empathy from ex'. (HA)
Thank you to everyone who has shared their stories. Obviously, I have drawn strength and courage from all of you- which is why I am finally brave enough to pipe up now!
I have hesitated in the past posting because I am not sure if I just fell in love some poor slob that makes bad life decisions, or if he is truly disordered. I don't know if he is an N, but I know something is wrong. I know most would say 'Well, if you have ended up here, then you know your answer.' which makes sense! But there is sometimes that lingering doubt.
I finally decided to post because I came across a few stories more recently regarding individuals working with their N's. Unfortunately, I also work with mine (or whatever he is). It is BRUTAL and has set me into a sort of personal nosedive which I am desperately trying to right.
Also, I felt like posting here would be the final nail in the coffin concerning my relationship with him. Plus we work together, and I am paranoid about my job. Argh.
I became friends with this N at work, and as he was engaged I felt like it was a 'safe' friendship. Boy, was that a fatal error. He got married (to incidentally his wife who we also work with!) and the friendship continued to blossom. Pretty quickly it got to the point where he was telling me that I was the most incredible person he had ever met, that he was falling in love with me, that I was perfect and the woman of his dreams. I backed off- but he continued to pursue me. I do have a lot of guilt for what has transpired, and I know I should have stopped it. I should have had boundaries, and not have needed his attention. (Never ever get involved with someone from work. Yes. I know.)
For 2 years we spoke all day every day at work over the computer, occasional dinners, walking home from work together- nothing physical. We tried to keep our affection for each other as discreet as possible from our coworkers. He became my best friend. I had never had anyone understand me this way, we could finish each others sentences.
It came to a point where he told me he that he was unhappy in his marriage, and that it was I who truly made him happy. That I was the right person for him. I believed this, and as he started to discuss possibly leaving his wife, I tried to be there for him as a friend. I knew he was relying on me heavily for support through this situation and I felt badly about that, as I felt I had some responsibility for causing the rift between he and his wife. He moved out of his apartment and away from his wife. We became romantically involved.
After about three months of our 'relationship', he told me he was going back to his wife to work on things. I was devastated. Very close to this time I had a very close family member had succumb to illness. I was so emotionally numb and raw from that loss that, it almost made this loss easier to deal with. I was in full on survival mode. He also seemed to genuinely care about me, and seemed to still love me. He explained to me why he was making this decision, so I felt that I had some closure to the situation. I could come to terms with it. We were on low contact, but things were still amicable.
About a month later, he contacts me again with an email declaring that that he regretted leaving me, that I was the one he wanted to be with and he FINALLY knew it. I felt tentative, but elated.
For the next year, though he was living with his wife, we continued the relationship emotionally. We were constantly texting, emailing, instant messaging at work. It came to the point where we were planning our future, and he was making the decision to move out. It was bittersweet because I grieved for him and the loss of his love with his wife. I was guilty for my part in it ending. It was emotionally draining, as I felt like I was going through the separation as well. I knew all the details of it.
Things got serious between us once he moved out, and he began talking about marriage, about our future together. We started up our romance again. This time our 'relationship' lasted about 2 months.
One day, at work through instant message, he simply states in the middle of a conversation:
'I think we should see other people.'
I was in shock. I couldn't process it. Things hadn't been perfect at the time, but I loved him and he stated he loved me. I tried to think, well he just got out of a 6 year long relationship- I should give him time and space...Surely, I could be adult enough to do that...
Inexplicably I still remained friendly with him. I guess grasping at whatever I could salvage with him. I guess I had hope that he would come back, just like last time- that I had to keep him in my life to prove how much he meant to me...I had to win him back..
That's when I found out about his budding relationship with our mutual co-worker. Not his wife who we work with, and not me- a new one. About 2 months before he had broken up with me again, our department had hired her. She and I are very similar- similar sense of humor, same interests. She is very pretty.
I went nuts. I work very closely with this woman. I work closely with him as well. We all sit within 10 feet of each other in the office. Things were never perfect with us, but no relationships ever are- I understood this. I didn't think if you loved someone you left them for the next pretty face to show you some attention. He had said he wanted to see other people, but really, our mutual coworker?
To this day the only explanation I have had from him for this was 'I don't want to be with anybody.', 'I missed my wife.' (which by the way doesn't explain the new coworker situation) and 'I think we should see other people.' We had talked about getting married! We had looked at apartments together! He said he wanted to spend the rest of his life with me. What happened?
There was no closure. There was nothing. He refused to meet with me in person to discuss any of this.. I was given no chance plead my case with him, nor have him explain himself. I was begging him for closure. Once he said I sounded stupid for asking for closure and that he didn't 'give a fuck' about closure and for me to 'move the fuck on'. I couldn't believe this was the same person.
I sometimes cry at my desk or in the restroom and it is incredibly embarrassing. I remember at an earlier part of our relationship, he had told me that he thought I cried in order to manipulate people. Yeah, I am crying to manipulate you, not because the person I loved dumped me for two other women and told me to 'fuck off' when confronted. Yeah.
I now hear at work that he and the other coworker are full on dating. I sometimes see them come in the same time in the morning together. I watch them exchange glances and hang out at each others desks talking in low voices. It's like watching a movie about my life, only she's in the leading roll. They go the same places I used to go with him, they take lunches together- laugh at the same things we used to laugh about.
I feel used. I feel duped. I feel worthless. There are so many reasons that I know I am better off without this person in my life, but I still find myself thinking of the good times, pitying him, and all the while envying the other women in his life. I feel less than this other woman- like it was my behavior that drove him to this. I don't know the status of him and his wife. They are living separately. I don't know if papers have been filed. She has apparently given him the 'ok' for dating our coworker. I guess this is all karmic retribution coming back to get me..
I am crying as I write this. I feel like I have a knife in my gut! I am no longer speaking to him, and have went NC, yet I feel like the bad guy. He still messages me at work though I have requested that he stop- usually about something innocuous or that he thinks I will find funny. Things seem amicable enough with his wife/exwife(?) despite all that she has been through and I now feel like a real asshole for being a blubbering stinking mess who can only shoot steely glances at him or ignore him completely. Isn't he the one that has all the pain and angst- shouldn't I be feeling bad for him and his loss and decisions? That's honestly the way i feel- like I am being selfish for grieving his loss and being angry at this.
I have been totally thrown off the rails. I know that I am a decent person, though I have made mistakes. I have (or had) a warm bubbly personality, and I have a great family and a network of close friends that love me. I love them. I am so grateful as I have relied so heavily on them through this time. My job is fantastic, besides said hellishness. I know my friends and family wish I would just wake up and smell the coffee or see the light or whatever and move on. I can't shake this pain and betrayal (btw, he says 'there was no betrayal, I have no guilt'.
I just attended my first therapy session last week. I think it will help- we have already started talking about the control issues in my life, and how I have let men control me in the past. I won't get into all the details here, but I know that my ex tried to manipulate and control me in subtle ways.
Reading this board helps immensely and I would be lying if I said I didn't spend most of my day at work hanging out here...You guys are so strong!
Anyway, thank you so much for hearing me out, which is more than I can that my ex did for me.