Breaking through confusion, the first nudge towards to break free.

There were multiple stages to this transition, so I may not be covering them in order. But I am hoping by discussing them, someone out there may relate, and maybe it will help when you think you are going crazy.

Its soon going to be two years since we moved into separate homes, even given this, he was not out of my life in a meaningful way until about a year and a half later. For months he visited my property multiple times a day. Later I would discover, that for a year after we separated, he was entering my house when I was at work "to let the dogs out and put some logs on the fire" He mentioned this so casually, he didn't see an issue with entering my home at all. He treated my property like it was his. Mentally he still owned the place.

There are so many stages of disentangling yourself from so many years of being part of a couple. In retrospect, you really do have to distance yourself and cut off all communication so you have a chance to recover and gain some perspective.

During my marriage, in spite of my misery, I was absolutely committed. I thought if I worked a little harder, just did the right thing, then everything would be ok. I wasn't going anywhere, until that is, he crossed a line. He had believed he had solid enough control of me, that he had gotten more brazen with his cheating. He was cheating with a "friend" of mine at the gym. By time I clued in, they had been meeting up for months. I was so brainwashed, it never occurred to me he was doing anything. I thought it was all her. I have had to deal with a lot of coming terms with reality since then. I thought I was married to the most loyal faithful man on the planet. It was one of the reasons I put up with all the other crap that occurred. I said it often "at least he is loyal". Little did I know, he wasn't loyal at all.

Looking back, I am learning that when they accuse you of cheating all the time, its because its what they were doing. He used to tell little jokes about women he met at work, or the guys at work that used to disappear with the street women for sex at night. At the time I laughed, thinking it was a complete joke. Now I realize, it probably wasn't. Cheating for him would have been really easy, I never looked for it at all. For years he worked away from home, he was always gone at night. Everything I thought was true, turned out to be a lie.

I remember my shock, when it finally dawned on me, that this man wasn't the prince charming he always pretended to be. He was not the sweet kind thoughtful man that he presented to the public. The day I sat there listening to him defend another woman, was the end of the fantasy world I had lived in. Suddenly it became clear to me that I had been manipulated, for years. You can hear it for yourself on the recording on this blog. He tells me how I will leave her alone, and stay out of the way.

The final straw for me was when he was screaming at me I was going to accept her insults and demeaning comments. It was at the point where not only was he verbally abusing, he was telling me I had to accept abuse from his girlfriend as well. I can't remember if he actually said it, but the inference was she was a better human being than me. I was unworthy. He didn't know it, but by elevating another woman above me, he had crossed the line. The only reason I stuck around was I believed his lies about him cherishing me about all others. There was literally nothing else positive about our marriage. So once that was gone, there was nothing in it for me at all.

While I had wanted out of the marriage for quite a long time, I had even visited lawyers in the past to explore getting out. I couldn't actually bring myself to do it. I didn't believe I had the ability to make it on my own. I was afraid of other men, I didn't think there were any good ones out there. And I had this mistaken belief that somehow, that magically loving marriage I had always wanted was just out of reach and would materialize with just a little more effort.

In those first few months, I had to absorb the shock of the fact that what I thought we had was not real. It was a carefully crafted image that had been used to control me. Up until that point, I had been extremely compliant. As he proudly told me "he managed my feelings" he told me what ever it is it took to keep me under control. I hate to admit, while I remember feeling confused, angry, hurt and often frustration. I was obedient. I deluded myself into believing somehow this was the way things go in a marriage. This was normal. I believed absolutely everything he told me.

That first crack of realization, was mind numbing. I just couldn't absorb it. My brain was in a literal fog, and I didn't even know it. I thought my state of mind was normal. It was at this time when the value of having older wiser women in my life became apparent. He kept hammering me, telling me I was wrong, I was a bitch, I was psycho. But in my other ear, I was hearing, he will never change, you have to leave.

I was constantly confused, part of me wanting to stay deluded, convince myself somehow that this was right so I wouldn't have to make the hard changes. The devil you know feels comfortable.

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