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Not coping well...


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My ex-husband and I have been divorced for 12 years.  We were married for 13.  Our oldest son was born a year after we were married, and our youngest son was born 8 years later.  I had a daughter from a previous marriage and so did he.  At first...he treated me like a Queen.  Never in my life had I been treated so well and felt so loved.  As the years went by, he started verbally and emotionally abusing me.  Nothing was every good enough.  I was stupid, lazy, and any other thing he could call me.  Eventually I left in the middle of the night with my two sons.  The day I left him, I loved him as much as the day I married him.  He could be such a wonderful husband one day...the next he could be horrible.  We rarely spoke to each other after I left him, and if we did...it was to remind me how much of an idiot I was for leaving him.  For about the last 2 years, we had finally gotten to the point we could carry on a conversation without fighting.

He passed away on Sept 5th, 2016 from liver failure, and I never thought it would effect me the way it has.  He was my soul mate...and I loved him beyond anything in this world.  I ask myself how I could possibly still love him after the way he treated me.  I can't answer that question.  I have cried so many tears.  But they have been silent tears, since I am remarried and have been for almost 11 years.  I love my husband, but nothing like I loved my ex.  I don't talk to him about the grief I feel, because I don't want to hurt him.  So I suffer in silence and only share it with a few close friends.

I think the fact that there wasn't any closure before he died.  I never got to say goodbye to him before he passed away.  

A song can come on the radio when I'm driving and I have to pull off and sit there and cry.  Some days he is all I can think about and I feel his presence with me.  It's really driving me nuts.  HOW can I still love a man who treated me the way he did for so many years, and still be grieving his death after 5 months?  I go to his facebook page and just stare at his pictures.  The hurt is unbearable for me and I don't know what to do.

 

 

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It sounds like there might have been something going on with him for him to be so changeable like that, I don't know if he ever addressed it with a doctor or not, but you were right to not continually subject yourself to abuse and your kids to witness it.  That doesn't affect your love for him.

It's easy to lay to rest the abuse once you're out of it and no longer suffering, to perhaps look back more fondly than it really was.  It helps to practice living in the present, and in the present you have a husband that cares for you, try to focus on that and maybe see a grief counselor meanwhile to help you incorporate all of this in a healthy way for you.

My best to you.

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2 hours ago, Genia said:

I think the fact that there wasn't any closure before he died.  I never got to say goodbye to him before he passed away.  

I agree with Kay, and I think her advice is sound.

You don't say what caused your ex's liver failure, but if his erratic behavior toward you had something to do with the abuse of drugs or alcohol, your leaving him was the only way to protect yourself and your children from his abuse.

In any event, it's really never too late to finish unfinished business, my dear ~ you just need to find a way to "speak" to your ex's spirit and say whatever you need to say to him. That can be by constructing a private ritual of some sort, or by writing him a letter. You are limited only by your imagination.  

You might find these articles helpful: 

Disenfranchised Grief: Mourning The Loss of A Dream

Goodbye to Goodbye

The Myth of Closure

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It's common to rethink everything after they died, looking for a different ending.  Feelings are not necessarily based in fact, however.  The fact is, had you gone back to him, he would have treated you the same as before, unless he got professional help first.  That's not to say you don't miss the good parts about him, you will probably always care about him.  We can think wistfully about someone but that doesn't mean they'd be good for us.

You made wise choices for yourself at the time.  You need to trust those choices and that wisdom in that they were best for you and your children...nothing has changed except he died.  I'm one to think we are better in our next life, if so, you can know him the way he was meant to be then.

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Thank you both for your comments.  Since he passed away...I'm finding myself thinking about all the good times and forgetting how he really was.  He was a Narcissist and very hard to live with....I need to let those memories go, because it hurts too much, to think about when things were good.  

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I was married to a Narcissist once,   I highly recommend this book, "Malignant Self Love Narcissism Revisited" by Sam Vaknin, PHD.  Excellent book, helps you understand Narcissism better, enough to know you don't want one for a spouse or parent. I was able to download mine as an e-book.

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No but we can learn to run like the dickens when we meet a certain type!

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