The reason I am so angry and the reason I’ve felt so violated by the betrayals my ex perpetrated, is because I truly believe(d) in marriage. Maybe everyone feels this way when they marry, I don’t know, but for me the marriage vows were sacred. We didn’t get married in a church, but my concept of God does not require a church. To me the whole world is a church, the whole world is God.
Saying the marriage vows, to me, was a commitment for life. I saw what I thought were the flaws in my ex (if only I’d been more vigilant) and I accepted him for who he was. I agreed to take him as he was and to be loyal and true to him for as long as I lived.
You may say that is an old-fashioned concept, perhaps it is, but my belief in marriage is what kept me going through all the years. What kept me believing his excuses, lies and deceit. Because I thought that the marriage vows meant the same to him as to me. How could I know that they did not? How could I know that words were his playthings? Things to be carefully chosen, placed here and there, in a particular pattern that suited each specific situation to get the outcome that he wanted. There was no meaning behind them. The only meaning was that which I gave them. And he knew me well enough to know that.
Deep inside I have always felt a connection and a commitment to him, wrongly placed, I admit, but it was a commitment deepened by my marriage vows. Even though I had thought about his imperfections, even about leaving, my complete belief in the strength of marriage made those thoughts irrelevant. I knew that whatever problems we may have had, we would work them out, because that what marriage was all about. It was about facing life together, dealing with problems together, supporting each other when needed. Most importantly, it was for life. And about creating a life, a life we both enjoyed.
Knowing what I know now about psychological abuse, I can see that my beliefs did not serve me well. They made me vulnerable to his manipulations, to his lies. He knew that he could count on me to believe in him, no matter what I heard and saw, and he took incredible advantage of that.
Even after everything, it is very hard for me to think of him as married to someone else. Deep in my psyche, he belongs to me. Anything else feels wrong. Seeing him as I see him now, a person completely different to the one I married, I feel a strange sense of dislocation. How can these two people be the one man? Such a consummate liar, a chameleon.
It was a big decision for me to marry anyone, to make myself so vulnerable and dependent on anyone. To open myself up, to give so much of myself to anyone. I feel quite ill at the thought of the intimacies we shared, so easily cast aside, perhaps even shared with someone else.
It hurts. I don’t believe I will ever go down this path again. I keep myself to myself these days. Except on here. But sharing my head space with a hundred, two hundred people, is not as scary as committing yourself for life to just one.
Subscribe to my newsletter