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Thank you for your words of encouragement. Real, deep, lasting change will take years and I know this. He will tell me over the phone, (or in the car if he brings the littler kids down when I pick them up), right in front of the children, “I cry all day. I love you and miss you. When are you coming to visit”?…
It’s astonishing how after so many years of coercion and control, I have become the mother who has abandoned their dad, and he has become the victim. On occasion he will bring flowers or ask to take a walk. I decline. I’m very aware that my leaving has triggered his own fear of rejection (a narcissists worst fear) and abandonment. I also know that had I been brave and courageous back in my 20’s, I’d have have married him in the first place. I knew, even as we were engaged, that something was off. But I swept my own concerns under the rug, mostly because I was 33 and desperate to marry. Now, 14 years and five kids later, I’m cleaning up the mess I am partially responsible for. Even if he actually did wake up and change, I don’t think I can be with him. The marriage was dead long before I walked out. I find myself virtually completely detached from him. Thank you again for your words.
I understand completely! There were so many warning signs before our marriage that I ignored or didn't really know to be scared of. But, I can't regret my kids, so some good came out of it and I am a much, much stronger person now, so there's that :)
Stay strong! You can do it! Boundaries, Boundaries!
You can tell him you love him, tell him you want him to be okay, encourage a positive relationship with the kids-- and still not go back to him, stay strong in your decisions!
All the best!
No, I can’t tell him I love him. Because I don’t. 😪
Sending hugs and prayers!