The Hardest Thing To Do

In the months after facing domestic violence, abuse and infidelity the hardest thing to do is love yourself and stop blaming yourself. The months of abuse leave you emotionally dried up and you usually blaming yourself for everything that has or is going wrong.

It is hard not be able to look beyond the failure of your marriage and realize that even if you were given a chance to redo everything the chances are still quite high that the marriage would have failed. I literally tore myself up with the ‘what if’s’ and ‘could have’s’. I relived every incident wondering if I had reacted differently would my marriage have survived. I questioned my thinking, sometimes even second guessing whether my ex was right.

The situation becomes tougher when your spouse starts playing the victim and blames you for everything. I got blamed for every little thing but I did not stop to realize even for once about what he was doing to me, how he was slowly destroying me even when he called me a liar and said that my lying stopped us from coming closer when all the time he was the one dealing in lies. He lied to his company about his marital status by saying that he was single, only engaged, planning to take one of his many girlfriends on a business trip abroad as his fiancee, and all the time he called me a liar.

Once the marriage broke down I was racked with guilt that I did not do enough to make him love me till one day my rationality practically kicked my emotions out of picture bringing me back to my senses. It was then I realized that no matter what I would have done my ex would have never loved me. Love, was an emotion too profound for him to understand.  Neither any of my actions redone a million times could have saved the marriage. That began my healing process. It was not me who was at fault it was solely my ex who was at fault, who not for even once was committed to the marriage in any manner whatsoever.

Accepting that I was right allowed me to bring some amount of peace to my mind, knowing that I gave my best to the marriage and there was nothing more that I could have done. The peace of mind slowly turned into confidence allowing me to confidently take decisions concerning my life for the first time since the separation. There are still times when I tear myself up with the ‘what if’s and could have’s’ but this time it is about asking myself why I did not have the courage to confront the emotional manipulation of my ex and why I did not have the guts to walk out earlier for my own well being. But I know that with time even this will pass and I know that with time again I will gain the confidence to walk away from any situation that is in any way emotionally manipulative.


32 comments on “The Hardest Thing To Do

  1. maria5125 says:

    I heard something a few months ago that really stuck with me: “Respect is more important than love. If someone respects you, love can grow. If someone loves you, but doesn’t respect you, love will never last.”
    I think respect is a major thing missing from a lot of relationships. For one thing, there is no way you cheat on a person if you respect them. I can only hope that the next person in your life, respects you!

    • True, that is why I do not go by the Beatles’ song ‘all you need is love’. Respect is extremely important in any relationship for the partners to be equal and joint holders of the relationship. Otherwise it is nothing less than master-slave with ample room for abuse, violence and betrayal.

      Thank you for the kind wishes and I too hope that you find someone who can respect you providing the space for love to grow.

      • fredphillips says:

        As per my previous comment, I think your ex-husband must be full of self-loathing and can’t possible have any self-love or self-esteem. Otherwise, he never would have mistreated you.

        I hope this is helpful

      • This is definitely an interesting way of looking at the situation and honestly it does explain some of his behaviors especially the ones filled with jealousy and insecurity. I guess his insecurities were nothing but another form of self-loathing.

      • fredphillips says:

        Self loathing is pervasive in our society, especially among men. I really believe that we wouldn’t mistreat others if we felt good about ourselves.

        Have an awesome day!

    • fredphillips says:

      I might put a different spin on this. If you love yourself, you do treat others with respect. If you feel good about yourself, you never mistreat others. You act with kindness.


  2. Self respect is the first step to take towards freedom.
    You are doing so well.

  3. Meg says:

    The lies have a way of making you (me) crazy. I believed every one. And I’m still having a hard time letting go. It’s a process, but you are right…it’s not your fault when someone else chooses to lie. And the “what if’s” would have never been, because you can only control yourself. He’s still a liar and always would have been (or at least mine is and was). I’m glad you are healing. I hope I’m not too far behind.

  4. Heather says:

    You are a strong and brave woman for getting out. I am glad you have come to a sense of self peace regarding the situation. Take heart in knowing you are those things and that makes you an inspiration.

    • Thank you for such kind and humbling words. I had started this blog to help those like me weather the tough times and knowing that they are not alone in their pain. It is nice to know that this blog in some way is achieving that.

  5. I need this to sink in my head now, I carry this heavy heavy heart because i spent 30 years of my life with a man trying to get him to love me and yet he didn’t…what is wrong with me…I did the tummy tuck,the lipo, I fell into depression, drug abuse, bulimia…was it his fault…how could I blame him….we don’t choose who we love…He couldn’t love me point blank it wasn’t his fault, and I did love him and it wasn’t my fault, but man I sure wish I was the one being loved instead of not being loved.

    • I can understand where your anguish is coming from. I too tried to change to get my ex to love me but later realized that in any relationship where one is expected to change completely for the other to love him/her, the relationship is doomed from the very beginning. This relationship is what is called a toxic relationship. There were times where my ex never asked me explicitly to change but the subtle hints and equally subtle threats of violence and abuse if I did not change were enough to make me. So in my case it was not my fault, rather my ex’s that I did, what I did.

  6. So nice of you to stop by Poetry Road and so fateful too as I am a survivor left 20 years ago. There are a few poems you may like on my site. One is Closing the Door

    Even after 20 years i have work to do to heal. Thanks for sharing.

    • Thank you for stopping by and leaving a lovely comment. Closing the door is a lovely poem, thank you for providing the link.
      Healing is a continuous process which lasts a lifetime irrespective of the duration of the trauma.

  7. Goddess says:

    I’m sorry you had to go through such horrible things, I know what it’s like to be abused. So sorry. In the midst of the what if’s right now. I know I’m doing the right thing, but I worry about the kids. They are so young and don’t understand. I beat myself up for not leaving 2yrs ago shortly after our last child was born. Maybe I wasn’t ready at the time.

    • Thank you for the kind words of encouragement, they mean a lot. I too have been beating myself up for a long time as to why I did not walk out earlier. But I feel that you need to be ready for such a huge decision to prevent the cycle of abuse to continue.

  8. reocochran says:

    You are helping others so much by sharing your story. It is hard, painful but has a very satisfying ending, or beginning of a better life! Thanks for stopping by my stories and liking them. I will be following your path and cheering you on!

    • Thank you so much for taking the time to stop by. I sincerely hope that my story can help others heal for I know the help and solace I have found on the blog-sphere.
      You story is inspiring and fills me with hope of a better life on which I have already started my journey.

      • reocochran says:

        You are so nice to say that! I hope to help because once I was strong, I talked to a lot of people, worked at a battered women’s shelter, but now, years later, wish I had had this way to help. I was worried I was not helping like I did when my arms were there to hold a hurt soul. You are reaching out in a more meaningful way because you connect people who need each other. Thank goodness for blogging! You are on a wonderful path with unlimited positive possibilities!

      • Yes absolutely, thank goodness for blogging! I have been on the lookout to help battered women in the shelters we have in India but the saddest part here is that with the social stigma associated with divorce and complaining against your husband, many go back to their marriage rather than continuing independently. Seeing this sad situation I started the blog hoping to reach out to as many as I could. I hope my blog manages to achieve its aim.
        With valuable inputs and experiences such as yours I hope the others can realize that even though it might be hard moving on independently from a toxic situation, it is fulfilling in every aspect.

  9. reocochran says:

    It must be a challenge with your society’s restrictions. So glad to have this opportunity to connect and hope to help you if you ever need any. Thanks for your responses and input, too!

    • Thank you so much for extending support and help, I cannot begin to describe how encouraging and strengthening it is in a society like the one I live in. The restrictions are just one part of the problem next is the social conditioning provided, which a greater challenge to overcome.

  10. Lissa says:

    As someone who has been through a relationship with someone who is manipulative, controlling, jealous, a liar, a cheat, and who then transferred all of that on to me, I completely understand where you’re coming from. It took me 9 years to get out of it but once I finally realized how bad things had gotten I left…I just packed my bags and left. As soon as I was gone I was filled with both sadness and relief, later I was filled with anger at myself for having stayed as long as I did, but that anger helped me grieve and heal.

    • I am so glad that you realized how bad the relationship was for your well being and got out before it was too late. I still beat myself over the fact that I did not have the courage to walk out at the first instance but then strive to rectify this mistake by ensuring to have the courage (god forbid) for the next time. Amazing how anger and tears, usually perceived as negative emotions, help!

      • Lissa says:

        The one thing you can’t do, however, is beat yourself up over what you didn’t do. You just make sure you learned from you mistakes, understand what you will and won’t put up with, and do what you can to heal. Later on, you’ll still find yourself a bit angry over how long you wasted, but everything happens in its own time. I’m a newlywed now, and I’m the happiest I’ve ever been, but if I hadn’t been through all that I’d been through I’m not sure I’d have been ready when he came into my life, or that I’d have appreciated him the way I do now. I still berate myself on occasion for the time I spent, for what I allowed to be done to me, for the disrespect I allowed, for the lowering of my self-esteem and self-worth, for making me doubt myself. But I’m so much stronger now because of all that I went through. So it’s hard to stay angry at myself–I just keep telling myself if a friend of mine told me this story (my own story) how much compassion would I have for him/her? Would I feel like it was their fault for staying as long as they did? No. I should have that same kind of compassion for myself. And so should you.

      • Rightly said! Congratulations on your wedding, I wish all the happiness to you and your spouse. We must have compassion for ourselves and treat ourselves the way we want others to treat us. Negative experiences have a way of reinforcing positive learning and abuse is one of them. If I had not been through what I did, I don’t think I would have ever appreciated myself the way I do now or have been so confident of every decision I make, right or wrong. The negative experience has in a way helped me grow as an individual and become stronger.

  11. Michael says:

    “Accepting that I was right allowed me to bring some amount of peace to my mind, knowing that I gave my best to the marriage and there was nothing more that I could have done. The peace of mind slowly turned into confidence allowing me to confidently take decisions concerning my life for the first time since the separation.” – wanderlustryramblings

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