Ask Nik Richie — The pain of betrayal
THE DIRTY ARMY: Nik, could you make an anonymous advice post for me please? The pain of betrayal is something that I have become to know very well in the past six months of my life. Let’s just say—2017 didn’t start off so well. I’ve been with the same man for eight years, we have four children. Two of those children are biologically his, and the other two he has adopted from my previous marriage. He stepped in when it was not expected of him and has become a great dad, and up until this point, a wonderful husband most of the time. We all have our flaws, that is true, and the love we shared was so much more important to me than any of his flaws. Until January.
Late January 2017. It was discovered through text messages that my husband had been carrying on a sexting conversation with an old coworker. My heart was broken. Through more pushing for answers, he revealed that they had an ongoing flirtatious and sexting relationship while at work together, and had even gone so far as to bring that into our home by messaging her on facebook while he waited for me to get home (I was working the local emergency room, trying to support our family). The blow struck was hard, and it caught me entirely off guard. Being a battered and bruised woman, physically and emotionally abused in prior relationships, I had learned to put all my trust and finally give my entire heart to someone. I had learned to trust again, and it exploded in my face. It burned, it hurt so badly. It still hurts.
I think the lesson learned from that was to never fully trust anyone, especially not those that are supposed to love you. The betrayal was like acid coursing through my veins. I immediately shut down. I have struggled with depression my entire life, and I had been doing a pretty good job of keeping myself and my struggles in check. That changed in a matter of minutes, as my entire world completely shattered before my eyes. Some people have said, why would you invest so much of your emotion and life into a man? It’s not that he is a man. It is that he was my love, and that after so much and so many terrible things, he was my one constant. The one person I could always count on. The one person in the world that I had vested every ounce of my trust and heart. When I broke, I broke hard. I fell as far as a person can go. I attempted suicide many times. At first, he was remorseful. He cried, he felt bad, he tried to help. He could see my spiraling. Shortly after, he lost interest in helping me or saving me from myself. He grew tired of my depression, my pain. He didn’t want to help anymore. When I said I was thinking of committing suicide, he would sigh and shrug, as if to say, “Finally. Just get it over with. I’m so tired of you.”
Eventually, he stopped comforting me at all. All my tears are chastised as whining and annoying. My pain makes his exasperated. My depression leaves him annoyed and unmoved. Everything I say or do is annoying. When I broke down in tears because he keeps putting off doing the laundry and I had no clean clothes, he told me that he thought he should just go ahead and “leave my ass” because my tears annoy him so badly. He constantly asked me what was wrong, and I refrained from saying anything because it would “annoy” him. He would then angry that I wouldn’t tell him, so I would tell him, and he would get even more angry and tell me that he is going to leave me because I am so unhappy.
I have tried telling him that all I need is some comfort and compassion. That sometimes I need to be told that everything is going to be okay and that I am loved and cared for still. He hates it when I say that. I feel like he hates me. He wants me to be happy, but how? How do you just “be happy” when the person you love hates you so much that even breathing in the same room annoys them? How can the pain and tears of someone you love and someone you have hurt, make you not want to reach out in comfort and love? I wouldn’t be able to stand it if he were crying or in pain. His pain would be my pain. His tears, my tears. I fear that him even reading this would make him so angry that he would leave. Please help me.
He doesn’t want you to be happy. He wants you to be miserable- to the point you decide to leave him so he can blame you. The man you’re with is weak. Do your children a favor and leave him… give him what he wants because he’s too much of a coward to be honest with you. Use your family for support until you can get your life back together. What you’re doing not is not healthy for you or anyone around you.- nik