Fri 21 Jul, 2017 03:05 am
It was a 2-years plus relationship. It was complicated: We met in a workplace and I had an inner ethical conflict. A few months into the relationship I spoke about it and called for all the common sense: we should stop because it wasn't a dood idea; he was freshly after divorce just like myself, albeit with 2 little children and a baggage of emotional and male ego wreckage. And he said he wasn't ready to talk about committing but neither could be afford our breakup. He said things would clear out in a year's time or so.
Meanwhile, he was positively helpful when it concerned work, and as an achiever, I got new opportunities for which I worked hard. He was my boss, and we had a relationship. It was as I said, the hardest for me, and I soon tried to end one of them: either working or being together. But apparently he was not intending to let go on any count. Besides, I should say that, for a European woman who does not originate in Lebanon where I stayed after my divorce, it is especially uneasy to develop a career, or advance in any other major sphere of life without a male protection. So it was hard for me to find an equivalent job in my domain.
In a year's time he got used. I had more of the mixed feelings: more affection and more suffering from the internal conflict. Besides, my future perspective concerned me a lot. But It all got even more complicated: my man developed a deeper feeling for me and became something I least expected, a possessive and frequently rude and even violent being. He thought I had nowhere to go so he mistreated me. Fights were fierce, with brutal language and total absence of boundaries. They could reach physical fights at times out of something ridiculous like I would refuse to give him the unlock code for my cellphone. I once went and had my bruises reported. I never used the report.
I tried to end the relationship a few times: inside i felt like I was losing myself, i had no time for my self-development, my thoughts, plans, friends. The feeling was like it had all been about him during and after work. On top of that, he had been hiding our relationship from everybody until I once got fed up and left. He then introduced me to a circle of some friends. When I got fed up that I still didn't know his kids, he then introduced us. The same with his parents. Last Christmas I travelled to my parents to celebrate, and invited him to join. He found an excuse at the time of invitation. It would have been probably cancelled in any way because his mother got diagnosed with cancer. He later claimed it was the real reason.
Well into the second year I still realized I was always alone on all public holidays (unless I traveled) whereas he was with his kids and the extended family gatherings. I was enough of all that but my attempts to reach a common sense solution, a mutual agreement like adult people do, were useless. My ideas weren't taken seriously. Once I said I couldn't bear it any more and stopped talking to him, he'd come sweet and apologetic, suffering from inability to get a grip on his hijacked emotions. He promised he would try. And he did try but the character thing was bigger than him to handle. By the end of the second year the level of mental abuse reached levels that totally drained me in standing for myself. Over those two years, I see own photos and it is too sad: from a cheerful girl i turned into an apathetic shadow. Not me at all!
I began to to seek support with friends who unilaterally said I had to break up instantly . But it didn't look all that easy for me: besides the feelings, I got stuck in the work part. I tried to find a new job and as I look back now I had options but somehow I broke those deals! I now realize he whispered in my ear things that were good for him. Finally, I recently got a contract in a different country. I signed a good deal and traveled.
My man called me literally every hour, whether I was asleep, at a meeting, having dinner with new friends, or speaking with someone on the phone. He kept on to cling in. He made rows on the phone accusing me of being selfish, and unfaithful, regardless if I was alone or in public, tired or ill. I don't know why I still allowed him to call me and didn't tell him it was over. I was frustrated.
To my disappointment, my immediate boss, the CEO, turned out to be another psycho who enjoyed insulting people. Just observing how he treated my colleagues was disgusting. It was a question of time until I got this treatment myself. When it happened, i responded to the business questions neutrally but when he plaines yelled at me for the first (and the last) time, I explained calmly to the boss that it was not a suitable way of communication. I knew I wouldn't be able to endure mental abuse from this side... i quit to everyone's utter surprise and returned home. I was sad because except for the boss, the work went perfect there.
My relationship with my man continued. I thought at that point, we reached a consensus not to work together but there were no suitable options other than that for me. And I felt it was sliding back to the old ways. Any agreement between us that we would reach, he forgot after a few minutes, whether business or personal. And all the promises he had made he pretended to not remember. I felt like I was trying to get out of a pit of wet mud and slided back down each time, getting exhausted from trying.
Feeling so powerful, he went out of control and once cancelled a small but potential agreement he had facilitated between me and a company he was related to. He forwarded me an email "for my info" which he had sent to those partners saying that after talking with me and his considerations it would be better not to work together, knowing that we were in a relationship. That was it for me.
The ruthlessness with which he behaved left unaffected people surprised, and it also left other (business) people hurt from unpredictable behavior. While I was leaving plain anywhere, I was lucky to get an offer from the people who got hurt by that irresponsible behavior, too. I negotiated and soon signed. The insider who introduced me to the company, is a friend to my man as well and ,actually ,we got acquainted through my man. Once the contract was signed, he insisted my man knew.
Besides work and before I got the offer, life seemed to be breaking apart. Things got complicated on every count: leisure time, friends, mutual interests, future.. I do not have children but I would love to have a family. I hoped I'd have it with him. He barely introduced me to his parents, and never invited to any family events. (My parents live in a another country) My repeated addressing the subject didn't seem important. But he was violently jealous when I went out with female friends, called my male friends who have always been the majority of my friends, or simply didn't call him for more than an hour. Also, Im a dissertation student and studies have been taking most of my freetime for the past 3 years, even before I met him. But he didn't account for this.
It took me all my will power to have my mind dominate over my heart. I called him, met him and broke the news: I didn't see the relationship was working. We both suffered from irreconcilable issues. Our understanding of everyday life was different although the dreams were seemingly the same. We had wonderful days together, he helped me and I thanked him for this but I couldn't stay in that uncertainty any longer. If he wasn't ready for a decision he had to step aside.
He was sad, didn't want to let me leave the cafe talking anything but "the thing". And then he said he wasn't ready for "the thing". I said okay I respect that and that I now needed to figure out my own way. He felt I wasn't going to be there any more, I let go of everything that was dearest to me in that relationship. He tried to keep me around with a project he knew I loved.. He said he wanted to help me with work. He really made a few calls but, in retrospect, nothing came through, probably for the lack of follow up.
Soon he called me and said he had spoken with his brother-in-law about me. Apparently, I got support there from common sense viewpoint because my boyfriend said he wanted "to fix things". He repeatedly said he loved me. He wanted to grow old with me. Have a child with me... but I told him our problem was our inability to agree or disagree without third parties, and also his aggressive possessiveness, and mental abuse. I was scared if I ever became his wife he'd break me at all.
Last Monday he did a thing I have no description of. And he never admitted, ever. I've had it. I yelled so bad. The things I said to him I had never said before- awful, true, hurtful. I cursed the day I trusted him. I told him God had given him a chance to have a good relationship after his marriage ruined, and he wasted it. I also told him he couldn't even let it finish between us gracefully. I felt so betrayed, disgusted, exhausted. I blocked him on every point of access to me, private or public. On the same day I signed the contract, and took the decision to anew.
I wake up every day with pain. I call friends, i try to laugh, go on. I go to ecumenical events and find it a positive thing. I feel better by the end of the day but pain returns every morning once I wake up. He texts me asking to unblock, respond, he sent me a long email.. He is everywhere. On the day I signed the contract, my contact in that company was seeing me off to the car, and asked me when I was going to tell my guy about signing (knowing we were in a relationship).. I burst into tears. We talked and I said I was ending the relationship for all the obvious reasons: the guy lives his life without any concern for people around (this company suffered it firsthand from him, so we both experienced similar treatment).
My new colleague called me again a few days after that conversation. Being the age of my father, he said he had spoken with my boyfriend, told him that I had signed and also that he told him off for his irresponsible behavior. He had one request to me as well- to unblock and call my boyfriend. I didn't want to, but he pleaded with me. And so I had another painful phone conversation. Nothing new. He was sorry, he admitted his mistakes, said that I was the best he ever met, and he would do anything to have me back. If only I gave him another chance. His voice would go to helpless shouting when I told him I heard all that before. After the talk was over, i never responded any more despite his multiple calls every day.
The new colleague, the fatherly figure, called me again and asked to meet.. I understood what it was all about and told him I wasn't willing to discuss that. He insisted. We met. I refused to go into detail about the relationship but the old man was all too clever to understand my head l, he has a daughter of about my age. He said he had spoken to my boyfriend every day for a few hours, the guy is going insane. The guy is losing his mind because he realized he can't live without you.
This man told me a week ago how males are" the worst creatures on earth", and how they don't ever change. He now was telling me that my boyfriend was a totally different person from all I knew about him before. I faced him on that asking not to treat me as a fool. I understand he feels guilty for having told me that, he thinks it has affected my decision. Maybe he is right. But I said I wouldn't go back to something that made my life a mess.
I felt I was doing the right thing yesterday before that meeting. Later I went to the ecumenical gathering where I met a few nicest people among who was a man whose sister was brutally raped and murdered in church, right before the day of her wedding, a story that shook the country a few years ago. He spoke of forgiveness...
Today I woke up in pain again. On thé one hand, i was betrayed. But I am not a victim and don't want to waste my life on an abusive disrespectful narcissist who doesn't know the value of trust. On thé other, i do have a feeling for him and my soul is bleeding. I dont want to miss my chance of a good life with love, family and children in it.
I'm looking for subtle clues: what makes a man change?
Christ on a cracker, why is your colleague handling your breakup battles for you?
Your entire relationship with the world of work is toxic and, may I say, wrongheaded. You are using work for relationships and to deal with your relationships. Your colleague (no matter how nice he thinks he's being) should not be involved in your crap with your ex. Full stop. There are no exceptions to this. You are an adult and should be handling such things on your own. So tell your coworker to butt out - and if he tries to tell you your ex still loves you or whatever, tell him it's nice he's got someone to have phone conversations with but you don't want to hear it.
Then change the subject (how about back to work, seeing as you're both supposed to be, you know, working?) or leave. Period. Derail the gossip train. Tell 'Helpful Harry' to take a hike. He is not helping you; he is just making it that much harder for you to move on.
As for your ex - yeah, this is one of the bigger reasons to not get involved romantically at work with your boss. The man was (and still is, in some ways) in a position of power over you. That was amply demonstrated by him cutting off a source of income for you, unilaterally. But seriously, you should not be using your lover (current or previous) as your reference or as your business contact. As you have seen, it can all go to hell, and quickly.
So, what to do? Here's a plan:
- Block your ex on all forms of communication. Delete his contact info, unfriend and unfollow him on social media, and block his number on your phone.
- Get rid of things that remind you of him. That means gifts. Sell any jewelry. Give any clothes away to charity. Toss the photographs, except for one (because it really did happen; you are perfectly entitled to remember and to have evidence for yourself that it happened, but having a lot of things around can lead to an obsession). Make your home an oasis and an ex-free zone.
- For the next six months, stay away from places you used to go to together. That means restaurants, etc. You can go wherever you want to, of course, but this can help to not give you reminders.
- For those same six months, do something utterly for you. Take a class. Volunteer. Learn a craft. Hit the gym. Write a book. It doesn't matter what it is, but treat yourself well and give yourself some self-care and self-discovery, all of those things you didn't do when you were tied down by the relationship with your ex.
- Reconnect with your friends. If you have to vent about your ex, then do so - to them, and not to your coworkers. Leave them out of this.
- Spend these six months, also, cultivating business contacts. These are for work only, not for you to find pals or boyfriends. Go to conferences. Stay late at meetings and talk to people. Connect with people on LinkedIn. Build your network in a way that has nothing to do with your ex.
- Spend those six months (yes, you're going to be busy for the next half-year. That's part of the idea here) working hard, too. Get your assignments in early. Learn something new. Volunteer for extra stuff. Come early and stay late. You know, all of the things you do when you are bucking for a raise or a promotion. Become the responsible worker I'm sure you have in you.
- As I said before, tell your coworker to butt out. You don't have to be rude about this. It's more like, "I've got work to do and I bet you do, too. So I gotta go do it. See ya!" Smile and be polite about it (you do, after all, still have to work with the guy) but make it clear that you are done talking about the ex. Even if you are having lunch with the coworker (and you might want to avoid this in the beginning, for this reason), get up and leave and end the conversation. Pack up your lunch or get it to go. I'm serious. You need to squelch this stuff, and fast.
- Seriously consider counseling. Explore with an impartial professional why you allowed this to happen, and why you are all set to let it happen again. Find out why you willingly made yourself a victim in your professional life, and why you're willing to risk becoming one again.
Everyone over the age of 18 should be able to be independent. That means financially solvent, it means having your own inner resources to deal with stuff, and it means understanding how to adult. Of course you can ask others for help if you need it, but for the most part, you should be self-reliant, in everything from making sure your car gets regular oil changes to deciding what to do with your life to being able to cook a simple meal. Independence and strength will get you out of a lot of situations like this. And, more importantly, it will keep you from getting into them in the first place.
Jespah is right: this will take time and commitment to separate yourself from this man you have allowed to influence your personal and professional life.
I am not convinced that you are committed to making these changes. Instead you just want him to change.
for a European woman who does not originate in Lebanon where I stayed after my divorce, it is especially uneasy to develop a career, or advance in any other major sphere of life without a male protection. So it was hard for me to find an equivalent job in my domain.
given all the other crap you are allowing yourself to be put through, why don't you return to Europe?
do you like the drama you are in the middle of? I really can't think of any other reason to stay.
I did n`t read it all, but not sure that I needed to. So you are already aware that he is a psychopath then, come sociopath. You are emotionally entwined with him, he obviously abuses you, and obviously sends you on endless guilt trips. They tend to being highly delusional and all that they have to offer which is "genuine" in a relationship is that which is deceitfully designed to serve self. The being of a psychopath does not prevent marriage, children, and the outward appearance of normality. He likely has far more friends than you too. Psychopaths make it psychologically impossible for many of their victims to escape. There are degrees of this state, as there are degrees of every mental state. Google the most extensive list of psychopathic traits that you can find, and should you be able to tick off at least sixty percent you have confirmed what you already knew. High performing psychopaths are to be commonly found running big businesses. They are relatively common in society, excellent at deception, and therefore few of us are aware of ever having confronted any single one of their number. They have even been known to win in family court custody battles, this even when the mother had been regularly beaten to a pulp. Whilst I cannot be certain that technically speaking he should be classified as a psychopath, it is what it is, and you must escape that relationship. In my estimation nothing will get any better. You have already been given advice on how to make a successful escape. Good luck with that. Once the process begins make absolutely certain never to find yourself alone with him. Remember this, it is virtually impossible to prove that an individual is a psychopath in court.
The term psychopath implies a clinical diagnosis. You are not qualified to do that from a few sentences on the internet. Please stop slinging the word around and clouding the issue. It's a break up. Not every nasty break up means anyone is mentally ill.
I made the same point with different language. We fundamentally disagree however. The term psychopath instills alarm, and in my opinion alarm is due. Wait until such time as this state of being can be proven and with scarcely no exception it is already far too late. Many are murdered in the name of not having the proof. More likely than not should be deemed adequate for making the suggestion for it is only by this approach that some lives may be saved. Some will disagree, but for myself, and with experience, I tend on the side of information creation, adding to a subject rather than simply borrowing information. It is generally unprovable before a whole succession of killings,, and even then not necessarily, as some considerable time is generally required
spent with the subject. This time is seldom afforded. Never wait for a diagnosis, they`ll give it half an hour, it can prove nothing, whilst you have already put in many months, perhaps years. If the vast majority of those boxes can be ticked, and if this has been the case for the whole duration, that bit is critical, get out of that relationship as soon as possible, and never spend time with that person alone. My suggestions are far better than the present state of affairs
NB I have made suggestion nowhere that psychopaths are likely to kill.
There is absolutely nothing there to suggest that he may not be a psychopath, and significant (no more than significant) suggestion beyond average breakup that he indeed may be. Psychopaths are very common, proven psychopaths very scarce indeed.
Thank you for the open straightforward opinion, and a detailed plan, too. All my thoughts that struggled to aline , you put them right there. I have the will to get through the mess I allowed to happen. And the good news is that now that I don't see him for a while it feels better bit by bit. But I know he will appear again, I don't know where or when but he sure will. He is obsessed, it does not register in his head that I broke up with him. He thinks I am giving it time.
At some point, I have good friends' support, they are ready to stand in his way in the non-work life, need be.
Call it what you want ,the feeling that I was being made to feel insane never left me. I even checked in with other people to compare reactions to and opinions on specific situations (apparently I still do) . And usually people agreed with me easily about those situations, but in that relationship I had to explain and then fight for something as trivial as time alone.
Cool - I'm glad your friends are there for you.
You'll come out of this stronger.
That`s all classic for how a psychopath makes one feel, they have you feeling that everything is your fault, they have you going mad. - They want it to appear that you have gone mad in order that there shall be no outside help, in order for total control, in court as well. However, I have not said that he is a psychopath, I am saying that he shares a considerable number of their traits at this time, this time is little to judge by however, and I have suggested that you bring up the full list of traits (not the abbreviated version) and check that you can tick the vast majority now, and that you would have been able to tick many of those boxes throughout, so from inception, prior to this break up. Because they are well able to mimic feelings, coupled with want of time, the genuine experts too often/in virtually every last case are better/safer being those on the ground, those actually immediately involved. Psychopaths are not likely to kill, but they are best equipped to cause permanent psychological damage, and are very considerably more likely to carry propensity for both violence and killing than is the general population. Hence why it can pay to take the prospect seriously.
Years on, I would like to come back to the first reply I read in response to my outcry. Jespah, it was your "cold shower" and a plan of action, plain and ready. For the love of life - thank you so much for that!!! Your words helped me and yes, I had to pull together all my will to focus and stay consistent. It worked out! You were right, I came out stronger out of it. I knew it a year after I made the cut-off - when I bumped into my ex again.
Actually, I became as strong as to make peace with him - and to realise that he is still where he had been: old thoughts, old habits. He has a GF who is getting paler and paler with time (she wants to get married obviously- he's handsome, from a good family - but he won't pop the question) and she keeps on squeezing smiles, and I know what she feels. The funny part is that he explains his reasons to me(!) - times are wrong to get married. ew.
Yes, he has in parallel been singing his old tune to lure me into a relationship with him again but, you know what? - his words mean nothing to me, nothing moves inside when he talks. I will never forget what it felt like, to be "the woman he loves". I made a choice, I tore him out "with meat", used every resource I had to make peace with myself, and worked hard to pay up much of what I owed myself in terms of self-esteem, achievements, business ethics, peace of mind, and healthy friendships. This is an enormous investment and it has been paying dividends. Mine for keeps.
On another note, this disaster, I must confess, has set the start of the journey I am on now: self-awareness. After this toxic relationship, - and besides knowing self better - I have started to 'sense' toxic people from early signs, men or women (I was given tokens in that relationship too but chose to ignore them). And I also realised that a few other people whom I had considered friends just dropped out of my life soon after I discovered the power of the word "No." without further explanations.
W00t, that's awesome! Go you!
Well that was refreshing, wasn't it?