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January 11, 2019 9:46 am  #1

Cynical and parinoid over TGT and relationships in general

Does anyone else feel extremely cynical and paranoid after the trauma and betrayal of TGT ending your marriage as you knew it and forever changing your life?

I'm a few months post discovery and have begun to come to terms with the reality that TGT isn't going away, and that I will have to start over, reaching old age with my spouse is not going to happen the way we always thought it would. But when I try to start thinking of the future, it seems that it will be difficult for ME to ever be as innocent and optimistic as I used to be.

Even just looking around at other couples I see, my thoughts go to "they look happy, I wonder how long they have before something rips them apart."

I hope this is something that gets easier/goes away with time, but if anyone has any strategies or perspectives to help, I'm all ears.


January 11, 2019 10:26 am  #2

Re: Cynical and parinoid over TGT and relationships in general

Yes to this!

I guess I'm not quite as cynical as you describe, but I feel very suspicious of people and their motives, sometimes in situations where that's not helpful. (That aren't romantic situations.)

A dear friend who has been divorced since 2002 and has built an awesome new life (exceptionally awesome--remarried to a wonderful woman, a great new fulfilling career working with at-risk kids, two Vietnamese pot bellied pigs, and they've just adopted a child whose mother is heroin addicted, plus they also adopted a dog) said to me recently: oh, you'll probably marry again! you're a catch! you'll probably marry someone in the same situation that you are in. ...And I didn't have the heart to tell him how bizarre and frustrating and relatively unusual that situation is. This experience does make me question if I will ever be able to know or be known by another person again--the former because I distrust so much now, and the latter because my own experience seems incommunicable, or, if communicated, unbelievable.

But let us hang on to the thread of hope that my friend and his experience offers--in the wake of 9/11, he was separated from his spouse and starting the process of divorce and he'd lost his job. Just shy of 20 years later, his house is bursting with crazy pig-person-dog love. Anything is possible...?

Maybe the strategy is to do the opposite of what seems safe: be open, instead of closed? Not open to being mis-used or abused again, but open to the stranger shapes that happiness takes in the world. And to listen very carefully to others and really process what they are saying?

Last edited by Estella Oculus (January 11, 2019 10:29 am)


January 11, 2019 10:29 am  #3

Re: Cynical and parinoid over TGT and relationships in general

I don't know if you'll find this helpful, but I did; it's a comment on a post over at Chump Lady for January 1st.

"There are some things in life that you just don’t “get over”. There are some things that are so devastating that they change you and your life on a fundamental level. Afterwards, nothing is the same. You find yourself looking at everything with different eyes. Personally, everything I believed, everything I held as truth, was destroyed. There was no going back to the way life was. I had to find a way to build a new life. A big part of that was examining everything I believed as truth. I had to keep what had practical value to me, and throw away what didn’t. I had to find a way to rebuild my life with new meaning. I had to find Joy again. I had to find a new me, not me that was based on other people’s perceptions of me or other people’s expectations.
    It wasn’t easy, or pretty, and very much along the lines of eating the elephant one bite at a time. It is also an ongoing process. As I learn and grow, I continue to build on the new foundation.  The last thing I had to do was the hardest. I decided that I matter too, that I had worth, just as I was, warts and all. I had to make up my mind to not only treat myself that way, but to expect others to treat me as valuable too, and not to accept anything less. That meant examining and changing a whole lot of behavior on my part, again an ongoing process."


January 11, 2019 10:31 am  #4

Re: Cynical and parinoid over TGT and relationships in general

This is just to say: I think you are going through a totally normal part of the process of this change.


January 11, 2019 10:32 am  #5

Re: Cynical and parinoid over TGT and relationships in general

OOHC, you're a national--no, international!--treasure!


January 11, 2019 11:45 am  #6

Re: Cynical and parinoid over TGT and relationships in general

Thank you so much Estalla and OOHC, great posts. It's always nice to know other people are having similar feelings. It is especially nice to see some who have made progress in overcoming some of the difficulties and negatives of our situations.

     Thread Starter

January 11, 2019 1:58 pm  #7

Re: Cynical and parinoid over TGT and relationships in general

Just to be clear: I didn't write that comment, someone else did; I just imported it from the Chump Lady site.


January 11, 2019 6:17 pm  #8

Re: Cynical and parinoid over TGT and relationships in general

Hi! I know--but you seem to have a lot of good resources at your fingertips. That's what I was applauding!


January 12, 2019 5:50 am  #9

Re: Cynical and parinoid over TGT and relationships in general

I'm 5 years out now - I like the cynicism.  I am comfortable with it and find it a vast improvement on thinking most other people have better marriages and families than me.  I like being able to go 'oh yeah' where appropriate.

My ex made me feel at fault for my upbringing and that we had a rather special marriage - these are two things that I hear over and again here.  BS.  Just BS.  Nothing special about the marriage and my upbringing was no worse than most.

For all the relief of the cynicism, I feel so sorry for the pain so many of us are in.  I was having dinner with a small group and it was MOM's all round.  And I was the only escapee.  

I mean let me just list this for you - one closet wife - husband at home, one straight husband - wife at home, one complete mom - both there, and me.  And the two straight spouses are agreeing that they can't do anything together with their spouse and the gay husband that is there makes a joke about it and I am laughing like a drain!  I really like those straight spouses, I like them all, but it's the straights, they're the ones I'm fond of.  I give them all the support I can, and somehow it was a good feeling to be laughing so freely.

I don't think we have much control over love, it happens when it does.  It's bigger than us  Most important thing, I always reckon, and it is sad how often we are all left to wish it was given free passage.  

It's the rainbow serpent in aboriginal terms, responsible for the passage of human life - love makes us happy, brings us peace, eases our pain.  

all the best, everyone


January 17, 2019 11:48 am  #10

Re: Cynical and parinoid over TGT and relationships in general

That is a very interesting way to look at it. You like the cynicism. I guess it does help to make sure you do not find yourself in another bad situation.

I've seen a lot of things on ChumpLady that talk about being more aware of how people are treating you. It seems the main point CL and CN make about fixing your picker is to pay attention to how reciprocal things are in a relationship. So when we (straight spouse chumps) eventually move on and start dating again, we have to look for people who genuinely appreciate what we are doing for them, and who are doing things for us as well. When someone allows you to give give give without giving much in return or showing true appreciation, they could be selfish and narcissistic. That makes for a bad relationship, and those type of people are often disordered enough to justify cheating. It's all about them and their happiness.

     Thread Starter

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