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Ask Dr. DombeckAsk Dr. Dombeck:
Psychotherapy and Mental Health Questions

Ms. Doubtful

I have recently separated from my husband. We were married for only 12 months, he was many years my junior. The crux of my problem is really to do with the low regard and self esteem I have for my self. I am conscious of it but cannot stop the deep rooted feelings of low self worth.

I was emotionally neglected and physically abandoned as a child, and I know this has shaped the person I am today. The issue that has effected me more than any life experience is the impact of this marriage and it's breakdown on my emotional state of well being.

In the beginning of our relationship, my husband told me many lies about himself...his age, name, religion, nationality, nature of previous relationships. My existing insecurities exploded, he felt challenged all the time and continued to lie. He blamed my emotional weaknesses for spoiling our marriage. He began to express a need to go out alone...night clubs etc, explaining that he needed it, as he needed space. I respected this and gave him his freedom. My fears would not let go, so I was watching him quietly, and discovered he had been looking at porn on the Internet, and trying to arrange meetings with girls (3 months post marriage). He denied it, even with proof, and he would get defensive and hit me, this was a regular occurence by the way...usually bought about my challenging him for lying. I believed he didn't really want to be with me, he was always unhappy and angry. I just wanted to end the relationship, but he refused to let go. I felt trapped. He would pull away from me at times, being almost rebellious, go out every night, pull away so indifferently. Then tell me there is no future for us, after all our plans. But still he would leave. I left to go on vacation. alone, hoping to gain a new perspective, to come back to find, used condoms ( i counted prior to leaving), and a sexually suggestive text message on his mobile phone. On another occasion, I found hotel room receipts. He had excuses for these incidents, such as masturbating whilst talking to me on Internet, the message was a wrong number, and the hotel room - change of scenery.

My concern here is me, because when he talks to me, dribbling his bullshit, I believe him. Plus I accept and forgive the violence....this is what kills me, how could I allow this to happen to myself? I feel so stupid. I am conscious of the fact that I am a dysfunctional human being, and probably co-dependent, but I just wish I knew how to keep this perspective when I am facing him. I think about him all the time, and I feel my brain is completely scrambled by his lies, and his re-reinforcement to me of my insecurities....please offer some educated remarks. Much appreciated, Ms Doubtful



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