Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Why my fiance left after the rape

It is so easy to vilify my ex fiance for dumping me because I was raped. All I could think was he was the biggest jerk in the world, and yet he had not been insensitive to me about rape before. Personally, sometimes I think he is a monster- how could I not have seen this side of him? But then I have to be honest with myself. No one ever really handles the news of rape well. The man I knew and loved was not a cruel jerk, but he did not put up with nonsense.

Unfortunately instead I have become to him the worst type of woman: a manipulating whore.

When I look back upon our relationship, I never saw this coming. Especially with the way things ended, I never thought he would confuse me with a lying, manipulating, cruel bitch and slut of a woman. He definitely did not like everything that I did, but he did have an incredible amount of respect for me. While he knew me I typically worked and went to school, or worked two jobs, or worked two jobs and went to school. For some reason he always made a point to offer to loan me money. After months of him offering, I finally asked him. The funny thing was I did not need the money, I had heard that psychologically people develop a deeper bond between people they loan money to. Silly, I know, but I knew refusing his help so often was going to hurt his feelings soon. Once I borrowed the money, I kept it for a few days in the same spot and then returned that exact amount- the same two $20s he had lent me. For some reason he was surprised I had returned the money. He did not even know that it was the same money he had given me, he was only surprised I had come good on the loan so quickly.

There is a lot I know about my ex, and I do know enough about him to know why he left. Even though I want to be mad and I want to hate him, I cannot. Not that he did not hurt me worse than any man ever has, but he could not handle what happened to me. Truthfully, I wish I did not have to handle it either. I wish more than anything that I could wake up from this nightmare and it would return to the happy life I was finally beginning to enjoy.

I will never be that lucky.

There were three main reasons my fiance left. The first is that he was addicted to porn. To this day I don't think he even understands what that did to our relationship. He spent over a year overseas serving in the military, and I can bet you he masterbated to porn nearly every day of it. Never having been a fan of porn myself, I can at least understand that men are visual creatures. I get it. But he spent an entire year fantasizing about having sex with other women and did not even share those fantasies with me. We never had phone sex. Even during our phone conversations he would not let me talk dirty to him. This caused a weakening in our relationship.

The reason I say it was weakened so badly by porn was because of his bonding issues. Sex to my fiance was the way to bond with him. Maybe I am wrong (this is PURE speculation), but I always felt like he had been abused and maybe even sexually abused by how different he acted when he was in a sexual relationship. He was vulnerable in a distant way. Being such a kind, funny man, every time I saw that side of him it broke my heart. I knew I loved him. He never knew it, but my goal at one point in my life was to love that part of him right out of existence. Months it took me to get past that mile thick, mile high wall he kept up to keep himself safe. With patience, I loved my way right through it. I Earned his respect and trust. When I got hurt, it hurt him. He was hurt very deeply by what happened to me, but because he is what is called an avoidant personality, he turned it around on me to help him detach from the situation.

Super short lesson on attachment: everyone learns how to trust people- or not trust people- as children and then on into adulthood. It governs how we want to be near the people we cherish, how we return to them in times of need, that they provide a sense of safety from which we can base our lives and that without them around, we miss them. There are four main types of attachment: secure, and three types of insecure attachment: avoidant, ambivalent, and disorganized.

  1. Secure means they have lasting, trusting relationships, will seek social support, are comfortable sharing feelings, and usually have high self-esteem.
  2. Avoidant is where they have or may have trouble developing intimacy in relationships, social and romantic relationships have little emotion invested into them, and they are unwilling or unable to share their thoughts and feelings with others.
  3. Ambivalent is where they try not to develop relationships with people, they worry that the partner does not love them the entire time during the relationship and then become extremely distraught when the relationships end.
  4. Disorganized is a mixture of these attachment styles. This is a style of attachment that is a sign of severe abuse and mistreatment and can develop into mental health disorders. Typically people with this sort of attachment style have severely volatile relationships and have an incredibly distorted view of relationships, not fitting any pattern.

**Mind you- This was an incredibly vague description of attachment theory and styles. I will do a better job of describing it in another blog some time from now, but I felt a small descriptor was necessary for this blog's explanation of my ex fiance's reactions.***

All that to say, my ex fiance was a very nice, very sweet guy, but getting him to tell me about things besides his frustrations when it came to emotions, was short of magic or mind reading. as hard as I tried I could never seem to get him to tell me how he felt, so instead I just told him sweet things, such as how I felt about him, how proud I was of him, how much I respected him, or liked what he was doing.

When it came to sizing up a situation, he was like most men- very logical- everything was extremely black or white. When it all came down to it, there was no excuse for what happened, it was a simple choice.

The third and final thing that ruined my relationship with my fiance was his history. His first wife had been cheating on him fairly frequently, and when she was not betraying him sexually, she was very psychologically abusive. His other relationships were short lived and self described by him as including a lot of drunkenness and arguing. He claimed to have been physically abused growing up by both his father and stepmother as well as a number of husbands and boyfriends of his mother's. Most of his relationships with women had involved a vast amount of manipulation and betrayal.

Truly, when I look back at why my fiance left, I cannot be mad at him. He left because someone shattered the trust I had worked so hard to build. Someone had caused me to betray my fiance in the worst possible way he could imagine. The person who raped me, destroyed not only my feeling of safety, but the image of honor and faithfulness I had worked so hard to establish for someone who had never known that before.

Avoidant attachment styles run from relationships, they shut down emotionally in troubled times, they can deny the importance of having relationships and detach from them easily. This is exactly what happened to my fiance. While we enjoyed what I thought was a secure relationship, at times, no matter how hard I tried, I could not get him to open up to me. After many long months of trust building and creating sexual intimacy, the distance of him living overseas created an easy withdrawal from the intimacy I had worked so hard to build with him. Once I was raped, the bonds of trust broke, and the unbridled fears he had long suffered overtook the years worth of evidence that I was who I said I was and that I was trustworthy. My love for my ex fiance stung in my chest because as much as I wanted him to see me again for who I was, he could only project on to me the image of every other woman who had hurt him. Since that day he has never seen me- who I really am- again.

Not to say that I have not done anything stupid- I am great at doing stupid, annoying things. Like when I bought airplane tickets- I corrected the date before I bought them, but did not check the confirmation email. The computer had glitched- a $600 glitch.... Or my other mad cap schemes to save money that backfired, or annoyed him with clutter. However, we NEVER fought. Not once the whole time we were together. I would tell him to fuck off, he would say something I did was stupid, but we either called each other on our b.s. and took the constructive criticism, or we agreed to disagree. We were great at respecting the other person's opinions and beliefs and apologizing when we did wrong. We also made a point to enjoy our time together, enjoying each other's company, laughing as often as we could and enjoying the feeling of being close to one another.

That he no longer sees me for who I am is a pain I endure with incredible torture. Hating someone is so much easier than loving them in spite of their faults. His image haunts my dreams literally every night. Whether its him in person, or the image of him in my dreams, I still love him. To think that the sweet love we shared could be shattered so easily- but not by our own doing. The person I love the most will now forever see me as the archetype of everything he dislikes about women. My last hope was him looking me in the eye, and seeing me still there. When he looked me in the eye, it was if he was looking at someone else.

The hardest thing was letting him go. Partly because I had no choice. Partly because it destroyed him. Imagine my pain every day living with the rape, and then looking him in the eyes and seeing his disgust for me. As hard as it was, it was better for us both.

Rape doesn't just destroy the victim- it destroys every one that loves them.