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Dr. Michael
Dr. Michael, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 2177
Experience:  Licensed Ph.D. Clinical Health Psychology with 30 years of experience in private practive and as a clinical psychology university professor.
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Im still very angry after 4 years of being divorced. My

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Im still very angry after 4 years of being divorced. My husband cheated with 14 different women during our 15+ years together. I finally left him after I found a video of #14 masterbating with a dildo video on his phone. He is still dating this discusting women and my kids are exposed to her. It makes me physically ill! What can i do with this hate? And why do I hate her more than him?
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. Michael replied 6 years ago.
Hello. I believe I can be of help to you with this issue.

Do you have full custody or joint custody of your kids? What is the visitation schedule like (I'm concerned about the influence your ex's behavior and that of his girlfriend are possibly having on your kids. If he cheated on you, he will cheat on her; and if she acts out sexually in such a public way over the internet (where transmissions can be intercepted), she will also cheat on him eventually, if things don't go well).

There are quite a few feelings and perceptions you haven't gotten over regarding this lousy excuse for an (ex) husband. That is, you appear to still be more HURT, than angry and disgusted by his behavior---after all, he is a pretty miserable, pathetic guy who has little character and integrity, correct? How is he still able to hurt your feelings at this point, given behavior that is undeserving of your full withdrawal of emotional investment? I will pause here because I don't want to assume to know what you are experiencing about his behavior at this time. I will comment on why you hate her more than him after you write back to me....................
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Im a very devoted and loving women. Once i love someone I guess I always do. I do still love him to an extent even though I realize he is sick and twisted. He will always be the father of my children. I do have full custody and he has every other weekend visitation. I think I hate her so much because it has all fallen on her because i forgave him over and over wanting to keep my family together. The hate for the other 13 women is on her too i think. reguardless he plans on marrying her since his continual advances towards me are ignorded. She really believes he loves her but I hate to tell her that he loves no one but himself. Part of me would love to show her all the text messages he sends to me trying to get back together. I also have thoughts like, I will wait til they marry and think they are happy then sleep with him to pay her back! But i would never do that due to my morals and belief in god but wouldnt that feel good for just a split second! lol
Expert:  Dr. Michael replied 6 years ago.
Let me share with you some rational trains of thoughts that I think have probably crossed your mind, but you don't think about regularly, because the strongly emotional trains of thought dominate your thinking. (I wish I could work with you some more to get the rational thinking to occur more often---which would help you feel much better emotionally)
1. I married a man with narcissistic and socipathic personality traits. (You can Google these topics on the web to read more, if you haven't done so already). You may not have known this at the time you agreed to marry him, but certain signs would have been apparent if you had taken time to get to know him e.g., selfishness, lack of empathy, tendency to act impulsively, lying/cheating/deceitfulness, externalizing blame for problems constantly, untrustworthiness, sense of titlement, belief that rules apply to other, but not him, self-indulgent.
1a. Related thought, I could kick myself in the pants and be angry with myself for marrying this guy and staying with him, but that would do NO GOOD for me at this point because it is 'water under the bridge.
1.b. Related thought, I need to stay a tiny bit mad at myself for being this foolish, but only to cause me to be cautious in the future so I learn from my mistakes. I would never make this mistake again because I'd be much more careful in choosing who I date in the future

2. The women he is hanging out with and this other woman he will marry lack integrity and personal ethics; they are a lot like my ex, so my husband deserves them.
Related thought: I can stay angry at this other woman for what she did, or I can 'let go' of the anger; when I think of her, I will picture a pathetic, sad woman who has no idea what she is blinding herself to in this relationship with my ex
Related thought: This other woman will eventually suffer the same pain and fate I did, so there will be poetic justice; they will almost certainly cheat on one another.

3. I am a very loyal, loving, compassionate, forgiving person with much integrity.
3a. Related thought: I deserve much better treatment than I received from this lousy man.
Related thought: I CAN do much better in a future relationship if I am careful and take my time. I can find someone who is loyal, loving, compassionate, and who has integrity.

4. Part of my problem is that I'm lonely and depressed. I'm fighting this emotional battle quietly, because no one really knows my pain.
4a. Related thought: I WILL get through this and this terrible chapter in my life will make me a stronger and BETTER person.

I'm going to stop here and ask you to read and re-read these RATIONAL self-statements. Please read them and think about each one for a minute, as if you believe each of them. Then write back to me and tell me what you think and whether these ideas improve your immediate emotional state, at least a tiny bit, as you think these thoughts..............
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
I believe all of those statements. I think the hardest part is the thought of my children being around both of these poor pathetic individuals. I have been dating a wonderful man for 2 years now that has all the wonderful traits discribed above but my heart just wont let go of the past. I hope I dont lose him. I feel like holding on to the hate is more important than him and I have no idea why. Maybe im addicted to the drama I lived for so many years. I have no drama with this wonderful man. Is boring good? I dont even know what is normal. I never had "normal" before. lol Im so messed up, bitter, mean, hateful. Cant believe anyone normal could love me Im awful. I dont like who I have become thru all of this.
Expert:  Dr. Michael replied 6 years ago.
What you report about needing to hang onto the past is interesting. In a sense, you are used to the problems and drama associated with your ex. Those problems actually kept you from focusing on yourself and your needs; also, having relationship problems gives some women a sense of purpose because there is always a problem or challenge to at least 'try' to fix---even if in the end, you can't fix anything. Also, having an ex such as you had provides some women with with a focal point for directing their anger, for nearly anything that goes wrong. This is going to sound quite -off the wall- to you: There is a strange sort of predictability and hence comfort, in being victimized in a predictable way and hanging on to hate. After all, if an irresponsible and abusive ex husband isn't available to consistently hate after a divorce---along with the woman who took him away, how would you account for being unhappy or having bouts of mild depression. You say, you don't know what a normal relationship should really 'feel like', and you find this new wonderful guy somewhat plain and boring. I suspect that you are afraid to look inward a bit, to find out who the 'real you' is at this point in your life, deal with all of your negative self-views and intense inner feelings as issues only you are responsible for at this point.

I'm a little afraid to send this post back to you for your reaction because I feel I may be saying a few things you aren't prepared to hear. I say them because what you express in the last post is HIGHLY typical of women who have been in neglectful, disrespectful and emotionally abusive relationships for many years. But, I will await your reply.........
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Oh I think you are correct. I do have problems with depression. I guess my next question would do I become happy? Its strange that I have NO self esteme even though Im very successful, was in beauty contests, have a masters degree in Anesthesia but yet I feel like a failure because I wasnt "good enough" for him. I was good enough to have 3 of his children (only 2 living) but not good enough to love. I felt like my success was a curse because he always cheated with women with no education, no morals, and no success! why? sometimes I think his ego couldnt take it but I refused to give up my career for his ego. This web goes on and on so if you could just give some advice on how to find happiness within do I pay you? You have been very kind and helpful. Pretty bad that I cant spell with a Maters degree! lol
Expert:  Dr. Michael replied 6 years ago.
At this point, I don't think the type of therapy you received addressed your true needs or issues. Were I to step back and look at you objectively, I would see a very smart, accomplished and physically attractive woman. To compete in beauty contests, one has to develop good social skills, represent oneself well when speaking, etc. I suspect that BEFORE you ever met or married this guy, you felt more confident about yourself and your self esteem was higher. The problem that has occurred over the course of your marriage was that you slowly incorporated and internalized thousands of negative messages, based on verbal communication and his behavior, that there was 'something wrong' with you. Here is an example of the BELIEFS you have internalized about yourself as a RESULT of these messages you recorded in your brain: "I am a big phony. People have only told me I was attractive, smart and capable but the truth is, I probably am not any of these things----otherwise, why would my husband treatment me the way he does.?" "These uneducated women with no morals or accomplishments MUST be more worthy of love than me; otherwise, why would my husband seek them out, want to be with them, versus me?". So here is the point: your husband's words and actions slowly 'trained' you up to incorporate and internalize many, many false, negative perceptions about yourself. You also believed (falsely) that if you were a worthy, "real woman", you should have been able to do something to get this man to care about you and treat you with respect. TRUTH is, you have no such power---no one does. He is a personality with a narcissistic and character structure and neither you, nor any woman can impact his thinking or behavior. You have erroneously believed for many years that you could or should be able to affect his treatment of you.

The real fact is that he is a fundamentally insecure, pathetic guy who needs constant reassurance about his masculinity and virility. He can't get this from just one woman. He will cheat on EVERYONE he forms a relationship with. I can't imagine what a fine, accomplished, humane, attractive, happy, and well-rounded person you would have evolved into if you had never had this terrible demeaning relationship with this man. This person is still inside of you somewhere and you can rediscover it if only have a supportive, loving and respectful social support network, or even one high quality relationship you really, really want. If the current boyfriend is helping you 'heal', then great. Otherwise, what you may need is to continue looking until you find someone who is smart, funny, highly respectful, and whom you find terrifically exciting to be around. You deserve to come home each day feeling that you can't wait to see and talk to someone and share affection with them. This is the sort of relationship that will help you find your true self most fully.

I hope this information is helpful to you. Please let me know if I have overlooked any aspect of your original question. Please click on the green Accept button at the bottom of your screen, so I may receive credit for answering your question.
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