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Lessons From the End of a Marriage

A “How to Thrive” Guide After Divorce

I Never Loved You

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The gaslighting doesn’t necessarily stop when the relationship ends.


“I never loved you.”

“I haven’t been happy for a long time.”

“You’re impossible to live with.”


Those were some of the words my ex chose to leave me with in the correspondence he exchanged with my mother. They were little bombs hooked to a timer set to detonate after he walked out the door.

At first, those words devastated me. Could they be true? Was I a wretch? Impossible? Unlovable? Piled on top of the rejection, they were an added kick when I was already down and out.

But then they made me angry. If he never loved me, why would act otherwise so consistently? If he hadn’t been happy for a long time, that was his responsibility to say something and change something. If I was so impossible to live with, why did he live with me for 14 of our 16 years together?

Those parting words were nothing but further fabrications. Gaslighting from a safe distance to try to tamp down any resistance. Perhaps blowtorching would be a proper term here? I’m picturing the scene from Alien:)

Perhaps part of the intent was to maim, but I believe the main goal was to rectify his own cognitive dissonance.

Because when you tell a lie frequently enough, it starts to become your truth.


If he believed he never loved me, it made it easier to hurt me.

If he claimed he wasn’t happy for a long time, he could blame it on the marriage.

And if he made me impossible to reside with, it made it easier to walk away.


Before you believe the hurtful words your ex threw your direction, make sure to see what they had to gain by them.

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27 thoughts on “I Never Loved You

  1. “I haven’t been happy for a long time.”

    Oh I so identify with that one…
    I think the biggest problem is (now this is just my point of view from my impending divorce) my STBXW became so entrenched in thinking of ways to make an exit that if she would have focused on our marriage and what I was dealing with at the time (death of my mother) we would not be divorcing, but instead we would be planning our 5th wedding anniversary.
    But sadly she choose to end our marriage and seek her “happiness” elsewhere

  2. So much of what you write about has been my very same experiences. I hope you read my book one day. The deception that many experience with those who initially claim to love them is devastating. Thanks for sharing.

      1. You are so sweet! Thanks. It’s amazing how so many of us have such similar experiences… and a single sentence brings back these memories. I just thank God that He heals and restores. God bless you, my sister!

  3. I get “I still love you, I’ve always loved you” but then deal with the reality of being f-ed over in my divorce. Mine plays this nice guy who had a rough hand dealt to him. Gas lighting sucks. I’m sick of reevaluating my worth on a daily basis thanks to him!

      1. Yes. He’s nice guy to everyone but me. And then tells everyone what a nice guy he is so I’m made out to be the bad one. I lived 23 years with him treating me poorly….yet he still pretends he is a victim.

  4. I had all of this type of thing thrown at me for quite some time and it is true what you say “it starts to become your truth”. It took me some time to learn the art of finding the real truth, and then when I found that truth it became my freedom. However, sometimes that board of directors in my head keeps trying to bring those untruths back again. Thanks for the reminder that I am the CEO of my life, that I can over-ride that chatter in my head and that my truth is what counts.

  5. The Narcissist has been flip flopping between the two; nice – guy innocent angel, and evil destructive demon. Three weeks ago he said he couldn’t live with out me and I was destroying what we had because of scenarios I made up in my head last week I wasn’t worth the time he was spending to repair what I had and I am a paranoid delusional who made the relationship up in my head. I seriously need to change my phone number and email address.

    Thank you for the post! 🙂

  6. This was and still is my life. No one can understand it. And I feel like I am losing my mind. No contact is brilliant for coping but with kids involved I’m being told to open up lines of communication but he is using the kids to get sympathy too in a terrible way. There seems to be no escape from these people. 🙁

  7. Thank you and so very well said. i constantly have to remind myself that i did the best that i could. that i honestly and truly loved him with all his faults and ugly issues. that i was TRYING to fix my marriage and whatever he was “unhappy” with but that HE wasnt. it was easier for him to walk away then to work on our marriage. i have to tell myself that i gave my best, i was willing and wanting to stay together and fix what was broken and that there was nothing i could do if he didnt want the marriage or me. it doesnt matter how much i loved him, how much i gave him, how much i sacrificed, how much i gave in, how much i stayed with him and forgave him, how much i wanted it…….like his girlfriend told me when she called from his cell phone “he doesnt want you” and “he is hers now” (what kind of girl calls her boyfriends WIFE to tell her off and talk sh*t? and more better what kind of MAN/boy/loser/weakling lets his girlfriend call his WIFE!?!?!)

    i am still struggling to heal. but i am doing so much better now then i was a year and half ago. thank you for your writings. i read them off and on. This one is one of the best ones yet. his lies were to make himself “FEEL BETTER” for doing bad things. his lies DO NOT reflect on WHO I AM!!!

  8. I heard many of these from my ex-husband in the final days, including “You were a mistake.” We’ve been apart for five years and officially divorced for 3 1/2. These words still echo. But these were words I’d heard before from previous boyfriends, It’s been a compounded issue since my son’s father left me high and dry in 2006. I know its an issue and a pattern, but I can’t seem to find relief from the words that hurt so much. This is good food for thought.

      1. Lisa, I will never be able to express in words how much your experience and wisdom has helped me through my darkest time this past year. I appreciate you and your experience. Thank you!

        1. Thank you so much for taking the time to let me know. I’m SO glad to hear that you’re starting to see some light!

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