Not all serial cheaters are sex addicts, some are simply SOBs! What is an SOB? We use the term “Selfish Oppressive (Obsessive would also work) Bastard” (SOB) Syndrome to describe MindlessCraft’s addiction to self-pity, entitlement and using those as a weapon not only to justify and rationalize his inappropriate thoughts and behaviors, but as a weapon against me, against us (and what he realizes with sickening clarity now) against himself. It is not only because the actual acronym we all know and love is actually accurate. But, because SOB syndrome indicates a pathology of selfishness, self-pity, entitlement and oppressive behaviors in an attempt to build ego. And, bastard, well that is just fitting for someone who made choices based on the previous motivations.
I shared everything about myself with my husband before we married thinking he was my best friend, only to be blindsided with his obsessive insecurities after marriage. I thought sharing things that happened before our relationship was about the desire to share all of ourselves openly, safely and freely. MC turned that against me, thinking he had a right, an entitlement, to have obsessive destructive thoughts about my life before him. He did not just compare himself to me, but to others as well. He looked outside of himself for validation. He used a metric that was misogynistic, constantly comparing himself to others, never counting his blessings and letting his life choices be fueled by these sick obsessive comparisons and the resulting self-pity. To MC, the glass of his life was not just half-empty, but it was cracked and leaking too.
He used to badger me about my past. When we would be intimate, he would badger me about how I knew to do this or that, I wasn’t doing ANYTHING. If we didn’t have sex, he would badger me about not enough sex. It was a lose-lose, no matter what I did. Our sex life suffered. I ignored so much. The fact that he would get pouty if I would do anything mechanical. I had grown-up helping my dad fix the car. I was a wiz at wiring any electronics, stereos, etc. . .I liked to use my hands. I loved to solve puzzles, I was great in math. I liked to be a free-spirit, but was also exceptionally focused and logical. He felt threatened. He started exercising excessively as a tool to aide his mental health, that is what he told me. It seemed to help. His emotional outbursts died down, though I now know he was just seething internally, with anger building day-by-day, year-by-year inside of him. And, regardless, the damage had been done. I was scared of doing anything that might bruise his ego.
SOB syndrome is about self-pity, selfishness and entitlement thinking. SOB syndrome is about never counting your blessings, always comparing yourself to others who you think have more and/or better. SOB syndrome is telling yourself “I deserve at any cost, any expense,” “if it is not automatic and easy, there must be something wrong,” “G-d, the world, etc., owe me” and ultimately, blaming everything and everyone else for your life not being enough. It is an addiction to self-pity, selfishness and entitlement. An SOB is constantly looking for outside forces to fill his/her glass and refuses to ever recognize anything positive, nothing is ever enough. An SOB is constantly looking for ways to fill his/her leaking glass and never recognizing that the crack in that glass is of their own making.
MC has and is doing a lot of work on himself to overcome his selfish ways, to combat and let go of his self-pity and to appreciate all the blessings he has in his life. Part of that process is to make me and our kids feel safe, to be vulnerable with and to us, to freely show love and approval, to give-up his false humility and be lovingly authentic, and to encourage and be proud of our strengths, even when such things might be his weakness. The other part is for him to act with courage, face difficulties and not run away from conflict. It is not an easy road. It is a lot of work.
I think one of the hardest things in all of this is seeing just how much of myself I let die to protect MC’s ego. This too is one of the things for which I am learning to forgive myself and to heal. I am now working on my Master’s degree. I am now working on regaining myself. He is supportive, loving and kind. He now counts his blessings. I no longer worry about his ego. And, if I ever start to worry about his ego again, I will end the marriage, because I will never again sacrifice who I am for anybody.