Was going to post this as a blog but can''t get it to work - its a bit long for here sorry!
Last time I wrote a blog it was 12 weeks on, now it is a week short of 11 months, in so many ways I cannot believe it has been that long. Why write now? I think probably because I need to try and find some positives even though right now I am not feeling many at all. I think its time to be honest with myself and put things down in black and white.
Things I struggle with;
• I still love him so much.
• I still think about him all the time.
• Everything I do, everywhere I go reminds me of him which just reminds me how much it still hurts.
• It still hurts the most that he never gave any hint he was unhappy with our relationship, that all that we had had, had been to each other, the whole of our adult lives together was not worth making the effort to save.
• My daughter (24), changed her name by deed pole and cut off from him completely, she has told him she never wants to hear from him again.
• He only bothers to communicate with our sons, (19 and 23) if they contact him. The only exceptions to this were Christmas, they got an email on Christmas Eve and their birthdays last month when they got an emailed Amazon voucher.
• The 19 year old has not seen his father since he left and is at the point of giving up on him.
• The 24 year old has only seen him once, he made a point of seeing his father for a coffee before he, (son), went to work in France where he has been for the last 5 months because he wanted to be the better man. Not sure how he is feeling about his Dad now, he doesn’t like to talk about it, he is back from France at the end of this month, maybe I’ll find out more then.
• Who is this man I love, he is a stranger, some of the stuff he has said in his emails is so alien, he used to care so deeply about his children now he says they are adults, can fend for themselves and feels that we have no obligation to provide for them.
• The family home still hasn’t sold, I still have to live there but can’t call it home any more, it is an empty shell full of painful memories, I dread coming back to it each day after work.
• I hate being single.
• I can’t imagine anyone ever wanting to have a relationship with me especially given the depth of feeling I think I will always have for him, ok I don’t like the person he seems to have become but I suspect I will always love him.
• I’ve never been a grown up and single, I’m supposed to be starting out on a new life, doing things I always wanted to, fulfilling my dreams but I don’t know what they are, I never had any for myself, only ones for us.
• It is all so scary.
• I am so fed up of each day being such a battle.
• I am so fed up of just existing and not living.
• Will I ever really feel happy again?
Ok so now I have to try and find the positives;
• My children seem to think that at all times I have been fair and reasonable with him and fully supportive of them, encouraging them to react however they feel appropriate for each of them as individuals and at the same time encouraging them to keep a relationship with their Father as they each see fit/wish to. This to me is the most important thing of all and what I set out to do from the very first day.
• I have been strong enough to cut contact with him other than the necessary emails regarding the house sale and splitting of assets, since the day he left I have only seen him for an hour and that was back in July. I have even told him that I will never see or speak to him again.
• After the first three weeks I have been back at work full time, my boss who knows the situation even commented in my annual review that he admired me for the way I had not let the situation affect my work.
• I’ve lost 3 ½ stone in weight and look better than I have done in years even if there are a few more wrinkles and grey hairs have started to appear which were not there before!
• People make good comments about how I look.
• He does not want any formal separation or divorce, does not want to involve any solicitors, started out expecting to split everything 50/50 but has now, after much persuasion on my part agreed to a split in my favour. This means that I should be able to afford somewhere for the boys and I to live together.
• I have managed what little money I have, have not got into any debt and have even managed to save enough to buy some oil so we will have heating again soon.
• I have made a new friend at work who is so wonderfully supportive and encouraging and I am also apparently a good support to her through her troubles.
• My son is back from France on the 27th
• My other son has got a full time job.
• I guess that after 33 years together 11 months isn’t so long, I wouldn’t be much of a person if I could just shrug it all off so easily.
• If I am really honest I am a lot further on from where I was 11 months ago, I may still only be able to take baby steps and often fall tumbling backwards but I do keep getting up again and do keep taking another step.
What now? Get up and try some more baby steps and try and concentrate on the positives!
It''s very, very difficult to give up a long time love. When we truly love someone for that length of time together you are two people living as one. You care about every aspect of what they do, who they are, what they stand for and believe in and what they accomplish in life; whether they''re well and when they''re ill you feel their pain (exception to this would have to be man flu); happy when they''re happy;content to do things you don''t particularly enjoy doing because hey! they want to go/do that so you get your togs on and go on a 10 mile hike on a rainy day. You do it because - you love them. You loved him and every time you get a flashback of the years of doing things together it hurts. You cannot sever the ties that bind you to so many years with that person and not feel the pain. Except that it does get less intense, honestly.
For more than twenty years when I saw his head above the fence as he parked in the drive my heart leapt - ''he''s here'' I''d say. His smile was so lovely it hurts that I''ll never see that again. Everywhere was that much brighter when he was near. The light was extinguished most cruelly when he left with my friend and colleague without ever telling me he was unhappy until that night.
You''re probably saying what I''ve said many many times, I''ll never love anyone else and you may find that''s the case. We simply don''t know at this point but there is one person you have to love enough to take your life and make it the best it can be. That person is you.
Live through your children for a while. Enjoy being with them and concentrate on that great long list of positives in your life. Wow! You have so much to live for!
As another long termer (32 years) I know exactly how you are feeling to be suddenly betrayed by the person who was the most important person in your life.
Every single point you make in your "negatives" list, I am feeling right now.
It saps your energy, you just "exist" and it occupies all your thoughts all of the time.
The trouble with love is that in order to have a truly loving and caring relationship you have to surrender your heart and trust completely.
Otherwise you are both really just housemates with shared expenses and sexual benefits.
Most of us don''t want that.,so we make that commitment in the marriage vows, making our hearts naked,defenceless and vulnerable. But we trust this person with this, our most precious gift of all.
When you commit to having children then you really start to behave as a family unit where the joys and sorrows of every member of that unit are shared.
Your whole financial security becomes welded together, with usually a jointly owned home and both incomes going into one big family pot for the benefit of everyone in the family.
As the years and decades roll on then at that later age, perhaps just when you were starting to have a few thoughts about your retirement future together...to have the rug suddenly whipped away from under your feet, not by a natural disaster or some external cause, but BY THE VERY PERSON you regarded for years and years as your best friend, soul mate and anchor in the storms of life, is utterly devastating.
Practically unbelievable. Your brain almost explodes in it''s sheer inability to even grasp or comprehend what has happened.
As the dust from the bombshell begins to settle, then as well as the terrible heartache, pain and utter bewilderment, the thoughts of how this is going to affect you in practical terms (house/finances/children) begin to come in to focus from over the horizon.
As they get closer, the fear increases until you feel you just cannot cope on so many levels at once.
Add to the mix things like holidays, Christmas, birthdays, anniversaries etc and shake well to create the misery cocktail of all time.
Meanwhile the person who caused all of this chaos is away having a jolly old time in a new relationship and enjoying dinners out and romantic holidays etc, while at the same time sending you poison darts and arrows in the form of texts and emails, not giving a hoot for your feelings and now viewing you as "the enemy" and seeking legal advice, while obtaining full support from their new partner in planning and plotting the best way to screw you over financially.
I am roughly at the same length of time as you, Dees, since the bombshell dropped.
I think your idea of a list of positives and negatives is good.
The only thing I could add at our stage is never get too optomistic or over confident about feeling strong and positive, for the next day you could easily be down in the dumps again. (rollercoaster)
This is par for the course.
Also never feel too gloomy about the future.
Many of the fears we have will never happen.
So I am presently trying to be neither too optomistic or pessimistic, but realistic.
I have reached the point where I know there are only certain aspects of this disaster that I can control and influence and other aspects which I cannot.
How everything will pan out in the future will be a mixture of planning and fate.
Also try not to look too far ahead as it can be scary and overwhelming.
Just look at the near future.
For some, that may be a few months, a few weeks or even just a few days.
Wikivorce is great, as we can follow the stories of so many others who have had to tread this path and we can find similarities of situations and can take advice from others who are further ahead.
Sometimes it''s just a bit of a comfort for the sake of your sanity to know you are not alone and that others are going through the same thing and experiencing the same thoughts.
Really, family and friends or colleagues may sympathise and offer comfort, but really they don''t have a clue as to how you feel unless they have been through this themselves.
Not a clue.
Ooops..I''ve practically written a testament here! Sorry for the length, but after reading your post I just sort of started writing and didn''t stop!
No one ever said this was easy. And perhaps for you (like most of us), its the hardest thing you will ever do or face.
It takes a lot of practice to become single. And it requires a total change of life. You have to think about you instead of us. And that takes some doing when you have spent 33 years as an US. And it wont happen over night. And yr recovery has not truly started yet as you are still married to him. That could be one of the things that will hold you back.
Athletes think things before they do them. A pole vaulter will imagine himself flying thru the air and clearing the bar and landing on the mat. And if you asked him or her if they were going to win a medal, they would say "Of course". They have belief in themseleves total.
By saying that you will always love him and that you could never be with anyone, like the athelete ensures that this will always be the case. Once you start saying that you will not always love him and that you are able to form a relationship, then you make it so. Just like the pole vaulter. Winning at something is not just about doing it. But its imagining that we can do it also.
Dont take offence at what I am saying. But I found a lot of the positives that you said didnt really tell me yr worth. You stuck by this man for what 33 years. You must have gone to hell and back for this man. You gave him 2 kids. And one of them works in France. That last bit is a megga achievement. And you did this. So why are you not singing this from the rooftops?
Now you did all this with this man that wasnt really in yr life. He was there, but not there. If you see what I mean. So imagine what you could do with a decent man at yr side? And the sky is the limit for you. If you could just get past this rock that is in yr personal road.
So there you have it. If you want to get over this man then you have to start telling yrself that you can. And if you want a man that is worthy of what you have achieved, you have to have some self belief. You can do it sister. U just have to want it. And its yrs. You have proved that you can achieve greatness. So what are you waiting for? Divorce this waste of space and get rid of one of the things that are holding you back. C.
As ever on this site it means so much to be reassured that the thoughts and feelings are ''normal''. Mitchum and LW your words ring so true.
Marshy, no offence taken. I guess I already knew that the only person holding me back is me. Its that fundamental switch in thought processes that is so hard to make but the only way to move on.
To find my children grown and to have recently had one of those significant birthdays would have probably been life changing enough let alone my husband suddenly walking out and moving in with a mutual friend he had been having an affair with.
I don''t want to sound like a saint - I''m far from that, but to me looking after others has always been my priority in life, looking after myself came very low down the list. To switch that around is a big ask but one which I have to conquer, thinking about it propably is the best thing I can do for the children right now.
The divorce thing, well you may be right Marshy but I don''t think I''m quite ready to go there yet or indeed ready for that fight, and it will be a fight as he doesn''t want one, but at least I have moved towards even considering it now which is a long way from where I was a few months ago.
Right now my focus is on getting this house sold and finding somewhere new to live, somewhere away from the village I''m in, somewhere without the constant memories and reminders, somewhere new that will be mine and mine alone, a fresh start.
Just wanted to send you a big hug. There isn''t much more that I can add only to say that he isn''t worthy of your love and goodness. You have already proved that you are a resilient and strong woman. Your children a lucky to have such a great mum. Stay strong, take carex