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How do I learn to live with it

M Updated
Well, the First week of my overseas secondment is over. 9 more to go. It feels more like 9 years. I'm really struggling. I feel so homesick. I know I have my family here (they live in the country that I have been seconded to), but I just feel desperately lost. I know it's odd for me to be homesick, to want to go home. Apart from some very close friends, I have no home in the uk anymore. No house. No husband. No family unit of my own. All gone. Another life. All taken away from me, despite fighting so hard for so long to keep it all. So I have nothing actually to go back to right now. Maybe it's more that I'm lifesick. I just miss my old life, and how it used to be. It's funny how it's always the little things you miss, isn't it? Even just thinking about them absolutely kills me. I miss it all so much. My life, as it once was. I know it was shit at the end,but we did used to be happy, once upon a time. We really were. I still don't quite accept what happened. I still can't help thinking that if only I hadn't done that, or if only I had said this...that things may be different. Crazy, really, because I know, rationally, that he broke this. Not me. I could've been his perfect woman, and it still wouldn't have been enough for him. I wrote a list of all the reasons why it's best for me to move on, move forward, and remove him from my life. I re read it every now and then when I begin to waiver. It doesn't make for pretty reading, in fact, I wonder if it's possible for 1 person to have inflicted so much on the person they were supposed to love. Funny, then, how a small part of me still pines for him. I mean, what the hell is wrong with me? I'm always at my most vulnerable when that part of me emerges. When the life sickness is particularly strong. And then it's almost like I become blind to everything he did. Like i am right now. Like a mug. I would forgive absolutely everything, if it meant a happy life together. I feel his panic surge up inside me, and I start to panic because I want it all back, desperate to go back to the very start of it all. What a silly, childish notion. What a naive way of thinking. What an impossible thing to hope for. So I re read my list. And I try and live with it. But when will this anxiety ever subside. When will I find it ok. The time left on my secondment is making me panic. Totally irrationally. But If I were to give up my secondment and return to the uk, then what? Find somewhere to rent. Sit in a house that's not mine, facing blank walls, wallowing. Sinking. And knowing that I've let myself down. So I know in my gut that this is the right thing to do, to persevere with. I just wish my heart would agree with my head.

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You are doing amazingly well I think. I often just retreat into my black hole cave and its been 3 years and I still sometimes think I should have done something different, begged him to stay and put up with the crap and the 3 mile walk home to delay going back as long as possible. On a good day I relish my space, enjoy my work and look forward to going home. I am angry, sad, lost, anxious, depressed, and sometimes just about OK. You are not alone be kind to yourself and trust that there are some lovely people on here who will support you through the journey to a new improved independent stronger you.
J
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Hi Methu

What you have written is so true for most of us, at counselling the other day my counsellor asked me what I wanted, I replied much the same as you 'I want my old life back'. Not the cheating, lies and infidelity but the great life we both had, we did have a great life together and shared some magical times. My counsellor replied 'Do you think she was thinking of those times when she jumped into bed with another man'. Of course she wasn't she was thinking of the bad times and how life got boring with family life, mortgages and day to day living with someone 24/7. None of us are perfect, if we were we would have been sainted, all we wanted to do is create a happy and safe home for our partners and ourselves. Unfortunately we were led by our hearts and gave ourselves to someone who was not worthy of us or deserved us.

One day we will be happy again, maybe on our own or with someone else. Our former partners will never find this happiness as they will be forever chasing the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. When they find the pot of gold is a pile of cow dung they will chase another rainbow. The downside to this is that they have harmed us so badly it will be hard for us to ever trust again. There are good honest men and woman out there who will make good life partners and one day we may meet this person. We should ensure that our ex's don't have the benefit of soiling our soul so much that we miss this person when they come along. We will live, love and have a great life again but in the meantime we just have to carry on.

As for being abroad, speaking as someone who has spent a lot of his life working away from what one would call home, it is hard to be away and although I have worked in some fantastic places I always missed the place I called home.

One final thought I read the other day a simple saying which meant a lot and this was

'Why do so many of the older generation stay together.
It is because we came from a generation when if something was
broken we tried to repair it. Today if something is broken it
is discarded and a new one obtained'

Very simplistic I know, and I understand in the past many woman put up with crap because there was no other way as they were dependent on their other half, but it describes todays society so well.

Stay strong and look after yourself, the sun WILL shine again.
DIAH
D
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These feelings are totally normal although extremely difficult to cope with. It's natural to miss your old life, even if it was difficult towards the end of your marriage. Because it was familiar and there was back then the hope that a happy life could be found "if only" something would change.

I lost my job, my husband and most of my friends pretty much all at the same time. My old friends he no interest in my distress, why would they after all they didn't understand. I have never felt so afraid or so alone.

But I look back at that time over three years ago now and I'm thankful for my choices to move forward without my ex. He cheated repeatedly and left and I was left reeling, with my life in tatters not knowing which away was up.

You can decide to make use of the time you have now. I read books about my situation and had counselling which was a way of finding answers to a question that haunted me. I wondered what made me long for a life where I was treated badly. I learned so much as a result about separation and divorce about me and what I wanted my life to be. This resulted in personal growth that I wouldn't swap for anything.

When the bombshell happens, often people say you need to accept that you will just need to exist for a while. Eat, sleep work and just getting through each day is as much as you can do. I found great peace in learning about my situation and why I had ended up in a marriage where I gave far too much in exchange for far too little.

I look back on those dark days and know that the choices I made and the learning I did formed the green shoots for me learning to live very differently. The key for me was to not accept that my situation was anything other than temporary that I could and would get through this.....eventually.

You know you wouldn't feel better if you returned to the UK. Wherever you go there you are if I'm making any sense. The key is to change your focus and make your goal just to hold down your job and get through each day. That's really a great achievement right now and as much that you can expect of yourself. It won't always feel as bad as it does today. Truly. But it's a long journey with many ups and downs.

All is not lost though. You still have much. You have you, that person who knows how to give her whole heart, knows how to love, how to feel. People out there are emotionally unavailable and will never be able to give of themselves in this way. It is a gift. The learning in all of this is to give what we have to the right people and the big lesson in this for me was to learn how to give to me and look after me in the same way I did for others. Not to lose myself in the same way I did in my marriage. Learning what it was about me that allowed others to treat me so badly. My kindle was my very best friend in separation. I learned a lot.
S
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The heart and the head take a long time to match up - a very long time. You have had a major shock to your life....and for better or worse you have been temporarily uprooted and expected to perform a task when you are still in shock.

Don't ask too much of yourself. Don't think beyond ten minutes at a time. And when you can - either rest or excercise - whichever you need. Sometimes you will feel 'wired but tired'. It is a great phrase that describes the mental overdrive and the physical and mental exhaustion at the same time.

None of this is coming up with a solution for you. But I feel for you and my advice to you is to be very very kind to yourself between working - whatever it is you need - art galleries (I don't know where you are) - or sleeping - or swimming - or cinema.

Whatever it is - one of the worst things is having no-one to share it with. It takes a while to get the hang of it - but you are definetly not alone.

Keep in touch with us. Let us know how you are - good or bad. We care.....and don't criticise yourself for how you feel. You are doing so well.
SF
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I'm not surprised you feel so unsettled and homesick and lost… you have lost your husband, home and your future life together. I'm coming to accept that this grief and sadness is going to be my constant companion for some time, but remember, as other Wikis will reassure us it will get easier.
Plus it's a huge deal to be on this overseas secondment - good on you for doing it, I am sure it will get easier in the next week or two, the first week is always hard in any new place or job. Is there any kind of group or evening class or something you can do to distract yourself and meet some people, even if they are only temporary company?
V
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Don't be so hard on yourself, it's only normal to panic. You need time to grieve for the life you had tried to build, let go of it all, and being away is only making it more real.
When a woman is faced with a verdict of infertility, they offer bereavement counseling in France. Why?She hasn't lost any children? But she has lost a life she was dreaming of.
We are the same. We know the marriage we had was just dead, but letting go of the perfect one we had started to build the day we said "yes I do", that's hard.
((()))
J