5 months Separated and Feeling A Bit Lost(6 Posts)
Hi, I guess i'm looking for some words to give me strength going forwards. My husband moved out just over 5 months ago. I asked him to leave. We were together 12 years, married 9. We have two girls: 19 (previous relationship) and 5. On turning 40 last year, i realised i had spent a good part of the last decade crying due to a pretty poor relationship. He was verbally and emotionally abusive, invaded my privacy and that of my eldest daughter (hacking facebook/phone messages etc), controlling, unable to control outbursts and name calling in front of girls, selfish, resentful and in some ways very very lazy indeed. Over years, I tried so hard to make him realise what he was doing to me and girls, but he NEVER ever took any responsibility and blamed me and my eldest daughter for all of our problems. Of course, I dont claim to be perfect, as i realise it takes two to make a marraige work, but i don't think i have any major character flaws, just a bit stubborn sometimes and grumpy a couple of days a month. It took me a long while to become strong enough to ask him to go especially because i hated tearing our family apart. I am a Christian and my marriage was something i took very seriously. Additionally, my problems were a huge secret. And to the outside world, he was the ideal husband, father, friend etc. He was a master of control and disguise. I was so confused i actually believed i caused the problems. But eventually, i realised the impact the relationship was having on our youngest as well as being a threat to my own mental health and with the support of a Womens Aid counsellor, I took action.
On his departure in November, largely it was a huge relief. I was upset and sad, but on the most part, i could breathe again and over the past few months have become more like myself again - happy. I can support myself and the girls on my salary and have a solid career. I have worked hard to be amicable for the girls' sake. I still to this day wear my rings, as although i never saw a way we could get back together, i was just slowly coming to terms with the dissolution of my marraige and giving it the respect i felt it deserved. He has coped marvellously throughout, almost thriving. /i guess he was as unhappy as me.
The difficulty for me came around 1 month ago. He told me he had a girlfriend and had been with her for two months - meaning we were apart only 3 months and he moved on. Ouch - that really hurts! He admits he met her 2 years ago at a school re-union. He promises nothing went on until after we separated. However, he has told me a batch of lies in the last couple of months, so i'm doubtful of any thing he says now. I'm rather ashamed to say it hurt and still does dreadfully. I know how bad my married life had become, so why am i hurting and grieving for this loss. He was certainly no great catch in reality. He made me miserable. I certainly never felt loved, or if i did, it was for fleeting moments. Certainly more downs than ups. So why this sense of loss. Why do i feel so cheated? Why am i so angry at him? I certainly feel like the 12 years together have just been made so insignificant when he moved on so quickly. But perhaps part of me harboured some small hope he would finally take responsisbility for all he has done and offer to fix himself in order to give our marraige a chance.
My youngest still cries for him to be back at home and that is heart wrenching. My eldest (whom he told about his girlfriend despite me asking him to keep it private) has told me "what do i expect becuase i asked him to leave". That is especially tough to hear as so much of what i did was to protect her from him and what he was doing to her. I dont want him back. I just want to stop feeling angry, hold my head up, find some self esteem and do the best i can to offer my girls and myself happiness and stability. He wants to be best friends right now and cannot understand why his actions in taking a girlfriend so soon, would hurt me. He just keeps asking me why i'm so distant and blaming me.
Many apologies for the length of this post. any advice or inspiration would be greatly appreciated so i can see some light at the end of my tunnel. Thanks.
Five months is still very early days for you after such a long - and damaging - relationship, you're bound to feel raw. Don't also punish yourself - you're grieving partly for what you might have had, as well as all those years spent with a person (even though unhappy, still a big part of your life.) Well done for having the strength to leave too, it sounds very very difficult.
Men do tend to move on faster. My ex moved straight in with someone after me and although I never wanted him back either it still hurt. Look at it this way - you're much better off without him. You don't really want him back yourself (since he is not going to change). Think what this other woman will have to put up with! Think how much stronger you will be for this time on your own, allowing yourself to get over it all. And also, think how much better a partner you will find in future as this hard journey has taught you so much.
Ignore what your daughter is saying - she doesn't have the full picture so she is judging you wrongly.
Do allow yourself to experience grief as it's natural after so long. It tends to come in waves - and slowly over time the waves get smaller and further apart, it's just not nice living through it! It will get better I promise you. In the meantime, treat yourself kindly. Be a friend to yourself - would you say to a friend grieving after a long marriage "oh you're silly"? Of course not. Spoil yourself a little - have nice hot baths, the occasional glass of wine, trips out with friends if you can. Enjoy the freedom too! If possible go on seeing a counsellor as all those years will have impacted on you.
And well done again - you did something very difficult for all the right reasons. You're clearly a brave and moral person - your future will be better, look forwards to that not back at the past!
Can't really elaborate on what Teacher says, but just wanted to say well done for making such a hard decision. Its never easy ending a marriage, even when it hasn't been a happy one, but you did it for good reasons and now you have your whole life ahead of you to enjoy without him holding you back.
It is early days and he has rushed into a new relationship, while you are taking your time to adjust to your new situation. Spending some time building yourself back up again will help to heal you and give you back the sparkle you lost while you were with him.
Don't worry that you are feeling hurt by him finding a new girlfriend, its only natural after such a short period of separation, especially where there is doubt about when they got together. He may even have done it (or at least told you about the timescales) as a way to hurt you for finishing with him - his girlfriend is probably another way for him to emotionally abuse you and by ignoring it you are not rising to his bait.
Try not to dwell on what he is doing, you know that however it looks from the outside, that's not necessarily how it is, Make sure you are taking care of yourself as you are way more important than him now.
Thanks so much for the supportive and sensible messages. I completely agree. For now, i am not so good at spoiling myself - something i need to practice! and i need to get out of my current rut of feeling sorry for myself when i dwell on the thought of him with someone else.. My head knows she will ultimately face the same fate as me once his mask falls. My heart is just battered and bruised at this final insult he has dealt me. I am frustrated that i get very angry and resentful of him and let him see/know that his new relationship has hurt me. this is something i really need to stop. he doesnt desesrve to have his ego inflated more. Its easier said than done though, but now the shock has settled in, it should get easier. I watched Michael Buble's new video last night which is an upbeat and empowering break up song and it brought me perspective and a goal to develop that type of attitude. i must keep playing it on repeat. LOL.
(name changed in mid-conversation from teachercreature!) Sounds ideal! I used to dance around to loud music after my split - Kelly Clarkson's song "Since You've Been Gone" is particularly good!
And feel sorry for the new woman - think what she will have to poke up with! Best possible revenge you can have on him is to keep holding your head high and get on with enjoying your own life - don't let him hurt you anymore!
Be prepared for odd pockets of grief to pop up when you think you're done too - again don't punish yourself, just have a good old cry and then stick that music back on and ring a friend. I am 100% sure one day you will look back and just be totally glad you are not in that relationship anymore - happened to me, and it's very liberating! Plus you did get something wonderful from it - your DD - so hold on to that thought and forget about him.
Good luck! x
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