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How do I start rebuilding my life - please help

(36 Posts)
kate1984 Wed 29-Jun-11 10:49:03


I need some help / advice on how I start rebuilding my life. My husband left me at the end of May - he just walked out saying that he no longer loves me and that he is unahppy. He has been diagnosed with depression and he due to start cognitive behavioural therapy soon (which was recommended by the psychatrist) but is firm in his belief that it wont change his feelings. To say I am struggling is an understatement - I am completely devestated by this and I honestly believed that we were happy. We have been together for 9 years (since I was 18), have been married for 4 years and have a 2 year old son - it was the life that we have always wanting and have been aiming for. He is currently staying with his parents and comes from a family that never talk about anything emotional so they are all literally acting like everything is normal - they are making the situation easy for him rather than making him face up to what he has done. I really dont know where to begin with rebuilding myself - I love him so much and am so sad all the time that we are not going to have the life together that we always talked about. I just wondered whether there was anyone else out there who has been in a similar situation and can offer any hope / advice. I am going to relate (alone as he wont attend - although the counsellor feels it would be very benefical) but have only had one session so far - they are weekly and I am hoping that will help. Everyone says just give it time but I just feel like it is so hard - everyday is such an effort to get through sad Any help / advice would be great appreicated Kate xxx sad

lemonandhoney Wed 29-Jun-11 10:54:30

Am in a rush but didn't want you to go nice to yourself, you've had a horrible shock. It takes AGES but you won't always feel like this. Right now you're probably in shock - you've got to grieve, be angry, sad, scared and confused (often all at once). Counselling saved my sanity as did taking everyone up on their offers of help, however small - I don't think I cooked a meal for weeks. Do you work? My GP offered to sign me off, but I knew that would be a bad idea so I told my boss what had happened and went in every day and did very little, but at least I was out of the house.

Eat well and get some sunlight. And post here - that has been a big help to me at various stages. Hang on in there - my life isn't what I wanted or expected but I'm starting to see some chinks of sunlight through the gloom.

kate1984 Wed 29-Jun-11 11:02:13

Thanks for the reply - I do work, just 3 days per week and I know that coming to work is what I need to do (my mum did mention about being signed off) as it gives me some structure which is what I need. What eats me up is there being no reason behind all of this - there were no signs that he was unhappy, he cuddled me, held my hand when we were out and yes we did spend most evenings doing nothing in front of the telly but we both work, have a demanding 2 year old and like everyone money is tight - I did know that we properly could have done with spending more time together just did not know the stage it was at for my husband as he never spoke about it. I am very methodical and logical in my approach to things and I feel this is why I am struggling with this as none of it makes any sense - all he says is 'its just how I feel' but his actions and his affection make it hard for me to believe. How can I move on without some sort of reason behind this. The enmotional pain is so hard (I know that sounds dramatic) I feel like I will be sad forever sad x

MadAboutHotChoc Wed 29-Jun-11 11:34:01

Are you sure he is not having an affair?

My H also said that he didn't love me anymore and after posting on here, I was warned that the "I am not in love with you anymore" script is what men often use when they're having an affair. At first I didn't think this was possible but began to do some digging around and found evidence of an affair.

Proudnscary Wed 29-Jun-11 11:46:37

I'm so sorry you are going through this.

I guarantee you he is having an affair. I have had two friends who tore themselves in and out over a long period of time when their husbands left them. Both men LIED and LIED and LIED until they were caught out. They both said the same thing about 'it's just the way I feel, I've fallen out of love'.

Men rarely leave unless there is another woman involved.

I think you need to know - not least to spare yourself months or years of thinking you are somehow to blame.

YOU WILL NOT BE SAD FOREVER. You will get through this x

sadsally Wed 29-Jun-11 11:57:19

I am going through something very similar at the moment.

Since March I have had the I don't know if I love you, we've grown apart, our lives changed as we have a child. He wanted to move out but we just bumped along. Started going to relate, he didn't open up emotionally at all. Like you it was a total shock to me, I thought we were happy generally with our lives.

He was married before and v judgey about affairs as his ex had an affair and they split.

I found out 2 weeks ago he was having an affair (I stumbled on some stuff). I was reading lots on here and convinced he was not, but he was. It took him a few days to admit, and I held on to some further evidence of it so he couldn't talk his way out of it, gave me strength and to know that I was not going mad.

Reflecting back on the past few months his behaviour had all the marks - you don't care about me anymore/we dont spend time together/we spend too much time together/you need to give me space/you dont care where I am. His distance from me, his deterioration in relationship with our child, 'working' lots, waking early, bed late.

Sorry, seem to have highjacked. But it is likely that he is having an affair and it help you feel less mad and almost relief if you do find out that is the case.

sadsally Wed 29-Jun-11 12:01:57

My close friends and siblings have been a massive support to me, try and reach out to those close to you. It really helps, esp in keeping your DS occupied - he is very important.

Before I found out about the affair I started thinking practically as well, which also helped to give me strength. Weekend contact, help with nursery pick-up/drop-off (I also work 3 days), finances.

FaffTastic Wed 29-Jun-11 12:19:33

Please don't straight away assume that your husband is having an affair. I suffer from major depression myself and am currently receiving counselling. I feel the same way about my husband that yours feels about you. I don't love him, not sure if I want to be win him etc. I don't know if it is the depression that is making me feel this way or if it is the way I really feel iykwim. I am not having an affair. It could be your husbands depression that is making him feel this way rather than an OW.

kate1984 Wed 29-Jun-11 12:45:59

Thanks for your comments. I have asked my husband several times whether there is someone else and he continously says no. His parents have also asked him and he has told them the same thing. I am inclined to believe him as I assume he would have just told me to stop all the questions. I honestly dont know when he would have - he leaves in the morning to take our son to nursery (he works next door to the nursery) and then comes home with our son. He then doesent go anywhere - just sits doing nothing so I dont know when the affair could have taken place. I want to believe (and this may make me a fool) that the depression has taken away what he feels for me but he cant see that. I am leaning on family and friends but feel like such a burden - I call my Mum or Dad at least once every evening once my son is asleep as I just cant bear to be alone - I am trying so hard but it just seems like a really long battle and I am so tired of it - even after just 5 weeks. I cant keep talking to my husband as he is at his parents and I feel that the more I talk to him the less likely he is to come home (which is what I want). Everything feels very hard and I know that sounds like I am giving up on everything but im not - I am still getting to work and my son is at nursery and generally happy (apart from the odd 2 year old tantrum), I just feel drained. My husband doesnt seem to be finding it hard - its almost like he has made a decision and thats that - this is the first major decision he has made on his own - even at 31 he is the baby of his family and everyone does everything for him x

wineandcheese Wed 29-Jun-11 12:48:28

You are doing the right things - Relate, carrying on with work. Be kind to yourself.

Don't listen to the posters who say he is having an affair. IMO it is terribly unfair of them to make that assumption and plant it in your head. Just work with what you DO know: he is depressed, and he doesn't want to be with you.

Take it one day at a time, look after yourself and your DS. Eventually you will find that you can accept (and even embrace) your new life - it's different to what you thought it would be, but it will still be good.

Take care.

totallylost Wed 29-Jun-11 12:58:43

Hi Kate, have had something very similar. Husband left me at the beginning of April saying he was no longer in love with me and resented having to be with me. He had been on ADs since January after having panic attacks and generally not being able to cope with life. I posted on here at the time and had similar responses of he must be having an affair.

Over the first few weeks he said he still wanted to keep in contact with me and see me a couple of times a week. We see sawed backwards and forwards for a few months with him saying he wanted to still be in love with me but he didn't love me at the moment. We were constantly on and off.

Two weeks ago he finally came off the ADs and it was like a lightbulb coming on. He cried for two days when he realised what he had done. He said he was still in love with me and couldn't imagine being without me and said he wanted to come back home. I would like to believe him but we are taking things slowly as we have been here before and then he has changed his mind. Two weeks on we are meeting regularly and he still seems desperate for us to be back together so maybe there can be a happy ending.

But whether he came back or not I needed to cope with the 'meantime' and thats where you are now. I had counselling as I blamed myself and made excuses for his horrible behaviour. I realised I had completely lost sight of me and counselling has really helped me deal with me. By the time he 'came to his senses' I had got to the stage of being happy with me, was rebuilding my circle of friends and establishing a great support network. I could go out and have fun and stopped thinking of him every moment of every day. Of course I was happy that he still loved me and I do hope we can have a future together but I am certain now that if it all falls apart again I can and will build a life without him.

So my advice, build yourself a life without him, keep in contact with him but show him you are coping without him. With the pressure off he may relax and sort himself out and if the worst comes to the worst and he truly doesn't want to be with you then you will already have started to move on.

totallylost Wed 29-Jun-11 13:01:06

Btw I never thought I would ever say this but I am glad my DH left me. I loved him far too much and made him the centre of my world and I realised when he left that it didn't make me as happy as it should have done and put a huge amount of pressure on him. If we make it now we will be happy and stronger than ever and we can both have the life we want.

MadAboutHotChoc Wed 29-Jun-11 13:26:53

Just to put your mind at rest, do some snooping around - check his phone bill, internet history, emails etc. My H denied everything until I found some proof. He took afternoons off work to meet with the other woman so he was always home in the evenings.

It may be that he is just depressed but its very unusual for a man to leave a secure family home where everything is being done for him (washing/cooking etc) and live on his own for no apparent reason other than falling out of love.

kate1984 Wed 29-Jun-11 14:18:32

Thanks again for all your comments and I am really taking on board what you say about an affair but believe in my gut that he hasnt - I can completely see why you would suggest this and I think it has crossed all our family and friends minds at some point during this. He was unable to take time off work without me knowing as he was responsible for collecting our son from nursery and all the other time he was with me. The only way he would have been able to was via text or facebook and that is something that I can think about. I appreciate what you are saying about it being unusual for a man to leave a secure home but my husband is unable to cope with 'feelings' he has never been taught how to express feelings and when the going got a bit tough he just ran back to his parents where I imagine if this is the permanent route our life goes he will stay for quite a while as his Mum does EVERYTHING for him - his Dad wont really acknowledge what is happening and instead bottles up his upset that his son has left his wife and last week was signed off work!!

Totallylost - I really appreicate what you have said - your situation sounds very similar to what I am going through and when you described the 'meantime' thats exactly where is am and it is what I am finding so hard. I am trying to build a life without him but cant shake off the hope that he will have a 'lightbulb moment' like your husband has and I feel like that hope is holding me ransom in a way (does that make sense?). I am going to stop any non-essential contact with him as everytime I am in contact with him afterwards I completly fall apart and just go backwards when I have got to start trying to recover. Since he has left I have thought hard about our relationship and I can see things about it that I couldnt see before and can see how he may have got into a depressed state but I feel they are all things that can be worked on and not a reason to fail a marriage where as he just cant see that xx

totallylost Wed 29-Jun-11 14:32:37

Kate I do know just how you feel. Every time I spoke to my DH he jsut used to completely confuse me and I would be holding on to hope. The advice I was given at the time was little steps, one day at a time or even one hour at a time. It did feel like a nightmare at the time and I cried for England but even those process where you don't feel as though you are moving forward is still a process. I just came to a day when nothing mattered as much and nothing hurt as much as before and I didn't really believe it because it didn't feel like anything had changed. But I guess going through that awful time when I felt so lonely and abandonded was making me stronger to get to the day when it didn't all hurt so much.

I know I have been lucky in that my DH now sees what he wants and that that is us but I can honestly say if it had gone the other way I would not have fallen apart again. My DH had CBT too and it wasn't until he started that that he began to see that maybe he wasn't as sure of what he wanted as he had thought.

The AD's DH was taking protected him while he dealt with his depression but they protected him by stopping him feeling anything. Is your husband on AD's?

totallylost Wed 29-Jun-11 14:37:58

here is the link to my thread

It shows a little of how I worked through it and hopefully shows how I did get stronger and you will too. If I could come and hold your hand through every awful minute of this til you find a place where you are starting to live again believe me I would. Will be thinking of you.

kate1984 Wed 29-Jun-11 15:29:23

Thanks for your post - it is really helpful, espeically I am feeling particulary low today. My husband is on tablets - he is taking citropram - what was your husband on?

I will have a read of your thread xx

totallylost Wed 29-Jun-11 15:34:22

Dh was on Seroxat. I am not trying to give you false hope that everything will be okay but I do think it is not always as straightforward as 'my husband doesn't love me anymore' when depression and ADs are involved.

kate1984 Wed 29-Jun-11 15:45:38

I know what you mean and too be honest my heart did leap a bit when I read your post but I understand that every situtaion is different and that my husband may not react as yours did. I feel like becuase there is depression involved I cant write everything off espeically as he hasnt started his thearpy yet - I really hope that he comes to his sense and realises what we have but in the meantime I can going to try my hardest to start building a life for me and my son. Thank you so much for your posts - it has really got me through today xxx

FudgeForever Wed 29-Jun-11 18:19:30

Kate, I cannot really chat as H is on a visit, so I don't want to get emotional while he's in the house (!!). Not only am I the same age as you (also born in 84...), but my H has done the exact same thing, and been diagnosed with depression. I am bit further done the line. He left in April. You might have read my thread (I have namechanged from Mariamaria84).

I will post a longer one later, and haven't had a chance to read all the other comments yet either (I will look forward to that, as I am struggling with how to rebuild my life too!!).

FudgeForever Wed 29-Jun-11 23:50:19

Hello again,

So, H left DS and I when DS was 6 weeks old (that was 3 months ago). We have been together for 10 years, and married for 2. Apparently I was completely paranoid, and always accused him of having an affair. I totally take responsibility for doing so when I was pregnant, but cannot remember being like it before I was pregnant. I was a complete bitch when prego, I really was. He loved me so so so much, and he felt like I never really trusted him. I did, I genuinely did, I was just very very paranoid, and incredibly insecure. As I say, he was diagnosed with depression, and given anti-D's although not taken them!

I am also going to counselling, and was prescribed anti-D's, but came off of them swiftly, because of the breastfeeding etc, I was just such a mess (I still am).

Everyone has also said to me to take one day at a time, and its so important. I get so bogged down in worrying about future events which makes me worse.

Definitely take as many offers of help as you can get. Can you stay with someone for the short term? not so easy with a toddler perhaps, I am staying with my folks, which has obviously helped immensely with the baby!

DO NOT try blame yourself. Do not try to overanalyse the situation, it wont get you anywhere. As someone said, just try and get on with your life without him. Assume he doesn't love you, don't assume that its the depression talking (that's what i've been hoping for...). Please don't hang on for him on the off chance he changes his mind. Its not healthy for you or your son. If he comes back, great, if not, you will already be part way (or fully) over him anyway.

Like so many people have pointed out to me, life is so short, and especially when you have children. Just enjoy every second with your DS, and treasure the bond that the two of you share. Your life is about the two of you now. Look to the future, and forget about what has been, it won't get you anywhere dwelling on what he did or didnt do or say before he left.

If you are still living in the place you both shared, move things around, redecorate, buy some new furniture etc etc. Make the place about you and your boy, make it your home for the two of you. Can you take on a new hobby, or join a class or evening course? I am doing kickboxing, which is great for stress relief and there is lots of eye candy!!

One final thing that I would say to you, and I am sure you know and have already been told...try to steer clear of other men while you are in this vulnerable state. You need a good few months to get your head around what has happened, and get some independence back before you get into a relationship again.

Remember, you and your boy are all that matter now. Don't worry about your H or his depression. Only he can deal with his problems, noone else can tell him what to do or how he feels, and you certainly cannot change his thoughts or feelings, no matter how hard you try!!

Good luck, and please message me if you want to chat. It would be good to stay in touch with someone that is in a similar situation!!

MaisieMama Thu 30-Jun-11 02:59:05

Hi Kate & all the others,

I'm in a similar boat - my DH & I have been together for 8 years, married for 5 and the last 3.5 have been really hard due to various things (relocation, trouble ttc, redundancy and postnatal depression to name a few) . A month ago he announced he wanted a separation and I was COMPLETELY blindsided - didn't see it coming at all. I knew things weren't perfect but figured we were in the same place as everyone who had taken a financial hit and had a toddler (DD).

He says he's depressed and he loves me (us) but he's so unhappy he wants to live a totally different kind of life (a very rural/self sufficient one which is so not me). He compared it to needing a bit of a gap year.

I don't know what I feel. In front of our DD I try to stay strong and not waver and just get on with things but when she's not around I just melt into tears. She went to my parents for a few days today and I thought I'd treat myself to seeing Bridesmaids and I balled my eyes out through the whole thing - and its a comedy. I'm trying to take it a day at a time but, like you, the whole thing is so overwhelming.

Its nice to hear from people who have come out the other side and are ok - some days I feel like it will never be ok.

kate1984 Fri 01-Jul-11 13:57:05

Thanks so much for all your messages, it helps knowing that there are other people going through the same thing (but also quite sad that other people are going through it too).

Yesterday I went to London with some work friends to see Take That and had a lovely time - I wasnt going go at the beginning of the week and glad that i did. I am going to try and cut all non-essential contact with my husband and try and show him that I am getting on with my life. One minute I feel really strong like I can do this and then the next minute I have a complete crisis of confidence and I miss him so much. I really hope that this does begin to get easier as at the moment I feel like this is what I will feel forever sad

Orchidlady Fri 01-Jul-11 14:33:54

A couple of years ago my DP left the family home, he was NOT having and affair, no OW. He also had depression and said things like he did not love me or DS. ( he came back btw) Depression makes people do and say strange things, the point is is that it does not have to be another woman, people on here always seem to assume this. I am sorry you are feeling this OP, I hope things get better for you.

kate1984 Sun 03-Jul-11 19:31:19

Thanks OrchidLady, it helps to know that other people have come out of this the other side - how long was your husband away for?

About an hour after my last post on Friday I had a complete meltdown - my husband called to speak to our son and was so awful to me, he ended up hanging up on me becasue I wouldnt tell him which of our friends I had been speaking too - I should have left it and thought 'its his problem' but I didnt and instead phoned his Mum - she was off on the phone with me too and said I should have told him (never mind her son just getting up and walking out on his wife and child!!) and I ended up speaking to my husband again and him just telling me over and over - I dont love you, we want different things (although he doesnt know what he wants) and I was complely distraught - luckly I was at my Mums but I refused to come down and just could not pull myself together - it was like the sadness just overwhelmed me. I realised though that I have got to stop contacting him as I am not giving myself time to recover from this. I got up on Saturday and went shopping - sounds so stupid but I did a proper food shop, planned what food to cook during the week (I have been grazing on rubbish for about 6 weeks), I then went to a friends for the afternoon so our children could play together and we had a nice BBQ in the evening - it made me feel stronger about things. The pain of him leaving is still there every second of the day and I am feeling like I am fighting against it all the time but for a little bit yesterday there was a bit of light at the end of the tunnel - the light might not be there tomorrow when I wake up but hopfully if i keep fighting then I will get there and one day the pain wont be there every second of the day.

I have never used anything like Mumsnet before but can honestly say the last few days would have been a hundred times worse without you guys. I am going to continue to post on this thread if thats okay - even if its just as a way to offload some of the things that whizz round my mind all the time.

Kate xx

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