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H has left my out of the blue after 20 years. I am so sad. Any advice?

(53 Posts)
Eider Sun 31-Jul-11 14:16:56

Hello. I have just joined MN to try and see if anyone has any advice for what I am going through to try and shake me out of my desperation. I see I am not alone. I read posts from drfayray and it so rang an accord. So happily talk to other in the same boat.
I have been married for nearly 20 years ( anniversary tomorrow!) and three weeks ago H left me out of the blue for another W. Leaving me with the 2 kids fortunately not young -17 and 14. We have been growing apart for a number of years.. he spends a lot of time on the internet and is always up to 2-4am and if he were allowed, would not get up to 1pm.
He has hated his job in secondary school teaching ,which I am sure many of you understand, but has done nothing to try and look for something else and increasingly he has been taking time off sick. I was aware that our relationship was not going too well- he just did not seem to want to be in my company much.
I have always been the one with the stable income having worked my way up the local government tree since I was 21. We are both 52. H only started bring in any salary when he was 37.
I asked him to go to counselling last summer with me but he found the process difficult to engage in and he is such a poor communicator. I suppose it became a vicious circle: the more he stopped communicating, the less I tried. I still love him though. Sadly though he also stopped engaging with the kids and hardly ever speaks to DS, which I have been finding very difficult.
He had started to go away for weekend for walks in the lake district etc which I was pleased to see him get out. He said he wanted to have some time on his own.
Any way, three weeks ago on a Friday as he was going away for the weekend to his electronic music group he texted me to say he has had enough and he was going to resign his job today. I left messages all weekend for him to phone me.
He came back yesterday late the Sunday and I tried to talk to him to see what he wanted to do. In short, it came out that he no longer loved me and that he was in a relationship and had been for a while with a women who lives some 60 miles away he had meet on the internet (they have Backgammon in common and much else apparently). He said he loved her. I am devastated. I asked him to see if we could try and work it through and he said no if it meant him stopping seeing this woman. After my crying a lot, he left.
He said he was not going to tell me because he wanted to keep stability for the kids! He kept saying it was up to me, so eventually it forced me to say this was intolerable, which was quite clever really. So from his perspective he did not walk out- I chucked him out. I wanted him to stay and try again, but he said he was not prepared to stop seeing his woman (I do not even know her name). I was content for him to stay to the weekend. Then DD then said she did not want him in the house and he left. He now claims I have turned the kids against him which is very cruel and so not true. DD and I have talked about him many of times on our trips out together over the past year - and it was in concerned terms worried about him. Why was never "with" us? He used to speak to DD a lot but that too has been fizzling out over the last three years and as I say, he never speaks to DS: he does not even like DS, he has told me as much, who is a very shy introverted lad. In a way, looking back over the past months- I should have seen it coming. DD guessed he was having an affair, whilst I said to her that I did not think so
It now admits in a text that he should never have taken up teaching. He has said in a text that after a week of battling with other people's children, he did not feel like engaging with ours.
I thought I was helping him through his depression by trying to keep the home together. But it seems I was not showing him enough affection; but he has been so distance over the last couple of years. It now appears he has built up billions of internet friends over the many, many days he has had off sick from work and in staying up late. I have no friends really- family long dead.
I have done all those things I now hear other women do. I have texted him to say how I missed him. I love him. I begged him to see me /to see a Counsellor with me. To try and sort things. He texted me, refused point blank as there could be no possibility of "us" (his quote marks) being repaired and the meeting could only be in terms of untangling out lives.
He went on to say I had starved him of affection every since DD was born 17 years ago (eh? really horrible and so not true) and how dare I involve his mother (I did not she phoned up and I told her he had left me) Apparently, I should have told her he was out! I had burnt his bridges and how could our relationship recover from that.
I phoned him (I know really stupid) and he was utterly horrible and dragged out what seemed to be a catalogue of my failings going back to our courting days. How one trip, in what must have been 1991 he tried to hold my hand and apparently I pushed him away. I have no memory of this. How he should never have married me. I was cold etc etc. Horrible, horrible stuff. I asked him why he had not communicated then how we felt with me years ago. Later when I said I had tried to be strong for the kids, -this turned out to be another one of my failings, that I should have given our marriage more attention. It was a man talking that was not the husband I thought I knew; he was incredibly cold and unemotional and I found it scary. In short he wants a divorce.
I cried and cried Wednesday night. But I will not contact him now.
If I look at it he has thrown away all his responsibilities: chucked in his job, new woman, new home (he is living with her but I do not know where), new life. I understand they are off in Dublin this weekend (and there was me thinking he going to go there by himself!) So that must all be exciting for him.
I think it is the fear of the unknown and the total shock of it and a huge feeling of isolation/ being suddenly alone that I am finding so frightening. Each morning I wake up with intense anxiety, physically trembling.
But I get up and have been going to work.- plenty of crap there. Christ. But better than sitting at home crying all the time. I have been doing enough of that as it is.
Summer hols so kids now off school. So I try and get home by half 5 etc etc. Be cheerful around them.
But I am seeing a counsellor -second time Friday and he is really good and getting me to try not to be so negative. To stop beating myself up. It takes two. To stop my "if only" inner talk. To start looking after myself. So I am feeling a bit better today. Though V tired. I have lost half a stone in two weeks. I do need to be careful. I must not become a victim. Sorry to have gone on and on.
Any one out there? I feel v lonely. I would like to hear from women who are going/ gone through this to offer mutual support.
I must count my blessings though. I have good health, fit, two lovely children and a job (for the moment).

FabbyChic Sun 31-Jul-11 14:37:44

Hey there, it's going to be hard you have lost a part of your life, it takes time to heal and you have to go through the grieving process first. Take care of you talk to your children. The fault of the break up is not yours but his. He cheated, he lied. It's him who haschangedandmovedon. All you can do isle strong things will get better just takes time.

drfayray Sun 31-Jul-11 14:42:17

Dear Elder you are not alone smile I am here and I understand exactly how you feel. It is nearly midnight here (Australia ) so I will not say much but will tomorrow.
Take heart. We can get through this. Our children are similar ages; DD 13 and DS nearly 16.

I am feeling very low right now. But I hope tomorrow will be better. The sooner things are sorted and the bastard is out of my life the better. I am also similar age wise (49).

Will post more tomorrow BUT you are not alone!

drfayray Sun 31-Jul-11 14:43:49

Oops Eider not Elder! Oh sorry my stupid eyes!

cjel Sun 31-Jul-11 15:55:05

I can feel the sadness in you, you are a strong lady by the things you have said. Kept career and family going, At the moment you are in shock and don't try to think too far ahead, if you have a good half hour with the kids hang on to it. If you enjoy a bath remember that feeling. You you will become happier day by day. some days good some days bad , but don't beat yourself up as well. Do everything you want to temporarily make you happy. Make yourself the priority for your

maras2 Sun 31-Jul-11 16:02:40

Hello Eider.What a total scumbag.Once you can come to terms with the emotional side of his bastard twattery, practically you must think about your and the DC's financial future, ie. half of whatever penssion he may have despite threatning to jack his job in.You may think that because your job is ok you have no money worries bu t the kids are going to need a shed load of money over the next few years and he sounds like he could easily shirk his responsibilities.Get legal advice as soon asthe tears have dried. Mx.

ImperialBlether Sun 31-Jul-11 16:05:19

My first thought was that your home will be much happier now that he's gone. Can you imagine the relief your son feels? You won't have any of that negative talk about disliking his job, you won't have any of this business of him staying up all night doing god knows what online. If I were you, I wouldn't want him back. See it as a reprieve.

My second thought was "That other woman hasn't a bloody clue what she's letting herself in for." He's left his job, I can't see his references being great, he's got a difficult relationship with both children now and the likelihood is he'll be moaning for Britain for a long time to come.

OP, you've had a lucky escape, really you have.

ImperialBlether Sun 31-Jul-11 16:07:58

Oh and sort out the money now. Are you eligible for tax credits? Can you afford to keep paying the mortgage? Are you hoping your children will go to university?

And make sure you give your son a lot of attention. He will have mixed feelings - on the one hand it must be a relief for him that his dad's gone, given their bad relationship, and on the other hand he will know that any chance of a proper relationship has gone, seemingly for good. He will be in a very delicate state right now.

unavailable Sun 31-Jul-11 16:40:42

hello Eider, I cant give advice as such and have not been through your situation, but your post really impressed me. You sound very fair, caring and capable. Your husband, on the other hand, comes across as weak, selfish, self pitying and having no integrity.

I'm sure it wont feel like it now, but I think ImperialB is right - in the medium/long term this will be a blessing. You have been carrying him and it sounds as if living with him has been very draining.

I am sure you have the strength to get through this and build a better future for you and your children.

Best of luck

ScaredOfCows Sun 31-Jul-11 17:28:44

I haven't been in your position, but I've read the relationship boards a lot. Other posters on other threads have said frequently that in this type of situation, the cheating partner often 'rewrites' history, in order to give themselves permission to do what they do. So they make out things were bad when they weren't, or worse than they were. It sound like your h is doing just that.

Practically, have you got copies of statements, shares, mortgage stuff etc etc, and have you got a solicitor to talk through your financial situation with. If he has jacked in his job and you are a higher earner than he was anyway, he might have ideas of stiching you up in that area too, so you need to protect yourself.

Eider Sun 31-Jul-11 21:09:18

Thank you all so much for your supportive messages. They really help. Much appreciated.
I had a lovely day out with the kids yesterday and I tried really hard not to think about H and the fact that it is our 20th WA tomorrow and he is off in Dublin with OW. I have read that such breakups are a kin to bereavement. I think I am still in the shock stage. My DD is fantastic and has a lovely boyfriend who is helping her through it to. She is far more angry than I am (well yet!). I am careful not to bad mouth him though in their hearing. I worry a bit about my DS.
You are right about finances. It is dawned on me I must start to protect myself and the kids. I have always been the higher earner and have bought far more financially to the marriage than H. But I never made any issue of it; that was just the way it was. I already had a house when we got married and he only really started to earn when he was 37 and became a teacher. To be fair when the kids were very little he did the bulk of the child care during the week, whilst I worked, although I used up a lot of holiday to give him days off. Many years ago he was a lovely father too.
The man I thought I knew would be very fair about the finances. but judging by his behaviour these past three weeks, he is has changed so. So you are right, I need to be careful. I am suddenly scared he could take 50% of our assets and even raid my pension (he has B all of his own whereas I have 30 + years), which would be so unfair, esp. as he has resigned his job. So I must see a solicitor next week.
If there is any support I can try to give emotionally too to anyone out there he is going through it too, do let me know and thanks for reading my post.

TherapeuticVino Sun 31-Jul-11 21:33:07

I'm so sorry that you're going through this - haven't been there so no brilliant advice but wanted to say well done for doing so well so far - even just getting up and going to work is great.

FabbyChic Sun 31-Jul-11 21:48:18

Do please seek advise regarding the finances, he may well expect half the equity of the property and you need to find out if that will happen, as you have earned the most and contributed more I feel his percentage will be around 30% but could be wrong.

Best to get some advice soon as you can so he does not bleed you dry.

A relationship ending is like a bereavement, you have to grieve before you can move on.

carriedababi Sun 31-Jul-11 22:02:25

so sorry this has happened he sounbds like a right shit

do you feel any relief its over?

fidelma Sun 31-Jul-11 22:06:33

s a result my mum and I are soooo close.I moved back home to be near her. (met my wonderful dh) and had 4 dc.My mum has a full life with us,her new man,dancing,friends,choir.She was devestated as was I.We have never fully recovered but we moved on and created a new life. (A good one)

Be there for your dc it hurts just as much for them.You will be very close.Be kind to yourself.Start a new hobby in the Autum.

You have done nothing wrong.He is not thinking clearly.He is being swept away with the drug of a new relationship.

Thinking of you X

fidelma Sun 31-Jul-11 22:07:48

Sorry.I don't know what happened to the beginning of my post.

My Dad did the same thing when he was 50 as a result my Mum and I are sooooooooo close.

GeekLove Sun 31-Jul-11 22:59:26

I don't wish to be puerile but I think you ought to get an STD test. STIs must always be considered once an affair is uncovered as you cannot rely on what he says re physical/emotional contact.

witchetychicky Sun 31-Jul-11 23:05:13

Dear Eider,
I am so sorry that you are going through this - I went through something very similar abut 4 years ago (my children were 11 and 12 at the time). One thing that really resonated with me from your post was that your husband had become a stranger. I found that one of the most painful things to bear. The person that I would turn to in times of trouble had become a total stranger, a very unkind stranger, overnight.

Things will change for you, you will learn more about what has been going on. You will reflect on your relationship in a more realistic way, you will start to appreciate the benefits in him being away - but this all takes time.

I can honestly say now that I am happier now than I have been for a long time, but it has been a painful process to get here. I am so glad that your children are old enough to give you some support. Lean on your friends, keep contact with your exH to a minimum - most men in this situation still seem to think that once the dust has settled they can still have some kind of relationship with you - don't let him.

This is the hardest part of the process - it does get easier - much easier.

steelchic Mon 01-Aug-11 00:35:46

Hi Eider
I don't always post on others posts, more of a lurker but I'm going through what you are and I really feel for you.
Just to let you know have found the advice and support given here to me and to others such a help, you will too.
Our situations are so similar. My H of 14 years walked out in Feb, for another woman - although he denies this (not her existance but the fact that this was the reason he left But our marriage was fine - ok we had our ups and downs like any marriage. He too has told me how awful our marriage was casting up stupid things - like when when I was in hosp having our DS I was "vicious and nasty to him" (I had had a long and difficult labour that resulted in a C section - not to mention I worked up to the week before I went into labour and had 2 other DC's to look after) but it was all about him and I was sick of my PIL saying how tired H looked and him telling everyone how hard it was on him - no wonder I snapped at him. He has also casted things up like lack of affection on my part.
As the mums on here have made me realise it is their way of justifying what they have done. The way he goes on about how unhappy he was is crazy it does not make any sense.
I'm a similar age to you I'm 49 with not alot of RL friends as I had built my life around H and family.
Anyway what I want to say is please, please don't blame yourself for any of this. Things do get better I know you will not feel like they will but they do. Day by day things get better and the dark clouds lift. I still have my bad days but the days of feeling total devestation and panic are getting less and less.
Please look after yourself and realse you are worth more - life is too short you deserve more.
Thinking of you xxx

steelchic Mon 01-Aug-11 00:45:21

Just read witchetychicky post - good post seems to be common how they become like strangers overnight. Cowards, if they detach its easier for them to deal with but It leaves us in a state of shock - so selfish and cowardly

drfayray Mon 01-Aug-11 00:49:48

Hey steelchic, I hope you are going ok. The detaching and becoming a stranger....that hurts so much.

Eider I hope you take on board all the lovely supportive help and comments here. I have found it so helpful myself.

I feel confused and so overwhelmed at did this happen..why did it happen...but know that really no point over analysing too much. I will go insane otherwise.

I just try to do a day at a time, trying to hold it all together for DC and myself. I believe it will be ok in the end. Just a very hard road ahead.

steelchic Mon 01-Aug-11 01:07:45

Hi drfayray
I'm doing Ok thanks for asking
The detaching thing is so hard to take and like you I get overwhelmed asking why and all the if onlys, There is a long road ahead for all of us - but we will all get there.
I was on holiday recently with my DC's ( a family holiday H and I had booked 1 week before he left !!! ) We went on a boat trip and one of the guys that worked on the boat had a tatoo that said "EVERYTHING HAPPENS FOR A REASON" This is my motto now.
I have read your thread and your doing great, we all have a wobble now and then - but we WILL get there
Take care xx

annieatnofour Mon 01-Aug-11 13:52:18

Hiya Eider

Iam so sorry you are going through this.

I too am going through a seperation after 18 years of marriage ( thread is Help and support needed plse) so i really feel for you.

I so totally understand about them becoming a stranger - i find that so hard, and also my H has tried to rewrite history, they all must follow a script.

But i believe we will get through this - keep posting and get ur support from the wise ladies on here.
We will do all we can to help and support you


Eider Mon 01-Aug-11 23:43:05

Hi all. Thanks so much for your thoughtful posts. You are so kind. It is so nice to hear I am not alone- because it has felt so lonely of late. God – it is strange/ amazing there are others like me going through this dreadful experience. Why do some men do this? I echo that my H seems to have started to rewrite our history. It is so sad. Steelchick witchetychicky drfayray annieatnofour- thanks so much for sharing what you are going through – let’s keep in touch.
Another day. Today was my 20th wedding anniversary. Oh well. At least today I have not cried. I went to see a solicitor- she says worse scenario is that H could take 50%. Christ that would be so unfair. I am really not too sure what next. I have agreed to see H on Wed late afternoon in a cafe to discuss; well I guess how to untangle our lives. He texted me last week to say he wanted a divorce. The “cleanest” way would be for me to divorce him for adultery. I am not sure I am ready for this quite yet. I am still hurting so much. Yet I am determined to see him on Wed and be “nice”, but not to be bamboozled. I must stay calm and not get emotional. I do not want him to see he has destroyed me or that I am a gibbering wreck although I fell like that so many days of late. I also need to gently suss him out as to what he wants re finances. I am rather scared, but it needs to be done. This is the longest I have not seen him for 20 years.
I too have a family holiday booked for a week from Saturday. Just a cottage by the sea. I will still go with the kids, but it will be terribly strange.
I know it is a awful thing to say but it would have been easier if H had died. Can't believe that I just wrote that but in a way it is true.
If you feel down-post- it helps to support one another through this horrible time.

Saffysmum Mon 01-Aug-11 23:55:31

Really feel and empathise with you Eider - I was married for 22 years, and like you there's a lot of shared memories/experiences and, well, life shared.

He wants a divorce, so he wants you to issue this on grounds of his adultery. Obviously, he wants you to issue proceedings because he has nothing to issue against you: so if you don't issue, you will have to wait two years, after legal separation.

If you think the marriage is over, then start proceedings. What worries me about your post is the "my solicitor thinks he may take 50%" bit. Your solicitor shouldn't be worried about what this adulterer thinks he can "take". A good sol would be focussing on your best deal, and what you are entitled to. As petitioner you drive the proceedings he initiated all this - your sol should go in with their demands, not be thinking at this early stage about what he can get,.

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