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Devastated after end of an emotionally turbulent relationship

(28 Posts)
LittleWren17 Sun 14-Jun-15 15:31:33

Hi, I'm 36 with two daughters aged 11 and 7. 12 months ago I left my husband after 17 years together. He had been my only relationship and whilst he was a very good man, we had drifted so far apart that we spent every night in different rooms, I felt like a single mother as he was always busy doing other things and there seemed to be no compromise in our relationship - I felt like I was living his life instead of my own. We parted amicably and remain so for the sake of our girls. They are ok and seem as happy as they can be under the circumstances.
Very soon after I left ,I began a relationship with another man (Ed) . I had noticed him from afar while I was with my husband but never would have acted upon it. Anyway, Ed and I fell head over heels, we were smitten. He would bombard me with texts all day and wanted to spend every minute with me. However, out of the blue, every few weeks he would end things with me and cut contact and I would be left devastated. He would say that it was because he wasn't over his ex, or he missed being with his children etc. he would run back to his ex, claiming that they weren't together and then after a few weeks, he would come knocking on my door or text me,apologising and saying he missed me. This went on and on, for almost a year.
I took him back each time because I loved him so much and wanted it to work. I lent him money, supported him emotionally and have him everything I had to give in a relationship.
A few weeks ago, we had an argument over his level of drinking to cope with stress, he shouted at me so viciously that I went to slap his face , but he grabbed by arm and hurt it. Following on from that he has cut all contact with me and blocked my number and is spending a lot of time with his ex and their children. It's killing me to think that they might reunite. I'm now really depressed. I'm so hurt that after everything Ive done, he has run back to her. I adore my children and I've tried to protect them from all this, but I feel Ive let them down and I'm so down that I can't be the fun, attentive mum that I always used to be.
I can't see any happiness ahead. I'm crying all the time - at home and at work. I don't know what to do. I know there is no future for Ed and I, but for now I'd just really appreciate some advice on how to move forward and if anyone else has found happiness after being in a relationship that has left them emotionally battered. Thanks x

tribpot Sun 14-Jun-15 15:54:46

Well, he saw you coming a mile off. You were vulnerable and effectively on the rebound at the end of your marriage and he's basically put you through hell for a year.

He's given you the full love bombing/emotional beating treatment and every time you took him back it let him know (a) it was working and (b) he could ramp it up next time.

You've given and given and given and all he's done is take. You fell head over heels. He I suspect was just pleased to have found a new victim.

Who the hell knows what's going on between him and his wife - perhaps he is trying to make you so jealous and broken that you'll take him back so he can hit you properly next time?

You have had a lucky escape. Can you imagine if one of your girls was in a relationship like this, with someone who kept finishing with her? Fuck that - they will deserve better than that when they're older, and you deserve better than that now.

You need to clear your head. You say you lived your DH's life for 17 years - you then fell almost immediately into living this man's life, being his crutch, his bankroll, his emotional punching bag. Time to learn to be yourself and live your life, in which the people you choose to have around you nourish your soul and bring you comfort.

Time to move onwards and upwards.

LittleWren17 Sun 14-Jun-15 17:10:32

Thank you so much for your comment and support. I hope in time I can be happy without him...he really was what kept me going and put a smile on my face especially when my girls were staying overnight with their dad. Even now, I still just want to know that I meant something to Ed...he was the one who pushed our relationship on at the beginning , showering me with I Love You's. It's so painful that went from planning a future with me one day, to being cold and blocking my number the next. I'm a fool and worried that I'm going to suffer the consequences for the rest of my life x

Paddlingduck Sun 14-Jun-15 17:25:50

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

nequidnimis Sun 14-Jun-15 17:27:14

Are you sure his ex is actually an ex?

He sounds like a man in a relationship and periodically feeling guilty about the affair and trying to end it.

I'm not going to get too worked up about him grabbing your arm, given that you were about to hit him.

It sounds like he's finally done the right thing, for both of you, by ending things in a definite way. If he comes crawling back, show some dignity and tell him to get lost. Love isn't supposed to be like this.

LittleWren17 Sun 14-Jun-15 17:37:33

Thanks all, I agree that it was not ok for me to have tried to slap him...it's not something I've ever done before but he was shouting right in my face and I didn't know what to do. He has a history of going back and forth from his ex, but stupidly I believed him when he told me that I was different. I really believed him when he said that there was nothing between him and his ex anymore and that he wanted a future with me. What a mess I've made !!

BitterAndOnlySlightlyTwisted Sun 14-Jun-15 17:48:03

No, it WAS a mess but you're free of it now. Safe from him and his emotional abuse. I have a feeling that he's been grooming you. Going back-and-forth just to unbalance you. TAKING YOUR MONEY! How fucking dare he?

Twinklestein Sun 14-Jun-15 17:53:03

I don't think his ex is ex, I think he's just been running these two relationships in tandem.

I think you need to focus on your children and accept you made a massive mistake getting involved with this man. Accept that he will reunite with his 'ex' and that that is for the best, for you if not for her. Take a decision that you will have nothing more to do with him even if he does show up again bearing gifts and 'I love yous'.

Why do you need to know you 'meant something to him' o be ok? It doesn't sound like he loves anyone other than himself. If you were having difficulties coping with facing life as a single woman, perhaps therapy would help. I think you need to strengthen your sense of self. You have basically swapped living one man's life for another and the second was worse.

Twinklestein Sun 14-Jun-15 17:53:58

^to be ok.

nequidnimis Sun 14-Jun-15 18:41:31

You'll be ok. You had every expectation of being single when you left your ex, so you've lost nothing really. Start building an amazing life for you and your DC - if for no other reason, then to show him that you never needed him.

And then just let him go. Don't give him the satisfaction of begging or chasing, and give him an opportunity to make a go of things with his ex. He doesn't sound like much of a catch to me, but if they are trying to sort things out then you should respect that (and run a mile, knowing you're better off).

saltnpepa Sun 14-Jun-15 19:21:20

Do you think he was a narcissist? Look up sam vankin

LittleWren17 Sun 14-Jun-15 19:32:01

I think he had elements of a narcissist... He is incapable of being alone and is quite pathetic in that respect. At the time though, I loved that he seemed to need and want me. I think when things were good between us, he was obsessive towards me but when he was having one of his meltdowns, he ran straight back to his ex. They were on and off for years , so I doubt that they will have much if a future together. I know I sound bitter - I am unbelievably hurt from being reined in, promised a future and taken advantage of , to now being cast aside. He meant so much to me and I can't cope with the thought that I meant so little to him that he will probably label me as a mistake. Sorry everyone and thanks for your posts. I'm just really struggling with it all right now xx

TopOfTheCliff Sun 14-Jun-15 19:54:06

Wren can you put these men (your XH and Ed) out of your mind and out of your life? You sound so damaged and so in need of care and nurturing and instead of tending to yourself you are looking to a man to give you a feeling of worth. Who cares what Ed thinks? or where he goes or who he lives with? He is a violent alcoholic bully and you are better off without him.

Please make some time for yourself now. Learn to live with yourself and the DC and enjoy it. You don't need someone else to validate you

hollieberrie Sun 14-Jun-15 20:13:20

* I am unbelievably hurt from being reined in, promised a future and taken advantage of , to now being cast aside.* This is absolutely how i felt and still feel after the break up of my last relationship. I came to the conclusion that he was a narcissist of some sort. Idealize, devalue, discard - its their typical pattern apparently.

I know its so hard but try to take from this that it really is him not you. He will be like this forever, he will never be settled and happy. You on the other hand, have been set free and can build a wonderful future. (sorry if that sounds cheesy!). Unmumsnetty hugs for you, I am still struggling with something similar-ish so i totally understand x

LittleWren17 Sun 14-Jun-15 20:41:18

Thank you all so much for your caring comments. It's really helped me today . Sorry to hear that you had a similar experience hollieberrie - I hope you find happiness soon xx

ivykaty44 Sun 14-Jun-15 20:48:36

Sweetheart he can try as he might to label you as a mistake - it was his mistake to great someone like you so badly. He was so lucky to have you and he went and fucked that right up.....his stupidity lost you and it is his loss

LittleWren17 Sun 14-Jun-15 22:03:18

Thank you all xx

Twinklestein Sun 14-Jun-15 22:27:04

It doesn't matter whether he labels you a mistake or not. I doubt he would given the emotional support he received from you. He got to hang out with you and when he got bored he buggered off back to his ex, it's win win for him.

But I do think you might try to accept that it was a mistake for you, that's much more important to. It was damaging, but it's over. You need to look after yourself and heal.

LittleWren17 Mon 15-Jun-15 00:09:04

I hadn't thought of it that way...I was so intent on trying to attach a meaning to our relationship, but you are right, that it would probably be healthier for me to think of him as a mistake. Afterall, I feel like he has destroyed me bit by bit over the past year and now left me in a broken heap (literally). I couldn't have done anymore as a girlfriend. His friends told him not to f*ck it up with me as I was good for him , but he has gone and done it anyway. I'm finding it hard as this has made me ill really and I can't see a happy future for me ahead, but you've all really helped to think differently about it..perhaps he has lost more than I have ! Thank you xx

Sammasati Mon 15-Jun-15 07:28:14

After 17 years of being in a relationship op you you be wise to give relationships a miss for a while. You need to find your own life, boundaries and love for yourself before taking on love with another.

It sounds as though you fell for the first man that showed you attention.

This man was not a good man, if anything he is high mainenance and a head fuck. You would do well in blocking him, as he will contact you again at some point.

however Mon 15-Jun-15 08:09:33

You know, I imagine his wife is feeling similar to you at the moment. One minute he's begging her to take him back, the next he's run off to you and refuses to return her calls.

The two of you have a lot in common and it sounds like you'd both be well shot of him.

LittleWren17 Mon 15-Jun-15 22:33:56

The big issue for me is that I now feel completely worthless. I really was hooked on Ed, he told everyone who would listen that I was his rock and 'the one' and I do believe he meant it at the time. But overnight it's like he wants to forget I exist. We met each other's children, parents, planned to move in together in the future - I thought we were soul mates. I think that's why I'm so badly affected by the sudden end of our relationship.
I don't know if I'll get over him or ever feel the same way about someone.
I've got some support from my doctor as I really need to pick myself up from this - for my children and my sanity.
I know it seems like I'm being immature over heartbreak, but it really is much more than that. I feel like I've had everything I did for him thrown back in my face. My life is in tatters sad

Thanks so much for your posts... I'm new to mumsnet and I'm touched by how caring everyone is xx

nequidnimis Tue 16-Jun-15 06:50:51

I don't mean to sound harsh, but I genuinely don't understand how you could see a future with a man who broke up with you every few weeks to go back to his ex, leaving you devastated each time.

Quite apart from treating you so casually, and demonstrating a lack of care or commitment, it must have been obvious that he wasn't over his ex. Indeed, I do wonder whether his ex considered herself an ex.

I'm sorry you're hurting, and that you may never know whether you truly meant anything to him or not, but agree with everyone who's advised you to look after yourself and your DCs now and stop massaging this man's ego by being so utterly in thrall to him.

tribpot Tue 16-Jun-15 08:11:59

Indeed - you seem to have taken his words entirely at face value, even when his actions completely contradicted them. And by taking him back time after time you let him know that he could walk all over your feelings and still have you devoting all of your time and energy to him.

You haven't explained why he was so needy. Why you were fulfilling your need to be a rescuer with him. You were just out of a long term relationship, why were you the one being the rock and keeping him going (lending him money, which I'm quite sure you haven't got back)? Was it a distraction from dealing with the end of your marriage? You had been with your DH for your entire adult life, it must seem very daunting to be setting off on your own after all this time.

So you devoted yourself to Ed but he has thrown your devotion back in your face, because he doesn't love you and he doesn't respect you. That certainly isn't what you deserve to happen, and it's deeply upsetting. But you can't make him be the man you want him to be, however hard you try. You can turn all that capacity for caring on yourself, though, and take care of yourself (and of course your children). Your life isn't in tatters, even if it feels like it. You can move forward now without this man leaching away your energy and self-esteem. This is the beginning of your next adventure.

popalot Tue 16-Jun-15 08:20:46

You were lucky to only spend a year with this man - his wife has to spend a lifetime with him! He's made you feel worthless by treating you badly, but you will get over it. Now you know what to stay away from. The first issue was the bombarding with texts. A good man will text regularly in the first few weeks (like once a day or whilst you have a conversation) but not obsessively and over loving. They have patience and want to treat you like a lady. They will also respect your physical space and even if they want to leap into bed with you, they won't. There are plenty of good men out there, but give yourself a year to work out what you love about yourself and realise that on your own you're great and so with a man you should feel just as great.

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