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Anyone experienced an abrupt and unnatural end to a relationship?

(25 Posts)
pulchritudinous Thu 06-Aug-15 22:11:51

It’s been twenty months now since my partner left me and I just wanted to know if anyone else had ever had to accept the end of a long relationship / marriage that was unnatural and unexplained.

He wasn’t having an affair, we weren’t arguing or having problems and never drifted apart. I thought that we were really happy and an unbreakable team. Looking back I don't really have any bad memories of us because we were just a well matched, happy couple who respected and loved each other. I felt really, really loved and like I was the most important thing in his life until the day he went.

He’d been under a lot of pressure, which is the only reason he has ever given me for what he did, which was to literally just disappear one day.

After leaving me he spiralled into some sort of mess. Drinking, not going to work, crying in public. He would not see me, speak to me or explain. I had to move out of our home we'd shared for years without even a single face to face conversation.

He was disagnosed a while later with depression that I know has been pretty severe. He has called / been to see me a few times in a state of quite severe distress. I always tried to help him, I have never stopped loving him and I tried really hard to get him to just see me, let me be part of his life but he said it was best to have no contact so he could forget me.

He nevr gave me a reason why he needed to forget me.

He went on into treatment for the depression for a long time (might still be in treatment but I haven't talked to him for a year) and I know he classifies what he went through as a "breakdown".

I tried really hard for months to be there and get him to recover with me around but he acted like he hated me or blamed me for why he was ill.

I had to move on with life eventually, and I have, but I can't get over him and don't feel like I ever can or will.

He just woke up one day, left and never came back and now we are strangers. Like he never even knew me at all.

I am not sure if he is well or not. I saw a photo of him at someone's birthday and he looked normal. Not happy, but normal. Like he is someone else.

I feel like he died, but I can't act like he did because he didn't. He chose to leave and to say and do horrible things to me and I can never understand why.

I try and live with the fact that I won't ever see him again but don't know how to. Also don't know how to live with him discarding me out of nowhere like a bit of rubbish. I always thought he would get better and come back, but I guess not.

Has anyone else ever lost someone like this, and come to a sense of peace with it eventually?

Inexperiencedchick Thu 06-Aug-15 22:29:45


I am really sorry.

No marriage/relationship. But I didn't have a chance to express myself.
The person just cut me off. And I came to a sense of peace that I will never have chance to say what had to be said. If I had, everything would be different. You can't turn things back, you can just move on...

bambooyoohoo Thu 06-Aug-15 22:31:58

Not much help sorry, but this happened to a friend of mine. Her partner of almost 10 years just didn't come home one day. She eventually found out he was ok through friends/family etc, but there was no explanation. He never really spoke to her again except when she eventually contacted him through solicitors to say she wanted to sell the house. He pretty much gave her the house and walked away. It seems that he also went through a severe depression afterwards, but she never got to the bottom of it.

She is married to someone else now with a lovely baby, if that helps a little.

Myturnnow4 Thu 06-Aug-15 22:38:05

4 weeks ago, very similar.

DansonslaCapucine Thu 06-Aug-15 22:43:48

Someone said to me that I may not get over the hurt he caused me but that I would get over him.

That helped.

DesertIslander Thu 06-Aug-15 22:45:15

Yes. I'm so sorry flowers.

Not without reason but my ex has disappeared from my life too. Vanished. I feel terrible feeling as though it's as if he died, but it feels as though. (Really don't want to offend anyone by saying that!!!!). Being left out of choice is so hard. I wonder when we will start to heal?

Big hug.

pulchritudinous Thu 06-Aug-15 22:52:32

Thanks all.

I feel like there's a dual situation going on in my mind.

One is "getting over" the betrayal. The way he left. The things he did. The awful things he said. The total ack of compassion. The way all value in me or our life was entinguished in a moment. The physical and financial hardhip he placed me in with DC. Just that side of it is trying to cope with someone who one minute loves and protects you suddenly doing those things.

The other one is coping with never being able to see or speak to him again. At the times I have spoken to him, I've felt very much like it was no longer "him" anymore. It's so hard to explain that but I feel like the soul is gone.

Living with that grief of his disappearance is so much worse than the betrayal and the anger. I feel sometimes like he's sitting next to me. Like I can hear him talk back to me and I have little conversations as if he's sitting there. I roll over in bed sometimes in the morning and I have a little chat as if he's still there.

I know that's all completely unhelpful and mad, but somehow feeling like he's still with me helps me. I can't bear the thought of him being always gone.

After such a long time I hate that I can be anywhere andthe grief just hits me and it's as fresh and painful as the first day.

I wonder why I still love him just the same. You're not meant to, are you? after someone does that.

whyMe2014 Thu 06-Aug-15 22:57:50

Being left like this is just so brutal. It takes time to deal with trauma of being abandoned with no answers. I'm still struggling and he left nearly a year ago. It takes time to process what they have done. I would suggest you see a counsellor to help you deal with this. flowers

DesertIslander Thu 06-Aug-15 23:00:15

I wish I could say something, OP :'(

pulchritudinous Thu 06-Aug-15 23:11:19

Thanks, I saw a counsellor and still do. Sorry to anyone else who's lost someone that way.

I just find sometimes like I am sitting there in counselling and there's only so long you can sit there and say the same thing so it's gotten to a point where my parents, my DC, my friends, my counsellor and everyone in the world thinks I feel diferrent to how I do because I can't really tell them anymore.

Not short of dates and I do have some wonderful times, but then I come home and have an imaginary chat with him and that's better than the date.

I think maybe I just can't say goodbye or let go of him. I feel like the help people are TRYING to give me is the wrong help.

They want to help by making me see he must never have loved me as much as I thought. Or that he was never a good person to hve done these things to me. Or that I can do better. And I am supposed to feel "onwards and upwards"

Trouble is that deep down I don't believe any of those things are true. I do believe he loved me just as much. I don't understand why he got ill and did these things but I don't believe in his right mind he would have ever done them.

He isn't somewhere else living a life as he was.

He doesn't exist as he was.

I just wish anyone could understand that. Sorry for going on and on. Just need to vent.

Inexperiencedchick Thu 06-Aug-15 23:18:13


UghMug Thu 06-Aug-15 23:24:22

Rejection by someone we love is quite possibly one of the most painful things we experience & I'm so sorry your ex did this to you without so much as an explanation.

You need to stop looking for excuses or the Hollywood-ever-after ending. You're never going to get what you want from him & if on the off chance he returned to you, you'd always have a nagging doubt in the back of your mind that it could happen again. New relationships can survive doubts but forever relationships rarely do.

Nothing you can say or do will change his mind. He may well still love you but he doesn't want to be with you. I'm afraid you need to start to believe and accept that. Grieving the loss of a relationship is so hard and so painful and there are some relationships we never quite get over but we can move on, learn from the experience and apply lessons to future relationships.

You could be missing out on Mr perfect or Ms right or Messers really hot & short term by pining for Mr selfishly fucked off without explanation.

The sooner you stop kidding yourself about your make believe future with this man the sooner you get yourself into a place where you can live again. Even if he was to return to you crawling on his hands and knees begging your forgiveness he wouldn't deserve it and he would know that and if you were to take him back he'd know he could walk all over you & treat you like shite again and again and that you'd take it. Woman up, feel the anger & go live again.

TracyBarlow Thu 06-Aug-15 23:30:23

It happened to me to a long, long time ago flowers

I did get over him eventually, but only after a long time, a lot of counselling and the final step was when I met someone else who was kind and lovely and eventually became my husband.

I'm not advocating just jumping into a relationship to mend a broken heart because that never works. But it does sound like you've done lots of work in counselling and have given it lots of time. Sometimes things only really seem 'over' when you move on with someone else. Even if that person is not 'the one' or whatever you believe in, it often helps to realise that there are some really nice, lovely people out there who are trustworthy and won't leave you without any explanation.

My old nana used to say 'when the student is ready, the teacher wil appear' and I think there's some truth in that.

pulchritudinous Thu 06-Aug-15 23:46:38

Oh no, I don't think he's coming back. I did at first, I thought he would get better and it would all go back to how it was. I don't thin you can help but feel that or hope for that in my situation.

It took a year maybe for me to know that would never and could never happen. I know things like this aren't things where ou get a do-over.

I'm not simple, I do know that.

But just because someone is gone and you know they are never coming back you can't always so easily stop loving and missing them.

WellWhoKnew Fri 07-Aug-15 00:10:25

Hello. It's surprisingly common (albeit still sufficiently unusual that it's remarkable) but thank God for MN that you can ask "Am I the only one...?" because it's not that usual - but it is in RL if you see what I mean.

You're doing everything you can to come to terms with it - well done. My advice? Change counsellor. That's not saying you're counsellor is ineffective in any way but perhaps you need a new method of dealing with it. I really liked my counsellor (would happily recommend her). She helped me through the toughest months of my life during a brutal divorce...

That said when the court business was over, I did still have a lot of emotions to process but I didn't want to go over 'old ground' as it were. I felt she and I had got into a pattern of behaviour to help me cope with the divorce hell, so I changed tack and started afresh elsewhere. It has helped enormously because there's no 'shared history' if that makes sense.

It was a fresh look at a difficult situation but with the aim of 'healing' rather than 'coping'. CBT is one option. Hypnotherapy is another. Psychotherapy another and so on. Depends on what you've got know. The only thing I can tell you is what I thought I wanted in counsellor and what I thought I didn't want...I was totally wrong about.

minkGrundy Fri 07-Aug-15 00:20:32

Id it possible that it was limerence for him?

Although I have seen people suffer depression /breakdown so bad that they cannot bear themselves and therefore, anyone who reminds them of who they used to be or who loves them despite how awful they are (in their eyes) is a fool and worthy of contempt.

That combined with an utter conviction you are better off without them. The war between wanting you and knowing you woukd be better off without them causes them to lash out. Also they view it as cruel to be kind.

Think of it not as him choosing to do it but him being taken from you by a illness.

Not much help as it is v sad and without him is without him.

springydaffs Fri 07-Aug-15 00:26:39

I have experienced something very similar to this - but different.

Ime the total heartbreak (total!) went on for, well, its coming up to 4 years. I did all the counseling etc blah blah blah - there's a place for that but it wasn't bringing them back. I have recently had a serious health scare and suddenly the awful thing took second place: I came first. That was a relief to have a break from being eaten alive by the pain of the brutal loss. I don't want to be alarming but i saw that, for me, the pain was literally killing me - and I don't want to die not ultimately, anyway

I've shifted now. My focus is on getting well and also on finding strategies to put this terrible pain to one side; for it not to be my central focus. I heard on the radio a woman talking about [ trigger warning ] her 15yo son's sudden disappearance with no explanation 10 years later. She said it was a massive crater in her life and, to stay alive and sane, to keep functioning for her other children, she had to make sure she didn't go to the edge of the crater.

I realised I had spent the last 3+ years at the edge of the crater, looking in. Partly shock, longing, confusion, grief. But the time comes when you have to think about stepping away.

It has to be the right time, though. Like you, I talk to hardly anyone about my true feelings. Grief takes its time, and talking to your ex sounds healthy to me: your way of processing the closeness and the loss over time.

Angleshades Fri 07-Aug-15 00:31:19

Op I'm so sorry you're going through this flowers, your post made me feel like crying. It seems you're stuck in some kind of rut with your thinking here. You've said you accept that he's not coming back yet somehow your mind doesn't let that fully sink in as you're still having 'conversations' with him in the morning and after nights out. It's almost like you're having this surreal relationship with a ghost. Your mind has made this comforting fictional character up as the person you love is no longer there.

You're stuck in this cycle because you haven't had closure. He never explained why he left you and he seems to have moved on effortlessly while you pick up the pieces. That's a lot for anyone to take on board. But for your own sanity you have to try something new to move on from this. Have you ever been angry? It sounds like you're continuously grieving for him like he died, rather than finding your anger for him in that he chose to leave you to bring up your dc's alone.

I agree with wellwhoknew that you need to try a different counsellor just to shake things up a bit. What about changing other aspects of your life, are you lonely? How about finding some new hobbies which involve new people? I know that probably sounds a little cliched but just small changes can make a big change to our outlook on life. I wish you lots of luck op, wish I could magic your pain away.

pulchritudinous Fri 07-Aug-15 00:38:20

flowers thank you all of you. Springydaffs your post made me feel like you understood how it feels to be me. Thank you.

pulchritudinous Fri 07-Aug-15 00:45:05

Thanks Angles, I suppose I do have a relationship with a ghost.

No, I never really got angry.

I know you're picturing in your mind a man who did this and how angry that should make you feel, but I think I can only really see the person I knew and loved so many years and it's hard to be angry.

Especially when I saw that he was so ill. I don't see a man who moved on with life and is happy. Or at least I didn't for the 8 or 9 months I continued contact. He was a mess so it was hard to be angry.

I can't really find my way through any of the stages of a breakup because I never really got one.

I do think a new counsellor might be a good idea too.

TheCommander Fri 07-Aug-15 01:03:08

You may find this website interesting, I hope it helps you to heal and understand what may have happened in your relationship:

Runaway Husbands

TheCommander Fri 07-Aug-15 01:05:03

(See section named 'Learning Place')

pulchritudinous Fri 07-Aug-15 01:23:44

Thanks Commander, I read that book a few weeks after he left and then again a year later.

I did describe it exactly as it happenned and that did help. I suppose him being ill always muddied the water. It would have been more clear cut for me to process if he'd met someone else or if he'd swanned off happy.

It was harder because I knew he was a mess and it made it very unclear for me. I didn't understand why he was doing something if it made him so unhappy.

He "came back" four times over 8 months for a few days, but we never got to "discuss" properly any of the reasons he did what he did because he was so ill. I always felt like if I pushed him it would make it worse or he might hurt himself.

He told me he'd come close to suicide a lot of times. He had depression and panic attacks and he wasn't able to really eat or be normal. He was a bit like a ghost of himself. the only real bit of information he would give me was that his decision to leave me came about 4 hours before he left me and that he'd never even emotely considered it before. It was just a snap decision that day. He didn't know why, or didn't say why if he did.

All four times he left again with no explanation, and the fourth time he was more resolute he was never coming back. I stopped speaking to him after that because I couldn't take any more of it.

BoxOfKittens Fri 07-Aug-15 02:43:11

OP, my ex of 9 years started experiencing depression plus other problems relating to his past 4 years into our relationship. He did not disappear physically. But who he was as a person did and I also felt like I was grieving. He went from being like an idealistic Hero from a romance novel to emotionally abusive and generally horrible to be around. I was loyal to a fault but he didn't seek help. At the end of our relationship I discovered years worth of very strange and unacceptable behaviours - he had led a double life.

Once apart, he then went on to use me as a comfort blanket, speaking of suicide when I suggested it would be easier to move on if we ceased contact.

My point is that, although you are hurting and have unanswered questions, you likely would end up feeling the same or possibly worse if he had stayed. If he is going through a dark time, you could find yourself justifying unreasonable behaviour because he is ill. This is what I did for years, excusing his behaviour. I became a shadow of my former self and it took me almost two years to start regaining some confidence and self esteem.

I'm not sure if it will help to know that if he is ill, it is quite possible that he doesn't know the reasons behind his behaviour himself. That's all I heard from my ex "I dont know ".

I hope you feel better soon. The old cliché of time heals is so true.

pulchritudinous Fri 07-Aug-15 02:50:08

That's such a good point boxofkittens, I never thought of it like that.

He kept saying he "had to do this alone" and he was adamant it was not something we could do together. I never understood because I thought if one of us was ill or in trouble that we would be there as a team.

I never really considered that I would be in a team with someone who wasn't who he was before and that it was be with that abusive, nasty stranger. I still would have been loyal but I see your point that maybe I was spared the daily pain of that.

Thank you...that really helped.

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