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Husband left after 20 years

(25 Posts)
stingray69 Mon 21-Dec-15 11:59:44

Hi, I don't know what or who else to turn to. My husband of 20 years has left me and my 9 year old 5 weeks ago. He won't speak to me about why or what or any feeling whatsoever. He has gone from being my best friend, I have no other best friend, the person I did everything with, to being totally uncommunicative. He got a flat 1 week after he left and my 17 year old daughter moved in with him and is being appalling to me. I can't eat and have lost nearly 2 stone, I can't sleep, function, and i'm drinking too much but it is the only way I can sleep. I can't stop crying. My 9 year old is watching me anxiously for signs of me falling apart but I can't stop. I'm ruining my relationships with my mum, 21 year old daughter, sister, you name it. I hurt so much I don't want to be here any more. I am not in work, on the sick. And the person that I turned to in my life has run away. How long till it feel's any better? How do I go on?

PurpleWithRed Mon 21-Dec-15 12:04:32

You have a mum, an older daughter and a sister - step away from the bottle and the self-destruct button and let them help you.

LaurieFairyCake Mon 21-Dec-15 12:12:32

Are all the children by him or are you saying your 17 year old has moved in with him as a couple relationship?

Can you not get your 21 year old to talk to her?

FreckledLeopard Mon 21-Dec-15 12:13:24

I don't have any brilliant advice I'm afraid, but I do understand how shattered you are.

I'm in a similar position. My DP left a month ago. I have a 14 year old DD who has similarly been trying to coax me to eat, not to cry. I've lost a stone and am totally at a loss with what to do.

What has helped: seeing my GP and getting anti-depressants and sleeping tablets. The anti-depressants have at least stopped me being actively suicidal.

Talking and crying to friends has been a lifeline too. The support they've given me has been amazing.

Keep posting OP.

RedMapleLeaf Mon 21-Dec-15 12:21:01

What you're feeling is natural and normal and healthy at this stage. Also, it won't last forever, things will get better. You'll get your health back.

The drinking is not good for you though, you can see how it's damaging the relationships that should be your support. It's also wrong for you to be causing your daughter this extra anxiety.

InTheBox Mon 21-Dec-15 12:36:44

You're currently in shock. What you're feeling, horrendous as it may be, is part of the natural cycle of roller coaster emotions that happen when a partner abandons their partner.

Has this entirely come out of the blue or how were things going before he left? What is your relationship like with the 21yr old?

I'm sorry you're going through this but the only way out is through and you'll find you have much more strength than you once gave yourself credit for. Keep posting.

Themodernuriahheep Mon 21-Dec-15 12:51:59

Your 9 year old needs a break from this, and she needs to know you are ok. Could you both stay with your mum? Can your 21 year old find out the back story?

You'll feel dreadful, but you'll feel better about yourself if you do make an effort for your 9 year old.


WellWhoKnew Mon 21-Dec-15 14:27:32


I'm another one whose husband upped and left one day. It was a tremendous shock at the time. I'm now just over 18 months later, and "they" are right - it does get easier bit by bit.

The pain IS physical and horrific - so please be kind to yourself. The booze won't help (but I went that route to cope as well - it's quite common). The book 'runaway husbands' is helpful (or at least I found it helpful).

The "why" is the hardest thing to cope with - because there is no satisfactory answer, and you 'll never be told the truth anyway. You might find out, like I did, he's got a whole other life going on. Almost always, there's another woman.

As much as you can try getting out of the house. It's true you'll make friends in the most unexpected of places.

This will get better. I didn't believe that when everyone kept telling me, but they are right. The first year, however, is the toughest one. Since the dirty old man left me, I've started driving, quit smoking, cut down on drinking, got a job, moved countries, and started a new course. Oh, and I got divorced. I'm very glad that's over and done with. Some days are sad, but not every day. It really is a time thing.

springydaffs Mon 21-Dec-15 21:26:47

Do get to your gp. ADs will really help you with the sleep. Alcohol is a depressant - I'm not judging you here, I can quite understand why and how you've gone down that road but oh it really doesn't help.

Do take a multi-vit+min just to ward off any deficiencies. Try to exercise even if it means walking around the block. Peanuts, weetabix, banana - bite-sized foods, take a nibble when you can.

Your gp will help you with this, will help you with the shock. I'm so sorry stingray flowers

whatyouseeiswhatyouget Tue 22-Dec-15 07:41:59

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

belkins Tue 22-Dec-15 13:14:09

When my husband of 10yrs did the same, I went to counselling, had anti depressants and relied heavily on friends and family to pull me through. I lost 4 stone and put all my efforts into going running as a way of release (I'd never been running before, but it was a cheap and effective way of getting me out of the house).

My counsellor showed me a diagram that REALLY helped, the Grief diagram, just to show me that what I was going through was 'normal'. It's stuck with me and helped enormously.

She likened him leaving to someone dying, and all that goes with it. Losing not just your husband but 'normal' life/house/dreams/expectations.

I wish you the best, and echo pp to get to the gp and try to call on your family for support thanks

belkins Tue 22-Dec-15 13:18:28

I should also say it's 4yrs since he left and I'm now a different person. A better person.

Please believe in yourself, that with the help of the gp and maybe some counselling if you can manage it, you will pull through.

StartWhereYouStand Tue 22-Dec-15 13:47:00

Just wanted to echo what everyone else has said. It WILL get better but I know that you won't believe me from where you are now.

I was you 2.5 years ago. The not eating, not sleeping, wanting to end it all. But I found that friends and family helped me through and I took up running too - the whole mind-body link cannot be underestimated.

I also went to my GP and got counselling - though I had to press pretty hard as they were keen to give a computer based self-help course at first!!! I knew that I needed to talk it out so I just stood my ground.

I was determined that ExH wouldn't ruin me so I used the first adrenaline fuelled months to get my divorce sorted and he agreed to everything I asked (whilst he felt guilty!!). I also knew that I had to keep going for my kids so the whole 'fake it til you make it' was my mantra. And now I am better and stronger and more resilient. And I have shown my DDs that you can get through tough times with love and support - that is an invaluable life lesson.

Lean on those close to you and you will get through this.

Horopu Tue 22-Dec-15 14:07:26

My h left our 20 year marriage in July. He moved out to be nearer his girlfriend. I don't drink, but apart from that, I felt the same as you. I echo everything everyone else has said. Seeing a counsellor and getting sleeping tablets really helped me. We moved to NZ 6 years ago and all my family are back in the UK, but I made sure I took all the support my friends offered me.

You will survive, although it doesn't feel like it at the moment. If you have Netflix I recommend Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. Funny and uplifting. She explains how you only have to get through the next 10 seconds and then start again. ( it may be 15 sec).

Try not to focus on what he is doing and thinking. Make your focus you and the children. I was very honest that I was very very sad, because a very sad thing had happened. My teenage boys have shown very little interest in their father and are very hurt by him. Keep lines of communication open between you and your 17 yo. DS3, aged 9, has found it hard but I have made sure I have given him lots of opportunities to talk, ask questions and say how he is feeling.

You are in survival mode at the moment, because you need to. It's the middle of the night here, so all this may not make sense. My husband leaving came out of the blue and I really empathise with the shock you are feeling. Sending you hugs from the other side of the world.

stingray69 Tue 22-Dec-15 14:21:13

Thank you - it helps to know others have been through and gotten over the same thing. I surpassed myself in complete and utter emotional outbursts yesterday, and finally exhausted myself and slept all night. Today I am far calmer and trying to accept it seems to come in waves. There doesn't seem to be any other woman, he never went anywhere. He is 9 years younger than me, My eldest children are not his, ds 28, dd 21, and the youngest two are his, middle daughter who is 17 and struggling hugely with the fallout, but chucking it all in my direction and my youngest daughter who is 9 - I had her when I was 44. I get on famously with my 21 dd and she is trying hard to support me whilst struggling with the fact that i'm her mum and she doesn't want to hold it all. I am 52 and husband is 43,I struggled with the menopause the last year, mental problems not physical, terrible depression that turned me from a person of strength in charge to a wreck incapable of making a decision. He struggled with the fact that I was not "PRESENT" the same as I always was. I know I have to get through this, but I loved him for so so long and relied on him as a best friend and partner for so many years I just don't know what to do without him. I hate being in my bed without him

RedMapleLeaf Tue 22-Dec-15 14:57:52

Today I am far calmer and trying to accept it seems to come in waves.

You are very wise. It does come and go, and the 'outbursts' become shorter, fewer and weaker.
Go through this I have found strength that others have often seen in me but that I never did.

I loved him for so so long and relied on him as a best friend and partner for so many years I just don't know what to do without him

I know, but you will soon learn that you can be your best friend, and that you don't need anyone else. Perhaps that's where the strength comes from? Finally realising that You are enough.

Justdisappointed Tue 22-Dec-15 15:16:29

Yep - another one here - husband left after 17 years together, won't communicate, very hostile. We're quite the club aren't we?
Another 43 year old too - and a colleague at work whose H is 43 has done the same.
After the initial hideousness STBXH has stepped up to childcare, this last 2 weeks I've had more free time than the last six years put together. Make sure your husband knows he still has to take care of your 9 year old, go out see your friends - make plans, plans plans just for you.
It's definitely the loss of the abstract future which is the worst. Am going to look into getting through the next 10 seconds on Netflix - sounds like the answer!

stingray69 Mon 28-Dec-15 17:42:12

I managed to get through Christmas. I am sleeping, still can't stomach much though, I am going back to work in a week, so hoping that will take my mind off the pretty constant thinking of him. I'm frightened of everything at the moment, I didn't handle any of the decorating, anything computer based, he handled the money. I'm starting again and it terrifies me

drifted2015 Mon 28-Dec-15 22:32:41

OP , Dec 2014 my ExW left me. Now divorced & getting stronger by the day , time is what you will find helps you but in the early days its so f***ing hard, I know ( as some posters on here know only too well too ). Running or fast walking & a shower will make you feel ever so little better. We have turned the corner now after the shortest day and ever so little we see a little more daylight.

I am posting to say that as a man I was dumped and hurt badly by my ExW. I have made new friends , mainly female because I am not a freak , there is nothing wrong with you , as has been said many time, what is wrong is what has happened to you.

So some words to say I , and many many others will be routing for you. If you can , please print these few words and stick them somewhere , by the kettle ? Somewhere you can see them from time to time to remind you that on MN you are never alone. I feel your pain , I felt it 13 months ago & it is easier OP , you are going to have a shit rollercoaster ride but you have your children . I have my son . We have held it together. Please carry on minute by minute, ten minutes, don't be hard on yourself because this is so shit only us who have been through it know your pain- but trust us all, it will get better, it really does . Take it from someone who was at rock bottom and is now climbing back up. We are all urging you on OP.

Drifted .

Lilfroggi1 Tue 29-Dec-15 23:13:32

Hi I'm thinking of you, my husband left 3 months ago said he wasn't happy we were together 17 years and married for 11 and have a daughter I'm still in the roller coaster of emotions it is a little easier now but some days are tough and there are things that are still getting sorted even now just to say I'm thinking of you

stingray69 Fri 15-Jan-16 13:43:53

Well it turns out that he has been seeing a 26 year old from work. Shopping with her, going for drinks with her, having her over for meals. But just as "friends" I feel suicidal honestly and all I can think of is revenge. He told me I was a nutter to be imagining that he was leaving for someone else in the beginning and it turns out I am not insane after all, just right. I can't calm down, I don't know what to do and I am literally heartbroken with utter and total loss, and I feel so totally disappointed in somebody I loved for 20 years, Help

stingray69 Fri 15-Jan-16 13:44:27

How do I forget all this and move on

RivieraKid Fri 15-Jan-16 13:59:49

So sorry to hear that, OP. At 43 chucking your wife for a 26 year-old colleague (assuming they're even a couple) sounds textbook midlife. Please take to heart the PPs who say it will get better in time, there's a lot of strength and compassion here flowers

Gobbolino6 Fri 15-Jan-16 14:03:40

It sounds like a cliché but it really just takes time. My relationship wasn't as long as yours, but I really found some days I felt like I couldn't go on. Try to accept all your emotions. Remind yourself they are l, as you describe, waves. The fact is you have already gone through a load of horrific crap, and you HAVE survived it, because you are a lot tougher than you think and you will, whether you even want to or not, keep getting tougher and this is a good thing. You will find friends and new sources of support and happiness that you never imagined. The waves of emotion will get smaller. When you need to switch off, force yourself to. Read trashy books in bed to help you sleep. Be kind to yourself. You'll end up having periods of time when you feel ok. They'll be short to start with, then they'll get longer and longer and in the end you will very likely be happier than you were before. This seems to be almost a universal experience.

dontknowwhatcomesnext Fri 15-Jan-16 15:25:02

I'm so sorry, OP. This is so fucking predictable. Poor you. I'm 9 months on (husband didn't leave, but was kicked out). It DOES get better. Individual counselling has been a life saver for me, and I am finding small bits of happiness is doing things I like to do and making a home for my children exactly the way I want it. Big hugs.

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