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I can't see how I'll ever recover

(40 Posts)
HappyJanuary Sun 13-Nov-16 06:31:26

My marriage ended almost two years ago after discovering stbxh's affair was still ongoing.

I know that I did the right thing by telling him to leave, and I get some comfort from knowing that he didn't want to go, and is still miserable, and regularly hints to come home, but I am so consumed by grief and disbelief that I can't seem to move on from.

It suddenly hit me this week, just how truly pathetic I am. It is hard just now with Christmas, and his birthday, and our anniversary all coming up. But still, it's been two years and I'm no further on, although I put on a good act and nobody would know.

I don't cry every day any more, but it doesn't take much to make me. A lovely memory, the thought of a future plan that now won't happen, a piece of music.

I'm not one to say LTB but when women on here are on the brink of leaving I generally tell them it's the right decision, and I mean it. As sad as I feel now, there's no doubt in my mind that my life would be worse if I'd allowed him to stay. It's the man I thought he was that I miss, and I can't seem to come to terms with the fact that he could do it to me after 30 years together.

Since he went I haven't looked at, or been attracted to another man. I just don't notice them. Everyone is encouraging me to start dating again, but it terrifies me, but I'm only getting older so maybe I do need to think about it.

My life is full and busy. I'm lucky to have a job I love, four children and plenty of friends, so I don't know what else I can do to get better.

He is amicable, no pressure to sell the family home, generous child maintenance and he's working hard to rebuild his relationship with the children.

I don't know why I'm posting really. Just had another sleepless night and now pottering around a quiet house full of self pity, at one time a sleepless night would've meant us both heading off at 5am to find breakfast.

ohdearme1958 Sun 13-Nov-16 06:36:51

OP, That's a very good question to ask and I'm sure there will be lots of posters looking for the answer to it.

I'm sorry you're still hurting so much. It's not easy at all, and I wish you peace of heart very soon.

Paulat2112 Sun 13-Nov-16 06:38:28

First of all you aren't pathetic. It must be hard and I can't imagine how you feel, but when you think of how things were of what could have been you need to remember what actually happened and how he really treated you. How you been for any help like counselling?

Loulou0 Sun 13-Nov-16 06:40:59

After 30 years together, it's not surprising that it's taking longer than 2 years to get over such a betrayal.

I can't offer any real advice but I'm sure there are lots of people who have been through this who will wake up soon and offer some.

I'm sorry you're hurting x

HappyJanuary Sun 13-Nov-16 06:45:26

Thanks everyone. No, no counselling yet but something to think about. I've always thought there's nothing they could say or ask that I haven't already said or asked myself.

Shakey15000 Sun 13-Nov-16 06:54:21

I'm sorry you're hurting too. Missing the man you thought he was kind of doesn't make sense to me. Because you know what he was, what he chose to do. I guess it's more "missing the man you used to know and hoped he would remain and grow with you. He's thrown so much away through his chosen actions.

I think two years is too soon to be over it. Time and distance, as clichéd as it is, is a healer. Also I think it is natural in the wee small hours to be reflective. As long as that it isn't romanticised and spills over into consuming the bulk of the day. Which doesn't sound like that is happening as your life is rounded in many other ways.
So I would say "allow" that time to wallow a little as you're entirely justified. And hopefully, those moments will lessen over time.

temporarilyjerry Sun 13-Nov-16 06:54:36

After 30 years together, it's not surprising that it's taking longer than 2 years to get over such a betrayal.

Also be kind to yourself. You are not over this yet but you will be when the time comes.

ohdearme1958 Sun 13-Nov-16 07:00:46

OP, I just played picked up on the fact you had 30 years together. I think it's relevant. I left my then 36 year old marriage almost 4 years ago and though it was the right thing for me to do it still hurts like blazes even though I have a very good and happy life. Like you I also have a lot of children, and now 6 grandchildren.

I'm sure the length of time we were with our husbands is relevant here. I also think it's an age thing. To be honest you do think if you were to end up in your own much later in life it's because you'd be a widow, and I think that would actually be easier in many respects though I don't expect many people to agree.

I do quite a bit of Mindfullness and it's helping me get my heart and my head in sync better than my counselling did.

I also imagine a piece of thread that goes from my head to my heart and every time I still feel upset in my heart I give the thread a bit of a tug and lift my heart up to my head a bit.

I'm sorry if that all sounds pretty daft but I've really struggled with it all as well.

YetAnotherSpartacus Sun 13-Nov-16 07:18:48

Is his affair still on-going?

I'm curious because (don't flame me) TBH you don't sound that convinced that you don't want him back ...

Sorry - just throwing that out there because to me a strong undercurrent in your post was that you wanted revenge / to hurt him for what he did to you, but that you still cared for something about him. ...

notarehearsal Sun 13-Nov-16 07:21:14

OP when my marriage finished (OW involved and my decision) I cried every day, sometimes more than once a day, for two years. For the next three years I still grieved but didn't cry every day. My ExDH was also very amicable, continued to pay mortgage until children grew up etc. I think it made it harder that we remained friends
I dated occasionally but my heart was never in it. I'd been with my ex since I was 16, for 20 years, I considered him my best friend, I enjoyed his company more than anyone else's and I was just plain lost.
However, time did heal and I stopped grieving. Then something huge happened in our lives to one of our children and he behaved appallingly. I never forgave him and from that day on I have never spoken a word to him ( this was nine years ago) I can honestly say that it totally shocks me that I considered him my soul mate, I have nothing but disdain for him now. OP people do change how they feel over time. You will too

Paulat2112 Sun 13-Nov-16 07:22:28

It's something to think about happy as the old saying goes, time heals all wounds, but giving things a helping hand isn't a bad thing.

overthehillandroundthemountain Sun 13-Nov-16 07:27:31

You're not pathetic - it is hitting you that you are growing in self-respect.

You WILL heal and, in fact, you are already recovering by planning what comes next. Pain from grief is non-sustainable in the long term, OP. We either grow to accept, or grow to change and it sounds as though you're doing the latter. Let it happen. Get lots of support and let yourself move on. Wishing you much luck. flowers

Thisisacting Sun 13-Nov-16 07:31:05

Well I'm five years on and it's still horrible. I don't even miss him and it's hard. In a way it's got harder as time has gone on. In the first year after he left I felt ok.

So I feel what you say is completely normal.

When I read of people marrying again and having more children within a few years I can't understand how they have managed to move on so quickly. Maybe the new relationship helps them.

donajimena Sun 13-Nov-16 07:42:21

thisis I think you are right. You are in my case anyway. I was practically pushed out of the door to go on my first date with my now fiancé. I was dreadfully hurt by my breakup with ex after he cheated and I was still depressed and didn't really want to go on a date.
Coming home that evening I felt like the black clouds had lifted and the sun had started to shine. I'm sorry if that sounds cheesy but I often wonder how long I would have mourned for had I not gone on that date.

tomatoplantproject Sun 13-Nov-16 08:07:15

It sounds like some counselling might help you change your thinking patterns...

I met someone recently in a similar setting who was able to help me sort my head out. I have had such a weight lifted.

Livelovebehappy Sun 13-Nov-16 08:10:56

I'm going to against the grain too, and like Spartacus, I'm thinking you are fighting within yourself because there is a want on his part to come back, and because of that you can't move on. Was the affair a one off, and was the marriage good apart from that? My DH had an affair 20 years into our marriage and we separated for 4 years, during which time I struggled every day, and just couldn't move on. He split with OW who he had moved in with, and long story short, we did get back together. He is a changed person now and our marriage is strong and good. I went against what nearly every family member and friend advised me - they told me it was a huge mistake, but I'm so glad I did it. If this was the only blip in your marriage in 30 years, maybe you could make another go of it?

IsNotGold Sun 13-Nov-16 09:10:07

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

HappyJanuary Sun 13-Nov-16 09:32:19

Thank you so much for all the kind words. I'm sure you're right, I just need time and perspective, and maybe to consider some counselling too.

It's interesting that some of you have asked whether I want him back. I honestly didn't think that I did, I would have laughed at the suggestion. But whenever I see him, I am so happy when he's sad and miserable and asking to come home. And so sad myself if he appears cheerful and happy. It's like I want him to want me, and panic a bit if he looks like he's okay. Maybe that does mean I want him back, I hadn't considered it.

But it will never happen. What he did was too awful and yes he's with ow now so I also feel a bit disgusted that he's betraying her every time he says he's with her because it's better than being alone, or that he hates his new life. Yesterday, he sent me a present.

So I know he's no good, and that I'm better off by myself. I suppose I just need to ride it out, there's been some progress since I was crying every day. My friend says you get over a man by getting under a new one, maybe I need to try it!

overthehillandroundthemountain Sun 13-Nov-16 09:52:56

Do try some counselling. Know exactly what you mean about being happy at their misery and sad at their happiness. And you need to strengthen yourself before any further misters enter your life - you already sound strong, but preparing some emotional armour and some support for yourself can only be a good thing. You are coping vv well. 💐

Theoscargoesto Sun 13-Nov-16 10:01:44

My marriage lasted 28 years, until my h had an affair and left 2 years ago, he's still with OW (marrying her in February). I agree with pp, 2 years is a short time to recover from 20+ years. It helps me to remember reality, not the castles in the air, by which I mean that I sometimes look back and think life with my h was wonderful, and miss that wonderfulness. But in reality, I had some tough times, times when I was misunderstood, when I didn't have the support I needed, or deserved, when I was sad or lonely. I try to guard against looking back with rose-tinted spectacles.
You are not pathetic, and you are not standing still-you have got through the last 2 years, you have friends, have held on to a job. Its ok to be aware that it's hard, but how you feel is how you feel now, not how you will always feel. And you know that things change, because they always do.
I second counselling, it's really helped me, and I wish you good luck in opening the new doors in front of you.

SandyY2K Sun 13-Nov-16 10:26:58

I was going to ask if he's still with the OW, but I see that he is. He probably regrets it like many who really wanted a wife and a mistress. Not one or the other.

I agree with your friends that you should start dating again. Why let him rob you of the chance to be with a good man.

ohdearme1958 Sun 13-Nov-16 10:57:56

I do wonder at times how many of us have actually been lined up to be the OW once our husbands are living under the same roof as the original OW.

Guiltypleasures001 Sun 13-Nov-16 11:31:29

Hi op

If from what you have described it sounds like your in a holding pattern, your sort of circling around not knowing whether or where to land.

The split is now amicable, he's generous with the money and your still in the marital home, which is brilliant but there's nothing there to galvanise you in to action.

Meaning, where's the anger the fury the thing that makes us make decisions? Because everything has plateaued so to speak, your in a numb little bubble pottering around with no direction.

When you read a lot of posts of women in similar circumstances, the thing that stands out is the need to be practical because the house is going or they need to find a job pronto. Having these things to do plus the rage and stress that goes with it, normally ensures that we get through the shit times.

Your circumstances are the same, he may not be there in body most days but he's there in spirit, he's like Casper the bloody ghost, whining and whinging shaking his chains at you. Until you exorcise him completely such as no contact unless about kids, your not not going to move forward.

Threepumpkins Sun 13-Nov-16 12:15:33

You are still emotionally reacting to him, to the situation. It sounds like you are both a bit guilty of not putting in place appropriate boundaries to allow indifference to flourish, and without that, neither of you will be able to move on. He should not be sending you presents and you should be ignoring them if he does. You should not know how he is feeling - if he's telling you without any encouragement on your part, then shut off whatever avenues he's using. Avoid seeing him.

You should not be having any contact unless it's strictly about the children. Depending on their ages, you could encourage them to take over contact themselves, if they are not doing so already.

It must be hard to feel like you are the one who has to make the effort when he's the one who 'broke' things. But if you truly want to move on, you've got to do it.

YetAnotherSpartacus Sun 13-Nov-16 13:04:08

Sorry OP... if he is still seeing her then that changes everything. I really wanted to think that he'd left her and was contrite and, and, and ... but actually, he's stringing both of you along. He's sticking with her because she's the best option (so he says). That's pretty insulting to her and shows he's looking after no. 1. At the same time, he's hinted he wants you back, but instead of being direct about it he's 'hinted' and given you presents. He's really fucked up your life, the OW's and your children's. It's now hard for me to see him in a good light. Also, he's leaving the hard emotional labour to you. He's being the good guy and wanting you to end it so he can stay the good guy. The nice presents (which I bet OW does not know about) are a dead giveaway. I think you need to see a counselor and a financial advisor, because my suspicion is that once you call his bluff and / or find another man (if you want one) he might stop being Mr Nice Guy.

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