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How to deal with the cycles of grief from dying relationship

(27 Posts)
rosabug Fri 13-Jan-17 17:02:14

So my 20 year relationship is on the rocks. We had not had sex in 6 years (his choice) which caused me a lot of grief, he would not tell me why - usually summing it up as "I don't know" or "I just can't seem to respond/give you what you want. Now I did at times get very emotional about this and he says this further alienated him. 1 week before xmas I find out he'd been having an affair with his good 'friend' Rachel, for about 2 years, but it was "on it's way out" - turns out it was more like 4 years and personally I'm not sure its was on it's way out. It was only earlier in the year he tried to persuade me/us to put some money into a business idea they had and allow him to go off on a business reccy weekend with her. That's when my suspicions became louder. He also finally told me his attraction for me had been waning for some years, but he is still 'in love' with me and wants to make it work between us - that I am his "true love" and always will be.

Anyway I think I'm done, I feel so terrible. He is still in the house but can move out in mid feb to some temp accommodation. My problem is with the intense level of my grief and emotionality about all this. I go through a cycle of fierce rage - I have sent the OW many unpleasant texts and even threatened to punch her in the face if ever i saw her. We then go in communication mode, where we actually talk about things quite reasonably, then the weeping, then I go into pathetic bargaining mode, telling myself it can work, and then we start cuddling and I get really really needy because I am still very much in love him. I'm really struggling to cope with this cycle, especially the needy bit as it totally undoes my drive and logic telling me that I can't move forward after what he has done - when I am like this I can't stand to be alone in the house and feel utter despair. We just go round and round. How do I cope??

Butterfly2018 Fri 13-Jan-17 17:13:29

I'm not surprised you feel like a mess...

He has been putting the lack of sex on you "I don't seem to know what you want" when the whole time he had been getting it elsewhere and for four years at that too! He is a rat.

Is he still in contact with her?
Are you able to get away so you can have some space?
Do you have any support in real life?

So sorry this is happening to you flowers

OnMyShoulders Fri 13-Jan-17 17:26:42

Sorry to hear you're going through this OP. I found myself in a very similar situation last year after discovering my DH's affair. The process you're going through is hideous and feels never ending, although you don't need me to tell you that. Eventually though, I could no longer bear to keep repeating the cycle because it was just destroying my self esteem. I felt stuck and so had some counselling to try and unstick me. Do you have real life support? Talking to people who loved me and who I trusted helped me up off my knees.

rosabug Fri 13-Jan-17 17:41:09

To butterfly - he didn't say " I don't know what you want" but " I can't seem to give you what you want". What I wanted/needed was pretty obvious! thankyou very much for the flowers. He works sometimes with her, but I've been pretty fierce with my insistence for NC

rosabug Fri 13-Jan-17 17:46:23

onmyshoulders Hideous is an understatement - even worse when you have to get up and go to work (still, thank god for work). I do have some real life support, couple of good friends. I feel very afraid because I'm 55. He's 50, but looks 35 and is very charming. I fear I will be alone and he will meet someone within a couple of years. I know I shouldn't let this get to me but it does. I would point out this is the first time ver he has had an affair, he's not a serial cheater, though this is pretty feckin bad. I'm trying to stay in a 'middle space', but I know the rage will come, probably overnight.

Butterfly2018 Fri 13-Jan-17 17:48:13

What has he suggested to you as a way of reconciliation? Does he sound remorseful?

From your post, he doesn't appear to be that forthcoming with any solutions for you both to mend your relationship (and that says a lot) but I could be wrong on that.

Do you even want to reconcile?
What do YOU want right now?

It's important that you focus on what you want! He has been shagging another woman behind your back for 4 years. If it was me, I would be out of there fast but I realise everyone is different.

rosabug Fri 13-Jan-17 17:48:44

onmyshoulders are you glad you ended it now? or did you want to try and save it at the time?

Flopsypopsy Fri 13-Jan-17 17:55:17

I'm so sorry you're going through this flowers. There is light at the end of the tunnel though, I can promise you that! Please concentrate on how he's let you down, lied to you, cheated on you, given you grief etc., etc. and then tell yourself that you don't love someone like that. You are a better person than that, you don't need a despicable person like that in your life.

Once he's gone, you will pick up the pieces of your life and you will move on. You must, you owe it to yourself.

Mybeautifullife1 Fri 13-Jan-17 17:58:04

Sorry you are going through this.

I have recently separated from my husband and understand the grief. I'm going through a book the name of which escapes me at the moment but it's very helpful in understanding the grieving process. If you want details pm me.

I'm at the point where I don't really want my ex but I'm scared that I'll not meet anyone else (the thought of never having sex again fills me with sadness) and jealous of my ex (because he will). It's horrible isn't it?

Good luck.

rosabug Fri 13-Jan-17 17:59:12

butterfly Well he says he wants to do everything, even try and mend our sex life, but I'm not sure how one gets over that he doesn't find me sexually attractive any more.

He's not forthcoming in general, tends to live in the moment, but he has tried to talk honestly about our relationship.

I love him very much, but the damage is deep - I'd been unhappy for years about the lack of sexual intimacy - though he's quite affectionate generally, has always told me he loves me a lot. I don't know what I want right now - just some peace from this cycle of horror and pain. I don't think I trust him not to hurt me again in the future.

Hermonie2016 Fri 13-Jan-17 18:13:29

Rosa, it's still early days and it does get better.I recently saw a counsellor and that has helped, not sure why but perhaps she helped to sort my feelings.

She explained I was in a lot of pain, not just from recent events but from the years of living in a marriage where I wasn't supported.
If you consider you have had pain for years, will you give yourself more compassion on how long it will take to recover.

This week's something clicked for me, not sure what or why but I started to accept I could move on.I think I acknowledged the pain and also confronted my fears. For me it's the loss of curent life as it means moving areas etc and unlike you I gave up my very well paid career for a family friendly role.I also fear being alone forever but know that is not something I can be certain about so try not to worry.

QuiteLikely5 Fri 13-Jan-17 18:19:54


Does he have a financial motivation for staying with you?

I'm struggling to understand his reasons for not going if there was no sex between you for six years.

Did he say why he did it? Did he definitely end it?

rosabug Fri 13-Jan-17 18:44:14

quitelikey not really - we don't own a property, but I think he's terrified of sorting his life out without me. Believe or not there is a lot of love and friendship between us and we had a daughter we were devoted to - now at university. I guess it's not surprising this all kicked off as she was finally reaching adulthood. I could never leave, because I loved him so much - stupid and weak but there you go.

Flopsypopsy Fri 13-Jan-17 19:03:32

Have you thought of going to Relate? Not to mend a broken relationship but to get some insight into how you feel you love someone who has completely let you down? Your self esteem needs a boost as well, as clearly you're not stupid or weak.

rosabug Fri 13-Jan-17 19:15:00

flopsy - currently waiting to hear from Relate - we had initial appointment just before Xmas.

rosabug Sat 14-Jan-17 09:03:47

Yes - I do have self-esteem issues (so does he).

Flopsypopsy Sat 14-Jan-17 14:32:35

You need to get yourself some counselling, without him. Do it, you owe it to yourself.

rosabug Sat 14-Jan-17 16:48:42

flopsy I've actually had a lot of therapy in the past, which has been very helpful. I just think I need friends more now at the moment. Which I have a couple of very close ones. I have asked him to leave today and I'm out while he goes. I feel relieved, not happy exactly, but at least I am will be less confused, provoked, weakened by his presence in the house.

Flopsypopsy Sat 14-Jan-17 17:00:38

Well done, I know how difficult it is. I'm so glad your friends are supporting you through this. You won't feel happy for a while yet but there is a light at the end of the tunnel. flowers

AshesandDust Sat 14-Jan-17 17:08:17

Sorry you're going through such a bad time Rosa. flowers

Cricrichan Sat 14-Jan-17 17:15:37

I'm so sorry Rosa. He's behaved abominably. For years he's not wanted sex with you because he's been having an affair and instead of coming clean and sorting it so you could decide what you wanted to do, he's been letting you feel like your not attractive anymore. What kind of person does that to another human being? Let alone someone he professes to love. That's not love rosabug, you don't hurt and betray someone you love like that.

rosabug Sun 15-Jan-17 12:50:52

cricrichan that was painful to read, but I agree. He's says he could not tell me because he knew I would end it. The man is many charming and delightful things, a lovely dad, but truth and honour do not come easily to him.

Flopsypopsy Sun 15-Jan-17 13:22:32

I believe Cricrichan speak wise words. Sadly being charming and delightful means nothing if a person is so selfish. He's displaying narcissistic/sociopathic tendencies. These people draw you in with their charm but you end up feeling worthless. It happened to my sister. She never recovered from what he did to her. She used to be a bonny woman but her weight dropped to five stone. She basically drank herself to death in her fifties.

Please don't let this happen to you OP. Break completely away from this hurtful relationship.

rosabug Sun 15-Jan-17 15:03:26

flopsy - he is neither of those things, by a long stretch. This is the last 4 - 6 years not the previous 14 (no affairs). I don't like this extreme labelling of men. Asshole, selfish, weak are not the same as sociopathic or narcissistic. I have met a real sociopath, they are a different animal. I guess my partner wanted out on some level, but couldn't process it consciously. That's not making excuses for him, it just is. He's made a horrible mess and I just have to get on and try and move forward for myself now.

rosabug Tue 22-Aug-17 18:53:16

I have just read over my post and the comments after 7 months (of hell). Just an update if anyone wanted to hear it. We went back and forth, but finally he, in as straightforward a way as he is capable, made it clear he cannot and din't not want to come back or try again. Though he has been quite insistent that he wants me still very much in his life as a friend. I said I couldn't - that is not what I want, and that was that. I still cry every day mostly, but I don't weep. The anger has subsided and I just feel quietly depressed, but kind of in a strange waiting room with a view to living again soon. God it was awful. silver lining - come out of it 2 stone lighter!

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