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Tell me it gets better(14 Posts)
I feel like such an idiot posting here but I’ve just had my heart broken for the first time at 38 and I’m devastated. He was my first relationship after my marriage ended and now he’s left me because he’s not ready to settle down yet. I honestly don’t feel I have the inner resources to cope with how I feel. We were in love and I felt closer to him than I have to anyone. He told me he’d never felt like this about anyone before and was so loving and open. After my marriage ended he was my bit of happiness.
I feel like I’ve had the rug pulled from under me. I have moments where I feel ok and that I can be strong but mostly I feel absolutely hollow and am questioning everything that we had. The thought of him moving on and enjoying his life cuts right through me. It’s been a month now and I’m trying to move forward, I’ve talked to people about it and I’m doing all the things you should do, but inside I feel so empty.
Please tell me this gets better!
Trust me, it definitely does! I think we invest heavily in a first relationship after the end of a marriage - you’re putting your heart in the line, you’re going into something carrying all the weight of the past with you, and you feel like you want to be a success story! To find love straight away after heartbreak, how wonderful!
But for me I kept getting into situations with unsuitable men, not abusive or terrible but unavailable in one way or another, and I’d have these deep feelings for them so it was meant to be and I’d be battling and feeling sad and hoping and fantasising the whole time - it was fun, and romantic at times and I enjoyed the dramatic aspect, but it wasn’t healthy. I’m glad I went through all that but it wasn’t until I took a step back and realised that I didn’t have to cling to someone just because I felt something for them, and that I could be truly happy single - in fact, that in many ways I preferred being single - that I was in a place to start a proper, healthy relationship. And as per the cliche, it came when I wasn’t looking for it, when I’d decided I had no need for a man, wanted nothing more than the odd date. Before, I’d grabbed on to any sign of affection as if they were the last man on earth. Now I know, if this relationship ends, it’s ok. I’d be sad as hell, and I don’t want it to, but I’d be fine. And that’s liberating.
Big hugs to you. It will absolutely get easier. Getting heavily involved with someone when you're in a vulnerable place can be wonderful but it can also be really destructive. You've moved on your marriage and you found love so you know it's possible. I'm assuming he wasn't too dissimilar in age and if a man isn't ready to settle down by then he probably never will be - I think in time you will see this as a blessing, rather than wasting years of your life with someone who couldn't commit. My husband was a proper commitment phobe before we were together, although much younger. He completely changed because we were so in love that he couldn't imagine not being with me, and proposed within 18 months. We've had to go through some really difficult stuff together and would never have survived it if we weren't 100% committed to each other. You don't want to be in a relationship where you're more committed than they are, so if that's how he is then it's best to walk away and move on and find someone who will commit to you completely if that's what you want. In the meantime, be kind to yourself, spend time with people who care about you and make you feel good about yourself. Focus on the things you're good at, that make you happy - this will pass x
Thank you both for your kind replies. It’s interesting what you say about being unavailable because in many ways he was, at different life stages etc, which is his reason for ending it now. I think deep down I knew it wasn’t forever, but he was so full on and then ended it so suddenly to the extent that I suspect there’s someone else too. I feel like a bit of a fool, but I guess I hoped love would win out over everything. He was the first guy I’d ever really felt a strong attraction too as well (more than my ex) and it was pretty intoxicating. Plus he filled a lot of the gaps left by my ex, being loving and open, telling me I was beautiful etc. I really fell for him.
I just feel like I’ve lost a part of myself. I hate feeling like this. Everyone tells me I’m so strong getting me and my DD out of an unhappy marriage, managing well on our own, but emotionally I feel so empty. Like I say, he was my bit of fun and happiness after a terrible few years and now I feel so alone. I just have to believe it’ll get better dont I?
The two bits of advice you have already been given are not going to be bettered even if the thread runs for 10 pages so focus on those. I have been in this situation and it was intoxicating love after the breakdown of a tired and stale marriage. Completely intoxicating. I was absolutely devastated when it ended and felt pretty rubbish for 4 or 5 months before I started to think less and move on. Relationships after marriage are something you throw everything into and that's why the pain is worse than the break up of a marriage.
I really hear what you’re saying about feeling that strong attraction to someone and them filling the gaps your ex had left - it is intoxicating, it’s delicious and feels like it’s exactly what you need. And you know what? It was what you needed, and just because things ended badly and you’re upset doesn’t negate any of that. It doesn’t mean it wasn’t real, even if it was only real in the moment, it still happened and it still meant something. It isn’t all worthless because of what happened later on, it because he turned out to be not what you thought.
The way to go now is to really look at yourself - don’t beat yourself up or think about what you did wrong, but think about what you’ve learnt. So ok, you only want a relationship where you feel that atrong attraction, and where you feel beautiful and cherished. Great! You don’t ever have to settle for less than that again. But next time you can also make sure he’s available, that you’re in the same place, and if you’re not, then you’ll remember it’s just for fun. Things that go wrong are there for us to learn from and that’s how we develop as people.
It definitely gets better. I was absolutely crushed when my ex left me. Thought I'd never get over him and I would obsess over his social media and wonder if he had met someone else. 3 months later I saw he had a new gf and it made me feel physically ill for a few weeks. About 5 months after we split up I met my OH and we are blissfully happy. I don't give my ex a second thought and couldn't care less what he's doing. I genuinely never thought I could be attracted to someone else like I was to him - we had great sexual chemistry and were also the best of friends. I now realise that I definitely could/can be more attracted to someone else and my OH is definitely an upgrade in every way.
Splitting up with someone is almost like experiencing grief. They are a huge part of your life every day and then, all of a sudden, they aren't there anymore. It's an awful feeling and you'll probably hurt for a while longer but you will 100% get over this eventually and find someone lovely
Oh OP. Your post could have been written by me - except I am a year down the line. I’m not completely healed, but I am in a much better place than I was.
The hardest thing for me to accept is that the wonderful future I thought I had after such a rubbish marriage has gone. To start with I thought the answer was to find another partner, but I now know I am not ready for that. I have tried instead to focus on the everyday small wins, on spending quality time with my children and also with my parents - especially as my lovely dad has recently been diagnosed with cancer. Most of the time I am happy with my new life.
So, yes. It will get better but it will take time - that old cliche I’m afraid! Don’t be too hard on yourself in the meantime. Everyone heals differently
Thank you all. You’re all so kind and wise it’s making me cry a little! It’s good to know that I’m not alone feeling like this.
Fifth I really like what you say about learning from this relationship and it being real and what I needed at the time. I’m really struggling with reconciling the amazing times with where we are now and him not being quite the person I thought he was. That’s a really positive way of looking at it.
It’s hard right now to think that I’ll meet someone I’ll love more than him, (and I say that even though through the break up and since he’s been a completely insensitive twat). He completely got me, we had amazing conversations and it helped that he was absolutely gorgeous and the sex was amazing! When it was good it was so good. But I’ll get there I’m sure. Thank you so much for your advice, it is so appreciated.
He won't be the only person you can ever possibly meet in the world who you'll have a fabulous connection with. There will be others who will give you all those feelings and more.
Don't do what I did and look at his social media or try and communicate with him. Takes so much longer to get over them that way. I would find myself checking my phone all the time to see if he had tried to get in contact but he never had. Keep yourself busy and be kind to yourself
That’s great advice Teddy. I’m trying to stay off checking the social media, but it’s hard. I did look at his fb a few days after we broke up and he’d put up a picture of some girl walking through the street ahead of him.
This was the guy who two days earlier had been crying on my shoulder saying he wished we could make it work! Like I say, not quite the person I thought he was.
The thing to take away from this is that there is more than one person out there with whom you can have a relationship.
It can be a big relief to discover this after being in a long term relationship that didn't work out. Focus on that.
OP – I hope you are OK. I feel exactly the same level of devastation although as a result of slightly different circumstances. The guy I have been seeing and I met late last year, and we live 4 hours from each other. He is happy only meeting up every few months. We are both in our 50s, divorced, retired, solvent, no ties. We have fallen into a pattern of having holidays together – 5 this year so far which have been wonderful – but the times in between are killing me as he’s happy just catching up by email every few days.
I have completely fallen for him. He says he doesn’t want any more serious relationships and is very happy with the way things are between us. I feel like my life is parked until the next time he suggests a trip. I know that I really need to get a grip but it is just so difficult and I don’t have any friends that I can fill the “gaps” with. This is actually so much harder to deal with than anything before including my divorce. Maybe it’s an age thing?
Hope you are feeling more positive after the good advice from PPs, which I am going to pinch and try and follow myself.
Fallen, that’s not a million miles away from my situation tbh. I think the danger is it’s all on their terms and it suits them until it doesn’t, if you see what I mean. Meanwhile you’re waiting around, too far in to contemplate getting out whilst they have all the power. I think like you I can and could certainly see there were aspects of our relationship that weren’t healthy, but I was too in love (and probably too vulnerable) to be strong enough to step back. Lots of hugs.
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