Being Destroyed/ Made Expendable – Coping?

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This topic contains 22 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  Inky 1 year ago.

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    I am an INFP and was in an intensely spiritual and metaphysical relationship for 4 years; additionally, we were best friends and artistic partners. This was a May-December relationship. The mutual love expressed was profound and he would always tell me that I am the most incredible person he has ever met, and that our times were the best times of his life. He expressed unconditional caring for me. He did want to marry me, but I declared the lack of feasibility due to the May-December component.

    My lifespan up until that point has been one of an unchosen pariah, and has brought much suffering. Relating intellectually and spiritually to others has always been an arduous task throughout my life.

    I have a rare and incurable disease and was diagnosed in my early 20s. My 28th birthday this past July marked an anniversary with it, with the survival rate being 60%. On my birthday, he abruptly abandoned me via a phone communication with my mother, saying “I never want to see her again”. He then immediately cut off contact with me; blocked my phone and ignored e-mails.

    The pain of the time and space which this occurred (my birthday) was the predominant grief. It was so harrowing, and it felt so symbolic that my life didn’t matter. It was so harrowing that my mind compartmentalized the breakup and I could not process it until two months later. The pain from everything severely flared up my disease and I was ill for weeks, and was in the hospital. Two months later, I discovered that he was taking extensive overnight vacations around the country with a beautiful blonde woman. He then proposed marriage to her on the Grand Canyon – again, exactly two months after he left me. The devastation and despair I experienced was the most horrific pain imaginable, and I have had many traumatic events in my life, including ones where I should not be alive today (e.g. my roll-over car accident).

    Their photos together were publicly blared on Facebook, and all my close old friends who left me (and knew we were together) wrote swooning comments of approval, saying how happy they looked together. His large Catholic family, whom I spent much time with and developed relationships with, all were ebulliently commenting on it as well. The betrayal was another aspect of me being destroyed. I felt like my life was not worthy at all, the pain was so unbearable. These people were my only experiences with interpersonal relations in my entire life. Because of the unbearable pain from not feeling like a worthy human being, I did attempt suicide at that time. ***IMPORTANT: the suicide crisis was the past and I do NOT have current thoughts or am in danger in the present times***

    I respectfully e-mailed his sister-in-law to inquire and she said that they met over the summer, the same time around my birthday. I finally then received the truth, that he left me for her. The sister-in-law said her heart broke for me and is keeping me in her prayers.

    I researched public marriage records for his new fiance, and she has a tumultuous history. In the past five years she has had 2 marriages and subsequent divorces, all swiftly conducted. Her remarriage(s) all occurred months after the divorce(s). Now she is engaged to my ex after just meeting him, and just after her most recent divorce. It has been made publicly evident how madly in love my ex is with her. It felt like our relationship was utterly revoked, everything we did together and everything he told me. I feel like a destroyed and expendable human being.

    If anybody could address and provide insight to any or all of the following questions, I would greatly appreciate it from the most sincere caverns of my soul. This has left a penetrating lifelong wound and am currently working with a psychologist to help me through.

    How can self-worth be identified when everything and everyone stops caring about you?  How can somebody that claims love for you so deeply suddenly revoke it and commit this nefarious act? Any speculations to his motives? How can I live with myself for the rest of my life, knowing that I was completely erased? Is it possible to completely erase somebody like that?

    Why? Why? Why?







    Dear Stephanie:

    You wrote: “I am an INFP”- a personality type term, Introverted, Intuitive, Feeling, Perceiving. You wrote about your relationship that it was “an intensely spiritual and metaphysical relationship for 4 years”.

    Then you described a situation where the man fell in love with another woman and ended the relationship with you, not by telling you anything, but by telling your mother: “I never want to see her again” and then blocking all contact with you.

    You also stated that you suffer from a rare and incurable disease for which the survival rate is 60%.

    I would like to attempt to answer your questions and it will take some time because I need more information. You asked about his motives. You stated one motive: he fell in love with another woman. For me to understand further, I ask: how did it come about that he ended the relationship by talking to your mother: did she call him/ did he call her/ were they in contact then and still?

    When you wrote it was a May-December relationship, do you mean that during the four years it was long distance January-April?

    How has your disease affect him during those four years?

    And can you elaborate on what you meant by the relationship with him having been an “intensely spiritual and metaphysical”?




    Hi Stephanie,

    Several thoughts are coming to my mind at once, so I will list them in no particular order of importance:

    1. He knew of your chronic illness

    2. Then you gently rebuffed him because of the vast age difference

    3. He literally couldn’t take it and clung onto the first beautiful blonde he could find

    4. Spiritually evolved or not, I’m going to be very upfront with you about him. This will get more and more clearer as you get older. People past a certain age who only date younger people do so because no other person their age would have them. You were sweet, lonely and open, but because of your youth you simply didn’t know better.

    5. Beautiful blonde women don’t get engaged to guys after only a few months of meeting them. I assume he’s older than her as well? If so, he is being taken for a ride. You confirmed this by finding out her history. The best predictor of the future is the past.

    6. When people blare “ISN’T THIS GREAT??” news and pictures all over FaceBook, OF COURSE their friends and family are going to support them on a surface level. But I suspect they are more like his sister-in-law who still like you and think of you. Especially when she marries him, divorces him, breaks his heart, and empties his bank account.

    7. People stink at friendships and personal relationships. It used to be an art form, but now with social media and technology, people aren’t as close as they think, and that can lead to despair. I would find  old people or slightly younger people to bond with. Think of volunteering at a retirement community or joining a church group/committee. You want to be celebrated, not tolerated. Some of my greatest friends were people fifty years older than me at the time. Because they’ll see you. Because they don’t want anything from you. Because they get it.

    8. Believe it or not, when his romance inevitably burns out, he will track you down. Don’t let him back in!





    I forgot!

    9. Any man who breaks up with you on your birthday or a holiday was into you more that you know. They just do that to inflict the most hurt, and so you can’t properly enjoy a special day without inevitably thinking of THEM. Classic narcissistic move. And a strike against them if they ever dream of getting back together one day. By the way, when (when, not if) he contacts you again, it will be on Valentine’s Day or your birthday, etc.

    10. Breaking up via your mother was such a cowardly move!

    Edit: for #7, “Because they’ll see you” means they’re more likely to see the real you.



    Anita, thank you so much for reading and reaching out. I am tremendously grateful. Here is the additional information you requested, in no particular order.

    1. May-December is an age disparity in a relationship. In this case, I was 23 and he was 59 when we first met almost 5 years ago.

    2. He sent me a very terse, preliminary break up e-mail the day before my birthday. My mother was devastated to see me like this and sent him a text reminding him it was my birthday. He replied, “I never want to see her again”. He cut off contact and ignored my e-mails during that time, when I was pointing out that it was just weeks ago when he told me that he cared and will “always love” me. I tried e-mailing him last month (October 2017) to inform him of my poor condition, my suicide attempt after finding out he is getting married, and being in the hospital. I did this on the premise that it was just a few months ago when he told me how much he cared for me. He ignored my e-mails and he then found out that his sister-in-law was talking to me. He then called my mother and made threats, saying I am to never contact him again, or his family, or he will talk to his attorney for a restraining order. According to my mom, she said he sounded like a total madman on the phone. He also accused me of “stalking” and “messaging” his fiance, when nowhere had I done so or even would remotely entertain the thought, either online or in person.

    My parents want nothing to do with him and are disgusted by his nefarious actions. They have been hurting along with me, because every holiday, they would invite him over. My parents developed relationships with him.

    3. An additional fact… his fiance is 13 years his junior. Her parents are 6 years older than him. In our relationship, our age gap was 36 years. His ex-wife was 15 years or so his junior. He seems to have a prototype towards younger women.

    4. The affects of my disease on him:

    Towards the end, he became intolerant of me and said he wasn’t going to listen to my health problems anymore because he didn’t want to feel “responsible”. He admitted that this wasn’t fair to me. This was a total shift in personality… in earlier times, he was so benevolent and caring. He even helped me with my expenses of attending a medical fitness center, because he cared so much about my health and well-being at the time. After he abandoned me, I did a self-portrait series in response to my pain (I am an artist) and I had it on my website. He eventually saw it and my artist statement, which was a poetic writing piece concerning my pain of the abandonment. I did not use his name or any identifying information. He sent me a one-sentence e-mail essentially saying he was going to punish me for making the art and posting it, and he then cancelled my membership to the medical fitness center. It was unbelievable. He should have just let the membership run out until the end of the year. I am not entitled to his gift and am grateful for his charity, but using the membership cut-off as a punishment/control mechanism was hurtful. Was I not supposed to feel pain and not deal with it after his abandonment? It was like he was expecting me to bow and kiss his feet for leaving me.




    Inky, thank you so much for your sagacious insight. Words cannot express my gratitude towards you taking the time to offer this. May good karma come your way.

    (Anita, this information may be useful to you as well, if you are so inclined to read).

    Inky, I will first entertain your point #4 about loneliness and me being “lonely, sweet, and open”. I possess a certain vulnerability, I suppose, due to lifelong rejection in interpersonal affairs and living an isolated life. The only men who have paid attention to me or conversed with me have been 50 years old or older. It is a reoccurring pattern. There seems to be a reoccurring pattern with the “type” of man. I had two engineers pushing 50 make relationship advances on me.  I was recently sexually assaulted by a 64 year old in public, who physically advanced on me despite me giving verbal non-consent. These men tend to be well-educated and thoughtful, that is the only characteristic I see. My long-term relationship is one of the best brokers in my area.

    Throughout college and such, I never had any interactions with males of my own demographic. I am invisible and others immediately dismiss me… no matter what the demographic. I have extensive experience in volunteering for non-profits and when trying to connect with others (such as asking for conversation over coffee), I get let down immediately.

    Point #6: “especially when she marries him, divorces him, and breaks his heart”. Many people have said similar to me, that the relationship will not last. Although nobody can speculate the fate of somebody else, it does seem odd that for a 63 year old man, he has never had a successful relationship. That is a long lifespan.  He even told me this explicitly when he first met me, that there is so much “wreckage” in his life.

    Point #9: You are correct with the narcissism aspect of him choosing my birthday as the abandonment date. It hurts so deeply because we always spent our birthdays together in a special way and gave thoughtful gifts. It was just earlier this year when I celebrated his, so things feel “uneven” since this year my day was spent alone in the house crying. And feeling like my life was not worthwhile.



    Dear Stephanie:

    You are welcome. I read your two recent posts. After my first reply to you I googled the term May-December and realized then what you meant by it. It is only in one of your recent posts that you indicated the ages: you were 23 and  he was 59 when you met. This is more of a January-December relationship, really (I tend  to  be  quite literal). Although you were  of legal age at 23, the age gap is too vast to be congruent, in my  mind, with a healthy, loving  relationship. Possible, I  suppose, but unlikely.

    Your description of  this January-December relationship as “an intensely spiritual and metaphysical relationship for 4 years” puzzles me in context of it having  been a physical relationship (wasn’t it) and in context  of the break up and post break up communication.

    It may be that the “spiritual and  metaphysical” aspect of it has  been your subjective experience of  it but not his. I wonder  if intoxicated by your physical youth, he went along with any such spiritual and metaphysical conversations and activities.

    I am also puzzled by the seeming support of this relationship by your parents (“they would invite him over. My parents developed relationships with him”), supporting this Jan-Dec relationship.

    In your original post you wrote about your friends and his family:”These people were my only experiences with interpersonal relations in my entire life”- what about  your relationships with your parents, aren’t these “interpersonal relations” that  you experienced and still do?

    If you would like to elaborate on any of my points  here, especially the last two paragraphs, I will be very interested to read and reply  further.



    • This reply was modified 1 year, 1 month ago by  anita.


    I just had a thought… “Youth” in his mind means “healthy”. So when you complained about your health issues, he didn’t want to hear it. Of course, if he had medical problems you would be expected to be supportive in that as he’s “older”. This is Ableism. He only loves you when you’re “healthy”.

    Also, you are “Stalking” him. He’s probably all, “Hey! That’s my role!” Young people don’t “stalk”. Now, he can chase, pursue, and go after, because he’s “The Man”. And “The Older Man” can’t be bothered with girls once he’s done with them.

    But you stood up. You reached out. You wanted explanation. (But you really do have to stop now.) You even wanted Closure. Which you attempted to get through your art. Of course he then stalked you, found your art, and was upset that you dared to publically declare your feelings Real! That you did matter!

    That you do matter.


    P.S. I really want to see the art! Can we have a link for it? Only if you feel comfortable!



    Wow, Inky, that is such an interesting – and ultimately truthful –perspective that I have not previously considered. You are claiming that my ex essentially dehumanized me, and in this case, that I wasn’t “allowed” to have emotional ramifications. So he was still seeking control even after he departed from me. Now that I am thinking of it, towards the end of relationship this past year when he was emotionally withdrawing with me, I felt his retreat and responded with pain. At my pain, he told me “nobody should ever feel this way about a relationship”. The insensitive minimizing effect was deplorable. It also speaks volumes that perhaps he was seeing me as less human.

    The controlling and manipulation perhaps needs to be underscored. One of our first moments of strife in our relationship is when he invited me to a wedding of his work colleague’s daughter. I love and collect vintage clothing, and for the wedding I wanted to wear one of my 1940s dress hats. He exploded in anger at me, and demanded I had to “look and act like I was from this era” or else I would “embarrass” him. I am certainly not somebody’s ornament, let alone a man’s, especially when my dress was in excellent, if not creative taste. Certainly not like his beautiful blonde fiance with tons of makeup and expensive, flashy, and modern dress…. but I digress! When I donned my 1940s hat, instead of taking me to the church, he dropped me back off at my car and I had to go home. All the way there, he was screaming at me at the top of his lungs and driving recklessly I was utterly petrified.

    I can now see this in retrospect… during that moment, I was perhaps oblivious to it because this was the first time I was invited to a wedding, so having the privilege of attending a formal function was the only thing on my mind at the time. But this is a rather befitting concrete example concerning narcissism and controlling. My mother claims that he withdrew from me because he figured out that he could no longer have power over me.

    Regarding my art, it was posted on my Flickr page but unfortunately I deleted my page after he gave me the restraining order threat. My main website is currently switching domains. However, you can search “Stephanie Lehr” on the Black & White Magazine gallery to find some of my work there – was published several times in that fine art magazine. I am currently showing in an international exhibition in NYC at Site:Brooklyn, as well.



    Anita, I inadvertently neglected to elaborate on the “metaphysical and spiritual” aspect of our relationship. One of our first conversations concerned the notion of the present, and he introduced to Eckhart Tolle. We would talk incessantly on these said spiritual topics, and we mutually declared that we had a “never-ending conversation”. The emotional intensity of the connection, and especially the uninterrupted flow of our conversation contributed greatly. Every weekend we would practice our photography together and sharing that vision yielded the powerful form of a muse. We learned from each other.

    In retrospect, I am starting to wonder if he was attracted to me exclusively on the basis of how I made him feel… and not me as a person. With this, there is a presupposition that he is perhaps extremely insecure. Your claim of the “metaphysical and spiritual” aspect being “subjective” and unilateral (on my behalf) is a logically sound observation… but in the face of everything he ever said and told me, it seems contradictory. He used to hold me so much and feeling the chi and sum-total of the present moment was immense. Our space became a conscience within itself.

    As far as my parents, apprehension, skepticism, and fear were all present in the beginning. But slowly over time, they saw our connection as working artists and saw the changes in my personality. I was talking and interacting to people without indication of lacking self-assurance, as my previous years. Being with him was equated with new life experiences, the people we met, and the places we went to every weekend. As far as the survey with interpersonal relations in my life, certainly one’s nuclear family is a relationship, but I was referring to the more specific terms of having professional, platonic, and romantic relationships outside from one’s rearing, autonomously formed as an adult.

    Additionally, the term “old soul” has been used to describe me, and this contributes more to the isolation factor. Now that I am older, it is a matter of waiting it out until chronological age catches up, I guess.




    I challenge you to put that piece of art back up on your Flikr page which you will recreate. You almost have to do it. Let me put it this way: if you do it you will be my hero! 🙂 The idea of hiding my art because someone intimidates me makes me FURIOUS on your behalf! When he checks again (because he is the real stalker here) he SHOULD see it. Not because you are right/”right” but because you are showing him that he cannot control other people.

    If he files a restraining order, what’s he going to say? “This girl that hasn’t bothered me in several weeks posted some art work on her private page that I didn’t like”. He cannot “punish” you anymore. If he rants and raves, you block HIS email. Have your mother block HIS number.

    And then, my dear, post some more glorious art, and title it “Breaking Free from Control”.



    • This reply was modified 1 year, 1 month ago by  Inky.
    • This reply was modified 1 year, 1 month ago by  Inky.


    Dear Stephanie:

    In your first, opening sentence in this thread you wrote: “I ..was in an intensely spiritual and metaphysical relationship”- I had no way of knowing what that meant, so I asked. You answered in your last post to me (below are your words which I separated into different lines):

    “he introduced to Eckhart Tolle

    We would  talk incessantly on these said spiritual topics… we  had a  ‘never-ending conversation’… uninterrupted flow of ..conversation

    emotional intensity

    we would practice our photography together… a muse. We learned from each other.

    What it means to me is that he introduced you to an author on spiritual thoughts, you talked a lot about those thoughts, a whole lot, felt a lot and  practiced photography together, feeling good when you did.

    Am I correct in my understanding?



    • This reply was modified 1 year ago by  anita.


    Anita, apologies for the lack of punctuality in responding. It probably was disruptive to the conversation flow, and I understand if it is. Regardless, my appreciation for your time and attention remains the same. I know of no other venue like this and will be searching in my life for a place to return the gift to others.

    You are correct in your understanding. Our discussion on the author was a launchpad of sorts to a mutual spiritual journey, especially in conjunction with our artistic medium. We helped each other in various aspects of our life. He was a very reserved and private individual and never publicly displayed his art before, shown in galleries, or pitched to art magazines for publication. From my encouragement, he found his voice and endeavored all of those for the first time in life. I was committed to helping him become cognizant of his talent.

    There is something about taking adventures to off-the-grid locations to study and photograph the environment… with somebody that you love… that puts the experience on a higher spiritual plane. Reality becomes sharper and in technicolor, and there is an immutable sense of belonging. All humans need acceptance and love, and our experiences together brought that dynamic sense of validation, comfort, and wonderment at the world.

    His abandonment left these horrific wounds because the turn of events were inexplicable in my eyes. A few weeks before my birthday I had taken a spiritual “vow of silence”, similar to what monks do to hear the voice of God. I had made a vow to not converse to anyone, and I made this aware to him. He did not tolerate this and was calling my mother frequently (I did not know this at the time; my mother told me after the break-up). On the phone he was desperate and in a great deal of emotional distress. He expressed how much he missed and cared for me. Then suddenly, a very small period of silence and then him leaving me suddenly on my birthday. It was a total change literally overnight. That is why I suspect he met this woman during this time period. But who seduced who? Knowing this woman’s history, I wonder if he was being taken for a ride, just like what Inky said.

    Although I don’t know his new woman/fiance, from what I have seen of her projection on social media, she is the complete antithesis of me. She is not an artist or a photographer. She is heavily made up for being 50 years old and expensive looking. Her PinInterest site expressed more frivolous interests, if you will – albums of bikinis, manicure ideas, and fashion. I assumed my ex met her through work or they knew each other already and just never pursued anything. She has family that works in the same industry as him… as least when I was searching public records last month. The searching is irrevocably abandoned and I was just merely engaging in an attempt to understand.

    One of my issues, as stated previously, is feeling like an expendable human being. I dedicated so much time, attention, and caring towards him. This woman’s image and persona feels “cheaper” than mine, and what I have given to him. All the selfies and tagging she posed with him on social media makes her look so much younger than what she is. She took photos of all the gifts (e.g. large and ornate bouquets of roses) he gave her and publicly posted them. It’s hard to wrap my head around the fact that 1.5 months later my ex is buying these showy and expensive bouquets of roses. She posted flashy images of her ring and commented with tons of emojis, “Look how happy I am!”. I don’t even own a smartphone or have any inclination to engage in these types of behaviors, and I am in my late 20s. I think it is incredibly juvenile, especially considering she is 50 years old.

    During our relationship, our gifts were not pedestrian romantic things… we gave each extremely meaningful gifts: museum memberships, books (he gave me an art book published in France once), camera equipment, gift certificates to classes. They were more… cerebral. I certainly never received flowers or jewelry. The fact that he is going out and investing so much for this woman (including the overnight vacations around the country) in such a short amount of time, is sickening to me.

    The psychologist I am seeing for all this trauma claims that he has exceptional issues. She claims that his original erotic interest of me is problematic within itself, and close to a quasi-pedophilia type of disposition.

    I do know that he was in an overlap/rebound relationship when he first met me… except I was the overlap/rebound! I was too young to realize this. He was dating a psychologist at the time, and left her for me. And now, the pattern repeated itself and I was left for another woman. What is the meaning or motive behind this? If there will ever be an opportunity again in my life where somebody expresses an interest in me (highly unlikely) and that  somebody happens to be a “serial dater”, I now know to stay clear.

    During our relationship, he did disclose to me that when he was young, he was in a relationship with a married woman. So I think he has issues with interpersonal boundaries. Again, all of these things I previously dismissed because of my naivete.


    • This reply was modified 1 year ago by  Stephanie.


    Sounds to me like he’s the desperate sort. He frantically calls you coincidentally during your vow/experience of silence (boundary breaking). He sends meaningful gifts to win you. He sends clichéd over the top romantic gifts to win her. He jumps from one relationship to another. He dated a married woman.

    Do you not see the blessing of him being gone? You are not expendable. The Universe is saying you are INdispensable and is trying to shed what is not good for you out of your life!



    Dear Stephanie:

    I re-read your posts in my effort to understand you better. This is my understanding at this point:

    Key words you used: “an unchosen pariah”. I looked up “pariah”- defined as an outcast. Another word you used: expandable. You described the gifts you exchanged as “cerebral”.

    Your mother role as described in your thread is very curious to me. I do not trust anything she told you regarding her personal, one to one communication with him to be true. Some truth to it, some lies.

    It is my understanding that you were a very, very lonely child, an outcast in your family of origin. You withdrew into a … rich cerebral solitary life. You adopted the use of big words, a style of talking, a vocabulary, clothing, reading material, time spending… all of an “old soul” (your term). You solidified your identity as that of a cerebral, spiritual, solitary, old soul.

    No wonder you did not associate with men your age, as your speech, your dress, the ways you spend your time, all are not similar to people your age.

    You used the word “nefarious” to describe your ex boyfriend’s abandonment of you. Definition, “wicked or criminal”. This is a very strong word to fit an ending of a romantic relationship, a  non violent, non criminal ending of an adult relationship  (be it as  January- December relationship).

    I think that the wickedness you are referring to has taken place in your childhood, in your home of origin, in the part that your mother (and father, I suppose, who you didn’t mention) had in your life. The part she keeps having  in your  life.

    That relationship needs to be examined, I believe.



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