Confused & wounded

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    8 years ago, I fell deeply and madly in love with the man I would eventually marry. Everything was wonderful, it was an incredible love story.

    Until a few years ago.

    He hated his job and needed a fresh start. I encouraged him to quit his job and take some time off. It was just the two of us and my job paid the bills pretty well. He eventually decided to go back to school to get a studio art degree. I fully supported the idea, I was excited for him. This would be his and our ticket to a better life…

    For four years I have held down the fort, as best as I could. I’ve been the sole breadwinner and somehow trying to juggle the role of maid, cook and secretary. He loathes cleaning and comes from a house of hoarders, won’t cook and gets pissed if I clean certain areas. He is a recovering alcoholic, a workaholic and can be short tempered. I was fine with all of this until he failed a full semester of classes and lied to me for months… I still don’t know what he was doing all the time. I became increasingly paranoid about him lying and started to snoop. He computer, his emails, facebook and his cell phone. Anything i could get my hands on. I was afraid and he wouldnt talk to me. True intimacy became a thing of the past. He felt violated. I felt violated. We have been drifting apart since.  All the while quickly slipping in to excruciating debt as he refuses to get a job beyond a few small, part time, on campus student positions.

    We became increasingly unhappy, bickering and distant… but I was soldiering on with the hope of our dream of a better life. This was supposed to be the hard part that you look fondly on later… Right?

    And then I found out that he was cheating. With a child he met at college.

    While I was trying to keep it together through illness and debt and isolation, he was romancing an 18 year old little girl. I was willing to work through this. Deal with our issues, etc. I wanted to see a counselor. He refused. He wanted to blame me and pine away for this girl. In May she started sniffing around again. And he didn’t tell her to go away, even encouraged them because he ‘fell in love’… Yeah, as soon as she found out about him being recently diagnosed with obsessive compulsive personality disorder and narcissistic personality disorder she ran. She stayed around a week. Saying that she didn’t need any demons around. 

    So now we are planning to get a divorce.

    The problem is, we are in tremendous debt. We are planning to file bankruptcy to but can’t until he finishes a fellowship with the college that will yield a payment to cover the lawyer fees. He won’t get get a job until the fellowship ends which means that I must continue to support us. I can’t afford two households. So, I’m stuck playing house. And most of the times it’s ok, we’re friendly, we don’t fight.

    The problem I’m finding is that I keep going back and forth.

    I come to terms with the fact of the matter and work on me for a while. Meditation, yoga, etc. and I feel happy. I let go. I relax into the situation.

    And then we have a good time together and I remember how much I still adore my husband. I see glimpses of the man that hijacked my heart. And then i start hoping to fix things. I get absorbed in that hope. And drop the self improvement to spend time with him.

    But then i start to feel the tinges of resentment. I think about all that we’ve been thru. All the pain and lying and hurt and I just want to walk away and just leave him with the house and bills to deal with out of spite.

    ….and the cycle begins again.

    I guess my question is:

    How do break this cycle? How do I live like this for the next few months? How do I heal when my heart breaks almost daily? How do I stop worrying so much about what he’s doing, who he talking to, and if he’s cheating again? How do I stop the urge to snoop even though I’m just going to find out things I don’t want to know?

    I feel like I’m losing my mind and I don’t know how long I can live like this. God, I’m just so exhausted!!



    I’m sorry for the pain and suffering you’re going through, and I’m glad that you’re looking to resolve this mysterious cycle. It is a testament to the potency of your heart that you could even consider staying with him, and I simultaneously applaud and admire that in you. As I read your words, a few things came to heart.

    My teacher told me that the reason many seek to meditate (and other forms of personal development) is because they are in enough pain that to do otherwise doesn’t make sense. In this way, meditation becomes like an antacid for an upset stomach. We eat unskillfully, either in excess or content, and we are left feeling cruddy. So we pop an antacid and feel better. Then, because our stomach feels better we start thinking about dessert, or maybe just a little second helping, and the pain comes right back. So we pop another antacid. This seems like the essential nature of your cycle.

    To bring it back to your specific situation, it seems like being with him is draining your energy. Some have called narcissists “energy vampires” because their self-centric view doesn’t give much back, so its like flushing energy down the toilet. You meditate, and come back to the inner Amy, who loves unconditionally and powerfully. This certainly changes everything in your view, not just your view of him, but your view of everything. The inner Amy is proud, strong and buoyant… and she parts the difficulties with simplicity and grace.

    However, once you turn your attention on your ex-husband (isn’t he, after all?) that “shiny view” sees him in a hopeful light, where anything is possible. So you stop practicing meditation and self-nurturing whereby you are hit by two drains. The stopping, and his self-centeredness. He’s not the one changing, remember, your indigestion is settling, your heart clearing… you’re the one growing. So you dance a little bit in the old pattern and quickly fall back into energy depression.

    The solution is really accepting that his patterns are corrosive to your well being and wish him well at a distance. Keep at the development and meditation, even when he appears to sparkle. You need to break the momentum, and so perhaps if you know “as I meditate, he (and all things) look more beautiful, but right now if I let him back in, his patterns will drain me dry. Again. And again.” In this way, meditation is no longer an antacid for an upset mind, but a proactive journey toward health and growth.

    You definitely deserve that freedom, as the potency of your unbridled heart is far too rare and precious in this world to allow it to be drained by a taker. When you break free and invest that love in one who truly gives the love back, all things will be possible for you. Its just turning away from the desserts is much more difficult when the stomach feels fine, but that is the best thing we can do for ourselves. I know you can do it, just keep those feet moving!

    With warmth,


    I can totally relate to all the questions you are asking! I recently found out that my husband of 17 years has been having an affair with a coworker for the last 4 months. We have 3 kids together and when he finally confessed he said he felt like the universe brought them together and that she was his soul mate. He says she wants our relationship to work and has made some steps to show that but I find myself always questioning How is that possible if she IS his soul mate…He has said that he would regret not trying to make our relationship work but would have no regrets for not trying with her. Like you I work on me for a while and start to feel better and then focus on the hope that we will get through this and slowly drop off focusing on me which like you leads me right back to where I started. I don’t know what the answer is but Everything I have read says “let go” and if indeed it was meant to be then it will. As much as it hurts (which I am sure you know) I am going to have to focus on ME and make ME feel better and let go; not losing sight of what helps me, I will let things be what they are…I am glad I found your post. I hope that you will find your way and do what makes you happy what ever That is.


    Kick him to the curb…as hard as it is. Yes, you have invested a lot of time and effort in this relationship, but if he couldn’t be man enough to deal with what the problem was and decided an affair was the answer, he was never deserving of you or your children. For him to say she is his soulmate is an insult to you and very disrespectful to your relationship with Him. You do need to part ways and find peace and learn to live again for you and your kids. Wish you the best. E


    Thank you Matt for you kind words and wisdom. After taking some time to meditate on the ideas you’ve presented, I know you’re correct. Everything takes on a more hopeful glo.

    And on the good days, like today, while i still feel the pain, I’m excited to see what the universe has in store. With great pain comes transformation.

    I’ve never been on my own before, always someone’s companion. I’m truly excited to be blessed with opportunity to get to know myself. It’s such a luxury that few in this harsh world are actually afforded.

    I just need to let go and trust that universe has a plan.

    Thank you for reminding me.
    I appreciate your kindness.




    It sounds as though you know exactly what I’m going through. And with children in the mix, it makes it even harder. It’s just so confusing at times and you want to do the right thing but there are no clear paths labeled. And while E is right, you know that, it’s never that easy.

    Hang in there hon.

    The best thing we can do is to nurture ourselves. Regardless of the future, we’re no use to anyone if we allow ourselves to be broken.

    I hope that you’re eventually able to let go.


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