May 15, 2014 at 10:16 am #56329MParticipant
I was in a relationship for many years followed by a marriage. I thought I was very happy during this time until we married. The marriage was often very difficult and turbulent but I loved my husband so I stayed to make it work. During both the relationship and subsequent marriage I focused all of my attention on him. I never did many things for myself and his career and life took up all of our time and energy. We divorced due to his infidelities, lying and emotional harassment. I did not want the divorce but I could not stay.
Now that I am no longer in this relationship I have realized that I made many large mistakes. I am an educated person but I feel like I acted like a fool. I have very few friends left after the last several years- because of our total focus on him I haven’t spoken with many people other than his friends. I feel like I am going through this extremely difficult journey alone. I do not understand why he isolated me and then I continued to isolate myself. I am so scared of being alone to the point of where I will go out in public just to be near people but then I feel awful about myself because I do not have people to be with. I am scared of having to make friends. I am scared of dealing with these emotions. I constantly fear and worry that I cannot do it. I cannot build this new life and start over. It is extremely depressing.
I regret staying in a relationship where the only value was placed on the other person. I feel like I have wasted many years of my life. I came out of this with close to nothing. I feel like I gave up my entire being for this person. I cannot stop thinking and living in the past. I never stood up for myself or told many people (because for me there was really only one person I could tell). I feel like I am trapped in this box of misery, loneliness, regrets and fear of my own making.
I feel pain and fear about this daily. I cannot stop beating myself up for my poor decisions. Decisions where looking back I can see they were awful choices. How do I stop living in the past? How can I forgive myself/accept these choices I made that are extremely detrimental to my current and future life? How can I feel hope for the future?
Thank you for any insight. It has taken me many months after the end to realize everything. I am now terrified as rebuilding can take a long time and I am already not doing very well.
May 15, 2014 at 10:43 am #56332NatalieParticipant
- This topic was modified 8 years, 4 months ago by M.
I am so sorry you are feeling this pain and even more sorry that you feel like you are going through it alone. But I am here to tell you that you are NOT going through it alone. There are people like me who are dealing with the same thing. I recently got out of an engagement. I tell everyone it was a mutual decision but in reality, he left me. It has destoryed me and slowly I am being forced to pick up the pieces of my heart and move on. It’s terrifying and isolating, but liberating at the same time. You were not happy in your relationship and neither was I. And yes, our hearts are broken and we feel lost and scared, but we have an amazing opportunity. We can sieze this opportunity and find ourselves. I too have a mountain of regret. We treated each other horribly. I did crazy and irrational things. I lay awake at night replaying every fight and everytime I was irrationally angry, and it kills me. I think to myself “if only I did this, or reacted this way, or realized this earlier.” But we can’t do that to ourselves M. We need to be gentle and patient and give ourselves time to heal. Give yourself an opportunity to feel that pain and hurt. Acknowledge it for what it is, and when you are ready, move through it. It’s easier said than done, I know this first hand. But you CAN do it. I am! I have found an incredible strength in letting myself be weak. You are not alone. Reach out and ask for help. You can do this. WE can do thia!May 15, 2014 at 11:22 am #56337KellyParticipant
Hugs to you both. I don’t mean to suggest a book will heal all that ails you, but I found the book “Rebuilding: When Your Relationship Ends” by Bruce Fisher to be very helpful in recovering from a painful split.
Consider that the pains you are feeling are growing pains, helping you to develop into a stronger, healthier, happier you. I know how hard it is, but you will get through this.May 15, 2014 at 12:30 pm #56346MParticipant
Thank you both for your replies. Natalie I am so sorry that you are feeling this pain as well- it is truly awful. My counselor has said some of the same things- see this as an opportunity to grow and become who you need to be.
I know, logically, that that is necessary. I just cannot seem to stop hurting myself emotionally. I completely isolated myself from everyone except for my ex husband so there are few people to talk to on this journey so I have come to the internet. I was so so lonely during the time with my husband but now, with close to no one, I am lonelier still. I suppose I should learn to be accepting of it but I feel like it shows some flaw of mine to have let my husband do that to me and for me to do it to myself.
I feel like I lived solely for him and his life for so many years that I do not know even how to have my own life anymore. I just keep comparing myself to him and others and it makes me feel awful about myself. I am scared that I will not be able to get myself to recoverMay 15, 2014 at 9:47 pm #56383sojournerParticipant
You can do this…you are smart and worthy. Do things that will build your confidence and self esteem and self love and will foster a positive attitude. Treat yourself with compassion, please try and change the script you are using on yourself…lonely, hurting, wasted years, acted like a fool, flaws, do this to yourself, isolated, comparing yourself, feeling awful about yourself, scared, scared, scared…see how hard you are on yourself, even about things which you could not be expected to control like your husband’s affairs. Please change all of those words into other words which build you up. You can do this… I did. I’m glad you are getting counseling…that should help. Best of luck, please hang in there, don’t give up…brighter days are coming for you. I hold you in my prayers.May 15, 2014 at 10:40 pm #56384Big blueParticipant
When ever you have a thought about him please take it and say Oh there is a thought about him – I’ll put that in a blue recycling box to be put out to the curb once a week. It’s ok to have the thought, you just don’t own it anymore.
Now could you tell us one activity that you have been thinking of doing in the community? Something where you’ll engage with people. Not like the grocery store, something like a class that you might take, or a place you want to help by volunteering. Can you contact them tomorrow and say you are thinking of joining up to try it? Go ahead and try it. If you don’t like it, that is ok, let them know it is not working for you, thank them and wish them well. If you find it works for you, stick with it for a month, give it a month. Then see what you think. While you are there ask questions and learn about other folks. Share something with them that you are proud of. You are a good writer – you can talk about how writing makes you feel good. If you are a great cook, then by all means ask what people had for dinner. Talk recipes and what you like to make. Ask what people are planning for summer vacation. Get some ideas and plan a small one for yourself, even if it’s kinda local or regional like a staycation. In the course of these conversations, when you think of him, think Ok there I am thinking of him and put that thought in the blue box. Resist the temptation to talk with people about that old bad experience, rather use the time to learn about them and their lives. Save talking about him for your counselor. As you talk with others you will bit by bit start to find small common bonds with them. Then as time goes by you will become more and more comfortable putting old thoughts away and focusing on these new, more fun thoughts and actions. After a time you will find yourself feeling more confident about talking with people and sharing positive things about you. You will be enjoying the experience of being you. Yes you will stumble sometimes. That is ok, so the bowling ball goes in the gutter sometimes. Don’t apologize a lot everyone throws gutter balls. Here it comes again for another shot.
You will find your own story, your unique voice, what you enjoy and what brings you out again to see people. Like anyone else, you will have doubts and even fears, try new activities and discussions. It takes time. Enjoy this time. It’s your time.
Big blueMay 16, 2014 at 6:41 am #56392KellyParticipant
Big blue, wonderful advice. I especially love the bowling analogy. I would recommend bowling as a fun social activity. I’m in a league and met a woman on my team who has now become my best friend. Anyway, as they say in bowling “Every frame’s a new game” – this is a new game for you, M, and it can be fun and exciting. <3May 16, 2014 at 8:13 am #56394Marilyn Briant-RockmoreParticipant
It’s easy to forget about loving ourselves when we are with people who are abusive and self-centered. It happens to many of us. We put ourselves last, don’t know what is important to us because we have been so focused on someone else and meeting their needs. For me, taking the time to understand that I couldn’t change the past, but I could let it go and learn from it really helped. I began by trying different things, finding out what I liked to do and what helped me feel good. I learned what I loved to do – flower arranging, making jewelery, writing and exploring my spirituality and getting to know my real self. I hope you can decide to do the same – to focus on yourself. I believe you are a strong and loving person. I know you can accept that everyone makes mistakes, everyone tries and things don’t always work out. It’s all for a reason – to help you find who you really are.
Love and peace,