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Overwhelming Pain – What\'s wrong with me?

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  • #84371
    yoda428
    Participant

    I have unable to get over my ex wife now for 3 years. We get a long well and do well for the kids but she’s moved on 100% and today I found out that her last 6 days in Florida have been with a guy that was with her during her cancer treatments. It hurts so bad to know that somebody else besides me was there. We were married 20 years. I should be glad she has found someone. But my sadness and jealousy have been overwhelming and almost too much to bare. Suicide thoughts creep up but I would never don anything. I thought this woman and I would be together for ever for she feels absolutely nothing for me and now has a new guy who happens to be an ex fighter pilot – talk about a blow to the ego. She always wanted a macho guy and I was sort of a wimp. It hurts SO much to know she’s with someone else an my self-self is so bad I can’t see anyone wanting me. I’ve been working on losing weight but now I feel a need for it to happen faster when I wind up meeting this guy.

    She’s all mad at me too for being emotional and needy and asking her questions (I know it’s none of my business but it hurts like hell…give me a break for being heart broken). Not for her to fix though. I miss her but I don’t think it’s really about her it’s a bout me and what I want – finding myself – who is that person?

    Pain is so hard – I’ve been crying all night and she’s at home thinking about her new hunky boyfriend. Why does it always seem like I’m the one on the hurting side.

    #84372
    jock
    Participant

    I think your self-esteem is the main issue. If lots of women were fawning over you now, you’d soon forget your ex-wife. Am I wrong?
    If I were in your situation, I ‘d be trying to enjoy my own company for a while. Try to get some self-belief. First work on the superficial kind ie. appearance, lose weight, looking sharp, wearing good clothes. Then work on the soul or inner work which will address such things as your value system and integrity. Start to care what you think of you rather than what others think of you. Can you accept your weak points? Try to honestly admit your strengths, your good points. Compliment yourself when you do something positive..”good I walked 5 miles today. well done!”
    You might want to use visualisation as a strategy. What kind of person can you imagine yourself to be (positive of course)

    • This reply was modified 7 years, 2 months ago by jock.
    #84382
    Brian
    Participant

    yoda,

    Forgive me for stating the obvious, but you have hit it right on the head: you’re heartbroken. Having your ex wife be with someone else, after 20 years of marriage, is certainly very painful. Grieving about it helps. And you’re right: your heartbreak is not for her to fix. I must ask about the questions you’re asking: you’re asking her questions now that she’s with this other guy? If so, I wonder if you are allowing the wounds to rule you. It sounds like it.

    I won’t pretend that I’ve been in this situation. I haven’t. But I do know what it’s like to dwell on something so completely that I wanted to commit suicide. I think that two things may help you: allow yourself to grieve for the loss of your wife in your life. It hurts. You may never get her back. It’s like a death, when someone you love dearly leaves. Grieve, but also practice helpful everyday skills–being in the moment, looking around at your surroundings, distracting with positive coping mechanisms (such as reading, going for walks, exercise). Say to yourself “I can handle this” or “I’m in pain, but I will get through” or whatever other positive statements about yourself…even if you don’t believe the statements. You can try imagery too: imagine yourself succeeding. What would success look like to you? Being free of the suicidal thoughts? Calm?

    I don’t know if what I’m about to say will help, but I see a therapist (perhaps seeing a grief counselor or therapist may be a good idea for you?), and about 4 weeks ago he suggested many of the same things I’m suggesting to you, because I found myself up in my head, torturing myself to the point of thinking there’s no way out. If you don’t already practice such things, it’s going to feel awkward and useless probably–that’s how I felt 4 weeks ago. But the more I focused on getting out of the house (positive distractions, like the gym and friends), the more I went to bed each night and practiced conscious breathing (I still do this every night), the more I envisioned me succeeding, the less suffering I experienced.

    Sounds like suffering is enveloping you. Try to practice the things I’ve mentioned. Try to honor yourself–you were married for 20 years; she must’ve seen something in you that was good. Try to find that goodness in yourself, and amplify it with practice…but do it for yourself, not for her, if you can. The idea is to soothe yourself…you very much need it. Try not to deny the pain, or temporarily allay it by asking her questions. Feeling your feelings, and building yourself up, will help you.

    It took me a week of practicing mindfulness, meditation, imagery etc to see significant improvement in my own situation. Each person is different, and each situation is different. It may take you longer, or it may not. But the important thing is this: there is really only now, and if you’re focused on now, and not thinking about the pain or judging yourself or the situation, you cannot suffer. Being in the moment, the “now”, is typically quite difficult for a lot of people in Western society (myself included), but with practice it can be done.

    Best wishes.

    #84387
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Hello,

    Nothing is really wrong with you. 20 years is a hell lot of time to be with someone and separate, especially if you’re still in love with them. It isnt about whats wrong with you though – you must be wondering how she could have moved on so fast, that too a contrasting change from the person she was with – well i will say this: In her mind, perhaps she had already moved away long before the 3 years of separation. I dont really think it was about you as much as it was about her – things change in 20 years, hell they change so much in just 5 years – maybe over time, she became more aware that this wasnt what she wanted.

    That doesnt mean you are bad or incomplete in some way. It simply means that it no longer felt right for her. Dont take the blame so much on yourself. I have never been married but i have seen love die and there is nothing worse than turning cold for a person i had loved so much once. even though we were together for 5.5 years, in the last 1.5 years, in my mind, it was already over – i simply couldnt walk away at that point. He was a good guy but as i changed over time, i realized i wanted something else for me. You need to pick up the pieces and understand that this isnt about you. Its about her changing.

    Work on recovering your self-esteem. These feelings of feeling like no one wants you, the longing are actually very common after the end of a long-term relationship in particular. When i walked away from my ex, though it was my choice, it was one of the hardest things nonetheless. Then i moved on and loved again despite myself. All this happened within a year – meanwhile i had gone cuckoo and it became obvious. I was alone, terrified, jumping from one person to the other to fill up a void but i never wanted to look back and get back with my ex.

    On the outside, it seemed i was fine – i was thinner, my skin glowed etc and i had dates so often – but was i feeling fine inside? Not really. Rest assured though, she has been hurting too but has made a choice to move on from this pain. She was with you for 20 years – of course you shared something wonderful but life changes, people change – sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse. That doesnt mean we give up on life and ourselves. You need to make a choice for you. She isnt coming back but you have to move forward.

    Do you want to hold on this pain or let it go? Over time though, having love makes life easier but i realized that if i dont love myself in any way, i would always be in a state of turmoil and keep looking at others for answers, instead of trusting myself more. Break-ups can be a great push to find yourself and i think you’re getting ready to go there. You arent worthless and unlovable. Keep fighting and working to re-discover the life within you to complete yourself.

    Do write here as much as you like and getting the negative thoughts out. Many of us are survivors here and we are here for you.

    You are not alone and there is nothing wrong with you.

    Ask yourself everyday – If you were your best friend, what would you advice yourself to do?

    Regards,
    Moon

    #84400
    anita
    Participant

    Dear yoda428:

    You wrote: “She always wanted a macho guy and I was sort of a wimp.” my question is how were you a wimp in those 20 years of marriage? How did your wimpiness look like? How did it express itself during the marriage? Before the marriage?

    I think that answering these questions may be a vital part of your quest and question in the quote from your post: “finding myself – who is that person?”

    anita

    #84406
    Chris
    Participant

    Yoda,

    I don’t know you or all the particulars of your situation. What struck me is the title of this thread “What’s wrong with me?”. Each of us has an internal dialogue. Sometimes that dialogue is not kind, compassionate or loving. Sometimes it is critical, doubtful and hurtful. The questions we ask may influence the answers we receive. You’ve externally asked “what’s wrong with me?”. This toxic question supposes that there IS something wrong with you.

    You may be in pain, your life may be in a valley, you may be going through a very rough time, but is there really something “wrong” with you? Would you consider being kinder to yourself? Would you consider loving yourself and accepting yourself just as you are? Would you embrace the broken, hurting you and offer him love and acceptance? Would you allow him to heal?

    You seem like a sensitive and caring person. These are good qualities. Would you dare to value your internal qualities and realize that who you are on the inside is far more important than external appearances. Would you consider that you deserve to be loved by somebody who sees that in you and appreciates who you are as a person?

    Be kind to yourself my friend.

    #84451
    yoda428
    Participant

    Thanks all – this is helpful – I know so much of it is how I see myself and she always did say “I’m not what you really want.” And, of course you can interpret that as you’re not what I want. I was too much of a couch potato for her. I’m trying to live life more now and be more active. My ex got breast cancer 8 months ago and has completed all the treatment. Turns out I found out two days ago that she had flown to Florida to be with a man who had been there for her during her cancer. I know that I should feel great for her she had someone with her and it may turn into more than just a friendship. I asked her about it and was hurt – she doesn’t want me to ask her anything more about her personal life which I guess is fine. It hurts me so deeply though – I wanted to be next to her during that time. But she’s found some studly guy and of course I’m already thinking I’m less than and a wimp. This guy used to be a fighter pilot. My self talk says I am a total loser. I have put my ex on such a pedestal that I feel my happiness depends on her and although I know this to not intellectually be true I still feel it. The pain is immense and I do mean immense – debilitatingly so. It’s like someone swooped in and stole what I thought was mine. He got to be the hero and of course looks the part too. I feel so bad about myself it’s awful. I really am trying to get a support group around me and I’ve started to exercise and I do try to eat healthy. The thoughts of them together are just awful. I’ve got to find some tools to get it out of my head. I feel like I failed her and now she’s mad because I got too jealous and wimpy. This pain is awful. Why am I always the one on the side that hurts so much? Am I too sensitive? Are there women out there who want that kind of guy? I guess, like someone said, I need to like me first. In the meantime I watch and ache as my ex moves on with her life. I went to the ER last night just because I was in so much pain.

    #84459
    anita
    Participant

    Dear yoda428:

    I am sorry you are in such pain. Your internal dialogue as you posted first and last on this thread is pretty consistent: same thoughts circulating through your mind, uninterrupted by the wonderful input by Jack, Brian, Moongal and Chris above. I suppose you read their comments and couldn’t “hear” them above the same thoughts circulating in your mind. As long as you have the SAME thoughts, you will have the SAME misery.

    You asked:
    What’s wrong with me?” You did address exercising and that is positive. But otherwise, like Chris wrote, the problem is in the question. There is nothing inherently wrong with you. What is wrong is your thinking. And since you were not born thinking, it is nothing inherently wrong with you.

    You are too impressed by appearances (the pilot thing) and your thinking is otherwise mostly inaccurate. That’s what is wrong.

    If you read some of the comments, again. Here are some highlights:

    jack wrote: “First work on the superficial kind ie. appearance, lose weight, looking sharp, wearing good clothes. Then work on the soul or inner work which will address such things as your value system and integrity.”

    Brian wrote: “I found myself up in my head, torturing myself to the point of thinking there’s no way out… practice…getting out of the house (positive distractions, like the gym and friends)…conscious breathing…soothe yourself.”

    Moongal: “On the outside, it seemed i was fine – i was thinner, my skin glowed etc and i had dates so often – but was i feeling fine inside? Not really. ”

    Chris:Each of us has an internal dialogue. Sometimes that dialogue is not kind, compassionate or loving. Sometimes it is critical, doubtful and hurtful… Would you consider being kinder to yourself? …Would you embrace the broken, hurting you and offer him love and acceptance? Would you allow him to heal?…Be kind to yourself my friend.”

    Read again, consider, let some points sink in and best wishes to you.
    anita

    #84461
    jock
    Participant

    how kind of you to summarise others’ comments, anita 🙂

    #84483
    yoda428
    Participant

    Thanks to all of your comments and thanks Anita for pointing out what I tend to do frequently. Rumination torture is one of my bad habits. There really is beautiful caring advice you have given…I need to take it in just like I need to take in the great guy I am. Blessings to you all. I’ll use this all as a reminder of staying positive.

    #84484
    jock
    Participant

    I suppose you read their comments and couldn’t “hear” them above the same thoughts circulating in your mind. As long as you have the SAME thoughts, you will have the SAME misery.

    quotable quote…

    #84507
    anita
    Participant

    Dear yoda428:

    Post back any time with new thoughts, more accurate thoughts, with the motivation to think accurately (not necessarily positively but accurately).

    * Thank you Jack, you are making my day!

    anita

    #84536
    yoda428
    Participant

    Dear Anita –

    I think it is accurate to say that I am extremely mad! I’m not sure exactly at whom but I am mad. I’ve been eating donuts all day which is bad because I’m diabetic. The stories I play in my head seem so real and they are filled with anger. They are filled with blame towards others, towards myself. It’s accurate to say I’m not doing much to help myself. In fact, my therapist, who has been allowing me to text her through my depression and pain has said that I am not trying. I keep sending her texts about my ex-wife and nothing about what I’m trying to do for me. Who am I? Who do I want to be? I feel so close to being that angry psycho ex husband who causes a scene because he’s painted a picture that is so clear in his mind. Perhaps I’m ruminating again Anita – saying the same things – I don’t know.

    It’s accurate to say that I don’t like me. I don’t like my thoughts, my actions, my physical appearance, my lack of motivation. I tell myself I’m trying but I really am not trying. I’m not sure where I learned that – there’s something inside that says “I can’t do it.”

    For all the intellectualization and wonderful words I read in the books I pour over to learn and become a better person. There’s not one I can think of that’s done me any good when I consider where I find myself. I pray to the spirits around me – I ask them for the guidance out of my self-induced hell. Day after day, I do the same things, think the same thoughts and look forward to just getting into bed at night so I can read more books that I’ll forget by the time I wake up. Then more head is immediately filled with thoughts of my ex and her new macho boy friend. And then the pain starts all over again.

    Sorry Anita, I’ve done it again. I seem to want to wallow. What’s wrong that I want to wallow? What am I getting out of it. There are days lately when I eat donuts (I’m not a huge guy by the way, just need to lose weight – but diabetes too!) anyway where I say “just take me now – take me away – kill me donut.” Certainly not positive but feels accurate. Did you mean something else Anita or am I just missing the mark again? I really can’t remember the last time I was happy. That makes me sad and scared. All the books I read lately say that I have everything I need right now to be completely happy yet I think I’m still searching for something. When we seek we suffer. I’m not good enough just as I am, not accurate, but a belief.

    #84537
    jock
    Participant

    I love donuts too by the way.

    #84546
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    After a point, we have to let go of thinking of what we cant change – she’s gone and thats it – now you have to look at a world outside her, into you and that is scary cuz you dont really know it too well beyond the bad stuff – you have some questions to look into “Who am I? What do I do?” but these are too big to be sorted in an hour. Start making small, achievable changes at a time rather than going all out to fix it. Do you have a routine? Are you socializing with people? Is there anyone who can check up on you and? etc etc

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