Pure, unrelenting heartache

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    I was with my ex-fiance for about 5.5 years. We lived together for 4 of those years and were engaged for the last year of our relationship. He planned a beautiful, elaborate proposal complete with getting down on his knee and asking if I’d spend the rest of my life with him. Of course I said yes. We were blissfully starting to plan a wedding then life started to get tricky. I was having health issues and racked up medical debt. My doctor chalked my symptoms up to “severe anxiety.” I started seeing a therapist and took medications that only bandaged the symptoms.

    We started to fight a lot about my health issues. He said I “wasn’t managing” my anxiety well enough and would get angry if I’d do things like spend time on the internet researching medical conditions, consume caffeine close to bedtime, not work out enough, etc… He also thought it was ridiculous that I went to the ER for rapid heart rate and near-fainting because it set us back financially. He’d say things like, “It’s just your anxiety! Get it under control! It’s not going to kill you!”

    Eventually the financial stress and constant arguments boiled over and he said he didn’t want to get married anymore and he wanted to separate. This is after I bought my wedding dress, took engagement pictures with him, set a date, booked our venue, etc…

    Come to find out two months after the split I saw a Cardiologist who (after extensive testing) felt it was probable that I didn’t have anxiety- I had a condition known as Dysautonomia and POTS where my nervous system doesn’t regulate itself properly.

    I told my ex all of this and he apologized for not handling my illness in a better way when we were together but still wanted to separate. This absolutely breaks my heart because I truly believe we’d still be together if I’d never gotten sick. I can’t believe he’d propose marriage only to leave like it’s nothing. I’m a firm believer that marriage truly is “for better or for worse” and “in sickness and in health.” My grandparents have been married for over 50 years and my grandma is in the nursing home with Alzheimers and my grandpa still comes to see her EVERY SINGLE DAY.

    How do I even begin to let go of this pain? How do I forgive? I feel like I could stay angry at him forever, but I know that’s not productive.


    gosh i really hope someone can answer you. because i sadly do not have the answers…yet.

    my husband left 6 months ago. the pain is oftentimes unbearable still and the anger i hold over him for doing this to me…i have never felt more powerless and hurt. it made me question myself, my resilience, my strength, my worth as a person. he left me, stole money, abandoned me in his country with no friends or family (we had left our home overseas to move here) and then within 2 months, he was gone. he didn’t stand by me as i struggled to settle and find my feet here. i will never understand, and as much as i want to, people keep telling me i need to let go…and not try to understand.

    I’ve been in therapy for 6 months and I’ve learned so much about myself, the role i played and who i want to be. BUT, it STILL hurts. I am still angry. And i get it! I really do – hanging on to the anger is damaging. Im holding myself prisoner. I’m hurting me, not him. but how th hell do you let go? If anyone has these answers, id gladly hear them. I’ve done it all…read inspiring books by strong, wonderful women who have overcome betrayal and had it much worse than i, I’ve had ‘letting go ceremonies’, I’ve faced this divorce with grace and dignity and held my head up and fought for things i know i am owed. I have no let him crush me. But i am stuck in this crazy 8 pattern where i feel so angry and helpless and then the depression comes. I then get fed up of the depression and get angry but then it continues. it’s awful. this has been the single most painful event of my life, too…i get it. I really do. I had given up my career for this man and I’m still unemployed. I can’t deny my depression and lack of support has crushed my confidence in my ability to do anything…..i have contemplated suicide because i didn’t want to feel the pain anymore. I still struggle with the suicidal ideation at times, and i wrk on this. I wish i could return to my country (complicated visa restrictions and a loooooooong story) but i can’t..so I’m stuck in this country with no one. I dont have the energy or the motivation to meet new people. to start over. I’ve convinced myself I’m unemployable.

    and yet, i find myself thinking about how happy he is. with his new piece on the side he left me for. happy to have gotten rid of me…while i sacrificed..compromised EVERYTHING for this man and i am stuck.

    so..yes, HOW DOES ONE GET BEYOND IT? because I’m sure as shit I’ve tried it all. I’m fucking tired quite frankly…so i get it. i get it. i really do. I can’t imagine ever finding joy, peace in life. that’s the bit that bothers me the most…knowing that in some way, i wasn’t good enough for my husband. even though he told me and convinced me i was…so he was content for me to give up everything. and then when he got home, got everything he wanted…SEE YA. I feel SO beatrayed. so, so deeply. the pain runs deep and i wish more than anything i was a strong, confident woman who could walk away, head held high and say “He didn’t deserve me and i deserve better than this!”. but I’m not. I’m weak. and quit frankly i don’t see how ill ever recover and not be bitter and twisted. EVEN THOUGH i know that outcome will just prolong the pain…

    how do you let go? seriously? beyond telling myself, day, after day, after day…LET GO, KATE! He’s a small blip on your journey! i shared my life, travelled the world, compromised, loved him and supported him when he went through his darkest days and suddenly….bam. How do you ever learn to trust again? Im 34 and i can’t see a way out. i really can’t.

    sorry i hijacked this, but i need answers too. i am desperate.


    Hi Courtney,

    I just wanted to say that I feel for you and am sorry that you are dealing with this. I too am feeling the loss and heartbreak over a relationship that I feel could have been wonderful if only….

    I was looking for a life partner that will have a commitment to me the way I have for him, the type of commitment and love as you describe that your grandparents have. Even in the dating process, I “jokingly” said that I was looking for a man willing to wipe my behind when I’m too old to for myself, because I will do the same. I too believe in “for better or worse” and even if you did not ever get a Dx of dysautonomia and POTS, simply having anxiety does count too in my book.

    I am not angry at my guy though and I think that is because I can see his limitations. I can see that he loves me but is just unable to be there.

    It sounds as if he loves you but began feeling inept and fearful because of your illness.

    This is so sad to me that he decided to separate instead of be a source of comfort and support when you were scared and needing support.

    “I truly believe we’d still be together if I’d never gotten sick. ”
    This stands out to me to be considered. Maybe you are right. But maybe you could have gotten sick three years from now with him leaving. Or maybe you would have kids together and that caused stress that could make him leave? I see so many couples break up if the kid gets an illness. Idk. So many things happen in life. I’d caution you to not blame it on your illness, but that we all have limitations and abilities and maybe another person in the same situation may have comforted you and been a source of strength instead of blaming you.

    I’m not trying to blame him though either because I don’t think that will help with your forgiveness of him. Instead, we are human, different, and while we grow, we also have limits at times. I am just sorry that he felt that he couldn’t manage. That is the best I can offer for now as I too am sorting out a loss of someone that I know we could be wonderful together if only… So I hope you can find some comfort in the words here.


    Courtney and Kate
    I think when we fall in love and get married with someone we automatically expect that the words *till death do us part* have meaning. After all, you fell in love with him for many reasons, and probably the most important was that you knew deep in your soul, each of you would be there for each other no matter what. Once or maybe twice in a lifetime we get lucky enough to find someone like this but when we realize we may have been wrong about them, it not only hurts because your losing all your hopes and dreams but maybe just as difficult to cope with is feeling like your soul was fooled, the part of you which lights up inside of you. This leaves you second guessing every intuition, feeling, or belief you have now, or in the past.
    Till death do us part means something different to some people. Maybe it should be changed to ” till death, or something I can’t handle because it is too hard, do us part.
    He loves you, but he loves himself more. This is the way it should be. We have to love ourselves more than anyone else, this is what enables us to have the capacity to give everything to our husband/ wife, when they get sick mentally or physically, when they need us the most.
    I’ve been through this. I stayed until death do us part, and in 2007 she left this world. I feel like it’s what everyone is suppose to do, I’m not special or deserve a medal of courage, it’s just what we do as human beings.
    Everything does happen for a reason, I firmly believe that. Your reason will appear soon enough. You deserve happiness, real happiness but sometimes you gotta shovel the shit out of the way to actually see it. Trust in yourself. RJ



    This guy…. Im going to be nice as I can. But, this guy doesn’t deserve you. Im sure you’ve heard it a million times. However, I wanted to be someone to tell you AGAIN that he does not deserve you. This guy treated you horribly! Even IF you were nagging and screaming through the entire relationship I would still give you the same answer. I am sure that wasn’t quite what you were looking for in a response but that is at least where I needed to begin. I am so glad that you bravely spoke out about this. So many women(myself included) hide behind our secrets, flaws, etc…. to hide the fact that our guy or man treated us badly and some things done to me I have never spoken a word about to anyone. I have felt ashamed, embarrassed, and feared being judged myself for having chosen that type of person. You deserve a man who would listen to your concerns and take care of you or at least make sure you were taking steps to take care of yourself. Encouragement, love, understanding, etc. Those are qualities of some one who LOVES you/me. The man is out there looking for you.. He is looking so hard for you right now wishing he could be there for you to fight these battles. Know that. He would do anything to be where you are with you to support you right now. One day, he is going to find you and hug you like you have never been hugged before.

    On another note… I have not been in a relationship that lasted as long as yours. I cant imagine how deeply it hurts to feel this loss. They say it takes half the time the relationship lasted to get over/through it. This means 2 + years?? I am wondering how long ago this break up happened. of course, who really knows how long it will take to move forward but I wish you the best. It is up to YOU what results come of this. Obviously, you got one big thing out of the way, A diagnosis and the reassurance that your anxiety is much more than JUST anxiety (although that can be just as crippling as anything) You should have had comfort offered to you instead of insulting words from the guy. He is an idiot! I hope you realize how awesome it is that you didn’t MARRY this guy and he didn’t leave you with small children etc. Please find the bright side of this all, look at the light in all of this. EVERYday force yourself to find a reason to be HAPPY that this ended when it did. Who knows what other things he was capable of.. If he’s heartless, he’s heartless. Thats the ugliest character flaw I can think of. I wish you all the best and I hope you know that you will find the right guy.. he’s not far away… he will show up soon, I promise.

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