Home→Forums→Relationships→Separation after 40 years of marriage
- This topic has 11 replies, 7 voices, and was last updated 9 years ago by Paul.
January 10, 2014 at 10:24 am #48881
Dealing with separation after being married for over 40 years is a shocking, surrealistic experience. The guilt and anguish can be overwhelming at times. The love and compassion ceased in our marriage and now I am fearful that I will not be able to begin again and find my “soulmate”.January 11, 2014 at 10:27 am #48916MarkParticipant
Paul, 40 years is a lifetime to be with someone as a mate. I invite you to give yourself time to mourn rather than project out to the future with worry. I know, easy to say and hard to do. Stay in the Present Moment with your grief. Fear for the future takes you out of what is going on now.
I wish you healing. Nurture yourself and allow yourself time and space to grieve. Engage in activities that enable you to be with the healing.
MarkJanuary 11, 2014 at 11:45 am #48921LindsayParticipant
I wish I could offer insight or wisdom to help you through this time. Truth is, I’ve never been married and my longest relationship was 3 years. So, I can’t put myself in your shoes. But I imagine that after 40 years, a lot of your identity and daily patterns and life patterns are entwined with your ex. I imagine that it would be difficult to uncouple those and to begin seeing yourself as a wholly independent person, capable of wonderful things all on your own. It might take a while to regain your footing and to rediscover who you are, as shining and unique soul in this world. I agree with Mark, allow yourself time and space to grieve.
Like any life event that rocks you to your core though, I think that slowly, you’ll start to get excited about things again, and getting intrigued by all those things that you had in the back of your mind but never did because it wasn’t sensible or didn’t match with who you *thought* you were. These moments will probably be interspersed between moments of sadness and confusion, but embrace them and run with them when they strike. But I have no doubt that you can find love again, love with the compassion, understanding, and connection that we all crave. We are all capable of finding it, but it can take a while to make peace with our past and with ourselves first. It also might come in a form or a person that we weren’t expecting.
Good luck to you.January 14, 2014 at 2:24 pm #49114
I’d like to thank both Mark and Lindsay for your kind words and the compassion with which they were expressed. I find solace and “belonging” whenever I need uplifting and a sense of empathy in reading other life stories and how we struggle to make sense of it all. I yearn for the healing to take hold and perhaps , in that endeavor, find that soulmate I wasn’t “expecting.January 28, 2014 at 12:15 am #49873StarsontharsParticipant
I left my husband of 23 years 3 years ago and filed for divorce.
The anguish and loss I felt was overwhelming and I often felt like I might actually die.
I honestly cannot imagine what you must feel like after the death of a 40 year marriage.
I joined a Divorce support group in my area ( Dallas, Texas) and found a great deal of support there.
The two most important things I learned during these past 3 years have been “Be kind to yourself” – treat yourself as you would treat a friend going through your situation and “Advocate for your future self” – that is especially important if you are going through the legal issues involved in dissolving your marital estate.
I no longer believe in the “soulmate” concept and have decided to be my own “soulmate”.
While I realize I need connections with other people and I strive to forge deep friendships, I doubt I will be healed enough to engage in another long term relationship with a partner.
My hope for you is that you are able to heal and learn what went astray in your marriage so you can rectify the behavior and make appropriate choices to lead you down a healthy path.
I’m sending you healing thoughts of strength.
Janie B.February 3, 2014 at 1:33 pm #50221
I actually sent you an email a while ago thinking it went through but apparently responses need to be accomplished in this format. I so dearly appreciate your kind words and sentiment and I tend to agree with you regarding the “soulmate” that mysteriously awaits us out there somewhere. I don’t think that person exists.Like you I have serious doubts that I could pursue a meaningful long relationship . Perhaps that’s because I find myself wandering physically and emotionally as if looking for me and becoming whole and totally functioning. Until I find that peace and contentment I can’t share “me” with another. Thank you for your healing thoughts . If you feel like offering more of your experience and sharing the wisdom you now embrace please don’t hesitate to be “in touch”.
All the best,
Paul M.February 3, 2014 at 10:44 pm #50254Annie PParticipant
Im so sorry that you are dealing with this emotional death. 3 years ago, I left my husband after 18 years. I had never felt such an unusual and surreal mix of pain, shock, anxiety and uncertainty. I was truly lost. And terrified of really letting myself feel all of those deeply uncomfortable emotions. Mostly because they changed so quickly and I didnt understand that it was normal to feel the inner conflict of so many emotions. It was like going through a hurricane everyday and not knowing which emotion would hit me in the face in the morning and change like the wind a few hours later. I finally became so exhausted after months of this that I finally just decided to “let go.” I surrendered. I chose to accept that I had absolutely no idea what my future without him would bring. And in that moment of embracing both the pain and uncertainty, I began to heal and truly feel peace. The bottom line is that there is no right or wrong way to mourn the loss of someone you love. Allow yourself the freedom to feel and express every emotion you have. Peace will come when you are ready – dont try to force it. My thoughts and prayers are with you – live honestly and speak truly – your words will shape your future.February 4, 2014 at 7:05 pm #50304
I have also experienced the hurricane and then into the”eye” and out again. Like any storm there is peaceful calm on the other side. Now I have to weather the calm ! Thanks for kind and eloquent words and encouragement without which I would feel oddly unique.
PaulFebruary 6, 2014 at 4:05 am #50424AnyoneParticipant
God; so many of us have had or going through breakups….It’s a good platform for all of us to come together and share our inner-being…what we feel…how we feel low…and someone to listen to…
I had a divorce and a breakup recently…And I’m going through the same phase of healing…Everywhere I’m reading about being gentle with our own self. About loving our self; self-respect; self-confidence; self-esteem. I think in the process of sharing life and loving another person; we tend to forget ourselves.
Of late; I had been blaming myself for the wrong decisions I took; and trying to make myself understand that ‘it happens’. Part of life! But I get scared to think of what next and if the next person will be the same? Or will I choose wrong person again? If I will change for the better? Other side of me; says…Time will heal everything. Let’s go slow. Not to hurry, not to make rules for myself. Anyone approaching to talk to me in office makes me feel; if this person hurts me or hits on me? I have become fearful of people. I’m not sure at this point if I will ever be able to find another person; rather ready for any other person in life; then the worry strikes me if I will die alone!
Then I recall all that I learned of late…..’Don’t be afraid of being alone; be afraid of being alone with the wrong person’. And it’s so true. We should be thankful that we don’t share the space/ambiance of torture or negative energies. Eat, pray, love! This time all for my own self. Love myself. Pamper my own self. Heal the hurt, be stronger, more sensible, more intelligent. After all, life is a learning process.
Paul, I wish you all the strength in this tough time. Just remember one thing; ‘It will pass’!
Lots of positive energy to you:-)February 7, 2014 at 8:31 pm #50532Annie PParticipant
Anytime, Paul. I am sending positive thoughts and prayers your way:) Just let yourself feel everything and dont beat yourself up too much for any mistakes you may have made and will inevitably make. We all do the best we can with what we know.
AnnieFebruary 9, 2014 at 5:11 pm #50598JackieParticipant
Paul, I have not yet been married, but I have been an avid mediator in my parents’ marriage of 30 years and I have to say, first, have you given yourself the time to ask why this is happening objectively? Take the time aside to heal and understand yourself first, then give yourself the time needed to deal with your spouse. Is there still a silver lining? Have you had that conversation with your wife yet? I wish you nothing but the best in your endeavors to deal with this situation.February 28, 2014 at 5:16 pm #52034
Just read your kind words again and again. What strikes me ,in your eloquence, is that it is better to be alone and feeling loneliness than to be alone and lonely in the company of the wrong person . It has become my mantra and gets me through the day. Thanks!