Sense of loss

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    Dear All

    I am currently feeling lost after my partner of 8 and a half years left me five weeks ago He is citing a lack of communication and in particular lack of emotional intimacy as the cause of the break up.

    We met via online dating and lived in separate counties. He had his own business and I would travel to see him every weekend. Sometimes I would get to spend the weekend with him, others he would be working and I would relish the time we had together. He rarely visited me at my home. After over two years of being together, declaring our love for each other, I broached the subject of living together, marriage and children. He did not want to commit just yet and suggested that I move closer to him so that we could spend more time together. He didn’t want me to move I with him as he wanted me to forge my own life and make new friends. So I compromised and relocated. I have up my home, my job, a place I had lived in for over 10 years and my friends to be closer to him. I even found a house that was located half way between his home and his place of work.

    I struggled when I moved. The people at my new place of work were very anti social and my partner did not come to see me as often as I thought he would. I still travelled to his home every weekend. I became depressed. Started to take anti depressants. At one point I collapsed due to lack of food. He berated me for this. Blamed himself and trashed his kitchen, leaving me to drive home alone. I turned to a friend I had known at my previous place of work. A male friend. He provided a friendly ear and attention. At that time I was doing a masters degree where he worked and we discussed that and life. We emailed each other and ago one point the conversations became flirty. I went on an evening out at my old place of work, the guy was there. We were surrounded by many others. I was late back to my house and my partner became worried. He went to my house to make sure my dog was ok (he thought I had abandoned the dog, something I would never do). Whilst he was there he somehow got into my email accounts and found some emails to the guy. Obviously on my return he went ballistic. There was no intent with the guy, he provided attention when was living in no strange place where my partner was not seeing me. My partner said I was never to speak to the guy again and if he got in touch I was to inform him. He requested all my email passwords which I gave to him.

    My partner took this to mean that I wanted commitment from him so proposed and we became engaged. The only commitment I wanted was more time from him. The proposal did make me happy but still the time was lacking. I continued my masters degree, found a new job with more social people. At times my partner resented the time I was spending on the degree. I graduated in 2010. In February 2011 the guy contacted me, wanting to say congratulations on the degree and could be meet. I saw no harm and we met in a public place. We caught up on life. As we were leaving, he wanted to talk more so got into my car with me, he tried it on, I was not interested. He left. My partner found out about this and again went ballistic. He stalked the guy, phone me persistently throughout the day at work to make sure I was there, have me a phone that was attached to his business, requested I carry the phone everywhere with the GPS switched on. I agreed to all this. We discussed moving in and a few months later I moved into his house.

    At this time I became friends with a man at my work. Again as a friend. On a couple of occasions I provided him with a lift home. We were friends and nothing more. My partner found out about this and confronted me. I did not tell him of this friendship as I knew what his reaction would be. He would assume that we were having an affair. Over the years I’ve had many friends both male and female and not told him. So I moved in. I was told that I could no longer speak to no one about me, him or our relationship. That basically I was to exist between home, work and my parents. I agreed. It was difficult at first, he was still tracking my movements. At the end of the year we discussed marriage and children. Due to the events of past years I was hesitant. I didn’t know whether I really wanted children (he now claims I said a definite no to children).

    So life went on. His business flourished. In the past year his workload has massively increased so rather than be the codependent person he once accused me of being. I threw myself into work and looking after our home, which included his very sick dog. He worked late nights several times throughout the week. I was left with a commute everyday, the household chores, then the dogs. He took on various projects which meant working away for weeks. He didn’t task what i thought, I did not feel that either me or his poorly dog were taken into consideration. He wanted to go on holiday in September last year – it was attached to his work. The dog was really quite poorly at this time, I didn’t want to leave her or fob her off into his very busy mother (the dog was more his mums than his). Plus I was busy with work and I thigh to perhaps as he only has work and me that he would like some alone time. I had loads of alone time so thought he would like the same.

    He went away for 5 weeks after this. I became down. I had put many mechanisms in place to cope alone but yet the stresses of work, his dog and his absence got me down. I started to take anti depressants again for a couple of months. I told him I missed him and he said that he rally missed me (he has recently claimed that I did not miss him at all). I told him that I was depressed but it something he did not follow up on his return. I carried on.

    He wanted to go on holiday at Christmas as he had some time in his schedule. By this point his dog was seriously ill and I thought it very unfair to leave her with his mother (his mother agreed after I asked her). He does not seem to have good relationship with his mother. She lives on the same road and he barely sees her. I see her more often than he does. I am the one to invite her around for dinner as she lives alone.

    In February he sent me a valentines card, the front being offensive, with wording which stated that he recognised the issues in our relationship, that neither of us could talk to the other but he would like out futures to align and offered me the rest of his life. I didn’t know what to do with this and expected him to follow it up. That weekend I had booked a spa hotel for us as it was also his 40th birthday. We had a great time, it was like old times. But nothing was said about the card. The following week he went out every night for his birthday and then went on holiday with his friend for ten days. I was hurt that he went without me but again he hadn’t had a lads outing for years so thought this is his time. We never spoke about the card so I assumed we were okay.

    Five weeks ago he came home one night and said he wanted to leave. I was no longer emotionally intimate with him. At first I was amicable, I suppose in shock but then the realisation hit me and the following week I became distraught. He went from wanting space to saying it was over. I have not seen him since.

    So now I am left with unanswered questions. He said he has tried his best to help me understand but… I cannot understand how he can go from saying he really misses me to offering me the rest of his life to leaving me? I feel there is a massive hole in my heart, a loss of someone I really love and cherish. Our conversations since have been friendly to start with but then I mention I miss him question him and then he turns on me. I don’t know what I am asking the forum for here. I would dearly love him back but don’t think it is possible. Just feel I cannot cope right now.


    Hi Lucy
    Having just had a short but very strong long distance relationship end I feel your pain. And I hate to say this but I wonder how much of what you’ve said could have happened to me as I was thinking of moving my life (after we’d broke up) to be with him as he didn’t want it the other way around. He was incredibly sweet and wanted me to move for the right reasons and to be happy and I’m sure I wouldn’t have had the rest of your story but I think that I would have been very alone as I’m quite introverted.

    Reading what you have written it sounds like he wanted you on his terms and never on yours. He only gave you the commitment you needed when he thought you might leave and it sounds like he was a control freak. I’ve been in a long term relationship that ended just before my long distance relationship so I guess you’re also wondering if you’ve wasted a lot of time with him? No time is ever wasted if you learnt something. God I didn’t agree with that one for a lot of years!

    I’m going to have the balls to give you advice I’m struggling to take myself so feel free to tell me where to go! I think you need to find out what makes you happy just as you (I’m finding this quite hard having not been single since forever ago) and when you have, do more of it. I think for me it is travelling.
    How do you feel living where you are? Forget about the loneliness you feel, do you like where you live and work if you moved for him? Have you settled in? I’m feeling a bit lonely where I am and annoyed in my job but I reckon much of that is symptomatic of being unhappy at the moment.
    If you’re not happy where you are and are able to move back to where you have friends then do it. My friends have been my greatest strength over the last few weeks. If you feel settled then get out and see friends and try to do things that make you happy.
    Sorry much of my advice is muddied in my own story, I really hope you find happiness and joy. Having only just found this website today I’ve just come across the best quote ever I now have stuck in my diary (apologies I can’t remember who said it) ” Reinvest in your dreams”. I think that one is going to get me through my stuff.
    Best wishes to you xx


    Hi there! Thanks for the reply. Sorry to hear that you are also going through mourning a loss at moment.

    I feel the breakdown in the relationships is my fault for firstly talking to other men about things including our relationship. He asked me not to lie to him after the first instance. I should not have flirted with another man. I should not have met up with the guy again even though it was innocent.

    I should have communicated more but sometimes found it difficult as I believed it would end in confrontation with my previous alleged misdemeanours being brought up. For the past few years I have resorted to actions rather than words. Supported him in his business, looked after our home and the dogs whilst managing my own career. All the smaller gestures such as dogs walked, shopping done, food waiting on the table. All of which showed my care and love for him.
    Ive begun to realise that Im a nurturer and have been nesting. I spent a good few years working on my happiness and decided that work is not as important as a family. Im 38 and my thoughts have been drifting towards children so much so that I visited my doctors to ask for fertility tests. I wanted children two years into the relationship, he didnt at that point. Then a few years later he wanted them and due to past events I was unsure. He told me recently that I had said I definitely did not want them. I was unsure but have never said no. So with this uncertainty I didnt tell him about my wants and the tests as I didnt want to disappoint him if I wad infertile.

    So now he has left me. I desperately want children (with him) and dont want to start again.


    Lucy, you’re allowed to have male friends! So don’t apologise for needing to talk to someone about all of this, the fact you needed to meant you weren’t happy. And having found myself questioning what I actually want in life and not what others tell me I want, I found I want children one day and to have been with someone wonderful who I’d imagined that for myself with him, I totally understand the panic you must feel. And while you’re older than me (I’m 32) you don’t need to panic. There is time for everything to happen when it needs to. I’m currently trying to think about two women I know who are positive affirmations of what I could have, my cousin who was in her 40s before she met the right man and only then decided she wanted children. And a lady I work with who decided she wanted children in her 40s and adopted despite being single.
    So I understand the desperation to have everything perfect now, but make sure it is on your terms and not because you’re chasing a dream of something. Whats perfect anyway? It doesn’t sound like he’s been that for you all this time?
    I hate to say it coz I could be wrong, but if he treated you the way you describe what would he have been like with children? You would have been looking after them pretty much on you’re own anyway by the sound of it.
    I appreciate I’m struggling to take this advice myself – but you shouldn’t have to chase someone. If he wants you he’ll make the effort. You are worth it. You’ve done wonderful things for him, like moving to be with him, looking after his dog, looking after him. What about you? Whilst I think we all make our own happiness I also think we need someone to look after us sometimes and you shouldn’t be made to feel bad for needing that. You deserve it. There is someone out there who will treat you how you want to be treated and how you deserve to be treated. Just don’t rush to find them. I know its not what you want to hear when you desperately want to be with him but if its not felt right then you need to try to move on.


    Yes, I can have friends who are males. It’s the fact that I crossed a boundary and became flirtatious via email with the man in question. No excuses really but it was at a time when I really needed emotional support and more attention from my partner. I had left friends, my job, a life in a place I had spent over 10 years to be closer to him. I knew the other guy from my previous employment. At the time I was doing a masters degree and he tried to help me out. He provided attention and I took it. There was never anything physical as there was no attraction. The guy was at least 25 years older than me. I didn’t tell my partner of the friendship. I was out one evening with a crowd of people from university and the guy was there. My partner tried to contact me but I was in a busy pub and didnt hear my phone ringing. I left the pub quite late and phoned my partner. He was at my house. He claimed I had abandoned my dog etc. He had somehow got into my email account and found some messages. Messages to the guy and to a couple of associates – stupidly I bragged about the friendship, saying I would runaway with the guy. I don’t know why I did this? To feel powerful, to gain kudos from the associates?!

    Following this my partner asked for the passwords to all my account which I duly have him. He told me that if ever the guy got into contact with me I had to inform him. Two years later…as I said above…I met up with him. We talked about life and a PhD. The guy was obviously attracted to me and I naively thought that was okay. He followed me to my car and said we needed to talk some more. Back of the car (yes stupid) and he tried it on. I asked him to get out. He did. However, i,h. as wouldn’t start. It’s old and the windows steam up really easily so when we were talking I put on the heater. I wanted to make sure that we were visible. I had to get someone from the pub to jump start the car as the guy had fled the scene…embarrassed?! My partner found out about this and understandably went ballistic at me. I shouldn’t have met the guy. My partner to this day thinks there was something sexual/physical going on. There was not. I am attracted to my partner and no other.

    In the aftermath of this I moved in with my partner. We were both still coming to terms with everything. Then my mum was diagnosed with breast and bone cancer which was completely out of the blue. Emotions were very high and I suppose due to the previous incidents my partner was not there for me. I spoke to a male friend at work on a couple of occasions after giving him a lift home. My partner found out this (tracking my phone) and again…assumed that I was sleeping with the friend. He told me that I needed to go to counselling which I agreed and went for two years. He also told me that he thought I was bipolar and needed specialist help.

    As I’ve said above, I still really love him and have done everything he asked of me in the last few years. I didn’t respond to his valentines card due to the offensive front cover and I needed to process the contents. He offered me the rest of his life in the card so am confused as to his change of mind… All I an think of is how much I want to start a family with him.

    I wish I could be as strong as you but I am far from it. His leaving has left a massive hole in my life and I am really struggling emotionally. I have few friends, he (and his mum) were my closest friends. I am very much alone.


    It is not desperation. It is the fact that I really do miss him and love him. I’ve been wanting to really settle down with him for the past year and now…

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