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Trying to Cope with Recent Separation

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  • #279565

    Elizabeth
    Participant

    I’ve recently found this site and been reading forums, I know there are some folks that can relate to my situation and wanted to put my story out there. Thanks in advance for any of you who read this (it’s SUPER long) and for any input you may have.

    I was recently left by my husband about 4 months ago. He and I had been married a year, but together for 7 1/2 years total. We had a wonderful relationship (or so I thought). We met well before we got together, but didn’t really know each other. Once we started spending time with one another, we hit it off immediately. We were 23, we just clicked. After dating for about 2 1/2 months, he asked me to move to Utah with him – I declined, not knowing anyone and having a job lined up for me in North Carolina after we wrapped up our summer jobs. He decided to put his journey out west on hold and moved to Raleigh with me for a year. Initially, we were going to each have our own places, but decided to take a chance and move in together. Over the course of the year, he convinced me to move out to Utah with him. I was excited for a new adventure and we moved at the end of the summer.

    We moved out to Utah, lived there or 2 years and loved it. We lived in a ski town, so it was difficult to make a living. We loved the adventure, the friends we met, the carefree lifestyle we were living, but knew that Utah wasn’t a permanent place for us. We then decided to move to Colorado, again to a ski town, which we enjoyed as well. We lived there for a year and a half, had a similar experience to what we did in Utah. Spent time skiing, having fun, living a carefree lifestyle. As the first year in Colorado wrapped up, we discussed our future, where we wanted to live, what we wanted to do with our lives, etc. We agreed that living out West wasn’t permanent for us and that we wanted to be back closer to family (on the East coast). We had discussed marriage for a while, but he wanted to finish college (he was taking classes online) before that happened, which I was fine with. When we moved back east, he didn’t work, so he could focus on finishing school. I worked full time and supported him (though he had some savings, help from his parents financially). Once he finished school, his cousin approached him to ask if he wanted to start a business with him. He felt like it was a great opportunity, we discussed it, and I supported him in that endeavor. Shortly after that, he proposed and we agreed to get married a year and a half later.

    Our first year of marriage was good (or so I thought), but hard. With him starting a business, he was incredibly busy and working all the time. I also was in a high stress job, that didn’t bring out the best in me. I had a tendency to be negative and talk about my work more than I would like to admit. But I supported him, I did everything I could to help him with the business, I dedicated time to help, gave up weekends with him because he needed to work – but I missed him. About 8-10 months into our marriage, I started voicing my concern of how little time we spent together and he promised me it was temporary and to just give it a bit more time before the business could run more smoothly without his every day involvement. I understood and continued to support him. In March of last year, the business hired a new full time employee. She was young, vibrant, easy to talk to, and a bright light for the business. I have never been jealous and I wasn’t jealous of her either. He has never given me reason to not trust him and never betrayed my trust in any way. She became our friend, has been to our house numerous times, watched our dog when we were out of town, came to my birthday, etc.

    A couple weeks before our first anniversary (in October), I called him on my way home from work to ask what he wanted to do for dinner. He told me he was having a beer with this female employee (which wasn’t rare) and then he’d meet me at home and we could figure out dinner. I got home and waited for over an hour, he never came home. I called him, he ignored my calls. Finally, I went into town and found the 2 of them at a bar, sitting outside (in plain view), holding hands across the table from each other. I walked up, told him I hated him, got in my car and left. I assumed he’d be right behind me, following me home. Nope. I had to call him numerous times before he finally answered and said he was coming home. (He couldn’t drive because he was drunk, so he had to get an Uber).

    When he got home, he told me he didn’t love me anymore. He loved her. He wasn’t sure if he wanted to work on our marriage. He feels like we’d lost our spark. I’m incredibly negative, I need my own friends, no one likes to be around me – a number of very hurtful things. I pleaded to see what I could do to fix things, told him I’d go to counseling, suggested that we go to marriage counseling to see how we could remedy this. He said he didn’t know if he wanted to do that and had to think about it. The following morning he apologized to me, said that he needed to end whatever was going on with his employee, that we needed to figure out what we could do to work on our marriage. I agreed to let him go meet with her to talk this over. After their conversation, he told me they both agreed that things had to end, that this was wrong, etc. She then reached out to me to ask if she could apologize to me in person. I agreed. We met, she was very apologetic, I felt she was sincere, she told me that she never meant for this to happen, she never meant to get between us, she valued our friendship and felt terribly. We ended the conversation with her saying that their relationship would be strictly professional, she was bowing out. I truly believed her. I come to find out that right after she and I spoke. She called my husband, met him for a drink, to talk about the conversation we had. I called both of them out on it and they both apologized, said they were wrong, blah blah blah.

    My husband continued to live with me for the next 2 weeks. Right after our anniversary, he came home from work and wanted to go to sleep almost right away. We went up to bed, I couldn’t sleep, I walked downstairs and he followed me down. He asked me what I wanted to talk about and I told him I just wanted to know where his head was. He told me that he didn’t feel anything for me, that he was giving up. I asked again if he’d be willing to talk to someone with me. If we could at least make an effort to fix things. That marriage isn’t always easy, there are times that are going to be hard, and with us having spent so little time together recently, it’s not a surprise that things are so hard. That I loved him and was willing to do whatever it takes, we made a commitment to each other and we owe each other to at least try to make it work. I also said that this employee of his is the biggest problem in this all. He said she had nothing to do with his decision. He was going to sleep somewhere else tomorrow night.

    Since this is getting long, I’m going to abbreviate the rest of the story, but ultimately, he left. Has yet to come back except to get mail and some of his belongings here and there. He also took some of our furniture (in our guest room and a bonus room), gave me a 1 day heads up that he was taking the furniture, and didn’t ask me about it. He’s rented an apartment (in the same building his now girlfriend lives). Before he rented the apartment, he lived with her for about 6 weeks. He also went out to Montana to meet her mother at Christmas. Everyone we mutually know (both our friends and family) are completely blindsided by all of this, as am I. His parents are devastated, our friends are confused, and he has stopped hanging out with all but 1 or 2 of our mutual friends. It will take him days to text them back and he rarely spends time with them, unless they are at his business.

    We did have one heart to heart after he left me (this took place in late November). He was incredibly vulnerable, told me that he was incredibly unhappy. That he’s been unhappy for years, that he hates owning a business, that he’s not sure he wants to live in the town we’re in, he resents his cousin because of the business their in, all kinds of things. He also told me he had no idea what he was doing, he missed me every day, he still loves me, and that I am his best friend. He told me he’d had some really dark thoughts and I suggested he talk to a therapist. He agreed that he should, he’d seen one before (after his brother passed away), and he was going to reach out to him. He and I have not spoken since then.

    I’m completely destroyed and blindsided. This isn’t getting any easier and I don’t picture a future without him. Not only did I lose the love of my life, but I lost my best friend and the person who I’ve shaped my entire life around for the last nearly 8 years. I don’t know how to get past this and all I want is for him to realize that he made a mistake and he wants me back. Unfortunately, he seems to be happy as a clam, spending all his time with his new girlfriend (and employee), and seems to have completely forgotten that I exist. I am struggling and I don’t know what to do.

    Again – sorry this is so long, but if you’ve read the whole thing, thank you!

    #279609

    Mark
    Participant

    Elizabeth,

    You are going through a painful transition.  Both of you went through tremendous changes in your lives and careers which were the ingredients of a broken marriage.

    I hope you are getting some counseling help to help you through this, to process these changes and to find ways of coping and ultimately, to move on.

    Now it’s time for you to start focusing on yourself; in healing, in letting go; in making a life for yourself and only for you.  Looking back in pain and regret is inevitable but it only delays the healing and moving forward process.

    How are you taking care of yourself emotionally and physically?  Friends and familial support?  Exercise and spiritual practices?  I assume you have started divorce proceedings.  If not then do so.  This will help the moving forward process.

    I encourage you to start all of that if you haven’t already.

    Mark

    • This reply was modified 2 months, 1 week ago by  Mark.
    #279667

    Elizabeth
    Participant

    Mark – thanks for reading. I am trying to work through things, I’ve been to a bit of therapy, but took a break from it primarily due to time constraints (I started a new job with a longer commute, I now am solely responsible for taking care of my dog, etc). I have leaned on friends quite a bit and they have been helpful, for the most part. I know they often don’t know how to help or what to do, but they have been there for me as best they can. I do need to find a better way to take care of myself, since everything has transpired, I’m down about 20lbs, I wasn’t sleeping – though I’m doing a bit better now, and I have been numbing things a bit with more alcohol than I should.

    I guess it’s hard for me to move on, I’m still a tad hopeful that things could turn around. The way that he’s acting is completely out of character and I worry about him emotionally, as I mentioned before, I’m wondering if there’s still a possibility that he changes his mind. I’ve not fully accepted this as my reality and want him back more than anything. I fully understand that we’d have a lot to work on. I just think it’s incredibly hard for me to understand how he isn’t willing to make an effort, to remedy things, when we had so many good years. It’s like he gave up the second a shiny new object (his 24 year old employee) came onto him…which again is so unlike him.

    I have not fully started divorce proceedings…I have been to see a lawyer once to talk about preliminary steps, but that’s as far as I’ve gotten. We own a house together (that we bought prior to being married) and have a dog. I’ve been living in the house, which is truly my dream home and I’d ideally like to stay there, but at the same time, am not sure if it’s healthy for me to stay there.

    I just feel like I’m in limbo right now and I know it’s not the right thing to wait around for him, but I don’t want to let go of that bit of hope that this isn’t permanent. Maybe I’m a fool, but I’m still as in love with him as I’ve ever been, even though I’m upset with what he’s doing…

    #279687

    Valora
    Participant

    I don’t know whether I’m right or wrong about this, but it sounds like your husband was going through some sort of a crisis episode or maybe depressive or anxiety given how he reacted. He did something similar to what my ex did, who I’m sure was going through a depressive/anxiety episode at the time. Nothing in his life seemed right and he was unhappy with everything… his job, his lack of accomplishments, just where he was at in general and nothing was making him happy, and I’ve read that the romantic relationship is the first thing to suffer in those cases. They are already looking for happiness from external sources rather than within themselves, which is the main problem… and then, when someone else comes along that is new and gives them a different sort of attention than you do that feels different and good… they start thinking their relationship is the main cause of their unhappiness in general and start longing for that something different… Grass is Greener Syndrome, if you will. The next connection makes them happier at first because it’s new and fun and all honeymoon stage so of course it seems better than what they currently have…. until the honeymoon wears off. This is also probably why your husband is not wanting to work to remedy things, though… new connections, as superficial as they may be, FEEL good…. and if he’s been unhappy in general for a long time and he found something that is making him feel really good… he’s not going to care so much about fixing things. This is also how people get addicted to other things that feel good… it just means he has something about himself that he needs to figure out and fix but instead of using that, he’s distracting himself with whatever feels good.

    My ex even did the same thing your ex did… came back a few weeks later, telling me how unhappy he was and how he didn’t know what was wrong with him and I deserved better, that he felt like he was so unhappy with his life and didn’t know how to be happy and felt like he was dragging me down with him, etc. Then after all of that, seemingly continued to move on with the other girl anyway.

    I don’t really have much helpful advice in this other than to say you’re not alone. This kind of thing happens to a lot of us, unfortunately, and I’ve learned that in future relationships, I need to be careful to notice the signs of when this is starting and hopefully get my boyfriend/husband to get some help. Perhaps that’s a lesson you can take from it, too. Also, I will be sure that whoever I end up with knows that happiness comes from INSIDE and NOT from external sources.

    None of us can say whether your husband will come back or not once the honeymoon wears off. I would suggest, like Mark said, that you take this time to work on yourself. Any free time you have, do some of the things you’ve always wanted to do for yourself. Learn new things, read a lot, etc. Date when you’re ready (but don’t feel pressured to… it’s okay to NOT date, too). Try to allow yourself to accept this as your reality and don’t have expectations that you will get back together, especially in any sort of time frame, but it’s okay to have hope. And I hope your husband gets some therapy, too.

    #279707

    Elizabeth
    Participant

    Valora,

    It’s interesting that you say that. That’s exactly what I’ve been thinking is going on with him. It kills me to see him like this, but at the same time, he’s making his own choices and without any regard towards my feelings…which of course is incredibly hurtful. It’s just so bizarre, it’s like a switch flipped with him. He never communicated with me that anything was wrong with us (we had talked about him being stressed at work and wanting a break from work, etc) and then all of a sudden he is leaving me. I really do  hope he can figure things out. I do think a lot of it is his internal struggle, but I also feel like this is all somehow my fault. How did I not see this coming and I must have been a bad wife, a bad best friend to let it get to this…that’s where my mind keeps going.

    I’m trying to find ways to work on myself. I’m doing slightly better than I was when this all started…I still get pulled into a really dark headspace more than I’d like to admit. I know there are other people out there, just wrapping my head around the fact that my future might not be with him is so difficult. We weren’t without our faults in our relationship, but we had a great life (especially prior to the business opening) and I know we could get back there. I just feel worthless…it was so seemingly easy for him to give up on me and throw me out like I was an insignificant part of his life. Sorry for the rambling, thanks for sharing some of your story. I’m sorry that  you’ve gone through something similar, I wouldn’t wish this feeling on my worst enemy.

    #279729

    anita
    Participant

    Dear Elizabeth:

    A summary of your story: you met him when the two of you were 23. You moved in together in NC within a few months and then moved to ski towns in Utah and later in Colorado for a total of about 3.5 years, where you “spent time skiing, having fun, living a carefree lifestyle”.

    Next the two of you moved east, he studied,  didn’t work, you worked full time, supporting him financially in addition to using his savings and his parents’ financial help. Once he finished school he started a business with his cousin, you continued to support him, purchased a home together and later, October 2017, the two of you got married.

    You didn’t spend much time with him during the first and only year of living together as a married couple because he was busy with his business and you had your high stress job. March 2018 he hired a young,  attractive woman for the business and she became his friend and your friend as well. October 2018, you found out that he was having an intimate relationship with this employee/friend.

    Following your discovery he told you that he didn’t love you anymore, that he loved her. You then pleaded with him to fix the relationship with you and he said that “he didn’t know if he wanted to do that”.

    Later on he as well as his lover told you that they intended to end their relationship but two weeks after that communication, he told you that he didn’t feel anything for you and that he was giving up. You then told him that  you loved him and “was willing to do whatever it takes.. to make it work”.

    Nov 2018 he told you that he was unhappy, has been unhappy for years, hates owning a business, resented his cousin, had “no  idea what he was doing”, missed you every day, still loved you and that you were his best friend.

    Next he left you, took some of the furniture, lived with his employee/lover for six weeks and then rented his own apartment in the same building where she  lives. December 2018 he traveled with her to Montana to visit her mother for Christmas.

    You wrote: “The way that he’s acting is completely out of character and I worry about him emotionally”-

    My input: In Utah and in Colorado, life was easy, a “carefree lifestyle”. When he started a business back east, life was no longer carefree. Soon after life was no longer carefree for him he started a relationship with another woman and was unapologetic about it, simply telling you that he doesn’t love you anymore and that he loves her.

    My question to you is  what was that character he used  to have that he no longer has?

    anita

     

     

     

    #279737

    Elizabeth
    Participant

    Anita,

    Your summary is almost exact, the only thing is he moved out in October of 2018, just 2 weeks after I initially found them together. He claims that they did not have a physical relationship of any kind until after he moved out in October, frankly, I have a hard time believing that. That being said, I don’t have any hard evidence of him being physically intimate with her until the day after he left our home.

    He is an incredibly caring, thoughtful, kind, giving person. Everyone in our circles and our family always noticed how he doted on me and it was so clear that he genuinely loved me.

    To bring in some history, my father left my mother when I was in college after having cheated on my Mom with a much younger woman, who he met through work. The situation isn’t identical, but very similar to what’s going on in mine and my husband’s relationship right now. What’s ironic, is that my husband and I had talked about what my dad to  my mom, at length and my husband was incredibly judgmental of my dad for doing what he did. My husband said he’d been cheated on by previous girlfriends and could  never do that to someone, he didnt’ understand how my dad could do what he did, etc etc. As I said, it’s just ironic how hypocritical he’s become.

    Part of what is odd, as well, is not only how poorly he’s treated me in all of this, but him removing himself from his friends’ lives, too. He’s a very social, charismatic person and for him to stop spending time with our friends is incredibly bizarre. From what I hear, he’s spending all of his time with his new girlfriend and neglecting his friendships. I hope this answers your question.

    #279741

    anita
    Participant

    Dear Elizabeth:

    Your answer regarding his past character which is now gone is that “He is an incredibly caring, thoughtful, kind, giving person… he doted on me and it was so clear he genuinely loved me”-

    but that is not a matter of character, it means that he loved you then, and now he loves another woman: “he’s spending all of his time with his new girlfriend”.

    A matter of character is that a person keeps his/her word, walks his talk and talks his walk. He didn’t. His talk was that of loyalty to you. He didn’t walk that talk.

    I  don’t see how you can resurrect a marriage of good character, loyalty, honesty, trust, with a man who does not have a good character, one who is not loyal or honest or trustworthy.

    Better see a divorce lawyer so to protect your financial interests and attend quality psychotherapy so to heal and recover from this emotional hurt. I hope you take the steps toward these two aims and indeed recover, sooner than later.

    anita

    #279749

    Valora
    Participant

    It’s interesting that you say that. That’s exactly what I’ve been thinking is going on with him. It kills me to see him like this, but at the same time, he’s making his own choices and without any regard towards my feelings…which of course is incredibly hurtful. It’s just so bizarre, it’s like a switch flipped with him. He never communicated with me that anything was wrong with us (we had talked about him being stressed at work and wanting a break from work, etc) and then all of a sudden he is leaving me. I really do  hope he can figure things out. I do think a lot of it is his internal struggle, but I also feel like this is all somehow my fault. How did I not see this coming and I must have been a bad wife, a bad best friend to let it get to this…that’s where my mind keeps going.

    Yep, I know exactly how you’re feeling. My ex seemingly flipped a switch, too, and started acting very different behaviorally from what I knew of him. It’s like he made this huge life decision without even consulting me and then, there I was, blindsided and left devastated.

    The thing is, you can’t know what you don’t know… or what he isn’t sharing with you. It’s easy to look back and notice signs in hindsight, but you have to remember that those signs are easy to miss when you don’t have the knowledge of what was coming to compare them to. You could have been the most absolutely perfect wife in the world to him, but if he was unhappy with everything else in his life, it’s likely you were going to be lumped in with the “stuff that’s wrong,” no matter what you did or didn’t do. So try to be easy on yourself when you start feeling that way.

    • This reply was modified 2 months, 1 week ago by  Valora.
    #279753

    Elizabeth
    Participant

    @anita,

    Thanks for your insight and perhaps I used the wrong words. Up until this point he’s been incredibly loyal and trustworthy. I do think that he hasn’t been the best communicator, or perhaps we could  have discussed what he was feeling before it came to this. That being said (and maybe I’m in denial), but I don’t believe that this is who he is as a person. I don’t think that his actions of the past few months are his true character. I think he’s going through some kind of existential crisis – but then again, this is me making assumption after assumption about him. I can’t know what’s going on in his head. That being said, while a lot of marriages fall apart due to infidelity and actions that cannot be forgiven, I think assuming that there’s absolutely no way of coming back from this to be a bit short-sighted. Of course, that’s assuming that he has any interest in the future of working on our marriage.

    Otherwise, I do think it could be beneficial for me to go back to therapy. I need to make time for it. As far as divorce proceedings go, it’s just incredibly hard to take that step. It’s so final. Financially, I’m not concerned. When I first met with the lawyer and spoke to her about what I should be paying, what’s I’m entitled to, etc – she helped me to understand what my rights are and what I can do within legal bounds. That was helpful, I’m just not sure I’m ready to make the leap with everything…which may not be right for me emotionally, but it’s what I feel.

    @valora,

    Again, I’m sorry that you can relate on so many levels. It’s so hard…

    I know I need to be easier on myself and I truly am trying, I’ve always been my own toughest critic. Thank you for saying what you said though, hearing it does at least make me feel a tad better. I’ve been told time and time again by people to work on myself and worry about myself – it’s just so much easier said then done. I’m trying to be healthy and make smart decisions, but sometimes it’s just easier not to.

    How are you faring in your situation? How far out of it are you?

    #279755

    anita
    Participant

    Dear Elizabeth:

    “I’ve always been my own toughest critic”, and you are your estranged husband’s apologetic:

    “Up until this point he’s been incredibly loyal and trustworthy”- until he wasn’t).

    “I don’t believe that this is who  he is as a person”- but it is him who left you and is with another woman, not an alien who  possesses his body, like in sci-fi movies.

    “I think he’s  going through some kind of existential crisis”- but there are always crises in people’s lives. Can’t have that “carefree lifestyle” forever, after all. We get sick, we age, we lose people in our lives, we lose jobs, and so forth.

    Let’s say his relationship with the other woman doesn’t work out and he comes back to you, what then?

    anita

    #279757

    Valora
    Participant

    I’m about 1 year and 4 months out from the breakup. We haven’t really gone more than a month and a half without some form of communication in that time, and usually it’s super short talks, but it pulls me back in every time.  I’m doing well now though. I was completely devastated for about 8 months or so, cried almost every day no matter how hard I tried to just let go and move on, but counseling helped a lot and so did working on myself. I was sort of able to make sense of what happened after a while and that understanding helped me to resolve it in my head a bit, even though I never really got full closure. Watching videos by people like Kyle Cease and Kerwin Rae helped a lot, too. It just sort of gives you a different perspective.

    Just know it’s okay and natural to be feeling the things you’re feeling and there’s nothing you can do about the sadness than to just sit with it until it passes. From my experience with it, if you’re similar, you’re likely going to go back and forth between being critical of yourself and him and being understanding of everything. Grief from the loss will come in waves, but those waves will get fewer and far between as time goes on, or at least that’s what I’ve noticed. I still miss my ex because he was also my very best friend, but I’ve come to accept the breakup and all of the good that I’ve gotten from it with all of the improvements I’ve made in my life that I might not have been pushed to make otherwise. So I’m grateful for that. Hopefully either your husband will eventually get himself straightened out and start lining his words up with his actions again and you two can rebuild or you find someone you connect even more with.

    • This reply was modified 2 months, 1 week ago by  Valora.
    #279783

    Elizabeth
    Participant

    @anita,

    That’s something I’ve considered and I do know I still love him, but I also understand that our relationship would not be what it was. Assuming we were to both agree that we should work on this, it would be a big process for us to get to a place where we could be in a good place again. I’m smart enough to know that it wouldn’t just go right back to everything being good. We’d have a lot to work out and I’d insist that we go to marriage counseling, that he get counseling, and that we figure out what we both need to work on individually for us to be able to be a couple again. I just don’t believe on giving up on this so easily. Also, I don’t think he’s been possessed by aliens, I’m going to assume that was a joke – to say that people don’t make mistakes, don’t go through an internal crisis, don’t lose themselves to eventually find themselves again is to say that we’re not human. Obviously this is a gigantic choice that he’s made that carries a great deal of weight – I can’t know what he’s thinking, will think, or what the future will bring (he may look back, down the road, and realize this was the best decision he ever made or he may feel like it was a huge mistake, or anywhere in between).

    I appreciate your input and I know you’re speaking from experience, but I don’t know that it’s as cut and dry as your insinuating…but then again, maybe it is. I believe that humans are innately flawed and that people can be forgiven, which is why I’m not willing to completely give up yet. Like I said, maybe I’m naive or in a form of denial, but I’m just not there yet.

    @valora,

    Thanks for sharing a bit of  your story. You’re right about the grief coming in waves. It’s not quite as bad as it used to be, though my lowest lows are still on par with where they were right after this happened. I’m hoping that I can learn to be a better person myself, I know that I’m very far from perfect…this has magnified that exponentially. I actually changed my job (I had applied to my now position and had a first interview before this happened) because I knew how negatively my previous job was affecting me. I was trying to make steps to fix some of my issues, I only wish he’d been more communicative and vocal with me. Again, who knows if it would have made a difference or not, it’s just so hard not to ruminate on everything and wonder how or if this could have been avoided. I’d voiced to him that I don’t need this stable lifestyle, that if we want to go be vagabonds, we can do that…but only after he’d already left, so I think it’s fallen on deaf ears to some extent.

    He has a bit of a difficult past which I think has muddied his ability to deal with deep seated problems. His brother passed away when he was 20 from a skydiving accident (which I mentioned briefly in my initial post). After this happened, he didn’t cope with his pain for nearly 2 years. He resorted to drugs and alcohol for a while before one day realizing he needed to stop and deal with his problems. (All of this happened before we started dating). I’m by no means equating whatever is going on with him to the death of his brother, but I do think it resurfaces his inability to deal with difficult situations and resorting to something else to numb his pain. I consider this other woman his “drug” so that he doesn’t have to address his internal issues and can use her to mask what’s going on inside. I could be completely off base, but it’s my take on it. I only hope he can find himself again, whether I’m a part of that process or not.

    #279795

    Valora
    Participant

    I think your take on what’s happening now is really insightful, and I see a lot of similarities with your situation in mine, right down to my ex pushing his friends away, too, and him also not really fully dealing with a traumatic event from the past. I pretty much came to the same conclusions in my own situation, so I agree that your husband is probably using her to mask what’s going on inside him, but this will only work for so long. Eventually he’ll either have to face it or find something else to mask his pain. My ex felt proud that he didn’t turn to drugs and alcohol this time, because that was his go-to as well before he dated me, but I don’t think he realized at the time that he just turned to a different kind of distraction.

    I also had some issues in the months before we broke up (I was very overwhelmed with the abundance of things I had to do and really fell behind with housework, among other things) that I was trying to work on, and the breakup actually freed up a lot of time that I was able to then use to fix those issues even faster. I bet the same thing will happen with you, too, as you continue to work on things.  The growth just starts to happen faster. So there can be benefits to this as well, even though it truly is an awful thing to go through and I’m sorry that you’re having to deal with this right now. You really do seem to have a great head on your shoulders, though, and a lot of insight, which I think will help you a lot overall.

    I also totally get how hard it is not to ruminate on things, and I even catch myself still doing it from time to time when I feel lonely, but it gets easier to curb that, too, once you’re able to truly find the silver linings.  I truly believe things like this happen for a reason.. because they’re necessary for one reason or another. That good reason just sometimes doesn’t make itself known until later. I now think our breakup had to happen for us to both experience the level of growth we needed to make. Had we stayed together, I would’ve tried to skew my growth toward whatever it was he wanted or needed rather than making sure to take care of my own needs, and I think I’m much happier now that I’ve figured some of that stuff out for only myself. So maybe you’ll end up noticing something like that, too.

    #279797

    Mark
    Participant

    Elizabeth,

    Whatever the reason why your husband is acting the way he is (mid-life crisis, girlfriend as his drug, etc.), it is up to you to move on with your life rather focusing your energy on him, his life, his past, his job, etc.

    He may find himself or then he may not.  I suspect the more you make a life for yourself without him, then that will push him to examine himself more.

    I also suspect once you start divorce proceedings that will also shake him out of his mid-life crisis fantasy life style  I don’t see divorcing him as “giving up” but holding him accountable for his behavior, that all of what he has done has consequences.

    Make sense?

    Mark

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