when does the pain of separation disappear…im desperate

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    I’ve been around these parts before seeking advice. i want to thank all the kind souls who took the time to read or reply.

    I feel like i’ve been through hell..and I’m still there.

    People say – it takes time. it gets better. let go. release him to release yourself. love yourself. hold you head up high. you deserve better. you subconsciously chose him because you had something missing, you’re grieving the loss of your childhood; and him, you will love again, there IS better out there, you will survive, eat well, exercise, put yourself out there, stay close to friends who care, don’t isolate yourself, keep talking…the list goes on.

    and here i am..6 months down the line, it’s 2015, i had my first thanksgiving, christmas and birthday without my husband. My cheating, lying husband, a man i trusted, believed and moved across the globe for. the man i quit my career for to move here..where i know nO ONE> And no sooner had i arrived…he left. 2 months in. struggled to settle, no doubt. But my god. THE ANGER. The betrayal. the utter sadness, physical and emotional pain i feel day in and day out. I am exhausted. truly. According to loved ones overseas and scattered around the country I’m doing th right stuff…the aforementioned list and therapy. But i am just plain f-ing miserable. I can’t shake it. I’ve given up on life in ways i didn’t know i could. I’ve discovered I possess NO resilience. Ive had dark, dark thoughts and called suicde lines. I shared this with my therapist and I’m working hard to tackle these thoughts. THIS IS NOT ME. I am not this way. I’m smart, articulate, well educated, well liked, confident..but I’m a shell. In a city alone fighting to get up every day, to face this new reality and not cry…over a man who obviously does not love me or want me in his life anymore.

    Yes, my intellectual and rational side gets it.

    -release the anger
    -let him go
    -be happy for what you had
    -be confident you’ll find love again
    -smile and hold your head high…you tried your hardest and didn’t quit..HE did

    but i am full of resentment. i sacrificed SO MCUH for this man. finanacially he has more or less ruined me. (I’ve been unemployed since coming here and was out of work prior as my visa for this country was being processed…long story and v annoying…i saved prior because we suspected this might happen..but…i did it. for us. for him). Im filing divorce papers alone with no support. this time last year…i had everything. A great career in a country i loved and worked hard to create a fulfilling life. We made this leap of faith so he could attend graduate school…and then he meets someone there and bam. see ya. NO explanation. nothing. a text ending our 15 year union.

    I am full of rage. still. then I’m depressed. so sad and bitter about what he has done. is it up to me tp change this…up, I KNOW, i know what has to be done,, but I’ve realised, I’m simply not wired that way. i almost wallow in the sadness and am quite content for my life to be this shit. i no longer care. apathy..its a killer. and yes, i can safely say HE is the cause of this. I know i need to forgive to move forward.d..but how? SERIOUSLY? when someone so maliciously hurts you and destroys your soul, how can you move past it and be all..”i forgive! see ya!”. I can’t. I’m trying, i really am. but I’m reaching a point of desperation.

    Im 34. We had children planned and other things. Im scared I’m too old, I’m over the bridge. he has ruined me, destroyed me. and i have no desire to live like this. and yet, if he walked back into my life tomorrow, id take him back. crazy, right?

    id love to hear form anyone, please, who has seen the other side of this excruciating pain and anguish. I can’t see any light. and I’ve been working so, so hard in therapy and on myself for 6 months. I’m still obsessed with him and the life we shared. i am so scared I’ve lost my chance at ever-lasting love…something i didn’t even know i wanted when we met.

    I’m slowly rotting away. please help.

    thank you

    Maggie Black

    Oh my goodness…
    such pain
    I am sorry

    6 months isn’t so long to feel this much hurt and pain and rage.
    I think it is kind of normal. But it is hurting you so bad and that is the problem. I get it.

    You left your home for this man. Married him. 2 months later he is gone.
    Yes, you are full rage mode mad!
    Deserve to be as mad as hell.
    And you would take him back.

    Ok… now that is where I have to ask you why?

    What is it about this particular man that is so wonderful that you want him back after how he has treated you?
    Dear Lord in Heaven…..

    I want you to get some SELF LOVE.

    I know… I know…. you hurt and are angry and your life is ruined.

    But it’s not.

    Just know that in the depths of this pain and anger and rage at him that there is another beautiful life for you.
    It will rise from these sorry ashes.
    Just let that glimmer of true invade this sorrow for a second if you can.
    Because I am praying for you.
    And I know prayer changes things.

    Hold on tight.


    Don’t let this anger and rage rot away at you. Just don’t. Keep kicking it out the door until it is gone for good.

    A day will come when you can let it go.

    Your heart will open and a better, loving, honest, good man will sweep you off of your feet and you will know why this one left.

    To make room for the true one.

    Just allow yourself to believe this for a second.


    I’ve been where you are quite recently, lovely lady. What I’m hearing from you, is that you’re now at the stage where you’re ready to stop grieving and stop being in pain. This, although it doesn’t feel like it right now, is VERY good progress. There would’ve most likely been a time in your recent past when letting go of the hurt would’ve felt like letting go of a connection, and seemed unbearable. Now you’re ready to start getting “you” back, and getting your life back.

    Unfortunately, it takes a little bit of time from “I want ME back” to “I HAVE me back”. This period is intensely frustrating, but it’s important to be kind and encouraging to yourself. You’re doing great. It’s okay to be “not okay” for a while.


    I think you may be right. I was in denial for a long, long, long time. I obsessively read our correspondence from years past, text messages between us, the love we once shared in some kind of sick and twisted ‘connection’ to him. I couldn’t even move his things out because having them there were a comfort to me. I did, only recently, put his belongings (he left and never took a thing) in boxes and ask a friend to coordinate with him picking them up. I did not have any desire to see him…which i was desperate for not long ago.

    Still. The pain. I am so lost and confused and hate that this is my life. Im not sure ill ever recover and find myself, my happiness, my purpose ever again. I gave him so much and thought we were good. thought we had something special…gosh ,we certainly didn’t rush into marriage and the decision to make this global move.

    I just want to go back in time and make things right…and that’s the part i fear. That i still have those thoughts. That i can at times get swept up in the idea of not existing without him..because i am so =, so unhappy. it seemingly takes years to detangle yourself emotionally, physically, sexually from a partner, yet since he left, i know he left rather easily and happily and has moved on to his ‘new’ life. I can’t ever imagine meeting anyone and ever trusting, being open to the things i did with him. I worked hard on myself and my fears/trust/self-love before taking the plunge in committing and agreeing to this move. And this is how i’ve been repaid. Maybe it was always going to happen? Maybe he was in a bad place? I will never know, but how do you accept that? Belive in yourself again, believe you’ll love again, trust that someone has something you want/love.

    I’m very detached from my family. Always have been and in many ways I’ve been lucky to have fantastic friends who i consider my ‘family’. He too, was my family. As was his family. And now…silence.

    We still live in the same town (though I’m desperately trying to get myself back to the country we loved prior – it was a place we both loved but its where my friends and comfort are). It looks increasingly like i need to stay here though before i can leave, to complete the divorce and attempt to ‘fix’ myself.

    I am really am tired. I just want to be loved again. this has shaken me to my core and made me feel like i am worthless. And as an outsider looking in…how sad is this? I don’t always want to live because of this. It’s painful. My patens have distanced themselves as they seem to think i need to “get over it”. Like I said, we aren’t close and this kind of reaction is standard.

    I am jealous of my wonderful friends so avoid them on email and text. Everyone my age is having children, enjoying family life, living fulfilling and happy lives and I’m bitter and angry and have convince myself ill be alone. I know people care and want to help, but being surrounded by it…reminds me of my loss and the great sadness i am experiencing.

    And yet he walks around happy and without a care in the world. Who does this? What kind f human being is like this? did i get him wrong? Did i make the wrong decision? Did i jump in too soon? I can’t cope.


    It’s the worst, isn’t it? The feelings of shame that it’s over, the sting of being SO SURE of something, then…. whomp :/

    I find that if I spend a lot of time on Facebook or Twitter, the problem of feeling inadequate in my own life compared to everyone else’s is magnified substantially. I agree avoid friends on text or email, but is there any way you could get more face-to-face time with people? That always helps me, anyway.

    Today, okay, you can’t cope 🙂 That’s okay. Maybe tomorrow you will. Count your victories and measure your progress. Okay, you may not be were you were before this whole whirlwind hit, but I’ll bet the farm you’re further on than you were 3 months ago 🙂 I can relate very strongly to the frustration. My “victories” went from “Yay, got the project in 3 weeks early and under budget!” to “Yay, I got up before noon, AND brushed my teeth!” It’s hard. But it gets better. Your emotional resilience will grow again, promise. Slowly, but it’ll get there.


    Hi Kate,

    I read your post and it brought tears to my eyes. I have been there and I know what you are going through. So many of the things you wrote mirror what happened to me a few years ago. I was married to a woman that cheated on me and it took quite some time to get over it. My marriage was going on the 16th year when I found out through emails that she was cheating. I have two sons and that’s probably the biggest difference with what you said in your post. I had to struggle to be there for them too while I went through this.

    It does get better but everyone gets over things at their own pace. I tried to save my marriage for about 6 months and that delayed the whole process of getting over it. It probably took a year to feel a little more like myself again. I hope it’s sooner for you.
    I understand going through all the holidays and anniversaries is heartbreaking. Just feel what you are feeling at the time and move past them. I was lucky enough to have a family and friends that cared about what I was going through. If you have great friends that will be there for you, take that help. I went to counseling and I also went to a divorce support group. I have found it was truly helpful to release what I was feeling about what happened.

    It will get better. I was a wreck for about the same time. I never thought I would stop feeling that anguish but I did. You are a young intelligent woman, and that moron blew it. I want to say that I love my boys, and wouldn’t give them up for the world, but be glad you didn’t have kids with this guy. You don’t have to have anything to do with him again. I will always have a connection to the lowlife I was married to.

    Kate, my heart goes out to you because I have walked the same path you are on. You should start doing some of the things on list you mentioned. You need it. Don’t isolate yourself. I know it isn’t good for you.

    I want to mention one last thing. You said you were going through hell right now. I read a quote by Winston Churchill when I was going through this. It said, ” If you are going through hell, keep going” Don’t give up. You are better than this thing that happened to you.


    thank you, thank you.

    this journey has been a lonely one…when kind people like yourselves reach out to reply to a random internet stranger, you have no idea how much it lifts me or makes me feel a little less alone.

    I’m trying not to isolate. i actually flew across the country to spend this long weekend with friends in the mountains thanks to my airmails but..wow, even being with them, i feel the envy creep in and a sad desperation for what i once had. It makes me feel selfish and a shitty friend, but I’m glad to know they love me and know I’m having the hardest time of my life.
    thank you so much for reaching out to me. please know your words, the effort to communicate and share…means so much to someone so desperately sad and hopeless.


    Hi Kate,

    It sounds like you have made some positive steps towards getting out of a tough situation, which is not easy since your ex left you in a messy situation with little support. By going into therapy and moving his stuff out, there is a spark within you that says “well this is crap but it’s not going to beat me” and there is not much I can add in that area. The trouble is that when we have a relationship break up, it is very easy to focus on the past (e.g. reviewing what you could have done to change the outcome) and the future (e.g. how can I ever love again?). As there is nothing we can do to change the past and our future is yet to be determined, the only thing we can focus on is the present.

    A suggestion I have for this is in addition to all the work you are doing with the overcoming your grief, do something that you enjoy and/or always have an interest in. At the moment, you may find it difficult to muster up the energy to try something new but one of the ways to become more optimistic about the future is to have something to look forward to in your calendar. This will also give your mind a chance to focus on something else and an opportunity to meet new people. By this I don’t mean you should jump into another relationship but as you’ve already recognised, the best way to convince that little voice in your mind that you are not going to be alone is to be with people who appreciates your company.


    Hi Kate,

    I know you are getting a lot of advice already, and I gave some myself, but just realize that this will take the time you need it to take to feel good about things again. I felt so many of the things you are feeling right now. I felt out of place at family gatherings. I looked at couples in relationships and felt envy and sadness. After 4 months, I finally packed up all the stuff my ex left here and dropped it off at her dad’s place. I was holding onto someone who didn’t care enough about what we had and I wasted my time mourning that.

    It is hard to let go of someone who you spent so much time building a life with, I was with my ex a total of 19 years, but to hell with them. What you were building with this man didn’t matter enough to him. Like my ex, he threw it away for a cheap affair. I would never want that person back again. You are better off now and in time, you will find a decent man who appreciates what you have to offer.


    I have no advice but wanted to let you know you are not alone. I am in a very similar place right now. I am struggling mightily to find myself, my motivation, my desire to move in any direction let alone forward and away from him.

    He has made it clear that he does not want me but there is still a part of me that can’t stop wondering if reconciliation could happen though it would be an emotionally unhealthy choice for me given the treatment I have tolerated as the relationship ended.

    I hate that I am struggling and wallowing in this pit of despair but feel helpless to pull myself out of it and reestablish the sense of self worth I had prior to this relationship.


    Just a few thoughts Kate. Grieving something as serious as a marriage takes at least a year, even if you are an emotional athlete. There’s a movie Blue. Painful, but brilliant. Also you’re over the hump and on the downhill now.

    Maybe you’re supposed to be in the new country and the universe just used him as a bridge. Even if you’re going through hell, you have to keep going through right or you’ll never get out. You can’t go back, ever.

    You should know I’m at twenty eight days since he left. So six months seems like you’re miles up ahead to me.

    Maybe you should have a kid. I know that’s terrible advice, but I had a kid years before I got married, and I had a tremendous since of family since then. Maybe you should adopt or just use a sperm donor, and not worry about the one till it falls on your head.

    This is really silly, but it is so much easier to live when I get to decide what’s for dinner, on the TV, what to read, if I’m going to the beach.

    Oh and one more thing someone said to me once. I was all “we were so good together, there was this time it was magic” blah, blah, blah, “how could he turn his back on that” and the response was “those were your experiences, you still have them, they didn’t go anywhere.”

    Have some more of your experiences…I’m making a full roast and veg today for me and my wee ones…what do you deserve today? What will you give yourself?

    “When a woman becomes her own best friend life is easier.”
    ― Diane Von Furstenberg


    I just wanted to echo what sara80 said above – neither of you two are alone in this struggle or this situation. Even when we know that the people we thought we knew or once loved are bad for us and don’t deserve our presence in their lives, it’s really difficult to dissociate ourselves because you must mourn both the person you thought would never hurt you as well as the future you’ll never have. And even when they’re scum, when they’ve made it clear that they don’t “want you” there’s this part that asks, well if they’re so awful and don’t deserve me anyway, why don’t they want me??

    Allow yourself to do that mourning and feel that sadness. Don’t hate yourself or fight yourself for still wanting it to work out in your heart because you’re grieving a real loss – the person you thought you knew has died, is never coming back, and it’s okay to miss him, but know that the him that exists now is nowhere near the same person you once let into your heart. I think there’s a guilt that comes in recognizing that you do miss someone who people says you shouldn’t. That you should be too angry and stronger than to still have any feelings for a lying cheater. But that’s just not the way it works – you’re not weak for missing him, you’re just human.


    raventrue – what you said about maybe the universe is telling me to use this as a bridge to a new life is a good point. It really resonated with me, because, you see…right now, i feel like I’m stalling in my ‘recovery’ because i feel so torn about where i should be. it’s weird being in ‘his’ country and feeling like i ‘don’t belong here’. and yes, most other people would return to their home country but my situation is a little more complicated – my home country was merely my country of birth. my army parents moved me around the globe and neither of them (now divorced) even live there. I’ve never felt that ‘connection’ to home, so in many ways the world really is my oyster (visas pending of course), but when something so earth shattering as this happens, you need and crave familiarity. i truly feel like I’m starting from scratch, not just as a newly single woman. thank you for writing what you did, i really appreciate your words and i wish you well.

    christine – also, thanks, knowing I’m not alone in such a lonely process helps. youre right about the guilt factor…all these ‘should be better’, ‘should be over this’, ‘should be stronger’ crap wears me down. i used to take such pride in my strength and yet…it has been obliterated. maybe i was naive to believe anything such as a marriage could last forever. I’m not religious and our vows reflected that, but i truly did believe he was my life partner and was willing to out up with a lot of his shit (infidelity, lying0 early on in our relationship because i believed in him. we grew stronger and really got over it. yet….the struggles i fced in moving my life for him..he wasn’t willing to show me the same kinds. and I’m not sure ill ever be able to let that go.

    everyone – thank you. your words are so important to me right now.

    Matt R


    I may not be the most credible person to respond to you, as I battle some major ghosts related to going through my own series of disappointments and subsequent emotionally crippling trigger responses for years now afterwards. But, please hear me out ok? I married at 26 and started a life with a woman who, at the time, I thought was a lifetime partner. About 7 years into the marriage, I caught her on the computer with someone that, after six months of knowing there was an issue but her denying it, she finally admitted to an affair. We worked through it and I even accepted her reasoning as why I was partially to blame. Later, we had another child. I started to suspect she was having an affair with my boss at work, though again she denied it. When my second was born, there were possibly questions if she was even mine! Then came a litany of people, phone calls, hang ups, hidden and financially crippling bad behavior, etc. It kept boiling and boiling and finally, it came to a head and I had to leave. This was the hardest thing in the world to do for me, as I loved my children so very much that I was riddled with guilt. I was 40, left with nothing (ex had house, all kids’ stuff, etc) as I did not want to burden my kids with so much stress, and moved into an apartment. (My ex wanted nothing to do with the kids for a while so they stayed with me 7 days a week). I swore that I could never love anyone again. I suffered years (15) of emotional abuse, lies, deception at every level, betrayal, etc. I was at a very low point in my life. Here’s where I want you to listen long and hard to me. I developed cancer 10 months after I moved out. After about 9 months of being alone and swearing off women, I met a lady who I began to date – she’s now my wife. I made all my expectations, trust issues, deep rooted hurt, etc., known to her so that I wouldn’t shock her. I even told her about the deep, dark thoughts I had. Well, a month into dating me she found a nodule on my chest and pushed me to see a doctor. It turned out to be a very aggressive form of cancer that could have killed me had it stayed for even a month more than it did. I look back and think of all the misery that I went through, years of emotional anguish, punishing myself, desperation, stress and adrenaline dumps, and recognize that I allowed myself to bottle it all up and my body turned against me.

    I suffer from PTSD from many of the negative events of my life and am prone to massive anxiety now due to the smallest of triggers, and I have found this website and community quite supportive and helpful. The point of my writing is to say that when I went through all of the things I went through and look back, I still, even with the shit that gets crazy and sideways in my head, consider it all a gift of living. You are given a gift now of suffering and hurt. Not just at the superficial level that your husband left (think of living a life of lies – it’s not fun – I did….I wish my ex had just left instead of all the lies and crazy making), but also the much deeper level. You are experiencing life at the rawest, fullest form of emotion. I hate when I feel as down as I do. I wish I had greater lucidity of thought. I wish I was more adept at taking in the negative, processing it, and letting it go. But for the love of the beauty in the world, do not give in to the dark thoughts.

    When I was 18 I was heading down a dark road due to my environment. I volunteered at a cancer clinic for kids. I colored with a girl for a few months and one day walked into the parent kitchen and her mom was crying and talking to a staff member. They were making funeral plans for the little girl. She died not too long after that. I realized, at that time, that my life had meaning which transcended me. I made a difference to that girl. We laughed and were goofy and colored, and it was beautiful. It was a gift. It changed my path in life and made me a better man. Your emotions make you beautiful. Your pain makes you beautiful. You are experiencing the uncertainty of life. I am not an expert, and in many ways am similar to you. It is a battle to wake up and start my day sometimes. I’ve had two weeks of anxiety and crying recently over issues that don’t pertain to my present, but assail my mind none the less. But I still see the beauty in the world I live in.

    Kate, I fed a hummingbird today with my hands (holding a bird feeder). I don’t think I have to look much further than that to see the beauty in all things. The pain is there and it is reminding you that you are alive. My scars from having my cancer ripped out are horribly ugly and painful. Four years later they still hurt and burn. And I love them, because they remind me that I am alive.

    I hope this helps. I apologize if it doesn’t. I don’t respond often to posts, I just don’t want you to hurt. I don’t know you, but as many people on this website, I don’t want you to hurt.

    Please be well.


    Kate, that strong, confident, loving person you were still exists. You were a whole, complete person before you knew him, and you still are now. He didn’t make you whole and it wasn’t because of him that you were strong.

    I know it doesn’t feel that way when you wake up miserable and constantly ruminating about how your life has come to what it is right now, but that’s just because the pain of loss and the struggle of rebuilding your life without someone you never thought you’d have to live without is blinding you. Science literally shows that what the brain goes through after a breakup is very similar to the withdrawal that cocaine addicts experience when separated from the drug. It’s you going through the process of kicking your addiction that makes you feel weak and incomplete right now. Add to that the stresses of being in a new country without any support system or employment, and anyone would be feeling the way you do right now. But here’s the thing – life is still happening and you are moving along with it. You’re seeking out healthy ways to heal and looking for support from places like this. That is how you know that you are INCREDIBLY strong and that’s how you can and should definitely still take pride in your strength. Because you ARE living without him, and even though there are still lots of obstacles for you to overcome, every day that passes, no matter how brutal, is one more day you’ve lived without the person you once counted on and sacrificed so much for – that is proof of the strength that you have inside you!

    He wasn’t willing to show you the same love and fidelity and basic human courtesy that you showed him and it’s going to take time and self-love for you to “let that go.” That’s okay – there’s no timeline for you to let things go, you are allowed to feel what you feel, when you feel it, no matter what. The bottom line is that you deserve someone who DOES show you that love and fidelity, and that is how you know that you were meant for much better than he could give you. Even if you’re not religious, all you need to have faith in is yourself, that you are enough and loveable. That being alone is much better than being put through the same heartache and betrayal and hurt that continuing a relationship with him would cause. Remember that you would be stuck perpetually dealing with even more of his shit if you two were still together. Instead you get to fall in love with yourself, you get to be selfish rather than continuing to sacrifice for him, and you get to start a new life in a new country where you are free to do anything you want. Revel in that – he’s some other poor girl’s problem now.

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