Tricks That Helped You Cope
Did you have any tricks that helped you "make it through the night" in your darkest moments? Any useful coping strategies that others may find helpful?
Lauren Levkoe said...
One of the first things I did was go out and buy new bedding. Next I painted my bedroom Rapture red. I refused to comunicate by telephone with my former husbad. I would only communicate by email so that I could take my time to respond to him. It was also very handy to have all communications documented.
Everynight at 2:00 and 3:00 AM I wakened in a desparate panic. I called the Crisis Line and was grateful when I got through. I kept trying until I reached someone. It was such a relief to hear another human voice. I read and read. One book which was a life saver was "How to Survive the Loss of a Love" by Melba Colgrove, Harold H. Bloomfield and Peter McWilliams, Prelude Press. I sought a counsellor until I found someone I could see soon. In time she helped me overcome the sad hopelessness. Being able to get angry in a safe place was a breakthrough for me. One day I ran barefoot on the beach in the October sunshine and felt free!
After he left me I immediately went on anti-anxiety medication which helped numb the pain. After the initial shock was over I found myself diving into mind comsuming things; cooking, sudoku etc. All along seeing a therapist, I eventually moved in with two of my girlfriends and bought a puppy! BEST thing I could have done!! He is the unconditional love and the cutest thing in the world! It was amazing how fast I turned around after I bought him.
I was 52 when my husband decided he had to leave me and our two teenage daughters for a woman he had met a few weeks earlier.
Devasted doesn't begin to describe how I felt. I don't know how I managed to function in the months afterward. A lot of it is a blur, although I do remember that I cried every day for months.
I walked a lot - on my own and with friends - and one day I went past a martial arts studio that was having an open house. I went in and sat down and one of the guys who runs the place, who was a casual friend, came over to talk with me. He had been divorced a few years earlier (he's remarried now) and understood what I was going through.
I thought he was joking when he suggested I come out for a recreational kickboxing class - I'm not exactly in the greatest shape. But I decided to go and took my daughters and some of their friends too. There wound up being seven of us.
Best thing I could have done for me and my daughters.
Physical activity really does make you feel better and being able to punch and kick a (padded) partner sure let out a lot of pent up anger and frustration. It helped my daughters too, as they tried to work their way through why their father would go from being with them at home every day to hardly seeing them any more.
My youngest stayed with it for six months, my oldest daughter and I are taking different martial arts right now - kendo for her and karate for me.
I'm in better shape than I have been for years, I feel good about myself because I tried something new and I'm having a great time at it, *and* I'm getting out now and meeting people and making new friends.
Had a burning , with friends present i burned the wedding dress, pictures etc afterall he left without any of these reminders and it was the best thing i could do to start my moving on!! I didnt destroy any pictures with the children but everything me and him went up in smoke ,how appropriate!!!
New take on an old saying...When one door closes another one opens, it's the hallway that's the bitch...we'll get through the hallway in time and with each others support!
Emma V said...
I play this song really loud in my car on my way to work (it has a good beat):
"I Will Survive"
At first I was afraid.
I was petrified.
I kept thinking I could never live
Without you by my side.
But then I spent so many nights
Just thinking how you'd done me wrong.
I grew strong.
I learned how to get along.
And so you're back from outer space.
I just walked in to find you here
Without that look upon your face.
I should have changed my fucking lock.
I would have made you leave your key
If I'd have known for just one second
You'd be back to bother me.
Oh now go.
Walk out the door.
Just turn around now.
You're not welcome anymore.
Weren't you the one
Who tried to break me with desire?
Did you think I'd crumble?
Did you think I'd lay down and die?
Oh not I.
I will survive.
As long as I know how to love
I know I'll be alive.
I've got all my life to live.
I've got all my love to give.
I will survive.
I will survive.
It took all the strength I had
Just not to fall apart.
I'm trying hard to mend
The pieces of my broken heart.
And I spent oh so many nights
Just feeling sorry for myself.
I used to cry.
But now I hold my head up high.
And you'll see me with somebody new.
I'm not that stupid little person
Still in love with you.
And so you thought you'd just drop by,
And you expect me to be free.
But now I'm saving all my lovin'
For someone who's lovin' me.
Oh now go.
Walk out the door.
Just turn around now.
You're not welcome anymore.
Weren't you the one
Who tried to break me with desire?
Did you think I'd crumble?
Did you think I'd lay down and die?
Oh not I.
I will survive.
As long as I know how to love
I know I'll be alive.
I've got all my life to live.
I've got all my love to give.
I will survive.
I will survive.
- learn to sleep in the middle of the new new bed, seeing as the old new bed went with him and it's hard to turn the mattress alone
- learn to appreciate cleaning house when you don't have to tidy-up for two hours first
- learn to love the toilet lid down
- learn to love not having to wait for someone all the time
- learn to love the absence of the 250 pound weight on your shoulders, which you have been carrying
- learn to love eating alone in a great restaurant - take a book for camouflage so you can watch the people
- learn to adventure to places you always wanted to visit
- learn to hold your head up and smile.
It's working for me.
"Did you think I'd lay down and die?"
I think he did. Certainly his dealings through his lawyer indicate that's the way he "thinks".
I bought new bedding, too. I changed bedrooms in the "matrimonial home". It took months before I realized I slept on "my" side of the bed and bought a giant pillow to sleep on in the middle . . .
It has been 11 months. He took much, much of value from this house and now he wants more. I say: "Forget it, bro'. You've taken 35 years of my life already. Now, just stay out of it."
I love this thread! I'm getting some great ideas.
Joan -- kickboxing is a great idea. It's something I've always wanted to try.
Samantha -- I got a puppy right before my missing husband was supposably found ... the puppy keeps me busy and I love have something to come home to who loves me but sometimes he adds to the stress! Luckily the weather is getting better so he has become a great little buddy on my walks.
Lauren -- Redoing your bedroom -- I bet you felt great after that.
Cheryl -- Burning...lol....I have had to move so much that things have been lost along the way and I had a home taken from me with everything in it so I haven't gotten the chance to feel empowered by getting rid of his stuff.
Pam --- I like your saying. Here's another one: Don't put a period where God meant to only put a comma. --- As we are all well aware life goes on.
Enmma -- "I Will Survive" I love that song!
Donna -- We all need your attitude, you hold back no punches that's for sure.
Since my situation has been different in that my husband was a missing person for nearly 3 years my coping was/is different. My energy went into searching but through that I have been blessed to talk with and help many other families of the missing and that has filled that empty quiet time that I so abhore. I haven't quite got the hang of going places by myself ... I'd like to get to that point but don't know how to get there. I come from a large family and raised a large family .... being alone just ain't my thing.
Thanks for the ideas!
Z Johnstone said...
I am one of those people who always had a to do list. When he left there was too much to do. I felt I had to be dad and mom to my kids. I tried to wrestle with my son more and be funny like he used to be. Even once had a food fight with the kids at the table a thing he used to do but now I know what to do.
1. One thing each day by yourself that makes you smile. A happy you helps your kids. 2. get new bedding and new pj's 3. Throw away all that is his except that which the kids want later but pack those away out of sight 4. Don't allow him back without the help of a councilor you aren't able to make good decisions by yourself (but some marrages are saved by councilors) 5. Make yourself say out loud what you want (a happy family, children who smile, to date again someday, want to meet a great guy) 6. take a vacation alone 7. walk and exercise more regularly than you ever have.
My experience was so shocking and sudden I used to say to myself am I awake or having a night mare.
I got a phone call. I hung up three times and then I just fell to the floor and cried.
I tried to seek help with him and councilors. I tried to be happy through it all by counting my blessing sometimes 12 times a day and that helped a lot.
He offered a marriage and lots of money (don't know where he would get that from). But in that offer was a mistress that stayed and knew she could stay. That women is still with him and doesn't care. She even spends time with my kids now (wierd!)
He still tries to be my husband and asks me personal questions all the time when he should be talking about the kids.
I am happy and sometimes there are moments when I am grateful to be here even having come through the pain because I am no longer being made a fool of.
I found distractions to help me through. I became leader for my daughter's girl scout troop which I would have never done when I was with him. My divorce will be final in April and I plan to have a DIVORCE PARTY!!! I will "bury" the past and go on with the future!
Shannon I love the Divorce Party idea, mine is going to be call,
TO HOT TO BE FORGOT....PARTY IN MY HONOUR
when this all happened to me I was 53 I joined the New Life Group. and I got a book there and it was called.WHEN YOUR LONG-TERM MARRIAGE ENDS, author Elaine Newell. Page 37 I read it often it is about the other women. It discribe her as : she is physically less attractive than the wife,, she is from a lower social economic level, less educated, younger by ten years she has an abrasive, often demineering personality, is less nurturing, and possesses minimal domestic skills. What was the attraction you ask well. a need to pair with someone considered to be inferior in an attempt to bolster a diminished ego. Male menopause ladies look it up it is called Andropause......
The song my daugher has picked for me it is called FUNHOUSE PINK, buy the cd ladies it is the first song."I guess I just lost my husband , I don't know where he went,so I'm going to drink my money and I am not going to pay his rent, I got a brand new attitude, and I'm gonna wear it tonite, I'm gonna get in trouble, I wanna start a fight. Na na na na na na I am still a rock star, I got my rock moves and I don't need you and guess what? I am having more fun, and now that we're done, Iam goinna show you tonite, I'm alright, I am just fine, and your a tool, So So what , I am a rock star, and I don't want you tonite, it is a fabulous song girls and so are all of you's.Get the CD it is fun and we all deserve some fun.....
Ya lets talk about the anti-anxiety meds. I would try and go to work, I don't know how they put up with me some days, cause sometimes I just couldn't breath, and I would try not to cry and it just made the (breathing just that much harder) so I would just have to cry and get it done with...It was like my brain wouldn't shut down at nite, I couldn't sleep, I couldn't concentrate , I had to write myself notes all over the house for lawyer appointments and papers I had to bring in cause he was saying he didn't have stocks, or RRSP and I had all the paper work that he did,,,then there where Doctor appointments cause I was so confused.....I would send him Emails he wouldn't answer me, and he wouldn't talk to his grown children. And he tells his family he does.... oh the freaken lies, that is what really gets me angry all over again.. just face up to the truth..he was such a coward that I got the separation papers in the MAIL....CHIN UP LADIES,,,,,,, we can hold our heads up high,,,, they are thinking with the wrong head.......bye for now..Brenda
Linda Maria said...
Thanks Brenda. I wonder where how you feel now months after writing that comment. And thanks to all the other comments. I'm at the beginning of this mess and I'm in a lot of pain and I'm dying inside. I googled and found this site. It helped some. I know I'm just stepping out of the door and into the "hallwy". I never thought this would happen.
Heather in Montreal said...
Hi Linda Maria
and everyone else that left footprints in here....
It has only been 2 months and a day and I don't know where the 2 months went. That day, Mother's Day I thought I was going to die and shrivel up and here I am 2 months later still hanging in there. I am grateful. Nothing has really changed in my financial status. I sent my last proposal to the ex last weekend, a week ago today and he still has not replied. So I don't know where that stands. I still haven't found a job. Forced to go back to work after retirement for the past 3 years (I will be 58 in Oct) but the biggest change has been in my attitude. I still have my tornados and thunder storms but I do some light at the end of the tunnel. I have a much closer relationship with my son who is 26, he checks on me all the time. I have lost more weight and I feel and look great on the outside but my heart and my stomach are still hanging outside of my body like I always say. To cope, I have talked to anyone who will listen. I'm amazed at how kind people are. Complete strangers like the ones at my job search club give me hugs, and online friends send me music and emails that lift my spirits. Coming here is also helping. WRiting in my journal is helping. Walking the dog in the park often is helping. And when I cry, I make sure I cry hard and let it all out. Feel the depth of that excruciating tormented pain and then I let it go.
hey, your survival stories are great but i'm still crying and feelin sick just reading them.My husband of 15 years has just walked out,my son has just started secondry school this week and my little girl is 8 so his timing is just great and he says im being difficult because i dont want him messing the kids up.right now im not seeing where any of this is going to end.i'm sat here at 2 in the morning heaving because i gave up work 8 years ago and i dont actally know what im going to do financially.More to the point i just dont know what to tell the kids.Right now i dont want them anywhere near him.It's like i want him to feel the pain that i've got but then i know that it means i'll be upsetting them.
please help me....
I just discovered this site. Why it wasn't there when i was stepping into the dark hallway?
I want to tell you my story because i am now out of this tunnel. Out in the sunlight. In the summer days after a very, very dark and long winter. And you know what? I love myself so much more now!
It all happened 4.5 years ago. In February 2006, I was deeply in love with my husband of 8 years. He was kind, generous, funny and open. We wanted to have children, a family. We were trying for a child for 2 years. It is only with an in vitro attempt that I got pregnant. And then, when our son was 3 weeks old, one late evening when he got back from work, he said he wanted to end the relationship. I remember running out of the house hauling like a wild animal and not being able to stop. I lost my milk right away and had to switch to the bottle. I had a feeling that I have been kicked from my orbit and landed on a different planet. I was lost, without any references, and with a new baby completely dependent on me. My mother was my rescue.
What followed were 4 months of complete shock, then one entire year of anger, then sadness and melancholy. At the same time my husband turned out to be the meanest, cruellest individual angry and blaming me for everything. I stopped trying to understand him. His behaviours were so out of his character that I knew. He has become a complete stranger that I could not reach. A two year nasty divorce battle followed. When finally the papers were signed, I saw the light at the end of the tunnel. That was two years ago.
I stand now, a new person. A stronger person, a better person. Better for others and better for myself. I actually really appreciate and love who I am now. I opened a new business, I bought a new house (under my name alone) and I am bringing up a sunny, well balanced child that I am very grateful I have near me. It took me 4 years to look at my ex-husband picture and almost not feel a thing. I am a new woman ready for the next chapter in my life. I have crossed the dark, long tunnel successfully. You will too. I promise.
I am simply amazed by everyone's strength. Did you ever imagine you could be this strong before your spouse left you? I thought I was tough when my mom passed away but apprently I had so much more strength after the divorce. It's still hard but I keep growing stronger every day. I feel like Popeye or The Hulk! Each day I open my can of spinach and jug! Thank God for this strength we share with each other! So, cheers to us!
I "de-husbanded" my house. In the bedroom I did buy new linens, new pillows and comforter. I took down all the family pics and put them into storage. I bought new nick-nacks and pictures and put those around the house so it didn't look bare. I bought those pretty decorative signs "Love", "Believe" and placed those around the house for motivation. I also got rid of the silverware, glasses and plates and bought inexpensive replacements. My philosophy at the time was to rid myself of anything the ex had touched. Naturally I couldn't toss out furniture but the other changes, along with some paint and throw rugs changed the look of my entire home and made it "mine".
The real fun came when I got to toss out the stuff that had always annoyed to me. I remember he insisted on keeping a huge mixer on the kitchen counter for 11 years. We used that damn mixer only at Christmastime to make cookies and the other 365 days of the year it sat there and collected dust, which I cleaned. To finally put that mixer in a closet (where it belongs!) felt so unbelievably amazing!
I didn't let spite get to me, so anything of value I just stored in the basement for about 2.5 years. Just this past summer I had a nice tag sale and sold off all of his abandoned "stuff" (wet suits, old tools, even some of his business suits that he never came back for!) It felt great to rid myself of these things once and for all and I giggled as I sold his stuff for a fraction of what it was worth! The money I made went towards a summer camping trip with my boys.
In those first months during the tsunami state a friend suggested I try PeaPod for groceries because for some reason, hum, I just couldn't get myself to the grocery store. I tried it and still use it to this day (I've learned that when my kids are visiting their dad it's "mommy time"!! Who wants to waste that freedom shopping for groceries?) The prices aren't much more than the store and it's much harder to make emotional purchases so I think I actually save money in the long run.
I also recognized pretty quickly that all the housework and yardwork that was once shared by two was now all on me. I work full time, have two active boys and realized I needed help. I asked around and found a reasonably priced housecleaner who comes by once a week. It is worth every penny to come home after a long week of work, homework, dinners, music lessons, etc, and to find the house clean and smelling fresh!
I hope some of my ideas are helpful to someone!
Keep your chin up, shoulders back and smile! Remember, all she did was remove a hairy mole off your back!
So glad to have found this site. My ex was very big on gaslighting. He would randomly tell me to "calm down" even whilst shouting it in my face when I wasn't even talking.
My situation is slightly different in that he forced me and our child to leave (back to my mum's) by bullying me out of the house we shared.
The day before I was due to fly out he stormed in said I was kidnapping our child and has since held the threat of court action over my head.
I grieved right away. Thankfully I seemed to get it out of the way! But I was able to get a job within one month. Back with family support and loads of friends and even an old mother's group have all helped. I have even found that I'm suddenly meeting a lot of single mums with amazing advice.
My ex was very much the same as the rest. Overnight he become a compulsive lying, vindictive psycho. Constantly emailing me with "implied threats" or calling me at random times. Under the guise of talking about our child but really more to exercise control and make sure I'm miserable.
He was with a woman with 5 children. This was the most devastating blow. Not the woman part - I guessed that already. He wouldn't have left me without lining up his next mark, but that she had children. Every interaction with our child had to be forced by me. He screamed at our daughter all the time and complained about what a brat she was regularly.
Anyway, I'm in a new job, lots of family, friends (new and old) and I'm not playing anymore. I make decisions that control our fate not him. I don't respond to his attacks with fear anymore. I don't live in fear everyday anymore. I am a lot more social and have engaged my daughter in a lot more activities with playmates too. But best advice was not to play. You chose your reaction. Don't respond to emails or calls right away. Do it in your own time after talking to helplines or lawyers or even friends.
Don't sink to their level or try to retaliate. Karma is the best justice. Miserable people are always unhappy. It doesn't matter if he's with someone new or gloating. As my counsellor said "once he realises he has no control over you or your daughter, he'll find someone else to control."
Sorry for the long post. It's been 5 months now and I'm so fortunate it happened. I love life now. xoxoxox
My husband of 3.5 years left me 2 months ago. I found out he was staying with a female coworker and that she left her husband on the same day he left me. They both deny that they are together (probably because they don't want to lose their jobs) but I am not stupid. He suffers from severe depression and anxiety and won't accept that he has these conditions and I believe that his decision to leave is based in this depression. Up until the day before left he was loving, passionate, and planning for our future: a trip and a baby in 2012. I haven't had any contact with him for 1 month and I'm proud that I haven't emailed, text, or called him at all! I still hurt so bad and wish that he would come out of this but I don't know how to accept he is done. He is a totally different person; mean, hurtful, and blaming me for everything that I didn't even know was a problem in the first place. He hasn't showed an ounce of regret or sympathy.
I am only 26 without any children and I feel like this might be my chance to start over fresh but I'm afraid he'll come back and I'll have started to move on. How do I do this? How do I know the next guy I meet won't do this to me? My husband was so wonderful and romantic but changed in a day. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. I'm so lost.
I hate to say this to you because I know it's hard, but trust me, he's gone. Not only that, but you don't deserve someone who would do that to you! You deserve someone like you, who knows that actions like that are wrong. My husband also left for someone at work. (my story: Who did I marry?) I have learned that even with his new woman who was supposedly better, he is the same miserably depressed soul. See, its' not you, or her. It's him. And frankly, nothing you could have done or could do could help. Try to find someone who is not depressed in the future. It's a hole you can never dig someone out of, no matter how much love is involved.
I stumbled upon this coping trick only a few days after I found out that my husband of ten years was leaving me and our two children for a 22 year employee of his: Greeting card stores. Sometimes laughter really is the best medicine. His birthday was in a few days, followed immediately by valentines day and a friend of mine had to go into the store to pick out a card for someone else. My stomach churned, my heart raced. Oh God. Really? Hallmark, of all places. i reluctantly found myself browsing the romantic birthday cards and found so much humor, I was on the floor. Cards depicting a husband's unconditional devotion, character and bringing out the better person in their wife struck such a funny note. I found one about having his cake and eating it too, for his birthday. "Savor every last crumb. In fact, lick the plate" So ironic, I fantasized about buying MANY of these cards and stashing them in his space for him to open and enjoy. I told my sister of my new-found making light of this tragedy technique (which I assure you is not for everyday, but can be so lightening) and she thought it was weird. Until she came to target with me and read the cards. We were both in stitches, trying to find the most ironic, stinging card for a runaway husband. I recommend it strongly, as it has continued to be a good trick for me. Good luck!
Giulie in Vienna said...
I'm just at the start of this horrible roller coaster - since he gave me the "I've met someone else - I haven't hat feelings for you for a couple of years - I'm leaving" speech yesterday. I cry, I am scared, I want him back, I want to kill him, I am so so sad. 20 Years that I thought were good have just been trampled into dust.
He tells me this lounging on the couch. Dumbfounded, I say go. He says, I have no where to sleep tonight because SHE is out of town - I'll sleep in the guest room. I say no - out now! He says, but I'll have to sleep in my car.....At this point, If I hadn't been crying I would have been laughing - and I tell him "I don't care-go. Last night, when I got into bed, I threw his pillows of the bed and moved mine to the middle. I took off my wedding ring and took his picture of the family picture wall. Today, good friends have come around to console and support - thank god I have them. Here in Europe, I am so far away from my family in the states and my daughter in the UK....
I know this is just beginning, and I feel like a giant mountain that I have to scale has just grown in front of me. Reading the other posts here gives me the strength to face the empty bed again tonight.
Thanks for all the great coping ideas in these posts. I bought new bright pink bed linens which was great, but the bed was still too depressing and I didn't have much money. Coincidentally, I had to buy an inexpensive ball for an exercise and it was so bright & happy & cheap that I bought one in every color (2 in pink) and put them on the bed. There is no way my bed can be depressing with all that color and fun on it.
Other coping tricks that are helping me: Talking on the phone. Deciding not to tell my story any more because people seemed to take it as an invitation to give me annoying advice (practicing saying "My marriage ended. I'd prefer not to discuss it."). Seeing a therapist. Working as much as possible but taking time off to go to appointments as necessary (lawyer, therapist). Getting help putting all my runaway husband's stuff in boxes (too emotional on my own). Not missing a single gym workout. Making an arrangement with a friend to help throw my wedding rings into the river (not from hate but for a clear understanding that it is over). Taking myself out to dinner at a cozy place with book in hand.
It was just one week ago that my beautiful husband of 4.5 years abruptly told me via the internet that he has left and wants a divorce. We never had harsh words. No fighting. This was a bolt out of the blue. But because I simultaneously discovered many strange deceits, I understand that this marriage was not what it seemed, he was not what he seemed, and I suddenly lost everything. These coping tricks and my faith, family & friends have been keeping me going. Thanks for the additional ideas.
I'm having such a hard time moving on. I can't believe he's done this to our family. My boys and I are suffering and so sad and Husband is living a free life and very happy.
He wouldn't work on our marriage. He turned 50 and sought out his ex g.f. from30 years ago. They are in love??? Soul mates? In July he said he wants a divorce doesn't want me or our marriage. I filed, he paid.
He'll be leaving soon to his new house on the water. He told me to get a second job because I won't be getting the alimony that i thought I would. Total b.s. according to my attorney.
I can't understand why i would take this man back if he wanted to try?? So much verbal abuse over the years. I was never perfect like her. They were in touch for 30 years. Such deciept and lies. She's not leaving her husband so he's moved on to a divorced women he works with.
Need some advise how to forget the memories and stop hoping.
Hi Rachael, please dont think your post is being ignored, the way the site is set up means that unfortunately new posts on the oldest pages are not seen very often. Please write on the newer pages. You sound so sad, we are all here for you xx
Rid of Me - an awesome new movie about this. Check it out on Netflix, ITunes or some such.
reading all the comments I recognised so much of the total disbelief I went through when my husband of 7 years decided to throw in the towel, mainly after wooing his female boss relentlessly for the last 2 months. they are still together, i try every day not to feel bitter. very very hard indeed. they are happy (apparently) and getting married , third time for both of them. you try very hard not to obsess about them , but it is very very hard. I liken the experience to post traumatic trauma, i really do, when you really do not see it coming. i also liken it to being hit by a very fast train, whatever, it is horrendously traumatic. people around you do not understand this at all and like everything unless it has happened to you no one knows the awful impact it has on your life. the best thing is to start walking or swimming, walking is good as it does not cost anything, and finances become a real worry when they leave, walk and listen to music or talk to yourself telling yourself how lovely you are and recognise at least one thing you are grateful for. my confidence was rock bottom but three years later I am getting back to myself and trying everything to get my old self back this is really awful because you feel you have lost so much, keep trying to make your face up when ever you can, you may well not care what you look like but when you put a bit of make up on it does make you feel and look so much better. remember to love yourself as much as possible, it is a very hard journey indeed. he left not you, and I saw he lost all his love for me and gave it to her. but one saying sticks with me, if it happens with you, it will happen to you. i realise looking back on his relationships that he was never faithful either , and so it seems neither was she. you want them to have pain but realise after a while its ridiculously negative, so use that energy to start training for a marathon or something. keep working as you have to keep smiling there and being strong when all the time you just feel totally at sea. work gives you structure. do not let them do you over financially as well as emotionally , fight that with passion, even though they may well try to thinking you are so vulnerable which you are when it first happens xx to those with small children who have gone through this with small children I totally salute you xx be as strong as you can each day. take care hope this helps it does get better x
After 21 years I feel so lost. I can't believe what a physical pain this is. I appreciate your comments and stories. He is living 30 minutes away in his empty apt while I deal with the house and the three kids and the fall out. I just want to pull the covers over my head. This summer was one of the sweetest summers we had ever had and he sends me a message on facebook to tell me he is leaving, he wont take my calls, he will only email. I am bewildered and lost and feel so alone.
My husband (high school sweetheart) of 20 years, dated for 6 years before that moved out 2 months ago to be with his high school "crush." She is married with two teenage kids and we have one that just left for college and a freshman in high school. She lives in a different state and does not plan on leaving her husband for another year and half....until her kids graduate from high school. Guess our freshman doesnt matter to him because he has already left. They connected on FB back in April and keep denying that they are seeing each other. They are "just friends." He doesnt know that I had placed a recorder in his car, got ahold of his phone and have pics and text messages saved on my camera that I took off his "not so secret" track phone. They think they are so sly! I even have the receipt from where he sent her flowers to work two days after he got fired from work for messing with his secretary. I don't think she knows that or that he has came back several times for a "booty call." I have stopped that though because I realized he was lieing when he said he wanted to try and work on things and then afterwards would tell me was lieing. I called her husband right after mine moved out and he doesnt believe me. I have not given him any evidence that I have collected yet and not sure if I am going to. I was thinking about waiting until after our divorce is final. He was suppose to file on Friday but that did not happen. Not sure if he thinks he can still have his cake and eat it too. I still love him with all my heart - he is the apple of my eye! : ) I just wish he would be honest and quit cheating. I'm struggling to get over him and my sons are not happy with him either for leaving us. They do NOT know the real reason because I am trying to protect them. Any suggestions on what I should do? Do I give her husband the proof that I have to make her life miserable also? Do I go about my own business and just try to move forward? I really want things to work out but I honestly do not see him changing. He has started drinking ALOT too. Any help or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I'm in a rut and need help climbing out!
I am so lost, my husband did this over 2 years ago and he keeps acting like he is just working like he was when we were all waiting to move. His check goes to our joint account, he moves money to his secret account. Only last week it became not such a secret when he called to tell me he is overdrawn and gave me his account number and asked me to put money in it for him.
When exactly does a man who did this and is doing this, when on earth does he see what he is doing?
It is so over the top weird, I am moving away, I told him I am moving to other side of the country where I have never lived to burn my entire life and all memories out of my mind.
I am so hurt.
The only thing that has helped me in this is
1. Throwing all of his clothes out of the car window on the route he takes to work.
2. Telling myself over and over again what my girls said.
a) he did this to all of us not just you
b) he failed the marriage not you
c) sometimes it isn't because you are pretty or have a good job, sometimes it is because you are married to a really mean person, dad is mean
d) having a job doesn't make you a good parent or husband, being there for your family is what matters, anyone can have a job mom
e) do what I do mom, I pretend he is dead
f) you being sad is like telling me I don't matter mom
Monique Wilson said...
It's been over 4 years since my husband of now 28 years left. The divorce is just about final. What a horrible nightmare....such pain and humiliation. My story's a bit different than most in that I recently made more money than he did in the latter years of our marriage, therefore in this State, I had to pay him spousal support!!!
The level of indignation, repulsion, disgust, and disbelief reached such a magnitude, I had to take 5 months off of work to manage the stress.
To back up a bit, he left me for his high school girlfriend, who he described as the person who he originally loved and because back in the day, she had abandoned him, but only to discover 35 years later that she had truly loved him and found him again after a high school reunion, it was the "perfect storm."
It was two years before I knew that he had been having a long distance affair with her by email and phone...an emotional love affair. When our adult daughter disclosed what she had discovered but kept from me in hopes that her father would end the nonsense, he admitted to the relationship, and 6 weeks later, left our home. I became suicidal and attempted everything for a year to recover the marriage.
I waited another year and a half to file for divorce because the other woman had not yet left her husband of 26 years for mine. When she finally did and moved in with my husband, I waited an additional 5 months before filing for divorce. It was then that all hell broke loose. It has taken over 1 1/2 years just for the divorce to be agreed upon, in which he will receive half of my retirement monies, and all of another deferred compensation account, in exchange for not paying him spousal support for the next 12 years. I figured I would rather give him what he would have shared in had he stayed anyways, rather than contaminate my future with payments to him to support in ongoing indiscretion and adulterous life. In the process of all this madness, I filed for bankruptcy because I knew I would be left with all the marital debt and would he disappear from sight and reach of the creditors, irrespective of the debt distribution made by the divorce court. He went ballistic because he refused to join in the filing of the BK, claiming that it was "morally reprehensible to walk away from your financial obligations." HUH? Morally reprehensible? Such twisted thinking...this is a man who abandons his wife and daughter, pursues his high school girlfriend, waits for her for two years to prove to her his commitment and wrecks the lives of two spouses and their families...
I have come to the conclusion that the damage that these men do to themselves, and in this case, the woman that he is with has done the same to her spouse and to me, have compromised themselves to such a degree that their integral psyches have been forever altered. They have traded in their moral compass, if there ever was one, for their pursuit of a new adventure, passion, and dream - at any cost for the shear greed and selfishness these narcissistic personalities possess.
I remember him telling me he wanted "more." He was focusing on the "possibilities" with this person. That if he didn't see "it through" he would never know and he couldn't live a "disingenuous live."
I have struggled through the different stages that this book addresses during the past four years of my life. I am getting better at accepting that there's something fundamentally defective in my soon to be ex. There's something there that I didn't see before. Anyone who is capable of causing such pain and misery to someone they vowed to honor, love, and protect is void of the capacity for empathy. In fact, there's something seriously wrong with someone who is willing to throw away everything they worked for their entire life for a whim...for the high that the chase gives them. In my ex's case, having not only a narcissistic and an addictive personality, there's not much I could have done to mitigate what was to be.
Interestingly too, I have made my career as a social worker and have a Master's Degree in Psychology, so you can imagine how stupid I felt that this should happen to me; someone educated and learned in the field of human abnormal behavior. I spent 3 years in therapy trying to sort it out. I've had to relinquish the quest and put it aside.
I expect there will not be a happy ending to his story. One so wrought with deceit, pain, and anger; it will not reap happiness and joy. It will bring about what it's made of...
My recovery is ongoing...it is slow and painstaking. But I'm getting there. One day at a time...and I am grateful for having found this site at this stage...unbelievably wonderful to find that there are others out there who can truly relate to this experience.
I can say this with absolute certainty: I would rather be on this side of the fence, then on my ex's. I sleep with a clear conscience and without consternation. I know that I didn't do anything to harm anyone and I'd rather be me any day, I assure you, then he and the other woman who carry on with their lives of deceit and denial.
I'm amazed how many of us bought new bedding. I did too. Plus a pair of red heels, new make up, perfume, clothes, the works. Not to go out on the town looking for someone new, far FAR from it. Just for fun and to feel feminine. Which is what helped me after my ex husband told me he was not attracted to me anymore and left me for a younger woman. I took down pictures, packed away other reminders. Even managed a fairly busy social life, ok sometimes forcing myself to go out with pals, and hibernating in between for a good cry and to listen to records I loved in my youth from the days before I met him, rediscovering a few childhood dreams. The mending of the broken heart has taken years, but there are little things you can do in the meantime that can drive the blues away on the road to recovery. Taking control back is key I think, however you do it.
Monique.... I have had the exact same experience, I cannot believe how your words seared to my soul and explained for me what is happening to me now. My husband of 34 years, gone, with another woman, delusional, devastated his family ( 3 children) emotionally, now running from financial comittments, still lieing, cheating. I found out he had taken an apartment when I came home and found paintings missing off the walls, bedding and kitchen utensils gone! He had been staying in the house, even sleeping on our bed up until then.
He is a narcissist... diagnosed when he had a court mandated pyschological assessment. He rationalizes, projects, now he has taken to demonizing me, trying to pressure our daughter to see the other woman, telling lies about our marriage ( a story he needs to keep up for the ow because she has never been told the truth) although she must be stupid not to have known his situation until now. She is aggressive and selfish as well... Showed up to a church charity event trying to humiliate me and my daughter. He has no sense of the pain he has inflicted, the emotional devasatation he has caused his children ( and me)... it does not register. He cannot cognitively process any of what he is doing... it is all me, me, me I want happiness, I am not happy, I need time and space..blah, blah, blah. He is incapable, I fear, of any real feeling but that does not help my children cope with a father who is void of emotion and parenting for them. My daughter has said, she lost her father a while ago. My middle son is ashamed and disgusted with his father. My eldest will not speak or return texts or have anything to do with his father. He has dissassociated himself with him. My heart breaks for my children... all I can do now is wrap them with my love and stay healthy for them. My blood pressure is dangerously high this week ( taken at the dentist's office) and I am realizing I cannot let him do this to us. He is blaming me for his children not wishing to talk or be with him ( and his ow) but his rationalization is it is their loss. I keep faith and try to take the high road.... that his house of cards will crumble eventually and his lies will catch up with him. He has put us through immense financial and business stress over the past 10 years...leaving good jobs and starting a business that ended in criminal charges for fraud. It is time to liberate myself and my children but this is so hard to do.
So good to write this and to find others who have experienced the same thing because in the dark of the night, I feel alone.
Just about 2 weeks ago my husband and partner of 18 years without warning called a halt to our marriage. He spent almost one and a half of this time demonising me and rewriting our history together. I finally found proof of an affair, and after some initial denial he admitted he had been having an affair. He seemed rather keen about seeing the other person and having myself at home.
After suggesting and trying all different ways of moving forward together he left by means of a mid day text message.
I feel totally abandoned, I can not make any rational sense of what he has done or the pain he has caused me when I love him so very much.
I now need to try and spend some time to decide what I want. I think I know this but am not sure how to get there or who it will be with. Its just so confusing, I feel like I am on a roller coaster of emotion and find it very hard not to cry at the smallest of things. Everything and everywhere I go reminds me of what I am losing or the mistakes I have clearly made by being with him.
We didn't have children but I would really like a child and to be in a relationship with a man who loves me unconditionally. I dont want his selfish actions to define my life and hope that I can deal with the fallout of his actions as soon as possible so I can reclaim my life. I need to keep my head up high and stay true to my morals to get out the other side.
What a thread! I am at 6 months tomorrow!
What has helped...
I collected 18 years of all those valentine's cards,birthday,anniverary,Mother's day cards that he had signed so lovingly and mailed them all to him with a note. : I wanted to burn all of these, but realized this is your trash to burn, like you burned the rest of our 18 year marriage. Do with them what you will.They are all apart of your lie."
I removed all photographs of him loving me the kids(except the wedding book which I saved for the kids)and put them in the bottom of a box, which contained his requested Mother's cast iron skillet (which I then washed 8 times in a very hot dishwasher)
I hid his newest suit(which I purchased for him) and took it to a resale shop and sold a $500 suit for $35
I gave away the couch that he always sat on while texting the OW for 6 months and bought myself a new one that his fat ass will never touch!( still need to get rid of the king size bed that I still hug the far side of and wake up with stressed out shoulders and neck))
I boxed up all the collectible pair of birds I had collected over the years because we had that 'birding'connection-and sold most of them at a garage sale.
I have started listening to new music and filling my kindle with new songs that he would have never given a chance to.
I took swimming lessons to start an excercise program.
I joined the Divorce Care support group in my neighborhood.
I am now looking for a volunteer oppertunity to get me off my deck smoking & wallowing in my own self pity...I need to forget that I grovelled for him to stay and work on 18 years of lies!
Deborah Dills said...
Once my husband of 33 walked out for good on me on September 16th to drive a big rig truck and live in it too, our adult sons who live with me breathed a complete sigh of relief that the ass was gone, Not only did he leave me, but he left them too. In fact, he didn't even wish our 23 year old son a happy birthday on March 10th. Wow, what a human being?
I celebrated the first day he left by stripping all the bedding and throwing it all in the garbage and buying new sheets, and feminine lace dust ruffle, candles, and flowers for me and rearranged the bed another way so as not to remind me he was ever there. My first few weeks were spent asking myself how someone could do this to another, but a bottle of wine surely helped, along with reconnecting to long-lost girl friends from the past of whom I dearly loved, but had moved away from. I made new friends too.
Then after a few more weeks went by with lots of crying, and anger and the realization that he was not the person I married, but someone who I should have left many moons ago because I stayed to long married to the wrong person--I threw out my wedding ring and every last photo of "him" including our wedding album. I never want to look back with any fondness for our previous life together as he "sucked the life out of me".
It's been 7 months now and wow do I feel powerful. I am planning on surprising him with my filing for divorce, getting a new cell phone number, and new email address. He is gone for good and I never want to see or hear from him again, and neither do his sons.
I woke up one night, and wrote a letter to "him" telling "him" exactly the type of person he always was, but I never clearly saw until he left. The letter remains in draft, saved on my laptop, but once the divorce is final, I will positively mail it to my ex. I only wish I could be a fly on the wall to see his reaction to it, but never will and that's OK with me. Hold your heads up high, because WE didn't do anything wrong to deserve this.
My final treat to myself in celebration of my freedom is to get a tattoo that says "LIVE WELL" and I plan to do so:-)
Therese Meggitt said...
My husband just came home to check on me he doesn't know what he is doing. So, I am trying to find humor in my pain and his!! I bought a really cool stereo he said we didn't need but when he saw it he said, " Wow that is really cool". Then, I bought a brand new lap top this one stinks and my husband kept saying you should get another one.
Do I need it? NO but what the hell. Then, I bought new curtains a quilt things I want. Next found a good therapist and am talking with her at least 3 days a week! Then, starting to do things I really love like just dancing. Sounds strange but I love it. Running and playing football with my dog my dog loves it too!! She misses him badly!! Then, enjoying a glass of wine in peace. Yes, it's the little things also. Last telling myself over and over if he can't see how great I am he is the one that will be in pain. Sounds conceited but I am a catch and it is his loss not mine. I will get through this and repeat this, " if you love someone let them go if they come back they are your's. If not they never were." Heck with all the alimony I'm suppose to get and half house,etc.. may go and buy a porsche. Time to live not hurt!!! Life is way to short I feel.
The best way to cope is be careful. No matter how lonely, it will pass don't neglect you, no strange sex to make you feel valued. You are very vulnerable and there are people who will try and take advantage. Divorce is not personal when it comes to division of the assets. Protect your share because he will try and take it all.