When your spouse first says, “I want a divorce,” you feel like you just got sucker-punched by the Heavyweight Champion of the World. Time slows down. Everything seems a little surreal. Eventually, your head starts to clear. But your heart feels like it’s been ripped to shreds. Now you’re left to learn how to deal with heartbreak.
The Science of Heartbreak
Even though heartbreak hurts (actually it hurts like hell!) most people think that emotional heartbreak is way different than having something physically wrong with your heart. It turns out that that may not be so true.
Takotsubo cardiomyopathy (i.e. broken heart syndrome) is a real thing. The emotional stress of a breakup can weaken the muscles around your heart. That can lead to cardiac arrest and even death.
Having a broken heart can literally kill you.
Fortunately for most of us, being heartbroken doesn’t kill us. But, that doesn’t mean that when your marriage has just fallen apart and your dreams of “happily ever after” have just been smashed to bits, you don’t feel like you’re going to die.
The truth is that when your heart is broken you die a thousand deaths. You die every time the phone beeps or buzzes and it’s not your spouse. You die every time you see something that reminds you of happier times. Most of all, you die every time you think of your life alone.
Your Brain on Heartbreak
Your heart isn’t the only body part that takes a hit when you and your spouse split up. Your brain also suffers from the pain of heartbreak.
Biological anthropologist Dr. Helen Fisher, PhD, has found that heartbreak activates many of the same areas of the brain as physical pain. According to Geoff MacDonald, Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of Toronto, the pain centers in our brain cannot tell the difference between physical pain and emotional pain.
In other words, emotional pain and physical pain both feel the same: horrible!
What’s more, being in love causes our bodies to release dopamine, the powerful “feel good” hormone. Nicotine and cocaine have the same effect. Being in love, then, is like being addicted. So, just like when you’re addicted to any drug when the drug is withdrawn, you feel pain.
It’s no wonder that love hurts! It’s also no wonder that letting go of someone you love is so damned hard! You feel like you’re physically going through withdrawal!
In Divorce, Everyone Hurts
It’s tempting to think that the spouse who wants a divorce doesn’t have to deal with heartbreak. If you’re the one who DOESN’T want a divorce, it probably seems that way from where you sit.
After all, your spouse just completely shattered your world. You’re in complete shock. Meanwhile, chances are your spouse dropped the “D-Bomb” then continued on with life as if getting a divorce was no big deal.
But, while it may LOOK like your spouse could care less about you or your marriage, the truth is that your spouse was probably just as heartbroken as you are when s/he realized your marriage was over.
The difference is that your spouse made that realization a long time ago. You didn’t.
Your spouse has probably been quietly dealing with his/her heartbreak for months, maybe years. You just didn’t know it.
Now that you do, you’re heartbroken. But, because your spouse is in a different emotional stage of divorce, s/he isn’t heartbroken anymore. S/he has already moved on and started to heal.
Unfortunately, that leaves you to deal with your broken heart alone.
How to Deal With Heartbreak
Knowing that science has shown that heartbreak has a physical base might prove that getting over your ex is not “all in your head.” But it doesn’t make you feel any better!
Here are 29 tips to help you deal with heartbreak so that you can get over your ex, and on with your life.
29 Tips for Dealing With Heartbreak
1. Let Yourself Feel.
When heartbreak hits, you’re in shock. Even if you knew that the breakup was coming, it’s still normal to feel numb when it actually hits. After the numbness wears off, a tsunami of emotions is likely to invade your body. Whatever you feel, let the emotions come. Pushing them away only keeps them locked inside longer.
Dealing with divorce is like dealing with death. The pain is similar. The stages of grief you will go through are similar. You will bounce between denial, anger, bargaining, depression and (hopefully) acceptance. You will feel fear and guilt and a whole alphabet of other emotions. All of that is normal. You have to let yourself grieve.
3. Take it One Day At A Time.
When divorce first hits, you can’t function. If you’re lucky (or you have no choice) you manage to do what you have to do to get through your day. Anything else is impossible. You can’t eat or you can’t sleep. You cry all the time. Not thinking about your spouse is impossible. Trying to focus on your long term game plan at this point is futile. Just try to get through your day.
4. Don’t Overgeneralize.
When bad things happen, it’s easy to convince yourself that this isn’t an isolated incident. You generalize things in your head until you feel like everything in your life – past, present and future – is bad. You think, “’ll never be happy again.” Or, “ This always happens to me.” When those thoughts come, try to stay in the moment. You’re miserable enough dealing with your current breakup. Telling yourself you’ll never be happy again doesn’t help.
5. Go On A Social Media Diet.
The last thing you need when you’re going through a divorce is to have to answer a million questions from nosy “friends.” Even worse, is seeing pictures of your spouse on Facebook with some new love! Plus, social media can provide a treasure trove of evidence that can be used against you in divorce. For a million reasons: stay off social media while you are going through your divorce!
6. Go Easy On The Alcohol.
While overindulging in alcohol is an understandable way to want to deaden the pain of divorce, drinking too much will not help you deal with your divorce. It will make everything worse. It can affect your job, your friends, your health and your kids. The last thing you need is to end up divorced and now have a drinking problem, too.
7. Stop Beating Yourself Up.
It’s normal to dissect your dead relationship a thousand different ways in your head to try to figure out what went wrong. It’s healthy to try to understand your missteps and take responsibility for your part in the demise of your marriage. But, constantly beating yourself up over the thousand things you did wrong, or that you wish you could do over, doesn’t help! It changes nothing. Plus, it makes you feel worse.
8. Give Yourself Time.
The old adage that “time heals all wounds,” may be a cliché, but that’s because it’s so true. Right now, you feel like your life is over. You feel like you’ll never be happy again. You will. But, it’s going to take time. Give yourself the time now to grieve and to heal. Don’t let well-meaning friends force you into doing something that you know isn’t right for you. Remember, everyone heals in his/her own way.
9. Take Tylenol.
Seriously! It helps! Because your brain processes physical and emotional pain in the same way, taking a little Tylenol won’t just relieve your headache. It will help your heartache too. Of course, that’s not to say that all you have to do is take two Tylenol and you’ll be over your divorce by the next morning. But, it might help ease your pain a little bit for a little while.
Getting your body moving will clear your head and help your heart. It will make you feel a little bit alive again, if only for a moment. The truth is, you can’t feel energized and depressed at the same time. So going running, biking, swimming, dancing or any other exercise will help you get out of your funk faster. Yoga, Tai Chi, and other more meditative practices will also help you reduce your stress level, too.
11. Eat, But Don’t Gorge.
There’s nothing like a breakup to make you gain or lose a huge amount of weight. For those of us who can stand to lose a few pounds, the “divorce diet” may seem to be a great idea. The problem is, gaining or losing too much weight too fast isn’t healthy. It also makes you feel like crap. You already feel like crap. You don’t need to add a whacked-out metabolism to your problems.
12. Maintain Your Normal Routine … Even If It Doesn’t Feel Normal Any More.
When you first starting dealing with divorce, you probably feel like nothing around you is real. You also may want to just stay in bed for days so you don’t have to face the world. Don’t do it! Letting yourself wallow is the quickest ticket to depression you’ll ever find. Get up. Show up. Do your best. Even if “your best” is pretty bad, do it anyway. You’ll get better again. But you’ve got to try.
13. Get Rid of Reminders.
If your house is filled with family photos – or worse yet: wedding pictures! – put them away. You don’t have to destroy them. (As a matter of fact, you shouldn’t destroy them!) But you just need to get the constant reminders of your soon-to-be-ex out of your sight. While you’re at it, you’re also probably going to want to avoid all of your usual hangout places as well. Doing things that remind you of your spouse at this point is just torture you don’t end.
14. Do Your Best Not To Do Stupid Things.
Begging, pleading, stalking your spouse. We all do stupid things when we’ve just been dumped. (… or, when a serious relationship ends.) The funny thing is that we all know that that kind of bad behavior almost never works. It only drives your spouse farther away. Plus it robs us of what little dignity we have left in the process. Yes, going through a divorce activates the same place in your brain as obsessive-compulsive behavior. But, do your best to try to keep your negative impulses under control.
15. Go Cold Turkey.
This might sound harsh, but, for your own good, you need to maintain a “no contact” rule for a while. That means no calling, no texting, no emailing, and no “just happening” to show up in the places you know your spouse will be at the exact time you know s/he will be there. Twelve-step programs require complete abstinence from the substance you’re addicted to for a reason. Obviously, if you need to talk to your ex about the kids, do it! But keep your conversations limited to talking about the kids.
16. Find Someone You Can Talk To.
Human beings are inherently social creatures. We need community. We need support. No one should go through a divorce alone. Even if you feel like being alone, you still need a support network around you. Your network can be your family and friends. You can start working with a therapist or a coach. Whatever you do, you need people around you. They don’t have to be around 24/7. They don’t need to bug you. They just need to be there for you.
17. Forget about Being Friends With Your Ex (For Now!)
“Being friends” with your ex is a great idea. But it takes time. Forcing yourself to sit next to your ex and pretend to be “friends” when it feels like you’ve got an ice pick stuck in your chest is just silly. You don’t have to be a jerk to your ex. But, you also don’t have to bury your emotions and force yourself to try to be “friends” before you’re emotionally ready to do that.
18. Get Out And About As Soon As You Can.
Locking yourself inside is a normal way of coping with loss. You need to be alone and lick your wounds. You need to think. You need to grieve. But you don’t need to do it forever! If you’ve been grieving your divorce for months (or years!) it may be time to force yourself to get out and about, even if you don’t feel like it! Go out with friends for coffee or a drink. Go to a movie. You don’t have to date. Just get out of the house.
19. Don’t Rush Into Dating If You Don’t Feel Ready.
Everyone heals in his/her own way. Some people feel like dating right away. If that’s how you feel – go for it! (Although, I wouldn’t recommend dating during your divorce. You’re much better off if you wait until after your divorce is final.) But if your friends are pressuring you to get “back on the horse” and start dating, but you don’t feel ready for it, don’t do it! (Of course, if your divorce was final years ago, you might want to listen to your friends and get out there!)
20. Journal About Your Day, Not About Your Ex.
Journaling is a great way to process your feelings, especially painful feelings. But if you do it too much, you could actually make yourself feel worse! Studies have shown that ruminating over your lost love (ie thinking about him/her too much) makes getting over him/her harder. So, while journaling is great, you might want to focus your journaling on what you did during the day, rather than on how miserable you feel.
21. Stop Asking Why.
“Why” is one of the least helpful questions you can ask when you’re getting a divorce. Sure, analyzing your relationship to see what you did wrong, and what you can do better next time is healthy. Learning from your mistakes will keep you from making the same ones again. But, asking yourself why your spouse left, or why s/he doesn’t love you anymore, or why your spouse did anything, is not helpful. It is masochism.
22. Rediscover Old Hobbies Or Find New Ones.
When your marriage ends and your kids are with your ex, you may find yourself with a whole lot of time on your hands. Instead of opening a bottle of wine, or binge-watching something on Netflix with a pint of ice cream in your hands, try DOING something. Try to remember the activities you used to enjoy before you got married. Do those. Or, try something totally new. Just get out and DO something!
23. Do Something for Someone Else.
Nothing will help you feel grateful for the problems you have quicker than seeing someone whose problems are way worse. If you want to take your mind off your own misery, go volunteer at a homeless shelter. Or go visit the elderly people in a nursing home. Or volunteer to teach kids to read. Anytime you do something to help someone else, you also end up helping yourself.
24. Beware Of The Rebound.
When you feel unloved, and someone shows you some attention, you are primed and ready to fall in love again. Hard! Yet, rebound relationships rarely work out. As a matter of fact, I have seen more people make ridiculous mistakes in rebound relationships than in any other relationships in their lives. Go ahead and date. Just take things slow, and try to use your head.
25. Stop Fantasizing About Getting Back Together.
When you’re in the initial stages of your breakup, it’s normal to fantasize about getting back together with your spouse. That’s usually because you don’t really want your relationship to end. But thinking that way only keeps you stuck in the past. Sure, maybe you will reunite with your ex. But focusing on getting back together when you’re trying to heal from the hurt of breaking up will only make your recovery take longer.
26. Know You’re Not Alone.
You’re not the first person to suffer heartbreak and you won’t be the last. While knowing that millions of people since the dawn of time have gone through the same pain as you won’t heal your broken heart, at least you know you’re not alone.
27. Be Patient.
When your heart is shattered and it feels like the pain is so huge it’s going to consume you, it’s impossible to think that someday you will feel good again. You will. But it will take time. The hard part is, it’s impossible to say just how much time it will take. Every heartbreak is different. Every person heals at his/her own pace. Be gentle with yourself. Be patient.
28. Do Things That Make You Happy.
Focusing on your pain only makes you feel worse. Take time to do things that make you happy. If you feel so dead inside that nothing makes you happy, then do things that used to make you happy. Do things that make you smile. Start with doing just one small thing that makes you happy each day. Build from there.
29. Count Your Blessings.
No matter how shattered your life feels right now, you have much to be grateful for. You’re alive. You (hopefully) had a great marriage for a while. Maybe you have great kids. Even if money is tight, you still have clothes on your back. If you stop and think about it, you have so many things to be grateful for. If you focus on what you have, instead of what you lost, you will start to feel better. You will heal.
It has been about two months since my husband left and even though we do not have children together we do have a tiny poodle that we both love and is a baby for us. He comes by everyday to see her and I can’t get ahold of my emotions every time I see him, I love him more than life itself.
I know that we need to move forward with the divorce but feel like I am dying inside, I can’t sleep and every time. I eat I am neausea.
My husband is 14 years younger than me and has not held a steady job in years due to a back jury, I worked 2 jobs to support us and he is a prescription opioids addict and than find out that he is on porn sites and solistng women for sex after 21 years of marriage. I am so devastated I have a hard time seeing a better future. He left me in a text message and moved in with his mother who gives him everything while I am left to struggle financially.
Oh my! Where to start?
First, I know that you are in love with your husband. I know how much breaking up hurts. But, honestly, from what you have written, I wonder what YOU were getting out of your marriage? Your husband is an addict, who didn’t work, and was on porn sites soliciting other women. Is that the kind of husband you want? Yes, I’m sure you love your husband. And I’m sure he has good qualities. Otherwise you wouldn’t have married him. But your relationship seems very one-sided.
I know this might sound cold and cruel. I don’t mean it to be. But, it’s hard to keep seeing someone you love every single day after you’ve broken up. It makes healing so much harder! So, I know this might sound mean, but I suggest that he needs to STOP coming over every day. The dog will survive without him. So will you.
Step 2: get help. It doesn’t sound like your husband has been treating you well. Why is that okay? Why should you settle for that? Why are you willing to settle for that? Those are questions you need to ask yourself. You’re also going to need support if you are facing divorce. I strongly recommend that you talk to a therapist. S/he can help you understand and deal with your feelings.
Step 3: start getting a handle on your finances. You might want to consult with a divorce financial planner. A divorce financial planner can help you deal with your finances so that things aren’t such a financial struggle for you.
Finally, be kind to yourself. Take time to grieve. In time, you will get past this. You will heal.
I’ve been without my wife for3 months n it feels like forever. She told me that she didn’t want to be married anymore before our first anniversary. She says she hasn’t been happy in a year and a half but she married me within that time and then got mad because I left after telling me she didn’t want to be married to me anymore
I’m so sorry to hear that. Hang in there!
I recently separated from my husband of 8 years because he attacked me at our kitchen table. It was around 8am and we had just back from the gym and were having breakfast when I asked about our upcoming tax appointment. I guess my question offended him and he told me to shut the fuck up…. usually i do, but that morning I decided to stand up for myself and told him- why don’t you shut the fuck up. That really set him off because then he said, I mean it, shut your fucking month- but I didn’t shut it so he threw my plate of food across the room… having had about all I could take I pushed his plate off the table. That’s when he jumped up pushed and held me down on the table and poured the can of soda he had opened on my head. In his fit of rage he managed to stab me with his fork and as I try to get out from underneath him I did something to hurt my hip…. There have been other times where he slapped or pushed me, but we were always drinking, so I excused it. This time we were sober and it was the worst. On top of him constantly being mad or annoyed and never hesitating to call me bitch, i’m just so done with him. I’m done being disrespected. He’s going to see a therapist, but it’s too little too late. I do love him, but I love myself more and deserve to live in a safe environment. He thinks I’ll get over it, but not this time. This time he crossed the line. I feel like a failure and am embarrassed for this mess. Right now he thinks this is just a separation and has been respecting my space, but I have a feeling once I file for Divorce he will start acting crazy. No kids- thank god.
I can understand why you’re done. While you may have excused your husband’s behavior in the past, in my book, physical violence is never okay.
I applaud your decision to move on. I encourage you to get a therapist. Getting through this kind of trauma can be difficult. Having a good therapist you can talk to can help a lot.
Hi Karen, i’m A stay at home mom to two kids and I’d love some advice. I have been with my husband for almost 8 years and married for 3. We just recently had our second child in July 2018. Our son is almost 4
Months old now. My daughter is 2. I just found out last week that my husbands been cheating on me and also doesn’t want to remain married and work on things. It’s such a slap to my face I don’t even know how to process it. He said he’d been unhappy for a while but whenever I noticed his glum Face he’d say everything was fine. He never even gave me a chance to know he was unhappy in our marriage. So now I’m a stay at home mom with no income living at my mothers with my two children. I haven’t even worked in over two years. How do i support my family and also not be devoured by my broken heart? I just gave birth to his beautiful children and now hes just done and had enough. I don’t know how to not be enveloped by pain and suffering. And how do I support my kids, I’m worried sick as I would make at most 4 dollars above minimum wage. Childcare is crazy expensive and to top everything off I’m a breastfeeding mamma. Help!
Okay, hang on! You’re definitely in a tough spot now, but as J.K.Rowling (the author of Harry Potter) said, “Rock bottom is the solid foundation on which I built my life.”
First of all, get help. Get yourself a good therapist. You’ve got to work through your shock and your grief. You’ve got to process your emotions. Doing that will make everything else more manageable. So, step one is to get a therapist. (They’re often covered by your health insurance.)
Step 2 is to talk to a lawyer. You know you’re going to need to go back to work, but maybe you don’t need to go back to work right now. Talk to a lawyer in your area and find out how much you can get in child support and spousal support from your husband. Find out whether you can get him to contribute toward daycare once you do go back to work. If he’s paying at least half of daycare, then that will make going back to work more financially sound. Knowing what your financial picture will look like if you get a divorce (and while you’re going through it!) will help you get yourself back on your feet sooner.
Step 3 is to educate yourself about divorce. The more you know about how this process works, the better prepared you’re going to be. The more prepared you are, the better you are likely to do.
Finally, be kind to yourself. You’re going through A LOT! And with an infant and a toddler, you’ve got your hands full. This whole process won’t be easy and it won’t be fun. But you will get through it!
I wish you the best.
I’d really appreciate the feedback and loved your article
I really appreciated this article. It was well written and I felt that you were explaining the exact feelings and emotions I am going through. My husband and I have been together for 11 years and he decided that he just “wasn’t happy anymore” and he had no motivation to work towards our marriage. I didn’t see it coming, we both laughed everyday, never really went to bed angry and we always supported each other in our jobs and any decisions in life. When I say this came out of left field, it came out of left field! The feeling of abandonment is overwhelming. I have always felt that he would be in my life through it all, that one constant through the ups and downs and to have it ripped away with no real explanation is just so painful. I am not mad at him, I pride myself in not acting out character even when I want too, I am trying to understand him as an individual but the feeling of loss is hard to shake… Knowing that I he will never be a part of my life anymore and that it was his CHOICE is killing me. It’s hard to be happy…
Of course, it’s hard to be happy! Right now your whole world has been turned upside down!
Before you can do anything else, you need to grieve. You need to take some time to work through your feelings. If you don’t have a therapist, I strongly suggest you get one. Having an objective person you can talk with can make a huge difference right now.
If you don’t have a therapist, you might want to reach out to BetterHelp. They are the world’s largest online therapy service. They will match you with a therapist within 24 hours, so you can get help right away.
You’re suffering a great loss right now. I can only imagine how hard it is.
Be kind to yourself. Get help. Hang in there.
Ok so I’m also going through a divorce after two kids and 20 years together, 18 of them married. We’ve always had a tumultuous relationship but loved each other or so I thought. He’s been a big drinker and gone out till all hours of the night from the very beginning. I guess I thought after we bought a house and had kids it would stop but it never did. We fought so much that it affected our daughter to the point she was self harming. We rallied together and got her professional help and she eventually stopped harming herself. For the last year my husband started going out again quite often and staying out super late without calling. Our daughter recently confessed that she’s been feeling like hurting herself again so my husband said he was going to grab some of his things and go. None of us knew what that meant. Overnight? A couple of nights? Forever? Well after a month he’s told me its forever and he wants a divorce and its all because of me. He blamed me and said it’s completely my fault and I’m the worst person he knows. I know it’s for the best because he called me every derogatory name you could possibly think of and would not allow me to speak because he is a bully and uses his power to frighten me. He’s never hit me and don’t think he ever would but he’s an intimidator who screams in my face to scare me. After all this I begged him to seek counseling even if just to learn how to communicate during this transition but said he didn’t have time and wasn’t interested in anything i had to say. Why can’t I let go?
Letting go is hard! It’s even harder to let go of someone you thought you were going to spend the rest of you life with. But, just because it’s hard, doesn’t mean that, under the right circumstances, it’s not worth doing.
If you’ve been in a tumultuous relationship for years, your self esteem has probably taken a beating. It’s great that your husband never hit you. But, that doesn’t mean that his intimidation didn’t take a toll on you in other ways.
To work through all this, and get yourself stronger, it would probably help if you found yourself a good counselor. You may not be able to control what your husband does, but you can control yourself. Going to a counselor can help you become stronger. It will also help you realize that all of your husband’s blaming has nothing to do with you! It’s about him. He’s a bully. He’s scared and upset (although he would never admit it!). So he turns his fear into intimidation. That makes him feel better. He feels better when you feel worse.
At this point you might want to take a good long look at your life. Is it what you want? Are you doing the best you can for your daughter? What does she need? What is holding you back from letting go? My guess is it’s fear. What would happen if you actually looked at your fears? Call them out. Admit to yourself what you’re afraid of. I know that sounds scary, but the truth is that fear lives in the dark. Just by naming your fears, you start to bring them out into the light. You begin to take away their power. As you do that, you will be better able to deal with them and manage them.
Once you’ve started to manage your fears, letting go will be much easier.
Hope this helps.
I’ve been married to my wife for 10 years (together for 18). We have 2 teenaged children and have always been a very close knit, loving family. Over the last few months I’ve noticed a change in her behavior and there has been some distance between us. On Thanksgiving morning she told me that she is no longer in love with me, isn’t happy with the marriage and wants to separate and eventually divorce. I’ve been staying at my parent’s house since Black Friday. I want more than anything to save my marriage and get my wife and life back. Do you have any suggestions?
It sounds like something has been going on for the last few months. You might want to start by having an HONEST conversation with your wife. That means you both need to be totally honest with yourselves and each other. You can’t start to deal with whatever is going on until you know what’s going on.
You also could try going to marriage counseling. But, obviously, if your wife won’t go, that won’t work.
I wish I could give you better ideas. But, at this point, until you know the real source of the problem, there’s not much else that you can do.
I have been married 30 years, and my husband is a narcissist. Cheating, lying etc. How to approach this?
There’s way too much involved in divorcing a narcissist to put it in a website comment. But, here are a couple of articles that may help:
10 Tips for How You Can “Win” When Divorcing A Narcissist
Divorcing a Narcissist? 10 Survival Tips You’re Going to Need
I have been happily married to my husband 3yrs ago not until few months ago he started dating another girl and he barely have time for me and my little girl. I heard about his relationship with the lady weeks ago and immediately he finds out I heard he left home to the lady place and didn’t come home. I did all I could to restore my home back but with no luck, i love this man so much, later I had to park to my parents house to stay with them. I just don’t know how to get over him. I keep remembering him and I feel like dying right now, am writing this with tears in my eye. Please I need ur help.
I wish there was something I could say that would take the pain away. But, sadly, there’s not.
The only way out is through.
I do suggest that you get a therapist. S/he can be there to help you through this difficult time. Meanwhile, know that this won’t last forever. I know you love your husband now, but it doesn’t sound like he loves or respects you. I know that hurts to hear. But you need to hear it because you deserve so much better. You deserve to have a husband who does love and respect you. The problem is that your husband doesn’t sound like he’s that guy! (Sorry!) So, as painful as it is, you’ve got to let him go. (Again, sorry!)
Let yourself cry. Let yourself grieve. Be sad for awhile. But also focus on yourself. Work on remembering who you really are, and who you were before you married your husband.
Be strong. You WILL get over him! Life will get better.
Hang in there.
I have been through two marriages before. One ended after 18 years because we grew different from each other and that one did not leave me much pain at departure as it was to a great extent peaceful and civilized
But then my second marriage ruined me totally. It was a long-distance one that was not meant to be a long distance marriage. My spouse got me for 4 years into circles of talking about breakups and divorces when I guess she did not really mean it but was using it out of habit or to pressure me to do things for her or whatever. With that she used very intense threatening language and verbal abuse. That left me totally ruined emotionally as we go through these circles of fights, breakup not talking for months, working on divorce and then she comes back again like nothing happened and want me to proceed. During these times I try to recover and in many of them tried to date other people thinking I am separated and done.
But anyways that second marriage ended eventually. I met a woman 4 months ago and we both fell in love deeply. I did not imagine I could have someone that match me that much and neither she did. She kept saying that’s it for both of us we are together forever no more other people and I believed that. We both have an age difference of 20 years (she is younger) and some significant financial difference as well. I tried not to pay much attention to that as we matched in so many things and were enjoying so many things together. Also the age difference did not prevent that we both had children of the same age since she had hers in a very early age so we were at the same level of maturity and experience as parents. Things developed rapidly and we started talking about moving together, marriage in the future, having kids in the future together. We even introduced our kids to each other.
But then 3 months after start of the relationship she started mentioned slowing down/breakup for different reasons. One time for financial need, another time for being overwhelmed by her ex and ongoing divorce. The problem is she never was clear about the reasons up front when she mentioned breakup and that unfortunately hit a nerve in my personal past experience with breakups and made me feel extreme separation anxiety, helpless and losing confidence in the relationship. In one of those times I opened a dating profile out of habit and insecurity. We later started talking again and after a week she comes to me saying she found me on a dating up and because of that she is breaking up with me because I shocked her. I apologized but tried to explain the situation about mentioning breakup, separation anxiety etc but all in vain.
I feel bad because I feel it is unfair situation where I gave so many second chances (there were also issues of alcoholism and other things from her side that I did not stop at and tried to find solutions for) but I received none. I feel somehow betrayed and taken advantage of because I was totally free but she was still in a marriage that had ended….
This left me burnout that I don’t believe in relationships anymore and trying to find rest of my life without being with someone even though it was always an important aspect for me
I’m sorry you feel burned out and don’t believe in relationships right now. Maybe now is a good time to take a break from being in a romantic relationship. Don’t date anyone. Take this time to work on yourself.
Do some soul-searching. Figure out who you are, what you want, and where your past relationships failed. Figure out what you want in a future relationship, if you ever have one. Work with a therapist. That will help you dig into yourself and find answers.
Whatever you do, take time for yourself. Focus on becoming the best man and the best father you can be. (Not that you’re a bad man or a bad father now! But we all can improve ourselves. We all can grow and be better.) When you get to a place where you’re truly happy and comfortable with who you are, you will either find that you don’t want or need another romantic relationship, or you will attract a much more solid relationship in the future.
I wish you the best.
I have been married to my husband for almost 9 years. We have two wonderful children together. The problem is that over the past few years he has changed and not as loving and outgoing anymore as he used to be. There is a male coworker that I would always consult in because he went through problems with his marriage and eventual divorce Over the past two years of becoming really close to my male coworker, I have fallen in love with him and am not in love with my husband anymore. Now my coworker is moving a couple states over to Austin, Texas and I am totally distraught. I told him about my feelings, but he said before I would even think about coming to Texas that I need to really see if I want to divorce and wait until it is finalized. To tell you the truth, I just feel so confused. My husband is a good person, but I’m just not into the marriage anymore. My coworker that I love is a very unique individual as he is more of a loner type and 14 years older than I am. We are also at two different points on our career in the Army. All I know is that I am losing both weight and sleep over this situation that has been going on for over two years now. Any advice would be appreciated!
Oh my! Where to start?
First of all, it sounds like you could really use a little help. For that reason, I strongly suggest that you start working with a therapist. S/he can help you explore your feelings and your relationships … both of them! S/he can also help you figure out where you go from here.
I know this probably isn’t what you want to hear (I’ll just say sorry in advance for all of it!) but the fact that your coworker moved may be a good thing right now. It will give you a chance to figure out whether your marriage is really over, or can be saved. You may not want to save it. But you’ve got to figure that out first. Only then will you be in a place to freely move into a new relationship.
Right now, you’re in so much pain over the end of the relationship with your coworker that that’s all you can see. You need to deal with that pain. But you also need to ask yourself whether you’ve given your marriage a fair shot. You said your husband has changed and isn’t as loving. I wonder if you haven’t changed too? (Please understand. I’m not judging here. I’m just wondering.)
After working with so many divorcing people for so many years, one thing I know is that people don’t want to have regrets. They don’t want to look back years after their divorce and wonder if they did the right thing. That’s why they need to be satisfied that they did everything they could to save their marriage before they move on. If you’ve done that, that’s great. Maybe you are ready to get a divorce. But if you haven’t, ask yourself whether you need to do that in order to move on in peace.
No matter what you do, you’re not in an easy situation. Be kind to yourself. Get help. No matter what happens, do your best. That’s really all you can do.
Hope this helps.
I’m 43. Been with my partner since I was 16. 29 years happy together The year has been a lot of disagreements. He’s just gone. Moved out 9 wks ago
Left me grieving so hard hurts. With 3 children will only communicate about kids money.
Will not respond to anything else ,as to what is going on. I’m devastated and worried about depression as I had it for few years when I was 18. I
Never ever thought he’d ever leave us. Not in a million years. Shock
I’m so so sorry to hear what’s happened to you! I can only imagine the pain and shock you’re experiencing. It’s no wonder that you’re worried about depression. But, here’s the difference between your situation when you were 18 and your situation now: you have 3 kids who are depending on you! If you allow yourself to wallow in despair 24/7 you will hurt your kids. If you sink into depression your kids will suffer even more than they are now. It’s even possible that your ex could fight to get custody of the kids if you become unable to care for them. So right now, you can’t afford to sink into a deep depression. (Sorry! I don’t mean to be harsh here!)
What can you do then?
A better option is to get help right from the start. Find yourself a good therapist. Lean on your friends and family for support. Or, find a good divorce support group. (Even if you weren’t married, what you are going through right now is very similar to what you would go through if you had been married. So hopefully, the group would allow you to join.)
Meanwhile, know that you are not alone – even if it feels like it right now! What you’re going through hurts … a lot! It will take time to heal. For now, do your best to be kind to yourself. Take the time you need, and get the help you need, to deal with your grief day by day. Someday you will find that you have made it through an entire hour without crying! Then it will be a half-day, then a day. Then one day you will realize that the pain isn’t so bad anymore. You will know you are healing.
That’s not to say that any of this will be pleasant. You won’t ever forget what happened. But if you let yourself grieve, and if you work THROUGH the pain, rather than denying it, ignoring it, or pushing it away, you will heal.
Hang in there!