No matter how much it was needed and how much it will contribute to your mental health and evolution, a breakup is still experienced by many as a major loss.
Loss usually includes a process of grieving and reintegration of what was broken into meaningful aspects/experiences in one’s life.
When the loss, the griever, or the process of grieving is not acknowledged or accepted (say you ended a relationship with a married individual and no one knew about it), it can lead to a phenomenon known as disenfranchised grief.
What is disenfranchised grief?
Disenfranchised grief is a term that was coined by Ken Doka. He defines disenfranchised grief as, “Grief that persons experience when they incur a loss that is not or cannot be openly acknowledged, socially sanctioned or publicly mourned.”
It may be particularly difficult for you to express your feelings of loss during the current pandemic crisis when you know that there are people who are dealing with death, diagnosis, not knowing how they’re going to put food on the table, and not being able to care for elderly parents/grandparents. We often do not recognize our own loss. However, this lack of recognition may lead to this more complicated form of grief. The combination of stress and grief can create neurological changes that make the already-stressful coping seem even more impossible.
As much as we want to, we can’t change what has happened. The relationship ended and we are grieving. And that’s okay.
Here are some tips for exploring your attitudes about grief and your specific loss during this unprecedented time…
- Recognize and acknowledge your feelings/love for that person. Your love was real, significant, and valid; your grief is real, significant, and valid.
- Allow yourself to take the time and space to grieve because you are worth it. Whether he left you or you left him, there is that specific loss, plus all the secondary losses associated with the relationship. Like missing his dog, or your weekend social routine, etc. You may even want to write “I am grieving the loss of………..” on a card and place it in your wallet, enter it in your phone, or wherever you can have easy access to it. When others say well-intended but insensitive things (trust me, they will!) that minimize your process and experience, reach for that message, read it over, and release/let go of what was said to you.
- Remember that you are not alone. This experience is a part of your life and not your entire life (even though it may feel that way). Being physically isolated can exaggerate feelings of loneliness. Especially when there is no acknowledgment or support of your loss and grief. What can be helpful is connectivity. This is another way that this blog can help you. You can seek and share the experience of others who have experienced similar losses here in your tribe. Share your story with me and others here in the comments.
- Create your own grief ritual. You can have a memorial, burial ceremony, or a closure ritual for a relationship that ended, even if it was a toxic relationship. Perhaps due to the nature of the relationship, you haven’t even shared the existence of the relationship with anyone and here you are, it ended and no one even knew about it, or they did but didn’t approve of your choice. Why not create your own closure ritual now? There’s no reason you can’t do a small memorial or burial. Consider if this is meaningful to you and what may be appropriate. This doesn’t have to be complicated; it could be as simple as deleting old photos, donating his gifts to a thrift store, or taking a cleansing and healing bath.
- Reach out to your tribe and support system. Although you are isolated because of the pandemic, you are NOT ALONE. Make a list of all who can be supportive (and what they each can offer you in terms of support) and try reaching out before you write everyone off. Make sure you consider those who are a little further outside of your circle. Sometimes you find empathy in the least expected place! This may be just the time to reach out to a distant friend. I have also found that it’s sometimes easier to talk to someone you don’t personally know. You can always connect with each other here.
- Remember that your grief and emotional expression of it is UNIQUE. Explore and unpack your grief. Journaling, art, photography, music, and other crafts are great ways to investigate your grief with compassion and self-love. Even if you don’t have the external support you want, you can still explore your grief and emotions on your own and practice self-compassion.
- Consider offering your support to others experiencing disenfranchised grief when you are ready. Although you may not be ready for supporting others right away, eventually, it can be (and it is) very healing to be a support to others. By acknowledging others who may be feeling that their loss is not recognized, you are validating their right to grieve, regardless of how similar or dissimilar their experience is to yours.
Like all things in grief, everything will ebb and flow.
There will be good days and tough days.
There are no quick fixes, there is no “normal way to grieve”, and everyone’s experience is as unique as their fingerprint.
These are just a few basic ideas, but if there are other experiences you have had or things that have made life just a tiny bit easier in your experience of disenfranchised grief, please leave a comment. This is how we learn from and support each other.
Remember, we are all worthy of our own grief. We are physically isolated but never alone!
Thanks to my best friend, my Mom for this wonderful guest post. You can find out more about my Mom in her other guest posts regarding how to tap into your power and motivational quotes.
My Mom will be answering all of your comments below!
+ If you need further and more personalized help with your relationship, please look into working with Natasha here.
This is very helpful. I have had this experience twice, when I had “secret” relationships fail. I guess people call them affairs but I was never married. They were secret because they involved coworkers. Maybe that was the thrill, the secrecy. Also, that person keeps showing up. You have to . It’s a paycheck. It’s just the worst feeling not being able to talk about the pain because no one you trust knows the thing started, or ended. I have actually been taking photographs around the city of things and places that meant something to us, well to me. Who knows what they were ever thinking. It is tremendously freeing and I recommend the suggestions in #6, to anyone else who is stuck like I was.
Thank you for sharing your story and what is working for you. Photography and the expressive arts are an effective was to deal with the grief and void that we feel when someone and/or something are no longer in our lives. Often people are intimidated when they hear art because of not being “good at” art. I’m delighted that you are listen to your heart when it speaks to you and capturing that message on a photograph. As the saying goes a picture can be worth a thousand words.
You are listening to and speaking your heart’s truth. Keep it up.
Thank you, Tarane!
Hey soo I’ve got a question about a predicament I’m in atm. I met this friend About 2 months ago who happens to be gay and I’m straight. but now that we have become good friends he seems to constantly be pushing for more then just bring friends and asked me to go on vaca with him and recently asked if I wanted to move in. I just really don’t know what to say or how to handle this w out hurting his feelings. His husband just died a year and half ago and that vaca I was talking about is a really specials resort for couples that he and his now deceased husband were supposed to go to together and now he wants me to go with him. I just feel awkward taking his place on vaca especially when there’s only one queen size bed in the room because it’s a honey moon suite that can’t be refunded. Ik he wouldn’t try anything if we had to sleep in the same bed but still it just feels awkward because of the situation. Sometimes I feel like he’s clinging to me because he’s still very upset about his husbands recent death… I just don’t know what to do, I know he likes me more than friends but I just am not attracted to him or any guy for that matter because well I’m straight… What should I do? I really like being good friends with him but I’m just nvr going to be able to reciprocate his feelings for me back. I don’t want to hurt his feelings but I’m at a loss about how I should be handling this situation.
What a wonderful topic to discuss at such a perfect time. There definitely is no We in a a break up and in feelings of Isolation.
I’m so happy the woman who birthed the lovely Natasha shared herself in this writing.
You ladies are pretty special.
Thank you Donna for your kind acknowledgment. Glad it spoke to you.
I had an emotional affair with a married man. It was not a physical affair, which makes my grief feel even more disenfranchised. He ended the relationship very abruptly and coldly, with no acknowledgment of its import and meaning or the pain this ending would cause me. I loved him more than I’ve ever loved anyone in my entire life. He felt like everything to me, like once in a lifetime. I can’t imagine ever loving anyone like that ever again. Given the nature of the relationship I could never freely express my feelings for him. I have so many regrets and “what ifs” that I can’t seem to get past no matter how much time passes.
I don’t know what he felt, or why he did what he did, and I guess I never will. The intensity of the pain I feel rivals the intensity of the love. I’ve thought about trying to talk to him but haven’t been able to bring myself to. It seems like giving him more of myself when I already gave him so much. And he doesn’t care. Plus it feels too late given the passage of time. I feel stuck, powerless, voiceless. It has been difficult to find meaning in what happened. It feels like I was erased, the whole relationship was erased like it never existed, and my feelings don’t matter. Like the whole experience, my love and my pain, mean nothing. And since it was secret, it feels even more like it never happened. He could just make it disappear and it doesn’t matter. To lose this love, in this way, feels unbearable. I’ve been reading this blog a lot and trying to stay on the white horse, which I have done, but it is so hard.
awwww felicity I feel your pain! I am going through a break up myself..everything you wrote I resonate with me…staying on the white horse is difficult..it has only been a week for me that I blocked him and was about to yesterday but I read something I wrote to him about my feelings earlier this year (before I fell into the trap again) & reconsidered. I really do not have the words to tell you it will get easier bc breaks up hurts so bad..but I been in many breaks ups in my lifetime that I know it will …stay strong I know you can do it, we all can xo
I was in a situationship for a year. It started out as a casual arrangement but slowly we started spending a lot of time together. Met for ice cream every other evening. Hooked up frequently. Went shopping. Dinner. Lunch. Grabbing breakfast. Hospital visits. Birthdays. New year’s Eve. You name it. I didn’t realize when I fell for him. Maybe it was because I hadn’t experienced a relationship before, but whenever I was called sweet names, it felt like one. As soon as 2020 started, everything started going downhill. He tried reconnecting with an ex. Although I felt hurt, I ended it. After 4 days, he came back crying. I comforted him all night and left him chocolates the next day. After a week he met another girl and I was confused/enraged beyond words. Suddenly everything about me was annoying, suffocating and too extra. It ended on a very bad note. Six months since, I have been having trouble coping with this loss. I can’t complain because after all it was a “casual arrangement”.
I’m having disturbing and morbid nightmares every day.
Loss of appetite
And I cry every single day
It has taken a huge toll on my mental and physical health. I supported him all along and he left me broken without caring about the state he’s leaving me in. It rips me apart even now.
I m so sorry for what you are going through. Thank you for sharing and for reaching out. How are you taking care of yourself and your emotional health, especially during this quarantine? Are you talking to anyone? If the symptoms you are describing are continuing and / or interfering with your daily living, please reach out to your primary medical doctor or a mental health professional and discuss your symptoms. We all need support as we go through breakups. You’re not alone. Please keep us posted.
Oh my goodness. I am sending you a big hug. You did everything right. Everyone knows best friends make the best mates. And then…
Yes, you have a right to complain. This person could have been much more loyal, much more steadfast, much more respectful, much more kind. True, there was no explicit statement of commitment or exclusiveness but all that you did and shared together COUNTS for SOMETHING. You are a treasure. There is no excuse for you to be devalued and disrespected and cast aside for sharing your feelings and desires. I’m so sorry for the cruelty of it.
There are some people who are not and never will be monogamous. Some people just demand to be shared around. If you can live with that and be okay, maybe this situation is salvageable (I’m sure this person will miss you, if they aren’t already missing you). There are polyamorous sorts who genuinely love and care for all of their partners. If, however, this is not acceptable for you, you did well for yourself (no matter how much you feel otherwise). No need to drive yourself crazy trying to make someone else what you wish they were, but are not!
One moment at a time. One day at a time. One day at a time.
The physical and mental suffering you are experiencing sounds a lot like what I went through. Words can’t even begin to capture the awfulness, I know. Poor sweet girl.
Try, whenever you can, to do something very special for yourself. Get lost in a story you love. Wonder at something beautiful and strange. Make something. Reach out to feel the Divine. Choose a better feeling thought (“Somehow, even thought it doesn’t feel like it, everything is working out for me. Everything is working out for the best. I am loved. I am divinely protected. I am being guided. I am being made whole even though I can’t see it yet.”).
Something that helped me relax and fall asleep is to go through the alphabet and think of as many words starting with each letter as I can, and savor each one, trying to *feel* each one as I go. Words that express how I want to feel and how I want my relationship to be (I took this idea from a speaker named Esther Hicks). Like this:
I want to feel amazing…alert…alive…awesome…at peace…ameliorated with thing that make me feel good…I want to be surrounded by a healthy atmosphere and a beautiful ambiance…adventure!…ambivalent to things that don’t matter…
I want my life to be blessed…benevolent…beneficial to me and those around me…bountiful in all things wonderful…beautiful, surrounded by beauty…bedizened with things that are stylish and express the real me…bold because I never play small or settle…
I am creative…centered…clear-minded…calm…committed to my health and success…candid and speak openly…conscientious…careful…caring…charming….choice, I make good choices…
I Draw more of this into my life: delight, being delighted and delighting others…diligent about being whole and happy…drama-free…dreams coming true…down-to-earth-ness (kind and relateable)…daring…being more of a Do-er—I do what I like and make things I love…discernment and wisdom…
I love being energetic….being at ease, things are easy…exciting, I am exciting and excitement is everywhere….elated by wonderful things, big and small….euphoric whenever possible…I am EXTRA and edgyin all the best ways and my friend egg me on!…emphatic!
My life is my fantasy, things are fantastic and will be even more fantastic tomorrow…festooned with flippant frippery that makes me smile…fun and funny, I make myself laugh and I know how to have a good time….free, I have so much freedom and it is so good!….fabulous, I am the star of my own film!….far-out, I feel like I could fly…fresh, things are new and exciting and I feel fit and refreshed…my life is a flight of fancy!
My future relationship is grand and good and gallant and gosh-darn lovely and something to gush about and glimmering, glittery golden and…
Just focussing on good words and how you *wish* things were is a mood changer and a great escape! I feel eXhilarated just eXpressing this concept!
Thank you for the excellent finally-be-able-to-sleep tip. I‘m stuck in possibly the kindest breakup possible: I‘m married and polyamorous, and a two year relationship besides my marriage just came to an end due to some reasons on his side which he communicated clearly and which are completely understandable to me. We’re still connected in kindness and friendship, though texts are rare, my husband is helpful, but still things just s*ck. I don’t usually think of me as a snowflake, but I‘m heartbroken by this anyway, and my sleep time rarely exceeds 3 or 4 hours at night, because I wake up and start thinking… …and thinking… …I’m almost scared to lie down in the evening. But this alphabet tip really helps! Thank you!!!
Some people have found something called Emotional Freedom Technique to be helpful. You talk aloud to yourself about whatever you are feeling while you gently but firmly tap on different pressure points on your body: top of the head, start of the eyebrows, temples, under the eyes, under the nose, under the lips, collarbones, under the armpits, and wrists together.
It’s like a self-soothing massage you give yourself while you discuss and open up to yourself about everything you are feeling, reassuring yourself throughout that “Even though [what you feel, regret, wish was different]…I deeply and completely love, accept, and forgive myself.” There are lots of guided sessions on YouTube, but you can certainly just do it by yourself.
There are also trauma-releasing poses and exercises you may wish to research and talk to your medical professional about. These are usually simple to do, and can offer a lot of release and relief.
Dear Dr. Tarane
Thank you for your advice. I will try to get some professional assistance as soon as the quarantine period is over.
Thank you so much for your kind and beautiful words. It left me in tears. Thank you for understanding what I felt and encouraging me to do better. I’m so sorry that you had to go through something similar. The tips that you shared are precious. I’ll definitely try them out.
Lots of love
Right you are Gabriela For me the pain of a breakup, the loss and grief is an indication of how much I connected, attached and loved. It shows me that my heart was and is working really well even though I may not have made the best decision in choosing the recipient. When I look at it this way, I feel gratitude. In the midst of pain , for having a heart that works, that loved and that now is hurting. This allows to be proud and more self compassionate.
With love and honoring your loving heart,
Really sweet response to Felicity. Having been in in many break ups, boy it sure does hurt, but it will get better.
Thank you for sharing your heartfelt grief. I and your tribe here see you. You deserve to be seen, heard, understood and loved. He couldn’t and didn’t show up for that. You have a voice, you’re not stuck and you have power to change this narrative. You are not what happened to you, you are who you choose to become because of what happened to you. Maybe you can write a letter to him , not to send it to him but to express and release all that you wanted to say, the unexpressed ouch. Did you know that birthing mothers who scream their pain actually less pain than those who hold it in. Once you birth the pain on paper, you can choose to share it with a trusted loved one to honor your experience. . This was and is a part of your life, it’s not your entire life. There’s still so much more life to be lived, savored and shared , even on quarantine. Sometimes we have to release somethings to make room for new experiences. Just a thought…
I feel this exactly. I had a complicated relationship for 2 years with somebody I thought loved me and I thought was ethically non-monogamous (so I knew he had a girlfriend but also thought I knew that everybody was on board and I was not a secret). I met and talked to his other girlfriend. Then, suddenly, his girlfriend “found out” and I was suddenly banned from contact- I was a secret, but I didn’t know. It felt so surreal, and I felt like such trash, and my own felt shame of being the other woman, even if that wasn’t my intention. And during the pandemic, and just, yes… I don’t get to know what happened or how and somehow grieving that makes it harder.
Oh Felicity, I feel this too. The being suddenly dropped by someone you care about, feeling erased and forgotten after investing so much in someone.
I went through a similar situation recently and it sucks. My heart goes out to you. If you can find someone to talk to about this, even just a therapist, it can really help have another person witness this big part of your life that you had to keep secret. I’m glad you shared here. I’ve found there is a dearth of places on the internet (whatever you do stay far far away from survivinginfidelity.com) for finding support as the affair partner/other person. We’re often just blamed and erased and forgotten while holding all this pain and greif and grieving a relationship that while maybe not based in reality or sustainable was still was very real.
I’m still trying to make sense of it all myself. Best wishes to you.
Thank you for this post. I recently ended a relationship, not because I wanted to, but because the relationship was causing me more anxiety than joy. It was a relationship I never told anyone about, and we were together for 6 years. He is quite a bit older than I, about 20 years.
He just started withdrawing, and weeks would go by where I didn’t see him, because he kept canceling constantly. He didn’t like to text, and calls were sporadic with lots of conditions (like he would only call on his way to work, never at work or after work, he wanted to be left alone then), so I felt further and further away from him. The more I chased him, the worse it got, but otherwise, I would have stopped hearing from him altogether.
When I told him the anxiety I was feeling waiting for him to cancel every week, or waiting for a call from him that would never come, he told me I “didn’t get it”, and he has a crazy job, he’s busy, etc. I did get it though. We are both professionals and have a very busy life, but we always made time.
It just wasn’t right, and I should have done this a long time ago. I’ll just give a brief example of the kind of person he was, but I broke my leg a year ago, and I was home bound for a while. I asked him to take me for coffee, and he told me “he didn’t want to be responsible for me, and call him when I was up and around again”. Toxic, I know. I read a lot of the articles on here, and I am textbook for being attracted to the emotionally unavailable man. It’s my Achilles’s heel, and if you knew me, you’d be shocked that I stayed or felt I was not worthy enough for this man.
So, it’s been almost two weeks, and I don’t regret ending the relationship because I know I finally stood up for myself and chose myself first. But…the loneliness, the missed conversations when things were good, the few times he did make me feel important, I miss those. That is what I am mourning, but also acknowledging that it was more bad than good, and taking time to work on me.
It’s hard, I’m getting there, so thanks for giving me a place to write. This is the first and only time I will write or acknowledge this relationship, and I feel I may actually get some closure now. I do so appreciate that.
Hi, Catherine, I can totally relate to this post and the other comments story along with yours. I am sorry you went through that after being home-bound, you deserve better! I like what you said ending it because you finally had to stand up for yourself, I did the same thing and finally had the courage to block him. I like that you acknowledged it was worse than good and taking the time to work on you because it is similar to my story. I too have a history to settle for an emotionally unavailable man, it makes me want to take a sabbatical from dating for a long time until I heal so that I no longer attract the same type. Cheers to developing a relationship with ourselves xo
You Go Ladies. In my life I’ve learned that this is what life is really about. It’s a university designed to teach you to parent yourself and learn to have a loving and compassionate relationship with yourself before doing so with others.
Thank you Catherine for taking the time to share your story and your courage to take care of yourself. Although We tend to see potential and possibilities , there comes a time when crumbs are not enough and we realize that we deserve the entire and actual cookie. Glad to figured it out.
As I’m reading this, I am filled with gratitude that PMS always has a post that is right on time for me. About two years ago, I experienced the second most devastating breakup I have ever had. I fell for a guy who was great at keeping secrets, and the loss of friendship coupled with shattered hope had me crying even at my desk job. I felt overwhelmingly hurt, manipulated, and rejected. This prompted me to finally start doing a work within myself to fix the issues that I blamed myself for causing in the relationship. I will add here that the reason we ended was because we were both toxic toward one another, him sleeping with his children’s mother behind my back, and me lying to him in order to get him to stay. It was not good chemistry to work out in the long run, but I was so insecure with myself that I didn’t realize he just wasn’t right for me. I could have saved myself so much time and heartbreak, but in the end it is useless to regret anything that started me on a better path. Fast forward to today, I have been involved with a guy who quit doing drugs for me, lavishes me with attention, gifts, and his time. He did everything right up until a few little white lies had come out on the table. I am now faced with walking the other way altogether, and it sucks. Though I had learned my lesson from the previous romance, this new guy was something else entirely. He never gave up wanting me, and he still hasn’t. Yet I don’t know how to envision a future with him. And this is the hard part, because I’ve invested so much of my past already. I don’t think I can bring myself to get rid of his gifts just because he knew me so well, he had gotten me things that I genuinely wanted. It’s hard to talk about it with people, because a lot of the time when a guy is doing everything right in the world’s eyes, we jump to the assumption that the other person has to be wrong. Either for not accepting or opening themselves up to it. But intellectually there is a divide between us. I don’t know how to even feel about it. I’m a single mom of two so I don’t enjoy the thought of going back to being alone without any adult interaction (which is how I was living before he came along), it sounds so silly but I can’t seem to understand where the real problem is, just that there is one. Lack of proper communication, emotional health, and all the little white lies perhaps. It is still a loss for me, and I will have to deal and cope just like all the other losses I’ve faced. Carrying on xoxo
Just because “getting rid of gifts” is part of the process for some people, it doesn’t mean *you* need to. If even the thought of it is causing you distress, DON’T DO IT. People grieve in different ways. I never got rid of the things my ex- gave me, and I’m okay. The “getting rid of gifts” thing isn’t a magic voodoo ritual that will magick away heartbreak. Sometimes it makes it much worse, to force yourself to let go of things, especially well before you are ready!
Another thing: you don’t need to marry this guy tonite–or ever. You don’t need to decide if he is the ONE your future will be with RIGHT NOW. If he is providing companionship and comfort…it’s okay to be content with those blessings without needing to map out how the next 50 or 60 years will go (as if you can!). Learning to communicate with someone, even someone who is very near and dear and “gets you” is a long process that can take YEARS to grow into, as Antoine De Saint Exupery said, “Nothing, in truth, can ever replace a lost companion. Old comrades cannot be manufactured. There is nothing that can equal the treasure of so many shared memories, so many bad times endured together, so many quarrels, reconciliations, heartfelt impulses. Friendships like that cannot be reconstructed. If you plant an oak, you will hope in vain to sit soon under its shade.”
Keep working on yourself. Take a breather from him if you need to. Sometimes that really helps your own emotional growth. And it makes you appreciate each other more. “Absence makes the heart grow fonder” and all that.
His “white lies” and other things have triggered some very deep, very sore and sensitive wounds, and that is okay. You are human. But in the throes of being triggered is rarely the best time to make a radical decision. Whenever you feel down, choose a better-feeling thought, focus on whatever you have to appreciate. Your job is to feel good. That’s the only thing that ever worked for me.
If it’s causing you distress, take a rest.
Thank you Cassidy for sharing your story. Listen to your gut feelings, put him on mute (i.e. don’t make your decision based on what he is saying) and watch his actions. It may make things more clear for you. Good luck and keep us posted.
My ex and I broke up at the end of March. We were still in contact for about a month and haven’t talked since because he was struggling with his feelings and thinks it’s because he wasn’t as ready for something serious as he thought he was. I was absolutely crushed! But told him I would give him the space he needs because I just want him to be happy with, or without me. ( Preferably with, lol) honestly, there hasn’t been a day that goes by that I don’t miss him! I have been spending this time focusing on myself and becoming a better version for myself. It’s so hard because I don’t think it had to do with us, more inner issues for him. I pray for him every single day. I miss him so much! But I’m trying to respect the fact that he needs space and waiting for him to make contact first. I know deep down we care about eachother. But, I also don’t want to keep holding onto something that isn’t going to come back.
I’ve been trying to find guidance ( did a few tarot readings that all see an ex coming back, which … Keeps me wanting to hold on) I suggested therapy because I think his issues are a little deeper from the past but he’s convinced he just needs more life experience. I’m so torn. Do I eventually reach out? Do I leave it alone and let him do the reaching out? I still have stuff in his garage that he said I can store there after the break up ( is that him holding on too?) I’m so lost. I’ve never had a break up be this hard before
I’m not sure what he means by “something as serious as he thought” (Monogamy? Not abandoning you? Talking to you/hanging out with you every day or at least regularly?) but I think you are doing all the right things if you really want him back: staying loyal, staying classy, improving yourself, praying for him and thinking positive thoughts/remembering good things/being appreciative instead of stewing/harping, giving him space and letting HIM be the one to reach out when he is ready. It’s okay to take a breather, and then, when they are ready, say, “I like you pretty good, let’s see how it goes.” (I stole that quote from Esther Hicks–it’s a good one).
I think there is a good chance he will probably come back, especially if you give him his space (since you mentioned tarot, is it cool if I guess he’s an air sign? Having space and freedom makes them feel safe) and especially if the relationship is one where there is/was care, love, bonding experiences, and admiration/respect.
One thing that helped me, when a person I love and I took “breaks” from each other/had to be apart, was to talk to them as if they were still there. I would say, “I miss you. I love you.” I would tell them all about my day. Out loud, to the empty room. I would buy them little presents when I saw something that made me think of them. I would cook and set a place for two. I would listen to their music.
When we did inevitably get back together, it felt very natural, like no time had really passed. They were touched the at the gifts, and it reinforced how much we care for each other. There was a base to build on.
Good things are coming for you 🙂 They always take longer than you like, but happen sooner than you expect 😀
This is a difficult position to be in. I agree with your idea of working with a professional mental health provider together. Preferably one that is Gottman trained in couples therapy. If he “ needs more life experience “ then there’s not much you can do for him or the relationship. Focusing on self care and unpacking your emotions with a trusted friend/therapist will help you manage the situation most effectively.
I wish you well.
I’ve just read this article and I want to thank you first and foremost. I was going out with a toxic man for almost 2 years who was just out of his marriage. Looking back here was emotionally unavailable but would plead with me to stay with him. I caught him goinh back to his wife, talking of reconciliations with her, he even went on dates with his and messaged her in March asking if they could make a go of it again. And he had the audacity to blame me for doing it. If truth be told they were both in a physically and emotionally abusive marriage and both of them were codependent on the craziness. He tried to make me feel crazy, parinoid and even called me a manipulater and liar when all I was, was honest with him..I now know looking back that he wojld never accept any responsibility for what he done and transferred a lot of blame and was also very projectionary. My friends would be horrified at some of the things I told them.
Anyways I stopped taking his calls and broke off with him and because of this he sent approx 30 one minute voicemails on Facebook to my dear friend character assassinating me which most was half truths and and lies.
I’m finding it hard to believe why some people are like this and I’m being awfully sore on myself for allowing it.
Thank you again for this. As I am grieving for the loss of my toxic relationship and I don’t know how to deal with that.
Thank you for your kind acknowledgment. We can’t get over, above or under grief, we have to go through it. Think RAIN:
R- recognize and label the emotions that you are facing
A-allow the experience to be. Remember that this experience is a part of your life and not your entire life.
I- investigate and explore the triggers that cause the emotions/grief and see if it’s trying to teach you something.
N- normalize the experience and nurture yourself.
If how you’re feeling is interfering with your fail living, please seek help from a professional mental health provider.
Nice abbreviation. RAIN. Let’s check
R- Recognized betrayals/cheated. Trust abused like I’m a toot of fool! Seem like taking long time to overcome and heal. Time will tell. The emotion as of PRESENT plaques due to anxiety of vision impairment, on fixed income with an exception of erode cost of living down on the road (out of balance) and uncertainty of being independent at my own. I do not want a “certified ass wiper”.
A- Experience during younder time might seem vast of experiences than being married but having family to raise was an experience. After two failed relationship/friendship and I been so apathy till few months ago maybe a year tops. Things seem to gradually progress. Time will tell. With pandemic I don’t know if experience would become limit for all of us?
I- Oh yes! Afraid to retrust, abandonments, betrayals/cheated twice, and whether to believe in my life ahead? Working on to surrender to find peace. I feel like my life is wasted for that reason. I feel my quality is not good enough because of degenerate visions as it’s robbing freedom away. For example. I don’t like to go to a movie theatre it’s eye-aching to me. GF will find me boring. Communication will become more “patience” which GF could feel more hassle and then given up. No matter how good/bad or dumb/smart person I’m. That part of fear I not want to go through again. It might seem my relationship day is over.
N- Believe it or not! REGARDLESS where. It’s hard to find professional that fits in deaf or DeafBlind or HH consumers because of obvious reasons such as communication/culture difference, lack understand each other, hassle to schedule with an interpreters, and many other to mention. I hope that you experienced work with DDBHH? If never. Your not the one. If you did then I’m sure that you will attest that points. Average For majority (birthright) people It averages 18-24 months of lifetime per person to seek mental health service. For DDBHH (Going to shock y’all). Average 19 YEARS per person. Why? Cultural difference, left out, mistreatments, refuse provide interpreter, dope em up, far minority numbers to have normal social due big gap of “types” of peeps, and struggle with overall life. (Ie: discriminations, no job, etc). Drill “you can not” into them. (Negatives, no positive productive service) Now with pandemic. IMAGINE THIS!?! DB, especially full blind and being full deaf that depends on TOUCHINGS now hospital staffs and public are all freak out. Left DB out. DB losing (maybe) all of legal rights because of social distance guidelines. This is something new for DB to start collaborate and stand up. Time will tell the outcome as pandemic is new to all of us. To nurture with things it’s now is upping more anxieties devastating, frustrating, and mix of hopes/hopelessness to DB. I rather to enjoy my freedom but when my eyes gone one day I don’t know if I’ll accept it “seeing” is GOD # 1 gift for everyone we get to see the beauty there is out. No touch? No worries. Seeing take care of it. Distance. Safe. Being deaf with seeing as who I am no bother. I can speculate how you feel during illness and you OVERCAME and kicked out cancer ass of your system! What a strong person you are. How do you accept, nurtured, and overcame to the victory line? Now. Imagine this. If you are DB in those time now? NO CURE to regain visions. (Pandemic). Will that be different your perspective and determine to hang on to live?
Stay well. You are definitely worth to hang on as the world need people the like you. I’d be upset should you be gone and there a lifelong friend. Same age as my older sister. She’s very valuable person to this world just like you are. But different characters. Rene (birthright person) lived wonderful everlasting life. Wonderful and business-successful husband, family, etc. 4 years ago Rene and few grandchildren visiting them from other state all drowned one of pond in her own 1,000 acre property while enjoying riding in buggy (ATV-alike) Cause? Mystery. Heart attack crash in pond? Lost control? It’s like I wish it’s me that I’m dead not her and those small children that world need them most than me. Sadly one of her daughter’s children all gone with her. Sad the thoughts they either start over or not? Haven’t heard anything of them aftermath that funeral. That was upsetting feeling.
You stay strong. World need you. ?. Take care. John.
Dear Doctor John,
Thank you for taking the time and the effort to read and comment on the post. I address you as doctor because the word doctor means teacher and that’s what you are. You have touched my heart with your strength, your courage, perseverance and spirit. I can’t begin to imagine the multitude of challenges that you have and are facing given your circumstances, especially now with the physical distancing and touching as one of the primary ways of spreading and contracting the virus.
And then there’s your tragic loss, your grief and your sorrow. I am so very sorry and wish I could lessen the heaviness of all of this for you somehow.
Finding providers that can and are willing to work through an interpreter is extremely difficult for one physical challenge let alone for two. Thank you for shedding light on this and I hope that you’re able to not only raise awareness but find such a person. I will do my best to do the same
What you graciously describe me as is truly a perfect description of you my friend The world needs people and teachers like you. You are living proof that we are not what happens to us but who we choose to become because of what happens to us.
There are no coincidences in life and I am honored to meet you.
I thank you again for who you are and for what you are overcoming.
With much love and respect,
I am mourning because I learned unconditional acceptance I accepted the “ugly” parts of him and saw beauty in his ashes. I saw hope, but it was blinded hope that was keeping me “stuck”. This fantasy relationship I signed up to this year via text messaging because he avoided phone calls and since covidd-19 happened he felt comfortable driving off to Las Vegas last minute without telling me in advance. Very secretive I confronted him often if he had someone else. He denied it said it was a pandemic happening he did not have anyone in his mind but his financial problems. He kept saying when feeling under stress he rather be alone nothing against me. Yet the pattern of avoidance to dealing with conflicts head-on, limited communication, giving me the cold shoulder knowing I was crying to lying among other things… I was filled with anxiety when I will get another text. I get that my attachment style is preoccupied anxious and he was fearful avoidant..however, I was always the one reading, analyzing, and trying to understand him to make it “better”. He did not care, he did not love me nor cared the way I did, that is the ugly truth despite all the excuses he made as long as his arm. I somehow expected a medal of honor after everything I put up with. It was never enough to give me an open communication relationship with vulnerability (he avoided often), responsibility, and respect. All I learned from this experience given that we were 14 years apart is that age is nothing but a number and that if I manifested this kind of relationship into my life and still stayed after all the red flags there is work to be done. This isn’t my full potential. I like to believe the new me is emerging. I need to lick my wounds and learned to be in a committed relationship spiritually, emotionally, and mentally alone. Staying on the white horse is difficult. However, I am glad and look forward to your emails, your posts always give me much clarity and hope, this time though not blinded! Like Natasha said, “its time to practice the art of zero f*cks given” or something like that I read in another post! I hope my story resonates with someone else, the comment section makes me feel I am not alone, thank you.
You’re not alone, not here, not now and not ever. I’m sorry for what you had to go through. As I have always told Natasha: put the person you’re interested in on mute do to speak and look at their actions and behaviors. Does he behave like he loves you? If the answer is no , then RUN Regardless of why he says, his actions spoke volumes.
Staying on the white horse is very simple but not easy. It requires self love, self respect and the willingness to not settle for crumbs. You deserve the entire cookie.
With love ,
She gets it from her Mom <3
(please excuse my English. It is not my mother language)
Thank you doctor Tarane for such a timely post. I am ashamed to share but I know that this is a safe space with no judgment. I was having an affair with a married man and found out last week that he died. I don't know where to even begin. This post and your daughter's wonderful writings are what has literally keep me alive. I am ashamed of my actions. I am a good person. I feel for his family too.
I am so heartbroken. Thank you for this post.
I’m sorry about this difficult time. The good news is: Where is the past? Can you point to it? Can you pull it out of your pocket? No. The past is gone.
Every minute is a new chance to be the person you want to be. I know that you will make yourself proud tonight. And tomorrow. And the next day.
Keep doing your best. That is all you can do. Your best is enough.
Good things are coming for you 🙂
Thank you GM for your words of mindful encouragement.
All we have is NOW.
With love, light and blessings,
Thank you for reaching out and for your courage in sharing your situation. This is a safe place and a place of non-judgmental acceptance I recognize and acknowledge your loss and grief along with others here. Loss is loss my friend. The circumstantial context of the relationship is only relevant in that you can’t share the social and emotional support needed with his family. and perhaps with yours.
Please be gentle and kind with yourself and invite the feeling of shame in. Ask it what it is trying to tell you and then listen deeply.
We are here for you.
I’m going through a breakup where we were together for 18 months. I love him a lot, but I’m very relieved we aren’t together. The feeling was mutual. We both have different brains and think entirely differently!
Although, having said all of this, I still get really worried I will end up alone. Im only 20, but I’m almost finished my studies and my major life goals are to get married and have kids. How do I know this will happen for me? The breakup makes me worry that I’m leaving behind that opportunity.
SOF. I’m 51 and DeafBlind. I got married 19. Divorced 25 years later after shock abandonment from WHOLE family for another man (Infidelity) and out of characters that destroyed family from identify infringements (fraud/thief) I have 3 children (31 27 25) and 3 grandchildren (10 1 and 7 months old) from each children. More may be on the way? We’ll see. Being DB does it mean no future? Not allow have children? I graduated HS. Attended a year college but dropped out to pursue job to support family until I was forced out of job on disability. You said you are glad to be free of him? Right. Stop there. Be glad!!! Imagine this. Having children from wrong person can do harms or consequences that one will regret. Not just you. All of them. I am open to my children and taught them NOT TO MAKE SIMILAR MISTAKES I made. Plus they have witnessed what we went through. You are 20 years old. Healthy? Ovary in good shape? I’d suggest you put children goal on hold. Right now ENJOY. CARPE DIEM YOUR LIFE!!! Finish schooling. Have a good career you call it career with balance life between work and life/family. Not a “job” that don’t give a damn of you or your life/family. Having children mean you are part in their life. Some time you will feel stuck or feel grateful with child/ren. I drilled my children “Once you have a child and that’s your 18 years sentence”. That said. It’s important that you TAKE YOUR TIME to find Mr Right that are in the same page with you. EVERYTHING! No walk over egg! Be true self. Be truth. TRUE FRIENDSHIPS!!! Be blahs you fill in. No drama-bullshits. (Friendship/relationship killer). Lastly. Having children is risky for some and not for some. Example. Children love you from birth till HS or even beyond 18 revealed bad wayward of you (out of characters). They can discord you or vice versa. It really pain to watch those behaviors. Life itself can either pay off or waste having children. That’s why it’s imperative you find right partner. Be true with everything for years to come. No secrecy. Secrecy do destroy and kill everything including children. Please. Finish school. Carpe diem your experiences and life. Send us post card those place you want to visit before having child. ?? . Until your settled. Then let us know you have a oooooh cute cute baby out of you. Ohhhhh how adorable. ???
It’s up to you. Your life. Your choice. Please read up more posts Drill Sergeant Natasha and her troops shares their wisdoms and comments chiming ours. Hope we are able to educate you and figure out how you have a content life with true loving and true friendship husband/father to children.
Yesterday. I think it was my first reading Natasha mother wrote and I think she’s super cool that why I tease “Trane” ?. Tarane/Trane. Similar fancy names ?. See? No wonder she surely raised and LOVE her and see what turns her out to be? Let her learn. Cry on her shoulder. Etc. Look How close they are. It’s all on trueness. EVERYTHING from Angry to Zpeace. (A-Z). Not (Smiley to Zpeace) S-Z or G-S (Gifts-Smiley) that we have to walk over egg shell. Dramas. Bullshits. Hurts to deal with. Etc. Use that example. Think about it hard. I promise you will thank to have visited here and your 20 and lucky enough to find before major decision. My cousin told me. “Take your time. It pays off. Hurry is a waste”. Good Luck.
Thank you for sharing your story. You are in such an incredible point in your life. You get to look for, find and keep the father of your children. Not just a mate, a spouse a partner but the father of your children. That is such a special position to bestow upon someone. I know that at 20, I didn’t look at it as such. I simply wanted to be married and have a child. Now when I look at that point in my life from the perspective of searching for a man who is suitable to be the father of my child ( even we don’t have any) , the necessary qualities , the must haves become so clear. I wish PMS existed when I was 20. I really could have used the tribe and everyone here. You’re not alone. Keep looking and find the best. Do not settle for anyone or anything else. Your children will thank you someday.
Hope this perspective helps.
Dr Trane. “Rolls Royce or Cadillac Air Conditioner”! ??
Thank for article. Some of your highly doctorate words are out of my league due to my low IQ ?????. Thank goodness iPhone have “look up” that you click the word WITHOUT the hassle to grab a dictionary book to look up. ? Thank you for some new, unheard, words. Whew. I’ll have to re-read over and over to be clearly therefore I get most basics base on my experience from two past relationships/friendship. SECRECY is friendship/relationship killer! It destroys and pain so overwhelmly to deal with. Especially unfinished business that one placed on trusts/faiths/patiences believing the good outcome yet to come up turn out the worse. REGARDLESS being upfronted with. As long there’s secrecy involved. It’s doomed. In my opinion under any circumstances “none of your business” should not be in any part within relationship or friendship (potential for relationship).
As other posters sharing their pain experiences and I can attest to some of them it’s all point to lousy/stink communication, manipulation (poor character), secrecy, and exploring options that some of us, unfortunately, being played as their options. Like a toot of fools! Geez.
Overall. To few of posters. Pay attention to your ex or to be ex and I promise you that YOU WILL SEE “SECRECY DO MAKE THEM SICK!” Be brutally truth with yourself, Also, unfortunately it does make you/me sick once realized that we was secrecy in somewhat then regret after break up. That add more heart-gut-wrench misery bitterness remorses and regrets. Depend on what case it can make us feel guilty for allow secrecy in the play that benefits them more than you/us. That ought be your best tell tale. Yes it’s lengthy long grieve progress. Likewise said “Secrecy make you sick”.
Thank God I just had a brand new Trane HVAC to upstair and this defines what heaven (Upstair) should be during hot summer! (Not the downstair!) ?. ???.
This was a post I didn’t know I needed. I actually wish I’d had it years ago, when a relationship that had been under wraps ended after 5 years. It felt so isolating, and it took a long time to build myself back up again or even consider dating again.
About two weeks ago, my last relationship ended after almost a year together. It’s been sad and tough to get through, but I have to remind myself that the issues leading up to it started long before quarantine. And it’s not nearly as bad as the “secret” relationship aftermath from before. I’m actually grateful for the quarantine/social distancing measures (in my state) because it forces all of us to have time with ourselves and not to go out much. I don’t feel like I have to get back out there before I’m ready, or wonder about what he’s doing because we’re all doing similar things right now. These posts have been helping so much in acknowledging the hurt, but also moving forward and getting perspective – thank you!
That is such a good point! No obsessing over “What awesome thing is he doing while I’m here crying into my pillos\w? Out with some hot chick? Taking a luxury vacation?” NOPE. He’s sitting in front of a glowing screen watching some mindless entertainment while eating take-out from the place on the corner. Maybe reading a magazine in the bathroom. Geez, missing out on some real top-notch stuff. LOL.
Yes, take all the time you need and want to “get back out there”. There is no race, and you are already a winner. You are AWESOME and I love your down-to-Earth-ness!
Christie. I want to thank you for contribute your experience and share your wisdoms. Yes I must agree that apparently pandemic our life might seem to adjust somewhat? Since two weeks I snail-“rock bath” to remove deads off rocks to prepare a 210 gallon aquarium. Still long progress. Funny I must say that life (time) might have went so turbo-fast during pandemic. Strange? Adjustments to what? I wonder. Time will tell. Sorry to hear your break up. Yeah. Secrecy is friendship killer. Sad it seem lot lot LOT people aren’t aware or understand the consequences of secrecy. Also it’s hard to swallow the fact that we experienced “under the wrap”. It damages esteem. You seem to be doing good. Great. Take care.
Ranyoi. Your funny! ?????. Thank for laughs.
Aww! Thank you John! I enjoy your comments too! I love aquariums! What will you put in yours? I always wanted to rescue a live lobster from the grocery store, and keep it as a pet!
Reef Aquarium. I started off with freshwater. Gold fishes and Black Molly Goldfish. Moved up to community freshwater then saltwater. Had to suspend few years after marriage due excess relocations, overwhelm with growing family, and job demands. I did came back few between. It was impossible to have a good husbandary with saltwater aquarium under impossible to compromise with ex wife. So I suspended indefinitely. Put family first before me. Fast forward. Shit hit the fan. Ex abandoned family. Children grown up. Glad you asked me that question and I want to share with y’all. PLEASE do not surrender things you love to do or change priorities to make your partner happy because regret is extreme difficult to deal with “life or opportunities being wasted. “ YES it destroy esteem and self worth My children do knows I’m still determined to have reef aquarium and encourage me to. Motivation lost, rebuild then collapsed after revealed ex dating around. I got 2-210 Gallons tanks 2017. Haven’t started because of THIS reason. I gradually purchased equipments for one of 210 gallon tank over 1 1/2 years. Now I have about everything to start up after breaker box overhaul and HVAC to upstair put on. Bathing rocks now. (3-12 months process depending parameter). As soon it’s done (per water parameter indicates ready) then hopefully between autumn to end of winter 2021 it’s finally up and running. Bath rock is a beginning to “husbandary” progress with aquarium. Time will tell the outcome. I’m at “DO IT NOW or NEVER”. (My loss). I have to do it ASAP while I have “seeing” eyes. Try to enjoy. Should reef aquarium success that would conclude my satisfaction of long overdue goal. The other 210 gallon will be fish only. Few fishes my favorite can not be in reef. They will eat em up. Hopefully to get that up sometime 2022 or so if things goes in my favor.
Folks. PLEASE DO NOT SURRENDER THINGS YOU LOVE TO DO TO MAKE YOUR PARTNER HAPPY TILL THE DAY YOUR PARTNER ABANDON YOU. (Vice versa). REGRET IS EXTREME PAINFUL. I see clear why some 80-90-100 years old people on their dying bed realize their regrets the loss of opportunity WHEN THERE WAS AN OPPORTUNITY. I’ll celebrate after (if) things goes in my favor. In order to success with aquarium requires good husbandary. Pretty similar as friendships or relationships. No husbandary no success. In my opinion.
Now see why I encourage you to enjoy things you want to do badly. YOU. YOU. Not the partner. Otherwise compromise each other to retain balances without surrender things you love to enjoy. To me (my experience) it was pure clear red flag whenever your partner (even you to your partner) demand one to give up things one love to do. This shows disrespect toward you that benefit other more.
RANYOI. THANK YOU for asking me that question.
Dearest Doctor Tarane,
Thank you so much for this post (and also the one about the museum of you). I hope someday you write your life story in a book. Natasha once posted a picture of a subway stop and said you had stood there with no money, just arrived in America…and you went on to become a psychologist and doctor. This story kept me going when I left my miserable job, lost my house, and was literally sleeping on a relative’s floor. It gave me hope. I also love hearing about life in Persia too. Even though it may seem like such an exotic place…the stories of your perfection-obsessed mother and kindly teacher are very, very relateable.
I hope one day you write a blog post on how to keep going when you have lost all motivation. That is a big one for me because sometimes it is just easier to read and sleep, delay, procrastinate, escape…even when it really bothers me that I’m not making things that I really want to make. I know the hardest part can be getting started…but the hardest part can also be being consistent. And finishing.
This post is so good. I think that to some degree, all grief is disenfranchised grief. Words can’t do justice to the real pain of loss. We can’t share our feelings every second of every day with everyone. It wears down our support system and with some people, they just don’t want to or can’t hear it. We pass by co-workers and strangers for whom life is going on, promising and predictable as ever, while ours is silently imploding. More time than not, we have to put on the “everything’s fine” face, even if a few people know the truth. So I think all grief has an element of disenfranchised grief, throughout each day. This post is relevant to everyone.
I love you so much.
This post really spoke to me! My ex and I broke up in March 2019. We were together for 2 years and lived together. We spoke about marriage and kids all of the time, it was a really serious relationship and we loved each other but everything had to be on his terms and his way. It got to the point where I was so unhappy and saw what my future would look like if I married him and realized I would be a woman without any choices. We were from different countries and he refused to compromise on where we would live. He couldn’t even compromise on how to decorate our apartment or what restaurant to eat at. I ended it with him but at the time still had hope he would change and his last words to me then were “I love everything about you, i really really love you. I wish you were pregnant because then we would make this work. you will always be my wife.” He told me it would take him a long time to get over me. The pregnant thing was weird and felt manipulative. I found out just 2 months later he had a new girlfriend and it shook my world. She’s Brazilian and he used to always make inappropriate jokes when I was with him that he wished we could have a threesome with a Brazilian. Not only that, but after knowing her for 1 month, they went on vacation to Brazil with each other for 2 weeks. When we were together I begged him to come with me to my home country (America) every time I went there for a visit but he could never take time off of work, in 2 whole years! He also always told me when we broke up that he needed to date someone from his own country so he would never have this “country” issue again, but here he was dating a Brazilian and moving really fast with her. The difference is her parents also moved there with her so I guess that made it a bit easier. He also told me when we were breaking up that he didn’t want to be 31 and single and that he wanted to be married in the next year or 2 and he was worried that all of the women left must have something wrong with them because women at our age (late twenties) are mostly married. I was offended because I was about to be 29 and single because of him. Conveniently he met this girl 2 months before he turned 31. I called him in June 2019 to confront him About how he could move on so quickly and also told him I wanted all of my money back for the furniture we bought together for our apartment and I wanted all of my things back that I left in the apartment. He was terribly mean on the phone with me and negotiated me down to the dollar on every item. It got to the point that I said, “does she even know we just broke up?” He laughed at me and said, “I didn’t tell her anything about you.” I then said “how can you date someone who is Brazilian after you always made me feel bad for being from another country” he laughed at me again and said “she’s not Brazilian, she’s from my country, I don’t know what you’re talking about.” I then said “how could you go 2 weeks there with someone you just met but never found time to visit my family because of work?” He said “I learned from my mistakes with you.” I felt stupid. I got angry and said “you know what just throw out all of my things. I don’t want to see you, I don’t want to send anyone there and I don’t want any memories from that apartment” I hung up the phone and sobbed. I didn’t see any of this coming. He sent me a sorry email the next day, telling me his mom has cancer and that’s why he was being mean. In the email he told me I’m the only person in the world who really knows him and he would also be upset and jealous if he knew I had a new boyfriend so soon. He said I’m a beautiful person and amazing and he really cares about me. After the email, he threw out all of my things – including photos of me and my late grandpa, gifts from my mom, and tons of clothes and books. I felt so bad about his mom and I apologized and wrote him a really nice email about her and giving him advice and he never answered. I never spoke to him again. I later found out he lied to me and she was Brazilian and had just moved to his country 3 years prior. I also found out that that month he told my friend he still had feelings for me. I also found out at the same time that I’m most likely infertile because of a reproductive disorder I have. I had 2 failed egg freezing cycles, and a surgery, all the while healing myself from this breakup and making myself strong again. It’s been an emotional rollercoaster I didn’t foresee coming. I’ve reached the point, 1 year later where I can look back and say there were red flags from the very beginning. He was sweet, charming and loveable but he would also put me down by calling me a hypocrite, irresponsible, selfish, too sensitive, too dramatic, the list goes on and on. There was one incident where I broke my toe earlier in the day but his friend had a wedding that night and I went because I wanted to support them. I ended up being in more pain than I thought I would be so I sat at our table alone while everyone danced, which was fine and I didn’t complain. 4 hours later, it was midnight and I asked my ex if we could go home because I was in pain and I was also tired of sitting alone. He said that he wanted to be the last person at the wedding and stay till the end and that if I wanted to leave I would have to take a taxi home. I ordered a taxi and went home alone. I remember the taxi driver said “he’s not coming with you?” I said “no it’s too early, he wants to stay late.” Then the driver said “this is early? It’s 12:30 am” that’s when you know something is wrong when even your driver can see a red flag. I brought this incident up to my ex later and told him sometimes I’m concerned he’s selfish because he puts his own needs above mine. He said “You only see the negative things. I would never say this but I could say the same thing to you, that it was selfish of you to even come to the wedding because you knew I wanted to stay till the end and you had a broken toe.” I was confused at the time and wondered if he was right and if I was the selfish one. There are so many more stories and I think he may have been emotionally abusive to me. I just found out this week that he’s engaged to the Brazilian girl after knowing her for 1 year. I was doing so much better but I found this out and I’m having a hard time dealing with it. I was replaced so quickly when he used to always tell me he wanted me to be the mother of his children. I don’t love him at all anymore, this isn’t about love – I don’t wish I was her. But there is a voice inside me saying “did he change for her? Is he perfect now? Did I make him act that way towards me? Was it my fault? Was it me and not him? If he is the same person why would she ever marry him?” I hate that I feel this way. I haven’t even told my family or my friends he’s engaged because I’m too embarrassed that I even have an emotional reaction to it. I don’t know why I feel this way or how to stop. I know that if I promised to live in his country forever and give up any career aspirations I had, he would have married me because he told me that. I don’t feel like “why did he propose to her and not me” – it was my choice to not marry him because I didn’t want to be trapped. But still, this stings so much and I don’t know how to validate to myself that my experiences and perception of him are real and he is who he is and he didn’t change and I dodged a bullet. Thank you so much for listening to my story! I don’t know who else to tell.
WHOA NELLY!!! This is the greatest story of self-love I have ever read. Despite the incredibly wonderful feelings and moments that felt like home, something deep inside yourself loved you and protected you and stayed strong for you enough to save you from years or maybe even a lifetime of misery-making. He didn’t love you enough to take your wants and needs into account…but YOU did!
Marriage with this turd would mean nothing more than a government contract that, with enough legal trouble and legal fees, would get broken (as it does by people every day).
I can only imagine the heartbreak you dodged by not being tied to him with a child/children for the rest of your and their lives. He would be able to torment you for decades! But instead, you made sure you belong only to someone who really and truly values, guards, and cherishes you: YOU.
I’m sorry you lost your stuff. Real love saves things for people they love when they make a hasty, incoherent, despairing decision in the throes of being upset/depressed out of their mind. I have saved things for an ex- who was irrationally erratic because breaking up is distressing. They did the same for me, even when I said, “I never want to hear from you again” and it seemed like we would never hear from each other again (7 months went by). It is the *kind* thing to do that anyone with any empathy or care would naturally do. How hard is it to leave things on the door step, knock, and disappear? The U.P.S. people do it all day every day! I feel like this just displays a complete lack of decency. If he meant that sweet apology e-mail, he would definitely have followed up and given you another chance to claim your mementos, clothes, and books! (Who the hell throws out good books anyway???) What a fucktard indeed! Ugh. Yuck.
I just can’t even…you are inherently worth so much more than being some creep’s sex robot and breeding incubator (obviously your input on how to raise “your” children would get an automatic “Need Not Apply” sign flipped right in your face. What a living nightmare). He didn’t even *want* your input on decorating the apartment? Twists anything that bothers you or hurts your feelings back on you to make you some evil person? (That is THE WORST). Blergh. Soooo cheap.
Of course you are upset! Here is somebody who created all kinds of the exact sort of wonderful experiences you were looking for, made some great facsimiles of love and care (except when he did everything to demonstrate how you only existed in his world for his convenience and to serve his purposes), made all these little rules and guidelines for you to follow, categories to fit into, hoops to jump through, lines you had better not dare color outside of, no matter how much he could see it hurt you and wouldn’t work for you…and then was completely fine with someone else having carte blanche—virtual relationship ANARCHY in comparison!
Right? How are you not supposed to take that personally? Tonight I cried because for a long time, I took it personally that I had been born to someone who was incredibly devaluing, rigid, and emotionally abusive. And that I had gotten a horrific, humiliating boss at a place I worked, while my friend who was hired at the same time got a wonderful boss. Why me? And how are these disfunctional people so successful while I have problems? Some people get high off of “kissing up and kicking down” wherever possible, no matter how cheap or transparent it is. It’s cheap and transparent and creepy and they have many victims and many unique tortures and timelines for their unique victims, but is that a reflection on the victims? NO. It’s a testament to how common and base and CHEAP and damaged these manipulators are. Why weren’t you “good enough” to uncheap a creep-o? Why don’t you spin straw into a cure for cancer while you’re at it? X^D I’m teasing but also, really. We all take at least one turn being a victim to one of these types. This was your turn.
I highly doubt he has had some kind of proverbial “come to Jesus”-style moment where he “saw the light” (and if he did, that had nothing to do with you and everything to do with a Higher Power and him finally hitting rock bottom). If you read this story, as a stranger (taking yourself out of it), why do you think this happened? As a stranger hearing this “tale as old as time” (this crazy-making phenomenon has happened and is happening to many more people than just you!)…he sounds very achievement-oriented (and extremely selfish). He wants to be married before 31, well…he’ll fake whatever charm he has to, in order to make the date! Maybe this girl is just-hard-to-get-enough that he sees chinks in her boundaries, but she stands firm enough that the “chase of the prey” is exhilarating. People like him get off on seeing how far they can test someone, the tougher the challenge, the greater the win “high”. After they win, well…on to the next “hit”. Achieving power over someone is its own trophy, afterwards there is no gratification because it’s been done. Maybe she is one of those people who just goes along to get along and just really doesn’t have much of a preference on much anything (my auntie is like that), a hive-mind pushover; or maybe she had a childhood of emotional abuse and devaluing and doesn’t realize she has a spine and self-worth and self-respect. Maybe she feels trapped for any number of reasons. Someone who just becomes the shape of whatever relationship container they are in at the moment because they don’t have much of a sense of self. Maybe he is after her parents’ money and the status (Brazilian fulfills one of his fantasies) and is sucking up HARD. Like to perfection, and she is smitten and can’t imagine how quickly someone so “warm and caring and exciting” can transmogrify into a termagant. It could be anything, or even nothing. This guy seems capricious…the wind changing directions is more predictable.
I mean…did you share the horror stories, devaluing, manipulation, mixed-signaling, and subtle abuse with the world? nO. You smiled for the camera like the rest of us. I don’t doubt she is doing the same, if he has relaxed enough to show how he really views women or the people in his life in general. Only the N.S.A. knows what happening out of public view. Oh wait, even they don’t know because it’s in a foreign country! Maybe neither of them has much self-awareness. So no one knows!
In any case, I feel pretty sad for this new gal. Unlike you, it seems like she will be in wayyyyy too deep before he finally takes off his acting hat and reveals what a controlling phony he is. He may let her choose the art for the walls and take her on the dream vacations he should have taken with you, but the abuse, manipulation, blame-gaming, etc. is pretty much guaranteed just as soon as he feels it will get him what he want, perhaps in more ham-fisted, perhaps in more insidiously covert ways. *He’s obviously a shape-shifting opportunist with a pseudo-conscience at best.*
Who knows? In five years she may reach out to you for support. You know, when he dumps her for a Siamese twin or whatever other kink he fantasizes about, and starts negative-labeling/blame-labeling/crazy-labeling *her*. That happens.
Or maybe (like my auntie) she’ll wait until she’s 55 and can’t take the idea of never having lived, having to spend her golden years with an inconsiderate bore, to finally realize she has nothing to lose anymore, and disappear on him, after decades of blah-ness she can never get back. He’ll send her a sad e-mail and a bouquet of roses but she’ll finally realize it doesn’t mean a damn thing…
Never forget that not all great actors become movie stars. And remember that some people turn a huge blind eye, for many unique reasons, when the “emotional currency” they are paid with is Red Flaggaros and funny money. They have that “Smile And Say Cheese Syndrome”.
I love you so much and I can’t wait for the day you can come back and comment with your Happily Ever After. Until then, keep being your own parent, keep being your own child (you are doing an excellent job on both counts—protecting, nurturing, and loving yourself, and growing and filling yourself with wonder) You are awesome and brave and strong and you have inspired me so much. Everything is working out for you, you’ll see! Sing it with me, “Bye-bye selfishness, hello happiness!”
Real love will find you because YOU are REAL and everyone knows the immutable law: That which is like unto itself, is drawn.
AND BY THE WAY
How cheapy-creepy is it that he hid his past relationships, especially his just-ended-relationship with you, from his latest Brazilian ego-inflating “one-and-only”?
Had to make getting your money and stuff back such a traumatic experience that you felt you just had to say “Forget it”?
Had to haggle down to the dollar and cent just to make a painful point?
Then turns around and sends you the e-mail equivalent of a Judas kiss?
Reading about this dude’s treatment of the “special people” in his life makes me feel like I need a shower. Ick. Just ick.
It’s not you, it really is him!
RANYOI. I can’t help it by hold back because THIS is women terrority! ??. My gut prodded me to ask. Please (ANY WOMEN) do not take any offense. I’m trying to understand. Maybe you can help me to understand. Let’s look at perspective about ick ick gross blahs.
EVEN Some women (include ex wife/gf/friendship) told me I WONT LOOK FOR ANY MEN AND YOU ARE MINE. They feel gross ick ick to go with else. I felt peace. Trusted. No worries. Loyalty established. Until they betrayed-cheated with someone. It did crush me to trillions pieces. Yes the thought of their sharing our sacred love to else is the end of it. It gross me and can not take back. Regardless! Their action proved they don’t love me fiercely and full of bullshits. No loyalty. No respect. You name it. The thought of “what if he got a kong dong or grande burrito than me. Moan louder. Or require utilities to build more nuclear power to generate more electricity-demands. (lol). It tore me much more with that thoughts. Yes it destroy esteem and takes long to regain confidence. That said by seeing or being told many other relationshit/friendshit end up such betrayals/cheated becoming so majority and common nowadays. Norms? Geez. Unfortunately. From male perspective as I explained above. For women perspective that claim “you are mine and I not look any other man” grossly icky icky end up betrayal and cheated. How do they feel? Do they feel dirty? Do they enjoy comparing and entitle variety of dongs or explore options? Explore options base on what core? What are they looking for?
After explore options with bunches of men do it influence what they seek? Example. Ex gf/friendshit betrayed n cheated me with other guy turn out he was future faker and seem to move on to another and who knows bunches others? Say few of men she slept with and fond of their sex and if one day she regret her actions and come back to me for new chance. (Fact I’ll refuse!). It will bother me to suspect that I’m not good enough to her in first place because she “tasted” other guys. Her words/actions full of bullshits. The same thing I’m scare to have any future friendship/relationship because betrayal/cheated is the most painful to deal with. With my eyes dwindling means my quality may be dwindling too. How can I overcome negative obstacles as if I meet better person but had few multiples before me. That she might “compare” me to her past lover. (Some little teeny weenie. Some kong dong) whatsoever. It might seem easier on women because there’s no known size in her. Only her. I find it hard to understand why would women feel gross or ick ick turn out drooling lust? Get my drift? Betrayed/cheated after me. Forget it! Ick ick gross!!!!!!!!! I agree you. Again. Psychology Complicate of ick gross and drool lust? Hope you understand perspective of men and women feeling. (Ick ick gross). For those who aren’t gross and enjoy multiples and not bothered. How they are able to overcome that obstacles?
I fail to see how can friend/relationship can success if SEX or money or compare or having companion is the only they “need/want” and shows lack trust or hide partner under bus or other toxic behaviors.
Thank you. John.
Thank you for sharing your story. Based on what you have described, you are very fortunate young lady to have been spared a relationship with an emotionally immature, emotionally unavailable and emotionally abusive man.
We can take you out and put any woman in this relationship and I believe that he would behave the same way. He did not magically change and improve for the new woman in his life. He appears to have a challenging relationship with himself and probably a complicated one with his mother ( despite her cancer) .
A healthy relationship is based on mutual trust, mutual respect , mutual purpose and effective communication. Did you feel respected, trusted and considered with him? Perhaps you’re grieving the loss of what you wished and hoped could be and not the loss of what actually was.
Would you want him as a boyfriend for your daughter if you had one?
If not, then stand up for Jane and say good riddance. You’re not that desperate and he was not that special.objects can be replaced but lost time can’t. Whenever I have had significant and meaningful objects taken away. stolen or lost, I ask myself if I had lost them in a fire that burnt everything except me and my body would i care? The answer is that although I would be sad but I would be more glad than sad. Ultimately, our coffins don’t have pockets and I can’t take any of these objects with me when I die. So I parted with them a bit sooner. It’s ok.
You deserve much better. You will have much better. You can replace the objects with your grandma in mind and infuse the new object with her memory and love But you can’t replace a minute spent on figuring out all the “whys” he left you with.
Reclaim Jane. He couldn’t and didn’t take her away from you. You are your most prized possession. We are here for you.
P.S there are female versions of this man out there as well who abuse and devastate men as John has mentioned. So what I shared here applies to men as well.
JANE!!! ????????. YES YES YES YOU DODGED LOT OF BULLETS FROM THAT CRAZY RAMBO! ?
I can attest to how you are dealing and feeling what you have went thru with him during LDR similar happened to me but not as bad as you detailed due hide me under the bus and lack quality time together.
Unfortunately self esteem badly destroyed. Takes time to heal. I have not been in any “dating” or “relationship” since 2015/16. Revealed ex dating around in 17 she was NOT who I thought and believed in her. It’s hardest to recover with unfinished business that you believed in.
Way you described. DUMP HIM. CUT HIM OUT OF YOUR LIFE COMPLETELY. Obviously he want “relationship status” and “validation” in his country. Try find something you enjoy. Try not worry about relationship or having baby. It’s ridiculous and UNHEALTHY to impregnate you in order to secure in a relationship. (Trap). A recipe of unhappiness for all involving. That’s a lot. Indeed. Goodness there a few Green Beret (PMS) rescue you.
Lastly. Who knows? Someone come up and radiate you or you find your happiness (turn out real love) you MIGHT be able to have children? By surprise naturally or medically assisted to get you pregnant. It might seem happily can correct chemistry in body and surprise you??? Who knows.
Thank you for this post. This was so great for me to read.
I feel as though I have spent the majority of my life grieving. First the loss of my father at a young age and then every boyfriend thereafter.
I know there is a connection although it took forever to figure it out. I still grieve the last relationship for whatever reasons but knowing that we all do it helps. I have thought so many times I was overreacting but after reading this post, guess I was not. It’s hard at times to be in a relationship and take that chance of being in love. It is a chance and for me, I have not chosen well and have been disappointed and hurt and angry which also turns into grief. I understand it a little better now that I read this post by you. I see where your beautiful daughter Natasha gets her intelligent and kind heart.
Thank you again and. Hope to meet you someday. Be well and stay safe.
Thank you for your kind acknowledgment. You’re absolutely right, there’s a connection, we are all connected to each other and life is a ginormous university.
We are connected in our disappointments , anger, pain, loss and grief. The problem is that most of us are not allowed or we don’t allow ourselves to feel and process these emotions fully or appropriately. Hopefully, the post created an opportunity for you to do so.
Similarly, at times in my life, I thought that I had not chosen well also, however with time and reflection, I have discovered that nothing has to remain a poor choice if I can learn and better myself or help someone else with the lessons learned.
I would give Linda a compassionate break and a BIG hug and let her know that she did the best that she could given the circumstances and sooth her by reassuring her that you got her back for ever.
Looking forward to meeting you some day.
Thank you for this post. I am struggling to make sense of the sudden passing of woman with whom I was having an affair. We were so in love, but neither of us wanted to destroy two families, so we were discreet. In the six years we were together, she became more than just a lover or soulmate, she was my best friend.
And now I cannot openly grieve her death because . . . well . . . how does one explain that to your family. We were so careful to keep our relationship secret so as not to hurt our families, yet now that secrecy is tearing me apart.
I wish I could go to her daughter – a freshman in college – and hug her and try to comfort her.
I even wish I could go to her husband and hug him and tell him that I truly understand his loss.
This is truly the epitome of disenfranchised grief. I cannot talk with other friends about this, as they will judge me first, and tell me I deserve the hurt I’m feeling because of my affair.
Maybe I do deserve this pain.
Thank for sharing your agony and guilts about secrecy affair. First of all I’m not a certified counselor or whatsoever. I’m chiming you and other going through similar my experience. Secondly, I don’t have any respect for anyone who have secrecy affair WHILE THERES CHILDREN involving in any party because once revealed more damages goes beyond the secrecy party. It pains more than hell. Put that (judgment) aside. Let’s try to help your guilts that is eating you up alive and you said you can not talk anyone about it. It will eat you up more. You CAN NOT recover by yourself. Please talk to your primary doctor about it and be referred to high quality counselor and fess up with counselor what to do? Try to alleviate your guilts. Can not afford? Try to attend 12 step program and learn how to surrender for serenity purpose. Lastly. Ex gf “hid me under the bus” treated me like I’m no worth to her. SHE LIVES SECRECY and made a big toot of fool on me. I ALLOWED IT TO HAPPEN BECAUSE I TRUSTED HER THAT SHE WOULD FIX HER ISSUE AND DID NOT AND THIS WAS CONSEQUENCES I dealt with. I proudly showed her the world and meant much to us and it boost her and attracted other guys. No loyal or respect but to diddle around! Until I revealed her dating around secrecy it tore me up to trillions. (Much worse than ex wife) Also I send a letter introduced myself and revealed to her mother that she used excessive excuse of religious bullshits of theirs and hide us under rug and that released me from her secrecy THAT SHE BETRAYED AND CHEATED ME! AND SHE GET THE TASTE OF TRUST BREACHED! Do they care? No! (That one I fell off horse). We cut them out of our life. (I did broke no contact rule once and nothing). Be warned it do creates much more angers and agonies into it. It extends longer recovery progress. For your awareness. It’s fucking not worth it! More to add ex wife of 25 years was secrecy with all of us till after her abandonment from whole family including 3 children and a granddaughter for another guy and identify infringement against us. Guess what? THERES ZERO RESPECT TO THAT GUY SHE CURRENTLY MARRIED TO. They refuse to recognize him as part of family. Rumors have it EVEN her and her low life husband relatives are not happy with them. She’s complete cut out of my life! That said once your love ones and the affair love ones reveal what happened. Be prepare to deal with possible painful consequences. This is serious. Imperative. This is why seek counselor assistance is urge encourage and recommended in your case. Hopefully this will set you free. If that do. Do not do it again because (again) ITS FUCKING NOT WORTH IT!!! Secrecy base on what? WHY!?! For what? Take a real good look. Answer….. One Self Centered Selfish thing to do!!! In my opinion!
My Mother will respond to you but I had to jump on here. I appreciate John’s reply to you; John is the president of his DeafBlind Organization in his state and is an avid reader and supporter of the blog. It’s very nice of him to reply to people who are in pain.
I never created this space so that we could judge each other and I will never tolerate it. There is ZERO judgment here. This is beyond “just an affair.” You got to know this woman in ways that I am sure her own children and husband did not know her. It’s hard to talk about this, I know, and I am in no way condoning extramarital affairs but I am acknowledging our humanity here.
Human-to-human, I feel your pain, heartbreak, shock, confusion, and grief. I am so incredibly sorry for your loss Steve. I know that a piece of you died with her and it feels like you are on your own driftwood with no one in sight.
Life is messy and NONE of us know the entire backstory here (which I understand, nothing could justify but we are not your judge and jury – we are your tribe who feel the humanity in your reaction to this sudden loss). I can feel every ounce of your remorse, grief, loss, empathy, self-blame, and self-reflection (which many don’t have the courage to employ in their lives – ever). Please know that if you need to talk to someone, both myself and my Mother offer coaching services. You are not alone in this.
Feel every ounce of this pain and make sure you connect with someone you can talk to. You are not alone.
Thank you, Natasha. John appears to still be in a lot of pain from what he went through. It was exactly that kind of pain that we did NOT want to inflict on our spouses and families. I hope one day he can heal.
And you are correct – no one knows our backstory. And it’s not guilt that’s “eating me up alive,” it’s loss.
It’s so hard. I had to be *so careful* with my reply and in a way, it’s sad. This is such a heavy time and I never want to unintentionally hurt or offend ANYone.
Pain is pain, and I have dedicated my life to helping people out of it. Thank you for sharing. You are not alone.
Steve. To make things clear.
I sacrificed base on my moral ground and guilts for break up/demoted status was because of her children beings that she placed them at risk per her claim of morbid religious mother which turned out bullshits. Had have I disregard her children being and stick with relationship status instead of demote/break up to accommodate the circumstance of situation. Then what would I be? A selfish bastard? Should I disregard her children beings and stick with her? Regardless? After her mother revealed those secrecy!?! Will she simple discard me? Or worse? To save her own ass from her mother??? Yes it embarrass to reveal the “weird” situation I went thru. I should have stick to boundary TO TAKE IT SLOW from day one. We turbo-into-relationship because she refuse “friend” at start but relationship. THAT WAS HUGE RED FLAG! Lesson learned. That would save me from unnecessary agonies from broken heart. Therefore she breached trust and shared our sacred love to else IT WAS LOSS FOR ME! SHE PROVE THAT SHE DO NOT LOVE ME FIERECLY AS SHE CLAIMED. I will NOT take her back ever! I do not care if it’s her mistake or not because I was straight forwarded and upfronted to her about everything. Plead her “Show me!?” Nothing. Hide me under the bus. I was a poodle boy” call for her. That’s it! It’s still a loss. Either Alive or dead.
Had have I broke her up and no demotion to friendship Or look back. Agonies would be avoided. For some reason I TRUSTED her that she would fix those issues of hers and I fix mine. I gave her chances/opportunities to PROVE me and wasted 1 1/2 years for nothing! It’s like she “punish me for break her up or accommodations”. For what!?! Or her pussy itch for a upgraded? Was that why there was no friendship? Her drama pleasure? Etc. Whatsoever.
Once I calmed down and reasonized and I realized it was my gain! I dodged bullet from being trapped into toxicity and serial cheater! In my opinion.
Hope you see the perspective of angers, guilts, regrets, remorses, bitterness, loss, and words you fill in eating you up. All of it combined. If you are dealing with like those don’t fight yourself. Seek counselor to free you from those oppressions. ?. Regards. John
Natasha. No judgment. I stated it above. The main reason I contributed and shared experience that I went thru. I do understand his sentiment. (As man). He do seem to have concern of those children and mean no harm but what I mean once secrecy reveal. Hell will go loose! It pains to witness such. He seem at loss to whether meet them/their father. I refrain or will not say “yes do it or no do not do it” not my thing to request that may end up worse. That why I urge him to seek counselor. Obviously he’s emotionally and it is not good to continue like that too long that he would collapse further. He need to get his feet back on line. Feel better. He’s part of our tribe. I gave him my respect to chime in the best options before he act. Sorry my English bad.
Hey Steve. No you are not bad guy in any way!!! Of course we are man and we should act tough ass! Right? Lol. Wrong! We do cry in house. Ache out in home Not in public. ????????? That what I went though too. Maybe you not read some my other comments elsewhere. When I and ex gf met. We fell in love. We know we have our children. I do not hide her in my family circle. She hid me in her family circle because of morbid religious mother-excuses. Met her two sons (Aged 10-14 that time) at a show but not introduced as “formally as bf”. Things was too biased at that show. I sensed uncomfortable. Few days later. We went to a store she dashed away from me thought her uncle saw her but that was not the case. Her face was very terrifying!!! I was forced to demote to friendship and broke relationship UNTIL SHE FIX HER OWN THAT ISSUE! (Which she never did!) I can not stand the thought “What if her morbid religious mother find out her secrecy and it may tore us up especially her children!!! Her younger boy was cool kid and seem to have bright hope and I do not want any responsible for any fiasco because I witnessed what happened to all my 3 children after ex wife abandoned us. I EVEN TALKED HER NOT TO BE SECRECY! That’s something I do not want to witness again! I was like you. “Have no one to talk” that what caused me to collapse in major depression because I was energy drained out. Even she ghosted out. Few months later I surprised her that I was coming to visit then revealed she dating around. I tried to stay hard as I can to stay in white horse. Guilts (her children) ate me up. “Did I do stupid thing to break her up and demote to friendship till she fix her own issue?” I had few other issues I have to deal with which I drowned that time. (Dad death. Shoulder surgeries etc). When I get things together I was beyond angry that she made a toot fool of me! I wrote her mother to introduce myself and revealed our relationship. I do not know what impacted them? She bragged to my sister she’s happy blahs. We realized she is full of bullshit! A complete cut out of our life! Healing is/was a long progress especially involving the decision concern children. See why I suggested on other post above. Hope this explain clearer? ??. If you are feeling down PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE GO SEE COUNSELOR. DO NOT FIGHT BY YOURSELF OR MAKE BAD MOVE THAT MIGHT MAKE THINGS WORSE. Honest it’s not worth it. Why? (Ex gf) Because she’s happy with her life happy diddling around. Happy blahs. Happy whatsoever! While I struggle to recover. Yes it hurts. Now I’m more better than before. Not 100% but getting there! For your case? She’s gone. Peace. Leave it alone. You loved her and again. See counselor to set you free and whether to avoid what you mentioned or do it? Depending the outcome? You will THANK US!
Yes I learned hardest lesson never secrecy ever again!!!! (Friendship/relationship). I own my mistake and hard to swallow but it’s swallowed in. Accept I fucked up. Surrender. I did the right thing after revealed the actions and prompted boundary. That part I learned from 12 Step Program. Yes it do hurts the thought she dating around after those bullshits we went through. Likewise I’m getting more better than before. Surrender. Surrender. Let it go. Cut out of my life. Accept it. No point of return. Why? I don’t want any more of her bullshits.
Now see the sentiments I try to convey to you.
Get well ASAP. Don’t wait.
(Heck with Covid) Handshake ?and hugs. lol. Good luck.
I love and appreciate you. We all do. Thank you so much for taking the time to clarify. I look forward to every one of your comments, as do other readers. I understand where you are coming from. You are such a support to so many. Please know that we love you and understand your experiences and where you are coming from. Thank you again John.
So glad to find this blog today, it resonates with me a lot at the moment. Everything was going so well in my relationship three months ago, I had met his whole extended family and friends, I got along with everyone wonderfully and he with my friends too. We were both saying the best part of our day was seeing each other after work, and I felt sure we’d move in together shortly as we were going out of our way to see each other every second day…Then out of nowhere my boyfriend of 10 months wanted a break, for very vague reasons. He had expressed a concern in the past that I was too smart for him, and that I might leave him, but I had reassured him that would never happen, so I was completely blindsided by this. A week later he came back, apologized, promised to do better, and told me he had never had such a loving girlfriend and that it had scared him. But over the next few days he became quite distant and broke up with me a week later, bringing all my things from his place around without warning and telling me I needed more support than he could give. I had been a bit anxious following the break and confessed to him that I was feeling lonely as I was working from home and unable to visit my family interstate or see other people. I should have cut him out of my life after that messy breakup, but the following week I called him and he expressed regret and I suggested we try again, and he said maybe, he needed a few weeks to think about it… but that I should keep in touch. So I did, feeling hopeful we could work things out. He just kept putting me off but wanted to keep having casual conversations with me over the phone or via text. I was heartbroken and quite isolated as my closest friends and family live interstate and I couldn’t see any family over Easter. My ex meanwhile lives down the road from his parents and his best friend had just moved in with him during the pandemic, the same week he broke up with me. I had to listen to him tell me how great his evenings were playing board games with his friends, or how he spent Easter with his parents who I had grown quite close to during the time we had been dating and missed a lot. I stopped contacting him for a month to create some space, and try to move on. However I decided I wanted some closure, and didn’t want to think I hadn’t given it my best shot, so I requested a final answer from him as to whether he wanted to put in the effort to work things out or was still unsure. Sadly, but rather predictably, he said he’d like to meet up as friends but was still unsure about working things out and needed to reset himself. Now I’ve finally wished him all the best and cut off contact, but I wished I’d done it sooner. Many of my family and friends are going through loss of work or other problems and as I still have an income it doesn’t feel right to complain about some non-committal man who treated me badly. I did love him though, and can’t help but focus on the good times. It’s hard not to feel worthless when your bf dumps you at the start of social isolation.
This website has been a bit of a lifeline for me since I discovered it a few months ago and after reading people’s comments I thought I would post my own. My five year relationship broke down at the end of last summer – I will always struggle to explain to people what happened but essentially childhood traumas (divorced parents, strained relationship with father etc) which I had never really acknowledged began to severely effect me within my own relationship as small things such as my partner getting a new job began to trigger unknown traumas in me. I didn’t recognise this at the time, or understand why, but I turned into quite an unpleasant person, I was confrontational and difficult and treated my partner very unfairly for quite some time until he snapped and broke up with me saying he didn’t think he was making me happy anymore. While I am not denying he has flaws of his own, he was always the most caring, loving partner and losing him absolutely broke me. I went straight to therapy knowing that my behaviour must have stemmed from subconscious issues, very quickly I felt very enlightened and like a new person with this understanding of myself and where things had gone wrong. My ex and I stayed in touch over this time and I knew that he missed me and felt very conflicted over whether we should get back together or not. We got together at a young age and he has never really experienced life properly without me, having started this new very intense job, I could see that a large part of him was enjoying the freedom of being on his own and focusing entirely on himself.
In January he told me that he wasn’t sure he was ready to give things another go but felt that we couldn’t stay in this limbo as it wasn’t fair on either of us, he said that he felt unsure as he really was enjoying being on his own and knew that he was still hurt from everything that had happened, but equally could see how much therapy had changed things for me and felt that our relationship deserved another chance. We got back together, taking things slowly (at his request). The time we spent together was sometimes lovely but often ended with us both getting emotional and in tears about everything. He was worried that he wasn’t feeling as excited about being back together as he should be and while I tried to reason that this was because we were both still hurt and that it would naturally take us both time, I know him inside our and after 6 weeks of trying I knew that he wasn’t himself with me and didn’t seem able to give what was needed to the relationship to make it work and that this wasn’t likely to just change suddenly.. I finally accepted that I couldn’t make the relationship work on my own and sat down and told him I thought we should stop seeing one another. We both cried for a long time and he said that he was so sorry and that maybe it had all been too soon, he said that being together didn’t feel right but neither did not being together, and just kept apologising for his confusion. We walked away saying we loved one another but I told him he needed to take time to seriously think about things because I didn’t want to lose him but also couldn’t make things work on my own.
We ran into each other very briefly a month later and when I asked how he was he told me that he was depressed and struggling with everything, I knew I couldn’t be the person to help him (and clearly he didn’t want me to be since he hadn’t reached out to me) but I spoke to his best friend and told him I was worried about him. Since then we spoke briefly when the lockdown in the UK began and once more since then to check in on one another but both times it was I who intimated contact and he hasn’t reached out to me since. It is the longest we have ever gone without seeing one another (he has moved home for this period) or speaking. From the very few messages I have had from him (when I reached out) and from the pictures I have seen, the sense I get about the situation is that he is just totally fine and that having space from me has given him the space he needed to get over the relationship which just breaks me. I have finally forgiven myself for causing the breakup (he never blamed me and said he was to blame too), but I know how much I still love him. I don’t understand how he can be so ok about the fact we haven’t spoken and moreover how he can be so ok about just letting me go and not fighting for us. I know it has been difficult time and he did fight for me in a way but now he seems to have just given up. Nearly a year on from when we initially broke up, his friends and family still keep up contact with me and tell me how much they miss me still, my family are still desperate for us to get back together and regularly ask about him despite the fact I have no contact with him and while I know that I am their priority, I know how much my friends all miss him too.
I know how much progress I have made within myself and how different things could now be, but I also accept that just because I have had that time, it doesn’t mean that his life is following the same timeline. It’s his birthday in a few weeks so I will text him to wish him a happy birthday, it will be the first time in six years I haven’t been with him and the thought just kills me as I miss him so much. I just don’t understand how he can be so ok with just letting go of everything we had and all our plans and dreams for the future. He is the best person I have ever met and the fact my friends and family still want us to be together only enforces that, I just wish that he felt as he used to about me – he always said I was the most important and best thing in his life and I know he loved me in such a deep way.
This seems like such a lovely community of people so I just wanted to share may story as I have read so many of yours and the posts and comments have provided me with so much comfort when all I want to do is to reach out to him (but I can’t bear the rejection I know I will likely get).
I know that my Mom is answering comments on here but I had to hop in and tell you that I felt like I was reading my own story while reading yours, except I was in denial for SO.MANY.YEARS. It was so much easier to be avoidant than to employ courage I had no idea how to jumpstart.
I know how much you miss him. I know how much you’ve learned and I know how much it hurts. I really do. It’s hard for me to advise without knowing more details (I know you’re not asking for advice, but I always want to help). You did the right thing by coming here instead of reaching out to him. What I don’t really like is his lack of communication after the fact but again, I don’t have all of the details.
This is the loveliest community/tribe. We have each other, always. Please know how loved, supported, and believed in you are.
You are not alone. All my love to you soul sister. xxxx
Thanks so much Natasha, your message meant a lot. I’ve actually found it quite a strange experience reading your posts because it really does seem to have been a very similar thing that I have been through / am going through as your journey – I only wish I had discovered this blog this time last year when everything was bubbling away under the surface because it may have allowed me to shine a light on things much earlier. I feel like I have very jumpstarted everything by going to therapy and understanding why I was acting the way I did and confronting so many things in my past, I now feel like I have the knowledge I needed to know, understand and recognise my behaviour patterns but I feel like there is a next step to be taken and I’m not yet sure what that it is. I don’t have the kind of relationship with my father where I feel willing or able to address any of the issues I have that arose from his impact on me as a child and while I have talked to my mother about some elements of it, it isn’t something she finds easy to do or really understands and I believe it would just bring her pain which I don’t want to do. Perhaps the next step is to write my feelings down – something I have never been very good at. If you have any advice for the things you did to bring closure to some of your issues then I would really love to know.
Regarding the relationship and the lack of contact over recent months, I believe that the main reason I haven’t heard from him is because he thinks it would be unfair to contact me. When we have spoken (only twice over the last 3 months) he has replied with a kind message and has always made sure to say that he hopes I / my family are ok, but I know he is keeping his distance from me even in the messages. When I ended things (realising he wasn’t able to give what was needed) he was in such a confused state over what he wanted that I told him I didn’t want him to come to me unless it was because he was ready to give himself properly to the relationship again because it was too hard otherwise and while of course in my heart I still want to hear from him, I think he is trying to avoid being unfair to me/ leading me on. I don’t know if this is because he doesn’t know how he feels still but I think that the most realistic / sensible explanation is that having the physical space from me over the past few months has provided him with the ability to clear his mind properly for the first time and truly get over me and that he is finally now happy to not be together and has accepted it and will not look back on it again. This is the thought that scares me as I know it will mean I have truly lost him for good which is something I don’t feel able to just accept when I know I was responsible for treating him so horribly in the last year of our relationship for no fault of his.
I have had my heartbroken before so I know that everything happens for a reason and that there are other people out there, but I’m finding it hard to accept that the dreams and plans we made together will now just be lost when I still believe in them and know that the issues that wore him down and hurt him have now been dealt with and would no longer be part of the relationship if he was able to give things another go.
I’m not great at opening up to friends about my feelings, I tend to just pretend everything is fine even when I am breaking on this inside so THANK YOU for this website as it honestly gives me so much strength – it has made me laugh, smile and at times break down in tears as your experience has been such a mirror to me. xxx
Thank you so much for writing this. If honestly feels like you and the rest of the readers here are the only ones who understand. I just wanted to share my story as I thought it might make me feel a bit better to get it out.
I was broken up with over a month ago. He was my neighbor but decided to move to a different city and be single.
I was trying to cope. But one day he came up to me in the street, asked for a hug and said he still hangs out here sometimes and is sorry for how things ended.
A few hours later he texted me a huge message explaining that he’s actually been seeing another girl from my street and it became serious with her about two weeks BEFORE he broke up with me.
I actually though I was going to die, but I managed to tell him how hurt and confused I was but didn’t feel safe to be angry. I was so scared, I cried every day all day and stopped eating.
After a week or so I felt ready to tell him how wrong this was of him and how hurt I was, in a small message. That was a mistake. He got mad, told me to move on already, he just fell in love and I can’t judge him for it. He also said that a different guy would have blocked me already.
I got so mad and embarrassed that I lied to him and said that I’ve already met someone else, that I didn’t care about him or his girlfriend.
Meanwhile I was soaking up the sheets with my tears and snot. And trying to spy on him. He probably didn’t believe me.
Since than I can’t stop thinking about the fact that he is now committed to another girl, despite not fully committing to me after 7 months. He’s so commited that he comes to see her on my street after he moved. It hurts so bad because he two timed us and I find it hard to believe that she knows he was still with me until they made it official. Does that mean their relationship is weak? Why is it even my concern? Because obsessing over it is the only thing that fills the void. I need to find a new job, new non toxic friends, and motivation. But I have non. I only want to cry all the time.
Thank you to whoever read this. Much love to you all.
You are not alone Yuval. Thank you for sharing and thank you for being a part of this tribe. I believe in you.
And if I can do it alone, we most definitely can do it together. Please keep coming back here to the blog and know that the pain is here to pass, not to stay. All my love to you.
I discovered this blog yesterday and have been scrolling through it to help me deal with my most recent breakup. The advice really is helping me get through it. My boyfriend and I dates for over a year and in March he discovered that his ex girlfriend, who cheated on him, was now available again. Since then he changed. He started to become more distant and I blamed it all on the pandemic and since he was an essential worker I did not want to risk seeing him and catching anything and bringing it home to my father who has diabetes and heart disease and my little sister who has cholesterol so we both decided to do long distance until things got better. We would FaceTime and stay in touch daily. He blames it on the pandemic and me not wanting to see him. But the day he found out she was single he added her on Instagram and we fought about it. He told me that she was nobody to worry about and that he removed her and showed me he did. Came April and we took a break, we would constantly fight and he started to become even more distant. Not even a week later we got back together and two days ago he dumped me saying he couldn’t do it no more. The same night I saw he had deleted all my comments from under his posts on Instagram AND followed his ex back. It was like I did not exist in his life. So I unfollowed him off my Instagram and my Snapchat. I do blame myself for it but I can also see that it isn’t entirely my fault. His ex was his first love and I know he dumped me for her. I just find myself so naive and stupid because I think back and there was so many red flags. He always mentioned his ex and there was a couple of times where he would actually compare something bad I did to something she had done. I wish I paid more attention to them. This blogs really helping me get through this along with my two best friends and my sisters.
I’m happy that the posts have helped; it’s what I live for ?? I’m so sorry that you’ve had to go through this and it definitely is NOT all your fault. You did the right thing. Stay in no contact and on your white horse. All my love to you. Thank you for being a part of this tribe. You are never alone. Xo
This blog has helped me I recently dealt with a break up from an emotionally unavailable partner, she broke up with me bc I was caught flirting, I think it was bc I felt alone and unhappy in the relationship. I can’t fully justify what I did but when she found out she broke up with me right away but still had me around until recently. She is now in a rebound relationship and it hurts because while we were still in contact after the breakup I was genuinely working to make myself a better person for us for her, and come to find out just a couple weeks after the last time we hung out she’s already with someone else. Relationship of 2 years with ups and downs but I loved her. God knows I forgave her for things and accepted thing about her. Really can’t believe sometimes how she could just move on so quickly. Genuinely hurts but with prayer and reading blogs like this helps me get some clarity on the matter. Is there any recommendation you have ? Thank you.
I’m so happy that the posts have helped! I would definitely stay in No Contact. Wish I had the time to write more (thank you for your kindness and understanding). You are never alone; we are all here for and with you. Thank you for being a part of this tribe.
Natasha thank you for having this blog.
Reading different stories and how positive people are, going through their own heart break.
How sweet and kind a lot of the replies are as well. Gives you faith in mankind through this terrible time in our world.
I recently broke up with a married woman after a year. No one knows I dated her, because I guess deep down I knew it would not last.
No one knows that this woman hurt me terribly and how hard I try to carry on like normal.
I exercise a lot and I’m thinking about law school.
Just trying to keep her out of my mind. It’s so hard.
She was confused and I have to believe she did not mean to manipulate me into giving her what she needed or wanted – that she says she did not get from her husband.
Yes, I’m a cliche, but it hurts no less.
Everyday I count days that I’ve not contacted her, waiting for the day I don’t need to count anymore.
It will happen and I will learn from this.
I wish you all kindness, clarity and strength to get past this time in your life and I’m so glad you guys are here for me too. ???
From the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU – for taking the time to reach out, for being a part of this tribe, and for sharing!
You are not alone. We are here for and with you every step of the way. It definitely will happen and you’ve already learned so much. What an incredible person you are. All my love to you. xo
I dated a guy for almost 5 years. He broke up with me in june, and is already dating someone knew.After the breakup we wre talking as friends, but then a few weeks back he told me he likes that girl who i was insecure of from the start of our relationship and is going on to date her now.All my friends and his friends say my ex and his new girl are in love. and im here crying and reading blogs, i feel so numb.
He hates me because he thought i was looking for other guys during our relationship, when i absolutely did not.All i have done is given him my entire love attention effort, I dont even know if i should call him toxic because he was so good to me last 5 years, i dont even remember the times and reasons of our past fights.
the fact that he is dating her makes my heart sink.
You are not alone, AB. xox
Unlike every other boyfriend I’d had, he struck my heart differently from the moment I’d met him. Seemingly everything I’d ever wanted, and at least at first the love was real, I’m sure of it. He dumped me two days before our one year, for me to learn later that he’d been debating doing so for two months. It hit me the hardest that he pretended to love me for so long. I kissed someone else to feel something, and communicated that thinking that it was respectful. Pushed him farther away. My anger issues pushed him impossibly far to ever reach again. I jumped right into another relationship, and he’s great. Very understanding and patient, but I miss my ex and what we used to be so much sometimes. I wish I could get over him faster. My boyfriend deserves it, my family would be disappointed if they knew how much I missed him with how much help they’ve given me. I feel like I’ll never forget him.
Oh Felicity, I feel this too. The being suddenly dropped by someone you care about, feeling erased and forgotten after investing so much in someone.
I went through a similar situation recently and it sucks. My heart goes out to you. If you can find someone to talk to about this, even just a therapist, it can really help have another person witness this big part of your life that you had to keep secret. I’m glad you shared here. I’ve found there is a dearth of places on the internet (whatever you do stay far far away from survivinginfidelity.com) for finding support as the affair partner/other person. We’re often just blamed and erased and forgotten while holding all this pain and greif and grieving a relationship that while maybe not based in reality or sustainable was still was very real.
I’m still trying to make sense of it all myself. Best wishes to you.
3 months ago I ended a two year emotional affair with a married man (I’m married myself but my partner and I are poly and I’d been open and real about this situation from the moment it began, his patience and love still confounds me, we definitely have boundaries now regarding who and how I engage outside our relationship). It started physical with him basically imprinting on me emotionally and physically. After our first day of encounters he convinced me to keep being friends and what followed was a two year “friendship” where he moved in and out emotionally with me, gas lit his wife and me, brought one of his children around me (whom i inevitably and regrettably bonded with) and basically bread crumbed me until I’d had enough. At that point I was enmeshed enough with his family that it couldn’t end with out the secret coming out and so he told his wife at my urging and then he blocked me suddenly while still trying to be friends with my bestfriend who I’d met him through (thankfully she kicked him to the curb too).
I’ve been very very lucky to be able to process this with a few close friends and my partner but I also try not to too much. I feel weird and embarrassed that I already have so much love in my life and yet I’ve been so hung up on this one super unavailable person. Its been a mind trip and I’m still trying to make sense and meaning of what happened.
Why I fell so hard for this person (it has something to do with familiarity and my first ex and my dad), why I thought we could ever just be friends after the physical experience we had. Why I deluded myself into thinking we could ever move beyond an emotional affair while still keeping contact.
On the positive side its led to a lot of soul searching and lesson learning. Its also brought me closer to the people who actually truly care about me. And I’m starting to finally really love and honor myself (I thought I was getting there and I had done a lot of healing work when this affair started but I still had far to go, I se now that the healingwork I’d done was onlythe tip of the iceberg) at the time of our breif physical affair (while also under the influence of psyllocibin mushrooms) i thought i was impervious to falling for him or someone like him but that was clearly not the case. Its all been very humbling. I’m finally starting to move away from the greif but I still find myself in pockets of it and coming to sites like this.
I’m glad there’s space some places for stories like this. And to write it out anonymously with out the fear of getting attacked.
Hopefully soon I can move on soon, completely and totally.