Trying To Rebuild

Hello! I am new to this forum.

Like many of you, have had the displeasure of being separated from my spouse.
It was not my choice.

Was with her for 12 years, since college, and married for 5 years. The first and only woman I ever dated and was intimate with.
Been separated for 5 months and having a hard time. She left me for a month and a half last summer but, our reunion was short-lived.
I have been suffering from depression since I was a child. She sighted this as a major reason for wanting out of the marriage. I have been seeing specialists for the last year and a half but, it was too little, too late. She did not want to go to counseling or to come and meet my psychologist. I guess she checked out a long time ago.

She told me that she didn't love me anymore and had no feelings for me. We are two different people. She did not want to work toward a family or home. Wanted no responsibility. She recently hired an attorney and began the process to file. In our state, you have to wait a year before you can divorce but, he told her she could file a few months early.

She grew up in a single parent home with an older sibling with special needs. Spent most of her life having to take care of him.
While we were in college, she could not get out much, so, I spent most of my free time with her at home.
Didn't think anything of it. Just enjoyed the quality time.

We dated for 7 years before we got married. Easily saw her being a great mother to our future children but, she had other plans.
Turns out that she is trying to catch up on lost time. Says she doesn't want to have to be responsible for another person.
We had to move out of our apartment. She is back at her mother's and I am back in my parent's home.

I honestly had good intentions when we married. Could easily see us building a family and future together. She had other ideas. Turns out, I was a means to an end for her. She admitted to me recently that she "used me" to get out of her mother's house.
That really hurts considering we walked down the aisle together. She was upset because I have been talking about it. I didn't know what else to do. I feel like I have been losing my mind. Feel like I wasted so much time.

We also have mutual friends who are caught in the middle. I feel like I have to distance myself. They were my friends first but, now people are acting standoffish. It hurts because now I feel like I can't attend group functions.

I have done everything I can to try to cope. I feel like a failure at times. I know that marriage is a two-way street. I'm used to seeing compromise. My parents have been married for 4 decades. They didn't get there by accident. The only thing that I am guilty of is beating myself up. I admit that I should have loved myself more. Maybe this wouldn't have happened. She gave up on me but, I gave up on myself way before. Working on rebuilding. Have been in the gym and trying new things but, I think about this every day. Even my therapist tells me that I need to keep busy and that this really isn't about me.

Anyway, appreciate you listening. Thanks and take care!
arcadegamer arcadegamer
31-35, M
3 Responses Apr 6, 2012

This is not about you and it is not your fault. I was married to my husband for 21 years, we met when I was 16 and a month and a half ago he said he wanted to be with someone else. Now that someone else was someone who I thought was my friend and she is a coworker of mine. I have not been able to go back to work since it happened. I too have been blaming myself but really its not about me. I devoted all my life to him and my family and alienated myself from my friends. Now I am left to rebuild my life and make new friends, the question is how do you do that. I have to look at it as a new lease on life and its time for me to start taking care of me. When I am feeling really down I get ready and go for a walk and could walk for three hours, it helps to clear my head, you should try it, it helps. I had someone tell me that I am going to meet someone who will be an Angel sent to warm my heart and I do hope someday that will happen, and I am sure that will happen for you too. If you ever need to talk add me as a friend and message me. I would be more than happy to chat with you to help you get through this

This is not about you. This is not your fault This is about her and some sort of existential need-to-find-myself quest. I know how you feel. I am recently separated from my husband of 10 years (we've been together 13 years, our entire adult lives practically) in a somewhat similar circumstance. I was always trying to be super wife and take care of everything. Rarely put my own needs first. Tried to keep everything perfect. And then my world was turned upside down. All of a sudden my husband needed to "go find himself" and I was left wondering where I went wrong, how I had failed, etc. But I made myself stop and kept repeating to myself (sometimes out loud -- looking like the crazy lady who's talking to herself) that this is not about me. This is about him. It's not personal. And sometimes it's really hard *not* to take it personally since his existential quest directly impacts every piece of my life (not to mention the fact that he tried to blame me for everything, and saying that he didn't remember why we got married in the first place). <br />
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I know how you feel about the void, and unfortunately, no hobby or activity can fill that right now. It's important to stay busy, but it's also important to feel what you're feeling, because that's the only way you'll be able to move on. You need to take care of you right now, which sounds like it's a challenge for you. I know because I'm the same way. Historically I have defined so much of my self-worth by what's going on in a given relationship, let my life take a back seat to someone else's. But in the time that I've been separated from my husband, I've been forcing myself to put myself first. It's scary and feels uncomfortable right now, but it's been getting a little easier.<br />
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I see that you posted that your wife still wants to be "friends". I think that might be the most selfish thing I've heard ever (my husband says the same thing). Of *course* she wants to be friends... she wants to be able to depend on you like she always had, without having to make the emotional investment of being married. And I really hope you're able to figure out if you really want to/are able to be friends with her. If you two will be working towards a reconciliation at some point, then yes, friendship will be important. But if she is just looking to make the transition easier for her, I hope you're able to tell her to take her friendship and shove it (should that be what you chose to do).<br />
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I'm sorry you're going through this. Good luck to you.

Hi Dooey1!

I am sorry for the delayed response.
I am also sorry that you are going through it as well.
Really appreciate your insights and wisdom. Thank you for sharing your experiences with me.

It is almost like your husband and my wife are the same person. I just don't understand this. Still can't come to grips with it.

Like you, we had been together practically our entire adult lives thus far. I really feel like I got the short end of the stick in this case. Just was explaining to some friends tonight how much it hurts. Was out with them having some drinks and playing pool but, then I saw someone I thought looked like my wife on a date with a guy. My heart immediately sank. I walked closer but turns out it wasn't her. But, it was almost like I saw a ghost and my good feeling that I had all day was gone. Actually started to break down and cry in public. They tried to console me but, I just ended up looking like a big baby.

It has been almost 5 months to the day that we separated and I still can't believe that I am grieving this. I have probably felt every emotion in the book. Was on Facebook tonight venting (I do a lot of that although I never mention her personally) and an old friend of mine that was trying to get me to basically pretend that I wasn't affected by it (because he said she is winning), now he is upset at me. I just talked about how frustrated I am over this but, he made a smart *** comment to me. So, he is about to be cut too!

Anyway, I am sorry for rambling. I dont know what else to do. Feel like I am back at square one. Although this doesn't seem to be about me, like you said about your life, my life has been turned upside down. I can't tell my left from my right anymore.

I am just scared, tired, angry, frustrated. You name it, I have felt it. Tired of people turning on me and treating me like I am cancerous or something. This really hurts.

Thank you so much for your encouragement. I really hope and pray that things get better for you as well. No one deserves to be treated like you have been. There is no excuse.

Thanks cheezelsandlemonade!<br />
<br />
I appreciate you sharing your story with me.<br />
I am sure it was hard for you to leave your husband. But, I realize in your words that you did what you felt was best for both of you. I know that took real heart.<br />
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The only difference between myself and him is that I tried to do almost everything I could to be a good husband. I treated my wife like a queen. Honestly didn't want her to have to lift a finger. Did most of the cooking, cleaning, and other chores. Drove her where she wanted to go. Did everything I saw my father do for my mother. Did the same thing for my mother-in-law. Wherever or whenever she needed me, I was always there for her. Didn't think twice about anything. And at the end of the day, it still wasn't enough. <br />
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As you said, this isn't about me. It's about her discovering who she is and what she wants. I am trying to do the same thing. Unfortunately, for me, it is a lot harder. My whole life was centered around taking care of my wife. Where i put her first, i came behind her brother, mom, cousins, aunts and uncles. Felt neglected at times. I have a couple of hobbies (mainly gaming) but, nothing is filling the void in my heart. I just feel empty now! In many ways, I feel like a failure. Still<br />
think if there was one thing I could have done differently....?<br />
<br />
I realize there is nothing I could have done to prevent this. Right now, I just need to go forward. We still communicate on occasion. She still wants to be friends but, I am having a hard time. I still love her very much. She wants to move out of the state. She is being pulled at by her family. Basically back in the same role she was in before we got married. Like you, she is that go to person for her family. She wants to escape.<br />
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Anyway, I really appreciate you sharing your story and experiences and advice. It really means a lot.

Hey there!

You are my first add!
Thanks again for sharing your story.

Definitely have enjoyed the conversation. Looking forward to many more.