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Have you ever stood in front of a mirror and just looked at yourself, trying to see what other people see? What makes you, you? It's a harsh reality when you look in the mirror and see nothing. This is how it started ; An old graying man looks back at me, with anger in his eyes. He looks like he wants to reach out and punch me, for the life I threw away. The man in the mirror is what is left of me, just a shell of my former self, crumbling before my eyes. No hope for the future. Although he has the love of his children and his grandson, there is a void, a hole that his wife left. His very soul taken, shredded and thrown to the ground. Forcing back the tears that want to fall, he swallows hard, as if to swallow his pain. Pitiful old fool, never to know the love of a woman again. Two times death has eluded him. What is he even looking back at me for? I don't have the answer he seeks. STOP LOOKING AT ME OLD MAN!!!! I turn and walk away, yet he remains. His lip begins to quiver.......His eyes well up with streaks down his face and lands on his shirt...........his mouth opens.........with a pleading unsteady voice he says................PLEASE HELP ME!!!!!!.........I paused for a moment........I wish I could..........He hung his head low, the tears in his eyes, flowed down his cheek like a dam had be broken...........He turned and walked away............I watched, as he faded into nothingness. There I stood, looking into an empty mirror as my life slowly fades away. Not only am I separated from my wife, I'm separated from myself and all who once loved me.  
Mencrytoo Mencrytoo 46-50, M 1 Response Oct 14, 2012

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The pain you describe is so very heartbreaking. what were the events that brought you to this place of 'nothingness' whatever it is I pray that you are able to heal and learn to look after yourself until your in a place where you can start to like and then love yourself.

I have spent a lot of time mirror gazing over the last few weeks and like you the woman reflected back is totally unknown to me. Choices my husband made have destroyed us and left me not recognizing any aspect of self.

As if a current of life giving energy has been severed, the who and what I thought I was has no source any longer. For now I am allowing myself to accept that I am in this place. I really have no choice I cant just BE anything else.

A good friend on here reminded me to just remember to breath ...just breath.

I have been together with my Wife for 28 years, of that 28, 23 were married years. There was never a time that I was unhappy with my marriage, unhappy with myself, for what I was not....yes. I suffered a career ending back injury in 1997, since then I suffered from depression. Self doubt set in and I searched for a way to mask the pain, if only for a while. I needed to feel numb, so the hurt could stop. I didn't turn to alcohol of drugs or any other vices, that so called "normal people" do. I needed something that was less detectable, cheap and short acting....I remembered from my child hood, that there was one thing that fit the bill, huffing gasoline vapors. I knew that it had some ill effects on the brain, but I did it anyways. I know, stupid idea. During this same time period, a friend and co-worker of my wifes' had an affair. . My wife sided with her and refused to see that her friend did anything wrong. She began to act differently towards me, talking down to me, like I was an employee rather than a Husband. "Huffing" gasoline and Gabapentin for my back pain, led me down a dark path. As my wife started to act more suspiciously, the possibility that she was thinking about having an affair or actually may be having one, entered my mind. Not wanting to face the fact that she could be, coupled with the "huffing" and medicine I was on, led me to make two very serious attempts on my life. In the middle of the two, my wife decided to leave me. First, it came through my children, she felt that she never knew me. Secondly, after reasoning with her through my children, she said that she wasn't happy. Nothing more and nothing less. This all happend at the end of May, beginning of June. Since June, she has not spoken a single word to me, down right refuses to. Three or four weeks later, I find out she has been seein someone for a while a man 13 years older than her, shes 43 hes 56. This is a man who she has worked with for 9 years. So here I sit, in our family home, stuck with all the responsibilties and the debt we had accumulated, alone. Abandoned and afraid of what the future holds for me, that is where the "nothingness" comes in. I am 45 years old, can't work, broken and unhappy.....what a catch I'd be for anyone....NOT. Positive thinking 101, "You can't change the past, you can only learn from it and make better choices in the future." The way I see it, I have nothing personally to look forward to, except fading away....alone. So there you have it! Hard to believe the answer to you question of my story, was longer than the actually story itself. I hold nothing back, you know what I know. I stay true to myself and my beliefs, that will never change. Thanks for your comment, blessings and listening to a stupid empty man rattle on about his miserable existance. ~ Tim

Oh my dear friend how I wish I could offer you so much more than just my words. Your story more than explains the obvious pain that was in your first post. I am so very sorry that you have and are having such a raw deal.

With the loss of your career coupled with chronic pain no wonder depression set in. A stupid thing to do the huffing in hind sight yes but then we all have 20 ;20 vision in hindsight don't we? but please remember you were not yourself you were ill physically and under mental anguish.

For all that your instincts appear to have been as sharp as a needle in terms of picking up on your wife's reasons for justifying her friends affair. Strange isn't it that our one flesh state in marriage gives us this sixth sense. I wish I could say I have never experienced my sixth sense going into overdrive due to infidelity but sadly you and I are reluctant members of that club. I know only too well how tempting it can be to just want to end the pain of it all. But my friend I am so glad you survived. I'm so grateful that I can sit here typing to you.

I'm sorry I don't want to sound disrespectful but please don't try to make any sense of your wife's words. I have learned now from bitter experience that once an emotional and or physical affair begins they can not make truthful statements to save their life. Everything she says will be to sell her actions to anyone who will listen as being her only option. The fact is that society feels safer believing that only an 'unhappy' marriage results in extra marital affairs. Not true so even if everything had been a bed of roses there is no certainty that a lover would remain faithful. But still the cheaters feel the need to not look like the bad guy.

So many of us here can identify with being not only abandoned but left holding the debt etc, or as in my case left holding nothing at all! As for the future well what can we do but let that take care of itself. Right now we are too busy holding ourselves together one day at a time and I think that under the circumstances that is all we can be expected to do for now.

But slowly I am beginning to let myself feel there may still be life in the old girl yet (I am 48) Your right there is nothing we can do about our past and words are cheap but reading online about others stories of changing their life after disaster I can't believe they are all full of BS, and so I'm waiting for some of the hurting to ease up which again I'm promised it will, and I'm putting a candle in the window to wait for hope to return, and then who knows.

You inspire me when you make no apologies for staying true to yourself and your beliefs, that's something I'm aiming for and you may be many things my friend but stupid you are not your writing reveals a man who has carried a heavy load, is deep thinking and loyal.

I'm here whenever you need to vent
Hugs - Deb

Thank You for your empathy and your perspective. Although I have found people who are willing to respond to the struggles I'm going through, I haven't found many willing to take the time and really look at my whole situation and for that, I thank you for your patients and understanding. Sometimes it takes a tree falling on us, so to speak, before we can truly see the light at the end of the tunnel. For you and I both, I hope that it's a short tunnel, til we are on the other side looking back. Thank you for your friendship. Drop a line, when ever you want to talk. Take Care, Your Friend ~ Tim

You are so welcome, I was thinking this morning of a way to put into words where we are, I came up with this : To give life to that which is unreal always takes life from the real. By that I mean that as I was looking at my husbands actions and feelings when he became enmeshed in his affair it felt as if he had taken his life out of the 'real' that we had together and had given it to his 'unreal' fantasy world, I felt the death toll in my spirit long before I had any concrete evidence of his *****. But here is the strange part.. I feel now that even if I could have any kind of life with him THAT would now be the 'unreal' I don't want a life full of secrets and half truths or lies. Real life has to be authentic, transparent and full of hope.

So I shout a big YES to your hopes of a short tunnel for us, let us live in the light at the end of it not in the darkness.
Take care of yourself. Eat. get some sunshine, and be kind and gentle with yourself so that when the light is on you, your able to be the answer to a 'real' woman's prayers

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