How Could He?

I dated this man for 3 1/2 years. I fell hard for him, despite his being 20 years older than me. He always said he had a hard time understanding why I would want to be with him. He told me I could have anyone, but the truth is after we started dating, there was no one that even caught my eye. He is brilliant and incredibly charming, funny, successful. Our age difference was never even a factor in my mind. He took me new places and opened me up to new experiences. Our relationship never stopped being passionate, even more so as time went on. We sent each other love poems, drank wine in front of fires, took long walks hand in hand. We were in touch constantly. He emailed me all the time, called. We were never out of touch more than a few hours. Everything you hope for when thinking of the man you want to be with. He told me he loved me and said that no matter what happened, it would never be over between us. I stayed with him overnight frequently and we travelled together and he was always so affectionate with me. And yet I never felt very secure with him...intuition I know now. He was secretive, especially with his email, but when I questioned him he always became angry. He told me I was ridiculous and suspicious. He made me feel stupid for having suspicions. Then, after all this time, he lost his phone. It was two weeks before I found it in my car. I started shaking as soon as I saw it there, obviously knowing what I was going to find. In his email I found proof that he has been carrying on a long term relationship with another woman, maybe even before he and I started dating. But there were others also. I think he hit on every woman he came in contact with . It was as if the man I fell in love with never even existed. I feel like a total fool, because deep down I knew it was happening. Because I turned down every man that asked me out thinking I had found "the one". Do you know the day before I found the phone he told me to start looking for a house that we could move into together? How did he plan to make that work? He talked about us having a baby together. Now I realize he just told me whatever he thought I need to hear to keep me. I sent him an email telling him I knew everything....never telling him how....and told him I never wanted to hear from him again. I'm on day three and trying so hard not to be a total wreck. My friends are wonderful and doing everything they can to keep me busy, but all I really want to do is lock myself in my house and cry. I can't believe there are any tears left, but they just keep coming. And not a word from him since I sent my email. I guess he knows there is nothing left to say. But really, what possesses a nearly 60 year old man into behaving like a teenage boy, sleeping with any female he can get his hands on? I know I'll get through this, because what else are my choices? But my God, I've never experienced pain like this. Just keep hanging on, one hour at a time.
blondie6960 blondie6960
41-45, F
10 Responses May 5, 2012

Hi blondie, I'm glad your trip up the coast helped a little. It's always good to get away from the familiarity but I understand when you say not as much as you would of liked. That's because we can't escape from our thoughts and the way we feel. I understand your thoughts to move to a far away town in a far away state but you shouldn't have to that. Let's give time a little longer.<br />
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I think accepting that your relationship is well and truly over will eventually help in recovering. My relationship is also well and truly over and I too have not had a heartfelt apology. How cold, insensitive and indifferent. Their mindsets must be so different to ours.<br />
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For me to draw the line that it's over hasn't helped me either. I was clutching at straws for the first six weeks. I gave her six weeks grace hoping she would attempt to reconcile. Alas, it was a total shutdown.<br />
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Yes, it is strange how the mind hangs on to those details you described when they hurt so much. I'm constantly thinking of my ex and all we shared. It hasn't been a good for me today, By chance I came across an old email from my ex about our holiday plans for the year and at the end of the email it said how she loved me so much along with what seemed like hundreds of kisses. Now I've upset myself.<br />
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It's always good to hear from you and as you say we just have to have the patience to wait it out.

Thank you blondie, yes I understand where you're at. Because you loved completely and because your heart is completely crushed, I know you can't take up the advances from men. I too am not interested in dating and I don't think I'll be able to for a very, very long time.<br />
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I have two friends that know how I feel. Like you, I think they think I'm ok now simply because I've backed off about talking about my ex. I don't like to burden anyone and I didn't want them to get fed up with me. I'm dignified which adds to my difficulty. I'm not ashamed to be a man with emotions but I know many would laugh and tell me to man up, get over it and so fourth. I do put on a brave mask everyday. I am trying my best to be strong.<br />
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The last time I saw my ex, she was so indifferent. Perhaps she feels guilt. Maybe she expected me to be angry with her. It was very weird for me to see her. It was like a different person had possessed her body. It's like she has erased all memories of us. How unkind life is. It's like I wanted her to wake up and stop playing games but it's reality. Her eyes and voice are cold now yet all I knew was love from her and a richer love than any I've known before. I'm starting to suspect another man in her life. She has well and truly gone.<br />
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Your posts have really helped me. Yes, to talk with someone not involved is good so don't hesitate to post me if you want. I wish you well blondie.

Hi there. Thought I'd check in to see how you are doing. I spent a few days driving up the coast into Oregon and Washington just to get away from familiarity. It helped somewhat, but not as much as I would like. I think I finally accepted that this is completely over and there never will be any sort of resolution, not even heartfelt apology coming my way. Accepting that didn't seem to bring me the peace I thought it might. I agree with you. I think it is guilt on the part of our ex's. It's easier for them to move on and not look back, otherwise they have to examine their behavior and that's not easy for most people.

I continue to put on the same brave mask you mentioned, always answering, "I'm good today. Thanks for asking" when in reality I just want to answer by telling them how utterly miserable I am. But their looks of discomfort flash before my eyes and I know I will lie. I know it's even more difficult for a man to answer honestly about their feelings and I feel for you.

I can still bring to mind how he smells, when I close my eyes I can see every detail of his hand, feel his lips on mine, hear his voice. Strange how the mind can hang on to those details when they hurt so much. And while I remember every detail of the hurtful thing he did, I miss our life together so much. Now I find myself avoiding all the places we used to go, which is so difficult because we always were going someplace! How do I avoid the entire Napa Valley or SF or the coast? I fantasize about picking up and moving to some non-descript town in some far awwy state and starting over, but then I'm reminded that a job and money make eating a little easier and that fantasy goes out the window.

I'm hoping that today is a little easier for you than yesterday and that it continues to move in that direction. I've heard over and over that it gets easier, so it must, we just have to have the patience to wait it out.

Wecome back. My reply looked a little cluttered so I've posted you some comments.

blondie6960, thanks for your reply, you do have such insight.<br />
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I too have no contact with my ex now so I'm not going to get closure. My last straw of hope ended last night. I saw her two weeks ago in a club, later when I said goodbye to her, she said enthusiastically she'll would be back here on the same evening in two weeks time. That gave me hope. Foolish me, she failed to turn up.<br />
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I wasn't able to get any sleep last night yet I feel so tired. I'm so, so disappointed in myself for not feeling strong and I'm very concerned about my pain not getting lighter. I struggle to find joy in each day but I will try and I will remember there are people rooting for me. Thank you!<br />
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I hope you are getting there blondie. There will always be support and help here for you! Take care!

I do understand your concern about not getting over the pain. I'm in tears several times a day and I keep wondering when it's going to get better. I know my ex is a liar and a cheater, but I wonder how he walks away so easily, seemingly not even giving me a second thought. My job puts me in contact with a lot of men and I have been asked, but the thought of being with someone else holds absolutely no interest to me. So....what do we do? I keep telling myself to only think of one day at a time, but it doesn't seem to help. I feel like a drama queen and have stopped talking about all this with my friends, so they think I'm over it, but I'm not. I understand feeling disappointed in yourself for not feeling strong, but you have earned the right to feel your pain. It's always easier to give the advice rather than take it. I'm here to talk if you need it, because I know how much it has helped me, particularly to talk with someone not involved and not friends with both me and my ex. Keep hanging in there.

I'm uploading a post for you. It's my reply which is too large for here.

blondie6960, thanks for your reply, you do have such insight.......<br />
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I too have no contact with my ex now so I'm not going to get closure. My last straw of hope ended last night. I saw her two weeks ago in a club, later when I said goodbye to her, she said enthusiastically she'll would be back here on the same evening in two weeks time. That gave me hope. Foolish me, she failed to turn up.......<br />
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I wasn't able to get any sleep last night yet I feel so tired. I'm so, so disappointed in myself for not feeling strong and I'm very concerned about my pain not getting lighter. I struggle to find joy in each day but I will try and I will remember there are people rooting for me. Thank you!....... I hope you are getting there blondie. There will always be support and help here for you! Take care!

Heartskipsabeat, your words are really touching and I know your ex was correct about you, you do have a kind heart. It's so hard to imagine being on the other side of this, knowing you were with someone who believed in a real future with you and intentionally leading that person on. I'm sure my ex and yours feel guilt (though mine has recently become defensive and attacking, so there is no contact at all anymore), but it hardly seems enough. I'm sure if you could have a real explanation, something that made sense to you, it would help with the closure. <br />
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Perhpas it was insecurity on their part, or feeling undeserving. Who knows? My ex always told me that he was insecure with me, that I attracted too much attention from men closer to my age, but since he was seeing someone before me, that certainly doesn't explain his actions. And I certainly have no explanation for a woman who walks out on a man with no warning after he has loved and supported her. I hope you are taking care of yourself, getting out, being with frioends. It's a struggle, because the emotional part of you wants to hide away in your house, but I am trying to get out a bit, in between work and and graduate school. Try and find a tiny bit of joy in each day and remember there are people rooting for you!

Hi Blondie, your story is so very sad. How anyone can be so deceptive is beyond me. How devastating for you to find another long term woman and other women in his life. How could he talk about a baby and a home with you. I wouldn't know how to forgive someone like that. It's certainly not possible to forgot and that thought would be forever with you..<br />
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Yes, some people in their youth play the field but who would of thought a man of his age could do this and to someone like you. True love is not easy to come by so how could he not value, appreciate and cherish the love that you gave him. I don't understand why good people can't find love with good people.. <br />
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My ex said to me during the break up call. ''I'm sorry, I think you'll be ok, I know you have a kind heart''. Our passionate relationship evolved from a very caring, close friendship. She knew I loved her completely, she knew I'd never hurt her or let her down, always support and take great care of her yet she discards me like a piece of trash out of the blue. Why? Perhaps she's been seeing someone else too. Is it guilt, I'm sure I'll never know..<br />
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I guess your man will try and justify his actions to you. You are of course important to him, look what you gave him. Perhaps he'll continue to say he loves you and it's you that he really wants. Perhaps he'll say he's insecure as a justification for his actions..<br />
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I know each day that passes is so, so hard for you. I hope it becomes easier soon. Remember what your intuition told you, not feeling very secure with him. Hold that thought in your mind. We can't see our future which is why it's so hard to imagine happiness in our present state. I hope you too, find someone that brings you the happiness you deserve. I hope you'll find a man that you'll be able to love as much but one where you'll feel secure.

Not enough room here to right. POsted a response to you above.

I can relate to the phone and email thing. My ex would get all antsy whenever I would use his phone as if he thought I would see something I shouldn't. Now I realize that he was undeserving of me. We are good people who deserve real love in our lives. They are the scum.

I have grown to HATE technology!

I am feeling the pain now myself. Recovered emails that let me know that she is on dating sites, making plans w/other guys. It was an18 month relationship, that was really over 6 months ago. I found a particular email that floored me last night. Cant sleep. Life feels so cruel and unbearable right now. Dont know what Im gonna do. Sad for you but comforting to know Im not alone with this pain. Hope you feel better soon.

I hope things are getting better for you takata. The pain seems neverending, but as everyone says, it has to get better.

Thank you Piixel. Your comments are not only kind, but absolutely correct. It would be so much easier if I could just turn off my brain for a few days. I have to say, I was surprised at how cathartic it was to write down my story and see it on this site. I will hang on to your words. They have helped more than you know.

Hang in there Blondie. That's all you we can do when we have a broken heart. We hurt ourselves more than anyone ever could. Our thoughts, the memories, the flashes of moments. That's all in our head, if only we could stop it from talking to us. We would feel better. You don't need someone, to tell you to harden up and to fill your head with new things to do. To just be happy, dam it. To just get on with it. <br />
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"I know how you feel, it hurts like hell, and I'm sad for you, but it's going to be all right and you're going to feel happy again. And you're going to meet someone that will make your heart sing. Everything is a stepping stone that has bought you to this place. And from this place you have nowhere else to go but forward. It's not going to be easy, for now, but it will become easier, little by little.<br />
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You're the one that felt love, the feeling is yours, inside you. You can try to use it on yourself a little. Forgive yourself a bit each day. It's going to get better. Big fat hug.