A long painful journey

Reading everyone's stories here has given me the courage to put my own down for the record. My tale of woe begins, if I'm honest, when I first married 29 years ago. I 'endured' 25 years of giving absolutely everything I had into making it work before I, emotionally, physically, and mentally exhausted, and with deep and profound regret was forced to admit defeat. My marriage was a mistake. I learned that much the hard way. It was very controlling in that I was never allowed to make any decisions concerning joint matters whatsoever. Whether big or small not only did my husband always, without fail, have the final say on every single matter but I was not even afforded the courtesy of having my view listened to or considered for a single moment.
The only contribution I was ever allowed to make on anything was a financial one. I earned more than him so paid for more--that much was allowed! To sum things up quickly-the first house 'we' purchased when we married was chosen and the sale agreed to, by my ex husband, without me having seen it at all. It was then furnished and decorated in its entirety with my ex's choice of décor but with my funds. I recall spending a day off making one pair of curtains with material I bought as I'd fallen in love with and, sad as it sounds now, getting ridiculously excited about doing something myself for once. It was short lived excitement as on my ex's return from work I was forced to take them down and replace them with some plain dark brown ones which were his choice.

'Our' first car -again the only thing that was mine about it was that I'd paid for it-was chosen by my ex husband despite the fact it was supposed to be for both of us and was of a make I particularly did not want.
Our second home was, again, chosen by my ex husband not only without me seeing it but with my express wish not to move on any account at the time- known to him. This time not only did I, desperately, not want to move but I particularly didn't wish to move to the other end of the country when I was 8 months pregnant with my first baby and be forced to leave my job, family, friends, home, and everything that was familiar to me but as usual attempts at discussion were stomped on mercilessly. Resistance was futile.
Hopefully if anyone's bothering to read this far, you're getting the picture by now.
The most painful part of my marriage was the fact that, although we had two sons I love very, very, much indeed I had always wanted another baby. Initially my ex had agreed and then decided against it and expected me, with no further discussion to just shut up about it. That was so painful but the pain was to worsen when I found myself pregnant anyway with what would have been our third child -I was overjoyed but as he regarded it as a mistake he became extremely angry with me about it and yelled at me for three long months about it. As a result instead of blossoming as I should have been I became an emotional, mental, and physical wreck. I later found out colleagues at work were seriously concerned for me. Consequently, I feel sure, I lost my baby at 12 weeks and knew my last chance was gone.
So, finally, actually on our 25th wedding anniversary (both sons grown up and flown the nest) when I'd tried to put things right by booking a cosy holiday away -but he wouldn't speak to me or touch me the whole time. I decided my marriage had to be ended now and from now on I would put my energies into my future.
Now I have my own flat, car, and am in charge of my own life. I'm 52 now It's been four years since I took the plunge to leave him and I have healed so much in that time, all the hurt, feelings of bitterness and despair and wasted time had left me in peace and I finally felt strong enough to look into dating again.
I tried the online thing, a site recommended by work colleagues. I had a few unsuitable dates before I thought I had met someone wonderful. I fell deeply in love with him- for the first time I guess. With my husband I hadn't felt like this and there hadn't been anyone before my husband. Seven months on I thought things were going so well. I constantly felt like I couldn't believe how lucky I was. I thought things were as near to perfect as they could be. Then last week he dumped me out of the blue and it's left me totally devastated. I can't believe how much pain I feel. Physically, in the chest, it just hurts so much! With my ex it was a long drawn out pain so that when I left my recovery started but this is a sudden acute pain and the shock has hit me like a ton of bricks. The worst thing is I feel used by him. I have always believed in the sanctuary of marriage ie no sex out of marriage or at least a committed relationship, a pledge to be faithful for life. I thought this is what I had with my ex 'boy'friend. Last time I saw him I was at his house and we'd been out as usual and we had made love when I started feeling very unwell--I felt so bad I asked him if he could take me home-which he did. He took me home, and immediately left without a word. I recall making it to my couch and then passing out, I think, I was out all that day and all night and came too on the afternoon of the following day. It was exhaustion due to work commitments I think. Anyway two days on I still hadn't heard from him, I thought it a little unkind not to enquire as to my well being! I could have been dead for all he knew and the way I'd felt I almost was! I tried contacting him a few times with no luck. Then, out of the blue, I was dumped by him-via a text message.
It's seriously the biggest regret of my life that we slept together. I feel I have let the standards I have had for life down, and let myself down and won't ever do that ever again. He said he loved me he said he wanted to grow old together, I took it is as a lifelong commitment to me and now he's dumped me with no explanation whatsoever. I feel like everything, this new life I had and felt proud of myself for achieving finally, is totally ruined now.

Comments for A long painful journey

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Oct 28, 2014
re
by: Anonymous

Doreen Thank you again. It is so good of you to help me so much when you have come through so much in your own life. I am so sorry to hear of your husband and your own struggles.
I know you're right with the advice you give me. Especially about God.I know this is true and it's going a long way to help me. I am usually a strong and optimistic person at the same time I am still human and it's so painful
I was in Church Sunday (I can't always attend due to work commitments). Anyway I couldn't help noticing I was surrounded by couples. One pair came and sat almost on top of me ( even though there were lots of empty places elsewhere) I can only presume I had sat where they wished to be. I did feel that God was talking to me and said He loved me but unfortunately all I could do was cry out in my heart and mind that I was only human and wanted the love of a good partner in life and it wasn't fair. I found myself in tears mid service!
However I'm getting stronger every day. It's helping immensely to be able to put it down here and I can't thank you enough.


Oct 28, 2014
re
by: Anonymous

Doreen Thank you again. It is so good of you to help me so much when you have come through so much in your own life. I am so sorry to hear of your husband and your own struggles.
I know you're right with the advice you give me. Especially about God.I know this is true and it's going a long way to help me. I am usually a strong and optimistic person at the same time I am still human and it's so painful
I was in Church Sunday (I can't always attend due to work commitments). Anyway I couldn't help noticing I was surrounded by couples. One pair came and sat almost on top of me ( even though there were lots of empty places elsewhere) I can only presume I had sat where they wished to be. I did feel that God was talking to me and said He loved me but unfortunately all I could do was cry out in my heart and mind that I was only human and wanted the love of a good partner in life and it wasn't fair. I found myself in tears mid service!
However I'm getting stronger every day. It's helping immensely to be able to put it down here and I can't thank you enough.


Oct 27, 2014
A long painful journey
by: Doreen UK

Dear Anonymous,
Thank you for replying. Let me see If I can expand on more support for you.
If you ever find a counselor and you don't have a good experience. Change counselors till you find the right one for you, and you know you are moving forward.
Saying this. COUNSELING WORKS if you get the right person. Counseling saved my life. I carried depression through life for 40yrs. Read self help books all my life which only took me so far. Then came time for one to one counseling/therapy. I went into counseling skeptical and cynical. In 4yrs. I became a whole person, and the person I was meant to be. I related better and even those in contact with me benefited. I developed skills and I gave back 8yrs. in voluntary work to mental health.
This was expensive counseling BUT THE BEST INVESTMENT I MADE IN MY LIFE.
I lost my husband of 44yrs. to a deadly cancer 2yrs. 5 months ago after nursing him for 3yrs.39days. This counseling helped me to recover better. I still went through tough grief but better from having had counselling.

Don't FRET over having counseling because you feel you have compromised your morals. Don't let this cause you mental anguish or guilt. All one has to do is to go to God. Repent of what happened and you stand before God CLEAN. RENEWED. As if you had never sinned and you have a clean slate. Then God puts up a sign which says NO FISHING. It is only US who has trouble forgetting and forgiving ourselves, fishing out our wrongs and magnifying them till it takes over our lives. God doesn't. We all make mistakes, and we all can turn our lives around and to quote my counselor. "We can do better when we know better." Free yourself of any feelings around feeling letting yourself down.
Relationships are complex. Many don't last. The person you want doesn't want you back in the way you want or need, and this is the big one most people struggle with. I hope you manage to find a counselor and free yourself of what you are going through. Counseling is a very Cathartic (Cleansing) feeling and experience. You certainly will never go back to feeling the way you do now. For me it was the most AMAZING EXPERIENCE of my life. PAINFUL but worth it. NO PAIN NO GAIN.
We learn and we Grow from life's experiences.
Counselors are human and go through the same struggles as we do. A good counselor will never judge you, or make you feel bad. They should build you up and allow you to develop good self esteem from the counseling experience. You will get your life back and you will find A that someone special for you. BELIEVE IT! Best wishes

Oct 26, 2014
Doreen
by: Anonymous

Doreen
Thank you for your thoughtful and very helpful advice, that is so much appreciated. I can't tell you how much in fact. My ex husband and me do have some contact and he's been very good to me lately. He's admitted having 'ruined my life' his words and clearly feels bad. However he never asked me to go back to him and seemed relieved when I left. He has a girlfriend (not living together though) it's lasted 2 years so far so things are going well for him. I know I should rely on myself and no one else to make me happy and I'm trying and keeping very busy in my life but it feels like everyone has someone except me and I hurt so much right now.
My ex boyfriend wasn't the first man to sweet talk me - I had a few first dates and I was asked out a few times but just felt nothing for the other guys at all. I know what you mean though and I've learned an awful lot from my pain over this man who dumped me. Looking back now I feel he was out for what he could get and wasn't exactly generous -he dumped me right after his birthday and looking back I think he deliberately waited for the presents he knew he'd get.
I was wondering about counselling as the fact that I know I've lowered my moral standards has got me into such a state lately. However my one and only experience of a counsellor was not a good or helpful one and it's kinda put me off!
Excellent advice re protecting my assets, I have it covered! I made provision for everything I have to go to my sons in equal shares should anything happen to me and I will never be altering that. Thank you again, you have helped me so much.

Oct 26, 2014
Feel so Alone
by: Doreen UK

Josie I am sorry to hear your story of a life similar to the author of this post.
You have been divorced 7yrs. Your EX should not still have an influence on you that interferes with your confidence and you moving forward. You need to get yourself some good counseling and move forward from this OPPRESSION. You are being held back in life. Start building yourself up by doing as many good things for yourself each day and building on this till it becomes a way of life. Associate with people who are good for you. By this I mean they will BUILD YOU UP! and have your best interests at heart. Your EX is just a bully. If he is still affecting your life you need to BREAK FREE. Don't be in relationship with your EX. If you feel that the men out there in the world will only go for younger woman tells me you feel insecure about your age and perhaps how you look and feel? A man will be attracted more to a confident woman and one who has a vibrant personality. You can do both with some good support. If you don't want a life long partner/relationship with all its baggage, you could just reach out for friendship/companionship. Meeting a need in each other.
My aunt is 85yrs. Lost 3 husbands. Now has a companion to go shopping with. Share a meal together. and he does odd jobs around the house for her. It works well for her and no complications. Just know yourself, and what you want out of a relationship and be up front at the beginning so there can be no confusion. Be Happy! You deserve this. Without reservation, and UNCONDITIONALLY!

Oct 25, 2014
A long painful journey
by: Doreen UK

It may feel like your world has ended. But just look back and see the achievements you made. I applaud you for leaving a husband who was regimental and austere and not giving you the respect you deserve, or the voice to be heard. You have built up a new home, car and still have your job. You are AMAZING. You have good morals and principles that even allowed you to stay in a marriage that was literally destroying you.
You quite naturally started dating again. A new experience. You were taken in by the love of man who deceived you.
You should have gone for a few sessions of counselling. It would be easy to have damaged emotions from living for 25yrs. with a brutal husband, and to be REPRESSED. Just sometimes a counselor can spot a problem that could interfere with your life and happiness. It was easy for you to give yourself to a man who loved you. And it is just as painful to feel USED by this man. Counseling will also help to heal you. You will be wiser from this experience and know the next time to put boundaries in place. Be up front and discuss what you will and won't tolerate in a relationship. Don't hang your heart on the first man who comes along and sweet talks you. Forgive yourself for giving yourself to this man physically and going against your Principles. Just don't isolate yourself and give up on having a new relationship that can make you happy and cancel out those bad years of tyranny, and oppression. You deserve to be happy. You deserve to make a life for yourself even at 52yrs. of age. I am intrigued by how your husband felt when you left him? Did he realise what he did to you was wrong? Did he plead and beg you to stay? is he out of your life for good? or does he contact you?
You have had a long painful journey. Watch out for your home and car and assetts. They need to also be protected against any new relationship. You have suffered enough and now deserve all the happiness in the world. I hope you get to find a decent man and have the happy life you are seeking. And remember. YOU DID IT! You walked out of a bad life. Your story will give other women the courage and strength to move on with their lives and be out of a destructive relationship. Best wishes.

Oct 25, 2014
Josie
by: Anonymous

Josie
Thank you so much. You have made me feel so much better. I'm sorry to hear of the struggles you have been through. I honestly feel that you have done very well and should be proud of yourself. Can't say as much as I'd like here right now as my PC isn't working properly and I'm having to send this from my phone which is a bit of a nuisance!
Thank you again, God bless you too.

Oct 24, 2014
Feel so Alone
by: Josie

I can certainly relate to some of the things you went through in your marriage. It took me 35yrs to wake up I was 14yrs old & he was 17yrs old when we got together. He was a rebound for me because the boy I truly loved we had broken up even though we both had professed our love for each other. When he asked me back it was too late I said yes, but there was no way to get away from the man that at that time still had not shown his true colors. I never spoke to my ex-boyfriend again even though he would inquire as to where was I to say when I found out he passed away at the age of 24yrs old I was devastated he is & always be the love of my life. I am now 54yrs old & have been divorced for 7yrs I have not been out on a date. My ex husband still to this day has this hold on me that I feel so insecure. When in reality I was the breadwinner of the family and paid for everything & had the insurance for my 4 kids which are all adults now. Like you I could never do anything right & the house always had to be decorated the way he liked because I had bad taste. Please don't let this man who has broken your heart get the best of you it's his lost not yours. You have come too far I am proud for you I wish I had that courage. Believe me that's what scares me about men these days for some reason no matter what they look like they have their pick of women unlike us who are in our 50's men want younger women because of the security. God bless you and don't give up the right person will come along when you least expect it. Take care.

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