Lost and lonely after 28 year marriage

by Rick
(Minneapolis, MN)

We were married for 28 years. I loved my wife with all my heart. I know I was a really good, loving husband, a great father and provider. I would always do special things for her, like when she would be working late, I'd have a candle light dinner ready when she got home. I always met her at the garage door when she got home after me. I still was a gentlemen always getting car doors and chairs for her. I supported her through some major health issues staying by her side and letting her cry on my shoulder. As the years went on she seemed to get more distant from me and the last year or two before the separation she would leave the dinner table immediately after eating and head to her computer while I did the dishes. She stayed at her computer till the middle of the night. If I went into the room and hung out she'd get mad and accuse me of spying on her. I was just trying to be around her.

Our children are grown, our older son recently married and our daughter just finishing college. My ex emotionally abused my daughter when my daughter started dating. She put spyware on her computer and gps tracking on her cell phone. She meddled in her friendships and especially boyfriends. My daughter met a boy my ex thought was perfect but my daughter didn't agree. My ex would not let her break up with him. She would do things like trap my daughter in her car and drive around and threaten to drive the car into a tree and kill them both if she didn't agree to continue dating him. Their fighting was terrible. Anyways, the next boyfriend was my daughter's soul mate in her opinion and they seemed so happy together. But my ex meddled and finally the boy got so sick of it he broke up with my daughter saying he couldn't go thru life feeling like he was married to her mother. After about 6 months they started meeting up and were considering giving it another go. But my ex went on my daughter's facebook page and being she had coerced the password out of my daughter, proceeded to contact the boy and pretended to be my daughter and had a half hour conversation with him until he got wise and called my daughter's cell phone and he broke it off for good. Now I had been talking to a therapist because their fighting was so bad and he told me at some point I had to step up and protect my daughter. They had a huge fight over this and when I intervened they were nose to nose and it was about to get physical. I knew I had to either separate them or sell tickets to the fight. I intervened and my ex was angry because my daughter had not covered for her. I told my ex she was not the victim, she was the perpetrator. She left the house and drove away and then started calling the house harassing us threatening to kill herself. My daughter was scared and asked if she could drive over to her grandparents house. I told her yes but I would have to lead her in my car because of road construction. I called my inlaws and woke them up and they prepared a bed for her. I left their house and said I needed to look for my ex and got a block away and she called my cell phone. She had returned home and found us gone. She said if our daughter was at her parents house we were done. I said that's where she needed to be and she said don't come home. I returned to my inlaws and she screamed at her father on the phone for a half hour "I want my daughter back".

I stayed at my inlaws for a week. I checked cell phone records and discovered she was texting some man 350 times that week. I guess I know what she had been doing on her computer now all those nights. I returned home the following weekend and slept in the basement for 6 months. She said she was missing something in her life and had to risk everything to find it. I took an extensive program on marriage in hopes that I could improve myself and work things out. But she was done. She set up a Match.com account and started dating. I recently found out she was even sexually assaulted on one of her dates. She disappeared three straight weekends telling my daughter she was staying with a girlfriend and doing girl things. I found text messages 3 months later from a man after those weekends saying, "Thats my favorite part of your body," "I love waking up to you by my side," "My large bed feels empty now without you in it." I was shattered. By this point she was insisting on divorce. I offered to fly in a highly regarded relationship coach to work with us for a day. I just knew that if she would try that we could work things out. She refused and said, "Not only do I not love you, I don't want to love you." She blamed the abuse of my daughter on her unhappiness in her marriage and not wanting her to make the same mistakes she did in marrying me.

One day last September she moved out. She also started dating a man then too. She subleased an apartment and later moved in with the man right after Christmas. I continued trying to connect with her. I sent her a dozen roses on the first day of classes (she's a high school teacher) which I had done in previouse years and she emailed me and told me to quit wasting my money on her. I spent a sleepless night composing the history of how we met. I still remembered the date we met and our first date. I included my thoughts and emotions, like when I went to her sorority to pick her up for our first date, how my heart skipped a beat when I saw her walk down the stairs. I included illustrations behind the text; it looked really nice. I had poured my heart out to her hoping it would somehow rekindle some feelings. I drove up to her school and left it on the front seat of her car with a rose I had clipped from my garden. When I came home from work the next day it was folded in half and thrown on our table. I was so hurt.

We were eventually divorced on February 22 and her parents just came over last Friday, April 26, to break the news to me that she was marrying the guy she moved in with. The divorce was hard enough on me but at least I had time to emotionally prepare. This came out of nowhere and I am totally devastated.

I have been in therapy for a year now, but nothing is helping me feel better. I cry every day. People tell me I need to move on but I'd rather move back to a time when we were so happy together. I've seen two therapists and they both think she sounds like their bipolar patients. I don't know if its that but something is clearly wrong with her, especially how she is rushing into a new marriage. My 23 yr old daughter lives with me and wants nothing to do with her mother. She's in therapy too. My son is pretty much estranged from her now. He came over last summer and tried to talk some sense into her. All she would say is she tried for 28 year to get me to change (not sure what I was supposed to change even to this day). My son told her she never treated me like a spouse but treated me like one of her students. She told him if he didn't like what she was doing he could just get out of her house. When he persisted she told him if it would make it easier on him he could just pretend she's dead. He left saying, "I can see you don't care about me anymore."

I still love her to this day. She was a good wife during good times and a dedicated mother to my kids when they were younger. Deep down she is a great person who became misguided. The rejection and abandonment of divorce felt awful and now I feel replaced. That's even worse and is so final. I can't imagine her pending marriage will ultimately last as she is who she is. She will be controlling and explosive. The fact that he was dating her for six months while we were still married, albeit separated, to me speaks volumes to his poor moral character. I just can't get over the grief of my marriage dying. She was the love of my life. She was my best friend and lover. I would do absolutely anything for her. She always felt so right in my arms; no one else had felt that way and I don't see how I can ever replace her. I've looked at dating sites, but I'm not emotionally ready for that and honestly, there's not very many women interested in a 5'4" man. My kids are very supportive of me and I spend a lot of time doing things with them. But that doesn't fill the emptiness I feel. The wedding is in 10 weeks and I don't know how I will make it thru that day. I'm scared.

Comments for Lost and lonely after 28 year marriage

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May 06, 2013
Lost and lonely after 28 years of marriage.
by: Doreen U.K.

Rick First let me tell you that I was married to the best man in the world. He had his faults but he was near perfect. We were married 44yrs. and I lost him 1yr. ago YESTERDAY. I mourn and grieve my loss of him in much the same way you describe your relationship with your Ex and how you feel you don't want to let her go.
You are HOLDING ON TO SOMEONE WHO DOESN'T WANT YOU. Or she would be with you. It matters not if she is exhibiting symptoms similar to that of Bi-Polar. with you thinking How can she be happy in another relationship? THAT IS NOT YOUR CONCERN, now that she has moved on. Focus on what is happening now. See all the disturbance she has caused for your daughter and how your son feels and put their needs forefront now as best as you can.
You will see in your EX what your children can't because they are two different relationships. There are Boundaries from a mother son/daughter relationship and BOUNDARIES between a husband/wife relationship and the two can't be compared. This means that what you see in your EX and the need to still be with her despite the way she has behaved. Is what Love is/does. It overlooks and bears all things. BUT. You have to let your EX make her own decisions. This is also part of Love. She has to make her own mistakes. You can't protect her from this. Your EX was possessive in her behaviour which is unhealthy and destructive to a relationship.
If you saw 2 therapists and still don't feel better it may be because you are not willing to accept what has happened and what you have to do? One has to move forward in therapy or it won't work. You may have to choose another therapist until you get the right one. You will know this when you start feeling different. Better. and moving forward with a healthier mindset. You are prolonging your agony whilst holding on to your EX who you can't have now. You may have to GRIEVE THIS LOSS and move on.
Distance yourself from the fact she is getting re-married and you can't bear it. The time may not be right for you to date again and find someone else. Focus on something else. Take a vacation. Do anything to help yourself change your focus. Then later on start the dating again. You will find someone special again. When you do. You will be happy and look back at the 28 good years you had and for the children you had from that relationship. You will go on to have a newer experience and spoil the new person in your life. Someday someone will come along and APPRECIATE YOU. For who you are. And the special things you do to make that person feel special. it will also take a SPECIAL PERSON to appreciate it. I know it hurts to not have the person you want. But it has to work both ways.

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