I met a man and we both felt like lightning had struck. He said upfront that he was married but had wanted to separate for several years. He felt fate had sent me to him. He did leave his home and two children soon after and we became inseparable.
But his ex (they were only apart months), kids, family, and friends heaped enough guilt to overcome him. We went through agony, tears, fights, and then silence. He finally claimed he loves me but can’t live with his sense of failure as a man, to his family. I believe him.
But I’m destroyed. I can’t get past this. I’m 37, and have had several serious past relationships, but this was different. I feel like I lost part of myself. I can hardly do my work or concentrate on anything. I don’t even know where to begin again.
Begin with now. Begin with you. This is no longer about him… you must save yourself from a prolonged emotional breakdown.
Look to your own resources – whichever family members and friends you can trust to listen without judging, give you company and comfort when needed, and back off when you need to be alone (but not for too long).
Work when you can, the familiarity of doing what you’re good at is a healthy break from over-thinking and sorrow.
Keep up your energy by walking, eating even when not hungry, and try to get enough sleep (some exercise in the day will help).
If you’re unable to lift the fog within a couple of weeks, see your doctor. A physical health checkup will be essential to your carrying on.
And healing emotionally may require a process of counselling to probe why this breakup has hit you harder than any other.
There may be other factors about this blow than the man, himself – e.g. what other emotional losses and disappointments you’ve endured in the past.
Get help as soon as possible.
Recently, a very good friend confessed in an email that his partner had been hitting him when he got angry.
This upset me very much because I love my friend and I know what it’s like to be abused by a long-term partner.
I replied to him, expressing my shock and sympathy and suggesting that his partner be checked out for possible physical (health-related) causes for the unusual behaviour.
He did not reply to my email and I emailed again several times expressing my concern and wanting to know if he was okay.
When I did hear from him five days later, he said that he’d been busy shopping for a new car. Of course, I was relieved to hear from him but I was also extremely angry that his silence had caused me many sleepless nights. All that I expected was one line telling me that he was okay.
This man is in his early sixties, as I am. Am I right to be furious or am I making too much of this incident?
He was extremely thoughtless. Having reached out to you on purpose, undoubtedly aware that you’d experienced abuse yourself, he knew that you’d be very concerned. Especially when you kept inquiring about his safety.
This warrants a different reaction to being “furious.” He needs to be told firmly that having worried you, and then neglected to respond, he cried “wolf.” It’s effect is for you to ignore another similar message.
That’s dangerous for him. Tell him so.
I’ve started despising my job because of many changes taking place there. It caused me to get sick which never happens to me.
It’s good money, and everyone says I'm great at what I do. I applied for other jobs, but there’s less money and aren’t a convenient commute for me.
But if I continue in my present job in anger or sadness, I’ll go into a depression. I can’t thrive and enjoy doing what I do anymore.
Try different approaches – example: a transfer to a different department, or a different position that takes your skills outside the building to other places, distributors, etc.
Or, see if a discussion with a company official can give you a better understanding of why the changes are happening. An employer who values you should want to make you comfortable about new strategies.
Otherwise, a new job can lift your spirits. As you progress, there’ll likely be raises.
Tip of the day:
After a devastating break-up, your need to heal yourself is primary.