I married my high-school sweetheart and we built a nice life, which included our own business and three children. His family was like my own and I still love them.
Suddenly, 20 years later, it was over in one day. He made a unilateral decision to move on without me, and had secretly rented an apartment when I was away on a school trip with our son.
Shock and disbelief don’t begin to describe what I felt.
With a good therapist and positive, supportive friends and family, I was able to "get past" the black cloud that overtook me.
With time, I was able to take responsibly for my part in the marriage breakdown and understand what had been going on behind my husband’s eyes.
Looking back, he hadn’t been invested in our relationship. It was not so perfect and happy after all. I realized that five years post break-up.
The pain went away. But I’ll always carry an empty place where I once held this man, the father of my children. I mourn the loss.
Being open to new possibilities and having enough confidence to know I couldn’t again be with someone who could do such a selfish act toward me, I fell in love with a wonderful man.
We’re married, but we don’t take one moment of our relationship for granted.
Survived and Thrived
Yours is a story worth sharing with so many readers who wanted to hear from those who’ve “moved on” and surmounted the heartbreak and despair of a break-up.
I married my wife because I loved her madly. I also anticipated a great adventure – moving to her city where there seemed to be more opportunities, and a freer atmosphere than the one in which I’d lived.
We had twin daughters right away (honeymoon surprises). I was proud and happy, but overwhelmed. My wife went into Mom-mode immediately and became immersed in it.
It was harder for me to adjust, with no experience with youngsters (only child), no close friends but her in this new city, new job, etc.
Twelve years later, we’ve come a long way. But there’ve been tough times and big fights. I don’t want to break up my family, but I keep feeling like we’re not where we should be, and we’re not who I thought we were as a couple.
How can I get past my unrest and disappointments?
Sad and Restless
Dreams and goals are meant to stimulate your own efforts, your own search for strategies, to get some of what you seek.
They’re not meant to be written in stone, so that missing out on some makes you a failure, or casts blame on your partner for not getting you there.
Marriage and raising a family is a process, which changes through your own personal changes (age, health, attitudes) as well as your wife’s and your kids.’
Setbacks happen, but so do achievements.
You don’t mention the areas in which you and your wife do well together, the times she supported you through difficulty, and you her, or how your daughters have enriched your life, or the things you do with them all that provide family fun.
If you focus on those positives, the disappointments won’t dominate your thoughts.
However, if you’re depressed and disappointed in yourself, talking to a therapist can benefit you greatly.
Once you banish patterns from your past that stress negatives, you may be able to build a happier, more satisfied future.
My older sister, 16, is the “good child” who does everything our father appreciates and rewards. I’m 14, more curious, adventuresome, and question some of what he and my mother expect. She understands me better because I’m artistic like her.
But he always criticizes my ideas and acts like I’m about to become a druggie or drop-out.
How do I get my father to see me as myself, not the “lesser” daughter?
You’re very well-expressed and thoughtful, and should be able to talk to him… IF you don’t go on the attack.
Say this: You’re different from your older sister but not in a “bad” way. He may find it easier to deal with her but you’re not about to do anything bizarre or harmful to yourself.
Then tell him you love him, and love your sister too, for who she is, and you want to be loved for who you are.
Tip of the day:
After a break-up, take time to understand your own part, as well as your ex’es.