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12 months on & I still feel so guilty & consumed by regret

Community Member
I have been separated from my ex for just on a year now. The decision to separate was mine after suffering severe PND after the birth of our two children which has progressed into depression and high-functioning anxiety. Instead of seeking counseling together, I chose to move out and divide our entire family in search of the old 'me' thinking that I needed to be alone to do this. Throughout this illness, he has never really been there for me emotionally, but did everything he could to try to 'fix' me by pushing me to attend my GP, a psychologist and couples counselling. However, I did not have the emotional, mental or physical strength at the time to follow through. Since separating and attending regular therapy sessions I have come to the very real conclusion that I absolutely love this man and never intended for this to be our end. I have expressed my feelings to him whenever the moment feels right, and we have had some intimate moments (kisses, meaningful hugs & sex) over the last 12 months leading me to believe that we could still have a future. On a few occasions over the last three months or so, I have asked him if he would be willing to chat about 'us' - not in an effort to reconcile immediately, but more to place clarity on our feelings for each other - only to be told "There's too much damage and I'm not ready". My head is spinning out of control right now. He has been seeing someone else since about June last year but doesn't call her his girlfriend. There is a level of jealousy there for me, but I know that he is free to do as he wishes.
I feel so guilty, ashamed and heartbroken. The regret I have for making this decision for us and our family consumes me daily. I do have thoughts of ending all the pain but I know I couldn’t go through with it for my kids. Any advice, guidance or suggestions you could give me are greatly appreciated.
5 Replies 5

Community Member

Hi littlegirllost,

I knew your name looked familiar and realised that you had posted some time back and I had replied to one of your posts. My heart breaks so much for you as I read your post. I can feel all your emotions through your words.

I honestly don't know what advice I can give you, being on the other side. But please know that your words have been read and that someone is here listening and sharing your pain and thinking of you even through your words.

I can sympathise with your husband and how he must have felt through all of this. However, being able to see things a bit more clearly, I don't think you should feel guilty for your decisions. As you said, you did what you thought was best for you at the time, and although your decisions were impacted by your depression, I don't think you did it with any bad intentions. As you've said before, you did what you did because you thought it was what was best for your family.

To give you an update, my husband did not leave. Nor did I. But I'm sure both of us were close to it. I know he has suffered and is still suffering through depression. But I suffered too. There is hurt in this for me too that needs to be healed. So I can totally understand when your husband says that there is too much damage and he isn't ready.

While you have taken the time to recover, and better yourself, he also needs the time to heal and move forward. I can't say for sure which way that will be for him, and for you and your family. But I do hope for the best for all of you.

I know that these times must be very difficult for you and I do hope that you are continuing to be supported by professionals, family and friends and whatever else you need.

Community Champion
Community Champion


thanks for your honest post.
815 has suggestions that are helpful and offered you support.
I agree with her post so I won’t repeat.

one thing you say in your title is feeling guilty and consumed by regret.
I know from experience guilt and regret are really draining and time consuming frustrating emotions. There is that French song by Edith Piaf Je me regrette Ruben, I regret nothing .

you made a decision that you felt was good at the time . There still seems a connection with your ex.
please don’t regret or feel guilty because you have achieved so much.

Maybe you all need time to be honest and communicate what you really want. This will take more time and support and real Communication

Community Member


I'd like to say that 815 has provided some real good info about this tough situation and has really empathised with you about this and so do I. You may feel guilty because you were suffering or experiencing some form of depression which meant that you may not have been in thinking clearly, you may also feel really bad because you know this but due to not being aware of the issues, you decided that running away was the only form of resolution.

That is tough and I also really feel for you right now. What can you do? Change. Do it now. See a clinician if need to for some really good actions to get you back on track You may need to work on your confidence and self-value. This is probably one of the reasons you left -you did not value yourself so you couldn't value you others i.e. your ex partner. We humans are big projectors of our own issues. Sounds strange but some people don't know any different.

So please, get yourself really healthy, look good, feel good, feel confident, show your partner that you made a big mistake and have accepted it and now you need to focus on showing him that he is everything, you need to show him that you can be trusted and that you have your health taken-care of.

be strong, be brave.

Dear 815

i can’t believe you remembered me! I have worked so hard to try to let go and fall out of love with this man, and I was on the right track until he started showing interest again. Now I’m right back at the beginning.

am I being naive to think he might want to give us another go given he’s still seeing someone else (and I don’t believe she knows what we do and say to each other). My mind races wondering if he’s just keeping his options open or it might be an act of revenge knowing how much I hurt him. It messes with my head when we have these moments and he acts like nothing has happened and refuses to talk it through with me.

im so happy to hear that you and your husband are working together through such a challenging time and I hope it all works out the way you want it to.

I am continuing with weekly therapy sessions which definitely are helping me. Outside of this I haven’t got anyone to talk to and no one ever asks me how I am going so I tend not to bring anything up (huge introvert).

thank you for reaching out again 815, I really appreciate you touching base

Hi littlegirlost,

I hope you are doing OK.

I am sure you have done this, but I think you need to be honest with your husband about how you feel and how you want to move forward.

You are asking if it is naive of you to think you guys might still have a chance. You said you have been doing OK until he started showing interest, but he is also sort of seeing someone else...I think it's only fair that your husband starts being honest with you communicates with you about how he feels, and what he wants to do moving forward too.

It will be very difficult for you both to move on, whether together or apart, if he doesn't tell you what he wants/needs. Have you thought about attending relationship counselling together and maybe discuss these things with an impartial 3rd party?

There is always great support here on these forums. So if it helps to talk about it here and seek support here, please keep doing so. I know it can sometimes be difficult to talk to family and friends about these things and sometimes seems easier to write out the words and have others read it rather than us having to speak them out loud.

I hope you're continuing to be supported and continuing to look after yourself.