I'm not sure if this will help at all, but having read some of the discussions on the forum, I think maybe most of us are going through similar things but are just unable to deal with the situation.
I fell in love way too young and spent most of my life obsessed with being able to marry him. I moulded all major life decisions for this and sort of never got to discover myself. I was with him for over 10 years and and despite extensive discouraging from family and friends got married to him. He claimed he loved me, but would always lie to me and now that I look back I can see he manipulated me. I would catch him lying to me, being involved with other girls but he would always convince me it was harmless and that I was overthinking it. He would promise me he would never do it again and this was a vicious cycle. Despite this I convinced myself he was faithful to me and loved me and wanted to marry him. We did get married and I seemed to be the only one working at making a family life for us, working over 12 hours a day, earning money whereas he was unable to find or retain a job and as it turns out continued his lying. I discovered his cheating at a most vulnerable time and will never be able to get over it. Something in me snapped and I confronted him. I told him I will leave him and I did, but it took me more than an excruciating year. I lived that year in a constant state of acting, pretending to be a happy couple (for the marriage I had defied everyone to have) and not talking to him behind closed doors. It was a year full of tears and pain and heartache. He cried and begged for me to forgive him but I felt dead inside. I walked away from him but I still feel dead inside. He's the only man I have ever loved, I had identified myself as his girlfriend and his wife and with him gone I feel like I dont know myself. He crippled my self esteem because I dont understand why I was never enough for him. I feel useless and unloveable and I dont think I can ever be with anyone again. I dont really believe in love or feelings anymore, just feel disoriented and numb. I'm unable to excel at anything and feel like a complete failure in life. I changed my life around, moved away, thought a fresh start will help me feel, but it doesn't and I just feel hollow and brittle now.
Hi, welcome to BB forums
I am truly sympathetic to your plight. I have some answers for you.
Firstly I am 59yo male and prior to retirement I worked with mostly men in the security/investigation profession all my life. I know men.
SOME men, a soul woman will never satisfy sexually. That hunter for another conquest will always be there. I worked with some men that openly told me of their affairs at the same time told me how wonderful their partner was. Is it your fault to marry this man not knowing that - NO
So everyone has told you not to marry him, you did, it failed and you moved away in a shameful state. So has any of these people with such vast knowledge and wisdom every made mistakes in their lives? - YES.
I think you have to get this into perspective. You were young, too young to marry him and you have admitted that. You were trusting of him because your love was blind. You wanted the prince and princess day of a marriage. You were indeed naive. But YOU WERE NORMAL.
Sometimes we grow up without the tool of wisdom to make a sensible judgement. I know when I was young no matter what people told me I went and did what I wanted to do regardless.
Stop torturing yourself. Return to your home town and rekindle your friendships. You will be surprised at your old friends response- there will be two types
1/ will understand and greet you with open arms
2/ or the other is they will say "told you so". With these you ask them if they have ever made a mistake in life. And that you are proud you tried to make it work. Then distance yourself from these "perfect people".
Good luck. Tony WK
You are not a complete failure at life. You made a mistake. Everybody makes mistakes. You've already made the hardest steps towards creating a happier life, you left him and you're seeking help and those two things are massive accomplishments that you should be proud of.
It is NOT your fault that he cheated. He sounds like he is one of those men that enjoy the thrill of the chance of getting caught, someone who enjoys the hunt and the chase. The choices he makes are not your fault. You gave him chance after chance and did everything you could to save your marriage, that is more then he deserved.
I can see that you're a kind and compassionate person, you just need to find who you are. Go out and meet some people, get a hobby, by keeping yourself busy you'll find a purpose and he'll become more insignificant in life. You may not believe in love now and that's okay, but remember that not every guy is the same. There are some good ones out there too.
I wish you the best of luck,