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Everything at once

Community Member

Hi All,

four weeks ago, my partner ended our relationship because he has not yet worked through the breakdown of his marriage, along with the grief and anger. He did not want to make promises he may not be able to keep and is completely lost. He struggles with every decision, will need to talk more to his ex wife to move forward and does not know where he will end up. I feel very sad and disappointed because I have loved him very much after the year we had together. But I went away for a few weeks and the distance helped with the worst heartbreak. Now I am trying to move forward and on, sometimes positive and sometimes pulled back into false hope that he may, one day, move on and out, finally ready to fully commit. But I know it is false hope, and so I will have to focus on rebuilding a new life of my own. It is difficult and painful at times, especially since we have to work together and although I am trying to build distance, he reaches out to me. It appears like he wants his cake and eat it, too while he is wading through his own confusion. But his progress is incredibly slow and I cannot deal with the hot and cold. He ended the relationship to move forward, so he will need to live with his decision. While I am trying to stay strong and distant, at the same time, every day I am hoping that he may miss me. When he messages me, I feel good because I know he cares about me, and bad because I know I cannot have him. I told him that at the moment, I either want everything or nothing because he has been pulling me along for too long. Not maliciously but due to his incredible indecisiveness and emotional immaturity.

On top of this, while I was away visiting my parents, they said some horribly nasty things about me on my last night before I flew out. They did not think I would hear them but I did. I realise that they did so because they had a bit too much to drink and were disappointed that their expectations of the time with me were not met but all I wanted was a shoulder to lean on after the breakup. So of course I was not the greatest company. I confronted them about their words and they felt terribly apologetic. Since then, they feel very guilty and although I made them comfortable being nice, so they don't have the feelings of regret, but I feel extremely hurt, alone and like everything in my life is falling apart right now. I have just (gladly) finalised my divorce and my ex is dissatisfied because I did. What else? How can I progress and get better?

14 Replies 14

Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hi AussieGal81,

Through reading you strike me as someone who knows what they want so I undoubtedly think you will do your best given your current situation.

It sounds as though you are incrementally moving forward without him even though your heart yearns for him. Some men find it incredibly difficult to make that clean break. You are in a difficult situation and unsure of what the future holds by the sounds of things for example do u wait for him or make that clean break?

I like how proactive you are being in moving forward.

I'd focus on doing the things that u like/ love in life.

Sounds like your parents are very sorry and perhaps completely unaware of what u were facing. I'm glad they are sorry.

I'm in a situation myself where a guy that's pursuing me is still married and living with her but they are seperated. So much baggage.

Id listen to my gut and do what feels right for you. I'd also distract myself with things I like doing. As you know time heals all.

Congrats on finalizing your divorce.


I am trying to move forward with my life but there is one constant thought I cannot seem to shake. He is separated from his ex wife of 14 years but although he says he does not love her and he feels no attraction towards her, he has not told her that we had a nearly year-long relationship. He is going to talk to her more with a psychologist in the room, hoping that he can move forward but he does not know what that will mean in the end. I am hurt that I am the secret although I cannot imagine him being back with her considering the lack of love and attraction along with large amounts of anger and resentment towards her. But even if he does not get back with her, I feel injustice for being treated like the affair during his separation. He always said that it was not an affair and I believe him. We had something very special and still have an enormous connection now. But his choice of not telling her makes me feel like a cheap affair nonetheless. Why would he do that? Is it because he is a coward or because we have to keep it a secret at work, too, and he is scared that she may blow the whistle? Or is he leaving his options open? I do not think he could ever start fresh with her based on a lie or a secret like this. I also believe that he is so comfortable in the victim role right now (since she was the abusive and alcoholic wife) that he does not want to ruin the victim status by telling her he had another woman. And although it should not worry me now that we are no longer together, it does affect me a lot and makes me feel less valued and hurt.

Hi AussieGal81,

You want answers. I'll do my best by giving u my thoughts but it's really best they come from him.

Perhaps he doesnt want to face any repercussions from his ex. She might hit the roof and take it out on him, drink more, become adversely affected which he might not want to take responsibility for. Maybe he doesn't want to hurt her feelings and then suffer those consequences. It's a hard one for me to answer though because I don't know his situation or how she still feels about him- whether she still has feelings for him or not.

I dont doubt that you both shared something special and still have an enormous connection.

Perhaps you can both have a talk about this to air your grievances and for closure.

All the best ☆♡☆♡☆

Hi Aussie Gal81,

I am the guy, the one who got left out in the cold by a partner that couldn't care. My 25 year relationship became a farce, (She is around the same age as you (81 being a hint). My wife decided, one day, that sex was no longer appropriate and that henceforth, I was to go without any physical affection (that meant no hugs too).

We drifted apart, I was forced to move out of our bedroom because she insisted on walking around naked before and after showers, or while getting changed. We went to marriage guidance, and they said it is her right to decide to no longer have any physical contact with her husband. I felt betrayed, we had had a healthy sex life for 20 plus years. I don't drink or smoke, no drugs. Believe it or not, my high was a natural one, provided by contact with my partner. Just seeing her when she came home made me happy, or at least, it used to...

Here is the important part, in years of being ignored, living in separate rooms, (with sporadic occasions where out of pity, my partner would have empty unemotional intercourse with me), I never turned to someone else. I never went looking for a rebound or another partner.

I believe you are with someone, or you're not. My separated partner has issues that have dragged me to dark places. She has told me I must accept things, or loose contact with my children and loose everything I own (control freak I know), but until I leave, I would only be hurting someone else if I was to string them along, that, I believe would be wrong, because someone else is getting hurt just to make me feel better.

Is there something you can take from that?

She can't take everything you own and she can't make you lose contact with your children.

And finally . there are also laws now for fathers and ex husbands and you will have every right to 50 50 custody with your children and people are at work trying to fix the madness and heart wrenching sides of divorce for men. 50 50 custody thank God is becoming the norm all over the world now. l really suggest you start googling everything and talking to some people. ANd talk to dads in distress too..

iironically though , if that was you holding back in the bedroom in counselors or anyone else's eyes, imagine, you'd still be in the wrong and blamed for neglect or some rubbish and she'd easily get off the hook for an affair or justified in leaving the marriage.

Anyway , good luck my friend and please don't lay down in this , for your kids and for everything you've worked for.

Hi randomx,

I don't want to hijack Aussie Gal81's post, but I thought it appropriate to thank you and respond for your post.

I collect, and it has been made clear the collection will be destroyed. It is a worry that 30 years of accumulated items I treasure, will go to the dogs. The kids are just this year past custody battles, but calling me names in front of them for 10 years means already my own flesh and blood looks at me, and speaks to me, like I am not even worth flushing. Getting hurt or angry when you are insulted by a partner, in front of your children, only makes it worse for the one being abused. Parents shouldn't air their dirty washing in front of the kids! One that was the very light of my life now tells me the sooner I leave the better, for my 'partner' has spent years complaining about me, to this child. The sad thing is this child told me they feel their mother has mental issues, and therefore needs more support (I believe she does too, but that doesn't make me feel better).


thank you for your comments, I would much appreciate your thoughts on a few other things. I wrote my ex-partner an email over the weekend, just to open up and say what I had to say. It was kind but very honest. He responded really well and it was sad for both of us but also helpful. There is no doubt we both want to be with each other but he struggles immensely with making a decision. I now understand better why. He seems to have a really serious problem with the thought of hurting people. He is a very caring man and so the thought of hurting either of us stops him in his tracks. However, he knows that the end result is that he, his ex-wife and I are all hurting continuously. For him to make a final decision and get over his past, he needs to spend time with his wife to be sure it is all over and she will be looked after. However, he is still confused. He is very clear on the fact that he does feel nothing for her, neither love nor attraction. He does not want to kiss her, hug her, sleep in the same room, there is no emotional connection to her. Still, he says that she may have changed and he needs to find out whether she has. I have cautioned him that people often say they will change but even if they do to some degree, you should not be with someone if you do not truly and deeply love them. He wants to spend a bit of time with her to be absolutely sure those feelings are gone.

Here is my question: If someone is so clear on the fact that he does not feel love and attraction for his wife after nearly a year, is it likely those feelings return? Especially when he says that a bigger part of him dreams of a future with me and that it is not 50/50 between the two of us but that it is definitely leaning more into my direction but that he needs to deal with the past so he can be happy in himself?

He also said that there is a part that considers going back to her simply because he cannot live with the thought that she may not be financially supported for the future. I told him that this would always be manageable, even without being together but that my biggest worry is that he does something that makes him unhappy just so he does not need to hurt her. Do you think it is likely that he would really go back without any feelings of love, out of what he calls "obligation" towards her. That would be devastating because I want him to be happy, even if not with me.

Hi AussieGal81,

He sounds confused. On one hand he's saying there are no feelings for the ex but on the other hand he wants to move in with her to make sure there are no feelings for her?? He's being contradictory. I don't buy it. You would want him to make a clear cut decision and he's had enough time. By the sounds of things he would go back out of obligation.

You're saying he would go back so he doesn't need to hurt her but in your opinion is he really that selfless? He must be getting something out of it as well to want to go back. If there really is nothing at all there,there is no chance he would go back. It would be too painful for him if he's leaning more towards you.

HI monkey_magic,

thank you. He is not moving back with her, she lives in a different state and just comes for the weekend so they can discuss everything that went wrong. He has a strong need to understand why things went south but he also feels that he could not live with himself if he just left her to her own devices considering she is a fair bit older than him, does not have financial background because she didn't really work, is pretty unskilled etc. He is a very caring person and quite conflict averse in nature, so he struggles a lot with the thought of causing someone pain. She will be back in a month's time so they can talk about the past issues with a psych that provides guidance. That's because he gets standoffish and cold or angry with her very easily and then blocks off her attempts to converse. He definitely is confused because he doesn't know what he should do to make everyone happy. The problem is, and he actually knows that, that someone will get hurt one way or another. He cannot make everyone happy. It is like he knows what he needs to do but can't because he is worried to do something wrong. He hasn't been happy for years but he is worried that he abruptly ended it without giving chances.