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Feeling desperately lonely and clinging to unhealthy relationship

Community Member
I have been in a relationship for nearly 6 years. We were both married to others at the start. My marriage ended first (for numerous reasons, not the affair) and he stayed with his wife for longer as he was afraid of what she would do if he left (with good reason). 18 months ago he did leave and his ex has made his life a nightmare ever since so now he is paralysed by fear and we can’t move forward together and are still living in secret. So we have been in limbo and unable to move forward. Because of the nature of the relationship (an extended secret affair), I isolated myself with my friends and I have no family living in this country. I am terrified of us breaking up because I am so scared of being on my own again, but I am so unhappy with this ‘partial life’ we have together. we fight constantly because i think deep down I want to force his hand to do something, and now we are on ‘a break’ for a month. I have no one to one to talk to about it and am feeling incredibly alone. I’m not susceptible to depression, but I am a serving police officer and am wary of PTSD and that this may tip me over the edge because I feel I’ve started to display some symptoms in withdrawing from the world around me and pushing him away by being very negative. When I do this I know it feeds his anxieties and he withdraws further into justifying his inaction (why rock the boat with his ex and kids if we can’t get ourselves together anyway) I know deep down this relationship isn’t good for me and hasn’t been for a long time but he’s my best friend and I’m devastated and don’t know how to move forward.
4 Replies 4

white knight
Community Champion
Community Champion

Hi Lissy, welcome

I understand you predicament. Shift work wouldnt help either with your mood and frustration.

Sometimes we paint a poorer picture in our heads of how it will be than reality. I suggest a relationship counselor is sort to comfort you during these testing times. That will give you the one on one you desperately need.

This period without contact can be a reflection period. But I also found that love can often only be replaced with love so based on that due to the difficulties of your relationship socialising would be hard but not such a bad move to help with self esteem and distraction.

Other than that you must look after your health and let your mind control your lifes decisions for your own self protection.


Community Member

Hi Lissy14,

Welcome to the beyondblue forum. It is great to see you reaching out here. It sounds as if you know that you need some support to make a few tough decisions about your life so that you can feel happy again. The complexity of your relationship sounds really difficult. Being stuck in a difficult relationship and feeling trapped is a very common experience and I know you will be able to find some like minded situations on the forum.

One of the best steps forward that I can recommend is getting some counselling or support for you. Talking to members on the forum is one way on getting some support but visiting your GP and getting a referral to a counsellor or psychologist is another strategy. I can also recommend using your Employee Assistance program which would likely have a counselling service. It is usually free and you do not need to use if for work specific issues and is a benefit of being employed by an organisation like the Police. As a nurse, we have a similar employee benefit package. I have used the service previously when I needed to contemplate life decisions. Having a person who doesn't know you and is completely objective to your situation listen to your story and offer insight can be just what you need to get through a tough turning point in your life. The appointments can also be done over the phone which is convenient.

I know from experience that when two people take a break and get back to themselves, it can often be a less definitive way to realise if the relationship is right or not. How long have you been on your month break so far? You have mentioned that you have no one to talk to and perhaps finding a social group or a MeetUp Group to engage with like minded people could be a start. I also wonder if you could contact some of your old friends - this could be a good idea as they very likely have missed you. Another step to take is to re-engage with something that you enjoy that you have neglected due to the relationship. You might have had a hobby such as hiking or swimming, surfing or exercising? Perhaps you haven't had a vacation to visit your family recently and it is a good time take a trip.

I hope that you find an outlet to discuss your situation and find your way towards happiness. You are worth it.

Wishing you the best possible outcome,

Nurse Jenn

Thank you for your comments. I have booked an appointment with my GP for Wednesday and hopefully can move forward from there. This isn’t the easiest time of year to go through this stuff which I think is adding to my sadness, but I’m trying to keep my head above water.

Community Member

Unhealthy relationships can be hard to break away from and often this takes time and a plan. If you feel you are withdrawing just try to reach out to one person and start communicating. Just like you are doing here. Relationships can be complicated at the best of times and only you will know what is best for you.

In the meantime we are here to support you.

How will you move forward?