FAQ

Find answers to some of the more frequently asked questions on the Forums.

Forums guidelines

Our guidelines keep the Forums a safe place for people to share and learn information.

Announcement Icon
You can win one of three $200 gift cards. Complete our survey by 5pm, 30 June 2024 AEST to enter the draw. Your response will be anonymous so you can't be identified.

Ghosted and Relationship ended after 3 years, still struggling after 3 months apart

towalkon
Community Member

I was in a caring loving relationship with someone for nearly three years although we maintained separate homes. We had daily contact mostly by phone and spent weekends together but sometimes also through the week I would stay over his place. Out of the blue he stopped responding to me and after trying to extract what was wrong he led me to believe he was just going through a rough patch and needed some time to sort himself out.

After a couple of weeks of no contact I started to try desperately to learn what was going on. He told me his ex was coming up to try and get back together again. To say I was devastated is an understatement. I cleaned out my half of the bathroom and took my clothes and retreated to my place and to a whole world of hurt, confusion, sadness, anger, sorrow. He would not talk to me apart from saying there is nothing to say 'I have moved on'.

My gut feeling then became that he had been lying to me about his ex and that he could possibly have been lying to her about me and just been using me up here to make life easier. His ex lives four hours away and he works and lives up here.

His neighbour who I got to know over the three years has told me that she has seen a woman regularly there with him from the time I stopped going over there. She might be his ex or she might be my replacement that he has moved on with. I just don't know. But I feel gutted either way.

I feel stuck because I do not know what the truth is. Because he did not talk to me and just stopped the relationship cold I feel like a rug was pulled out from under me and I have been flailing around trying to find my feet again. I had no reason to think this would happen.

I am seeking counselling from a clinical psychologist with the hope that will challenge my thinking. I feel almost consumed by needing to let him know how I am. But I know he does not care and does not even think about that. I have not contacted him at all for over a month but still find myself stuck. Any contact I had with him prior to that he did not respond to. The new term for it is 'ghosting' and it is just awfully painful.

I have been walking every day and trying hard to move on. I have lost weight since then and continue to wake up at 3am going over everything in my head. I am also deeply troubled by not knowing whether it is his wife and if so she does not know the truth. I feel morally bound to let her know the truth.

Struggling....

23 Replies 23

Sasha74
Community Member

Hi towalkon,

Wow! That’s an awfully painful way for him to end a relationship. ARGH MEN!

I don’t have a lot of advice other than keep busy and distract yourself as best you can. I was seeing a guy for a year who pulled the bin rather abruptly NYE afternoon.

Why do you feel morally obligated to let the wife know? Is it to keep some sort of involvement in his life? I don’t want that to sound harsh or rude.

Im pleased to hear you are seeing a counsellor, it’s healthy to feel heard.

I am sorry you are hurting but it will pass. Eventually! Xx

towalkon
Community Member

Hi Sasha,

Thank you for your reply. I suppose I was motivated to let his ex know about the truth of the extent of our relationship because I think he has probably minimised his involvement with me over the three years and especially if he has been maintaining some sort of relationship with her at the same time. The psychologist I saw suggested that I ask myself 'if I were in her shoes wouldn't I like to know he has been lying'.

When I told him that I think I need to let her know the truth of our relationship, he asked me to please not because she would use it to turn their kids against him. That was the only reply I had from him since the breakup. No other communication. So that reinforced my feelings that he was negating me and reducing our intimate long term relationship to nothing. It was significant, a very close intimate relationship. We spent nearly every weekend together, did lots of things together and were planning a holiday before he ceased contact.

I do see why you asked me that question though because I am looking closely at my motives as well. I have also written and re-written letters to him. None of them have been sent.

I suppose it is the not knowing and no explanation or discussion from him that is the worst.

I think everyone has the right to end a relationship if they are not happy so if he had talked to me and told me the truth that would have hurt but I would have coped far better than not knowing and feeling negated and worthless after a few years of significant emotional investment in 'us'. I also harbour a feeling that if he had talked to me we might have been able to work things out.

It's taking me a while to get to the acceptance part and to let it go.....I suppose I also was thinking the letters might help me close it all off and put a line under it because the way it seems now is unfinished.

I really welcome your honest feedback. Thank you.

Croix
Community Champion
Community Champion

Dear Towalkon~

I'd like to join Sasha74 in welcoming you and am sorry you are in this horrible situation.

You did say "I feel stuck because I do not know what the truth is." Well I'm afraid you do know the most important truth of the lot, the person you placed your faith and love in is not the real person, who is callus, uses people and may well be dishonest too. Seen in that light do you really want to resume a relationship where you would always be wondering about his permanence and reliability?

I too am sorry to be blunt, however do you think that more information, or contacting his wife will really help? Sasha has a very good point about in some way trying to hold on to the relationship.

You are a warm and loving person, you are also wise enough to look at your motives. You have so much to offer another.

It is a very hard time, and reason does not realy come into it, you were simply unlucky.

You are welcome here to talk as often as you might like

Croix

Maa
Community Member

Hi

I am in a similar situation, we were texting everyday for last 10 months. We both are married and very knowingly were involved in a long distance affair. He was my first love and vice versa, reunited after 18 years via social media. The prick said I was his best friend, he never felt the same for anyone, we are soulmates and what not..... and then one fine day ended abruptly. Hadn’t responded to my texts or call. Like you I am also writing the letters (unsent) seeing a counsellor, doing meditation and everything else suggested in self help books and sites but nothing is helping. The anger is so bad that why could he tell me that we can’t continue because of so and so reasons, why so many unanswered questions. No one can feel your pain, but I do.

No point telling the wife but if it makes u feel good, go ahead. Take it one day at a time and all I will say is bear the pain as it’s self inflicted and I hope one day both of us will come out of it

PamelaR
Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member
Hi Towalkon and welcome to Beyond Blue

I am pleased you have found your way to our forums. What has happened must be making you feel like you were punched in the gut. I’d also expect the lack of closure is maddening. If it happened to me, I’d feel disrespected, used and disposable. For me I’d feel a deep betrayal that would leave a traumatic experience. So it's really good to hear you have taken the step to seek help from a clinical psychologist.

From my understanding of what happens when one is socially rejected (ghosted), the pain pathways in the brain are activated causing physical pain. Ghosting is the ultimate silent treatment, a tactic that has often been viewed by mental health professionals as a form of emotional cruelty. There is the view it renders one powerless and leaves one with no opportunity to ask questions to be provided with information that would help you emotionally process the experience. It silences you and prevents you from expressing your emotions and being heard, which is important for maintaining your self esteem.

Towalkon being ghosted doesn’t say anything about you or your worthiness of love and everything about the person doing the ghosting. Try not to allow their behaviour rob you of a better future. Keep your energy focused on doing what makes you happy. So what does make you happy? What sorts of sports, games, arts, clubs do you like?
I reckon you will find someone better to have a more lasting relationship with. It takes time - it’s a new year. Time to renew your life, your self and the things that make you happy.

About telling his wife - not sure what it is you want to tell or why you would even bother. To be honest I’d stay away from him and his wife.

Hope some of this helps Towalkon. Keep reaching out if and when you want to. You're not alone.

Kind regards
PamelaR

towalkon
Community Member

Hi Maa and Croix

Thank you so much for taking the time to offer me your thoughts and for your kind words. It is appreciated. I have felt so alone while struggling with this.

I did not enter into this relationship with any knowledge that he might still be in a relationship with his ex...apart from the necessary relationship that comes with talking to her about his children. If I had any knowledge at all that he was still involved with her on any other level I would have been out of there in a heartbeat. There was no reason to believe that he was, because he told me emphatically that they had both moved on and they were finished as a couple and apart from him going down occasionally to see his teenage children he rarely went down there. There was no reason for me to suspect otherwise. We were very happy together and spent a lot of time with each other.

In my now failed marriage from many years ago, previous to this, I did not know that my ex husband was involved with someone from his work until months after the fact. Many other people knew but I was kept in the dark so if his ex is indeed back with him should she not know about the extent of our relationship that he has possibly kept from her. But as I say, I don't know whether he is with her or whether the person he is being seen with is someone completely new.

So you see, my thinking is not clear and I remain troubled about all of this. Particularly I think because this has been the only significant relationship I have entered into since my marriage. I'm now questioning my judgement. What did I miss? Did I ignore warning bells or signs?

I think I have to try and accept that it might not ever be resolved. It might be just one of those things that remains open like a festering wound that just has to be ignored to get on with other aspects of my life. Hopefully in time a scab will form and I just have to learn to leave it all alone and stop picking at it, whatever the truth is....

Croix
Community Champion
Community Champion

Dear Towalkon~

We tend to see people as similar to ourselves, you are honest and capable of care, so you see those qualities in others, even if they do not always deserve them. Yes that means you can be taken advantage of, however it is you, and as I said you have so much to offer.

Normally you don't get warning signs or alarm bells unless the person hiding something is clumsy or foolish -or fate steps in.

I would suspect the saddest thing about this whole episode is that you are going to be so much less trusting next time and will find it very hard to let go. I hope the next person has the patience and wisdom to cherish you until you are ready.

Yes I'm deliberately talking of a next time, even though you might at the moment it's unlikely.

May I ask how you survived the failure of your marriage, was there anything that helped at the time? I've found in some situations anger keeps me going.

I guess it might be natural to wonder under the circumstances if there ever are good relationships and partners to rely on. Even though I'm one of the "MEN!" Sasha talks about 🙂 I have been married twice. The first time for 25 years. It was a blessing. When I became ill with PTSD, anxiety and bouts of depression my wife looked after me, and I returned that care during her long terminal illness. Then I was fortunate enough to meet someone else and we are still in love after over 20+ years.

I'm not saying this to boast or make you feel you are missing out, simply to assure you there are good people out there and I'm very much hoping you will find one in time.

As for telling the wife, I honestly don't know. There are a lot of parties involved, you, your ex-bf, the wife, their children. If you saw the children as the most important consideration it is hard to know what might be best for them.

Do you have family or friends to be with you thought this? Also - yes another question - do you have an occupation or something to take you mind off things?

Croix

towalkon
Community Member

Hello Croix

Again, thank you for your kind words, helpful insight and suggestions.

I did feel that what I was offering him was high value, authentic, real and worth cherishing. I love that word 'cherish'. I would use that to describe how my brother in law treats my sister...cherishes her. How we would all love that! I did cherish him and it felt so good to be able to give love and care for someone again. I would like to think there will be a next time but that seems so far away at the moment. I am in my Winter. I can't imagine myself with someone else on that level at this stage. I feel shut down inside despite being able to show a smile on the outside. Inside is Winter.

I do not have bitter anti-men feelings. Quite the opposite because of the kind gentle genuine real men of substance who are in my family, particularly my dad who has passed. I do agree there are many good people out there. Maybe fate will have it's way and there simply is not going to be a special one for me. That is a possibility and it certainly feels that way now. I have been able to face life and it's many joys and challenges on my own in the past so I know I can do that. But I also know in my heart that life is so much richer when you can share love and devotion with a special person and enjoy what life has to offer with someone. I really want that and I hope I can find my way through this to a more positive outlook in time.

Yes, I think in this case fate has stepped in. There were no warning signs that I can identify.

It is lovely to hear that you were able to find love again after your first wife's passing. She is a lucky lady to have found you especially when you can say you are fortunate to have her and that you both love each other and have been together 20 years.

I think being grateful for what we do have is helpful.

I do still work and I'm on holidays at the moment. We were planning on going away for a week or two so I am filling that void as well. But hey, any holiday is a good holiday they say but I suppose in my case the free time is allowing my mind to go back over everything all the time like I'm rewinding a tape and playing it over and over.

I have an appointment on the 10th January with a psychologist. I really need professional help with this. I know I do. Hopefully this one will be someone I can feel comfortable with. I did see someone else for three sessions but did not feel she was helpful.

The youngest of his 3 children is 17....

Croix
Community Champion
Community Champion

Dear Towalkon~

I think you have a pretty stable and insightful reaction to this whole mess and think you strength of character will see you though. Yes it is Winter at the moment. It is ironic you mentioned that season, when I met my second wife I gave her a copy of Vivaldi's Autumn out of his 4 Seasons; things not over yet, and reaping the fruits of the past.

You did say I'm rewinding a tape and playing it over and over. Well I can see no good in that at all. What can you do in your current free time to occupy you and put your mind to other things? The reason I asked about occupation was that I used it as a means of reducing that replaying. There is a great difference between completely burying something unpleasant and sensibly coping.

A psych you are not comfortable with is not only a waste, but can also get one to feel it is in some way one's own fault. So I'm glad you have decided on a change.

I guess if you are saying his youngest is 17 you may be implying they are old enough to handle the matter (forgive me if that was not your intention). Again I'm not sure. Being an offspring is a funny thing. I was formally disinherited at 21, and it took me a great many years to even see my parents as human. I'm not saying it is the same sort of situation, I guess just that children can be vulnerable at any age.

When I was invalided out of my occupation it took me a long time to discard all the 'mental environment' that went with it, still worried about cases and so on. I'm suggesting there is a period as a life is closed off when the mind still lives in it, and I'm wondering if the need to let the wife know is part of that.

You also said "I also know in my heart that life is so much richer when you can share love and devotion with a special person and enjoy what life has to offer with someone"

If you can say that there is an awful lot of hope for you, I'm glad you said it

Croix