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Issues with Rejection

Community Member

Hi everyone. First post for me, one which I've been procrastinating about but am now at the stage where I really need some help. I'll try not to go on too long.

7 months ago, my spouse of 20 years left me, completely out of the blue, after I discovered he was having an affair. He had cheated on me twice and then, when I thought we were working things out, he was actually with a girl half his age. Apparently it was my fault. I made him stop loving me as I "withheld affection & intimacy". So you can imagine the devastation I went through. I lost 15kgs in 4 months, I couldn't eat/sleep/or function. I cried more than I thought was humanly possible. I felt more emotional pain that I thought I could bear. Suddenly after 20 years I was alone, unwanted, unloved and abandoned. Not a situation I thought I would ever find myself in.

Despite the above, I managed to get myself a new job and move my self, my son and my cats to the other side of the country where I have been slowly rebuilding. I started feeling better, eating better, sleeping better. My self-esteem started to trickle back so I decided to dip my toe in the world of online dating. After a month I met someone and we connected instantly. It was amazing. But I ignored red flags because I so desperately wanted to feel wanted and desirable again. Now it's over. He's dumped me and all those emotions from my spouse leaving me have come flooding back. I'm broken again.

Has anyone been through something like this? If so, how do you come back from it? How do you deal with the rejection and feeling lime you're utterly worthless and unlovable? I'm just lost and I don't know what to do.

Thankyou for listening,


7 Replies 7

Community Member

I want to say how I understand the emotional pain was so intense when your spouse left. My husband did the same about seven years ago - I fell apart. And... like you, after months of falling apart, I rose again. I actually felt pretty good, looked great, felt positive ( I suspect the anxiety medication helped!) We actually got back together further in... but that’s another story.

Can I just say that I really admire you for having the courage to reconnect into a relationship.

But maybe, a little too soon is what you are thinking? You could see the red flags but....🙂

You’ve come this far, you can go further 🌸 much further.

I love that you were able to secure a new job, move and start building a fresh life... the challenges! And the other side of the country..

I’m sorry for every agony you feel now. And yes, I have felt that hopeless loss... that breakdown in self confidence.

Those feelings can dissolve, even if they are intensely raw today.

But you know, you are amazing it sounds to me, and it sounds like you need time to breathe and one day connect with someone who really deserves you.


Thank you so much for your kind words...it means alot. I'm sick of feeling like crap. I did nothing to deserve this pain and I just want it to stop. I know I'm strong but, when you have anxiety, it tries to erode your strength and bring you down to nothing. If I didn't have my sons and grandson, I would not be here. They are my lights. Just sometimes it's hard to keep that in focus.

Ah... I know - the relentless pain. Every breath seems to hurt.

Thank God you have your children and grandson to keep your focus on.

I hope someone else will come along soon who can further relate to your words and offer more support.

There are so many here experiencing loss and rejection.

I’ve not always chosen the best way to manage hurt, but it sounds like you are keeping yourself in a place of productive action, from creating a new home, to getting a new job.

I can feel your exhaustion coming through your words, but I hear something strong too, something with a future, even though you have to endure through this rotten stage.

When I was still reeling from my husband’s behaviour - I remember sitting in my doctors waiting room, flicking through those mags, and taking note of super star celebrities who had been serially cheated on, left, even humiliated publicly by abandoning partners - and in my hours of wrenching heartache, it occurred to me that this rotten stuff happens, it just happens.

It was such a silly thing to take note of - that is, Public figures and their relationship heartaches.

But it kind of gave me a sense of not feeling that I’m personally defective, that women who are physically like ‘goddesses’, successful, great writers, lawyers - you name it - they are just as susceptible to being rejected and abandoned.

It doesn’t change the personal pain, but it helped me feel a bit more human, if that makes sense.

Seems a bit daft writing it now... but well, you know...

Community Member

Hello Oldbrew

Love your online name by the way. I have so much admiration for women like you. The strength you’ve displayed with the adversity you have faced wins my respect. When my wife walked out on me suddenly, I was a mess for years, staring into the bottom of a whisky glass most nights.

Finding a new job and dragging your cats and son across the country to start a new life takes a heck of a lot of resilience. You should be proud of yourself.

I understand how your self confidence and esteem take a battering when your spouse shoots through unexpectedly. It’s very painful. I’m so sorry for your latest disappointment.

I’m sensing you aren’t necessarily seeking advice, just having a rant at the injustice of the world. You saw those red flags but chose to ignore them. Fair enough, I did that too. When I tentatively put my toe back in the dating world, I was so desperate for affection I would take anyone who would have me. That’s just what I did and boy did I get burnt.

The lesson I took from those experiences, is that I had to put a much higher value on myself. If I didn’t consider myself a decent prize how could I expect people to respect me?
Your a strong woman, save yourself for only the best men.

I wish you all the best Oldbrew.

Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hi Oldbrew13

I am praying you don't spend too long questioning yourself in this process of thoughtful questioning. I hope the right questions and answers come to you swiftly, ones that lead you back to raising yourself beyond self-doubt.

A handful of questions I hope make some positive difference, ones that relate to some things you mention:

  • Did your husband leave you alone to find a partner who could love you like you deserve?
  • Did your husband leave you feeling unwanted in favour of what he wanted, what suited him?
  • Did he leave you feeling unloved due to the possibility that he never knew how to love you to life in ways you could have related to and shared in (again, what you deserved)?
  • Did he abandon you because it was easier for him to avoid the challenges that come with evolving and helping each other through a relationship or life in general?

And what about that next dude, the one you took a chance on...did he realise he'd found a gem but wasn't able to recognise a gem when he found one? What's wrong with these guys?! What is their deal? Sorry, little triggered here. Will explain...

Oldbrew13, it's just taken me more than 18 years of marriage to realise I've put a poop load of effort in over the years (understatement). I've suppressed much of my natural self so that my husband wouldn't feel too challenged or confronted by who I naturally am. If it suits you to be that magnificent you who you naturally are, YOU BE YOU! You be you through your highs and your lows. You be you, the one who reaches out for care and demands to receive it and doesn't simply hope for it. Raise the bar to the point where partners need to meet your conditions (to a degree). Don't get me wrong, compromise is important as long as you're not compromising your own natural amazing self in the process. It's important to be integrating our natural self into our relationships, not disintegrating it for the comfort of others. That's a painful deeply depressing process, on many levels.

You mention how your husband has broken you. Who the heck breaks someone so full of amazingness? Who does that? I suggest the answer is...someone who does not know how to love as well as you do? The man you meet that equals you and who raises you to be who you naturally are is the one who will know how to love you easily. Yes, such men are few and far between but they do exist.

Do not doubt yourself, you have come so far.


Thank you SO much everyone! Seriously, reading your replies has given me hope. It's amazing that such compassion exists. When you're in pain, you feel so isolated and alone. Knowing there are others out there who understand what I've been through is exactly what I need.

You're all truly wonderful.

« You mention how your husband has broken you. Who the heck breaks someone so full of amazingness? Who does that? I suggest the answer is...someone who does not know how to love as well as you do? »

The Rising ...... I wish someone had said that to me years and years ago,

Listen well, Oldbrew ❤️