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Loneliness is a cloak you wear

Community Member

I accidentally fell in love a couple of years ago.
I’d ended a 20 year marriage that brought me to my knees, battled an anxiety disorder (still), lost loved ones and wore my troubles around an expanding waistline. After years of rising and falling I got myself to a position where I was ready to try dating. Nothing serious as the emotional scars from a toxic marriage were deep and I wasn’t inclined to rush into a situation I’d regret. Instead, I hoped for light, joyful experiences. How naive.

When I met him I didn’t know the NSA or FWB rules and with little dating experience I just let things unfold naturally. My only thought was not to hurt him as I sensed something deep and fragile within him. It wasn’t a conventional relationship, we lived our own lives and spent exquisite pockets of time together when the planets aligned. It suited us both and I felt drawn into a deeper and closer connection. I say ‘drawn’ because I responded to his levels of affection and intimacy and marked the changes. And then one day I realised with shock that I’d fallen in love with him.
Of course there were shadows or I wouldn’t be here. He had bouts of depression, withdrew for periods, ended it, returned, ended it again. And after many months of no contact we saw each other again only for him to end it.
I accept that he doesn’t want me in his life. I accept that men and women have different emotional responses to intimacy. I accept that all the open arms in the world mean nothing if a person won’t embrace them. All of these things I rationally understand. But I’m crippled with grief and I can’t think about him without crying. And I can’t stop thinking about him. I’m struggling to come to terms with never seeing him again. I can’t drive on the main road that leads to his house because it overwhelms me with sadness. I’ve never known such loneliness as losing in love. I try to hold my thoughts because my friends have endured the stops and starts and are probably sick of hearing about it. I push the pain down so I can function at work and around people. I thought of the last moments I saw him while I was at the checkout in the supermarket and started crying. Never been so relieved for masks! I know that time heals wounds and the grief will lessen…but what if it doesn’t? Im so afraid that I will be one of those people who carry this all their life and I’m afraid that the last man I will ever love is one who didn’t love me.

12 Replies 12

Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

Hi Revolution Rock and welcome to our forums

I'm pleased you've found your way here. There are a lot of people with anxiety and depression who post here about their relationships, grief and other things that affect their emotional and mental health. You can find many of these by doing a search of our forums - the search field is at the top of the page.

You sound very low at the moment and it seems to me you might be beating yourself up too much. Just because his love is not returned does not mean you are a failure or that you are not someone worthy of love. It really is his lose in a way. You have so much to give by the sounds of it. Having said that, it sounds to me like you may also be going through grief - loss of your 20 year marriage, loss of relationship. Grief has many phases and it hits one in different ways at different times. There is our forum subjects is - Grief and Loss. You can find this under the "People Like Me" category. You might find some posts that help you through your troubled time.

Feel free to share more of your story - if you want to. No pressure.

Kind regards


Learn to Fly
Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Dear Revolution Rock,

Thank you so much for your post and sharing.

There is a lot, and I mean A LOT, that you have experienced within a relatively short period of time. Yes, there might be few years and for some that’s not short. However, considering what you have been through- that is a short time. It might be that you haven’t had enough time to “get over” these dramatic changes in your life. Learn how to cope in a new reality. Come to terms with the past. And current situation is unfortunately another loss that brakes your heart. I am so sorry to hear you are going through all of this.

Not sure, if this would help but for the time being, when all the pain is so raw, try maybe holding even to small positives that happen in your life: a cup of coffee from a favourite coffee shop, a walk in a nice park, sunshine on your face, just anything that would bring you even a tiny bit of joy and relief.

It’s called self care and you need a lot of it atm.

Let us know how you go.

Take care there.

Revolution rock

welcome to the forums.Learn to Fly and Pamela have given you helpful suggestions.

You have suffered so much over the years and recently. Your pain and loneliness can be sense through your words. Many people will relate to your post.

I too fell in love with some one who decided we would be friends as he wasn’t ready for a relationship. I did try to accept this until a month later I found out he had been in a relationship for 3 weeks.

I felt so shocked and felt I would be alone . It is hard but I learnt it was his choice and though it was painful I tried. It to let it reflect on myself or my ability to be loved.

Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor
“The hardest thing you will ever do is grieve a person who is still alive” - there is nothing quite like heartbreak. Aptly named because it feels like a crushing weight on your chest that you wonder if you’ll ever survive it. I experienced it a few years, I actually ended it with a man who I loved completely but knew that he could never love me in the way I wanted/needed. like you I didn’t want it to end, and it took me a long time to get over, a year properly. Hearing his name was like a knife to my heart, I stopped listening to the radio, I stalked him on Facebook and found a video of him and heard his laugh, it was almost too much to bear. Then I started finding things funny again slowly, could go a few days without thinking of him, and it got easier. Then when I thought of him it was with fondness, it no longer hurt me. You will get over it, the human spirit can withstand most things, but it will be an absolute bitch for a few months. You just need to be gentle with yourself, do things that make you happy, indulge yourself, have breakfast out if that’s what you like doing, retail therapy, drink too much, go out.

Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hello Revolution Rock, and thanks for posting your comment.

Do you remember falling in love with your spouse 20 years ago, I'm sure you had the same feeling and would have been devastated if anything came between the two of you, but as time progresses we tend to drift apart from each other, it is sad but know that it does happen, especially if the marriage is toxic, then it's time to move on.

To fall in love with someone new may not require too much of an effort as you are looking for compassion, affection and a person, you can discuss any topic without any anxiety, but when a crack opens and he discloses that he has depression, the door is pushed open with a tidal wave, as it's certainly not what you were expecting, as he begins to display the emotions associated with this illness.

The months you have not seen him could only be this illness preventing him from doing so, it may not mean that he doesn't love you and if you were able to take his depression and whatever else is attached to this, away from him, then the two of you may be together.

Just because he's not with you, only because of his mental illness, doesn't mean deep down he still doesn't love you, it's just, with this illness, people are unable to say 'they love you', they aren't strong enough to say and even if they do, then it isn't said to be honest because this illness dominants how he is feeling.

If you want, send him a text, keep in contact with him, let him know that you worry about him and please let us know.


Community Member
Thank you all for your thoughtful and supportive messages. I appreciate the time taken to read my story and respond and I will look into the grief forums. My Dad died suddenly, he was young, 47, and there was an expectation on me to hold my family together. A helluva responsibility for a 21 year old. I didn't understand the impact of grief, I was trying to be strong for my family, manage work, manage life. When I started dating my ex-husband six months later I probably needed to be cared for and so I settled quickly into engagement and then marriage. What followed was 20 years of instability, gaslighting and manipulation. I maintained the house, kids, finances, full-time work etc while continually feeling under pressure for not supporting or responding to him in the way he expected. I couldn't relax, if I wasn't being accused of either shouting or mumbling, being unappreciative, I'd be placating him and biting down on the rage that was building inside me. I broke down. While battling severe anxiety and agoraphobia, he took my medication for himself, the clearest indication that nothing could be salvaged so I ended it. It took 6 years to manage my anxiety as I was constantly in fight or flight mode and in that time one of my kids was hospitalised (chronic illness), I lost my last grandparent and my Mum died while I was with her. I also went through a restructure at work and myself and my team were threatened and bullied by a narcissist (we have all since left). Sometimes, when I condense it like this, I'm amazed I got through it. These experiences and a great deal of introspection have shaped the way that I approach relationships. We have complex emotions, our life experiences dictate how we behave towards others, our flaws and our scars impact how we respond. We make mistakes, do terrible things, do wonderful things. I'm no different, I can be petty, abrasive, shallow, I hold guilt for how I've treated people in the past. But we are capable of change and we get to choose who we want to be and how we want to be. I'm naturally accepting of people and appreciate that we all have our quirks. When meeting people I want to dig in deep to understand them so I can be a better friend/lover. In dating we are so vulnerable because we open ourselves up to hope and possibilities and fear and rejection. While honesty and kindness are key, I value the power of love and connection. That's me, I'll need to do another post about him.

Community Member
I can't read his mind, obviously, so everything about him comes with my bias. From the first moment to the last the physical intensity never waned. When I saw him it was so easy and I felt at peace. He was more beautiful each time and as I pulled the pieces of his life from him, I felt he was open and honest and that a closeness was developing between us. But he would also throw up walls and distance himself. We have never fought or bickered, but the gaps were confusing and unsettling. Then I would see him and it would be so passionate I'd wonder why I worried at all. I said previously he ended it, returned, ended it again and that he had bouts of depression. I would reach out and check up on him, make sure he was ok. There were spectrum-like behaviours and in my quest to understand him I have spent months reading books and watching documentaries on Asperger's and other spectrum disorders. I wanted to help him but also to find the key to a relationship that would be less stressful for him. When I saw him again, after 9 months of no contact, the intimacy was special, we were chatting and laughing and then talked about 'us'. He said we needed to say goodbye and move on. 'Move on!' Move on like you clock the scenery as you drive to your destination. Coming so easily after we'd just been intimate. It was during that talk that I told him for the first time how beautiful he is and that I loved him. Move on. And while my battered and bruised heart was breaking, I could only look at his beautiful face with love and sadness. This love is different to anything I have ever experienced, so much deeper and with such compassion. The loss is raw, I'm still staring into the abyss and if I'm honest, part of my grief is that such a profound love was one-sided. From start to finish it was 3 years and if I can't recognise that there were no feelings for me, how could I ever put myself in that position again? I can't seem to comprehend it and I can't bear thinking about it. Thank you for reading, while I have zero interest in doing anything other than staring at nothing and crying, I'm grateful for the opportunity to talk this through.

Hi Revolution Rock.

I have read your posts and see how you are coping.

It seems that you are in love with this person which is a very beautiful thing. If he isn't at the same level then that's fine. Relationships flow naturally and they are about learning about each other and building a deep and meaningful connection.

You sound like you really like this person so try not to look into it too much. Happiness makes others want to be apart of us, especially when we glow. Give yourself compassion.

Thank you Jsua,

It's true, relationships are about building deeper connections however it's hard not to look into it too much when it shatters at your feet. The love and care I feel for him is only one half of the equation, the other half turned out to be a vacuum of emptiness for me. I know that happiness draws people to you, but right now I feel so desperately unhappy and I don't know how to lift myself out of it.