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Lost my morals

Community Member

I was raised in a "normal family". Parents married and sibling

Was raised to respect wemon, never cheat, be a family man, honour wedding vows...and never leave.

My last 2 relationships (8yrs and 3yrs) and 3 children failed. I was quite unwell with PTSD and untreated for a long time. My wife leaving early last year really broke me, I was always faithful and loved her, only had eyes for her.

But something has changed in me, now that I realise those values and morals I was raised with don't mean anything, wedding vows and commitment don't mean anything....I have completely changed as a person.

I didn't date or see anyone for 7 months after she left...but now I have dated so many wemon in the last 5 months (seeing one for 3 months) but I've lost that respect for them I've always had. I have slept with so many in such a short period of time, I don't care if I upset them, I haven't cheated "technically", I break up with them, go see another, then go back to them.

I feel disgusting but at the same time I don't care. I don't trust them and expect it to fail...so I just bounce from one to the other.

Loneliness kills me, but these short relationships are also very damaging. I don't believe I'm a sex addict...but something internally has changed and I've become to opposite of what I was raised to be.

I dunno the purpose of this post, maybe just need write down what I'm internalising.

Thanks for reading

11 Replies 11

white knight
Community Champion
Community Champion

Hi, welcome

I was raised the same. At 17yo j17jyooined the RAAF and within 12 months joined the mentality of my airmen colleagues. Drink, sleep with women, work, drink...

I believe you're discounting one main factors our environment. Sure in an ideal world such perfect standards can work, but not often. So you get hurt, you go into damage control and that includes anything that's non committal.

Sometimes we go through these stages then, several years later we seek/find a partner that is our best friend, it clicks and we don't leave each other. Likely that person has done the same.

So, apart from my single life I've had 4 long term relationships all spanning more than 7 years duration. 2 kids to one. My wife of 10 years is my soul mate.

So that proves happiness is possible but expect these stages to continue for some time yet. You'll tire of it.

Your parents did well but you are not their era, not them and your aren't evil.


I've just found this thread that you might find useful



Hi Mr. Irrational, 

We are sorry to hear that you have been through some relationship breakdowns in the last few years. These can be really tough and leave us feeling unsure of who we are and out place in our own lives. It is very brave of you to be honest and seek support for how you are felling. This is a welcoming and warm community and we hope you can find some similiar experiences or even just some words of support. 

It can be useful to talk to someone about how you are feeling and you can always call Beyond Blue on 1300 22 4636. We also think that Mensline 1300 78 99 78 could be a great place to seek advice. Or, Relationships Australia have some wonderful resources on their website if you would prefer to read instead of talk. 

We hope some of this is helpful and please feel free to return here and update on how you are going if you want to. 

Kind regards, 

Sophie M

Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hi Mr. Irrational

It can definitely be tough when we're trying to work our self out in the process of moving forward in life. In this process, I believe we can meet with lots of different aspects of self. Is there a possibility you've met with the 'Emotionally detached while seeking to feel nothing but excitement' aspect of your self? Do you ever hear yourself saying something like 'I barely recognise myself anymore?' If you've never 'met' with this sense of self, it makes sense that you don't recognise it.

I know all that may sound a bit weird but I can give you a few examples where this can happen in different ways, based on my own experience.

  • At around 19 I met with a sense of self that was desperate for guidance. Being raised to be a people pleaser, so as to feel 'loved', I remained lost and in service to others in all the wrong ways. To numb all this, I met with my alcoholic self. Of course, all this was thoroughly depressing
  • At 31 I met with the nurturer in me when I gave birth to my 1st child. At 35, the mum aspect ramped up with my 2nd child. In that same year I met with a sense of self that led me to be free from depression. I was a whole different person
  • Throughout my 20 year marriage, I'd tried to maintain my 'people pleaser' role (one I'd appointed myself from the beginning of the relationship about 25 years ago). My husband would often get upset if I tried to lead him outside his comfort zone. He's a home body who loves to basically vibe in front of the tv with a beer. Romantic weekends away have added up to 2 throughout the whole of our marriage . He's basically a nice guy who wouldn't harm a flea and a wonderful provider (just to set the vibe). I have recently met with my self who has disappointed him from most of the roles I'd originally appointed him (adventurer, romantic, future goal setter etc). What's left is 'provider of opportunity through reliable income' and 'someone who enjoys sharing the excitement of sex'. This suits me just fine at this point in life. So, in the relationship, I have now met with an aspect of my self that is emotionally detached in a healthy way. While that may sound tragic, it's actually liberating. I'd spent years feeling down, not having the marriage I wish I had. I wasted so much time wishing, feeling soul destroying disappointment (a horrible feeling)

My question to you is 'Who or what aspect of yourself would like like to meet next?' Perhaps the adventurer in you who thrives on excitement in new ways.


Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

Hi Mr irrational

I’m glad you wrote .. I’m a lot like you .. had a long marriage and did everything according to the books . I was so damm faithful to him only to have him cheat on me for many many years and then have his mistress come and stalk me .

long story short I was very angry .. like so Angry but I have left .. but for the sake of my kid .. I am keeping it all very civil .

I know for myself I started dating ( in all honesty I was just really looking for Friends as I didn’t have many ) but quite the opposite of you I couldn’t let anyone in .. it was all like total shut down on my behalf .

but in either case I think the problems is within us .. in us not dealing efficiently with our suppressed emotions . I know my other divorced friends have also like slept around . It is an outlet somehow but an unhealthy one .

Quite differently from them I found dancing which has helped me properly channel my anger and frustration .

I also used hot yoga and meditation .. so all kind of holistic .. kind of working on myself .. so to speak . I am so glad I was able to stumble across these because I know my girlfriends have told me they feel void when they jump from one person to another .

so I think you could perhaps try to do that as well .. like work inwards instead of outwardly .

I hope you understand what I’m Saying . I believe you definitely feel more fulfilled that way .

hope this info is helpful for you and keep writing .. get it out of your system

My last text to the girl I had been seeing for a short period was "i dont recognise who I am anymore, this isn't me"
So I guess I can resonate with what your saying.
As soon as I realise this person isn't going to change how I feel internally, I close off to them and move on to the next.
It's a never ending cycle for me at the moment

My last text to the girl I had been seeing for a short period was "i dont recognise who I am anymore, this isn't me"

So I guess I can resonate with what your saying.

As soon as I realise this person isn't going to change how I feel internally, I close off to them and move on to the next.

It's a never ending cycle for me at the moment

Hi Mr. Irrational

I wonder how many people you know who bring out the best in you. I suppose this can be a tough one to ponder as we're typically not raised to look at things more objectively. Based on what we've been taught, we can be left believing we're looking at the worst in our self...

Would it be accurate to say that all these women you've seen have led you to not settle for anything less than a mind/life altering experience at this point in your life, something you feel you need and deserve? Have they actually been bringing out the best in you, the you who will not settle for less?

With the 2 long term relationships that didn't work out, did both those people bring out the best in you post trauma or were you largely left struggling to make sense of things and find the best in yourself? Personally, I've only ever had a small handful of people who have directly led me to the difference I've needed at certain points in my life. The rest were basically supportive and/or loving and basically inspiring but, during the darker times, basically just isn't enough. Sometimes, basically makes no difference. To be clear and fair, this does not take away from all their efforts and the deep challenges they've faced. Could it be true that basically being supported, loved and inspired isn't enough, in the way of making the difference you're looking for? Did the relationships ending lead you to find the best in yourself in some roundabout way? I personally believe that one of the greatest aspects of self is 'The questioner' (analytical self). 'What am I doing 'wrong'? Why can't I get my s##t together? Why do I feel so broken?' Of course, without anything or anyone leading you to the answers this can get depressing. It's such a shame we're typically not raised to work with the sage in our self (far wiser and far less judgemental). Would make life a lot easier. We're more so conditioned to work with the critic. This reminds me of a quote from a brilliant author named Jamie Catto, a guy with a great sense of humor who advocates working with the different aspects of self in his mind altering book 'Insanely Gifted': 'We are each of us a sage in charge of a mental patient'.

While various people in your life are indirectly leading you to find the best in yourself, do you know what type of person, people or route would lead you more directly? Kind of like speeding things up. Do you feel almost desperate to speed things up at this point in your life?


Most of these wemon I've seen listen to my struggles and what I miss (family, children, wife).

When they realise I'm not happy being with them, they start to make promises....I'll have a baby with you, I love you, I'll never leave you, I'll give you that family you want...

But I don't care, I couldn't careless about them, they're words are meaningless to me.

Once they start with those comments they're gone, I'll end it and be seeing someone in a week. It's disgusting...but I don't care...I don't have feelings anymore...just a numb empty feeling.

Its not fair the way I treat them, they're not bad people and haven't done anything wrong.

Theres something very wrong with how I perceive the world and how I feel internally.

I know its over with them as soon as I start talking to them...they just don't know it yet.

I don't see a future, I don't see a future with anyone, I don't even see a future alone. My life ended 12 months ago...I just exist in a world of pain. No one can take that away for me...its a lonely existence in a world full of people