Love at First Sight
When I came to Australia then, my plan was to work a couple-three years, build up my experience and then move back home. I never thought I would meet her. And never in my wildest dreams did I ever think that love would hit me like an anvil, but it did. Exactly a week after I had met her we had our first date. And on that date we became engaged; and married a few short months later. And now, just shy of our silver anniversary she tells me she's out grown me; she tells me it's over.
Over the years, I was expected to be friends with the men her friends married, but not vice-versa. So my friends are a few work colleagues, but nothing outside of work. No one that I would feel comfortable with in taking any of this stuff to. They have their own lives and families, they don't need to be burdened with my issues. All of the local family, is her family. My family lives overseas. Myfather died not really knowing my children, he saw them maybe 3 times when they were pre-school aged. I wasn't allowed to take the kids overseas during northern holidays; when the kids would have an opportunity to get to know my sibling's kids. Holidays like Christmas were for her family.
I gave up everything when I fell in love with her. My family, my country, and a lifetime of memories with my parents and siblings, everything. What happened to what was meant to be? What happened to growing old and sharing retirement together? What happened to the future big multi-family with lots of grandchildren gatherings at Christmastime?
I can't mention the marriage breakdown to anyone without starting to become emotional and teary. When I suggested we get help, she said I can if I need it, but she doesn't need any. She's done, there is no "us", it's over. I don't know what I am supposed to do. I don't know how to restart. I don't know, I mean, I just don't. Look I'm 50. I'm not fit; my health sucks. I can't be restarting now. I'm too old. Mylife is over. It's my kids turn to build a life; I had my chance and let's face it, somewhere along the way, I blew it.
Hello Intransigent, I can feel the anger and frustration among your sadness. You feel like you compromised so much in this marriage, and have been left high and dry.
But you still have your children, and in this next phase of your life perhaps you can start to do some of the things you would have liked to do but couldn't while you were married. Go visit your family and take the kids with you, even if it's only one of them. Keep those ties strong.
As for friendships, I can understand you not wanting to bare your soul to work colleagues that you don't feel you have a stroong connection with right now. But all good friendships have to start from somewhere. Can you start socialising with those colleagues more and begin to build up friendships?
I know it's devastating to feel that you're starting all over again, especially when it's later in life. It's a cliche I know but everything should be one day at a time. Work with what you have, and begin to build a new life for yourself around that. Just one thing for example: you say your health is not good and you're unfit - why not start on an exercise program, or join an amteur sports club? Do it for you, and to meet others. Exercise is great for depression too (although I hate to admit it).
And please keep talking to us here as well. I don't think you blew anything, sometimes we don't get the fairy tale ending, in fact I think it happens very rarely. But there are still things worth getting up every day for.
Thank you for your kind words. Yes, all good friendships have started from simple ones, and those in turn from an acquaintance. In that light, it doesn't seem so hard, but the thought of trying (err of failing) is daunting.
I think my health has deteriorated too much. My respiratory system is a constant struggle; as a result other exercise is difficult too. Thus I just walk 10,000 steps. It ain't much, but it's something.
If I take one child overseas, but not the others - I risk upsetting the others. I risk the others thinking I love the one I took more than them. I still lose more than I gain. No - if I have to choose, I would rather lose a sibling than a child.
hi intransigent, welcome.
Briefly, my first marriage ended in 1996, I was 40yo. My next relationship went for 10 years till it ended in 2008. Then I remarried a lovely woman I adore in 2011....I was 55yo, she 47yo.
I couldnt be happier. We sit here nightly in front of our fire watching telly. Her doing Suduko, me BB forum here or Facebook etc.
I know now that there is never a closing time for relationships. Even a friendship, many women look for that in an older male.
The bottom line is that all relationships are a gamble. We dont think that way when its all going well. People change over time and some in a negative way towards their life with their partner. Blame isnt the answer. Thinking along the lines of "I gave up this and that" is not going to help you both. Try to embrace all that time together. Salvage any friendship possible. Turn your views around in this manner. Fault- it's no ones fault persay.
I wish you well. I wouldnt be in my current 2nd marriage if I didnt plough through the grief of two broken relationships. It will take time to overcome, take as much as you need then seek out interests that will allow you to meet other people.
I am not blaming anyone for the failure of our marriage. And I hold no ill will or bitterness toward her. The choices and decisions I made in life were mine, thus any consequence of them being the wrong choice or decision is equally mine.
I thought it was meant to be. I thought it was forever. When I had the same life plan for over a score, it's difficult to fathom such an absolute and abrupt 180º directional change. I was caught unawares. I didn't plan any contingency for such a cataclysmic event; but then how could I ?
Even if she's decided to move on, is it acceptable for me to stay true to my vows and live a life as though I were a widower?
As you say, the end of a relationship isn't something we ever plan for, and I think if we did then we'd be too caught up in the future to enjoy the present.
I think this same theory applies now. Focus on today rather than the rest of your life. It would be unreasonable to make the decision today that you will live the rest of your life a certain way ie "a widower". Think back to when you met your wife, wasn't it all spontaneous? Did you plan to meet her? All you can really be certain of for the future is change (which is ever constant) and opportunities (which will present themselves when you least expect).
If you think about your situation right now what sorts of things do you want to be doing? You probably need some healing time, some time to rediscover you, some time to gain some acceptance around your circumstances, and some time to be at peace with your new identity (as you let go of the role of husband).
I wonder if you could also foster the perspective of continuing rather than restarting? You are still you, you were never lost when you met your wife, you were and will always be you. As you grieve think about what's important to you. Do you value family? Or your home country? Making friendships? Belonging to a community? Feeling like you're contributing or achieving? I don't think you've failed, I think you had a really successful experience with your wife. It sounds like you put her needs first, but that's what we all do in relationships. Now that the relationship has ended you get much more opportunity to put yourself first.
A few weeks have past in time since I last wrote herein. Come to accept the end of our relationship I have, though an easy journey it has not been.
A replacement relationship is nit what I would be seeking, though if I had it would giv me a new person to occupy my time with. On the other hand, take time away from my children it would -- allow to occur I cannot.
Enjoy looking after others I do. Use up my free time, keep me busy, it does. Forget that I have problems I do. Others first, yes, that's for me. But the kids are mostly grown, not but a couple of years remain til alone I be. What then I ask, who will need me then?
The worst part of being alone is not being needed. Surprisingly though, it is not nearly as painful as when I was with her and not needed. To be a just-in-case I have nothing better to do object of possession, and utter lack of desire, hollows you out and fills in with despair.
Loneliness sucks, but it is better than despair.