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New to forums - newly single and struggling to find any joy in anything,

Community Member

Well, I am a 41yr old woman, who suffers from chronic nerve pain and is recently seperated after 12 yrs with a man that I thought I could trust,even though he was super controlling of every aspect of my life. Initially the break up was amicable, as the reason he gave for ending our relationship was that his mother who i cared for no longer wanted me living there because I could no longer provide her with the care she demanded (read be her slave),as a result of my condition being untreated due to doctors refusing to prescribe meds, his second reason was that he could not afford to support me unless I were working, which I am no longer able to do.

I have come to learn in the last few days that the real reason he ended things was because he had rekindled an online relationship with the same woman i busted him having cybersex with 8yrs ago, and she is supposedly moving from Canada to be with him.

The thing is, I have accepted the relationship is over and that I am much better off without him, but, he is refusing to give me back my dog and threatening to have him put down if I keep contacting him about returning my dog. This is devastating me in a way that I just cannot cope or see any joy in anything, because the only thing that gives me joy is my dog. This dog brings me comfort when I am dealing with severe pain, and he adores me so much that he suffers from seperation anxiety if I leave him for more than 30 minutes. My dog is registered as mine with the vets and the counci and I was his primary carer until recently, but the cops won't do anything unless I take him to court, and I just can't afford the legal costs. On top of this, I am also paying off a vet bill of $1900 on my own because the ex won't help me.

I don't know what to do or where I can turn because I feel like I have cried so much that I now have permanent red puffy eyes, I can't eat, i don't want to go out and I can't seem to find anything to distract me. I am seeing my gp next week, but I just feel so useless and like I have lost everything that matters to me. My family lives thousands of km away so I can't go visit them and with limited funds its hard to get out anyway. I need my dog because I just cannot cope without him by my side i just feel so lost and I really don't know what to do now

6 Replies 6

white knight
Community Champion
Community Champion

Hi welcome

I feel very sad for you tonight. Twice Ive had that occur to me and yes it is heartbreaking.

Your financial situation is dictating your ability to go to court to lawfully have your dog returned. Of course if you were to take your dog I would imagine your ex woulf have to do the same but with evidence you have of financial vet bills paid by you and registered to you, he wouldnt have much of a case.

I would attend a solicitor for a free consultation.

That aside I think you've done remarkably well. I know how hard it can be post separation and you seemed to have got out of a bad relationship.

Can I suggest: make sure you are settled and get a new puppy. We now have a mini foxy and although it sounds like you are replacing your dog, you never will, but you can save one from a refuge?.

Thete is not much more I can say. I hope you take one day at a time and keep busy.


Hi White_Knight,

Thank you for your reply, I do appreciate your advice. I am trying to keep myself busy, but nothing seems to be keeping me engaged for very long before I break down again. I am also a volunteer for a salvos store but I am finding it hard to leave the house because I just don't want to be crying in public and I just can't control those emotional outbreaks.

I have several of my work mates from salvos who have been checking in on me regularly since the break up, we are like a little family in a way. One of the ladies came to see me today and I completely crumbled and told her exactly what is going on, so she is contacting her brother who lives nearby and is a lawyer who deals with these sorts of issues quite often. She said that as I have a pension card he does a special pensioners rate and so I am just waiting to speak with him on Monday. Currently this is giving me some hope to cling to.

While I do understand what you are trying to say regarding getting a new dog, I am not yet prepared for that option. There are a few reasons for that. You see as much as I need my dog, my dog needs me just as much.

My dog suffers from acute seperation anxiety if he is away from me for too long, and the vet told us that the dog needs to stay with the person who he has the strongest bond with.,which is me As he is an old dog with health issues that require constant monitoring, I am afraid that my ex keeping him away from me will cause the death of my dog. On top of this, he is threatening to have him put down if I try to reclaim him or keep messaging him to return him to me.

In the 3 years that we have had this dog, I was responsible for all of his care and was also the only person who gave him real affection. My ex is a very loud and angry man who yells over anything and everything, which terrifies my dog to the point where he would cower behind me for safety and urinate. Whenever that would happen i would have to take the dog outside to comfort him for up to an hour before he would stop shaking and whimpering. My dog would not stay in the same room as my ex if I left the room, he would follow me very closely and would do his best to keep me in his sight at all times. My dog currently doesn't have me to protect and calm him down.


The lawyer is an opportunity.

I also detect a fine quality in you that has ramifications. Your kindness level is off the scale which is an amazing thing yet the price you pay for that quality is the trauma that comes with it, in case you are wondering why you are so distraught.

My therapist in 1987 recognized this and said to me "Tony, when are you going to stop saving the world and grieving for things out of your control"

In relation to your situation, pursue this by all means with that lawyer but if your ex does a cruel act you must gather your strength. You did your best and that is always enough.

I hope you keep us updated.


Hi Lady Artemis,

I too want to welcome you to the forum.

Tony has given you helpful you and supportive reply and I will try not to repeat what he wrote.

I am pleased you have wonderful friends from work and I hope the brother of your friend who is a lawyer will be able to advise you.

Many people reading your posts will be suppporting you.

I can feel the love and concern you have for your dog through your words .

I just wanted you to know I was moved by your sad situation and I am thinking of you.


Hi TonyWK,

I will keep you guys updated as to how this plays out, and I have to agree with you about trying to save the world at my own expense, as it tends to be a flaw that I have had for many years & something that I am trying to work on personally.

I see this situation resolving in one of two possible ways; I get my dog back safely, or the ex keeps the dog and takes ownership of the vet bills. I cannot accept responsibility for a bill for an animal that I don't have as to me that just isn't right. There was more that I wanted to add last night,butI ran out of characters and didn't want to break the forum rules with a consecutive post.

I know that my ex is doing this out of spite, for catching him out on his affair, and also because he is the type of person who believes that he is right, even when given physical evidence that proves he is wrong. I was quite often called a moron and told that I didn't know what I was talking about on several subjects for which I spent thousands of dollars on qualifications for prior to meeting him. He would also have me questioning my memory until I startedto keep a diary so that I could track events or comments, which has become quite useful over the last year.

Prior to this relationship, I was with a physically violent man for 4 yrs, however this current ex never made it physical and so it was only in the past couple of years that I became aware of the fact that he was using emotional abuse and manipulation to control me,and that I was enabling his behavior. I started to fight back and question him, and I stopped reacting to him throwing hissy fits, instead of getting visibly upset, I would ignore him and take the dog for a walk. He would be calm when we came back. I am not perfect and I possibly could have handled things much better, but when he refused to talk to me about things, or refused to listen to me when I would try to raise issues or discuss feelings or even medical problems, it just became easier to ignore him throwing fits.

I will end this little rant with the advice that I was given about 17 yrs ago, which I try to live by, but seem to have failed recently :

You are either a Survivor, or you are a Victim, but you cannot be both. The difference between a Survivor and a Victim is simply this: a Victim will continue to accept & allow themselves to get into negative situations, while the Survivor will work hard at recognising the patterns & not allow themselves to fall back into those bad situations.

Hi Quirky,

Thank you for your kind words, when I made my first post, I was a complete wreck and could barely see what I was typing through the tears so to know that there are places where I can unload without having to feel like I am alienating all of my friends is really comforting at this time.

I am blessed to have such fantastic work friends whom I have come to respect and care for quite deeply. I actually started volunteering with them just over 2yrs ago as a means of respite from the stresses of home and up until recently had not told them very much about the way my ex treated me, though they suspected that something wasn't quite right on a few occasions.

The people from work are each taking turns at both visitingand phoning me to make sure that I am ok, although I would love dearly to get back there as i would generally be on light duties and can rest as I need to, I just can't seem to motivate myself to leave the house which I don't think is healthy. I have also asked my manager this morning to see if the chaplain will come out to see me with the hope that she may be able to snap me out of this funk. At the end of the day, and regardless of the outcome of my situation, the sooner that I can get myself back into some kind of routine and normalcy, the better off i will be and the healthier i will be. I just want to be the strong and positive woman that I used to be instead of feeling like a rotting doormat with no control over my life.