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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,
After a seven year relationship, my girlfriend left me after cheating on me a few weeks ago. I found out about the latter part through other channels, she had no intention of telling me that. We met in college and had our shares of ups and downs throughout the years, but recently we moved to a new state together and were in a better place than ever. Marriage plans were discussed frequently. I got the job of my dreams and was never around, while she sat at home applying for job after job and getting nothing but rejections. She went through a period of total misery during this time and it pained me deeply that she was alone, without many friends and no prospects for employment. I did all I could to make her feel better, trying to comfort her, assuring her that eventually she would get a job and meet people, telling her how much i loved her and that I would be by her side through everything, and I covered all of her expenses without hesitation. Throughout all of the tears, she never once mentioned that she had doubts about the relationship, and told me how much she loved me etc. Well, about a month ago the project i was working on at work completed and I had more time than before, and I was thrilled to be able to be there more for her. Shortly after, she got the job of her dreams. I was so happy and relived for her that she now had something to get out of bed and I was relieved that the strain her unemployment had put on both of us was now over. The next weekend she went back home to visit friends and upon returning told me she wanted to end the relationship.
I was crushed to say the least and i spent a week with my family to help recover. i was doing better, thinking that after 7 years we would both need time to recover but then I found out she had cheated on me the weekend that she had gone away,a and was even telling her friends about it and saying she didn't feel bad at all. She was even bragging about it. When i confronted her with this she told me that she new that she would end the relationship for months and that she went through her "recovery" all those days and nights I was away at work. i found out (not through her) that she had been telling her friends about this all along. She never cam eot me to try and work it out. She had been lying to me the whole time and never had any intention of telling me what she did. We had alwasy said that we would never cheat, that we would break off a relationship, especially a meaningful realtionship, before that would ever happen. The fact that she did this, that she was able to do it, that she could lie to me outright about all of it, and that she was willing to throw away something that had been so wonderful without even a shred of sincerity, remorse, or compassion, has rocked me to the core. I would ahve been willing to leave my job, to move elsewhere, all of it to save the relationship, and she never came to me about it, the one person that should have mattered most.
I'm at the point now where the anger and disgust is starting to subside and I'm left with the utter loneliness and emptiness. As is often the case, over seven years my friendships with others became less and less as a result of a committed realationship. I feel I have no one but family to turn to and after a while I can't lay this down on all of them. The fact that she waited until she was ready to end this, without letting me know anything, taking me totally by surprise, totally unprepared for this makes it all the more difficult. I don't know what to do to feel better and i am asking for any advice that you may have.
Thanks for taking the time to read this.
 

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It would seem that at the end of the relationship she simply used you until she was at the place that she wanted to be at. You blind by love helped her get on her feet and shoulder her burdens.

That is nothing to feel bad about. It just makes you a good man that will take care of the next woman that deserves a good guy. It is a pity that so many people suck at reklationships but do not dispare.

This should be a time for you to focus on yourself. Join a club or hobby or even a league. Do good things for yourself like joining a gym the physical and mental benefits will be worth it.

You lost friends? Well here is your chance to make new friends, and get to a better place.

Atleast you know now what is real in your life (it isn't her).

We will always be here to help you and even just to listen or add words of encouragement.

draconis
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you so much for the words of encouragement and for validating my position. I am having such a hard time with the fact that she is moving on and seeing other people while i am in total recovery mode. It makes me feel pressured to do the same, but of course, i know I'm not ready yet. Thank you for reaffirming that it doesn't matter what she's doing and that this is time I need to take for myself. Someday she may find herself alone and actually have to confront the reality of her incapacity for honesty for a sincere relationship, and I suppose as long as other men are showing her interest she will be able to avoid that, but if it happens she will have to deal with it. The point is that it's none of my concern and i can't possibly move on if I'm thinking about what she's doing with her life. The truth is that i know I am better off having someone like that out of my life and hopefully in time I will actually FEEL that way too.
Living in LA it's hard to really believe that i will find someone as interested in a sincere relationship as I am, but I'm hoping...
 

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You have been used. I am so sorry. I know you still care for her but in my opinion you are much better off without her. She is a user and that’s a trait in a person that seldom changes. You have handled this well. I agree with Drac that you need to get involved and meet new people, find hobbies and in general keep yourself busy while your emotions settle. I would add that if you are a spiritual person you join a place of worship. This will not only help to fill the emotional void in your life now with support from Him but is also a good way to meet new people, hopefully with solidly grounded moral beliefs. Best of luck to you, you’ve shown great class in all of this, I’m sure you will bounce back quickly.
 

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I agree with drac and amp about getting out and being active and doing new things on your own for a while. There are definitely good women out there looking for a good man that actually wants a committed relationship, even in LA (just moved from near there a few years ago) who are wondering if a guy like you exists out there. You also seem to have a good perspective on your situation and that she has character issues that differ from yours. When you do eventually meet someone new, keep in mind that they are not her. It may be hard for you to trust again and open yourself up again, but not all women are like that and being who you are and were with her is the foundation for a lasting relationship when you do meet the 'right' one that shares your beliefs regarding relationships.
 

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I am brand new here because on Sunday I just went through a similar situation. I have been in a relationship for 10 years now with my wife (coming up on 8 years of marriage). We got married right out of college and we thought we were best friends and soulmates. My wife has always been just a little bit unhappy with her life ever since I have known her, so everything I have done in our relationship, I did with the hope of helping her find her happiness. I live in a city I never intended to, I work at a job that I don't like, I now have a townhouse with nearly upside down mortgage, and I take care of a dog that she so desperately wanted. All this was ok for me because I love her and she said she loved me. She has a good career, a good network of friends, and she has reconnected with her family. I felt that all my sacrifices were paying off because she was starting to build the life that she wanted. But the wheels came off a couple months ago. She started seeming very distant and started racking up huge amounts of text messaging on her phone. She was spending a ton of time chatting with coworkers online. The more I tried to talk to her, the more she pulled away. Finally, she admitted that she thinks she is falling in love with a guy from her office. She swears she hasn't done anything physical, but I feel that is immaterial at this point. Just like you, Lost, we swore to each other that we would never cheat, that if the relationship was getting that bad that we felt that was the only alternative that we would talk it out and end the relationship first. She wasn't strong enough to do that. She chose the deceitful and cruel path, fully knowing that it would not only destroy our relationship, but my life. I gave up almost everything that I ever wanted because I wanted her most. She acknowledges what she did was wrong, but there is no remorse and no true apologies. She feels like she did what she had to do.

After nearly 8 years of marriage, the passion and romance has definitely dwindled. Maybe I have been deluding myself all these years, but I thought we had something special and she has just forgotten. After talking to her friends and family, she has said that she has decided to work on our marriage. The problem is that her primary focus is on herself. She isn't doing this because she loves me, or thinks that we can have a great future. She is doing this so she can say she tried. She is now seeing a counselor to find out what she truly wants, but I can't shake the feeling that she is using the premise of reconciling as a way to buy some time and security to figure things out. She has already said that she would be hurt but RELIEVED if I actually left her.

The crappiest thing is that despite all this, the lying, the selfishness, the pain, and it being mostly a problem with her, I feel like I am to blame. If I had tried harder, if I had been better, this wouldn't have happened. I still love her, and need her. I can bear the thought of any kind of life without her.

While it feels better to know that I am not the only one who has been bent over a log by love, what I need to know is how do I get over her? We are ostensibly trying to reconcile, but I haven't managed to make it 10 minutes without thinking about all the happiness that I had and am losing now. I don't believe that it will work out for us, because it isn't what she wants. How can I be supportive, yet turn off my feelings for her? How does one fall out of love when the person you adore is still in the same house? How can I stop caring?

Thanks for listening.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
There is no easy path when you are the one being left behind. It sounds like my situation, where she didn't do this until she had strength from outside sources. It sounds like you don't think there's a chance of reconciliation which means it might not happen, but the fact that she went into counseling is something. Do you have a strong network of friends and family you can fall back on? In my situation this is not really the case so it's be agonizing for me. It is easier for her because she has that network to draw strength from, plus she is the one who might want to leave so she feels like she could do that, while you feel like you can't. The fact is, and this is something people will tell you over and over again that won't mean a damn thing right now, but you WILL feel better eventually. If she leaves you, it might take half a year before you feel any better, but it will happen. As long as she is willing to try and work it out you should stay together and live together, but if she isn't being honest with you or has no intention of making it work, she needs to get out of the house. You need to distance yourself from her because dwelling on it will only prolong the pain. In my situation, I wish there was a way i could just erase all memory of her so that i wouldn't be consumed with grief. If she does leave, you can't spend your time worrying about what she is doing with her life or who she sees. You have to find a way to focus on yourself for a while and try to draw strength from yourself. in my situation i ahd completely defined my existance from this relationship, so when it fell out from beneath me I felt/feel empty, and worthless. You have to try to love yourself again and regain your identity if that happens. Life is a LONG song my friend. you say you've ben married 8 years and you were married out of college which tells me you are about my age (27-28). Do you know what actually made me feel a little better? When I realized that I'm still 27 and even though i am crushed that the person i thought i would spend the rest of my life with is gone, I have plenty of time to meet someone else. Do you know how many people get married young, end it and then find the right person later? It's a very common phenomenon and I strongly believe that settling down young is a very difficult thing to make work because people in their early twenties just haven't experienced enough to really "know" what they want. They settle down, and inevitably someone meets someone else down the road and they are still young enough to think "this is new and interesting and maybe I should experience more in my life." If you meet someone in your thirties, chances are, they've been through a few realtionships down the line, and they have a firmer grasp of what they want. So i think marrying in your thirties, as opposed to your 20s provides a better chance of success. Ten years down the road, if things start to fizzle a bit I think both parties are more inclined, and have more incentive to value the "good" in the relationship and work it out. If your relationship ends just remember, time DOES heal all wounds and eventually you will feel better. This is how I get out of bed in the morning. i know that someday i will look back on this and realize that it wasn't the worst thing that ever happened to me. I will probably even be able to see it in a positive light even though right now I am demolished. you can't possibly "feel" these things now, os it IS important to at least "know" that they're true. Sort of like knowing that the sun will rise tomorrow, you just have to undertand that it's true, and you WILL feel better eventually, your life WILL go on, you WILL meet someone else eventually, and you WILL find happiness after this hardship.

I wish you the best of luck no matter what happens. Feel free to send me a private message if you'd like. i think our situations are very similar and it might be helpful for both of us to exchange experience.

Best Wishes.
 

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Lost, thank you for your words. You are right, our situations are very similar. I am basically on my own. I live far away from family and my closest friends. I mistakenly thought that I wouldn't need a strong network since I had my wife. My wife has many friends and family members here, and she loves the place that she works (obviously, since she started a relationship with one of her coworkers). She definitely used me until she found a place of strength.

All of what you said is powerful stuff. I know that it is all true, but the pain I feel today is so strong that I have a hard time even imagining finishing the week, much less making it several months and being strong. I know I have no choice but to be patient and to find what strength I can.

Right now I am struggling so hard to decide what to do. I don't know how long to give her to figure out before I decide whether or not she is committed. I already don't trust her due to her infidelity so I don't know how to trust her if she says she is committed. She certainly isn't going overboard trying to convince me that she is.

I guess it doesn't really matter at this point. She is going to hurt me if she is going to hurt me and it won't ever feel as bad as when she dropped the bomb on me. I am a great guy, and there is definitely a girl out there that will cherish who I am and what I bring to a relationship.

Thank you for your words. I hope you make it through all this well. You definitely have a better grip on it than I do right now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
At this point in the game all you can do is try to get through each day. No matter what it takes. Try to just take it one day at a time and not look at the future too much right now if possible. For me, I took a month off work, traveled to visit my family twice, traveled elsewhere to visit a friend, and next week I am traveling across the country to see more family. I have just begun to reach out in LA now and try to meet new friends, but it took a month before I could move. I still feel horrible mostly, but somehow I am able to function now. As soon as I'm stronger I will try to get myself back to the gym and start taking physical exercise. This **** is terrible and all you can do is take it as slowly as you need to. It is definitely helpful if you can turn to others for support. I think right now you should try to be as communicative with your wife as possible. The sooner you can reach a decision, the sooner life will move on for you.
 
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