My question for you and perhaps more so, Chump Nation, is when, how long does it take before the pain goes away? How many days, months, years does it take until you wake up and go a day, few days, weeks without thinking about him?
What are the experiences of your readers?
I came back from a business trip to a bombshell, my husband wanted to seperate. While I was away, we spoke every day and emailed, said I love you to each other every day I was away. It was classic, “I don’t love you in that way, you are too controlling, I feel constrained, I want friends, freedom”, etc. I asked if there was someone else and of course, he said no. He left without warning and very little discussion with no desire to save the marriage. You hear these stories about women who say that they didn’t know, it hit them blindsided and think how can that be? I am here to tell you, that it happens. We were preparing for retirement, doing home renovations and I thought very much in love.
I spent a week crawled up in a fetal position, not eating and decided to go and see him with heart in hand, willing to go to counseling, do whatever to save the marriage, which of course met with rejection. I finally got it out of him a week after he left that he was in love and having an affair with his secretary, interestingly enough someone older than both of us. He slept with her in our bed while I was away and God only knows how many other times. He moved her into our properties and locked me out almost immediately and they now live as if they are husband and wife. His family, whom I was very close to, dropped me like a hot potato, as if I never existed. After 14 years.
I have a serious illness, have been in the hospital twice since this has occurred. Have lost more than 20 pounds and I was reasonably thin to begin with. I have done all of the right things, after pouring my heart out in an email, stopped all contact, hired a great attorney, reached out to friends and my family, throwing myself into my career, etc.
I still wake up every day with a huge pain in my heart, think about him way too much during the day and am still very hurt and sad. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want this guy back, ever. I could never trust or believe him again. That is not this issue. I lost a parent a few years back. I was devastated. For some time, I thought of my parent every day, still cried often and was very sad. Over time, hours would go by when I wouldn’t think about it, then a day, days, etc. I am anxious to get the same emotional relief in this situation, but it hasn’t come. So when does it come? How long and what have been your readers experiences?
I get asked this question a lot — when will the pain stop? The answer I always give is “Tuesday.” I don’t know which Tuesday, I just know that your Tuesday is out there waiting.
Hopeful, the pain IS finite. I swear to God there’s going to come a day when your heart and head catch up with each other and you realize with every molecule of your being what a total asswipe he is. No one misses an asswipe. Your head is really winning on this one — you got a good lawyer, you reached out to friends, threw yourself into your career. Your head is mighty.
Heart, however, is a dumb bunny. Heart’s all “I miss his crusty chest hair and those kissy face emojis he used to text me!” Head’s like “HE ABANDONED YOU. SHUT UP!” Heart’s like, “No one will ever love me again!” Head replies, “Plenty of people love you, and many others could. He, however, NEVER loved you. People who love you don’t suddenly discard you, especially when you’re sick. People who love you don’t fuck their secretary.” Heart wails, “HE NEVER LOVED ME!!!!” and then collapses in a puddle of tears and snot.
And so the battle goes on…
Eventually Head wins, so long as Heart doesn’t get drunk on Hopium, break no contact, and start the grieving process all over again.
So that’s the first bit of advice — your healing is really tied to no contact. Starve the heart of its love object and try distracting it with other things it likes. Good friends, puppies, hollyhocks. I’m not being flippant here — seriously do a bait and switch on the ol’ heart. Think of your heart as a toddler having a meltdown because they lost their teddy bear. You’re handing the toddler different toys in an effect to soothe. “Binky the blanket? Smedley the mouse?” The toddler will wail and kick, but eventually pick up another toy to snuggle. Because, hey, you gotta have someone to love.
Feed your heart. Hand it other things to love. Yes, at first those things won’t be as satisfying as the Fuckwit, but over time they will be. You’re grieving, you will have a hard time experiencing joy at first, but still keep feeding your heart. It WILL come around. Fill your life with friends and new adventures, and meaningful work.
Next, really listen to your head. Your head knows. Sometimes the head can get overzealous untangling the skein of fuckupdness — why did he DO this, what does it all mean? Him! Him! Him! I think some skein untangling is a necessary part of the grieving process — learn about personality disorders and narcissists. Accept that normal people don’t just walk out on their sick wives. Accept that some people just have empty elevator shafts where their souls should be. Then MOVE ON.
These people exist. It’s a shock, but once you accept that monsters walk among us, you will heal. Albeit with better monster radar.
Don’t get stuck in the eternal loop of “Is he a monster or just misunderstood? Maybe his mother didn’t love him properly and he’s having a midlife crisis/sex addiction/bad coping mechanism/skin rash/brain tumor/spiritual awakening.”
He’s a monster. In a day he swapped you out for his secretary and literally locked the doors. While you were sick. Monster. No further analysis required.
Be kind to yourself, Hopeful. Getting past this kind of betrayal hurts like a motherfucker and acceptance (Meh) is the end point after a long journey. But you WILL get there. We did, and you will too. (((Hugs)))
Rerunning this for anyone who might need a reminder that although it is Wednesday, Tuesday is out there.