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Getting over heartbreak

  • 18-06-2023 2:01pm
    Registered Users Posts: 21


    Can anyone give me some advice please?

    My husband left me for another woman a few months ago, after I discovered their affair. This was despite the fact that we worked hard to recover from his previous affair. I have 3 young children, and was very much in love with him, so it is heartbreaking for me.

    I am feeling very hopeless, lonely and isolated.

    There is such a long road ahead to finalise a separation agreement , trying to co-parent in the current very difficult circumstances, dealing with the emotional aftermath of affair discovery & brutal lies, utter pain and intense loneliness.

    I have so much love to give someone. But I’m in my mid 40s and I’m very afraid that the timing of all of this means I’ll be alone from now on.

    Does anyone have a similar story to show there is some light at the end of the tunnel? The grief really is very difficult to deal with.

    Is lasting love possible at my age, given my circumstances/kids etc?

    And any recommendations on how I can heal from what I’m going through?

    Thank you.


  • Registered Users Posts: 13,586 ✭✭✭✭Dial Hard

    Counselling/therapy and lots and lots of time is the only way to heal, basically. There is no magic wand, sadly.

    I remember your last thread. You were in therapy then, are you still going?

  • Registered Users Posts: 221 ✭✭put_the_kettle_on

    My widowed dad met my stepmother when he was mid 50's and she was late 40's.

    Stepmum had been in the same scenario as OP; her husband leaving her and four children and he also cleaned out the joint bank account and savings too. Stepmum was devastated but carted on looking after kids and working full time to keep bills paid. No help from ex husband there. It took a while but she recovered from the broken heart and by the time she met my dad she was emotionally ready for another relationship.

    They had nearly 30 great years together, and absolutely doted upon each other before eventually my dad passed away.

    Keep your chin up OP, in a years time you'll very likely be in a more stable, calmer place. You'll have had time to start healing, especially if you go down the route of therapy.

    I wish you all the best.

  • Administrators Posts: 13,928 Admin ✭✭✭✭✭Big Bag of Chips

    Chloe, what you need to realise is you don't need anyone. It's much better to be single and in control of your own life than to be compromising yourself and your feelings for someone else.

    For now just concentrate on getting over what has happened. And realise that this was not about you. This was about him. If this wasn't his first affair then there was nothing you could have done to prevent it. This is who he is. Who he always will be. Always on the look out for something more. There's a very high chance that when the gloss wears off this new and exciting relationship, he will end up doing the same again.

    For now concentrate on getting yourself back. Figure out who you are without him. Figure out what you like and don't like. What interests you and what doesn't. What you are looking for, and what you definitely don't want. Mid 40s is quite young! You still have a hell of a lot of life ahead of you. If you want another relationship you will find it. But don't rush yourself. Don't accept another poor relationship just out of fear of not finding someone right.

    You now have the luxury of taking your time and finding a relationship that fits into what you want. You don't need to be in a relationship. But you'd like to be in one. So give yourself time to find out who you are, what you like, and then you'll be ready and open to the right relationship.

  • Registered Users Posts: 16,653 ✭✭✭✭banie01

    I'd echo all the advice offered above and I'd repeat until you were sick of hearing it that you take time.

    A marriage breakdown is hard. You have some very emotionally fraught days to come. Try and lean and family and friends when you can.

    I've not been through a marriage breakdown, but I have been a widower and a single parent. My family and even my in-laws were sources of support for me. The hardest part I found, apart from the heartache and even worse. Was learning to be a whole person, to be on my own and no longer half of the relationship built. That was gone, it wasn't coming back and it took me a long, long while before I refound my own feet and longer again before a new relationship.

    Take time to mind yourself. Be it after the kids are down for bed, or when you find that for some serendipitous reason they've all got something on with someone all at the same time. Keep in touch with friends, family and it's ok to wallow in what you've lost every once in a while. As long as you remember that what you are grieving? Is what your husband chose to throw away.

    After all that? I'm going to repeat, take your time, move at your own pace and make sure you remember that your own happiness is key to your kids being happy too. Don't sell yourself short.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,364 ✭✭✭Tork

    Chloe, you had another thread in late April when you said you were trying to save your marriage. There's no way you could possibly have moved from that mindset to one where you're ready to meet someone else in such a short time. You're looking for somebody new who will distract you from the pain of your breakup. Talk about a recipe for disaster!

    As the others have said, now is the time for you to get used to being an individual again. get the feeling that you became so dependent on your husband and on your status of being in a relationship that you lost part of yourself. If your husband hadn't left, you'd still be desperately trying to stay in the marriage, wouldn't you? He was shagging around for years but you still stayed.

    There's always a chance that you will meet someone new in the future but you're not in the right state of mind right now. What's the hurry anyway? Trying to meet someone new when you're desperate is a recipe for disaster. Ideally, you should reach the stage where you're happy being single and that if you remain so for the foreseeable future, it'll be grand. If you meet somebody later on, it'll be an added bonus.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 21 chloe2009

    Thank you.Yes I’m in therapy which does help. I don’t have a big circle of friends to discuss this with so therapy is where I offload. It’s just so overwhelming right now. And I know it will be a very slow recovery. I find myself dreading Christmas and telling people my marriage has ended will be so horrible.

  • Administrators Posts: 13,928 Admin ✭✭✭✭✭Big Bag of Chips

    Be proud of the fact that your marriage has ended. It's a positive thing. It means you are no longer being emotionally abused by a man telling you he can't help himself, and you should be more understanding of his "problem". I was listening to Fake Doctors Real Friends podcast the other day and Donald Faison was talking about his divorce from his first wife. He said people used to sympathise with him and feel bad when he told them he was divorced but he always saw it as a positive. It was a relationship that had gone bad, and the divorce meant they got out of it. He said that's a good thing. A positive. So that's what you need to tell yourself. Being separated from him is a lot more favourable then spending the next 40 years putting up with him.

    So don't be afraid of telling people. You will get stronger. You will come to the realisation that this is good for you. And what others think will not matter. If you're happy, others will be happy for you.

  • Registered Users Posts: 13,586 ✭✭✭✭Dial Hard

    Genuine question, what's stopping you telling people your marriage has ended now? I suspect it's because you're secretly hoping for a reconciliation and you know that telling people what he's done will essentially torpedo any hope of a future "normal" relationship for you if everyone knows what he's done.

    You need to tell people. I'd be amazed if many of them don't already know or at least have their suspicions about what kind of person he is. First of all, widening your support circle as much as possible is what you need to do right now, but more importantly, you can't begin to process, heal and move on while you still have one foot in the marriage, so to speak. You need to accept that this is over and pull the plaster off the wound by making it public. Plus, this guy doesn't deserve your silence and protection, quite frankly.

    Post edited by Dial Hard on

  • Registered Users Posts: 21 chloe2009

  • Registered Users Posts: 21 chloe2009

    Thank you for your advice. This is very helpful. I think you are right, it is who he is. I really did my best, but it’s still hard to face up to the end of my marriage. It meant the world to me.

    Im not in any rush. And I need to get used to being on my own, I know that’s a necessary step to healing.

    I suppose I’m very hurt & lonely knowing he is with someone else at night, while I’m at home with our kids. The sadness will hopefully subside over time and when ready, I would love to feel there is another chapter for me with someone who will treat me right.

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  • Administrators Posts: 13,928 Admin ✭✭✭✭✭Big Bag of Chips

    That's completely normal and understandable. It'd be weird if you weren't hurt and sad and lonely and angry and annoyed and embarrassed and the range of other emotions you will feel. You were married. You tried. You stayed and stood by him after unacceptable behaviour and still it wasn't enough.

    You'll be ok. It'll take time but you'll be ok. You'll be much better off than you ever would have been with him.

    Mind yourself. And take time to grieve what you've lost.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,364 ✭✭✭Tork

    If you were my friend and I knew about your husband's philandering, I'd be delighted to hear he was gone. There is no shame in a marriage breaking up any more. We're not in 1950s Ireland thank goodness. Marriages break up all the time for all sorts of reasons so you're not all that unusual.

  • Registered Users Posts: 21 chloe2009

    that was definitely the way at the start when I found out - I didn’t want to tell anyone. I wasn’t thinking straight and thought maybe I could salvage something. But it is not salvageable, nor do I want this dysfunction in my life.

    I have told a few people and it is a difficult conversation to have. But I need to get over that now and let people know. I know that’s necessary.

  • Registered Users Posts: 10,090 ✭✭✭✭Caranica

    "Just letting you know we're not together any more, I'm not up to talking about it right now but felt you should know".

    Simple as. Much easier to tell people now than wait for a big occasion - I speak from experience.

  • Registered Users Posts: 21 chloe2009

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,364 ✭✭✭Tork

    Once you say it to a few people, word will get around. Job done.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,390 ✭✭✭Airyfairy12

    It's hard now but you will be greatful one day that he walked away from the marriage as you never could, you dont see it now but youve been given a brand new start and the potential to find the person who would never hurt you or have affairs behind your back. You are worth more than the way he treated you and you deserve more, you settled for a man who showed you affection and attention but this is not the man for you. You will heal and move on from this, its not the end of the world.