These are givens.
Why do I sit and sob for hours at a time? I'm not 100% sure what I'm crying about. Am I sad because I sacrificed having human children to support WH through graduate school - and now, at Age 44, my chances of having children (adopting) are slim to nil?
Am I sad because of what he threw away? I sat and looked through the box of cards that I've given him over the years. There were no holds barred in my love for him. I worshipped him.
Am I sad because of all the hurt people around us?
Today I sat and looked at my furkids - my dogs. One of them is somewhere between 12 and 14. The other just turned 8. All they have is me. The older gal, I don't know how much time she has left. When she has passed from this life, it'll just be my boy dog and me, for however many years he has left. And when he's gone ... what life will I have?
I feel like my only purpose in this life is to care for them, and then I'm pretty much done with my usefulness.
Why does it hurt so much? There has to be more meaning to life than this. How did I do this to myself, how did I end up here? I've tried so hard to be such a good person. I work hard, I volunteer on several charities, I love my family, I adored my husband, I gave 110% of myself every day.
Where did I go wrong?
Fooled twice - almost exactly 10 years apart.
I also decided not to have children- it's just me and 4 dogs right now.
Give it time. I feel that I have a great life. I am in control of my destiny. I have friends, a great job, I'm dating, and I do whatever I want.
Use this as an opportunity to create the life that you've always wanted.
Other times, it's best to focus on you and where to go from here. My downfall has always been driving over the headlights. In other words, I get upset and overwhelmed if I look too far down the road. When I do that, I tend to imagine life always being sad or always being like this.
When you stay in the moment and the immediate future, it's easier to stay centered.
You will have a good life and an authentic life with yourself, your pets, and eventually, another partner. When these pets cross over, you will know you gave them all you had and they lived great lives because of that.
You didn't go wrong. Bad things happen to great people sometimes. Your ex went very wrong and you unfortunately took the direct hit from his horrible, cruel, and empty choices.
You're not alone, ever.
You answered your own question ("Where did I go wrong?") yourself: you are a good person, you love your family, loved your husband.
In other words, "Nowhere." You did not "go wrong." You were wronged. You sit and sob for hours for the same reason I have and everyone on this site have: you are grieving a profound loss, and because you are sensitive and as a normal human being you are grieving as you should.
I am forty-six, so around your age. I have lost both my beloved parents within the last five years. I also lost my beloved 12 year old dog, and our other dog is almost eighteen. I will grieve her loss as well. Then my wife whom I loved deeply betrayed me and our children. I am still grieving.
I expect I will and you will suffer more losses in life. But you will more than likely find happiness as well. Especially since you ARE the person you describe yourself to be. You have a great capacity for,happiness; thus you will likely be happy. It will take time, though, as you slog through your grief.
This is not a "snap out of it" post at all. If it were, I would tell myself that first! (And I have. It never worked ;-).
What I do want to say is what I have come to realize: everything is transient, and life is utterly unpredictable. It's a double edged sword. Loss is inevitable. But I know that anything can happen--good as well as bad. I never ever thought my wife would betray me and I'd divorce her. But--as paradoxical and maybe even as contradictory as it sounds--I never thought (before I met her) I would meet someone with whom I'd be so much in love. And I am quite confident that because I do have such a capacity for love and happiness--and I want it and I will seek it--that I will find both. And life will go on.
And why are chances of adopting "slim to nil"? Hell, for that matter my mom had me when she was forty-four! (This is why I lost her when I was at a relatively young age.). She was shocked that she'd become pregnant. She and my dad long since stopped "trying." They just assumed they would have a childless marriage.
A friend of mine--in her fifties--adopted an infant from the former Soviet Union. A couple I know adopted two little girls from China.
All is not over, Erzulie, I assure you. You are in pain. It will pass. And life will continue. Hang in there, sob your tears, and keep moving.
Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
Things that have helped me survive and may help you:
-Read Read Read. I got every book I could find on the subject of affairs and divorce and grief and loss. You are thinking about it anyway and knowledge is power.
-Talk to your friends and family. Let people support you, they will listen and empathize and even maybe make you laugh
-Understand that this is temporary and you can not avoid this pain. It is normal. If you did not feel it, you would not be the compassionate caring person you are. It is how you need to feel. You need to feel the loss.
Someone today who has been through this said to me, "Think about how bead you felt when you first found out or your worst point in this? Now think about if you feel better today than you did at that moment? Know that every day you are going to feel a little bit better and eventually you aren't going to feel anything but apathy or maybe relief that you got away from this hurtful person.
I am sorry. I know the feeling, it literally hurts your heart and chest and it is worse than any physical pain I have ever felt. You are going to be ok though...
"I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel". –Maya Angelou
I'm in a bit of a dark place right now and not equipped to give advice, but I want you to know I understand your post completely. Every word.
I'm also 44, childless, with two furbabies, one of which is not in the best of health and may not be with me much longer. My family is small, and I mean SMALL. My aging parents live 500 miles away, my beloved aunt, 2000 miles away. I have no other family, no siblings, nothing. XWH's family was my family here. And though I still have a relationship with some of them, including a close one with his daughter... in a way I feel like an orphan. When I lost him, I lost so much more than just HIM. Someday when my parents are gone, and my furbabies, what will be the point? My usefulness, as you said, will be over.
Ugh, dark thoughts. I wish I could help cheer you but in my present state of mind I can only commiserate and let you know you are absolutely not alone in feeling this way. I hope that helps a little.
((Hugs)) to you.
Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage. ~ Anais Nin
Before I had my kids, I used to volunteer at an animal shelter. I loved it. I'm a huge animal lover and loved having this outlet on top of having my own furbaby at home. Sadly, my furbaby passed away right before Dday and my kids just occupy too much of my time to volunteer there at this time.
Your are needed by many. Don't let this douchebag make you feel like you are worthless. He's a selfish POS that just needs to have his ego stroked. You are worth more than him and someone is going to love you and I mean truly love and cherish you.
Hang in there and know that you are not alone. We are all here with you and we understand your pain.
[This message edited by suckstobeme at 2:39 AM, September 29th (Sunday)]
You will have a brand new life, with your head held high. Your WH, on the other hand, will have to wallow in his shitty choices forever.
I feel like my only purpose in this life is to care for them, and then I'm pretty much done with my usefulness.
This thinking needs to change! Your purpose in life also needs to be to CARE FOR YOU!!! Please love your beautiful self enough to let go of these self-annihilating words. You have a lot to give, but you also deserve to receive love and care.
I am so sorry you are hurting. Its not fair, and it SUCKS. This too shall pass. And I hope that your WH gets his nads bitten off by a vicious pit bull. Fuck him for doing this to you. And thank God your eyes are open now, and you can fly away from him into the amazing new life that such a selfish POS could never give you.
Thing is, life is not over at 44. No way!
I turned 55 the year DDay hit, and started having all those dark thoughts, no one will ever love me again, I'm going to spend the rest of my life alone, etc etc.
My mom passed away a year and a half later. She was 90 and a huge inspiration for me. It was a huge loss, but I've since realized she's always with me no matter what.
I've been alone for five years now, and it turns out that everything that happened was an opportunity to reinvent myself yet again.
The first few years are VERY hard, I'm not going to lie.
But I spent a lot of time being very good to myself, did a lot of yoga, drank a lot of wine, hung out here pretty much all the time, and eventually started to socialize again.
I'm still alone, and I'm OK with it now. I've stopped seeking and in that I've found peace.
Going back to university to take classes has been really great. It's got my brain working again on something other than the infidelity mindfuck.
I've made some new friends, but I have no intention of seeking out another partner. Because I've realized I don't need one.
That is the greatest thing to come out of the whole mess.
If someone bumps into my life, then great, we'll see.
But right now I'm fine on my own, and that's the biggest gift this life has given me so far.
Big hugs. You'll make it.
[This message edited by FaithFool at 11:36 AM, September 29th (Sunday)]
So now I'm also alone, trying to rebuild my career, living with my parents with my 17 year-old dog.
I have the down moments you describe. All I can do is just keep moving forward inch by inch. And give my dog the best I can in this final stretch.
Yesterday I took her apple picking. I was walking down a hill after paying and I looked out at the sunset. It was so beautiful. I thought to myself "See, life isn't so bad. You're going to be happy again"-- and just then I slipped on some gravel and fell down flat on my face, scraping my knees and my wrists. I was bleeding everywhere. The apples were all mashed (they broke the fall).
I was more upset that the fall happened while I was having my first, real positive thoughts in 6 mos than because it hurt!
But I just had to laugh it off. It really was a perfect metaphor for what this whole experience is like.
We've hit rock bottom and all we can do is continue to pull ourselves out of it. And we'll be stronger for it. No one will be able to hurt us like this again. We have learned that we have a great capacity to love, cherish and support someone worthy of our care. This rupture in our lives has shown us areas where we need to work on ourselves so we don't make the same mistakes we may have made with our WWs. And we'll always mourn what has happened to us and what we've lost-- but we'll do it with the knowledge that we did our best.
Unfortunately, I find the best thing to do is lean into the pain, feel it, sit with it, let it pass. As time goes on, you gain a greater and greater knowledge of the contours of that pain. You become rich in feelings of sadness and loss. But you also become less affected by them.
... and try to watch where you're going the first time you begin to think that you're coming out of your fog! :)
You are worthy of love and a good life. Don't you EVER sell yourself short and think that emptiness is your only companion.
You are more than this awful experience.
And you are absolutely valuable and worth being loved.