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Surviving divorce/separation after a long term relationship ends

Updated on January 12, 2011

It's a lonely old life out there

You suddenly find yourself alone, lonely and by yourself. Walking into the empty house you have to fight the feeling to turn around and run from the emptiness into the emptiness. What the hell do you do now ? I cannot give you the answers to this question only you can. In my case my wife of twenty years walked out with another man. Hold on a minute.... it was without doubt the best thing she had ever done for me. I sort of knew that then and I definitely know this now. I was the type of guy who needed a partner to function. My marriage had turned into a horribly dysfunctional relationship over the years, but it was still my relationship. The things I had to do and the daily routine I had carved out for myself was mine and mine alone. It was my comfort zone. What type of a person stops at the door on returning from work and takes three deliberate deep slow breaths, like some sprinter about to crouch in the blocks. What type of person constantly changes inner morals and rules as to what is normal behaviour to validate a bad partner and in turn your very existence just for a quiet life. I blame my Catholic upbringing for that, that and an inability to admit I'm a failure. That last bit was to change for sure over the first few months of being by myself.

If there is one piece of advice I could give a newly separated person it would be don't look to the arms of another person for solace. If you are an uncaring serial cheater type you don't need to read this, you my good friends will be fine. If you have a modicum of conscience read on. After a twenty year faithful relationship you are forever changed you are no longer the person you once were in your early twenties. Sorry for stating the obvious. The last thing you need to "fix" you is someone else. The thing you really need is time by yourself to "fix" yourself.

There is an exception, there always is. I went to see a prostitute....Hold on a minute there I didn't sleep with her. I picked her out of a room full of scantily clad beautiful women, she was just my type, the type of woman I had always wanted. Young, athletic,exotic,dark and mysterious I had every intention of making her earn her money that night. She did ! I lay in her arms and cried like a baby. She hugged me and kissed my forehead, stroked my hair and whispered in my ear in Spanish. I have no idea what the hell she was saying it didn't matter, I didn't need to know. She wiped my tears away, kissed me on my eyelids and announced that my time was up. My time was up, it was time to move on.

I had to find out what sort of a person I was. I had to get to like the sort of person I was. Then maybe I stood a chance of the Hollywood ending I craved for. You know the one, where you get the girl after saving the world, getting the big pay-off both moral and financial and killing all the baddies too. Then drive off into the distance to a life of waiting happiness where nothing ever goes wrong again.


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      hurting 4 years ago

      Over 10 years in a relationship 6 years of those married. You grow on to eachother and even if the dormant person is not there, the comfort of knowing you socially belong to someone, you are someone's husband/wife is a comfort. The marriage worked as long as I made it. He cheated several times and I worked at making it work. 2 years ago i met my 1st love and started an affair. I feel horrible. The marriage crumbled as soon as I stopped working at it and showering my attention on him. Now I had someone else to love and be loved by. Everyone reading this will say being cheated on is no excuse for cheating. I agree. And I knew from the start it was wrong and it couldn't go on - he was married too, living away from his spouse, also unhappy but unable severe that final tie. Its so easy to fall into that trap. I was the person constantly been cheated on, a person who said I would never do that no matter what. But ive learned now in life you will only know what you will or will not do when you are in a particular situation. You will be amazed actually what u would do for love or maybe comfort when you are hurting so much. When you're feeling lost hopeless and unloved. It takes that one moment, that one person and its done. And you will never be the same again after that. Im still battling leaving my affair, I constantly break up and then miss him so much, its easy to go back when he's constantly there waaiting for me. Please pray for me to do the right thing and let him go. Even though ill be alone again, I need to do the right think, I know I have to. My husband has his own house, and life, he went about the separation as if nothing, bought himself a new car, furnished his new home, and lived his normal bachelor life. Made no effort wiith the kids. Im not trying to make him sound bad here im telling it like it is. Break ups are hard, be careful what you do, and the best is to just find yourself, build yourself - alone.

    • rich_hayles profile image

      rich_hayles 7 years ago

      Wow, what a story!

      I am genuinely glad to hear that you have started your journey to "recovery" and that you are getting back on track.

      Good on you sir!

    • eightpans profile image

      eightpans 7 years ago from England

      True the comfort of being in a relationship is a sparse reason to stay in one. I could never end the relationship. I have soul searched but I don't think I could come up with a credible reason why I put myself through it all for so long. I am so grateful now for my ex-wife for leaving. I admire your courage to end your relationship and wish you every happiness in your new found freedom.

      I liked the inevitable rebounds, I did not like the hurt they caused.

    • kallini2010 profile image

      kallini2010 7 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      I loved your pictures, Eightpans, both avatar and the hot road. It reminds me of me. The blue universe...

      I went through divorce. The best advice that was given to me in 2007 when I was agonizing over the decision to tell my husband for the umpteenth time that we had to divorce was given to me by a black woman. Never mind that she was black, but I still have that picture in my mind. I don't even remember her face. She was very kind and understanding and she was divorced.

      "If you know that you want to divorce, do not wait, do it sooner than later." I did. I don't regret. It is hell, yet after two years I feel liberated. Having a nightmare of a relationship is not a way to live your life. It is not unlike spending your entire life clinically depressed. By choice.

      Don't be afraid of rebounds, they are inevitable. Avoid reruns - doing the same thing over again and again.

      I agree with you - take the time to reacquaint yourself with who you are on your own.

      All the best,