Please forgive me for butting in, your posts sparked my thoughts. The discussion has revolved around relationships, how a person feels when they end, or even remain but with the person feeling isolated and alone.
I'm going to talk a little becuse I've been blessed with two wonderful people. For a long time I was reluctant to say anything as I worried it would simply make those less fortunate even more unhappy. I no longer think that way for a couple of reasons. The first is to show happy long term relations do exist, sometimes people despair and think they don't.
First a good relationship takes two people in the long term. True there can be short term inequalities with one carrying the other, but overall it has to be effort by both. My first partner shouldered an incredible burden when I was ill and invalided out of my occupation. Later I returned the favor when she was ill, and in the meantime tried to be a support. I'm not saying I'm particularly good, just I tried, she was very much worth it.
Lilykitten: it looks like an unequal relationship where a massive effort on you part has finally come to an end. The human mind for some silly reason equates this with failure, and lack of self worth and all the rest of that blame. I've no real idea why, jut that it happens and is undeserved. 17 years of effort is a mammoth task.
Lost Traveller and Boobella: if I understand you feel your remarks, angry or sarcastic, are a major contribution to destroying a relationship. True they are unhelpful and should not be indulged in. However again that is half of it. The reaction of the listener is the other half. Both of my partners could be cross at times, but I rarely take it to heart or feel too guilty. A grin in reply is initially annoying, but normally ends up healing the rift. That's the other half of the cross words interchange. I'm not saying my response is suitable for your situation, just that a suitable response makes all the difference
Why do I say all this -so you do not try to shoulder all the responsibility. Anger can be frustration to things outside you , sarcasm a defense having been let down - I don't know, maybe you do.
Tired and sleepless: You are generously giving a huge gift with you body and your emotions, if not returned in kind of course you feel alone, I'm sorry.
You are all good people and deserve to regard yourselves with kindness.
My apologies for a one-to-all post, however beats repeating myself:)
Feel free to say I'm wrong.