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Topic: Feeling in despair and lost with impending separation

13 posts, 0 answered
  1. Flowertop
    Flowertop avatar
    51 posts
    19 December 2019

    My partner of almost 30 years has been quite withdrawn and isolated himself from me for sometime. When our children left home, he stopped eating evening meal with me and would have headphones on listening to podcasts or would watch tv programs I had no interest in.
    Our children are currently back living with us and he was just ignoring me or turning up the tv in annoyance when I spoke.
    He came out with it recently that he hates work and is negative about most of his work mates and it sounds like he has isolated himself at work.

    He announced to me that he had no feelings for me.

    My immediate reaction is to move away but I have no support network and don’t know where to disappear to. I feel ashamed and embarrassed and shocked at the same time. I did not see this coming.
    I am an emotional wreck at times and am scared.

  2. EnchiladaPlatter
    EnchiladaPlatter avatar
    3 posts
    19 December 2019 in reply to Flowertop
    I'm sorry to hear about the situation Flowertop. I think you are right that perhaps a long term plan to move away somewhere sounds like a good idea. Maybe you can't move away yet, but you can think and plan your next step which might take your mind of it for some brief times. Thanks for sharing your story and I hope you can build a support network.
  3. Flowertop
    Flowertop avatar
    51 posts
    20 December 2019 in reply to EnchiladaPlatter

    Thanks for your reply EP

    My thought patterns are all over the place and I don’t seem to be able to get organised.
    I have searched the Internet for what practical steps I need to take as I feel I need to have some direction. I feel like I’m in a place of despair.

    The bank will happily lend me money to buy out my share of our house, but that is scary as it would mean a big mortgage and I am 60 but have some super backup, but who can trust the banks to work in your best interest.

    It is so true that life can change and has so many twists and turns.
    I am annoyed that I am on holidays and feel like I’m wasting them by being in a frozen state a lot of the time. I would probably be better off at work, at least that is distracting.
    I feel guilty when I fall into self pity which just effects my self esteem even further. I hoping I can keep a brave face on for Christmas, but keeping a cover up appearance is exhausting at the same time.
    Thanks for listening to my rave.?

  4. ConfusedNanxious
    ConfusedNanxious avatar
    37 posts
    20 December 2019 in reply to Flowertop

    Hi Flowertop,

    Although my relationship was much shorter than yours, I too have been through a recent separation, and I know how your world can be turned upside down.

    My ex-partner had depression (as a result of a underlying medical condition) and for the last six months of our relationship, our connection was absent and our relationship was ultimately neglected.

    My ex just became so preoccupied in his world of online gaming and wouldn't spend any time with me. The mortgage repayments fell to me on my sole income and all the household chores as well.

    It is so difficult when an event happens that shakes and disrupts all the dreams you had for yourself and this person. I had wanted to marry this guy, have his kids and go on lots of adventures with him. But the man I had fallen in love with disappeared, and in his place was a husk of his former self.

    I still loved him, no matter the form he took. But he wouldn't get help, no matter the nights I begged and cried to him with my head in his lap. And you can only lead a horse to water, you cannot make them drink. I had to come to the conclusion to look after myself, because that is what I ultimately had control over.

    And as I learned, you need to re-orientate your thoughts to focus on yourself and what you need in this present moment. Your partner may very well be depressed and unsure of himself - and so if you feel you want to, maybe bring this up to him and offer your support.

    But as my experience shows, you can only do so much. And you need to see yourself as the most important person in your life at the moment.

    It can be hard, but be sure to still make time for the things you ordinarily love doing. If you have a dog, and simply enjoy going for a walk, do that as much as possible. Go to a movie by yourself or with a friend. Spend time with your children.

    Do what makes you feel 'light' inside. There are obviously things that need to be on a transactional level - i.e. the house and things like that. But be sure to really take time out for yourself - make a conscious effort to give yourself the time to feel how you feel, and then time for happy, enjoyable things.

    It is indeed a process - one that I am still dealing with - but good things can come from times like these.

    I am sending you all my best vibes and hope to talk to you some more should you want to.

    - CnA

    1 person found this helpful
  5. quirkywords
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
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    quirkywords avatar
    7999 posts
    20 December 2019 in reply to Flowertop

    Flowertop thanks for sharing your story on the forum. This is a friendly and supportive place where many more people read the posts than reply, so by being honest you are helping others who are in a similar position.

    Do you think your husband would feel comfortable talking to a gp, or a counsellor?

    It is hard after such a long marriage to have to cope with change.

    Confusedandanxious has some helpful suggestions/

    Do what makes you feel 'light' inside. There are obviously things that need to be on a transactional level - i.e. the house and things like that. But be sure to really take time out for yourself - make a conscious effort to give yourself the time to feel how you feel, and then time for happy, enjoyable things.

    It is so important for you to look after yourself. Do you have any support from friends or a counsellor.


  6. Flowertop
    Flowertop avatar
    51 posts
    20 December 2019 in reply to ConfusedNanxious

    Hi CN

    Thankyou so much for your reply and opening up to me. I am sorry that you have gone through a similar situation. I don’t think it really matters how long someone had been in a relationship when it breaks up in an emotional sense because there is still that hurt and processes.
    Thanks for the good vibes, I was invited out to lunch today with 3 ex -work colleagues and was finding it hard to get motivated to go but Ill take your advice and for a bit. I know these people like me so that can only be good.

    I believe my partner is also suffering from depression and is also someone who saids he can’t or won’t talk to anyone about this. This has been his downfall.

    We have experienced some crucial events to do with our children in our life and he just internalises things whereas I have been able to work through stuff and move on. Our children are in their 20’s now and doing great, but my partners not. I can see my partner is lost and was drinking and gambling to numb this. I was fortunate that he had never been a drinker who gets violent or verbally aggressive, just annoying at times. I can see that this was him self medicating. Mind you I will have a drink occasionally but am not at the moment because I am too sad. When he is not drinking, he is miserable and agitated initially and then just looks sad. He will go through periods where he doesn’t drink for a month, then drink on certain days of the week. He is hardly drinking at the moment. He never misses work and is physically active.

    We are still in the same house . When I asked him his plan, it was to go and sleep somewhere in his car, if I wanted him to leave. I was concerned about this and asked him if he was suicidal. Anyway he has seen his GP and had 2 counselling sessions but he is a bit dubious of the counsellor.

    My partner also gambles and is terrible with money. He has always had me control the finances which I hate. Now he has a keycard with like an allowance of money on it to last him a fortnight (which he nominated) which he usually spends within a couple of days. He told me gambling numbs his thoughts.

  7. ConfusedNanxious
    ConfusedNanxious avatar
    37 posts
    20 December 2019 in reply to Flowertop

    Hi Flowertop,

    Thank you too for opening up with your struggles. It can sometimes help to just get it all out in the open, off your chest, and out of your mind (where thoughts have a tendency to ruminate and go round and round in circles).

    For me, it took our separation for my ex to finally get his issues sorted. As of now, we are still separated and have minimal contact. But I still care for him, so I am happy that he is sorting himself out regardless of the circumstances. And despite parental approval, I would be open to recommencing something with him (should he continue to actively sort himself out).

    But as this whole experience has shown me, you really need to focus on yourself and your needs (physical, mental, spiritual). I developed a lot of anxiety and depression as a result of the life change, and I had to (and still am) train myself to focus on my immediate needs and rewire my brain to know that it is okay to think of myself first. You need to be whole before you can look after anyone else (should you feel like you want to do that).

    I have always been an empathetic person, so often became the shoulder for people to cry on when 'bad' things happen, and so I do not normally process things in a way that benefits me. But I am working on this with a psychologist.

    Your partner obviously has a multitude of things going on for him. Pressures at work can contribute to depression, or depression can affect work, and so the cycle continues. The dismissive talk of your partner - When I asked him his plan, it was to go and sleep somewhere in his car, if I wanted him to leave - sounds very much like how my ex was. Whenever I asked my ex about his dreams and ambitions during his depressive period (and he was always a highly driven person prior to that) he would simply say he is perfectly content with doing nothing and living life in the same place.

    This was his depression consuming his mind - and it may be the same case for your partner. But, again you can only do so much. Focus on yourself, because only then can you truly help someone else.

    With the multitude of issues your partner is dealing with, a clinical psychologist may be a better alternative than just a general counsellor. But that is merely a suggestion.

    As you clearly still care for your partner, advise him of his options for help, but only do so to a level where you are not adversely affected any further. Again, you can only do so much. The rest needs to come from them.

    Hope to talk soon.

    - CnA

  8. Flowertop
    Flowertop avatar
    51 posts
    21 December 2019 in reply to ConfusedNanxious
    I am emotionally heightened at the moment. Today has been a rollacoaster.
  9. Flowertop
    Flowertop avatar
    51 posts
    22 December 2019 in reply to Flowertop
    I am finding this very tough. My partner and I have decided to try and get through Christmas as we can’t sort anything out at the moment.My daughter is being awful towards me which is unusual for her. I am already hurting and this is adding to the hurt.
    Last night I went and removed myself . I just had to get out after an argument with my daughter as I confronted her as to what was going on. She is rarely home but since this impending breakup had been really snappy towards me.
    I am feeling in such despair and just want to get away. Hard to find anything with Christmas a few days away.
    I was doing alright yesterday until this my daughter thing. I am unable to emotionally regulate.
  10. ConfusedNanxious
    ConfusedNanxious avatar
    37 posts
    22 December 2019 in reply to Flowertop

    Hi Flowertop,

    When it rains it certainly pours. Just one thing after another sometimes. But reaching out here shows you still have some control over the situation, and that is something to be applauded.

    And the fact that you have seen the need to get away, shows that you are still trying to look after yourself as much as possible during this difficult time, and that is a good thing. You have an inner strength, don't forget that.

    Christmas is a difficult time regardless for some families, so perhaps your daughter is acting out her own feelings and despair about your possible separation. Regardless, it is important for her to acknowledge that this is something you are going through too (in a more direct way as well).

    I think you may have mentioned your kids are in their twenties? Although that's an adult, their life experiences to date may not have prepared them for this. So their reactions may not be overly mature for their age, and it is an emotional time regardless.

    But you should never be disrespected, and the fact you removed yourself is good for your own well-being. Give your daughter space, because you need it too.

    Being unable to emotional regulate, may be symptomatic of anxiety, so remember to breathe, distract yourself with enjoyable things (as much as possible) and create a space for you to relax when needed.

    I find spending time with my dog to be helpful, as they provide unconditional love and even just patting them provides me a sense of calm.

    Please look after yourself.

    I'm sending you virtual hugs.

    - CnA

  11. ConfusedNanxious
    ConfusedNanxious avatar
    37 posts
    27 December 2019 in reply to Flowertop

    Hi Flowertop,

    I thought I would leave this message to check in and see how you are going.

    I am sending you virtual hugs and the best of vibes.

    - CnA

  12. Flowertop
    Flowertop avatar
    51 posts
    27 December 2019 in reply to ConfusedNanxious

    Hi CN

    I really appreciate you checking in on me. Your posts have help keep me grounded. I wrote a long post to you on the 23 rd as I was once again in total despair and felt the need to escape. Unfortunately through my tears, it wouldn’t post and somehow deleted but I didn’t have the emotion energy to rewrite it and it was a release just organising my thoughts into words.
    I was researching a road trip to somewhere with initial plans to leave Boxing Day. I could not think of a person I could go to and plan was just to drive a long way. I went to bed exhausted with emotional.
    The next day I woke up and felt like my emotions settled and my mood had lifted. It really validated to me that low mood does lift with time so hang in there.
    My partner was then in a distressed state, stating he hadn’t slept worrying about everyone and me. I was thinking, what is this, does he seem to be traveling well when I’m not and then when I’m traveling ok, he is not. Do you think that is a thing or does it just feel that way.
    I mentioned this to our son, he told me that that doesn’t matter but I just need to take care of myself for now.
    My son is amazingly compassionate of mine and his fathers feelings. He has had a major heartbreak which affected him for a long time. He ended up moving interstate to heal.
    My daughter was home Christmas Eve and I could see how vulnerable she is. You were spot on with even though my children were adults, she has not had this experience. She is also in her first relationship with a really nice guy, her age and so is in her own magical world with him. Nice to see but this has really floored her.
    I got through Christmas pretty well. Had the odd phone call from my partners family who live interstate but neither of us felt like answering, so didn’t. Just stayed in the moment for the day. Decided not to think about , this could be our lady Christmas as our little family and enjoyed my son, daughter and her boyfriend when he arrived.
    It was our dog’s anniversary, he was a Christmas gift to our children 12 years ago, so we always have fun conversations about him.
    I hope your Christmas was good or a least bearable. How are you going with things?
    Thankyou so much for your support, you sound like an amazing, caring person.

  13. ConfusedNanxious
    ConfusedNanxious avatar
    37 posts
    28 December 2019 in reply to Flowertop

    Hi Flowertop,

    Despite how difficult your Christmas sounds, I am glad to hear from you.

    Even though you may not have followed through with your plan for a road trip, the fact that you took the time to consider it for yourself is a wonderful step. Despite the turmoil (added to it by being Christmas) you still took the time to assess your own needs and that is always something that should sit in your mind. So well done.

    And it is true, your mood can lift of its own accord. You may not feel like anything has changed, but on certain days you feel more capable, and it is important to hold onto those and know that soon enough all days will feel better and the 'down' periods become less and less as you adjust and make time for the good things in life.

    It can often feel like when you are travelling well, your significant other is not (or vice versa). And sometimes this can be the case, or simply a coincidence. It may very well be that when you are travelling well, your partner may (subconsciously) exaggerate his symptoms as a way to ensure that he is being seen and cared for (if he is in a particularly fragile state). His anxiety may flare up when he views people as being okay, and he isn't, and this only makes things worse for himself.

    It is important that you did take the time for yourself, and not worry about the expectations of other family members (i.e. the phone calls). Ultimately, regardless of whether it is Christmas or not, your experience is your own and you can share it with who you see fit and at the time you see fit.

    My Christmas was as nice as possible. Certain thoughts were always at the back of my mind, but I managed to stay in the moment as much as possible and felt comfortable around my family.

    Thank you for your kind comments. You sound like (and obviously are) a very caring person, who loves her family deeply. You are so strong - I can see that in how you are trying to look out for yourself and your family at the same time.

    I hope to hear from you soon. And I am sending you all the best.

    - CnA

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