As lousy as this situation is, it sounds to me that you have some pretty good ideas about how to handle it. You know he has cheated, now has created a family apart from you, and has snooped. You think that he is still snooping. You don't trust him. Based on all of this (and maybe more?), you've decided to leave.
I'm guessing that part of what makes you question yourself is the emotional pain of it all. I suggest that you stick with what you think is right. If you do think that there is any real chance of this relationship working out, then that chance will still be there after you've had a little time to get your feet back under you. Though I can't know what you are going through, I seriously doubt that you will want to return to him after this initial shock and pain passes-- this is not a recommendation; just a guess based on what I'm reading. In the meantime, continue to reach out to people for support. As you feel able, get involved again in the things you love or think you might like. Continuing to live life will help you return to enjoying living life.
As you move forward, I hope that you do renew your willingness to give yourself over to a relationship. Although this does leave you vulnerable and is a risk, a healthy, intimate relationship is one of the great joys in life; and one of the main ways to feel fulfilled.View Thread
It can feel impossibly hard when you are feeing that down and don't know how to pull yourself up again. I wish I could make it all better for you with this post, but all I can do is make a few suggestions and pose some (hopefully helpful) questions.
When you say that your self-esteem has gone down "lately", I'm wondering how long that is. When did it start? Once you identify that, perhaps you can figure out what triggered it. Has something changed in your life? Is it related to your menstrual cycle? Did something happen that triggered your return to thinking and feeling this way?
As for whether you should "fake it 'til you make it", that's worth a try. Sometimes it can help to get yourself going. However, if trying this doesn't work, it's important to accept this as a sign that you are feeling too bad for this to work-- and that you need to do something else.
Also, I am concerned about whether this sadness and low self-esteem are signs of a real depression. Some signs of depression are sadness, low self-esteem, withdrawal from people, lack of interests, problems sleeping, change in appetite, and difficulty with daily activities. If are experiencing these and they have gone on for at least 2 weeks, I suggest you see a therapist. Also, if you are having suicidal thoughts, please consult a therapist. If you don't know where to find one, you can check the American Psychological Association's Psychologist Locator .
And, please continue to reach out to people -- here and with friends and family -- for support.View Thread
It does sound like a lonely existence. I'm sure there is more to the situation, probably too much to share here. I wonder about how impaired he is in general- i.e. his thinking, his ability to communicate, his ability to relate. If you suspect what you are seeing is due to the vessel rupture, then you might want to contact his doctor (or find a new one) and ask about his/her assessment and what can be done. Perhaps there are medical ways to help improve the problems; or, perhaps there are other ways to help, such as counseling.
Based on you saying that you stay home most of the time (and I admit this is little to go on), I'm also wondering whether you are depressed; i.e. isolating a lot, very sad, fatigued, lacking interest in things. If you are, you might want to look into ways to get out, do things you enjoy, and meet people whose company you enjoy. If you are unable to find happiness on your own, then you might want to consider therapy for yourself.View Thread
Divorce isn't just the end of an official contract; it is a legal surgery that separates two people whose lives have been joined. Particularly after long marriages, it is painful and traumatic (though, admittedly, sometimes the painful separation actually takes place long before the actual divorce); and people need time to heal afterward.
Moving on in a healthy way — healing from the pain of divorce — requires that you feel the pain. Otherwise, you are just covering a wound that is likely to fester under the surface, demanding attention at some later time. So, it is important to allow yourself to feel the hurt, anger, sadness, or whatever other emotional distress that your divorce inflicts upon you. Then you can actively take steps forward toward a happier future.
People often need to rediscover themselves as an individual apart from their spouse. Being alone in a home can take some getting used to. Going alone to parties can be painful. And, it can take time to rediscover old interests (like going to the theater) or find that old self that was worn away from the unyielding flow of unhappy years.
At some point, you will likely want to date again. Hopefully, at this point, you will have a life filled with many things and people that you enjoy. If this is the case, while you may very much want an intimate relationship, you won't be desperate for a new partner to fill a deep, empty hole inside where there is nothing else that makes you happy — and which can be too much pressure for anyone. Also, if you know what you are looking for in a person (i.e. respectful partner, someone to go hiking with) and relationship (i.e. just fun, long term commitment), then you are more likely to find it; and feel fulfilled by it.
Knowing what you want is also very important when you have children. Not only will you have to navigate your own way through this new territory of divorce and dating, but your children will need help too. Consider your child's age and personality as you decide how to proceed. Consider how much you want him or her exposed to your dating life. You will probably want to shelter them a bit from your exploration, as each new date might unrealistically be seen as a possible threat (i.e. taking your attention, dashing hopes of reconciliation with your ex-spouse) or savior (i.e. joining the family to once again make it complete).
Whether or not you have children, though, the idea of dating can be foreboding. Where can you meet people? How can you go about this? While it's not easy, it's not impossible, either. Your attitude is critical. Being happy, hopeful, and open to meeting someone can help you. While I am not suggesting that you pretend to be something you are not, I am suggesting that your effort to be happy with your life is not just a reward in itself, but it might also attract someone worth dating. Because dating can be a bumpy road, a positive attitude can also help you to bounce along without feeling too bruised.
In addition to your attitude, here are some concrete suggestions for finding a partner:
Let people know that you are interested in dating; you might be surprised who can set you up with someone and who that someone might be (hopefully the partner of your dreams, though you must also be prepared for the date of your nightmares).
Join activities or clubs that interest you; then you will be happy with what you are doing whether or not you meet a special someone.
Find out about singles activities and try some out.
Try online dating services. There are many of them; just a few popular ones are as Match.com, eHarmony.com, perfectmatch.com, and Lavalife.com
All of this said, it can be extremely helpful to talk with others who have been through, or are going through, what you are. And I invite you to use this community — and this discussion thread — to share your story, to reach out for support or suggestions, and to connect with others so that you don't feel so alone.View Thread
Relationships can definitely get confusing fast. And when things go wrong, like they did for you, they can leave you spinning. I'm glad that you have friends there to support you; and that you have found support here. Because no matter how you work this through in your head, this is a painful situation that you need support for.
It sounds like he has treated you in ways that are unacceptable -- no matter what you did or did not do, you did not deserve how he treated you. Putting aside what your heart says about missing him, do you think that he is (or could be) a good man for you, based on what you know about him now? Also, like so many other people who have responded here, I think it's significant that he didn't want to spend time with your children. No matter how great a guy is, you need to ask yourself whether you want to be with someone who is not interested in your children. Hopefully, the answers to questions like these can help you walk through this.
As for you possibly being too controlling or needy, it sounds like you could really benefit from thinking about this feedback. Perhaps there is something in you that you want to change; but deciding whether this is the case will take time and the emotional courage to truly look at yourself. It is really important as you consider that feedback that you do it with compassion -- rather than being angry or attacking toward yourself for what you might see, you will do better to try to understand your own struggles, much as you'd understand and support a friend.
Most of all, I do hope that you find it in your heart (after a time of healing) to reach out for love again.View Thread
To begin with, I don't believe that you can love someone too much-- though I do believe that you can sometimes feel that way. And, when you do feel that way, then I think it's a sign that something is unbalanced... the question is what.
The infatuation early in a relationship that people often feel can be intense and feel a bit obsessive; sometimes this feeling grows into a mature love. I think of love- as it matures- as developing into a deeper, more secure feeling (even when it still has passion) that includes caring more about the other person than worrying about yourself (but not ignoring yourself either). All this said, I'm wondering whether you are still infatuated and she has moved beyond this phase.How insecure you are feeling about her feelings toward you; and how much that is feeding your neediness?
I'm also curious about whether there is the possibility of her caring for you in the way that you need; or whether this is a situation where you will more likely always feel this way. The first situation could be part of a healthy relationship while the second situation will leave you to keep feeling as you do now (or worse).
This is all hard to sort out, especially when you are feeling so strongly. But I'd suggest that you really think about the situation as it is and what you'd like it to be. If or when the time is right, you might want to talk with your girlfriend about her thoughts and feelings about the situation-- this will help you to know whether she wants what you want, how matched or mismatched you are with each other now, and the likelihood that this could develop into something you want.
I know there is more to be said about all of this -- love and relationships can be complicated. But I'm hoping that this will at least be of some help.View Thread
I think the real questions are: What do you want? And, do you need time to sort things out?
Can you imagine being happily married to him after all of this? If this is a possibility that you would like to at least try to pursue, then you might want to give him a chance to sort things out, as well as give yourself a chance to absorb and work through all of this (don't try to jump to being ok with it, forgiving, and moving forward before you are ready). As you consider the possibility of staying with him, I think it is important not to confuse being sad or hurt or afraid with wanting to work out your marriage to him-- which brings me back to the original question: what do you really want??View Thread
That reminds me of an old cartoon I had seen -- I don't remember where. The husband is walking into the house, obviously confused by what he sees. The wife is on the couch and the place looks like a hurricane hit with clothes and all kinds of stuff all over. She says something like, "You know how you always ask me what I do every day? Well, today I didn't do it."
I understand that roles are changing, but I still think it's funny-- and, perhaps today there are even some men who can relate to the woman on the couch!View Thread