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Difficulties Dealing with Separation


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Old 06-20-2017, 09:08 PM   #1
Aaron1975
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Difficulties Dealing with Separation

Hey everyone,

I'll try and keep this as short as possible.

I'm currently going through a separation involving the end of a 20 year, common law relationship.

I've been with my spouse for 20 years and we've lived together for 17. We have a beautiful 9 year old son who we both adore. I've been a stay at home dad for 8 of those years. Being a father to our son has been the best thing I've ever done and I'm sure the best thing I'll ever do.

The relationship between my spouse and I, on the other hand, has had its ups and downs and we've gone through periods where we're more roommates than husband and wife. There's bickering and stubbornness on both our parts. I've long thought about us going our separate ways, but stayed for a myriad of reasons, the most important being our son. In our more heated exchanges, she's wondered aloud if we'd both be happier apart. She travels often for business and I find I'm an even better parent during the times it's just my son and I. I can't quite figure out what it is. There's the lack of tension I guess, no bickering. It's lighter around the house.

I started an emotional affair last November and realized what it's like to be with someone I really want to be with. I won't bore you with the gory details, but after confessing in January, I went into a tailspin and found myself questioning everything. We attempted to reconcile (she's a wonderful person who was willing to forgive me, though I don't think we could have survived it) but, with some therapy, started viewing the affair as a symptom of the rot in our relationship and started looking at this as the nudge I needed to get out from under it. It took two anguishing months, a prescription of Lexapro and clonazepam and a trip to the psych ward before I was finally able to make a decision. My wife was and is devastated and I can't begin to tell you how guilty I feel about the way it unfolded. Also, the guilt that I'm "destroying a family" and "ruining lives" (her words) is all consuming at times.

When I first made my decision, I was relieved. I figured out how I would be able to move on financially (for a while) and found a nice apartment close to our (for now) family home. Our son, in the early stages, is taking it surprisingly well, though I know that most likely will change. We've agreed to co-parent to the best of our abilities. The past couple weeks, however, what were occasional pangs of guilt and fear, have turned into something all consuming. I am absolutely terrified. I am having doubts and second thoughts. I'm petrified I've made a horrible mistake, though deep down, I know this really is the best decision from the standpoint of our relationship. I fear this will get worse after I move out in less than two weeks. I fear this will engulf me. I fear I will wind up in the hospital, unable to care for my son, who means everything to me. I fear. I am terrified. I have very little support. My family's lack of sympathy (a simple inquiry into how I'm feeling would do wonders) is shocking and sad. I feel everyone who knows about this thinks I'm insane, though they don't really see the issues.

If I could, I'd like to respectfully decline any judgment. I get enough of that on a daily basis - from my wife and myself. I thought I'd post here in the hopes that maybe there are people out there who've been in a similar situation such as mine. I'm going to say I have more in common with stay at home moms. Maybe you had these same feelings. Maybe they go away after ramping up during the transition. From what my therapist has told me and from what I've read, this is normal, but it's really hard to believe that when the level of anguish is so deep. It's amplified by the fact I asked for this. Leaving this home, which I've taken care of and watched my son grow up in, is very, very difficult. It's my comfort and my stability. I feel like I've become unmoored, floating out to sea, heading towards the abyss and untold suffering.

It is telling though, how very little of my anguish has to do with missing my soon to be ex. I no doubt will. We've shared 20 years together, but that seems to be the easiest part of this, which confirms my decision.

Any comments or personal experiences or private messages would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you

 
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Old 06-20-2017, 10:49 PM   #2
trixie2015
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Re: Difficulties Dealing with Separation

I left my husband of 28 years. We argued alot. My children were 21 and 18. I stayed thinking it was best for my children. After the divorce was final my eldest told me that it would have been on her if I would have left years earlier. They heard and saw alot of things that they shouldn't have. I was very depressed and lonely when I left. I knew it was better than hurting each other. I talked to a minister about how I was feeling. He told me its like someone died. Something had died. Our relationship. You will grieve it. My ex chooses not to have any type of relationship with me.when my children call to complain about him to me I listen and then I say You only have one dad love him for who he is. I love my ex he is the father of my children and now we share a grandchild. I love him just not in love with him. If you truely believe its over give yourself time to grieve. I hope this helps you in someway.

 
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