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He ended it after 15 years and I can't move on

Tagged as: Big Questions, Breaking up, Cheating, Dating, Family, Marriage problems, Three is a crowd, Troubled relationships, Trust issues<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (7 January 2018) 7 Answers - (Newest, 10 January 2018)
A female United Kingdom age , anonymous writes:

hi my name is carol and upto 3 years ago i was havein an afair it lasted 15years but one day he said he couldet see me any more but never realy said why i was deversteted and still am thort after all them years i desevred better i still miss him and i look at him on face book i'd be so grestfull if you give me some adives

Thank you.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (10 January 2018):

How are you doing Carol?

Are you ok?

We haven't heard back from you.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (8 January 2018):

I am deeply sorry, Carol. I truly empathize and I do understand why you got involved with him and why you stayed.

He must have been quite the charmer, quite the manipulator and smooth operator. Skillfully and cunningly using your love for him as an instrument to play you over and over again. I get it. You just wanted to be loved by him. It was always painful having to work for his love and acceptance and his continued rejection of sorts ignited your fear of loss and perhaps your competitive steak viewing this as a challenge. To win him over. To show him you are a good woman and everything he would ever need.

Obviously there was a special connection between the both of you for it to have begun and continued for that many years. Have you ever thought that most marriages in this day and age don't last even close to that long?

So, you are mourning the loss of a 15 year relationship which is very significant. He was the love of your life even though he destroyed you emotionally and for the rest of your days.

Grief does not have a timeline. Everybody grieves differently and for varying lengths of time. There is no right or wrong. You are perfectly normal. And your grief is YOURS alone. It could take years or maybe even forever, if forever is long enough. I understand you struggle and your whole world went from elation and euphoria to the pits of hell and bottomless darkness. It is the worst of all falls from grace. To have Heaven on your earth and then a relenting emptiness with a grip so hard you can barely breathe. Or live life.

You ask yourself how he could so coldly cut you off after all these years together? After you gave him so much? Your whole heart and soul? They were owned by him. After all that you shared. Your most intimate secrets, dreams, parts of your body. You surrendered your vulnerability to him. You opened yourself to be loved by him genuinely. I can see that you are a woman who follows her heart. So am I. And this is the downside of loving another person so profoundly and unconditionally. Some would say people like us are stupid. But I don't say that at all. I don't blame you. This man was clearly an expert at stringing you along. Telling you lies to keep you holding on. Being loving and romantic. Pulling you back in with sweet gestures and more lies when you started having doubts. It's sad to think it was all just an act. I just could not imagine what man would stay in an affair for years without feeling love towards his mistress? Or how a man can stop himself from falling in love with her after being in a long term relationship? I don't understand how someone can do that. And to just turn his back without an explanation, out of nowhere, seems to be the cruelest of all human actions.

I can imagine the agony of being made to feel you are special and then suddenly you are knocked off that pedestal and you are made to feel like you are insignificant. Like all those years meant nothing. That you meant nothing. It takes a huge chunk of your self esteem and self worth. And you are left fragile and bare.

This man likely got tired of living a double life. The allure and mystery may have worn off. He may have decided to work on his marriage. Maybe his wife grew suspicious or maybe he found a new mistress. They could all be possibilities. But you must deal with not even being given an explanation after so many years. Not having any closure. And this is a very important reason as to why you can't let go. You want to know why he did what he did. You wanted the dignity of an explanation. You were left twisting in the wind.

I know everyone says to forget about him like a bad dream. And yes, in time, your own time, you will. But I think it might help you to write a letter to him. Say everything you want to say. Be honest and profound. Let it out. Don't keep it bottled inside. It works to release you from some of your pain and loneliness. You will cry. It will be hard. But it will help, even in a small way, to cleanse you.

He is a nasty human being. And I feel badly for you and his wife. He will probably keep having affairs on her. And someday he will be caught.

Any man who uses a woman's love and heart to extract sex from her is a monster.

Your good heart put you in harms way. But I do believe people come into our lives for a reason. This man was a lesson. A lesson for you to see why you did this and what it is about you and your life that has to change.

The hard work needs to begin now. You do need the help of a professional. Please seek out a counsellor/therapist. See your family doctor first. You will be okay, I promise. You start with a baby step. Yours was reaching out to us. Remember, there is nothing wrong with you. And you are NOT alone. You just wanted to be loved. We all do. But you can never find love in a snake.

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A female reader, Andie's Thoughts United Kingdom + , writes (8 January 2018):

Andie's Thoughts agony auntYou need therapy. Seriously, he was a slimeball who cheated on his wife for 15 years - he was never going to commit to you.

You've allowed yourself to waste 18 years - 15 with him and 3 not moving on. Do you want to waste the next two decades too?

OP, block him on Facebook or delete your Facebook altogether. You're too old to let this rule your life - we all have limited time left and you're letting yours pass you by.

Find a therapist immediately. It's time to work out why you've been so dependent on a married liar, than men who could have committed to you and why you never chose to leave an affair that would hurt another woman.

If you want, you can spend another year, five years, twenty years convincing yourself you "can't" move on, but you're not allowing yourself to. You'll be 80, pining after a man who was never yours, wondering why you don't have a life of your own.

You CAN move on, OP. CHOOSE to and get a therapist's help.

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A female reader, Youcannotbeserious United Kingdom + , writes (8 January 2018):

Youcannotbeserious agony auntStart believing you deserve BETTER. You deserve to be someone's No 1, not their bit on the side.

Married men seldom leave their wives. Surely, as time went on, you must have realized that he was not going to leave her for you? Or were you just prepared to be his mistress for ever?

You need to stop tormenting yourself by checking on him on social media. Find something more constructive to do with your time. Do you work? If not, try to find a job, even a small part time one where you will get out and meet people. If that's not possible, volunteer your services to help those less fortunate. Take an evening class in something which interests you. It can be anything at all - academic or non-academic. You will get out and meet new people with similar interests.

Next time don't short-change yourself. Know your worth and hold out to be someone's one-and-only.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (8 January 2018):

Hi Carol - it is very sad to think of someone wanting a regular relationship for so long. I guess the way to start healing is to tackle whatever situation or background put you in the position to go along with this crazy nonsense for so long. I'm guessing your family history made it seem like a possibility?

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A male reader, Billy Bathgate United States + , writes (8 January 2018):

You wasted 15 years on this guy and now you’ve squandered another three pining for him.

I would stop looking him up on Facebook. But i suspect if you could do that you would have already. Try to find a therapist or counselor who can help get over this.

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A female reader, Honeypie United States + , writes (8 January 2018):

Honeypie agony auntSorry, OP

1. STOP looking at his Facebook (and that of his family & friends) it's NOT going to help you move on.

2. Accept some culpability here. YOU were part of an affair, which means HE was the married partner - which in turns mean HE was never yours. What you did was morally and socially unacceptable. LEARN from this. Instead of hoping to continue it.

3. 15 years is a LONG amount of time to waste on person that CAN NOT commit to you. Take some time and reflect on why YOU made the choice to stay in the affair YEAR after YEARS.

4. Go through the steps of a "normal" break up - The five stages, denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance are a part of the framework that makes up our learning to live with the one you "lost". It's pretty close to the process of grief for a death.

5. Saying you deserved better doesn't mean you actually mean it. If you really felt that way I can't imagine why you spent 15 years in an affair. So again, something to reflect on and think about.

If you haven't been able to move on in 3 years, I'd advice you talk to a therapist. There is a reason here. Maybe you DON'T want to move on, for whatever reason. But you should explore that.

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