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    Sad & Lonely
    An_255698 posted:
    18 months ago I discovered that my husband of 20 years had a girlfriend. Long story, I left but I'm stuck in the past, everyday my mind goes over what happened. There is no closure and the sadness and loneliness. Right now I'm on a business trip and experiencing almost overwhelming anxiety about traveling and what happens if something happens to me away from home. It is so bad I can hardly function due to the sadness and anxiety. What do I do?
    dfromspencer responded:

    Well, this is what Dr. Leslie would say; let go of the past in order to live in the here and now, and into the future. You cannot change the past, and to live in the past, well, you will just drive yourself crazy like I did myself! Nope, you can't change the past, nor hope to do so, let it go! It will only make you miserable!

    Ask yourself, can you change what happened?
    Can you make your husband NOT cheat?
    Can you make the other woman not cheat with your husband?

    I think your answers will all be no. I'm so sorry for what has happened to you! We just can't change our pasts, and we have to live in the here and now, and into our futures, do you want to do so in misery? I hope not? Forgive, and forget!

    FORGIVE your hubby, he was a weak man! You may never, no, you will never forget, but you can move on! You have to forgive your ex, grieve for your loss, then move on!!! Yes, I said grieve! What you have experienced is loss. You lost your husband, you lost your marriage, and probably your trust in men? Right? Sure. Now, you must forgive, in order to move on. You must grieve for the loss, then move on! You see?

    I hope for your sanity's sake, you forgive him, grieve for the loss, then set your mind on "moving on mode"!!! You will eventually trust men again, once you find the right one, the one you were truly meant to be with! You will love again, once you find the "ONE"! And yes, you can, and will forgive your ex for destroying your marriage! Then, you will move on, and be happy, once again! Like me! Well, maybe not like me? But I know how you feel, my ex wife cheated on me!

    Forgiveness, that is what its all about!!!

    I hope you take this to heart, it is what I had to do!

    I wish you the best of luck!!!

    dfromspencer replied to dfromspencer's response:
    P.S. I may be mistaken, are you still married to him, or have you left him??? You said "there is no closure and the sad and loneliness". I take that to mean you left him, or divorced him?

    If I'm wrong forgive me? I took that as your leaving him for good? If you are still with him, and want to get past his cheating, then the same principle applies!

    You have to forgive, in order to move on, you see???

    I sure hope you do, or you are doomed like I was?!

    Good luck!

    njgirl256 replied to dfromspencer's response:
    Thanks Dennis, no I left, I divorced him but I have not, nor do I think I can ever forgive him for destroying our lives. We lost everything we worked for, house, property, etc. I literally had to start over from scratch and I am way to old for that. No explanation, nothing, I left and we have never spoken another word to each other. Everything went through lawyers. I lost everything because of his actions. Hard to forgive and forgiveness is definitely not my strong suit.

    Thanks for answering!
    sluggo45692 replied to njgirl256's response:
    Hi njgirl256,

    Dennis and I have both been through cheated on and divorce. My marriage lasted 19 years. No you can't forgive or forget, but you can stop spinning it in your head. If your on a business trip and you have those lonely nights at a motel, DON'T let your past eat you up. I'm not saying drink or sex your pain away. That never helps, it only hurts. Find your positives.

    Now is the time to plan for the future. If your worried about your future retirement, I would suggest getting some Susan Orman books. She give a lot of financial advise for women. She also advises ways for women empowerment after divorce and/or loss of a spouse. I'm a man and I have taken a lot of her advise.

    I don't know how long ago you were divorce, but if your worried about being lonely now your divorced, don't be. You still have pain from him and it hurts. You have to realize the past is over. Just like Dennis stated before, move on.

    My marriage was over long before we split up. I may sound harsh, but it was the best thing she could have done for me. Plus Karma is a Bi**h. She is receiving her just desserts. I hope all cheaters get their just desserts.

    I know your separation and divorce was different. Everyone's is different. I can only tell you the hurt will fade and there is light ahead. You may never forgive or forget, but you will come to a point where your realize it's over and now it doesn't matter. Use it to make you a stronger and better person.

    I hope we gave you some good advise and you can use it. You don't have to forgive or forget. You do have to let it go. It's like that song that gets stuck in your head. You have to find something else to get it out of the way. Replace it with Kansas "carry on my wayward son"

    Good Luck
    Leslie Becker-Phelps, PhD replied to njgirl256's response:
    Wow! You have been through a lot. How long have you been separated and divorced? The kind of experiences you are talking about take time to heal from. But time is often not enough by itself. You can help yourself along by taking care of yourself. You might find my blog Recovering from Loss to be helpful. Along the lines of what I talk about there, I wonder: Do you have a support network? Do you do enjoyable and meaningful things with your time?

    Also, as for forgiving, I think dennis was referring to some comments I've made in the past about this. My favorite quote related to forgiveness is from Jack Kornfielf, who said: "Forgiveness is a vow not to carry bitterness into the future... to decide to give up hope for a better past." Also, you might find inspiration for forgiveness (as I did) in a story I wrote about in A Role Model for Forgiveness .

    I hope this helps.
    njgirl256 replied to Leslie Becker-Phelps, PhD's response:
    I am going to look at both of the references you suggested while at home this weekend.

    I barely touched on what I lost, my home, the contents, etc. Moved out with only my personal stuff a my house pets.

    I was going to a support group, at first I liked it but then I didn't. I work and go home to my animals, that is mostly it. I'm stuck in between really sad and depressed or anxious. I tried therapy, the therapist thought I was fine and didn't need therapy. 18 months later I think my family is just wishing I would move on but I'm not young and not sure where to move on to.

    gd9900 responded:
    Like others have said, it takes time. I too was cheated on...I understand the pain of dealing with closure. Like you, no contact with the ex. He moved on with a much younger partner, and they got pregnant two months into their "relationship". You dont have to forgive his choices or actions. You can forgive your reaction to it. You can make better choices for your happiness. Letting go isnt easy...the pain is like a muscle that has atrophied- keep working it. It will heal in time with your help. Your family is likely concerned for your well being. Talk with them so they know where you are at emot
    ionally. Youy may be surprised by the ways they help you. (((HUGGS)))
    sluggo45692 replied to njgirl256's response:
    Hey njgirl256,

    Your as young as you feel. Here's my support to you. Unless your soiling yourself in diapers and living off a feeding tube, your young enough to move on. We all have losses. We all get depressed and sad. Break the cycle and move on. 18 months is to long to mourn for a marriage.

    Yes I'm an A**Hole. Kick yourself in the bottom and get over it. I have seen 60 year old couples get a divorce. It's hard, but you have got to survive and go on.

    I have a wonderful neighbor who just lost (he passed away) her husband of 67 years. She has cried and cried. Her heart is still broken. She misses him every day, but she is moving on. She is still living her life the best she can. It's not the same as a cheating spouse and 20 years is a long time, but you still have the rest of your life. I hope you can see that and move on.

    Good Luck
    Leslie Becker-Phelps, PhD replied to njgirl256's response:
    Your therapist thought you were fine when you felt you were in pain?? Sounds like you might not have found the right therapist. Willing to try another? Therapy only works when there's a good connection with the therapist.

    Maybe you can share more here about what makes you sad and anxious. AND, as many people do, you might also find it helpful to share what you are doing (even if very small steps) to move forward along with what you think you could do to move forward.
    dfromspencer replied to njgirl256's response:
    Sorry I missed this!!! Wow, your therapist thought you didn't need help??? I can feel your pain from waaaayy over here!!! I can hear the sadness from way over here! The depression you feel, or perhaps the anxiety, will fade over time! But, if you are stuck on this, and cannot move on, then yes, you need a therapist! One like Dr. Leslie described! One with whom you can make a vital connection with? You have to feel comfortable enough to spill your guts, and the therapist has to want to help you. Otherwise, you may get answers that hurt, more than help?!

    I truly know how you feel, being cheated on is one pain I would never wish on my worst enemy!!! The hurt goes very deep! And, once you move away from what was comfortable to you, the loneliness sets in! Then comes the despair! Then comes the depression and anxiety! Yes, I have been there/done that!!! As a matter of fact, I am still working on the lonely part, myself! Maybe one day, I will find the right one for me, and so will you?!!!

    I wish you much luck!!!

    njgirl256 replied to Leslie Becker-Phelps, PhD's response:
    All of these responses are wonderful. I have read them several times as well as the references provided by Dr. Becker-Phelps.

    I would be willing to go to another therapist but I guess I don't know where to start looking for one. I relocated when I left my husband. The one I started with, who thought I was fine, was the only local therapist who took my insurance. I now have better insurance. How do you go about finding a good therapist? You can't really walk up to people and ask them who they go to.

    What I feel anxious about is that I feel as if my life is over, that I am just going through the motions from day to day. I am 63 years old and wonder what it will be like to spend the rest of my life alone. From the outside I'm sure people think I'm doing fine but from the inside I'm not. So any advise on how to move forward, find life again would be much appreciated.
    bigred53 replied to njgirl256's response:
    njgirl, you could always call your insurance company and ask for a list of phychologists/therapists in the area. You may need to get a referral from your primary care doctor.

    I'm 60 and honey I'm not done living yet. I'm sure you don't feel 'officially' like a senior citizen yet but you could always check out your local senior center. You could also take a class or two at the local community college or join the local YMCA/YWCA. Most of them offer exercise classes and I know that the one in my city has a pool. Some cities have community gardens where you could grow your own vegetables if you are so inclined. There are also dating sites for older people.

    I understand that it can be difficult to 'put' yourself out there but if you want to you can do it. You cannot continue feeling/thinking that your life is over. I'm sure you have a lot of 'mileage' left in you. I know I do. My joints may creak a bit but I keep going.

    Keep coming back here to share your hopes and your fears. I check in here every day and there are a lot of regulars who are wonderful, friendly people who truly care about others.


    dfromspencer replied to njgirl256's response:
    Hi NjGirl,

    Hey, your life is far from over!!! I'm 55, and I was single for better than 20 years. It hasn't killed me yet, in fact, I kind of enjoyed my freedom? I had no one to answer to. I could do whatever I pleased. I could go wherever I pleased, and no one could stop me! Now, I'm ready to have another relationship, so, I put myself out there! I go for walks when the weather cooperates, I workout, I do what I have to around the house, the rest of the time is all for me!!! Get yourself out there, people will meet with you, just smile at them, say something to start a conversation. Once you get started, the rest will fall in place!!!

    Hey, if I can do it, so can you! You are still young, get out there and mingle! Do those things Red/Michelle mentioned! Once you start, you won't want to quit! It can actually be fun? You will see what I mean, you won't want to quit either!

    I want to wish you tons of guys to meet!!!

    Leslie Becker-Phelps, PhD replied to njgirl256's response:
    Still need to find a therapist but don't know how? You might find it helpful to take a look at my advice in the tips section: How to find a therapist . I also have a page on my website that might be helpful: How to choose a therapist Good luck and please let us know how it goes.

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