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#3013341 06/19/20 03:19 AM
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About a year and a half ago I went through a very hard breakup. We were together for 17 years, but never married. We were young when we met and still figuring out who we were and what we wanted out of life. She never pressured me to propose. I guess we always assumed that we would get married one day when the time was right. Again we were young. We moved in together instead. When I was in my late twenties I partially dislocated my shoulder at work. I spent almost six years in immense pain due to the injury, but nothing showed up on any of the imaging so every doctor I saw told me there was nothing wrong. I struggled to hold down a job or keep up personal relationships. I also started having severe bouts of depression.

The depression intensified the pain and made it harder for me to function which fed the depression. I had several mental breakdowns one of which I was hospitalized overnight for. I started smoking marijuana to get through the day and was high much of the time. It was a crutch I know, but the pain was unbearable. She encouraged it. I also started have bizarre episodes where I felt detached from myself and couldn't sleep. I was like this for six years. After the fifth year we really started drifting apart. We didn't know what was wrong with me so there was no way to explain to our families and friends why I didn't have a job or why I occasionally didn't go with her to a social events.

Five years after my injury I found a doctor that took me seriously. he found a tear in my rotator cuff that had caused my shoulder to destabilize to the point where I was partial dislocated on a regular basis. Around the same time I got a new nurse practitioner. She diagnosed me with Bipolar disorder and started treating both the depression and what I know now is mania. I was finally on the path to stabilizing. Shortly after my surgery she asked me to stay at my sisters for a month so she could have some space. I never saw our home again. We met at a bar were she told me it was over. She had been supported us financial and for a long time money was tight, but she had gotten a new job making six figures and could easily handle our credit cards bills, student loans, rent etc. She told me she had an affair and that there were plenty of other guys out there and I wasn't right for her. She told me her leaving me had nothing to do with my bipolar disorder or my shoulder injury. She implied she was too good for me and told me she just wanted to be a slut and do drugs. My therapist, who has been amazing, told me that affairs bring out the worst in a person.

Because we weren't married and she was supporting me, she got to keep everything (I'm sleeping on a fold up mattress in the living room of my sister's one bedroom apartment and living off money from my parents retirement). I knew things were strained between us, but I was recovering and we were financially in a good place. To me the future looked bright. Now here I am. She left me, she had an affair, she took everything, and she broke up with me like we were still in college.

I'm at a loss. I don't understand how she could do something so awful. I was very very very sick and trusted her with everything. She was the kindest sweetest person I knew. I have no closure and am struggling to accept it. To reconcile the person I knew her to be with her actions. I don't know if this is actually what she wanted. I hadn't formally proposed, but we planning on getting married. We even planned out a simple ceremony at city hall. We didn't get married because we couldn't afford for me to be on her insurance (I was getting medicaid and didn't have deductibles or co-pays) At some point she reached a breaking point (she said as much when she left me). Again, I had no idea just how much she was struggling with everything. It feels like it came out of the blue. She told me she wanted to go to counseling, but I have no idea if that was true or not. I know she felt like she lost herself in all of it.

I feel like I have no closure. Why did she hurt me the way she did? Why did she leave me just when things were looking up? Is this really what she wanted? Did she resent me? If we got married would it had made a difference? Did it really have nothing to do with my injuries? Is she really happier now? How can she live with herself? And of course, how could she so thoroughly betray me while I was so sick? How could this happen to us?

I know that my injuries too a toll on us and I was a shadow of myself, but it still feels like she has no excuse for any of it. Having the moral high ground seems pointless because she is gone and gets to keep the life we built together while I'm devastated on all fronts. I loved her so much and I know she loved me. I'm struggling to understand why it ended this way. My sense of loss is immeasurable. She took everything from me.

My therapist suggested I post here to help me grieve.

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Hello Teocognito, it appears she did not like the role of caretaker. I can't imagine any person who would. She didn't sign up for that. In your long post, I see a lot of self pity but absolutely no awareness or concern about her happiness. People want a life partner who makes them happy and complements their lives. FRom what you describe, I can only imagine she was very unhappy. What was there for her in this relationship?

She didn't have an affair, she is not married to you. You are both free agents.

My suggestion to you would be to get your life pulled together so you become an autonomous person who could be a viable candidate for a woman. Women don't want a man they have to support. Get your depression under control, get a job and start managing your life. You have checked out of life and it is time for you to check back in. Start taking responsibility for yourself. Get your own apartment and start supporting yourself.

We can help you do this. And if you get your life in order, you might be able to win her back. If not, you could be a viable candidate for another woman. But you have to get on your feet to do that. You are a grown man now.


"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena.." Theodore Roosevelt

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Originally Posted by Teocognito
Because we weren't married and she was supporting me, she got to keep everything (I'm sleeping on a fold up mattress in the living room of my sister's one bedroom apartment and living off money from my parents retirement).


I can't imagine anything more unsettling than having to support a grown son with my hard earned retirement savings. Who will take care of them when they run out of money? You need to get it together, my friend.


"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena.." Theodore Roosevelt

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Originally Posted by Teocognito
. I started smoking marijuana to get through the day and was high much of the time.
.


Are you still using pot? If so, I would give that up pronto. Pot diminishes motivation and contributes to depression. Are you using any narcotics? Do you drink alcohol?


"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena.." Theodore Roosevelt

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Teocognito, if you'll read about Dr. Harley's concept of the Giver and the Taker, I think you'll understand your girlfriend much better. Everybody has a Giver and a Taker. You do, your ex girlfriend does, I do, everybody.

https://www.marriagebuilders.com/the-giver-and-taker.htm


If you are serious about saving your marriage, you can't get it all on this forum. You've got to listen to the Marriage Builders Radio show, every day. Install the app!

Married to my radiant trophy wife, Prisca, 17 years, who is a beautiful angel.
Attended Marriage Builders weekend in May 2010

If your wife is not on board with MB, some of my posts to other men might help you.
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I appreciate the perspective. in fact I feel the same way which is probably why I am filled with self pity and self loathing. I have to remind myself that mental illness shatters lives and destroys relationships especially when untreated. I would like anyone out their suffering from anxiety, schizophrenia, bipolar, manic depression, etc. to know that you shouldn't let the stigma define you and that you are not alone. Nami (national alliance on mental health) is a great resource to start getting help.

I do understand that the needs to be give and take in a relationship, but how does it work when one person is the others caretaker?

I'd also like to point out that she kept telling me things were fine, certainly not great, but given the circumstances I was under the impression we were weathering the storm, that we were in it together. I know the need for radically honesty is essential for a relationship to work and she wasn't honest with me about what her needs were.

As far as getting my life together, I've been doing physically therapy for over a year now and have been working really hard with my psychiatrist to get stable on my meds. I'm also actively looking for work which is tough with a gap in my employment and given the down economy.

We can argue about the medical benefits of marijuana but this isn't really the place, I will say that as a pain killer it was very effective and much safer than opioids. I stopped using it after my surgery; I don't need it anymore.

Did she have an affair or not? Do I even belong in this forum? That question haunts me. That is why I am here. I'd hate to think it is in the eye of the beholder. I know I was wronged and I was certainly betrayed. Again, 17 years together...we built a home and a life together. I hate to point out that our relationship lasted longer than many marriages. I try not to wonder if things would have been different if we were married--If threat of divorce would have kept her faithful. I doubt it. Would she have just kept it a secret instead? Would it have lasted years? I hate to think about it and yet I can't help wondering if my experience is different than that of a married couple. I guess that is why I am on this forum...for support.

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Glad to hear you're working on getting your life together. Keep working with your doctor's. It will get better.

Dr. Harley has a fantastic book called "Buyers, Renters and Freeloaders". I highly recommend it.

Here is a good read on it Buyers, Renters and Freeloaders


FWW/BW (me)
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2nd M for both
Blended Family with 7 kids between us
Too much hurt and pain on both sides that my brain hurts just thinking about it all.



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Originally Posted by Teocognito


Did she have an affair or not? Do I even belong in this forum? That question haunts me. That is why I am here. I'd hate to think it is in the eye of the beholder. I know I was wronged and I was certainly betrayed. Again, 17 years together...we built a home and a life together. I hate to point out that our relationship lasted longer than many marriages. I try not to wonder if things would have been different if we were married--If threat of divorce would have kept her faithful. I doubt it. Would she have just kept it a secret instead? Would it have lasted years? I hate to think about it and yet I can't help wondering if my experience is different than that of a married couple. I guess that is why I am on this forum...for support.



No, she didn't have an affair. You are not married.

The bottom line is that she was not married to you and as such, had no commitment. She did not wrong you. You weren't available to be in a relationship and she left. Yours was a very one sided relationship where you didn't make her happy. People don't stay in relationships where they are not happy. Reciprocity is an essential element of any relationship.

Quote
As far as getting my life together, I've been doing physically therapy for over a year now and have been working really hard with my psychiatrist to get stable on my meds. I'm also actively looking for work which is tough with a gap in my employment and given the down economy.


What kind of work can you do? How hard are you looking? Have you considered going back to school AND working? Do you have skills that allow you to fully support yourself and pay back your parents?

Quote
We can argue about the medical benefits of marijuana but this isn't really the place, I will say that as a pain killer it was very effective and much safer than opioids. I stopped using it after my surgery; I don't need it anymore.


Are you on any other narcotics? Do you use alcohol? Do you play video games or have any addictions?


"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena.." Theodore Roosevelt

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If you were married I think what would be different is that you’d have taken vows in front of family to provide care for each other, and when your condition got in the way you may have gotten help sooner and had your family’s support. But you’re in a great place now to make lasting changes.


Me 40, OD 18 and YD 13
Married 15 years, Divorced 10/2010

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