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How to Move On After Ending an Unhappy Relationship  E-mail

 

Hi Maria

I am so confused. I have read so many of these web sites about narcissists and am still trying to figure out what situation I am in.  I met my partner when I was in my early teens. We were neighbors and he was my first kiss and boyfriend. Our fathers became friends and I was close to his sister even brides maid at her wedding.

As the years went by we saw each other from time to time and always had a connection.  He moved away in his early twenties and got married very quickly to his now ex wife. I went overseas and stayed there for ten years. In that time he had two kids.

We met again at my fathers funeral and he was separated from his wife.  About six months later he contacted me wanting to meet up as he couldn’t stop thinking about how well we got on at my fathers wake.  So we met up for a wonderful trip in Asia and then continued a long distance relationship where I came home every month for six months until I moved home and straight in with him on the promise that he would leave his job and travel around the country with me for 6 months as an adventure. Well that never happened nor did anything he ever promised.

The first year although hard trying to be a step mom and readjust to life back in a country I haven't lived in for so long was hard. He seemed to be there for me and I has so in love, I thought my search is over, he is it, and what a beautiful story about how we reunited. Planning that trip around the country became harder and harder. In fact planning holidays together seemed to make him agitated. Over three years we went on two trips, only for a week. He was moody and we have never had the excitement of the first trip in Asia.

Since then he has made me confront my sister about being bipolar which she is not, caused me to take my brother to court for a restraining order because they fought so much as my brother hated him, criticizes every one of my friends to the point that I feel I cant tell him I want to see them. He tells me he is just pointing out the facts and I can do what I want, that he just has high standards when it comes to friends. If I even want to go to the gym when we have the kids he gets moody. in fact even if I am on the computer finishing up work or even just looking at the internet he gets angry because the kids are there and he thinks I have to focus on them.

On the weekends and when we don’t have them I have to spend time with him, so I never have time to see friends of which I only have two because I never had the chance to make any. Also the divorce that he was supposed to have when I moved back has not yet been finalized 3 years later. The ex that he despised so much is now a wonderful mother and a great ex and I should be thankful. Meanwhile I am the one looking after their kids every second weekend and on all school holidays.

I feel like he has had affairs but cant prove it as he travels a lot for work.  He tells me I am emotionally unstable and not in control of my emotions. I used to be so independent and had a wonderful life traveling the world. It feels as though he has brought me back here to be a carer for him and his kids. He never says I am doing a good job as a step parent, just that I don’t do enough and that I don’t love his kids enough.

He is extremely popular at work and is involved with many charity organizations, and shows a ridiculous amount of love and affection for his kids, in fact the only plans he wants to make are holidays is with the kids (they are very young) to the point that they are spoiled and tells me that their love is unconditional, not like mine, so of course he wants to be with them over me, even though the kids adore me and we have an amazing relationship.

I had enough and moved out. I feel like I have completely lost myself and am now the emotional wreck he said I was. I don’t understand how he can be so wonderful to everyone else around him yet I feel like this. I now think it is me and maybe I am the weak emotionally unstable person he said I was. He brings up my upbringing because he knows how bad it was having known my family and being the daughter of an alcoholic. In fact when we got together he made me into this victim of child abuse that I had never thought of myself being. I was never upset over my circumstances as a child till he made me go to counseling and played the knight in shining armor, however now it is the reason I am the way I am, according to him and no one else will want me, I am lucky to have him.

Recently he told me to date other men and see if I prefer them and then come back, and he got upset when I said I would do that. I feel like I have done everything I can for him and his kids and now his family hates me, his friends think I am crazy and I don’t know myself anymore. Since moving out he wont pay me the thousands that he owes me or give me my belongings.

I am so confused.


___________

The goal of this website is to give support to people who are feeling depressed and unhappy with their lives. I am living in Europe and English is not my native language, I wish you will excuse me if I make some grammatical errors. I decided to write in English because I wish to reach as many people as I can around the world.

____________

Maria's Reply:

How to Move On After Ending an Unhappy Relationship

 

Dear Friend,

Thank you for your email. I am sorry to hear what you have been through. I sincerely believe you have made the right decision by leaving. You said you used to be independent and have a happy life before you met this man. If you can clearly notice such change in you and if your partner is not willing to change his behavior in order to help you both to maintain the relationship, the only chance you have is to leave, as you now have done. I know how painful you feel right now, but trust me: The painful feeling will pass and after that you will feel so much better than you ever felt with this man. Based on your story it seems clear this person could not have made you happy.

You said you feel like emotional wreck. Dear Friend, your feeling is very natural after what you have been through. You shared many years with this man. You loved him with all your heart. It is extremely painful to walk away from someone who one loves. It is one of the hardest things one can face in life. This is the reason why so many of us are not strong enough to walk away from a toxic relationship as soon as we should when we start to observe the warning signs.

We are so desperate to hold on to the dream image that we created of our partner in the beginning of the relationship. It takes many emotional downfalls to make us finally understand that the person who we fell in love with does not actually exist, that we made a wrong judgment of character and that we allowed ourselves to fall in love with a person who turned out to be abusive, cold and incapable of feeling empathy. Once we understand this it is easier to leave, because we know that no matter what we would have said or done, we most likely could not have significantly influenced the behavior of our partner. The only way one can change is if one first understands one has flaws. This is often very difficult for a narcissistic person.

It is not possible to know whether this man is a narcissist without knowing him in person. The actual diagnosis is not important, the most important thing is how you are feeling in your relationship. So many things in your story suggest that this man was incapable of feeling sufficient amount of empathy towards you. If he had, he would have listened to you when you told him you are not feeling good and happy in your relationship. He would not have told you that your love is "not unconditional" and for this reason he chooses to spend his time with his children over you. Those are cruel words to his partner in life, who he is supposed to love and respect.

Separation is always the last option. If there is love in the relationship, spouses usually try to solve problems so that they could stay together. If one of the spouses seems to be uninterested in doing this, this usually means it is time to part ways. If there is no mutual caring and respect in a relationship, what is the point of being together in a first place? It seems like this man is not willing or capable of making the necessary changes so that you could feel happy and comfortable in this relationship. If this is true and he is incapable of working on the problems and try his best to save the relationship, then it is absolutely clear that you made the right decision by leaving him. Based on your story it seems that he was incapable of putting an effort to saving the relationship. You have made the right decision by leaving, never doubt that.

First few weeks and months are usually the most difficult ones after the separation, especially if the relationship has been emotionally or physically abusive. After breaking free from an abusive relationship, one must not only recover from the separation itself but also heal the emotional wounds caused by the abuse. Emotional wounds can be very dangerous since there are no visible indicators of the state of the healing process. Dear Friend, I am so glad you were able to end this relationship that was clearly making you feel unhappy. Leaving is the hardest step. You have already accomplished that. You can congratulate yourself for being strong enough to walk away from dissatisfying relationship. Regarding the money he owes you, I strongly encourage you to seek legal advice as to how you can get back what belongs to you. It makes you feel better when you feel you are standing up for your rights instead of succumbing to his will.

I am glad you found my website and decided to write to me. Please write to me anytime you wish. You are not alone.

Warm hug,

Maria

 

It helps to know we are not alone. To read more stories of people who are experiencing problems in a relationship, visit section Personal Stories.

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If you wish to submit your own story to get feedback and support or if you wish to contact me for any other reason, please send me email to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 

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