HomeMain PageRelationshipsMap of RelationshipsWhere are you? What type of Relationship do you Have? Right now!


Where are you? What type of Relationship do you Have? Right now! — 12 Comments

  1. Dear Barb,

    I felt all those feelings too when my husband left me, I promise you things will get better in time.
    Accept help and support from friends, find a good counselor if you can.

    My thoughts are with you,
    Best Wishes,

    Jacqui x

  2. Hello Al, I am at the moment so very confused, hurt,sad and scared. My husband who I have known for 14 years left me a month ago and I fear will never return. He left saying we had nothing in common, we had nowhere left to go. We tolerate each other and he did not want to listen to me anymore. I have read and read your work trying to understand where we went wrong. I am in complete denial of the situation and cannot even think about moving on. Despite him not being here i feel that he is controling everything and I’m letting him because i’m scared.

    Before finding you, I did everything I shouldn’t have. I rang him, text him with any excuse, asked him to come round to the house to see me. I begged him to come home. I am doing better and giving him space but I think he’s doing things that force my hand or is he. Is it my desperation and denial that is making me see things that are not real.Is his leaving slowing down and if it is , is it just for practical reasons.

    Here’s some examples.When he left he told me to leave everything as it was in terms of finances. He said that he was going to leave the area (something that we were planning to do) and when he had relocated he would alter the payments so that I would pay everything to do with the house. He is staying with a friend and I asked him not to rush into moving away.I asked him to wait till after Christmas but he says he is not comfortable there and needs his own space so my request was rejected.This was 3 weeks ago. He came to the house 4 days ago to alter the direct debit with immediate effect . I went into a complete panick but tried to hide it. I thought this is it , he’s moving away, but when I asked he said that he hadn’t done anything in terms of finding somewhere to live. I felt such relief I cried.But why change it if he hasn’t moved.

    He has some money put away which was my car fund. I have not been driving long and am not confident. I need to carry on driving but I do not have access to the car. I can have it one day a week but that’s when he can arrange a lift into work. Its never the same day. i asked him for my car fund money so that i could just buy my own car and be independent but he said he now needed the money. He would give me half and lend me half. We also have an old classic car which was a dream of mine to own. he said we had to sell it. i know its only a car but i love it and it saddens me greatly that we have to let it go. He told me that someone was intersted in it but he has done nothing about it. He said he would give me half in advance of selling it so that i have a safety net in case I needed it but he’s done nothing. He now says that I can have his car when he moves because he wont need a car. Which means i wont see him at all.

    It seems to me that he is hurting really bad but he would never admit it. He says that he hasn’t slept in weeks. He does not talk to anyone, no one in his family and seems to just lie in bed without being able to sleep. He says he just goes to work and thats it. He has cancelled his gym membership. He does not seem to be able to look at me. He will hug me if I want a hug and says he loves me when i tell him I love him.

    I watched him take the car after i had used it and he just drove off without a glance at the house.It destroys me. I moved the car out of sight so i did not have to watch him but then he came into the house to say he was taking the car and that he was not staying. I cant win.

    I feel that when i am crying and begging him to come home he is strong but now that I am giving him space he is playing the victim. I ask him all the time if he is ok. He hasn’t asked me once.

    I love him and miss him very much. please advice me.

    Barb. Please forgive me for going on.

    • Dear Barb, these lessons are so painful.  All one can do is sit in your seat belt, drawn tight, and wait for the chaos to settle a bit, and then start learning.  It can be so awful.  Twas for me. 

      One lesson is that depending on someone too much leads to trouble.  Or another way of saying it, one of the skills for being in a relationship is the skill of being able to be ‘on your own.”   I wrote on this back in 1998 – Skindiving.  But just cuz I wrote on it doesn’t make it easier.  

      Jacqui x suggestions seem right on to me. One great use of counselors is when we are in such awful straights that we need to pay a friend. We might exhaust our regular friends. 

      Good luck.  


  3. Hello Al,
    Thank you for this site, I enjoy your articles and am trying to learn from them, as my marriage of 11 years (were together for 12 years before marrying) ended with our separation last xmas.
    I can see myself ‘being asleep’ until the point my husband left as he was ‘in love’ with someone else. After desperate times trying to keep going for my son, I accepted help in the aid of anti depresants (and counselling). after a few weeks I was a completely different person, and over the following months I have felt happier than I have in many years, even though my husband has left me! I am working hard on myself, my counsellor says I work the hardest of all her clients, and she also says she has only one other client whose life has been so transformed by medication, (I am not recommending this route for everyone, but It has worked so far, for me).
    I am wondering why I have reacted this way. I feel that I have always been asleep, been very unaware of myself and my body. I did not have boyfriends before meeting my husband, I did not understand why you would want one, (I had friends to go out with). I have never felt ‘in love’, never desired the romantic idea of marriage, didn’t know if I would ever have children (so grateful for my son, who I now realize is proof for me how much affection and love I can give, and I am so proud of him and, I hope, for not messing him up, which is what all i think parents can aim for, any achievements or failings are all his own).
    I was close and affectionate with my husband, but the dynamic changed from both of us after the birth of our son, and did not ever recover. I still have a good relationship with my husband (I am very pragmatic, and life is too short). Initially I was desperate to ‘save our marriage’ but I was too late, my husband now expends most of his energies pursuing the other woman, and has no interest in working on our marriage.
    I am left to believe that my inexperience and complete lack of self awareness are the cause of my past unhappiness. Have you written an article on self awareness ? I imagine this stems from childhood, in my case not terrible parents, but lacking in physicality and affection, perhaps sending me into quiet stillness from which I feel I am just beginning to break out. It is an exciting prospect to consider taking myself in hand!
    Many thanks.

    • Actually, all your questions are probably best delivered to that counselor of yours.  Figuring yourself out, getting to better understand how you got the way you were, etc. often is best puzzled through with a more experienced friend or professional.  That’s what I did.  The big clue is that you made sense at every step along the way and you were doing your best at every step.  Grasping how you made sense and how that stuff you did was your best is a matter of digging and understanding.  

      I have not written about how to do this as it takes a long time and quite a commitment.  But you have little choice.  Gotta do it.  Tis a matter of how fast.   

      I’m glad you have a good counselor. And my stuff should be helpful. Good luck.

  4. Hi Al, It's been a while since I posted! I love reading and re-reading your essays – one of the interesting things is that coming back to them makes me realise that when I thought I 'got' them on first reading, I can see at times that I didn't – that I was still thinking in some of my PL (previous life ie. before spouse walked out and awareness began!) ways. The whole experience of my marriage breakdown, spouse walking out after 24 years marriage and four kids, my personal breakdown and so on was like a mirror shattering and over the last 16 or so months I have slowly been rebuilding and feverishly working on myself. Al your essays helped so much, and I have also downloaded some of your talks and really, really listened, not only to you but slowly sifted through all the information that my spouse gave me (albeit not much at times!) but gradually the penny dropped – that I had in fact been a bad listener, had not heard my spouse a lot of the time, and had not seen or heard what he had been trying to tell me initially, then stopped communicating altogher. I am not saying it is all my fault (although I took 200% blame early on and 'tortured' myself with it) but all of this work, thinking, pondering and reflecting has bought a real clarity to my thoughts. I now see my spouse in a different light and I can feel in my changed self an attitude similar to the one you express Al when you say 'wow – they are disagreeing with me – this is interesting!'. I think my spouse is still stuck in certain areas, as sometimes when we are in a conversation he will fling a comment at me 'well I still managed to call you everynight when I wasn't at home '(he travelled a lot with work) or 'I still managed to do chores' or 'I still managed to find the money for whatever' and 'I worked so that you could do whatever you wanted'. Lots of resentments! However, I now just take it all in, and pre-validate and validate but saying 'yes, I can see that you did that and it must have been hard for you, go on….' not in a condescending manner!! My lizard flairs up every now and then but it is getting better. I never want to go through anything like this (a breakup/divorce) again – the pain and hurt are unbelievable – thats shy this site has been so good – a lot of people just don't understand the utter m/tisery/suffering/torture etc that you go through. I had friends say -' are you dating yet?' (after 24 years? wouldn't have the foggiest!)' just get over it' and so on. It occurred to me at one stage that when a spouse dies you get sympathy and cards and all the things that go with that but when a long term spouse goes you are expected to act almost as if nothing is wrong! Anyway ending on a funny note – I read the 'investment banker's cover letter for a second date (1600 words) – wow is he in total clinger mode!!!!!
    Regards, Kez

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