Coping with separation

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  • #24613 Report


    Hi, I’m Lee.

    I’m a father of a son and daughter, aged 14 and 17 respectively. I’ve been married 19 years, and been with my wife 24 years. In January my wife admitted to a fling. She had started a new job in the November and, when I began to get suspicious, admitted to kissing a guy on at least two occasions during lunchtime liaisons, along with her texting him from our bedroom in the evenings via Whatsapp, whilst I sat downstairs wondering why I was being cold-shouldered. Some absolutely dreadful rows ensued, but when the dust settled a little, we agreed to try and patch things up. It was difficult though, as I was consumed by paranoia, knowing she would see this guy every single day. So I made life difficult by constantly checking her phone and her whereabouts. In March she was let go by the new company, which really hit her hard. Her behaviour became symptomatic of clinical depression, she was withdrawn, tearful, couldn’t sleep etc. She blamed me for everything, even accused me of informing her company about the ‘affair’ – which is rubbish. Since then we have slept separately, our relationship has fallen apart. I’ve tried talking and reasoning with her but she’s not interested in a reconciliation. She said she doesn’t love me anymore and wants to leave. For financial reasons, this means she will leave the house and live alone – without the children- a prospect she seems more than comfortable with. I recognise now that the fling was a symptom of her unhappiness, but I’m now struggling to cope with the loss of my wife. She is the love of my life, and this has torn my secure, safe world apart. I’m tearful, anxious, scared, lonely, and worried sick about the future. I wake up at night panicking, having to switch the lights on and open the windows. I thought I was mentally strong, but apparently I’m not. She’s been part of my life for so long I don’t know how to live without her by my side. It’s akin to bereavement, I feel as if she’s actually died.

    I’d appreciate the thoughts from anyone that has experienced the similar. Finding someone to talk to is difficult.


    #24640 Report


    Lee, newly-registered member here. I am in a very similar situation to yourself. Wife had a mid-life crisis last year, started behaving in very out-of-character ways, drinking heavily, nasty rows, she had a fling which she admitted to in several tortuous stages (it was just a snog, then an ‘infatuation’, then she admitted she’d slept with him). Despite counselling and attempts by me and family to get her to reconsider, she has ploughed ahead with what she believes to be the only solution to her unhappiness – separation. House is on the market and we’re living in separate rooms with our two kids (similar age to yours). It is total f*****g mental torture. I’m not coping. I am a trainwreck. I’m just about functioning, working and putting one foot in front of the other, whereas for her it appears a breeze (apart from one or two giveaway moments). I hate what she’s become and the ways I can already see it affecting our amazing kids. I cannot bear the thought of being alone after all these years. Although they’ve been brilliant, my family lives hundreds of miles away and for obvious reasons can’t come and stay in the House from Hell. You’re right, it is like a bereavement. It hurts like hell, from a milisecond after waking up til going back to sleep that night (nothing that I’m getting much kip). People tell me it’ll get easier, but the current situation is horrific. The fact your wife has left is at least better than her hanging around, a visual, present, ghastly reminder of the cause of your pain – singing in the bath and playing loud music.

    Mate, go see a counsellor. It has helped me get my head round things a little. Take it day by day. Lee, I’m with you buddy. You will get through this. We both will. Then we’ll look back and realise that loving someone is a waste of time and emotion when they don’t love you utterly in return.

    #24665 Report

    Hi there, I’m one of the moderators at Gingerbread.  Please have a look at our website.  We have fact sheets that can give information about early separation.

    Please click on this link and this will hopefully have some information that will be useful for you.

    Take care, Justine

    #24675 Report


    Hi Lee, sorry to hear about your situation. I am almost 9 months down the line (aft 23 years together, 15 married) & I completely agree with you saying it’s like a bereavement , that’s the only way I can explain it to people. My STBXH walked out & didn’t even admit to OW but she was there in the background.. It is getting easier especially as I am now out of the marital home .. my girls are my reason to make it through the day.. I wasn’t coping for a long while but each day now does get easier I just have to try not to focus on the why’s as I am never going to get any answers.

    Take care

    #24680 Report


    Hi all

    In a similar boat, separating after 19 years together, 15 married, 2 kids – it’s starting to get a bit easier, I self referred to “Time to Talk”, which is an NHS Counselling service for anxiety and depression, and it really helped. Also, thinking on paper – I carry a note book around, and when i’m Ok, make notes about what I can do in the future, what has worked in terms of helping me to come to terms with it etc.

    I found Gingerbread by typing in Single Parent Groups in to google, based on some advice my soon to be ex mother in law gave me as she’s been through the same. This is an amazing help and support tool, and I read the forums a lot – i’ve found threads where people who are coming out the other side and are feeling a bit better, and it gives me confidence and the knowledge that this will pass, and things will get better.

    Space has also helped – I feel a lot less stressed and cross when I go out on my own with the kids.

    For the future, the way I look at it is this – someone fell in love with me once before, so I can’t be that bad – and even though it hasn’t turned out as we’d hoped, so many people separate these days and often find much more happiness second time around. There will be opportunities in the future for us, if we want them of course, but remember that this is a temporary situation and the feelings will pass. I have very bad days some days, but the better days are becoming more frequent, and we’ll all be ok – we have our amazing kids,  and that’s more important than anything, and in the future, who knows but we’ll have other opportunities if we want them.

    #24689 Report


    Hi all. Thanks so much for taking the time to share your experiences, thoughts and optimism. It’s good to know there’s still kindness and decent people out there! I’ve never been so mentally shredded as I am right now, but just knowing there are others like me, either going through it or have passed through it, does help in a strange way. Thanks for the little pieces of advice, and I hope you all find peace and happiness very soon. Good luck all.

    #24700 Report


    Lee – there are others like us, many others. I’ve been on a few other forums and our current experience is not unique. It’s horrible in a way, but hearing about others’ difficulties does help as you feel less alone. I know what you mean about “mentally shredded”. I am right on the edge, every minute of the day, somehow getting through the working day without erupting in rage, frustration and despair. Home is just awful. Unbearable. I’m sleeping on my son’s bedroom floor in a house for which I pay the mortgage, with the woman who used to say ‘I love you’ now a total stranger to me, passing silently in the hallway. Best of luck to you, pal. As Winston Churchill said, ‘When you’re going through hell; keep going.’

    #24742 Report


    Hi I’m a new member here! My friend told me about Gingerbread! I’m newly single mum to a 15month little boy! If I’m honest I’m struggling with becoming single after been in a long term relationship (was engaged); I have recently also been diagnosed with fibromyalgia and ME too which has also taken its toll!

    My ex fiancé(father to my child) sees his son but I am struggling with at the moment is being single and even though it’s only been 2 months he has already moved on to someone new! Has anyone else been in a smiler situation as I’m feeling very alone right now! So many emotions running around at the moment!

    #24744 Report


    My worry was about being single, but I’ve started to look at it from a different angle – i’m going to take some time to rebuild and find myself again, and spend quality time with the kids, and as and when I’m ready again at some point, then I’ll take my time and find someone who I want to be with and wants to be with me, rather than jumping in –  it’s a process, and you’ll come through it, and you’ll start to feel better

Viewing 9 posts - 1 through 9 (of 9 total)

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