Heartbroken husband of 20 years suddenly says he see’s no way forward

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  • #57944 Report


    Hello all

    I joined the group after years of signposting may single parents to Gingerbread I find myself in the same position as my husband of 20 years feels he cannot see a way forward for us. this came out of the blue and I’m utterly devastated. At 49 I new dreamed we would part and I looked forward to our life together until the end. Its only been a few weeks since he said he needed space then this week said he decided their was no way forward. He has just shit me out, after four weeks of pleading asking him to talk to me about what was going on he dropped that on me! I’m completely lost and confused, feels so alone without him and the pain is unbearable. We have grown up children and four grandkids which are step grandkids to him. He communicated with my daughter and son visits my daughter and grandkids. He wont see me or talk to me about it. We have a 14 year old son together who he has only seen for a couple of hours since he left and spoken to on the telephone once. he has seen my daughter and grandkids more! I don’t know how to be single anymore and especially at 49. I cannot see what life means or holds for me anymore as my life was planned out. how did you come to terms with the pain and how do I understand what happened to my life?

    #57952 Report


    Hi Tracy,

    I’ve no idea what it must feel like to break up with someone after 20 years, but just wanted to send you some love as it must be tough. This being so sudden & without much explanation must be even harder to digest & understandably devastating. I can’t imagine how someone could just walk out like that, on you or your son & not even discuss a reason or try to work it out in someway first. It doesn’t sound reasonable or healthy in anyway or for anyone! maybe in his avoidance he feels guilty about something or some backward way of thinking this would be easier this way? (not condoning this at all!)

    It doesn’t seem fair at all to your son to avoid him too, especially if he is maintaining contact with your daughter & grandkids… i just don’t know what to say to that! Is he having some sort of midlife crisis? … it just seems illogical!

    in my small experience, break-ups are a grieving process for what was & what could of been for everyone, accepting this was the first step to recovery for me. Whatever you feel in this process & how you want to heal is valid, but self help books can be a great guide & companion through it too. found it’s important to focus on health, wellbeing & filling the places the ex used to be with happier or healthier activities/ groups/ people/ rest helped too. this said it’s totally alright to give your self time to just hurt too.

    Single life isn’t so bad.. did take some time to adjust & heal, but i’ve genuinely found my best life single 🙂 Perhaps single life is a bit more filling now too with so much single life positivity/ empowerment stuff, groups & clubs now. there was a point i didn’t think i could manage, but now i see more positives to being single than not. also .. <span style=”color: #121212; font-family: GuardianTextEgyptian, ‘Guardian Text Egyptian Web’, Georgia, serif; font-size: 17px; font-variant-ligatures: common-ligatures;”>Paul Dolan, a professor of behavioural science at the London School of Economics, said the latest evidence showed that the traditional markers used to measure success did not correlate with happiness –</span>  basically single women, live longer, are much healthier & happier on average, especially when the kids eventually leave the nest! ..  🙂 so i hope that’s reason to hope things will work out & something to look forward too, appreciate the heartache might be a bit overwhelming & might not feel like this at first.

    there is still love in this world for you & wonderful moments to still experience xx

    #57960 Report


    thank you JBLA your words and reassurance has given me comfort tonight and you did not once say to me ‘well you just gotta move on’

    its okay to hurt and grieve

    I have been thinking about new things to do but still only at the thinking stage really

    I have been doing small things but 20 years means most places and things I think of are things we have done together or as a family so its hard

    Im not the most confident exploring on my own so new things will take time but Im thinking about them so thats good step

    I keep hoping its all a horrid nightmare and ill wake up but tiny tiptop pace and hopefully joining here I will find new emotional support and friendships to rebuild a life xxx

    #57997 Report


    <3 you are most welcome & you deserve gentle support, especially after something so abrupt.

    totally relate to the feeling like its a horrid nightmare, personally it took a year to shift that feeling & tbh look back & the way things ended it was! It’s alright to hurt when somebody hurts us, healthiest thing is to let it out as it needs to be, at our own pace & in our own time <3… I tried to rush/ push myself a few times & fell flat haha so it’s definitely true & can be a disservice to ourselves to force ‘getting over it’.

    if it helps… i found finding places so-called ‘straight’ or hetro cis men were not allowed really helped to rebuild life in a safer space, helped to see life can exist without them & helped have a focus with less triggers or worries. volunteering can be a great way to exist in healing spaces & find re-purpose too.

    have seen a lot of posts from people coming out of 20+ yr relationships, so am sure you’ll find an abundance of support & new friendships here too 🙂 xx

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