She destroyed me but I can’t get over her

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  • #43852 Report


    Hello. About two months ago, my wife left me. We had been together for six years, married for three.

    We have two daughters together, aged 2 and 4. For the last 18 months or so of the relationship, things went downhill. She told me back in November 2019 that she no longer loved me and ever since then, we’ve been quite distant. I’ve slept on the sofa for the best part of two years (her choice) and we never enjoyed any time together. Sexually we hadn’t been close (not even holding hands, cuddling or a kiss) for about two years either.

    The trouble is, she has taken the girls with her (she moved into her mum’s) and isn’t letting me see them, other than the odd hour here and there, but only round her mum’s where either her or her mum supervises. There is no reason for this to happen, I’ve always been a very hands on parent and love those girls so much. It has got to the point where I have a solicitor helping me to try and get access and a court date has been arranged but that’s not until after Christmas.

    About a week before she left me, she was seen on tinder and many other dating apps by a friend of mine. Since she has left, I know that she has been seeing guys, which hurts me so much, despite the fact she has destroyed me in the way she has treated me in regards to the girls. I’ve even been round there recently (she wasn’t there, her mum was though) and found, in the living room (which is where her and the girls are sleeping currently) a bag with sex toys (electronic wands, *****, things designed for couples and many other toys) aswell as kinky outfits and lingerie etc. When we were together, and before all our troubles started, she would have never had things like these, she was always too shy and uncomfortable with that kind of thing. We rarely even had sex when we were at our best times! So she’s gone from that, to now seemingly being very sexually confident and “out there”. I’m not sure why, but I can’t get this out of my head and feel really upset about it. Why is her new bloke so much better than me and why is she so much closer to him already than she ever was with me? I’ve always loved her, and I really wish I didn’t.

    She’s even told me that her and the girls are moving I to a new place soon, but she isn’t going to tell me where or when they move.  I’m such a mess, being home all the time, by myself is horrible. The atmosphere hasn’t been good here for quite some time, but I can’t bare the thought of being alone forever, especially when she’s already moving on and is happier than whenever was with me.

    I don’t know if she’s just going through a phase and it won’t last (she’s always had mental health issues and I can’t see her being so happy for long) but it just feels like my heart is being ripped out constantly!

    Any advice etc would be very much appreciated.

    Thanks, Ryan

    #43866 Report


    hello Ryan,

    this is hard and I can see why you are struggling. There are three different issues you need to address.

    You need to take your own life into your own hands. Instead of reacting to the “I don’t love you any more” statement, you retreated to the sofa and let things get out of hand. How did you communicate your feelings and where are your boundaries? Why did you not stand up and cleared the mist?

    It doesn’t matter how she lives out her sexuality as she made it clear, you are of no interest to her. She didn’t want to share her feelings with you and that was made clear to you. You just chose not to react to it. So why are you doing it now? I would like to answer these questions to myself if I were in your shoes.

    Same with the children. You retreat and accept what you get. Isn’t there more you can do for your children than just watching them being taken out of your life and them watching their father being taken out of their lives?

    This isn’t a dream and there will be no magic wand to make the happy ever after. You need to wake up and take control of your life. I you don’t fight for yourself, who do you think will?

    This may sound harsh but what you need in my opinion is some wake-up call.  You are kicked in the teeth and all you care for is, how does the shoe feel about this. If that is what you want, then fine. Otherwise, do something against it.



    #43871 Report


    Thank you for your reply sirtoby.

    I think my issue with the “I don’t love you” statement, was that I was practically in denial, even when we were at rock bottom I always thought that we’d be ok. Everyday I would try and talk to her and she would always push me away and not want to talk.  But I always loved her and couldn’t bare the thought of her leaving, so I tried to bury away in my mind.

    In regards to the children, I have got a solicitor and the court proceedings have been arranged, there’s not much more I can do, as I keep asking to see the girls, but I can’t be too forceful (the advice I’ve been given) and so it’s a bit of a waiting game and taking any scraps I get given for now.

    I just hate the thought of her having a new partner who will potentially become a new father figure to my children. She seems so desperate suddenly to meet someone and seems desperate for sex, which she has never been bothered about before, even when we were at our best times, I just don’t understand the sudden change in her attitude ever since she left.  I feel like she used me to have children, as it was after our second was born that she changed her attitude towards me.  I felt secure and stable in our family life, with the children running around and even though we weren’t getting on very well, my wife being here aswell, everything seemed so.. normal. But now it’s all gone and I can’t get used to the empty home, knowing that my wife is sleeping with other men and my children aren’t with me. Everything that I love has gone and it’s breaking me!

    #43890 Report


    The thing that I don’t get, is how she has changed completely all of a sudden. She used to be quite a shy, nervous girl (she’s always had mental health issues which have been quite bad at times, and her anxiety has always been an issue, to the point where she couldn’t answer a telephone, talk to a stranger or even step foot outside). So she has gone from that, to the complete opposite. She’s always said how she hates people who sleep around and hates it even more when mum’s go around meeting different men.  She’s still on dating sites constantly. She is honestly a totally different person to the quiet, respectful (well, in the past!), Family oriented person that I have always known her to be, and now suddenly seems desperate for sex and meeting multiple men. Why the sudden change?? Yes I’m jealous, I won’t hide the fact, even though we haven’t got close for two years, but it really does hurt. We are still married, she’s my wife, why couldn’t she give me the attention that she’s giving these other men? I keep thinking of our good times together, albeit years ago, and wondering where it all went wrong. For a while, my life was perfect, everything that I’ve ever dreamed of (having a loving wife and children) had come true and I was set for life. Now my wife is sleeping with other men, my children have gone and it’s going to take months to get them back, and I’m home alone, lonely and can’t see any way of life improving!!

    #43916 Report


    Hi Brokenman

    I am experiencing a very similar situation. Main difference is I’ve been left with 2 young children. She has moved in with her affair partner and I have good evidence from online orders that the relationship involves toys, lingerie etc. Throughout over 15 years she never showed any interest in this stuff and actually, like you say, was never particularly obsessed with the physical side of the relationship. Of course we had our moments pre-kids but I felt we knew each other inside out and that wasn’t a big thing.

    All I can suggest, is that it’s another feature of the escapism. My soon to be ex wife was finding various aspects of life hard. Some of them completely understandable and not her own fault, others we should have both spotted years back and done something about. But we didn’t and that’s that. I cannot ever excuse her actions over past 6 months of an affair but looking at the context in which it happened, she found an escape. Something exciting that released a chemical hit we hadn’t had together for years. The sex stuff I think is all part of that false reality. And it is false. Life isn’t like the story books she and I read as a child. There’s times when it is just incredibly tough and hard work. Demanding little people and dying old people, plus challenging employment situations puts a strain on you and your relationship.

    She’d had enough. And I believe we all have things we fall back on when down. Some good and healthy, others bad and destructive. I believe some people have a vulnerability to this type of escape – new romantic relationships. Others, like me, start smoking again or whatever your vice is.

    Hope to hear from you again. I’m 6 weeks into this and tonight can’t sleep and browsing this forum came across your story.

    I believe at some point your wife will hit a point and realise what she’s done. But like me, I’d expect it’s all too late because of the destruction it’s left. But at least you’ll see it was all a big escape from her unhappiness.


    #43917 Report


    Thanks for your reply lonelydad2boys. It’s getting silly now, I’m literally sitting here, at 2:10am thinking. I can’t help but constantly thinking about it. She used to be asleep by 10, but nowadays she’s up till 4am most nights, she really is a new person. I really hope she is just going through a phase. We didn’t even have sex on our honeymoon! So she’s gone from that, to what she’s doing now. Admittedly she did say a few weeks ago about how we had drifted apart and about how we never even had sex etc, but the fact she told me two years ago to sleep on the sofa told me that she wasn’t into me, so it’s not all my fault. Whenever I tried cuddling her, she would push me away, if I put my hand on her she would tell me to get off her, so how could I ever expect to make moves on her sexually?! It’s like our whole relationship was a complete lie and the person I married isn’t who I thought she was. She used to moan about people who acted the way she is now and used to say that she’d hate to ever be like them (sleeping around, putting sex above anything else, diving into bed with someone as soon as the relationship end etc). I just don’t understand what she’s doing and why she’s doing it. The girl I married was a quiet, respectful, loyal girl who respected herself and others, was kind, caring and the complete opposite of desperate. But now, she is the total opposite. I admit to being incredibly jealous, as what she’s doing with all these other people, she should be doing with me. That should be our life, not hers and other men. She’s still my wife for now. When I asked her to marry me, I wanted her for life. When we said our vows, I meant them for life. And now, just three years later, she’s sleeping with other men, Galen our children and I’m stuck at home alone, getting more and more depressed and upset, while she is getting happier, more confident, more fun and having the best time of her life. I can’t see things improving, and can only see her getting more outgoing and I’m going to have to live my life seeing her get stronger and happier while she’s seeing other people. Why did she push me aside and wait two years, and now suddenly she leaves and is all over these new men? I keep trying to think of a specific moment which could have started all this, I’ll admit I’ve not been the perfect husband and have made mistakes, we all do, but if there’s just one thing that I’ve ever done which has made our life turn upside down like this, then I’ll never forgive myself. I really can’t bare the thought of her being with someone else, my children being around them like he’s their new dad and I’m all alone forever watching from the sides. It’s terrifying me. It’s almost like I feel ashamed to be alone while she’s with someone new. Like she’s laughing at me while she’s having her best life and I’m just broken. I never imagined being single again, family life is all I’ve ever dreamt of, and ever since I’ve known her, I always wanted my life to be with her and our children. How can I ever move on from this, like she clearly has? Some people have told me that they think she’ll act the way she is for 3/4 months and then crash and her mental health issues will come back to the fore. Plus she was so dominant in the relationship, controlling me in nearly all aspects of life and her mother was the same with me, so I can’t actually see many other blokes sticking around once those traits start to reappear, which I’m sure they will at some point!

    #43918 Report


    Again it sounds similar to my situation. A new personality almost. A couple of people have said to me that she’s having a crisis (were early 40s, so ‘midlife’ fits).

    Thinking about what our wives are upto is a natural reaction but it’s really not a healthy one. We have to move on and focus on making ourselves better people. I really do feel for you because at least with my 2 boys asleep in the bedroom next door I know they’ve got the best role model around them and I get strength from that. It sounds like you’ve done the right thing and got the courts involved. You’re going to have to sit tight until then and keep your cool. Something I’ve been struggling with is the overwhelming feeling of wanting to get revenge and hurt them. But that’s again an unhealthy knee jerk reaction. Much better to play the long game and you will end up being the better person. Feels hard right now though doesn’t it! Also, I take comfort from knowing my boys will eventually discover her for the person she is. They will make their own judgements about her and they will remember who stayed calm and respectful throughout this whole ordeal. I’m sure you will find the same.



    #43919 Report


    To be clear: I mean get revenge on wife and her new partner!

    #43920 Report


    “I’m stuck at home alone, getting more and more depressed and upset, while she is getting happier, more confident, more fun and having the best time of her life.”


    I completely get the bit about feeling stuck. In my situ with the kids always here, that feels true. I have no way of building new friendships and getting out to do adult things.  But on the second but of that paragraph,  you’ve got to change your thinking on this. She’s not living in reality. She won’t be happy or confident or having best time of her life. I bet you she’s actually in a complete mess. You can be the person to REALLY become more confident and happy, with proper foundations not the shaky ones she’s building her new future on. That’s likely not to last and will lead her to more pain.


    You (and I) can rise above all that s***. It’s early days but we can get ourselves truly healthier and stronger. I need to get out and exercise more. I need to quit smoking which I’ve started since she left. I need to look for positive people out there who can help build me back to the strong person I was.

    And please please please, don’t blame yourself for the romantic stuff being neglected. There’s loads of things that might have contributed to that (in our case some really bad bereavements over successive years and very little help with the kids, demanding jobs… fact is we became very run down. That too has a big effect on libido and how a couple manage each other’s libido). But none of that excuses someone breaking up a family without at least being open in discussion first and trying to understand the reasons for the relationship being weakened. Without that it shows a complete lack of respect for you and your kids.

    #43924 Report


    I literally laid awake all night pretty much, just thinking about what she was probably getting upto.  The fact that she has changed so much, as I’ve said, is really getting to me. I’m scared that this new person she has become will be here to stay and that she will fall madly in love with one of the new blokes she’s talking (and more) with, and that they will spend their lives together. Why is that such a bad thought in my mind? It shouldn’t affect me, but I really don’t want that to happen! I hope you and others are right when they’ve said that her current behaviour won’t last and she’ll come crashing down, I mean, are many blokes going to want her when she’s going through all this baggage with court cases etc?? I think that’d put me off if I met someone and she was in the process of court cases and solicitors regarding her children and their father?! But even if she was single and not seeing someone (which isn’t the case, mind), it still feels odd how she has bought all this stuff. When she was living here, for the two years of me being on the sofa, she never even “satisfied” herself (she went to bed in the room next door to the living room and the door was always open so I’d have seen/heard) so why, after all this time, is she now suddenly in that kind of mood?! It’s got to be my fault and I’ve got to be the reason why it all broke down and fell apart. I (in a non healthy and jealous way, I know) want her to feel this pain that I’m feeling, and the only way that will happen, is if her current state of mind does shift again and she comes hurtling back down!

    #43925 Report


    I understand your pain. However, I think you’ve got to change the way you’re thinking. It will do you no good to obsess over her and what she’s upto. Your only option is to allow her to follow the path she’s taken. You can’t control that so you are wasting effort and getting dragged down by stuff out of your control.


    Having said that, I know how tough it is. If I let my mind wander down that path then not only do I sit in the evenings feeling very lonely but I also think about the fun my wife is having in front of a film or in bed with her new man. BUT then I remind myself of a few things – it’s childish and selfish satisfaction over taking care and love for her real family, it’s still in a honeymoon stage and likely to end, she is in the wrong not me. You have to tell yourself those things and stop your mind spiralling down a negative tunnel of useless thoughts.

    I think your title of the thread is a good example. It should be “She has tried to destroy me but I will be stronger than her”.. or something along those lines.

    best of luck

    #43934 Report


    I’ve been at work for the past four hours (now on lunch break) and I’ve barely done anything that I’ve been asked to do. I honestly just keep thinking about her and trying to understand what she’s doing and why. I’m diabetic and haven’t even had anything to eat since yesterday morning as I’m just feeling so down. Before I saw these things, I was starting to do a tiny bit better in myself (it’s always hurt knowing she’s moved on so easily, but I wasn’t feeling as low) but seeing the big toys etc has just put me right down to how I was when she first left (let’s say I was not in a good place then). I’m feeling like this, and I can’t snap out of it. Everything has changed with her, and I keep asking myself why she was never like that with me in our years together but now she’s away from me, she’s a completely different person. It’s really ripping me apart!

    #43938 Report


    How did you find out about those sex toys? However it was you need to remove. For example, I was finding out details on Facebook and twitter etc so I’ve temporarily deactivated all those accounts.

    You have to take back control using the things that you can control.

    Also, it sounds like you need to focus on your own health. Sorry to hear about your eating, especially given your diabetes. If you’re going to fight this situation then you need to be strong. That doesn’t need to happen overnight. Just start to do little things that you know you should. Bit by bit find strength.

    Have you tried writing down all of your thoughts? If you start spiralling into negative thoughts about what your missus is upto or about family or whatever, just write down everything that you are thinking. I’ve put an app on my phone and have been doing this since August when I was told about the affair. It really does help.

    Main thing – start repairing YOURSELF and stop thinking about that woman!

    #43942 Report


    Just read your original post again and notice you say the toys were in a bag in the living room of her mums house. Obviously I don’t know if you went looking for them or whether they were on display but I think you can quite rightly tell her that she had crossed a boundary. Her choice if she wishes to engage in that sort of activity (don’t tell her not to) but put down a firm boundary that they must be kept out of sight of children and you.


    Having to see the children at that house is another issue and I know you’re getting legal advice on that. But the danger is you are likely to see things belonging to her new life. You need a more neutral place for time spent with the kids. Could you suggest a certain room or spaces in the house that would be kept neutral and appropriate for your time there, together with spaces that you don’t use where she can keep her stuff private? I dunno … just thinking out loud here and trying to find ways of managing the s*** sandwich you’ve been served! Obviously this all depends on both parties being fair and respectful to each other. That might be a problem in her case but at least give her the chance I suppose.

    #43943 Report


    I think you’re obsessing over her and if it continues you’re going to end up doing something stupid.  I agree with what has been said about distancing yourself from her through social media etc you’re making yourself ill.

    To be blunt what she gets up to is no longer any concern of yours she can be servicing a football team with her sex toys if she wishes as long as it has no impact on the children.  As someone who has been constantly harassed by her ex husband to the point if i go out and any of his friends see me they are straight on the phone to him and he appears as well as messaging me on dating sites etc because of his obsession with me you need to try to stop playing things over in your head.

    Maybe seeing a councillor could help it was very helpful for me, i also keep a diary on my phone and have found this helpful to stop me making snap decisions because it getting it written down gives me time to think about how i’m feeling.

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