Grief and the loss of a relationship - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 16 Old 05-16-2007, 05:54 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi mamas,
This is more of a vent and just to process stuff, but if you feel like responding that would be greatly appreciated. I am having a really hard time going through this break up, much harder than I expected. G and I have had a very rocky relationship for seven years now, and truth be told he was a total butthead to me and my older son that vast majority of the time. He is downright mean and critical and verbally abusive when I try to defend myself or my son. So why am I having such a hard time with this? You ( and I ) would think I would be glad we are done, that I don't have to live with him anymore and put up with his abuse and cr*p 24/7. But everytime I think about moving out ( I finally found an apartment, we move June 8) my stomach does flip flops and I feel so dang sad. On an intellectual level I understand that all endings carry grief with them, but I guess given the circumstances my feelings just don't make sense.
I guess maybe part of this is seeing a second significant relationship fail. Part of me wants so bad to hate him for everything he's done, but then the other part of me realizes that I allowed it. I taught him how to treat me and the kids. I am the common denominator in these failed relationships and I am the one that keeps picking total losers to have relationships with. It's just so frigging hard. There are so many mamas here who seem like they have it so together and they are so strong. I want that, but I have no idea how to get that. And then I come back again to feeling really sad that someone who doesn't love me and treats me like cr*p doesn't want me anymore, and that hurts. Thanks for listening.

Namaste,

Michelle

M : proud mama to B (16) : and G (8) and : x 2 :
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#2 of 16 Old 05-16-2007, 06:20 PM
 
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What you are going through is totally normal. It happens to us all. We grieve for what could have been, not necessarily the relationship you were dealt. You will be able to work through it. It is hard. I won't lie.

I think it is normal to wish things were different. Even to long for the other persons sometimes, but allow your mind to also counter that longing for the fantasy with images of what the reality was like. That is how I remain sane. I know that the person I loved is long gone and I was in a relationship with a totally different person.

to you. You'll be able to sort it all out, mama. It just takes a lot of self-hugging and group hugs and we can each make it out.

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#3 of 16 Old 05-16-2007, 07:16 PM
 
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I agree with BMJ.

You are not likely grieving the relationship as much as you may be grieving the loss of that under-one-roof family, the dream of the happily ever after, and the idea that what you thought you'd have is no longer exists. It took me about 8 months to accept our relationship was over and see that it was really better that way. But it took me about 2 more years to get over feeling guilty and grieving the loss of that 'perfect family unit'.

It is also normal to feel hesitant and reluctant to make major changes, like moving, leaving a scenario we are comfortable in and entering a new one we are not familiar with at all.

Feel what you need to feel. Allow it. The only way to get through it is to go through it. Everything gets easier with time. And when you are living in your own space and feel the serenity and peace, it will be much easier than it is now.
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#4 of 16 Old 05-16-2007, 07:17 PM
 
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Hi wytchywoman,

This makes total sense to me, too.

Just because someone hurts us, doesn't mean we get to skip the grieving stage. I think that it is grieving the dream. Until we stop putting up the crap, we're holding onto the dream; when we stop, we have to let go of the dream, too, and accept that it will never happen as we'd hoped. As well as the genuinely good parts about being in the relationship with that person.

Also, I see a lot of blame here:


Quote:
Originally Posted by wytchywoman View Post
Part of me wants so bad to hate him for everything he's done, but then the other part of me realizes that I allowed it. I taught him how to treat me and the kids. I am the common denominator in these failed relationships and I am the one that keeps picking total losers to have relationships with.
I think that ultimately, when we have gotten through the raw stages, it becomes empowering to look at where our responsibility lay in picking the person and putting up with the crap and ignoring the red flags. But the point of that is to see old habits that no longer serve us, and to learn to choose better ones. And hopefully better mates. Please be careful not to turn this exercises into a beating yourself up, "I must deserve this," or "I did this to myself," thing. Ultimately both you and he were doing the best you could with your current level of maturity/spriritual growth, and that just is what it is. How could you do any better at the time? Where you go from here is all that matters. I guess what I am saying is, don't get into self-blame and shame.

You will learn what you need to about this relationship when you are ready, and the kinder you are to yourself, the better the lessons will stick.

I still have those butterflies (he moved out five months ago). Like you, I'm stepping out into a whole new life, one that is not yet defined, and I feel a lot of grief and fear some days. You talk about the strong mamas. The courage comes from taking it one day at a time, and being self-caring, and seeing that we are indeed making it one day at a time.

Hang in there.
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#5 of 16 Old 05-17-2007, 11:43 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you ladies, for your kind words. I guess somehow I just thought this time around I could simply be angry and skip the whole sadness thing.
I understand what you say about not engaging in self-blame, and I am trying really hard not to do that, but I have made some really, really poor choices when it comes to relationships in the past. I get lonely and feel unloved, and then I get desperate, and then I start letting of this scent that attracts mean people and weirdos from miles around ( seriously, you would be amazed at how this takes place, I either send some vibe out to the universe or I really DO let off a scent). I really need to find a way to be be not lonely and feel loved on my own. And I have absolutely no idea how to do that.
But I guess that's part of life. Thanks again for your encouragement.

Namaste,

Michelle

M : proud mama to B (16) : and G (8) and : x 2 :
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#6 of 16 Old 05-17-2007, 12:31 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wytchywoman View Post
I really need to find a way to be be not lonely and feel loved on my own. And I have absolutely no idea how to do that.
But I guess that's part of life.
It comes from within. You learn what you like and love about yourself. You enjoy your own company, you learn what interests you and live your life nurturing those interests.

It does come. But you need to heal from this relationship before you will be free to move forward and really find yourself.
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#7 of 16 Old 05-17-2007, 12:53 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wytchywoman View Post
I really need to find a way to be be not lonely and feel loved on my own. And I have absolutely no idea how to do that.
But I guess that's part of life. Thanks again for your encouragement.
michelle you are already on ur way. u have already taken the first step. the biggest step of all. the realisation. u'd be so surprised something as simple as finding ways to love oneself is something many people go thru life not knowing it. i keep getting asked but how do u love yourself. there is a great book called the artist's way by julia cameron that showed me the way. perhpas it can guide you too.

yes you need to heal from your broken dream. but you know the wonder of it all. at least that's what happened to me. is u start saying wtf. why is it all aobut everyone else and not about me. and as i started payign more attention to me one day i woke up and found i was healed. i didnt realise i was healed.

that doesnt mean the next relationship is going to be a great one THE one. no there are going to be tests and huge growth opportunities. after my breakup i have gone thru two heartbreaking relationships. but u know what i grew exponentially. and as i sat back and looked at those relationships i realised they werent THE one. they were there to challenge me. to show me the way. the last one just taught me soooo much about myself. it taught me how to let the past go. it showed mewhat my past was that i was holding on to. and so i break forth even more and discover my talents. when friends pass some compliments and i take them seriously.

i know your heart is breaking but i welcome you on this journey. i am doing a huge dance for you becuase you will know the bottom of your pain but mostly u will reach the pinnacle of your joy. i tell you if i had to do this again i would not change a thing - because the happiness i have found with myself surpasses anything i have with any man in my life. its different you know.

adn i realised one big important point. i am not afraid of failure. i am absolutely paralysed at the thought of finding out how really powerful i really am. which is why i keep setting myself for failure coz that is a comfortable known place to be in.

like i said. my 9 year relationship was the worst thign i ever did and yet it is the biggest blessing of my life. even bigger than the child it created.

i salute you on your path. it is the best roller coaster of your life.

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#8 of 16 Old 05-17-2007, 02:08 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks again ladies. Meemee, I work at Barnes and Noble and have seen The Artist's Way many times. I will have to take a look at it for sure. I am also thinking that with a huge self improvement section that we have there, surely there has to be something there to help me improve my plummeting self esteem. Plus I get it all with a discount. Thanks again for all your advice. It really does help.

Namaste,

Michelle

M : proud mama to B (16) : and G (8) and : x 2 :
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#9 of 16 Old 05-17-2007, 02:34 PM
 
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i am still grieving the loss of my marriage .............and that was 3 years ago. i still cry. i still am sad.
it is really hard. it doesn't seem to get easier.
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#10 of 16 Old 05-17-2007, 03:49 PM
 
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I think we're sisters!!!!! I am also grieving the loss of what could have been. I think I have moved past the stage of crying at my desk at work, but we haven't started the paperwork yet. : Ultimately, I know what I am worth and I am not willing to sacrifice it for the "maybe's" that I am promised. I'd rather be alone and have a ton of friends than rely on a relationship that is disfunctional. I started reading the book "How to improve your marriage without talking about it" (I know - long title). It's actually quite good. I don't want to stay in the marriage I'm in now, but it's definitely an eye opener about how I can improve myself for a good man in the future. I know he's out there. I've seen him. And, I can pull myself together, and wait. ;-)

Brightest blessings!

Now: Mama of 2! Worker Bee happily married to my DH, motorcycle riding mama to H 8/99 and K 8/09.
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#11 of 16 Old 05-17-2007, 11:07 PM
 
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It really is a process. New things hit me--this week I realized that the wedding dress I have saved will probably never be worn by anyone else. I probably won't pass my wedding band on to anyone...

I love The Artist's Way. Great book!

What has helped me:

Therapy
Allowing myself to feel what I feel
Journaling!
Reiki sessions
Massage
Eating good food
Taking candlelit baths
Reconnecting with nature--going hiking
Coloring mandalas
Listening to music
Pursuing my interests
Learning new things--I just learned how to grill. A small thing but really exciting to me.
Going to the gym
Dancing! and going to see bands (hadn't done in years)
Getting excited about new possibilities
Dating (kissing someone new, sex with someone new!)
Training for a new career that I am passionate about

Really it comes down to nurturing myself. That is what my focus is on. ME.
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#12 of 16 Old 05-18-2007, 05:43 AM
 
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oh jannan i am so sorry that you still cry.

u know michelle i just read what maybe 3 or 4 chapters of teh artists way. u dont have to read the whole book. i got the idea for myself and then i came up with things i wanted to do and tried anythign new that came my way. if my heart responded i went for it even though my mind kept saying that is so impractical.

another book really helped me with my self esteem issues. i have a lot of issues from childhood (the sad part i discovered that is the norm) and john bradshaw's Homecoming: Reclaiming and Championing Your Inner Child. again i didnt read the whole book. i did as much was important for me. i did all the exercises and it was hard but it made me realise a lot of stuff.

i would say if anything leaps out at you go for it. i have read a lot and find asking for a booklist is hit or miss. i have had recommended books that i hated, found totally unintereisting yet loved the others. so devour whatever you can lay your hands on. sometimes its just a couple of lines from a book. but the doors that thougth opened up in you was well worth the effort.

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#13 of 16 Old 05-18-2007, 05:51 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wytchywoman View Post
Thanks again ladies. Meemee, I work at Barnes and Noble and have seen The Artist's Way many times. I will have to take a look at it for sure. I am also thinking that with a huge self improvement section that we have there, surely there has to be something there to help me improve my plummeting self esteem. Plus I get it all with a discount. Thanks again for all your advice. It really does help.

Namaste,

Michelle

That is a wonderful book, it's a therapy session and self esteem builder in every sentence. Easy, sensible, clear, simple. It'll help you clear up your part bs and create a new scene.

Good luck. Change is hard, even if it's ALL GOOD. Most folks, you may notice, choose to stay the same for just that reason: it's hard.

"The Universe rewards action."

VF
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#14 of 16 Old 05-18-2007, 02:08 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks again meemee, VF, Oh, the Irony, mama of 1 and jannan,
I work tonight so I will definitely check out the artist's way. If it is this highly recommended it has to be good. Jannan and mama of 1 I am sorry you are having a hard time too. I hope we all find the end of our rainbows soon!!!

Of the Irony,I had to giggle a little at when you said kissing and having sex with someone new, only because that is on my list too. The sex we had over the last six months was totally horrible!!! So I too am looking forward to being with someone who I can have some enjoyable intimacy with. I really liked the rest of your list too, I feel like I have spent so much time trying to please him and save a dead relationship that I completely lost who I am in the process. So this will definitely be an interesting journey to discover who I am now and who I am becoming. Thanks again mamas!!!!

Namaste,

Michelle

M : proud mama to B (16) : and G (8) and : x 2 :
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#15 of 16 Old 05-19-2007, 10:49 AM
 
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just wanted to say what a great thread..I have been going through all the stages of grief as well..and it helps to know that i'm not alone and i'm not the only person who is going through this. thank you.

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#16 of 16 Old 05-19-2007, 08:48 PM
 
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Of the Irony,I had to giggle a little at when you said kissing and having sex with someone new, only because that is on my list too. The sex we had over the last six months was totally horrible!!! So I too am looking forward to being with someone who I can have some enjoyable intimacy with.
well, my experience with this has been totally fab.

when you do your work and are able to feel happiness and joy within yourself you can attract something quite amazing.
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