It's over.

I think that this may ramble a bit. Sorry. It’s also likely to look likea great exercise in wallowing in self-pity, but I don’t know what to do about that. If it’s not your cup of tea, please just close this thread and move on.

It’s over. More than six years together. Living together for nearly all of that time. I won’t go into the reasons, because I think that’s too personal, and she very occasionally posts here, and because I don’t think I can be fair and objective.

Needless to say, I feel destroyed. In pieces. The world seems a very desolate and lonely place right now. I’m sat in the same small flat, surrounded by reminders everywhere I turn. Clothes, make-up, photos (God, the photos everywhere), books, magazines, even the food in the fridge. I can’t begin to explain how fragmented I feel, how utterly without hope.

She’s coming over later to pick up some clothes. I wasn’t sure whether to be in or not, but I think I will be. I have things to get off my chest. I knew she wasn’t especially happy at the moment, and I was trying my hardest to make things better, but looking back it was already too late. I never guessed at how bad it was. I feel like I’ve been strung along; given false hope that we could fix things when it was already pointless. There’s a tiny part of me that hopes something is still salvageable, but I don’t think it’ll last beyond today. I wouldn’t treat a dog the way I feel I’ve been treated this week. I may deserve nothing else in life, but I didn’t deserve the way it ended.

(I should say, in case anyone is worried, that I’m not going to do anything stupid. That helps nobody. Seriously.)

I know people all over the world experience this all the time. Every relationship I’ve had before has ended ‘mutually’; this is a horrendous new experience for me. I’m twenty eight; I’m old enough to know you survive these things and life goes on. My friends and family have all lived through far worse things and gone on to happier lives. I just can’t see past the day-to-day emptiness, the absolute hopelessness of how I cope with each day. I had one hour’s sleep last night, with all of the lights on and TV news playing. I can’t bear it, sleeping in one half of an otherwise empty bed. I have no appetite, although I’m trying to force myself to eat. It’s just so quiet.

Maybe I shouldn’t be posting this - it is quite raw. I just need to be heard, and maybe if I can read this at some point in the future I’ll see how far I’ve come. I have good friends and family, who will be there for me. But they all live a distance from here, and can’t be there when my heart’s breaking at 2am. I could go and stay with them, but that won’t ease the pain or make coming back to this flat any more welcoming. I can’t move out for various reasons, before anyone suggests.

To those of you who’ve been through this, or worse, and survived: how do you cope with the day-to-day mundanities of life (a job you couldn’t stand even before, coping with living on your own, etc)?

To those of you who haven’t: look at your own relationship now. Could it be stronger? Could you both be happier? Don’t leave it too late. I really thought this was it, now and forever, and it hit me like a train.

Just be Joe Cool dude. No matter how hard it is, no matter how much you wanna go up to strangers and blab it all out - just be Joe Cool. That’s about all I can offer at a time like this. Best of luck son.

She’ll probably leave some things behind, not on purpose, but just stuff she missed the first time. Keep a box or two around, and when you come across her pens (the purple jelly kind that you wouldn’t DREAM of using) for instance, put them in the box. Even if she never picks up the box, you can keep it closed when you’re not actually filling it up, and you won’t have to look at her stuff.

Now is the time to start new good habits. If you’ve always promised yourself that you’d get more exercise, or learn Swahili, or take up tatting, start on it now. It’ll let you do something other than brood.

Just take it day by day, bit by bit. I’ve been through a marriage breaking up, and other break ups. The brokenhearted desolation doesn’t seem like it will ever end, but it will. Just hang in there.

Put away the pictures, and reminders of her that are around, somewhere you won’t have to go to regularly to get things. Put them away for now. Bring them out when the pain isn’t so sharp, when you can look at them and remember the good times, and see that you are recovering.

Strange suggestion to make, but it helped me. Can you tolerate pets? Or do you already have one? I found that cuddling the foundling waif of a kitten I rescued from the summer heat helped me to find a bit of perspective. A little living thing that loved me for who I was, that I could nuture. It helped keep me from tipping over the edge.

I also took the time to pamper myself a bit, buy satin and silk underthings instead of more cotton breifs. (They were on sale too, which helped me decide to buy them.) Nice smelling, somewhat more expensive shampoo and conditioner for my hair. Half and half cream for my coffee, and also some pecans to put in it. There are ways you could pamper yourself too, I’m sure.

Also, taking the time to go out among people, bringing a book to McDonald’s to eat instead of holing up in my tiny apartment helped too. I actually didn’t feel so alone because I got to have some interesting conversations, and also met some good friends that way. Do things to keep yourself connected to people, don’t pull clear inside yourself and shut yourself off from humanity, though it’s tempting. It won’t help you heal.

I don’t know what to tell you about your job. Hang on to it if you cannot easily get another one that is just as good if not better as far as pay and benefits etc. If you can get another job easily, go for it if it will help you. Though, the pain is inside you, and changing scene isn’t a permanent cure.

Focus on healing, and doing the things that will help ease your pain. Don’t blame yourself for this, it won’t help. Work hard not to do destructive things too, you do want to live and find happiness, even though you hurt now. “Fake it till you make it” if you have to. Sometimes this helps, if you are honest with yourself (privately if not publicly) about your feelings. Sometimes you have to act as though you have happiness to find it. So, act as though you do, go to the fair, and maybe you’ll find some laughter while there.

You actually will find, that day to day, you can find small bits of laughter and happiness. Don’t pass up a chance to laugh, to be silly with friends, to be happy. It’s part of healing.

Recognize, that the break up of a long term relationship is a type of mourning, and take appropriate steps to bring about healing for yourself. Cry if you need to, punch the crud out of a punching bag to let your frustrations out. Don’t bottle up your sadness, confusion and frustration. It won’t help you.

Take it day by day, and eventually you’ll look back, and find that even though you have a tender spot, (I still do.) you feel better about yourself, you no longer question yourself, and you can go on.

I hope I make sense to you, and that I’ve helped you to find your path. Keep us updated ok? I’ll be sending you good thoughts, and praying for your recovery from this.

I preview, I also agree with Lynn. She’s made some good suggestions. Doing things you’ve always said you wanted to try is a good way to find happiness, and will help take your mind off your pain.

Crusoe, I’ve been there. And I know how hard it is. When you’re in that funk, it looks like you’ll never get out.

THere’s a silly expression that ‘program’ folks use that’s actually quite true. “This, too, shall pass”. I just had to keep reminding myself that the intense pain I felt was temporary. That things would get better.

Some days, I had to remind myself a LOT.

But things do get better. The pain dulls, then becomes a memory. It just takes time, and not doing anything stupid to keep that pain alive.

There will come a time when you can look back at the relationship as something good AND look forward to new possibilities with optimism at the same time. You’ve learned some valuable things that you will be able to take with you into the next relationship, and you will be better for it. One day, you’ll even see the end of this relationship as a good thing. A nessesary thing that led you to the next experience.

Until then, just take it day by day, remembering that this, too, shall pass.

I was afraid this thread would be closed for not being a rant. I’m glad to see it wasn’t. Crusoe, don’t do anything crazy. Just hang in there and let time do its healing magic. Meantime, cry a lot. Emotional pressure needs to be vented.

Cheers all.

It’s hard. I’ve been through it, and I’ve seen others going through much worse.

Thinking back, I not really sure how I got through it. There was this pain that just wouldn’t go away. But gradually, it did go away. It’s not going to go away tomorrow, or next week. But it will.

I think you’re wrong about the day-to-day mundanities, though. Those are the things that force you to keep going.

Hang in there. :slight_smile:

Question: should I leave this open? Clearly I’m not in the most rational frame of mind I’ve ever been in (!) - is this thread a good idea, or should I ask for it to be locked and wait until my head is a little clearer before deciding how much I should share this?

IMHO, you should just read, and not post.

No I take that back. You want to talk about this. That’s OK.

Just try to avoid any specifics of what she said/did and what you said/did.

Talking about is good.

If you want to scream and curse, that’s OK too. You may want to do that here and not in your RL.

It’s all part of the process.

I don’t think there’s anything too embarassing or inappropriate written here, Crusoe. I think that this whole thread has the great potential to be very helpful, actually. Keep this thread open.

Keep this thread open. You need to see the words and thoughts of others who have been through similar experiences. It will help you stay balanced. Talk if you need to, but also listen and do what “strikes a chord” with you.

“Rationality” will return, give it time. Right now you need to remember which way is up, and which way is down.

Okay. I think I’ll do more reading than posting, though. I don’t want to end up bitter and resentful, because neither of us deserve that at all.

Crusoe, hie thee to the Silver Cross (of Londope fame) on Whitehall this evening. I’ll be there from 20:00 with the mob from news:// - and yes the name is misleading - and I’ll stand you a pint.

Remember to look for the tall guy with the pocket watch.

Warning! The last question may hurt. I will put it WAY down so you can avoid it. But at some point it may help you think of the break-up, if it lasts. It will sound insensitive, but it helped me.

Now, ditto almost everything everyone said. I dated a girl for 6 years and was absolutely devastated when she left. The heartbreak at the time I could only describe as when my mom died. I mean it hurt! I don’t know you personally, so I can’t presume to offer anything but general advice/condolences.

Also, I can see the idea of getting a pet. Please don’t yet. It seems a rational notion, but don’t take on responsibility of a living creature unless you’re ready to care for it. Too many pets die because people just aren’t in the mindframe to care for it. Depending on how you are (I said I don’t know you) there’s a slight chance you’ll resent the animal because it doesn’t make you feel better.

Now, my question was, after 6 years, was there a reason you hadn’t proposed? You were kinda vague. maybe that’s what did it? I hope the best for you, I really do. I know what it feels like. But take heart, it took me a few women and a number of years later, but I found my one and only wife. Yours is out there, too.

I just pray that came out as honest but not cold-hearted.

No, I didn’t take offence, don’t worry. I think there are reasons, but at the moment I don’t want to post too much about me or my life - I hope you understand.

A pet is a good idea, but completely impractical. I work away from home a lot, and it’s a very small (one room) rented flat with no garden. It wouldn’t be fair on any animal.

qts - thanks for the offer. I don’t know what I’m doing tonight; I think I may try and get some sleep.

Oh Matt, I’m sorry to hear that. I completely understand the overwhelming horribleness that is a break-up. Can’t sleep, can’t eat, feels like you’re being continually punched in the stomach. I know you know it rationally, but let me assure you that things will get better. They really will.

And my advice during this horrible time? Just keep breathing. There are things you can do to stop yourself going crazy - go out with friends, distract yourself with a book. But really, it’s just going to take a bit of time. You’ll find that gradually you’ll go an hour without thinking about it, then two hours, and so on.

Do things you couldn’t do while with her. Make food you like but she doesn’t. Reclaim the things you like and she didn’t. Do whatever you want to do.

When I went through my nasty break-up, I went to stay with a friend for a few days. Just to get me out of the flat we shared and have someone around that knew I was prone to bursting into tears at any moment. It helped a lot. Have you got someone you can go and kip with for a few days?

I’ll be in London not this weekend but the weekend after. If you’re up for it, we could go for a pint?