My Heart is Broken, What next?

(I am drunk on homemade wine, otherwise i would not be posing this.)

My wife of fifteen years has (in a phone call to Panama) told me she wants to end our relationship. Well, I guess you cannot make someone love you. I respect her and I respect her decision. I will not make it more difficult for her than it already is.

She is under a lot of pressure, her Dad is ill with Altzimer’s (I would spell it right, but I am drunk) Disease and is cursed with longevity. She faces many more years of being locked in taking care of him as is required by her (Central American) culture.

I am here, and will remain here for years to come. It is, as I said, tough for her. The business with my possible son (see my ‘So, I have a Son’ series) was also stressful foe all concerned.

Now my heart is broken; and I fear it will never heal. I am still, two weeks after The Call, numb. I feel as though I have been slapped in the face with a fresh halibut. It is no fun.

I listen to Country & Western music and I understand it. That is not good.

I am a pigheaded man. I have the tenacity of a terrier, but with a bit more determination. I feel as though I want to freeze my life at this point and go to my grave loving only Her. (I mean going to my grave at a ripe old age, not to worry folks.)

I have been listening to ‘He Stopped Loving Her Today’ and could see me carrying this torch for the rest of my life. Half out of love, half out of spite. ("I’ll show her, I will never move on.’)

I am staring forty-six in the face next week, and I would like to call it a mid-life crises, but cannot as I see so few ninety-two year-olds. My hydraulics are shot (I am a man, think it over, hydraulics…) due to a number of reasons. I doubt I will ever find another love.

So is this it? Will I retire to Mexico (instead of Panama) a very rich, bitter old man? Will my heart ever mend?

(I am, as I said, quite drunk, at 18.30 my time. I think an early bedtime is called for. I will check on this thread latter. Thank you for letting me sob in a most unmanly way.) :frowning:

Paul - I emapthize with you. I am sorry for your prospective loss. I implore you not to find solice in a bottle, and to work your feelings out in your mind as best you can.
Again I feel for you, you seem to be a good man…stay safe.

Paul, I am sorry to hear this news. I am sure it came as a kick in the groin when you least expected.

You have proven yourself a stand up guy here many times over and the hardest part is the second half of the phrase, “Letting Go.” You will move on,when you are ready. Your wife is under considerable pressure and you are so far away. It wouldn’t be any easier to take this news if you were sitting across the kitchen table.

You need to drink, work your ass off, make loads of money, retire to Mexico and host Mexi-Dope Fests. We will take the bitterness out of your life and turn you down right cantankerous after a couple of days :slight_smile:

In the meantime, stop drinking cheap homemade wine. Have some standards, man.

I’ve known quite a few heart-broken people in my lifetime, and have had my heart broken in a serious way once or twice. I think I have enough experience with this to predict that yours will, indeed, heal.

Doe it give you any comfort at all to know that this made me grin?

Medical science is a wonderful thing; if I were you, I’d be talking to doctors. Not today, but sometime in the not-too-distant future.

This board is awash with broken heart stories, and all the advice seems to flow the same way: give yourself time to grieve; take care of yourself as best you can; only time will make you feel better. The reason all the advice sounds the same is that it’s good advice.

Here’s to hoping you don’t have too much of a hangover.

So sorry to hear what you’re going through. And you’ve been through so much else that stressful lately. Re: “hydraulics,” it’s possible to have a wonderful physical relationship without that part of it.

Man, I am SO sorry.

I kinda know where you are, but you’ve got so much history and shared times that I can only imagine the depth of the hurt you’ve got.

If I can offer some advice on what’s worked for me:

Drink. As much as you want. Because, honestly, sooner or later, you just cannot drink anymore and then you’ve got to pull yourself together.

Blame anyone but her. Blame the father, blame the culture, blame the disease, but don’t blame her- because all that will do is make you question your own judgment in choosing her and being with her, and the last thing you need is self-flagellation to go along with the shitty feelings you’ve already got.

Don’t force yourself into “happy” times- they’ll only make it worse and draw attention to why you aren’t. You need time to grieve, my brother, so take it.

When (and it happens, although you don’t want to hear it right now) the time comes that the pain is something you’re used to living with, get a brand-new hobby, no matter what it is- something uniquely yours and having nothing to do with your past situation. Gradually new things will open and your life will be subtly altered to the point where it’s no longer the existence she dominated, but something new, of which she was a part, but is no longer the focus.

Finally- don’t do anything stupid, like hurt yourself or others just becuase you’re feeling bad now. You’ll regret it later, and it will be a permanent reminder of something that, no matter how painful at present, will eventually pass.

Yeah, I’m no good at taking my own advice, but there it is. Be good to yourself. Go on living. Everything passes.

I remember that feeling when I sat there with my one year old son at my feet while my husband said that he just didn’t want to be married to me anymore. I also remember the feeling a few weeks out when I spent our company Thanksgiving lunch curled into the fetal position in the bathroom floor crying my eyes out at the mention of our company family night. Every time something new came up that I would no longer be able to attend or enjoy as the wife of this guy that I thought was a good and normal husband.
It got better. I didn’t wake up one day and not hurt - I just woke up one day and realized that I hadn’t been hurting as much lately. Eventually the pain dulled and finally went away completely. I still feel hurt over being left but I no longer love a man that doesn’t want me.
I remember the day I could no longer remember the color of my ex-husband’s eyes.

Rez has the right of it. It will take a long time to feel better. Some of the pain may always linger – it’s been 5 years and I still feel it some of the time. But there will come a time when you can look back and say, “I felt a lot worse back then.”

The fact that you’re stubborn will work both for you and against you. I’m betting you’ll be too stubborn to let go of the pain, but also too stubborn to let it get the best of you. I have a wee bit of experience on both sides of that coin. Don’t worry about what will come in the future just yet. Just focus on getting through today.

I’ll drink one with you in absentia tonight. Hope you like whiskey.

Like Rez said, it will dull away after a bit. From my experience, here’s what happened.

I thought about it every fucking single waking second
then I thought about it every second
then I thought about it every other second
then I thought about it once a minute
then I thought about it every other minute
then I thought about it every 5 minutes
then I thought about it every 10 minutes
then I thought about it every hour
then I thought about it every other hour
then I thought about it a few times a day
then a few times a week I’d think about it
then I’d realize I hadn’t thought about for awhile
then I met someone 1,000 times better

Don’t fool yourself, it takes months, and you’ll be miserable as hell, but you’ll make it, just hang in there, and good luck.

Old Brooklyn saying “I know where you’re at, 'cause I been where ya been” :slight_smile:

Fifteen years cannot, and will not, be undone and forgotten anytime soon, so here’s a little blues to help get you by.

Gonna sit right down in my easy chair
Pull out a deck of cards, play some solitaire
Break out a bottle, wash me a glass
To keep me company 'til the feelings pass
Everybody needs someting to do
Me, I’ll just sit here and think about you
It might seem hopeless, but it ain’t that bad yet
It’s just the blues as blues can get…

Delbert McClinton

Take care Paul.

Been there. It’s going to hurt like hell for quite some time, but you will able to move on after a month or two, and in some ways it’s a fresh start. Do you have the option of the Army getting you out of Panama? If you have no wife (assuming divorce completes) and no kid (per the other threads on that) there’s no point in staying in a place where the emotional pain level is so high.

Get out of town. Hell, go to Iraq. At least it’ll keep your mind occupied.

The other posters have done a great job, Paul - their words ring with the truth. I am sorry you are going through this and wish you strength through this time.

[black humor]

But boy - you sure are an articulate drunk…

[/black humor]

A lot of Dopers here have given you good advice and counsel. Especially the ones who have experienced this for themselves.

I have not gone through this pain, so I don’t have the personal experiences to empathize. But I sympathize. I could repeat cliches or aphorisms, but the honest and heartfelt support of the Dopers who offer their first-hand advice is far more valuable.

I can only tell you I’m thinking of you and wish you the best. Good luck.

I’m sorry, Paul. I don’t have much else to say except to repeat those who posted before me. But I wanted you to know you’re in my thoughts during this rough time.


I imagine that homemade wine is all you can get in Saudi Arabia.

Thank you Wordman. The spell-check helps a lot. Also I had sort of been reviewing my symptoms for a couple of days, that helps to organize the thoughts.

In any case, it is now Thursday morning here, which is like Saturday morning to you in normal countries. I am awake, un-hung-over and ready for a bike ride around out deaths trip (waiting carefully for full sunrise first). Good days always start with exercise.

Thank you all for the good advice, although we should not underrate the healing properties of simply letting it all out, as I did last night. Thank you for listening too.

In any case, life goes on as it must. There are some things you cannot do alone, some you cannot do with your wife. I suppose my upcoming trip to America will include some of the things I couldn’t do before. A change of scenery will do me some good too.

I will visit some old college friends and commiserate with them. Maybe take in some ball games. Guy stuff.

Anyway, time heals all wounds and the First Rule of Time is ‘Time takes time.’ Really not much to do but hold on, learn from the experience and let nature take its course.

OK, the sun is up, and i need to get some laps in.


I don’t know you as I am new to this site but I do want to share something with you. You sound like you are a very self-aware person; that you have a lot of insight and understanding of your feelings. You are lucky because as that makes you hurt more now, it will eventually help you heal. A therapist once told me that self-awareness is a double edged sword: you can either use it to hack your way out of the jungle or slit your throat. I am betting that you will hack your way out of the jungle. Sounds like you have a lot of friends here to help you do just that. Good luck.

Mitakayu Oyasin,

Been there, and hated it. And I’m your age, it’s even worse at this age. Much sympathy being sent your way.

I wish I could say more.

Depends on who made it … I think that drinking something you made yourself will fill you with the satisfaction of a job well done as well as get you wasted. But if the “home” where it was made was just some guy, then I would agree with you.


Sorry I didn’t see this sooner. I’m very sorry to hear about your distress and I wish you all the best.

You’re a good man. I’ve enjoyed corresponding with you about fraternal organizations.

If you can find some lodge buddies, let them help you through it. My friends in the Elks helped me immensely when my ex left me back in the late 80s.

Take good care of yourself, my friend. Words from the Elks seem appropriate at this point.

Passing along to you Brotherly Love - from an Elk to a Mason.