Ask Cindy: I Am Lost Without Him

I was wondering if you could help me. I think I was in an emotional abusive relationship which ended a year and a half ago. It was not my choice, he cheated and within a few months moved in with the other woman. Now they are expecting a baby. We have 3 kids. I feel like he is a drug. I am heartbroken over all this and I am unable to move on. I am only 30 but we have been together since we were 15. He was my first for everything and I am lost without him.  ~Amanda from the UK

It can be extremely difficult to let go of a man that you have been with for half of your life. You were just a babe yourself when you met him. You grew up with him, and naturally thought the two of you would live happily ever after.

You stated you “think” you were in an emotionally abusive relationship. This tells me that there were problems in your marriage. Perhaps he expected too much of you or did not value your opinion. This could have all started when you were 15, in love and very eager to please him.

You have never been given a chance to discover who you are without him. This is probably the biggest reason why you feel like he is a drug and that you are lost without him. Don’t be too hard on yourself over this. Accept the fact that you still love him and wish things had been different, while accepting that he has moved on to another chapter in his life. It’s time for you to start writing your next chapter, rather than rereading the last while trying to rewrite the past.

You may want to try the following steps:

1. Write a long heartfelt good-bye letter to him. List all of your hopes and dreams for your future together as well. You may want to write that you feel betrayed, are sad and/or angry. Put this letter and a picture of the two of you in a box. Seal the box and then either burn or bury it. Have a funeral, releasing him and your marriage. This is a time for you to say good-bye.

2. Imagine your life one year from now without him in the picture. Write down how you want your life to look like. How happy will you be? What activities will you be enjoying?  Where are you living? Where are you working? Whats your relationship with your children? How many friends do you have? etc. This is your perfect life, how you want it to be - how you want to feel and show up in the world. Read this story to yourself every day.

3. Begin a gratitude journal, and list five things you are grateful for each day.

4. Create a list of any and everything that you would like to experience, such as new foods, a trip to the zoo, jumping out of a plane etc. Your goal is to have a minimum of 100 exciting things you would like to do. Now, choose one to do each week. This may require you to step through your fears.

5. Join some clubs or sporting activities in your area where you can mingle and meet other people of both sexes. This will widen your horizon of what the world is all about.

6. Find a charity and start volunteering for them. You can volunteer once a week or once a month. The act of gives you a high and helps to build your self esteem.

7. Write a list of why you are your best friend. What is all of your good qualities?

Practicing the above steps will help you to gain confidence, see a different perspective of the world, and realize that you are a beautiful, strong woman who deserves to have love and happiness in your life.
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  1. judith Chester says

    Hi Cindy! This is Judy who moved to SC. I have made many friends, I keep busy, but still having bad feelings about my divorce. I visited up north where my ex lives a few weeks ago. I visited him (and my dog which I left behind), I knew his new girlfriend would be there. I decided I should face her. I was unable to have a conversation with her and focused mainly on the dog. My husbaned offered me a hug and hugged him briefly and walked away. Luckily both my daughters were there for moral support. I just don’t like the girlfriend being in the family, talking to my daughters and visiting my grandchildren with my ex. I’m getting all upset just typing this. I get angry and make “snarky” (my new favorite word) remarks about them. I feel like I just don’t want to see the ex and gf ever! My recovery progress has been slow.

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