Public Forums | General | Mourning a Relationship



Amber Timothy
Champaign, IL, US

So I have a question. How long would you say it is acceptable to mourn a relationship? Right now I feel like I'm not only mourning the relationship but the way of life I used to have. My husband was the bright spot in my life for 16 years. No matter how many bad things were coming at me from my parents or work or school or even our daughter, he was the one thing that I had that was good. I no longer have that now. He recently told me that he is polyamorous and wants additional relationships. I am not polyamorous. He also had what I consider an inappropriate relationship with a girl he works with. He didn't physically cheat on me but he had feelings for her and had very inappropriate and suggestive conversations with her online.  I feel betrayed. I mean all of this after knowing each other for 16 years, married for 14 years, and having a 5 year old daughter. I just don't know how to get over all of this. 



The best I can offer with the small details you have given is to give it time. Gish knows that your heart will feel empty and vulnerable. This is a time to try to be strong. If you need to gather a support base around you then do that.

This happened to me in 2011. My ex and I had been married for thirteen months (for twelve of those she had been abusive to me in every way except killing me) when she told me she had made contact with a guy on the other side of the country. Given our relationship dynamic (whereby if I said anything I would often get hit etc) I didn't say anything. I had to for example listen to them making love calls to each other from the other side of a bachelor flat... anyway...

She left me - actually it'll be seven years ago on Thursday. The basis for my presumption of what you might be feeling is that I reached out to a girl just four days later. I had a conversation. It didn't go any further but I was wondering for months how to connect with her again. I talked about it in length on a forum here. A - ny - hoo...

All this time (between then and now -- fine, more precisely for four and a half years or so) I told myself that I couldn't get involved with anyone until I had worked through the issues myself - that I couldn't help fill another person if I was still broken as such. So number one is to give it time. Things will come right in time. If you are outgoing, put yourself out there but guard your heart.

I remember one day in 2014 when I was at Chantal's house and I received an abusive email from my ex. I was SHAKING  like a leaf for hours, despite being told that she wasn't there. It;s hard. It's good to have a best friend that knows what is going on and can encourage you. The actual thing I regret is never having told Chantal what was going on. But I was told by my ex that everything was my fault etc. 

To your question... it depends. You might find someone amazing who fills the void and can understand and support you emotionally within weeks (the person I came to know very well on HNET and I became close, and we are very good friends now). If you find that person soon, then  that's wonderful. If it takes time, it is because you are growing into the type of person that can both love and be loved. Don't worry if it takes a while. 

It has been seven years for me now, and while I am content alone, my heart does long for companionship. As it is, an amazing young lady that I met originally in 2003 that I have remained friends with all these years is now... well, we're friends... and we go out and do things together. In fact, I said to some people at my church that I should have known in 2004 where my heart belongs so... 

Enough about me. That's not the focus here... take your time. Especially if you've been hurt before, you will know that it is not worth it to make yourself vulnerable if you run the risk of being hurt again.

One more thing... and most important possibly... you said you are married. I would suggest only searching for relationship once the divorce (if you go that route) is finalised. Having a good friend to rely on for strength is fine, but searching for a new relationship should only be done if you are legally not bound.

I hope even a smidgeon of this can be helpful. And I'm sorry for what you are going through. I know it can't be easy. If you need to talk, PM me?



Katie Wanta
Orange, CT, US

There are a lot of different "calculations" out there for how long it should take for you to get over a relationship, but I think that everyone is different and needs to process things in their own way and on their own timeline.  16 years is a long time and there will certainly be an adjustment period while you figure out your new normal.


Amanda House
Garden Grove, California, US

I continue to mourn relationships that have past, and that were meaningful! As time passes that mourning has changed, evolved but its still there. I'm speaking about romantic and friendships. I don't think there is any time frame, or if you will ever be over it. I believe we just expand to accommodate new experiences and love. Just my two cents! <3

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