The Reality of ‘Better Off Alone

Alone on the Hill

When I discovered that my lover had a secret life, including another girlfriend he’d been hiding for eighteen months along with illegal activities, I immediately knew that the relationship had to end.

However, although Icould not forgive him for his deception, I also  wanted desperately to give him a chance to explain himself and make it all better. I wanted him to say to me,”She was nothing to me, you have always been the love of my life, ” and then, to swear to me that he would get the rest of his life cleaned up. (For me of course, for dumb, naive me.)

First, I sent him an email confronting him with what I’d found out, and he did not respond. Next, I called him on the phone. He did not pick up. I wrote him a couple of letters- stupid, long dramatic essays pleading with him to, in the tone of one of ‘our’ songs: ‘Remember what we’ve said, and done, and felt about each other, Oh Babe, have Mercy.” (Suite Judy Blue Eyes by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young.)

But I did not hear from him for over a month because in reality, he’d discarded me. His new woman had taken my place, and, he explained when we finally talked, he’d been wanting to break up with me for some time, . So it turned out that my discovery had been a convenient way for him to avoid dealing with ending the relationship with me.

Over time, through therapy, through writing, I had to admit that I was better off without him. I don’t want to be around the type of activities he is involved with.  During our last phone conversation, he said something like, “Well, listen, I’m never going to stop doing (illegal activity) and that would never have been OK with you.” It was like he was offering this explanation for the real reason that he’d started up a new relationship; for various reasons, she is a woman from whom it was easy for him to hide his secrets.

Of course it would have been better for me all around if he’d never showed again after an absence of eighteen years.  He turned back up in 2007  like the proverbial bad penny. (I’m sure that my departed mother, who always despised him, was rolling in her grave.)

The reality of being better off alone is that I’m lonely and bitter. I want to feel that there’s some reason for what happened and that I’m going to grow stronger from it, but frankly, I’m mostly miserable. Maybe he bewitched me with his narcissistic tricks  when we were teenagers and that is what stuck inside me, all those years, as what love really was.

To be truthful, I missed him all those years. No other man ever pleased me. They either bored me, or irritated me, or both, because they weren’t him. So then he came back with all his narcissistic web spinning wondrous words and wooed me to the top of the world and then lost interest in me and let me fall, with no safety net.

I fell and I fell and I fell. I’m on the ground now, finally. I don’t know when I landed. It’s been eighteen months since the day my life split into two and I found out about his other life. I’m dizzy, bruised and confused. Who did I used to be back in 2007? What happened to that woman?

Before I found out about his other life, I was a sexy, beautiful, loved, wanted woman. I was full of life and was living a fairy tale reunion with the long-lost love of my life. People were jealous of me! Of us! Isn’t that bizarre?

Today, I feel old, fat, tired, middle-aged. I can’t see how anyone would desire me. I have no interest in sex.

I think I wouldn’t feel so awful if I hadn’t been sick so much during the past eighteen months. The past two winters have been hell, health-wise. Right after discovering his betrayal, I began several months of upper respiratory illness highlighted by the onset of asthma, which I’d never had before. This past winter I’ve been ravaged by what has turned into chronic sinus infections. I haven’t felt ‘good’ and energetic since mid November.  And yes, I do blame my fall from the top of the world for all this illness. I have never been sick like this before in my life. This is not who I am. Before he came back into my life I was walking at least two miles a day. I have not walked all winter long. I am worn out. I am completely out of shape.

I know this is a hump that I have to get over  and I am trying as hard as I can. I am inspired by everyone who has also successfully crossed over this hump and moved into the rest their lives.



8 thoughts on “The Reality of ‘Better Off Alone

  1. It took me many years, but I have finally learned my lesson…all I find are the abusive ones, and each attempt is worse than the previous. I’m done being the proverbial lamb, and succumbing to the vulture. I’m tired of cowering because of someone’s rage. I’m especially tired of having to look over my shoulder, everywhere I go. No more for me! I’m happy being free :)…

  2. I disagree. That is wallowing in misery. Here is an alternative chant: “Suffering has no benefit. In any case, I have suffered more than enough. Joy is possible and I deserve it. I shall take actions directed towards pleasure and happiness. Step one is to schedule an appointment with a doctor for a thorough evaluation.”

    Action. Changing your mindset through willpower alone, is ineffective. Instead, take action to make real changes to your situation, to provide yourself with positive experiences, and you will see genuine change to your perspectives. This is what I believe.

    • Thank you for such a powerful alternative. Yes, you are right. It is wallowing in misery to choose to be alone. It is the response of a mind set frozen in distrust, fear, disappointment, etc.

      But I wonder, what are the next steps for those of us who have already scheduled an appointment with a doctor and therapist and have been evaluated, receiving treatment for health issues, both emotionally and physcially, yet have not moved closer towards joy?

      I am feeling mixed up because I was consciously taking steps towards joy and pleasure in my decision to reunited with my ex husband, and it turned out to be such a nightmare. So I feel tricked by my intuition and by the universe and don’t know how to trust myself anymore to make the right decision.

  3. Here are the things that have worked well for me so far:
    – I got a puppy to love, and to love me back. This is not a trivial investment in time or energy, or to be taken lightly. But it was right for me. I now have 2 wonderful, loving dogs in my life, and they fill the emptiness and aloneness with unconditional love, and joy and fun. And they demand work on my part, which is also good. It helps me focus on “now” and on “them’, instead of stay fixated on what “was”, and “me”.
    – Connecting with others (a larger support system), including co-worker friends, local friends, and family. When I connect with others, I feel SO much better than when I am alone for a couple of days, ruminating about what happened, and feeling alone! I am seeing that this one thing makes a HUGE difference, like night and day in how I feel about my life. So I am nurturing the connections I already have, and I am actively pursuing more connections with people who have offered friendship, who I like and admire. I am considering getting involved in an class or activity that will offer me more opportunities to connect with like-minded people, and develop more friendships (book club, yoga, art class, etc.)
    – Connecting with others I know who have gone through break-ups in their marriages, and in particular, infidelities. I never knew there were so many. Talk about an instant bond and rapor!
    – Doing things that I know bring me joy, like singing, dancing, getting outdoors in nature.
    For me, the emotional pain before my relationship broke up was so long and drawn out, that -when I am doing well- I feel relief and liberation to no longer have to endure that pain.

    • Good for you, Kelly!! I’m trying to reaffirm these same ideas, these days. I have done this in the past but in regular “grown up” life, finding time can be a bit challenging.

      “For me, the emotional pain before my relationship broke up was so long and drawn out, that -when I am doing well- I feel relief and liberation to no longer have to endure that pain.”…I do know how this feels! refreshing to read your comment 😀 Thanks

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