Nine years on, I'm still furious at my husband for leaving
I’ve been divorced for nine years (after being married for 32), but still feel raw and angry.
I had a lot of counselling in the first year to try to come to terms with my husband’s cruelty. He became infatuated with the mother of my 15-year-old daughter’s boyfriend.
She always made a pass at my husband whenever we went to their barbecues and her lovely husband used to walk out when he saw her flirting.
If only my younger daughter had never met that uncouth boy of hers, if only I'd stood up to the floozy -my life is full of 'if only'
To cut a long story short, my daughter broke up with her boyfriend, my husband took me on holiday to North Wales for three days, then when we got back told me in a cold voice: ‘Oh by the way, I’ve been to see a solicitor and we’re getting divorced.’
He left me two months later— he got himself a flat paid for by the council as he was not working by then.
I carried on in the matrimonial house for another year until he pushed me to sell it.
Got the divorce, and within four weeks he was ensconced with her, in their own house, with her enjoying his private pension which I went short for, to pay extra for our shared future.
I had really hoped that in the six months after him moving out he would regret it and come back.
We were not unhappy but he never made the first move for sex, and when I did he would run me down and refuse.
I have never forgiven my husband for the way he left after all those years.
To this day I hate him. I missed my eldest daughter’s wedding seven years ago because his floozy was going to be there and I couldn’t be sure I wouldn’t ruin the day.
I hate them with all my heart.
Since I know I cannot move on, do you think hypnotherapy would help me
My married daughter lost a baby last year and I assumed my ex would ring to see how I was — but I never heard from him.
Even though I have since had a relationship and live just eight miles away from him and his new woman, I still feel my anger is keeping me back from enjoying my life.
What can I do I never stopped loving him — so how can I move on He didn’t give me a chance to get over him properly, he fell out of love with me, so what happens to the broken-hearted
If only my younger daughter had never met that uncouth boy of hers, if only I’d stood up to the floozy — my life is full of ‘if only’.
Can you help me please I’m 63 and can’t go on like this much longer. My retirement was not supposed to be full of regrets.
Sometimes I wish I was dead, because what is there to live for
Your last sentence is a bleak, direct question and so I must answer it right away.
What is there to live for Two daughters with their lives before them, one of whom suffered a very sad loss last year.
Two daughters who need a mother to listen to them and encourage them in all they do — rather than a self-absorbed and bitter woman whose longer letter to me contained at least one unpleasant, painful detail about your husband’s health I wouldn’t have dreamt of printing.
Anyway, apart from the two young women you gave birth to — what about the unborn grandchildren
Not to mention the certain knowledge that the spring flowers will soon delight us, and the sun rises, and people are kind to each other, and you have the chance of other relationships (so glossed over in your letter) and there is, in fact, so much to live for.
I can’t help feeling exasperated with you when I think of all those reading this column who will either be enduring a terminal illness or terrible disability or watching a loved one suffer.
Ask of them what there is to live for — and they will surely tell you.
But you, Cate, are deliberately turning your back on the good and embracing all that’s bad. You are shutting your eyes to the light and peering angrily into the darkness.
You are choosing to hate. You even allowed your loathing of ‘the floozy’ to deprive you of going to your own daughter’s wedding and toasting her future happiness.
I can only imagine how hurt she was — and find it quite unbelievable that you could be so hopelessly lacking in control.
Don’t tell me you can’t help it. After nine years you ought to be able to work your way through it. And if you can’t, you do need help.
Hypnotherapy, cognitive behaviour therapy, counselling…yes, whatever — I feel you would benefit from some intervention. Anything to make you think.
For example, buy Breaking Up Blues by Denise Cullington (Routledge) and read her wise chapters ‘Letting go of hatred’ and ‘Facing your part’.
You have to realise that no marriage break-up is the fault of just one half of the couple. Acknowledging such painful truths can be profoundly healing.
HOW TO CONTACT BEL
Bel answers readers’ questions on emotional and relationship problems each week.
Write to Bel Mooney, Daily Mail, 2 Derry Street, London W8 5TT, or e-mail [email protected]
A pseudonym will be used if you wish.
Bel reads all letters but regrets she cannot enter into personal correspondence.
Do I feel sorry for you For being abandoned, yes, of course. But that was nine whole years ago. So what about now
Actually, leaving aside my instinctive sympathy for a soul in pain, I feel more frustrated with you than anything.
When you continue stamping your feet like this, you only hurt your own toes. Frowning and crying makes your eyes puffy. Bitterness is the most potent uglification cream.
Look, my husband left me, too (it’s quite a large club), so I know what I’m talking about. There must come a point when even the one who was hurt so badly has to come to terms with what happened and create a new life.
You tell me you ‘never stopped loving’ the man you also ‘hate’, but I suggest you neither love nor hate him, you are just still furious with him for preferring someone else and depriving you of the life you felt you had the right to expect, including that damn pension. Why mention it, otherwise
Finally, understand that as long as you allow yourself continually to be vanquished by bitterness and rage you are not allowing yourself to mourn the good things that were a part of your marriage.
And you do need to mourn, not in a spirit of injured selfishness, but in honesty and love.
Then, slowly, grief and hurt can diminish — and you will find you are able to face the rest of your life with equanimity and devote yourself to those who need you most, as well as learning to love yourself.
My life is overwhelmed by failure
My life is a complete mess but I don’t know how to change all the things I’m desperately unhappy with.
I’m 28 and graduated from university a few years ago but have been unable to find a good job.
I’m working in a local bar for a pitiful wage and have had to move back in with my parents, which is putting an immense strain on our relationship.
My mother is constantly making snide comments, every conversation ends up in bickering, and she seems unable to be pleasant or respectful.
I am keen to move out, but my wages would barely cover any rent.
I hate my job, feel ashamed to be doing a menial role and I have started avoiding people I think have done better than me and ‘got on’. I feel trapped, applying for jobs but getting no response.
I have tried to get into postgraduate study but can’t afford it.
I drink too much and sometimes take drugs, mainly out of boredom.
I seem to be unable to get my life in order and feel I’m slowly going crazy.
I worry about reaching 30 and not having a better job or my own place.
Everything I’ve touched has turned to s***.
I’ve fallen out with friends and drifted from others.
I did actually go to see a counsellor, but felt it did not help.
Please realise how common your plight
is, because I see you’re in danger of withdrawing into a feeling of
terrible, destructive inadequacy.
This situation is not your fault. I
happen to believe that the reckless expansion of higher education
inflicted a great wrong on your generation.
What is the point of having a
degree (leaving intellectual growth out of it) if that degree is no
passport to job satisfaction
The other day I spoke to a young
woman working in a clothes shop in Bath. Her English degree had not led
her to the wonderful career as a journalist she’d dreamed of, and she
was very unhappy.
More from Bel Mooney…
BEL MOONEY: I have betrayed the husband I once adored
BEL MOONEY: I can't forgive my husband's coldness to our baby
BEL MOONEY: My mother is so cruel I fear love will never bloom in my life
BEL MOONEY: His female 'best friend' is coming between us
BEL MOONEY: Would it be madness for me to try for a baby at 45
BEL MOONEY: Should I stop my teenage daughter stepping out with a lesbian
BEL MOONEY: Stop being a martyr and kick out your unfaithful husband
BEL MOONEY: Splitting up past 60 is so selfish… and stupid
VIEW FULL ARCHIVE
The trouble is, the mere possession of the piece of paper deludes you into feeling ashamed of a job you describe as ‘menial’.
But there are some lovely lines in a Bonnie Raitt song: ‘You dust the bottles on the bar counter,/You’re writing screenplays on the side,/ Three nights a week can keep a girl workin’,/ Sometimes it’s good to lose your pride.’
That’s about going on trying. But you can also take real pride in doing a seemingly mundane job very well. Working in a crisp factory once, I became inordinately chuffed to be the fastest packer.
Many a good bartender has ended up as a manager, and many a manager ends up running his own business. In time. Learn to see your life as a series of stages and realise the value of each one.
Yes, even this. Each day you are learning, if you open your eyes — and those you meet when working well may help you to the next stage. Really!
I’m not saying this in order to minimise your problem, just to suggest you understand that your inability to get a ‘proper’ job is no reflection on you and that you mustn’t be ashamed of what you do.
I’m so sympathetic to your situation and disturbed that your parents aren’t more supportive. Perhaps that is because either they, too, have bought into the Great Degree Deception and feel (wrongly) disappointed, or you are so depressed you have become hard to live with.
Instead of saying you can’t afford to rent, why not make sharing a flat one of your goals, to be achieved as soon as possible Work towards it by asking around and looking at ads. And have you done something simple such as Googling ‘How to get a job’ There are so many useful tips out there and you need a fresh eye.
You didn’t give counselling much of a chance, did you This relentless negativity is leading you to abuse your own body as well as your mind — so I beg you to give yourself a mental slap and stop.
Why smart phones are stupid
The amount of time people spend on their phones is truly scary
A while back I told you how, in a moment of weakness, I’d swapped my simple, old mobile phone for a silly smartphone — which I then couldn’t use.
I recounted how the stress of trying to get rid of the thing, then sort it out, drove me mad, and commented that such frustration probably shortens our lives.
Well, the Carphone Warehouse ‘Geek Squad’ sorted me out by sending a delightful Welshman to set the dreaded phone up for me, and I was happy. For a while.
At last I could get my emails and Facebook notifications on the move and be part of the 21st century! The good news was the BlackBerry was no longer a mystery. The bad news was the maddening pinging set my nerves on edge. I couldn’t bear it.
So now I’m back to using the phone to receive the odd text and phone call — that’s all. I never use it for emails. It’s like owning a Porsche to pootle down to the local shop.
Now I read that smartphone users suffer from anxiety and withdrawal symptoms when their phones stay silent. More than a third of adults own one of these contraptions.
A recent survey discovered that many people are so hooked on virtual networking they feel ‘stressed’ when their phones are inactive.
Apparently 37 per cent of adults and 60 per cent of teenagers describe themselves as ‘addicted’ and suffer from feelings of withdrawal when they don’t get any messages.
The amount of time people spend on their phones is truly scary.
I was horrified by that photo of MPs ignoring a debate and staring at their phones. To me it was disgraceful. I don’t want them Tweeting and multi-tasking, I want them focusing on serious issues, like adults.
I have no doubt that we’re suffering from stressful information overload. Lives are dominated by the screen: large, medium-sized and tiny — keeping people one permanent remove from reality.
Science fiction comes true when a smartphone proves truly smarter than its users.