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Grieving All The Time

Question:

My marriage was breaking down for the 2nd time and we started divorce proceedings when I met someone at my job. I was very attracted to him and he seemed nice and sincere. We developed a relationship which I tried to keep discreet since the divorce had not gone through and my ex was still living in the house. I fell deeply in love with this person, we talked on the phone for hours and called each other any time of the day or night. I never had any relationship other than with my husband before. I trusted this person and believed him and all he told me. On December 24 last year he said that he loved me. I believed him and felt so happy. This relationship has been going on for over 2 years. But in January this year I discovered that he has been living with someone for some months. I was shocked and devastated. I kept crying and could not stop. I would call him crying and he would insult me. I almost had a nervous breakdown and went on medication. I miss him all of the time. We work in the same place and it is very difficult for me. I cannot stop grieving. I am now divorced with my 2 kids and I feel so betrayed. He told me that I was vulnerable and that I should just move on. I cannot seem to be able to come to terms with someone being so cruel. I feel depressed all of the time.

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  • ‘Anne’ is the pseudonym for the individual who writes this relationship advice column.
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Answer:

Grieving is a difficult and painful process. When you’re in it, it feels as though it will never leave you. It does ultimately end though, or more properly, taper down, affecting you less and less until it becomes irrelevant. This process takes time – and a different amount of time for each person and each situation. Grieving the loss of a marriage can easily take a year. Grieving a sudden betrayal can take time as well, and since you did not get to fully digest your marriage’s end because of your romance with this man who has deceived you, you’re getting to grieve both the marriage and the betrayal at once now. So be extra gentle with yourself and don’t expect yourself to snap out of it sooner than you feel ready.

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p> Doing things to ease your pain and make it easier for you to function is a good idea. If your doctor prescribes medication for depression and you find it helps you, then accept that help as you would a crutch if you had broken your leg. Similarly, seek out support by way of a psychotherapist if you can. One you can feel comfortable with. Talk with your adult family and friends (not your children!) too if they are helpful. Talking about it helps for most people. It is important that you remain a strong parent for your children, however, and not bring them into it.

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p> You were vulnerable and one man saw that vulnerability and found a way to take advantage of you. You were taken advantage of. You eyes have been opened and you have seen some ugly things. But this doesn’t mean that all men are bad men, or that your particular case is hopeless. Try to come of out this educated and wiser, but not avoidant. Clearly you value relationships and would like to be in one of your choosing that is not exploitive. Such a relationship may very well be out there for you in time. You will need to learn to root out future deceivers to find it and at the same time, to not be too afraid of being deceived that you don’t put yourself out there to find what you are looking for. Good luck to you.

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