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Self loathing in this big, wide gaping hole of a world

Where to begin? I’m feeling intense sadness, guilt, remorse and self-loathing over a relationship I ENDED yet, can’t get over the recent news that my ex is seeing another person and appears to have moved on with her life. Long story, short, we were together for 6 years and during that time, I was the one who withdrew emotionally when she needed me, benefited from her providing comfort to me when my dad passed away, cheated on her emotionally and didn’t make her feel “at home” when she moved in with me; keeping all of my stuff intact and not truly allowing her to nest and settle in.

This all happened during the initial pandemic of 2020 and ended with my having her move out at the beginning of 2021. During this summer, we continued, however, to maintain contact and did things together, some of them intimately and as if things were “normal” once more. I began to feel a new sense of attachment and emotional connection with her and perhaps had the false sense that she still had strong feelings for me; despite her having told me over and over that I “broke her heart” and “stopped loving her.”

The news that she started seeing someone new came right after one of those weekends spending time together and triggered a panic/anxiety/crying jag like no other. I called in sick for four days and only just today was able to go back to work although it was all I could do to keep it together and not cry every time I obsessed more and more about this.

I feel guilt, shame, remorse, embarrassment, and jealousy like you wouldn’t believe. I also feel unworthy and don’t know how I’ll be able to get past all of this.

Thank you - this is my first post ~drK~

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Hey @doctorK,

This is objectively a lot to process and a heavy situation. It makes absolutely sense to feel heavy emotions as a result too. Thank you for taking the time to share your heart here and display such vulnerability. It is a first step, an important one, that you’ve been taking here.

Right now you are clearly processing the shock of learning that she started to see someone else. After this time spent with her during summer, you might have started to reconsider your relationship once again and experienced some kind of hope in some way. There was something familiar to you in this emotional connection, even if it was made of complex, and even opposite feelings. As human beings we crave for what is familiar as it brings comfort and safety. But now the circumstances have changed as she is seeing someone else, which hurts.

It seems that both you and her have explored your relationship in different ways, and maybe didn’t manage to reach the level of mutual commitment that you wished you had. All in all, it doesn’t prevent genuine affection and tenderness to be there. Though your needs were different at the time, and as much as you both tried, something was missing in the connection you’ve had.

It takes a lot of strength and honesty to acknowledge the fact that you withdrew her emotionally and had a hard time to ler her in. Our walls can be strong and very long to break down, even with the person we share our life with. Still there is something to learn from that, for you and for your future, regarding how you deal with attachment in a relationship.

At this moment, you are in shock and somehow grieving, friend. You are processing all these pages of your story that you have shared with her, even if it’s a way that you wish would have been different. It hurts. And it will take time for you in order to replace these experiences in your story and in a way that would allow growth to happen.

I imagine that it’s really hard to keep a straight face at work right now. I remember after losing family members how heartbroken I was and how difficult it was to focus on the tasks that needed to be done. My heart and my mind were just somewhere else, which was absolutely normal but I felt ashamed at the time. So, please keep in mind that how you feel is nothing to be embarrassed with. If you can take some little breaks, and even if you need to cry in a calm/safe place at work, then it’s okay to do so. The situation brings some intense emotions. Take your time to process these. Be gentle with yourself.

If you’d like to explore more these feelings with us, please don’t hesitate to share your thoughts here. We may not have all the answers, but we are here to support you during this difficult time. You’re not alone. :hrtlegolove:

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hello friend,

I am so sorry that the end of the relationship has hit you so hard, it can consume our whole brain with pain and grief, and that makes doing anything else difficult - working, taking care of daily things. I hope you can find moments in the day to cry if you need to give yourself some relief. Also, very glad you trust us with these big emotions and thank you for allowing us to support you and provide a safe spot to open up.

It sounds like the continued intimacy and contact between you two gave you hope, even if her words were telling you it was over. A lot of the time when we hear our ex is dating someone new (even if we ended it) it stings, and it makes us question our own worth. It makes the “end” harshly real, and the weight of what we’ve loss/given up comes crashing down.

I don’t have any magic words to make this easier… It’s a loss and it has to be felt and processed. It takes a while for the freshness of the pain and remorse to ease up. While you focus on remembering the good things about you, and your worth, you have to make sure you don’t cause more damage by acting out - no social media stalking, no trying to make them feel guilty etc.

Not saying you gave any indication of this, but it’s better to say it before it happens because it makes so much more drama if it does start up!

Glad you’re here, keep up updated on your progress, or when you need to vent. We’re here to share your burden if we can.

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Many say that the end of a relationship has an emotional impact much like the death of a loved one. Grief is a process that eventually diminishes to a manageable level. How long it takes for that process, is unique to every person and situation. When my 18 year relationship ended, I spent most of my free time tearfully in bed, for many months.

Self-loathing won’t undo anything. Something about your past made it difficult for you to emotionally connect with her. Coming to terms with that, perhaps with the assistance of therapy, will be beneficial to your future.

Through this experience, you have learned, and have become a better person. At this point, you can let go of the self-loathing, and work on processing the regret. I don’t believe regret goes away, but it finds a place in the heart, where empathy, compassion, and acceptance resides.

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Thank you all for you loving and kind words.

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You’re loved @doctorK. Please never hesitate to rely on this community when you need it. These are heavy times for you, but you don’t have to go through this alone. :hrtlegolove:

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Thank you all. I’m feeling a lot of regret and hurt that she’s found someone else to make her happy. We ended matters with my helping her move back to her hometown and now, looking back, that might’ve been a mistake. I held on out of guilt for having ended things and felt sorry that I was the bad guy. Intellectually I know this is wrong but we still were loosely bonded.

Flash forward to her having moved home and moved on, I have a lot of guilt to process and self worth to sort out.

It sucks to sit alone with your own thoughts and play out all of the “what if’s.”

~ dr k ~

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Hey @doctorK, checking in on you today. How are you doing since your last post?

Sending love your way. I know the “what if’s” can be very consuming, and I hope you find some ways to deal with it that remains healthy. Be gentle with yourself, as much as possible. :hrtlegolove:

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Doing better, thank you. It’s still a bit rough going, but I’m navigating the here and the now and practicing mindfulness and meditation. I appreciate your reaching out.

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