35 And Suddenly Single: Back In The Tunnel

14/08/2014 16:56 | Updated 22 May 2015

A serious woman looking contemplatively out a window

I was doing so well. I almost felt like I was through it and out the other side. I couldn't just see the light at the end of the tunnel, I was almost touching it.

And then... it hit me and I was back in, not all the way back but still got a third of the way to go again.

Where did it all go wrong?

I did all the very cliched things. I lost a lot of weight and people started to tell me I was looking great, and I was starting to feel confident and really good about myself again. I almost started to believe the hype.

And then BOOM!

I went out with one of our few remaining mutual friends who assumed I knew and told me about the almost ex-husband's new girlfriend. I didn't react at first and we ended up having a fun night, but afterwards I started to feel the huge shockwave in ever-increasing frequencies.

We split in April after 10 and a half years, and he started to see her in July, if not earlier. They work together and my mind can't help but swirl. It took him less than three months to get over us and I instantly feel dejected, and I can't help questioning everything I thought we had.

She's in her twenties, of course, but then he wants to keep feeling young so I know she couldn't be anything else. I don't think he was ever unfaithful and he swears I was his world until he decided to end it... hmmm comforting.

Naively, I thought that like me he'd write off the rest of 2013 before trying to embark on a new relationship. He wasn't a serial monogamist before he met me, so I didn't think he'd rush so quickly into things. What a fool I am. He admits he should have told me himself before I found out second hand. Good intentions and all that...

"It's just what men do" say my friends, including my male ones rather sheepishly. I shouldn't take it personally, he just had to fill the void because he couldn't cope alone.

Lucky bloody him. I feel more alone than ever.

I recently found lots of old Birthday and Anniversary cards when I was up in the loft looking for Christmas decorations. So many times he signed how much he loved me and would forever and ever. You know the usual kind of thing. It all rings so hollow now as I can't help but imagine him in bed with his new woman.

I find it ironic that he's the one that wanted to escape any long term commitment and continue living the "life of riley" for at least another decade before doing something serious like even contemplating having kids. And here I am going out a lot and having fun, and he's the one straight into another relationship.

Don't get me wrong. I've actually had a great few months, doing things I thought I'd left behind and wouldn't have been able to do if I was now a mum. It just feels like we've done some weird kind of swap the wrong way round.

I'm the one who wants kids and all that stuff, but rushing into a relationship always felt like absolutely the wrong thing to do after such a long time. Not for him clearly.

I hate myself for still caring so much, and for being so affected by something that shouldn't matter anymore. But I do deeply, and it hurts more than I thought it would and I'm back in the dark days again, and I detest it.

I send him angry texts and a very emotional email. I can't help myself. I know I shouldn't but I'm so unhappy again and I want him to know. I so wanted things to stay amicable between us but I feel as if I don't like him very much at all now and never shall again. I'm sure it will pass, but I just want him to feel in pain as much as I am. I wish I were the bigger person who could rise above it but I can't. My friends tell me I'm only human, but it's a small comfort.

I speak to my mum on the phone and have a little cry. I realise I haven't cried about the situation for months and again I hate feeling that my recovery has regressed.

She gets it though. It's not like I want him back or think that what's happened isn't for the best. Sometimes things just hurt, even when your rational head tells you they shouldn't. I just have to get through it... again. Deja-vu.

It's almost Christmas and I thought this would all be over now and I'd have left it all behind. No chance.

You can read Melinda's previous columns here.

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