by mary anne fonsetto butkus
September 10, 2009 at 6:27 pm in Family & Relationships by mary anne fonsetto butkus
How do you get over losing your partner of 19 years? I am lost and feel alone. I would like someone to talk to.
16 Comments »
Flamingo10 said on September 10, 2009
I can strongly relate to your situation. I was with the same man for over 35 years when he went (literally) through a mid-life crisis… took up with his former secretary, and left! just like that. I felt like he literally kicked me to the curb…I could feel the boot marks! It’s been 4 years now and I occasionally still wonder about it. However, with time, and having gone through all the 5 stages of loss (denial, bargaining, depression, anger, acceptance) primarily in the first 2 years, I’ve come to a realization that although I would never admit it, or thank him for what he did, he actually did me an enormous favor. I’ve never felt so emotionally healthy in my whole life.
I don’t know your situation and I would never presume anything about your loss, but if you believe in a Higher Power, I would pray. If you are not a believer… meditate…get away from the problem. It takes time, no doubt about it. But at some point, the pain will become less, and acceptance and tolerance will take over. Whether the loss was through death, or divorce…or whatever the reason, it’s time for YOU now. Be selfish…indulge yourself. If you feel like screaming… do it. If you feel like howling at the moon…do it. We all deal with loss differently, and there is no time limit or emotional restraints. Do what you have to do (within the law…LOL).
Good luck to you…
hol222 said on September 20, 2009
I went through the same thing as you. After 26 1/2 years my husband just walked out saying he was depressed and needed to be alone. I found out a year later that that was all a lie. Anyway when he walked out, he kissed our daughter goodbye and walked out the door. They had been very close. She was devastated.He took up with a woman we knew, who had a daughter the same age as ours. I think he truned us in for different models. Anyway it has been almost 6 years and I cannot get him to divorce. He was going to get the divorce, we were going to a mediator. WE needed to hurry and get this done he said. He gave me ultimatums and timeframes. I was always ready. He keeps dragging his feet. I finally just went to a lawyer and he was served with papers 2 weeks ago. He hasn’t said a word about it.Before I went to the lawyer He asked me why I was in such a hurry!!
I miss having a companion to do things with. All of my friends are busy with their families. I try to go places by myself and I do have 2 daughters that I see at least once a week if not more. BUt sometimes it is lonely and sometimes I am glad I am alone.
My daughter who was so close to her father, swore she would never get married. The a boy from her childhood came back into her life. He was always here. Then all of a sudden they were a couple. Then engaged, then bought a house and the wedding was all planned. The he decided he didn’t want any of it and walked away. I was glad they had not yet married, she owns everything, but the pain was not less for her. He had been her best friend for so long and then her fiance. It was diffeicult for her. But she sees she deserves way more in life.
gougeon said on September 10, 2009
Sending you a hug. The only thing you can do is put one foot in front of the other and take it slowly……if at times you need to take it one minute at a time rather than a day at a time, know that it’s okay. At some point the colors and feelings around you will begin to slowly re-enter your reality. Trust me, it will get better.
Belinda Berg said on September 10, 2009
I don’t think that you do “get over” this–it depends on what the relationship was like. In my case #1-there was abuse and in the #2-there were a lot of red flags I had learned to avoid. I think I was meant to learn about myself and my ambivalence. I also think sometimes things happen for reasons we may never understand–on this side of “life.”
Caroline said on September 11, 2009
Mary Anne, I just lost my husband after 28 beautiful years. The problem is, he was my best friend and we did everything together. I don’t think you’ll ever get over the loss, but I have to believe that we can go on. I know that I have two daughters who are happily married and I have four grandchildren. I go on for them and because I believe we are meant to. I wouldn’t presume to push religion, but I do have a strong faith in God, I know where my husband is and I know that I will eventually join him. That helps me a great deal, but it doesn’t ease the loss. I know people would probably think I was crazy if they saw me rockng on my back patio at night, staring at the starlite sky and talking to John. I never know when it will happen, but I frequently just burst into sobbing tears (that is just not like me). This probably happens to you also and I am so sorry for your loss. I know it feels like your heart has just been ripped from your chest. Surprisingless enough, one thing that helps is to look through our photograph albums. Somehow that brings him closer. If you need someone to talk to please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’d be happy to offer any support that I can. Please know that you are in my prayers. Caroline
mia said on September 18, 2009
Caroline, I can relate to your story so much. I just lost my wonderful husband and friend of 37 years on June 29, 2009. I stay in my shell except to go to work and visit kids and grandkids. I also go out on my back deck at night to stare at the stars and moon and talk to my Mikie. Sometimes laughing and crying. I know I am still on auto pilot. He had never been ill in the 40 years I knew him. This was sudden and fast. I am still trying to understand exactly what happened. Unfortunately all of my friends that said “we will be there for you” are not, not really. I don’t think they know what to do or say so they stay away and call every once in a while. My kids are great and keep wanting to help mom, I am only 56. I am worried that they are not dealing with their dads death because they are so focused on me. Every day I force myself to get out of bed and go to work. I work medical so I hear very sad stories every day. It doesn’t help because when I get in my car to drive home I get that dread in the pitt of my stomach knowing he will not be there. Sometime I bypass my house and go to the river or beach just to clear my head. Sometimes I get home and start a project until I fall into bed from exhaustion. All I can say is keep going because God does have a bigger plan and I thank him everyday for giving me 40 years with my best friend. Take care and hang in there. Mia
Annthenewnurse said on September 11, 2009
I am a “Mary Ann”, I just joined vibrant nation this month as well. June 11th my partner of 21 years died from complications of congestive heart failure. I am now a 52 year old widow, never planned for that. She died one week prior to me completing a nursing program. Now I am a 52 year old widow and LVN. We (family) are having a graveside service for her ashes at Thanksgiving. I will begin looking for a job after that. Right now I am not eating much, walking 2 miles a day w/a friend, and having a lot of sleepless nights. What little I know of grief is that every story is different because relationships are different. We have some common ways of dealing w/grief and common experiences. Most of the time I find myself withdrawing from people into a shell for awhile and then coming back to friends for hugs and encouragement. Very few people will say the “right thing” because words don’t help much. Hugs, taking care of yourself, and time will make things easier. I am going thru a lot of “first times” and they are difficult but I take them one at at time.
Piper said on September 21, 2009
Even though I’ve been a widow for twenty years I still remember how hard it was to listen to the endless condolences, from the people I loved, or people I encountered. All I know is the sorrow, and the reason behind the sorrow, will remain, well, forever. What makes things a little easier over time, isn’t the passing of time itself, but the buffer of events, that are inbetween the awful thing happening, and a future time when your mind can play back other thoughts other then the passing of a cherished one. I wrote a poem six months after my husband passed, called “A Christmas Poem” as I wrote it on Christmas Eve.
I had been hanging in there, and was living alone now thirty years old, no children, and I’d called my mom, and brothers, and close friends, who were all very busy preparing the Holiday meals, and things, so could not talk to me very long… I was stung by the fact that “life goes on”, which for six months I had encouraged all involved to accept as best that we all could.
I’d tried to be brave, and loving, I felt bad for everyone who knew my husband because they loved him, also.
The poem’s end reflects how I felt about the”event” and my time frame for grieving.
“… My sheild of sorrow, tarnishes with time, those who remain dear, have become deaf.
The death of my husband, is it not still happening? Rage, rage.
It was published in the College Literary Magazine. Chrysallis, which is like a cocoon. When you retreat from the world, you are in a sense cocooning, and I’m sure you will emerge in your own time, in your own way, and take flight.
Annthenewnurse said on September 21, 2009
Thank you so much for sharing. I just love this blog, have met some really great ladies. The sense of community is just wonderful. I can get on here and type anytime of the day or night and know that I will be heard and get a response at some point. I guess just knowing how strong the love is makes the pain so strong as well. I would love to read your entire poem if available. Thanks again for giving of yourself…Ann
Piper said on January 1, 2010
A Christmas poem
By Linda Herron
I carry my burden in two places Outside with the world and the mystery of life Inside my hidden rage.
Rage rage, my soul and psyche rage. How dare I face this world without my love? And yet I must go on, The world no longer my playground, but my prison.
These thoughts and feelings are new only to me, A millenia of life and loss raging past our insignificant hearts Crush our souls, no pity.
Give us emotions to love and lose Give us a mind to ponder lifes finality Cut me in half from soul to mind to heart.
My sheild of sorrow tarnishs with time, Those who remain dear have become deaf. The death of my husband, Is it not still happening Rage rage?
Dori said on September 15, 2009
I don’t have any answers for you because I’m going through the same thing. I lost my husband of ten years May 2009. My name is Dori, I live in Central New York. I’m 52 and for the very first time in my life, I live alone. I’ve always had either my brothers, my children, or my husband and his children living in my home and now, I’m alone. I’ve starting mall walking. It seems to help during the day but the nights still have some sadness to them.
Annthenewnurse said on September 16, 2009
Hey Dori, one thing about this website is we can get on here anytime day or night and type… may not get a reply right away, but at least we can get those thoughts & feelings out of our system somewhat. I just love having a place to come and find some common ground. It’s not instant gratification but it does help in the long run. I am enjoying listening to music that I like, I can listen to the same song lots of times if i want to! Whitney Houston’s new CD is wonderful and inspiring!
Lynnette said on September 19, 2009
yes, we can!!! Just hang in there. Life is fragile, handle it with prayer.
How are you doing today? I was just reading some of the responses you have gotten (we have gotten). It is just amazing how this thing works. I made it thru my first birthday yesterday. There was always a card waiting for me when i woke up and the envelope said “M. H.” on it for My Honey. I made it thru the day w/ups and downs. You have gotten some really great responses here and I hope you are taking what you can use. Please let me know how you are doing. Sincerely, Ann
twinzgranny said on September 23, 2009
I have read all the responses here and have deep empathy for all of you. However, I would like to make one distinction. To those of you who lost your spouse or partner to death is very different from someone walking out on you after a long term relationship/marriage. Your spouse hopefully loved and cherished you and you miss that closeness. Unfortunately those of us who suffered loss through abandonment don’t have the honor and priviledge of sitting on our patios having loving conversations, reminiscing about our ‘good’ times together, etc. If we reminisce, its in hurt and anger that you left me. And when its for another woman (or man) it hurts even more. I was with someone for twenty years. When we met and started cohabiting, my kids were almost adults. He was given custody of his 7 yr old daughter. A few months after this he lost his job. He never went back to work. For eleven years I took care of him and his daughter. She betrayed me and my family after accepting her into our family by sleeping with my daughter’s husband in my house. I put her out! (She was 18 yrs old at the time and had graduated from high school.) He hung around, unemployed and an alcoholic, for two more years. A year ago I got sick and needed help. The strain of having to ‘take care’ of a ‘sick old woman’ was too much for him. (I was 51 and he was 46 at that time.) He left me and moved in with another woman who ‘treated him like he deserved’. After all I had done for him, his daughter, and his family of the years and this is how he treated me! I am still hurt, angry, and mad after almost a year of him being gone! I know that I am better off without him but it still hurts! I sacrificed so much for that relationship! So for those of you who are grieving, I know you miss him/her and God bless and keep you. Hold onto to your happy memories. Me….my memories are tainted.
Angel Grace said on October 24, 2009
I have not been in that situation of losing someone I lived with for that long. As a previous Hospice Social Worker I know it is a processs to go through and you think you are all alone but you aren’t. Any time we have a loss it is void in your life that cannot be filled by another. Others can enter your life and be there for you and that will help. May I suggest you do something you have always wanted to do, try out new things. One of the things I find the hardest for people to do is to go out to eat by themselves. If you try that, try take a book that you enjoy reading. This will occupy your time before being served and will keep you from feeling that you are so alone in the restaurant.
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