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Does one ever really heal?

(17 Posts)
Chocolatte1 Tue 18-Aug-20 22:51:56

As I approach age 70, I am still unable to move past pain from my first marriage.

We married in our early 20s. We set about making a home, careers, and what I thought would be a wonderful future. I became pregnant, but he insisted on an abortion because the “timing wasn’t right.” I sadly went ahead with it, a decision that has haunted me. Two years later he told me he had outgrown me and didn’t love me anymore. I agreed to a separation thinking we could work on our marriage. Two weeks later he called me at work asking if I could take extra time at lunch as he wanted to come downtown and file for divorce. I was devastated but then moved my personal effects out of our home so he could keep the house, as his family lived close by.

We each moved on to new marriages. He had two children; I became a stepmom. My current husband and I just celebrated our 25th anniversary.

About 15 years ago, we ran into each other and he asked me to join him for an impromptu lunch. During the meal as we caught up, he told me about his wonderful life; he had married a physician; how proud he was of his children; how he cried when his son was born. (He had dropped me off at the abortion clinic and then picked me up afterward.) In our conversation I told him I was a new grandma. The only real question he asked was if I travel. Then as the conversation wore on he told me his wife had never understood why he and I had ever married to begin with...why hadn’t we just lived together as she and her boyfriend had? I said nothing but was silently taken aback. Had he not explained our history? A marriage - an abortion - the purchase of a home (that she ultimately moved into)? Did he not realize how that sounded? I was hurt as I wondered how he could so easily discard his past, but I remained polite as we said our goodbyes. It was clear to me that he has a sensitivity chip missing.

Life has moved on with its ups and downs. I did get counseling but the pain of that rejection has always stayed with me. I’ve thought about dropping him a line to say how I wish I had addressed his insensitivity the day we met for lunch and that while he forged ahead to a wonderful life, I hope he has never forgotten what was lost. When I think of my role in the abortion, it hurts still. I guess there is no timeline for healing.

If you’ve made it this far, thank you for listening.

anna7 Tue 18-Aug-20 23:17:30

I am sorry you are still upset all these years later but your first husband sounds awful. If you had stayed with him I am sure you would have not been happy living with such a selfish , insensitive man. I think you dodged a bullet there and you should concentrate on your second husband and the life you have now, instead of wasting your time fretting over a man you are better off without.

Doodledog Tue 18-Aug-20 23:37:00

I agree with anna7.

They say that the first cut is the deepest, and I think that's true. When we are young and in love for the first time, we are very vulnerable, and often miss what we would see as warning signs when we get older and a bit more cynical.

I'm sorry you are still hurting over the baby you lost, and hope you can find a way of moving on. I don't want to suggest anything, as I am not a psychologist, but I didn't want to read and not reply, as it is clear that you are upset. Could you speak to your GP to see if s/he can suggest anything that would help?

Chewbacca Tue 18-Aug-20 23:46:23

To be honest chocolatte1 your ex sounds like an insensitive oaf. From what you say, he invited you out to lunch, rattled on about his wonderful and fulfilling life and even managed to slip in what the opinions of his 2nd wife were about him and you being together in the first place! Who cares what she thought about his first marriage to you? Her opinions on that are meaningless. And what a prig your ex is for telling you. He's a bigger prig for going on about his emotional reaction to the births of his children, whilst knowing what he urged you to do.

As anna7 said, you dodged a bullet there. The past is a foreign country. You forged a good and fulfilling life without him and personally, I wouldn't give him the satisfaction of writing to him and letting him know that he's upset you and made you think back to the past. You're well rid of him and I truly hope, that in time, you come to a place of peace about the past.

benjamina Wed 19-Aug-20 00:21:59

I read your post and felt moved to reply - your pain shines through. I can feel that you wish you had said something at that lunch meeting. There he was prattling on about his "wonderful life" while ignoring what he put you through.

Dont forget you only have his word that things are so wonderful in his world. It seems to me it was a very "me me me" conversation.

When we are young we sometimes make decisions which seem right at the time but seem far from right for what we would do now given our wisdom of years.

We cannot alter what has happened but think we have to learn to be kind to ourselves and move forward.

I honestly think your a much better person than your ex - sending good wishes to you. Hope you find your own peace.x

Bluebellwould Wed 19-Aug-20 00:32:14

Chocolattel I was sad to read your post and I agree with the others that your first husband was not a nice man.
I really feel that what he told you about his marriage is probably not true at all. Most people, when you meet them after a time apart will tell you how wonderful they are and what a lovely time they have been having. No one really tells the truth or admits to making mistakes do they. Your ex is surely not going to say that he’s miserable and his wife’s a bitter old bat. Please don’t feel that what he tells you she said is true either. He can spin any old yarn he likes because you can’t prove it is true or false.
I think part of your problem is the guilt and regret you still feel over your termination. I had one too, it was a case if I stayed pregnant I would die, but that still doesn’t help with the tremendous guilt I feel. Sometimes I think you just have to accept things that have happened and just say it is what it is.
Don’t give any more thought to this man and his horrible manipulations. Concentrate on your loving family and in time this jerk will fade in importance.
As someone famous used to sing ‘let it go’.

Pantglas2 Wed 19-Aug-20 05:40:46

Dear Lord - what an absolute charmer - not! Did he also present you with the bill? You can regret the abortion but nothing else IMO. Start thinking about the lucky escape you had!

Glorybee Wed 19-Aug-20 06:31:20

Yes, I agree with others that you have had a narrow escape. As he is so insensitive, in reality, it’s very unlikely that he gives you much thought at all so why on earth would you waste any more of your life thinking about him?

Make your life about what you have now, you sound like a kind and thoughtful person and have much to give your family.

sodapop Wed 19-Aug-20 07:44:00

What an insensitive and insecure man. Think you would probably find that all was not roses in his garden Choclatte anyone who drivels on like that has problems I think.

You are happy and settled forget about him and enjoy the life you have now.

timetogo2016 Wed 19-Aug-20 11:27:39

I can`t add anything more than the threads that have been posted.
I agree with them all.
Stay safe and be happy about what you have and not what you thought you had.

moggie57 Wed 19-Aug-20 11:39:33

i am so sorry for your hurt...your ex husband is an insensitive person .made my blood boil ,in fact i would have nothing to do with him ever again .to make your give up a precious life of a baby .then to go on and have children with someone else.sounds like a control freak,,,,.you well shot of need to move forward and leave the nasty man behind ...i too wish you said something at the lunch. enjoy what you have now ...

Luckygirl Wed 19-Aug-20 11:53:23

Frankly I doubt whether his life is as perfect as he says it is - methinks he doth protest too much.

Be proud of the life you made for yourself in spite of being kicked in the teeth when young. It takes courage.

Do NOT agree to meet this man ever again!

Please try and look forward - hard I know but it is the only way to go.

EllanVannin Wed 19-Aug-20 12:27:09

Talk about being used. That meal would have choked me and it should have choked him too, used as an opportunity to kill time and brag to his heart's delight.
You escaped a fate worse than death I think. Cheeky dog. Ignore him next time.

rosecarmel Wed 19-Aug-20 14:44:08


Granniesunite Wed 19-Aug-20 14:57:34

Forgive yourselfchocolattel and move forward.
We all make decisions that we wouldn’t make if circumstances were different. Life your life now in the present and put the past behind you. I hope you have an army of support beside you.

Sparkling Wed 19-Aug-20 15:40:38

How sad your carrying this loss all these years. Your ex might have the perfect life but I think he sounds totally self absorbed and selfish. Pity you met up with him. Hindsight is a wonderful thing, you did what you thought right at the time. Fortunately you seem to have a loving family now, enjoy what you have not might have been,

Dollygloss Wed 19-Aug-20 16:44:36

Am I right in thinking that what is really gnawing at you all down through the years is that you didn't stand up for yourself and for what you wanted in the relationship. You had a chance when you met him again at his request. You could have hit him with a few truths then and flounced off with your head high, a lady in control of her own life and delighting in every minute of it. Instead you listened, and waited for him (in vain) to ask about you. The simple truth is you weren't ready. It takes years to rebuild confidence and find your voice after having been dismissed so brutally at so young an age. It also takes work. Counselling in my case, and a patient and loving partner with whom I could talk it out. With this and thirty years distance I can deal with my ex the way I should have done from the start. Interestingly he now keeps trying to meet up.