Feeling Abandoned at 40

Photo by Kat Jayne / Pexels

Dear Talula,

I’m a 40 year old mother of 2 young boys and I just broke up with the man of my dreams after 2 years of living together. He left me to be on his own and I still don’t understand why. All his reasons for leaving – that he wants to sow his wild oats and that he wants to start a family with someone else who doesn’t already have kids – just sound like empty excuses. He refuses to seek therapy and I believe he’s really running away from our relationship because of unresolved childhood issues. How can I make him see he’s making the biggest mistake of his life?

Feeling Abandoned

Dear Feeling Abandoned,

Whether it’s 2 years or ten years, whenever we invest time and energy into another person just to have them leave, it can be heart rending. We think of all that we put in, and it went to nothing. The process of a break up is a lot like the stages of grieving. We go through denial, bargaining, acceptance, etc. Right now, it sounds like you’re still in shock and looking for answers that will ease the pain, or make it feel that your investment in this other person wasn’t for nothing. The reality is, regardless of the reasons he chose to leave, we have to respect the choice of the other person. This is what makes love so dangerous and precarious to our hearts – we have no guarantee that it will last, or won’t be taken from us. He may be running from childhood issues, but that’s his choice to make. From your point of view, it looks like he’s making the biggest mistake of his life – but maybe he’s saving you from the biggest mistake of your life. Your needs are important, and by focusing only on his “issues”, you’re sabotaging yourself of the relationship you deserve. If he chose to stay and his heart wasn’t in it, he’d only waste your time and energy. Instead, he’s setting you free to find the person who can love you more fully, and will embrace your family as his own. Look forward to your new beginning with someone who will make you the biggest success of your life.



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