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How do I deal with him leaving after 16 yrs?

by Cindy

My common law husband of 16 yrs packed up and left me, after I found text messages and telephone calls between him and another woman. We have two sons 15 and 4 and this happened a week before Christmas. I am having such a bad time accepting this. I don't call him and badger him to come back home, but i want to so badly. he still pays the rent and helps with the boys. He told me the day he left that he is not committed to me and his heart doesn't skip a beat for me anymore. It so hard to deal with it especially seeing him everyday. I feel like I'm drowning I can't breath. At work the walls feel like they are closing in on me. He told me he just needed someone to talk to and I wasn't there. I feel like just telling him that I love him and always will. I feel so lost.

Noel's response

I can only suggest that you 'keep on keeping on'. As with all things, this too shall pass, even though it is very painful right now.

You might want to talk to him about a formal separation agreement, to establish the conditions such as formalizing his financial support, visitation with the kids, etc. A mediator might be useful in this regard.

I think you are right in not calling him and badgering him to come home, etc.

Comments for How do I deal with him leaving after 16 yrs?

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Jul 13, 2012
Dying Inside
by: Anonymous

We've been together for 17 years. We have 2 kids 17 & 3. In Feb. he said he wasn't in love with me anymore. That we've been together since he was 18 and his wondering "what if." He said he knows he hurting me and may be making the biggest mistake of his life. But he can't help the way he feels. I've had my doubts at time, but I knew I loved him enogh to fight for him and our family. How do I let him go?

Feb 29, 2012
12 year relationship ... just gone in a puff of smoke
by: Christie

I just had a 12 year committed relationship end about a month ago. It is very hard to get over. The past year we were distant but still seeing each other. I had reasons why, but we didn't talk about it. Well, he talked to his friends about it, and one of them hooked him up with an old girlfriend who lives out of state. She'd been chasing him for 30 years, even while he was married. Well, now he says he's "with" her in a long-distance relationship. He took me out, treated me well, was very physicallly affectionate with me, then told me it was getting "serious" with this woman. Then, talking loudly in the restaurant, he looked at me and said "I love you, and I know I always will" ... but, then he said he was serious with this woman. She's long-distance, 1500 miles away. They only see each other every few months. We live only 45 minutes away. I won't call him, but I want to. I know how you all feel. I, too, am divorced, but I took that OK (I was only 27 then), now I am in my 50's and just spent 12 years with a guy I love. I understand how all of you feel. It is so hard to get through. I have been trying to compartmentalize my feelings, just the way that they do. I just don't know if I should call him, though. I really want to. I did a few weeks ago only to tell him that I learned a mutual friend had passed away. When I called, I didn't leave a message but he saw my number. He called back within an hour and sounded a bit sad and happy at the same time. I think he wants me to call, but I just can't bear the thought of being "friends" while he thinks he is in love with this Long Distance woman. We all have to just give each other help on getting along at work, home, etc. without them.

Feb 18, 2012
how do i deal with him leaving after 16 yrs?
by: Anonymous

Hi there i myself is going through the excact same thing. My husband of 16 yrs, well married for 6yrs been togther 16 yrs. We have been togther from ages of 13 & 16 never been with anyone else but us 2. Day after celebrating 16 years together he broke done and started crying saying he need space and need to go, he says he loves me but dont know if his in love with me. We have 2 children together ages 14 & 11, we have never broke up before never spent time apart then for him to just say he needs to go. Its hard he swears down there no other women which i do believe. He his suffering with depression but wont seek no help from no one he dosen't ever speak about his problems or if he does he will let a lil bit out then closes up . I have asked him about our marriage wether he his seeking divorce but he just said he dosent want to think about it . He does have female friends as he has always got on better with females rather than male friends, he does stop at there house on the sofa which i am still finding really hard to understand. I have asked him why we broke up he just says we have grown apart and me accusing him of cheating ect as pushed him to far.If anyone else has gone through the same please can u let us know of ur outcome ect thx.

Jan 11, 2012
glad I found this site
by: sandy

I just can't wait to read more maybe because I think I'm getting good christian answers from a man. I have been married 40 years. and after 35, though I thought it was the best ever, life just isn't fun or meaning. my husband , if he is having a midlife crisis ? I don't know him anymore, don't know if I trust anything he says, his motives, his feelings. ? I 'm not sure about anything anymore , but I really like Noel's comments. thanks so much Noel.

Jan 09, 2012
My disaster
by: Anonymous

My husband of 15 years phoned me to tell me it was over between us. That was Nov. 5/2011. It has been 2 months now and it is still as raw as it was then. We have 2 kids. At first he said he was going to pay for things: place for kids and I to live and bills, etc. Now he isn't paying. I begged him to come back but it has pushed him further away. I miss him so much. He was my everything. He is having emotional if not physical affairs with women who are as young as 25. He is turning 46 next month. He wants a legal separation and then divorce. I am trying very hard not to have any contact with him now. He just became a different person. Even through everything he has said and done, I still love him. I hate myself for that.

Jan 05, 2012
How do I deal w/him leaving after 16 years??
by: NWF

Check out this web site:, it will help answer some of your Q's. Right now he is feeling nothing because he is dead inside--it is not your fault that he left or is going thru this process--it is a process!!!! You may want to get the money from your bank so he cannot take it--he will. Noel's advice on a separation agreement is exactly correct; as he gets more confused and angry at you he will not want to pay for things like he is now. If he has an affair, it is just a band aid for his emotional needs, and sorry to say, possibly sexual needs as well. My H of 17 years left home 1.5 years ago and will not talk to me--only by email, bummer!! We will be divorced by the end of January unless he finally figures this out and he will pay for his poor decisions; feeling and acting like a teenager is no excuse for destroying your family--NONE. He is furious about the Courts financial decisions.
His feelings for you are still there but they are buried right now because he is done ACCOMMODATING everyone else and Now It Is His Turn!!! He only feels the in-fat-utation thru an affair with the 1st available woman willing to sleep with a married man. There is nothing special about her except her willingness to listen to him whine about you and everything else and validate all of his false issues. This is not easy for all of us going thru it, it suc__ big time, but we all learn much from the journey.

Hugs for you and hold onto your hat. Find a good friend to hold onto for the long haul.

Sincerely, NWF

Jan 05, 2012
Hard Times
by: Anonymous

Mine left me after 26 yrs in July 2011 it will be a hardest thing you ever go thru but take my advice keep to yourself a little let him realize what he's missing. I didn't and I pushed him further away. Pray for guidance it will be a long journey I'm still living it. Read lots of information on separation and talk to friends/family. Wishing you the best

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