How do I move on?

My husband of 14 years told me he wanted a separation almost three months ago. This came as a shock but deep down I should have seen it coming as we have been pushing each other away for around 3 years now. Up until then our marriage was really good.
My husband drinks a lot and this has contributed to my attitude. It’s a big turn off and I found myself pushing him away physically. Then came his moods and constant picking on our daughter. He was diagnosed with Parkinson’s two years ago and things just got more strained between us. He would push me away emotionally and I continued to push him away physically. In the end he couldn’t cope with me pushing him away. I tried to explain how his drinking and behaviour effected me over the years but he can only see my faults.
I totally regret pushing him away (most of the time I didn’t realise I was doing it) and would do anything to make things right. But he had made up his mind and the only thing I could do was accept we are over. He continued to live with me up till two weeks ago when he moved into his own flat. He said he loves me, always will and I’m the only person he has ever loved and wants to stay friends but I just need to space to mourn now. I haven’t been in touch since he moved.
Im trying to be positive but I can’t stop thinking about him. Wondering what he’s doing . Wondering if he’s thinking about me. Hoping we can get back together. I just feel like I’m in limbo and don’t know how to get over this. Can we work or do I move on?
Asked by Zo
Answered
11/29/2021
Dear Zo,
 
Thank you for your message and for sharing with me the pain you are going through with losing your marriage. I can feel the pain through your words.
 
“If you are brave enough to say goodbye, life will reward you with a new hello.” ~Paul Coehlo
 
The closure is something everyone would like. We would like validation and understanding.
 
We can accept that someone doesn’t want to be with us. We can accept that the relationship has changed or that they want something else. What we can’t accept is our partner’s inability to communicate that fact effectively and tell us what went wrong.
 
Unfortunately, sometimes your partner does not have this same need, or they may have the same need but they’re better at hiding it and pretending they don’t. They would rather just push you, and their feelings, away.
 
In my experience, people can’t always be honest with you because they can’t be honest with themselves. It isn’t about you. We always want it to be about us and our flaws and failures, but it isn’t.
 
Many people don’t know how to deal with the emotions that come with a breakup, so they prefer to avoid their feelings altogether, and this is the most likely reason they won’t talk to you. It has nothing to do with you or the relationship or something you did wrong or that you weren’t enough.
 
I’ve dealt with trying to get closure a few times, and it’s awful. No one likes to be ignored, and no one likes to not get answers to their questions. But, what you have to learn is that any answer you get won’t change anything, and it may or may not be the truth anyway.
 
I can only control myself and my actions and how I deal with the ending of another relationship that I thought could mean something.
 
If people want to be in your life they make an effort. If they don’t, then you are better off without them.
 
Try This
 
If you are struggling with getting closure with an ex, ask yourself why you want to talk to them. Is it to get them back? Is it to get them to validate the relationship? Is it to try to get some type of reaction, or any type of reaction? 
 
If you are making up reasons why you need to talk to them, then perhaps you need to get closure from yourself. If they won’t talk to you, reaching out will likely cause you more pain and frustration. So instead, I suggest the following:
 
1. Write a letter.
 
Write one every day if you need to. Don’t send it; just get the feelings out there. You can write them here if you would like. :)
 
2. Write out reasons why they may be avoiding you that have nothing to do with you.
 
We all create explanations in our heads as to why our ex won’t talk to us. We imagine they think bad things about us, they don’t want us, that we weren’t enough, or that everything was our fault. Thoughts in your head are just your interpretation of what happened, and they are usually incorrect.
 
What if what they are really thinking is this? Do you think they are going to tell you?
 
I’m afraid to be open and be hurt again.
I don’t think I can give this person what they need.
Being vulnerable is too scary.
He/she is too good for me.
My abandonment issues have triggered my unconscious need to be alone.
 
3. Unless this was your first love, remember that you loved before and you got over it.
 
You control whether you move on. And you can decide if you want to wallow in self-pity and misery, or pick yourself up off the floor and be the spectacular, amazing person you are and get out there and show yourself to the world.
 
4. Take your feelings and write them on little pieces of paper.
 
“I am hurt.”
“I am angry.”
“I am sad.”
“I am devastated.”
“I am heartbroken.”
“I feel rejected.”
 
Get a fireproof bowl and fill it with some sand. Put all the little pieces of paper in the bowl and light them on fire. Watch the words burn and with them, let the feelings go.
 
5. Be alone.
 
Be still. Cry and be sad over the loss. Accept that what once was, is no longer, and what you thought would be will never be. If it’s meant to be in the future, it will find a way to work itself out. Maybe now is just not the time.
 
6. Live in abundance.
 
They are not the only person in the world. There are literally millions of single people in the world. If you had love before, you will have it again. Stop thinking that you’ll never find someone else so wonderful. If they were so wonderful they would still be with you. They aren’t. They’re gone.
 
Think About It
 
What is it you are really hoping to hear? Do you think most people can admit their fears? Of course we all would like our partner to care enough to tell us the truth no matter how much it hurts.
 
There are a million reasons that relationships don’t work and tons of reasons why your ex won’t talk to you. Don’t take on their issues and make them your own. Realize that we all have insecurities, and not all of us can understand how they impact us.
 
I’m sure you would love for your ex to say, “You are truly amazing and wonderful, but I don’t think we are a match.” The reason most won’t say this is that they don’t want you to come back at them with all sorts of reasons why you are a match, so they’d rather avoid the topic altogether.
 
For whatever reason, your ex has chosen to cease all communication with you. The best thing you can do is take it as a sign from the universe that it’s time to move on, and that any person worthy of being your partner would never leave you in the lurch like that.
 
Remember this saying, “If not this, something better.” These words sound stupid and irritating when your relationship has just ended, but they are true for a reason.
 
We don’t’ always get what we want, but we get what we need. Change is inevitable. Change is good. If it was meant to be, it would have been, and if it is meant to be, it will be.
 
Unfortunately, life does not always go along with our pre-conceived notions of how things should be, and people aren’t always what we want and need them to be. Life isn’t always wrapped up in a pretty package with a bow on top.
 
Sometimes you get closure and sometimes you don’t. Sometimes the lack of closure is the very lesson that you needed to learn. Maybe you needed to learn to validate yourself and accept yourself.
 
Consider seeing this person as a gift sent to you. They were brought to you as a reflection of yourself. Thank them for being a part of your journey and send them on their way in your mind.
 
Lastly, if you are waiting for your ex to give you closure, it might be time to dig deep inside and give it to yourself.
 
Looking forward to talking with you more,
Jono
(MSW, LICSW, LMHC)