I'd like to start by saying that I can't believe I found an outlet with people who've suffered similar experiences. It's comforting to know that while I may be an exception to the rule of "disenfrancised grief" that you exist. 

Morally, it's difficult to put into words, onto a keyboard how I feel about my loss.

The romantic in me is heartbroken

The pragmatic in me is trudging along

I'm married with no children. I love my husband and we have a great relationship. We are more like sibling/friends who've nourished each other for 22 years. 

My "partner who is not my partner" was also married. 2 teenage boys & a wife that didn't show much affection (isn't that always the story)

We had been together 13 years. We chatted daily on the phone. We texted an absurd amount of time (I was shocked looking at my cell bill). We began a casual relationship to fill the gaps in our marriage & of course we progressed to leading almost double lives. 

He passed suddenly of a heart attack last month. Being the other woman, I found out only by instinct, curiosity & google as a result of an unanswered text.  

There is one friend who I've confided in for years and she has been my rock through this loss. 

I don't want to shout off mountain tops. I don't want to let his wife know. I can't let my husband see me cry. I've no liberty to mourn. I've no freedom to take time away from work. I'm strong and coping. I'm not medicated. I'm not seeing a therapist. 

I am reading and re-reading email and all social media to the point where I have to pull back as it was not helping. The wife is now posting photos of him, starting go fund me (she works from home) & is financially broken. If she knew he had a first edition of a popular book, she could sell it and live well for a few months (I gave it to him as a gift) but I can't dare tell her or think of creative ways to connect without revealing myself.

Finding moments to cry are few and far between but I'm trying to feel it all.

There is little reading one can find on how to cope as the unknown other woman. 

I was blessed to attend a streaming version of the funeral but it wasn't closure for me as I have so many questions on the "how" and the "where" and "when"; like I could have helped save him. He passed on a Monday evening; we spoke and texted at 4pm & 9pm.

He wanted to remain the best father to his kids, upstanding dad to his friends & family & business partner to his wife. He left this world being the vision of the love of her life & it kills me to know the story isn't all sunshine & roses. I shall respect him & allow them to see the facade he wanted to build but it's hurting inside to know that I am missing him in ways she never will.

Reading your posts is assuring and I know I will get through it but I miss him so damn much. It's been a month and I've got no oomph. No sympathy. No motivation.

Just heartache of never being able to kiss him again.

Any feedback on how to cope is welcomed. 

Thank you for taking the time to read about some of my current experience.

R

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Replies to This Discussion

Hello Robin. It always takes me time to reply to people who post in here. I need rest and sleep before I can write one word without throwing myself back to day one, where it’s so raw and constant and dark. And that’s where you are since you are only a month in. I couldn’t write in here for 2 years. But I was desperate for someone who had my experience to say “it will be ok” and to tell me how they got there.

So much of what you said I felt and still feel. She who got to sit in the front row at the funeral but did not know all of him, and the desire to never hurt them anymore than they have been. I would not wish this pain on anyone.

I also found out on google bc there was no reply to texts for 12 hours. Disenfranchised grief with the shock of a sudden death is traumatic. The isolation of grieving in silence and alone is a huge burden. It’s a very complicated grief and I believe we have a more difficult road to healing than their families bc of it.

I can’t promise you will heal. The 3rd year anniversary of his death approaches March 10. I feel it less than the first and second years. But it will never be gone.

I highly suggest you do get a therapist so you don’t go crazy from the obsessive thinking and lack of outlet and support. That desire to talk about our lost loved ones is a natural compulsion. It’s like we are trying to solve an unsolvable problem.

You might also read “It’s Ok That You’re Not Ok”. You’ll hear things like the physical impacts on our bodies that are common for all who grieve. I at least found some relief in knowing these feelings/thoughts and how intense and long-lasting they were was a common experience.

But in the beginning there is nothing to give you much relief. No words or meditations or prayers can make it stop. I felt like I was drowning and on fire at the same time. I felt like I needed to be in a hospital. I felt like my insides vibrates and hurt all day. I was physically in pain and exhausted all the time. If you find something that makes you feel lighter focus on it as often and as long as you can.

You have my best wishes. May your memories be a comfort to you - someday.

Hi Kelly.

Thank you for the reassuring words of wisdom. I fully understand about the delay in responding; I don't know that I'd be checking back much in an attempt to move forward either. It's certainly one of the most stressful & painful things I've gone through. Wishing you much support in the lead up to the 3rd-iverssary. Going to focus on healing too. Stay well. Robin

Thank you Robin. Here I am the day before looking for something to help, connection to people who have the same feelings. Our tribe of support that we all need. Maybe if what I have gone thru can help someone else it will help me too.

Hi Robin,

I lost my SO nearly two months ago so it is pretty raw for me right now. I can relate on having so many questions surrounding the details of his passing and not knowing how I can get those answers. Over time, I had to find peace with the fact that I may not ever know everything about it. I obsessed over those thoughts but recently, have been better about it. 

I am sorry that you have to internalize a lot of your feelings - I can completely relate. I would recommend seeing a therapist. Perhaps in those sessions, you can share without fear of judgement. 

I was not able to get any details on the funeral so was never able to say a proper 'goodbye'. My story had some unique nuances to it but after it all, I felt like an outsider. I felt that while I was someone who was so special to this man, and he was such a big part of my life - the moment he passed, I had become a nobody. It felt like a stab in the heart. It is one of the worst feelings to feel, so I would recommend against bottling ALL of it on the inside. An outlet will allow you to process some of the complications of this grief. 

While everyone grieves differently, I found that journaling can be therapeutic for me. Maybe you can try writing some of your thoughts and feelings down. Sometimes, I find a quiet time during the day to myself where I sit and talk to him and say all the things I did not get to say. 

Losing someone is a crushing pain, and when you feel alone or like an outcast when you cannot even mourn or be there for the person you love and who loved you, it is an agonizing pain that is added on top. It is very hard and to date, the hardest thing I am dealing with in my life...but over time, the pain will not sting as the first few days or weeks. I believe the pain will become manageable with time. 

Lastly...my situation may be different from others in that I did not know my SO was married until after he passed. Even so, I conclude that the love he had for me was legitimate and was so very real, despite what I think other people may think. In this circumstance, I have to realize that it will not be my attendance at a funeral or a status that was publicly acknowledged that will give me validation - it is within the love he and I shared that I find validation for what I feel and the purpose behind my grief. So I hope you share in that - while you may not feel appropriate in grieving as you mentioned 'liberty', you have every right to feel the way you feel. I truly hope you can find either the outlets or the coping mechanisms that can help you on your journey to healing.

I wish you peace and wellness. 

Hi Lana. Wishing you peace on your healing journey. I will keep your words close and try to stay positive, thinking about the fond memories we made in over the 12 years.
The pain does dull, or at least the intensely painful moments become far less frequent. I second the suggestion of seeing a therapist. It was essential for me. Also, it’s been 3 years in February, and I still journal regularly because it helps to put down in words. Grieving silently, hiding it from those closest to you, is brutal. It is also good to have at least one friend to share the story with.

Sending you love and peace. You’ll get through, I promise.

Welcome to the group.  I lost my partner on February 5th this year, so it's still pretty raw for me too.  Reading through your story really touched a chord with me.  Like you, I didn't think I would ever find a group like this.  Since joining, this is only my first time back.  It's so hard going through this alone.  I never even knew what disenfranchised grief was until it happened to me.  I was with him for 10 years.  I'm also married, so grieving has been challenging.  Sometimes I just have to get away and drive....cry my eyes out, and put myself back together so that I can keep going.  I hate to admit this, but a few days ago, I was in bed (alone), crying and feeling so lost that I just softly asked my higher power if I could just go now.  I couldn't stand the idea of facing another day of this pain.  I don't really want to die.  I love my family so much, and I would never want them to feel this pain.  So, I guess I just have to endure.  I'm strongly considering counseling at this point.  I have a history with addiction, so it's probably in my best interest to get in front of this before I allow myself to sprial too far down.  I wish I could give more feedback on how to cope.  But I'm still in the thick of it myself.  Coming here helps.  Journaling helps.  Taking a drive alone has also been good for me.  I start feeling like the walls are closing in on me if I don't do that at least once in a while.   All the best to you.  Believe me when I say, I truly understand, and it sucks. :(

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