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Do you know what most men tell their wives when the situation is reversed? "GET OVER IT!!!" Most women, myself included, have bee left by a man we deeply, sincerely loved but who didn't love us back, and no matter who shattered we are, they don't even look back. Men are so much better at taking care of themselves and doing what makes them happy than women are. I don't know why that is, but it seems to be the truth. when my ex boyfriend left me, I was completely destroyed. I stayed in bed and did nothing but cry for months and months. I had to run to the bathroom a few times during every workday to cry my eyes out. I gained weight. I was miserable. I was heartbroken. Did he care? no. He was happy. I would have at least appreciated an apology for the lies he told me and how he used me, but actually, looking back, I'm not sorry he didn't come back to me. I would have sold my soul to the devil for him to come back to me, but now I can see what a mistake that would have been. And that's not a healthy kind of love, anyway. Now he's with someone who makes him happier than I ever could have. And as much as I am still angry that he was never sorry for how he lied to me, for HOW he left me and for how badly he hurt me, I still love him, and therefor am not mad at him for doing what he needed to do to find happiness. I could not honestly say I ever really loved him if I would begrudge him his happiness. I think the same is true for your husband. If your husband wants you back more than he wants to see you HAPPY, then he doesn't really love you.

So, you think you're supposed to spend your whole entire life either miserably stuck in a loveless, unhappy marriage, or miserably racked with guilt because you had the audacity to live your own life to please yourself and go out and find some happiness. And why?? Did your ex cure cancer, create peace in the middle east or something? Why does he deserve to have you martyr your own happiness, your life at his feet like you were some kind of sacrificial lamb? Why do YOU deserve to be offered up on that alter? I think you need to start by figuring out why you don't think you deserve to be with a man who is healthy, stable, and who you truly love and who is truly able to love you back. Why your self esteem is so low. and it's not because of the guilt trip he is currently laying on you. It wouldn't be working as well as it is if you didn't start with such low self esteem in the first place. No one can make you feel guilty about anything but you. You are the one choosing to feel guilty and you are playing right into your ex husband's, rewarding him for wallowing in self pity. Hey, if he can't manipulate you into actually coming back to him, not out of love and passion but out of guilt, then he can at least destroy any happiness you might find without him. I don't know why you left him as you do not go into detail, but I'm guessing it was NOT so you could spend the rest of your life surrendering all your power to him, which is what you're still doing. Francine Hughes felt guilty for leaving her husband, too. His family poured it on, saying what a horrible woman she was for leaving Mickey. when he had a car accident, they guilted her into coming back and nursing him. He beat and abused her to such a degree that one night after a particularly horrendous night of abuse, she snapped and the only thing she could think of to save her life and the lives of her kids was to set Mickey's bed on fire, while he slept in it. A very very extreme example, yes, but much lesser examples of this is what happens when we surrender our power to people who just want to manipulate us. Chaining ourselves in a prison of our own making, whining and pleading for someone to become something they aren't, instead of just saying, "sorry, I care for you, but this isn't working for me" with honestly and respect and setting ourselves, and them, even if it takes a while for them to see it, free. Think of the most famous celebrity power couple you can think of. Whenever you see pictures of their ridiculously beautiful faces on magazines, do either of them look at all guilty as they carry all their glorious children through the paparrazzi because of the "friend" left behind? No. They are perfect for each other, and they are happy, as everyone in the world has the right to try to be.

I think you should sit down and make a list. Think long and hard about it, and put a lot of care and thought into it. Make a completely thorough list of all the reasons why you left your husband, don't leave anything at all out, no matter how trivial it may seem. Go back and remember every conversation, every dinner, every whatever. Go over it a few times, take your time and make sure it's complete. Then when you're done, make another list of all the reasons you would have for going back to him that have NOTHING to do with making HIM feel better, that have NOTHING to do with your guilt, only your love and passion for him, only based on the positives of your feelings for hiim and the life you had together. Then compare the lists, then be honest with yourself and really ask yourself if you deserve to rack YOURSELF with guilt. Only you can really know the answer, so only you can say. No one else has the right to tell you if you're being selfish, or wrong. Only you know what will make you happy, and only YOU will be unhappy if you don't get it.

Oh, and p.s., good thinking going it alone for a while, until you get your head straight on your own, but you need to clear out ALL the emotional junk that is working on your emotions either way. Go get your pets. If you are in an apartment that doesn't accept pets, find one that does and move asap. that will be one less thing for you to feel guilty about, plus having their company and staying busy with the business of loving them and caring for them again will make you feel more like yourself.
I don't know why I don't think I deserve guilt-free happiness. Maybe because I've always put others first, me last. Make sure everyone else is happy, warm, fed, and taken care of. It was enough for a long time because I didn't know any better. Then I met my friend again and for the first time in my life he put ME first. I had a foot rub and a back rub for the first time in my life. But what is so ridiculous is I even felt guilty for receiving pleasure. Not because I was betraying my husband, but because I didn't think I deserved it. It felt funny to be the center of someone else's attention. Still does.

I think I'm going to try the counseling route and see what can be done to help HIM. I know he's severely depressed. So am I for that matter. I just know I can't go on like this.

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