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Struggling to Accept that He Doesn’t Care about Me

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My husband left almost 3 years ago and lives with his affair partner. Before he left, he exhibited signs of depression, mood swings, and his behavior became erratic. He’s now living a completely new life in another state but yet has not filed for divorce. For the first two years, he would communicate sometimes but would not respond to legal issues. I kept busy living my life and didn’t contact him unless it was about legal matters, but I was always kind and treated him with respect. Last year I was diagnosed with advanced stage cancer and have not heard from him since. He’s even changed his contact information. I’m really struggling with understanding how I was a huge part of his life for almost two decades and even though we are still married, his actions show that he truly does not care about me. I can understand “falling out of love,” but how does someone just stop caring? My self-esteem has plummeted and it’s excruciating to feel like someone I knew for so long and shared so much of my life with doesn’t care if I live or die. I have worked hard to understand that his actions are not my fault, but I am having such a hard time accepting how he could learn that I have cancer and intentionally make my life more difficult by disappearing without getting divorced, and how he could just erase me from his life as if I never existed. I don’t want what’s left of my life to be spent dealing with this painful issue and I try not to think about him too much but I feel like our unfinished marriage is hanging over my head.

Struggling to Accept that He Doesn’t Care about Me

Answered by on -

A.

I am deeply moved by your situation and understand the devastation following a desertion. Trying to understand his motivation and lack of caring re-injures you emotionally. No matter how many times you try to understand this story of betrayal it will leave you empty. This is a time to reclaim yourself and reconnect with those who love you — and whose care can fill you up. Building a network of social support takes some doing. Asking for help, expressing gratitude toward those who have extended their kindness, and immersing in the best self-care practices you can will help you feel better.

Thoughts determine the direction of our feelings and behavior. If you dwell on him you are turning your thoughts toward more difficult and unsatisfying feelings. Focusing on what you need and the loving people in your life will be better way to go.

Wishing you patience and peace,
Dr. Dan
Proof Positive Blog @ PsychCentral

Struggling to Accept that He Doesn’t Care about Me

Daniel J. Tomasulo, PhD, TEP, MFA, MAPP

Dan Tomasulo Ph.D., TEP, MFA, MAPP teaches Positive Psychology in the graduate program of Counseling and Clinical Psychology at Columbia University, Teachers College and works with Martin Seligman, the Father of Positive Psychology in the Masters of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) program at the University of Pennsylvania. He is Director of the New York Certification in Positive Psychology for the Open Center in New York City and on faculty at New Jersey City University. Sharecare has honored him as one of the top 10 online influencers on the topic of depression. For more information go to: http://www.dare2behappy.com/. He also writes for Psych Central's Ask the Therapist column and the Proof Positive blog.

APA Reference
Tomasulo, D. (2018). Struggling to Accept that He Doesn’t Care about Me. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 12, 2019, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2018/05/10/struggling-to-accept-that-he-doesnt-care-about-me/
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 10 May 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 10 May 2018
Published on Psych Central.com. All rights reserved.