Dealing with a Major Personal Crisis/Catharsis

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The personal account below is not posted in Main or Discussion directly but here because it contains personal details the author does not want to be directly trackable to himself via a trivial Google search. The author is aware that linking and Wiki functions allow to make this connection but assumes that this will more likely happen only by persons who know him and his story anyway. Please respect this wish and don't mention the authors name in a link to this page. You are free to cite parts of this as per this Wikis license. You may of course make typographical corrections or add/correct links and references.

Back to Dealing with a Major Personal Crisis


At the end of the sixth week I had a fateful talk with my wife, my aunt, and an experienced moderator. I had started to have endless conversations (mostly by phone) which gave comfort and support but this was different.

It was eye opening.

I was shown the truth. Told unambiguously that she did love another.

That I was powerless and was completely at her mercy.

That I could at best wait and hope that their relationship would break and be there then. And I considered it.

In that talk I remembered something I had read earlier (possibly on lesswrong): The Litany of Tarski. I later phrased it as follows:

If she still loves me I want to believe that she still loves me.
If she doesn't love me any more I want to believe that she doesn't love me any more.

And when I looked it up somewhat later I added the litany of Gendlin:

What is true is already so. Owning up to it doesn't make it worse.

Being totally exhausted I tried to get free sleep medication (which didn't work) and then went to a doctor who asked me about my problems. I got a sleeping drug (promising that I wouldn't abuse it) and took it in the evening. It was the first real sleep in weeks. The next day I considered what I had recognized, had another long discussion with a relative, another ten hours of sleep and was full of new energy and direction.

I could act!

I could put my energy onto a new goal: Making the best out of it for me and the children. Start a new life!

From total devastation I swung into an euphoria of total liberation within two days. I knew that this euphoria wasn't real though it felt great. It swung back an forth between slightly sad and successively lower euphoria until I stabilized almost at my normal level within a week.

Most astounding was the feeling when I gave up my love for her; when I realized that in truth she didn't love me. I could feel it leaving me in a few days. Day by day the desire to do anything to make her sustainably happy declined. Strange.


  • I'm not sure to recommend the litany of Tarski and Gendlin in general because of issues with the litany of Gendlin. You might not want to put your brain's bonding circuitry under this kind of load. Borders on dark arts.
  • Get as much help as you can.
  • Visit a doctor if physical symptoms manifest.
  • Try to find a moderator for resolving issues. My experience is that a moderator avoids falling into affect and using empty accusations.
  • Write a diary!

Continue to Dealing with a Major Personal Crisis - Parting.