November 22, 2013 - submitted by Anon, United States of America

I'm 25 and the woman I loved for 5 years left me. Married for 1 of those years but spent it learning her depression strained the relationship too much. It was severe and caring for her emotional state buried mine. My sentiments were often ignored, feelings of intimacy were ignored, and she was critical of how I didn't care for her enough (although in my mind I exhausted myself). Background aside and on to my question: How do I move on from this to open myself to the great journeys life has to offer and eventually love again? Anon. USA.

The Oracle replies:

You asked a direct question but I felt it was necessary to address the background story, as this is very important. I don’t think you can move on until you have dealt with the feelings that you were left with after the marriage ended.
Depression is a very difficult condition for both sufferer & partner to live with. It sounds like there was nothing more you could give to the relationship yet what you did give wasn’t acknowledged, appreciated or accepted.
The first thing you need to know is that the illness more than likely caused the breakdown of your marriage, not your wife or you directly. You were both victims of something out of your control. It’s very sad & there could be a period of grief or fear.
As you’re accepting that life has great journeys, let’s continue on a travel metaphor. You may have booked a bad holiday in the past but it doesn’t usually put you off going away again. It will probably make you cautious; you may spend more time in making sure you’ll have a great time the next time. Bad trips happen & we put them down to experience. When a relationship ends we sometimes put blocks in the way to protect ourselves from further hurt.
Falling love is magical but sometimes it feels like a huge risk. I won’t lie, it is but life without risks would be pretty boring eh?
Now, go and book that holiday & have a great adventure! ;-)
Over to you.

Throw away your rearview mirror, live each day to say, "Wow, isn't that cool!" at least once before you go to sleep, and let love find you. Jim.

There are two views when it comes to finding love. One view, the "soul mate" theory, is that each person is meant for one other person; that only one person can love us entirely and as equally as we love them. The other view is that we fall in love with people we are compatible with. Falling in love is not limited to only one person. People argue which is true, but maybe both these views are right. Many people, like you, fall in love with people for a number of reasons. The woman you fell in love with did not share the same feelings you had for her for you. There is still another person out there meant for you. Do not lose hope because this relationship did not last.
You believe you have lost your love, but was it true love if it was not returned? No. Now you wish to look for love, true unconditional love. To find love, you have to let love find you. Someone else is looking also, for you. Be open and help her find you. Like looking for a 4 leaf clover in a patch of shamrocks, you may have to pick up a few that appear to be right, but in the end are not what you were looking for. She is rare and one of a kind, but discovering her will bring you the most happiness. Most importantly, never stop looking, you're letting someone very special down if you do. Delaney.

You’re right about saying life offers great journeys, it does - and you will love again, no doubt. The question will be how to handle with your past bad experiences and with problems in your relationship. There could be (again) psychical problems, physical ones or anything else what is too much to handle for a couple alone, problems not to manage without external help. You both were simply over strained with that situation. Now the best thing for you both will be to find different ways.
Be open enough for a new beginning, open enough to see the good things in live. Also be close enough to stay true to yourself. Let the other one know who you are and where you can go without hurting yourself. Step by step built a solid foundation of trust, to make sure you can talk about arising problems before they are going to crush you down. Bon voyage! L.Q.

I feel for you because I have been where you are . It is truly exhausting to be trying to 'fix' someone while holding the relationship together. You were not the source of this depression so you could not be the cure. The good thing is you are now free to carry on with your life . Try not to focus on your previous relationship, it is now 'water under the bridge' this will be easier said than done .
First of all what do you hope to bring to a new relationship ? What do you hope to gain ? You need to heal from this hurt and get to know yourself . Can you emotionally cope with what happened to you? When you can answer these questions you are likely ready for a new love .
When you are looking for someone new please realize not all will have the same baggage, and don't paint a new relationship with the brush from the last one. If you find a new love and she has a down day its is not the end of the world.
So basically look for someone whose faults you can live with and who can live with yours . It would be wrong to cut yourself off from something good , as some wise musicians once said "If you never try you'll never know just what you're worth" I wish you great happiness! Take care, Laurie.

You need to build up your self worth. You're obviously a caring person as you gave up a lot for your wife. In doing so you have lost part of yourself and need to regain that, Start with small steps. You need to find love for yourself. Do things you love and are good at to improve your self esteem. Build up your self-confidence. Don't be hard on yourself. It's never too hard to start again. Make some new friends and through this who knows? Gina.

The world is your oyster. June.

Maybe you could join a dating site or find singles groups just to go on dates and meet people. Have some fun, it sounds like you deserve it! Steve.

Thanks to all those who replied to this week’s question. Remember, Team Oracle is open to anyone so if you fancy replying, click to read this week's, and send us your answer.