At 28 years old, it all fell apart. My wife had an affair and took a wrecking ball to our marriage, throwing the life we had built into shambles, and splitting our daughter's life in two.
Like many who have gone through this process, it is hard not to feel like a failure. Even though I know that it's not my fault that my marriage is ending, it is still hard to see all that I've worked toward go up in flames. The question is: What now?
Do I try again? Do I hold onto the same goals, and try to make it work a second time, or do I reevaluate my goals in life altogether, and try to live a different life?
These are some of the many questions I will need to be asking as I look toward the future. On the one hand, I've learned so many hard lessons about marriage that it would be a shame if I never got the chance to implement them. I feel like I could do so much better the second time around. On the other hand, I have many fears about going down that road again, still so much to do before I am ready to trust again. And my daughter... even in my marriage, I had slowly come to be comfortable with the idea that she would probably be my only child. If I can successfully raise her into adulthood, will I count myself a successful parent and check that off my list, or will I try to start a new family at some point in the future? Will I try to be a family man again, or will I cross that off my list and try something else?
These are just some of the questions swirling around in my head, and I know that I'm under no obligation to decide these things right now, but I am curious. What have you all done in the aftermath of your marriage? Have you kept basically the same goals you had before your first marriage, or did you reevaluate and change your approach to your life?
I know for me, I definetly wanna have a someone. The kicker is going to be able to understand that, that someone, is not the shitface, and should not pay for his sins.
dbellanon, you are entitled to happiness, to a someone a something, an anything you want!
I know for me, my goals have changed in the manner of expectations. I expected to have a husband, and my kids,and be happy. I planned on staying married and gave everything to a man who was unfaithful multiple times.
The one thing you can plan on in life, is never planning on anything.
Now, I think my goals are simpler. I no longer want to be "the perfect wife". That shit is exhausting.
I want to be me.
I can't speak for you, but for me, crawling back to myself and finding some semblance of who I am had been a challenge. I gave up so much to be with him,be like him, be liked by him, I lost something along the way.
I see the light though, it's coming. I will get there.
For right now, my kids are okay, I'm okay. We have a roof over our heads, food on our table and a great support system...and that is enough...for now.
I have no doubt that I will re-evaluate many, many times what I want out of my future.
My approach is simple: I live for my kids, and I live for me. The rest is just gravy
I've also reshaped my free time-- it used to be all about my XWH, but now that he's out of the picture, I'm rediscovering friendships and enjoying the time I spend with family members. While I do use that time to get annoying chores done while my kids are with their dad, I also use it to do nice things for myself, which I had really not done a lot of during my M.
I am focusing on these smaller, short-term goals because I feel that they are doable and because they force me to focus on the present and to enjoy it. I do have one thing I'd like to do in the long-term (sort of a professional as well as personal fulfillment), but otherwise, I'm keeping my goals realistic and manageable-- things I can accomplish in my day-to-day living. I used to have that "big picture" as well, but the end of my M certainly taught me that not everything in the big picture is going to work out, so I'm focusing on the completion of small sections of the big picture instead!
So just as our last child went off to college, as the two of us were going to start going on adventures, maybe live overseas again, my entire life changed to a different trajectory. I now get to try to find a job with health insurance. I haven't worked in over 22 years. I will live on much less money. I need to plan for my old age. Save money. I live in an area with no family but a great group of very supportive friends. There is a low cost of living so I will likely stay her where my children might come "home" to visit. Of course, I can't afford to stay in our current home so will move to a much smaller place.
I doubt I will start a new life with someone but you never know. It's not something I will be searching for.
I won't be walking hand in hand with the man I married and loved for my entire life. I actually thought we had a shot at a 50th wedding anniversary. However, I will lead a happy life. I'm determined.
I saw him, I could not unsee him. -StrongButBroken
There came a point when it was too painful to love him, so I stopped.
Yeah, my goals have changed.
As for relationships, I'm not ready for one. At this age, I'm not sure I see the point in having one, either. I suppose if the right man came along, I'd be open minded. But I'm not interested in marriage or living with anyone. I'm just not.
My biggest goal is to own my own home in 2 years (because it will take that long to save/rebuild my credit since I declared bankruptcy).
For the past (almost) two years, life has been about healing, and making myself a better person. Being a better mom/daughter/friend/me. I think I've been pretty successful so far. I'm excelling in my career. I'm raising an amazing son. My family life is pretty good.
And now, I'm in the beginnings of a relationship. I kind of treat my former marriage as a learning experience. I was immature when I got married, and I guess I've grown up in many ways since. Who knows if this potential relationship will be the be-all-end-all. It could be. But it might also be just another stop on the journey.
Nothing like building from the ashes to really make you appreciate simple things...
The best part is I am finding out who me is. To be honest since the age of 15, I am now 44 yrs old, I have never been without a boyfriend for longer than 3 months, so @ 7 mths this is a new record. But that's ok. I need to rediscover who I am first.
Cyber hugs everyone.
Finally after 13 years of marriage we finally bought a home in the country w 5 acres. My x was handy and I was good at gardening and we had a blast. He was great at fixing the place up, but we couldn't live there full time as it was too far from work. It was like our weekend play home development home. For a while it was really fun. Then he had the affair.
I never planned to live alone way out in the country like I am doing. It is kind of crazy but I still love the place. It's peaceful and nurturing as well as demanding to maintain. It kind of has messed up my business living here. I'm self employed and commute 3.5 hours to my practice, stay over in a friends spare room for 2 nights, see clients, commute back and try to also build a practice In the town closest to my rural home. It's kind of nuts. My colleagues have really advanced their practices while I seem to be treading water w little financial security to show for all these years of working my ass off.
I still kept my plan to live in this country home but it is way different doing it without ex. I have an SO but he is not handy, and he has a chronic shoulder injury so he is of minimal help with maintenance. He will never live here w me, it's not his thing so I am living my dream alone, which is not at all the same.
You sound like a guy who would make a great partner. I hope you find the right person to realize your dreams with. You are still young and so much can happen for you and your young daughter to be in a larger loving in tact family together.
Now at 57 , I'm having to start over in many ways. It's tough making up for years I didn't work.
I'll tell you in 5 yrs if my new goals have been achieved and I'm comfortable financially.
do I reevaluate my goals in life altogether,
Yes, I think you do. Because when you were married, your goals were about what was good for the marriage. Now, you have to evaluate what is best for you and your daughter. Some of them may overlap, others may change.
My ex and I have no children, that made things easier. I shifted my life and made it all about me for a while. That's been great.
"In life, unlike chess, the game continues after checkmate." - Asimov
"Be patient and tough; someday this pain will be useful to you." - Ovid
I had my whole live torn to bits by STBXWHNPDPAFTG. We had a business together that was supposed to provide a livelyhood, community, income, and retirement. I worked there. I put my all into it.
He started fucking the customers, making me batshitcrazy, and eventually drove me out of the business, and found an OW who he has pretty much used to replace me.
Now, I'm just trying to heal. I feel aimless without goals and a vision for my future and I feel like I'm wasting my life away. I've been unemployed but haven't found anything work-wise that inspires me.
I am trying to be more now focused and less about tomorrow, although I am really struggling with that. It's so not me. I need a goal that lights my fire and I don't have that anymore.
If I think about what I lost I get really, really angry. Basically it was stolen from me and given to someone else by the guy who was supposed to have my back. Instead he stuck a knife in it.
"Be here now" is my motto, I think, because I'm just driving myself crazy thinking I ought to be working on being somewhere else.
I edit because I always make typos.