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Did your goals change?

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dbellanon posted 6/25/2013 19:48 PM

At 24 years old, I was living my dream. I had a wife and a beautiful little girl whom I loved dearly. It was all I had ever really wanted. Everything else, career, belongings... these were just icing on the cake. Even when I was young, I knew I wanted to be a family man, a husband and a father. I never wanted to date lots of women. I just wanted to find one that I could dedicate my life to, and grow old with her.

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?

peacelovetea posted 6/25/2013 20:18 PM

Initially I was sure I would want to go back to it -- but with the addition of having a career instead of being a SAHM. Now that I'm a year out, I'm realizing I am questioning all of that, and that I am still changing a lot. So I am not committing to anything other than finishing school as a goal in the short term. My SO understands this and is uncertain enough about his own future (he's also in the throes of school and a major career overhaul) that it works out well -- we are enjoying each other right now, when we have time, and what happens in the future will happen, no planning needed right now. Sometimes the uncertainty of EVERYTHING gets to me, but if my M taught me anything its that nothing is certain. I know that right now I need to just live with it, focus on my kids and my degree, and that the way will become clear one way or the other. I just need that evil thing TIME.

brokenfinger posted 6/25/2013 20:22 PM

For me, being a type A personality, and always with a plan B..this has been so hard. I keep trying to decide where I'm going to go, and what I"m going to do.
Simple fact is...I have no fucking clue....and that HAS to be okay. I'm okay, my kids are okay, and we will take it day by day and figure it out as we go.

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

tryingagain74 posted 6/25/2013 20:30 PM

For the moment, I've reshaped my life to focus on enjoying the time with my kids. Although I will be adding more hours to my job this fall, I remain part-time because I can still afford it and because it gives me a better work-life balance. One of the biggest problems in my M was that I constantly felt like I was burning the candle at both ends and was completely stressed out. Getting the D forced me to take a close look at how I was leading my life and forced me to shuffle my priorities. I've gotten much better at saying "no," for instance, so that I'm not running from obligation to obligation like a chicken with its head cut off.

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!

Amazonia posted 6/25/2013 20:49 PM

I got divorced at 27, after sacrificing a really amazing career that I loved for my now-ex. My goals now have grown with me. They are bigger and more exciting than what I wanted three years ago.

fallingquickly posted 6/25/2013 21:09 PM

My goals were very much the same as yours. At 17 I started dating the man I would marry. We went through college together. I intended to spend my entire life with him. We were going to be that old couple walking hand in hand.
I quit my job, we sold everything we owned, and I moved away from my family and birthplace in order for him to follow his dream working overseas. I became a SAHM. I loved it. I followed him to place after place, rebuilding a friendship base and life each time. Just over two years ago I found out he had cheated. A year ago I found out it was much bigger and more horrible than I had thought and it had continued after DD.

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.

h0peless posted 6/25/2013 21:12 PM

Things have changed for me for sure. I'm 32 and my biggest goal in life was to have children and grow old with the person I loved most in the world. The second part sort of fell through before the first part happened so now my goal is to live extremely frugally for the next 18 years, retire when I'm 55 and spend whatever time I have left traveling. Obviously I can't see into the future and if this experience has taught me anything, it's that I have to be open to unexpected changes in my plans but at 11 months from Dday, I can't imagine even being open to starting a relationship with someone new. I can't imagine being that vulnerable again. I can imagine living in a small place, saving and investing money and sacrificing so that I can enjoy as much of life as possible with as few financial responsibilities as possible.

Nature_Girl posted 6/25/2013 23:13 PM

I have no choice but to change my goals. I have to fully give up my career plans because that particular career will never pay enough for me to support myself & the children. I have to go back into a job market as a middle-aged SAHM who hasn't worked outside the home for almost two decades. Instead of me continuing being self-employed in my own design business I'll be someone's f-ing secretary again.

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.

lostmommy posted 6/26/2013 13:31 PM

Divorced at 32 with a 2 1/2 year old... yes, my goals have certainly changed.

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.

jennie160 posted 6/26/2013 14:04 PM

I got divorced when I was 24 and my goal at that time was to have a family (one of the deciding factors for me leaving XH was because he would make a terrible father). But as time goes on (I'm almost 28 now) my goal has changed. I can still picture myself having a family but I can also picture myself being happy without one. I figure life will unfold however it wants and as long as I'm happy then I'm meeting my goal.

wonderingbull posted 6/26/2013 16:31 PM

This is inspiring reading...

Nothing like building from the ashes to really make you appreciate simple things...


scrambled2 posted 7/28/2013 17:25 PM

what a great forum...this so helps. I am only 7 mths out but totally resonate with "brokenfinger" to steal the line ....I JUST WANT TO BE ME...yes this screams to me. Totally agree with it all.

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.

gardenparty posted 7/28/2013 18:24 PM

Divorced at 39, 2 kids and just finished building our dream retirement home. I thought that by now I would be living in that home on the water, taking care of my husband and enjoying visits home from my children. Instead I am living on the opposite side of the country, have a completely new career path and taking everything day by day. Every now and then I still resent the choices that my EX made that led me to leading this life but for the most part I am blessed. Accept the fact that your life will be different, embrace those differences and you might be amazed at what life gives you.

InnerLight posted 7/28/2013 20:18 PM

I married when I was 30 and wanted to have kids when we were more financially secure. We dreamed about an ecological home like a straw bale or earth ship (rammed earth). We never had kids as I slowly realized that even if we were financially secure my XH was not emotionally supportive and I was kind of on my own in the marriage emotionally andi didnt want kis like at.

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.

gma56 posted 7/28/2013 21:00 PM

I do have different goals from when I was married and also from when I was in my 20s and divorced with a DD.

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.

hurtbs posted 7/28/2013 21:56 PM

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.

heartbroken_kk posted 7/28/2013 22:56 PM

I used to be very goal oriented, very future oriented, a planner, striver, doer.

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.

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