This divorce had been beyond devastating for me. It has broken me. Something in me has died. I am unable to allow people to get close to me. It is like that part of me has shriveled up and died forever. I've spent thousands in therapy. At this point, I feel like I am beyond help. I've been alone for over three years now and although I desperately crave a personal connection with someone, I am paralyzed and unable. The lonliness I feel is completely debilitating and I feel like I am powerless to do anything about it. I feel empty. :(
I am on match.com (please do not comment if you are going criticize me about this as I am not looking for opinions or advice on my readiness to date.), and I have had a lot of interest from many men. I've been on a few dates and I've had some that have shown a lot of interest; one guy was literally falling over himself with interest. As soon as there is interest expressed, I am paralyzed with fear. I start comparing him with the perfect man I thought my ex was, even though this man does not, and never did exist. I start finding flaws in them or reasons why it wouldn't work or anticipating getting hurt and I withdraw. I don't know how to allow myself to take a blind leap of faith. I don't know how to make the pain of what has happened to me go away. I feel hopeless that it ever will. I invested so many years into my Ex. I feel like he has taken my soul; robbed me of my past and of my future, robbed me of peace, robbed me of time with my children; robbed me of my innocence and my ability to love, trust, and be vulnerable with another person. I feel like I am going to feel this way for the rest of my life and it makes me feel hopeless, sad, and empty.
Thanks for listening
You may be broken now, but you CAN be fixed.
The person who broke you however, is likely broken beyond repair.
I hope you find healing and Peace.
It's been my observation that these feelings don't last forever, even though they feel like they will from where we stand. Sending big hugs.
This is it. The darkest day. The blackest hour. Chin up, shoulders back. Let's see what we're made of, you and I.
- The Doctor
I went on a few dates shortly after leaving The Princess, with much the same results as you. In fact, I used to cry on my way home from every one of them. It's only recently that I've felt ready to date. No more crying or fleeing.
You'll get there some day, but until you do, it will feel totally unattainable.
The best thing about hitting rock bottom is that everything after that looks fucking fabulous!
As far as meeting someone, maybe hold off for a while. Just get involved with something you enjoy or that helps other people. Volunteer at a food bank, animal shelter, homeless shelter, pediatric ward etc to get you out of your home and into the world. Join a group of like-minded individuals, a book club, a gourmet cooking club, a wine club ... something that really floats your boat. Enjoy those times for just doing something for you.
I could have wrote your post word.for.word.
I feel exactly the same way.
And what scares me also is that the years it takes to get over it is too long at my age.
Something vital in me died and no matter how hard I try, I don't see it coming back.
I am so sorry, I know exactly how your feel.
You are going through a lot. But you will come out the other side stronger. And you know what? He's not. Use this to grow.
Silver linings. For a couple of weeks, look on purpose only at silver linings.
I'm on match too, also against everyone's advise (D-day was only 11/2013). I've stopped actively using it though I'm still emailing with someone who knows I'm not ready because I'm being perfectly honest. It's the only way I'll deal with anyone. Full honesty. Start right.
18 years I was married. Happily for 17 3/4 of them. It's very hard, but I am so at peace in my new place, I am being fair on my D proceedings (and so far it looks like she is, too, though she's probably just flying blind out of waywardness and she'll become horrible as soon as the pressure is on and she has to face some consequences). I'll just let the L handle it (that's why I pay, right?) and I'll continue rebuilding my life.
Yes, he robbed you of your past. But your future is not his to take, that's why you D. And you know what? Neither is the present. You do of the present what you decide. Decide to make it a good one.
You can build your future, one you will be proud of. You have a lot of support from us here and from the people in real life who love you. It's not forever unless you say it is. Don't let him turn you into what you're not.
That 'perfect' man tore your heart out and set it alight. I don't want that guy anymore - I'd like the warts upfront thanks.
It is not a criticism to say you are not ready to date. Being lonely is not a sign of readiness. Perhaps the opposite is true - you're ready when you are OK with being alone. When you're no longer eaten up by the loneliness.
My cup wasn't anywhere near full when I started up with the sad clown - I thought he could help me fill it but he drained me almost dry instead. I want a full cup in my future relationships.
They say 2-5 years for R and I strongly believe it is the same in S/D.
I too am forever changed by this and I'm pissed off about it. I didn't do anything to deserve it. I was defrauded and I'm PISSED OFF.
Being pissed off won't change it. Neither will biting my nose off to spite my face. Right now I couldn't handle being hurt - it is so not worth the risk.
You spent half of your life with this man. Be gentle with yourself - it will take a while to heal.
Name your feelings. Write our your fears then compare them t reality. Chances are you have a soundtrack of fear going on in your head. Only you can change the soundtrack.
I've been dating a lot casually - kind of like aversion therapy/desensitising.
Interestingly I've found I'm the one hurting people. I'm the destructive one right now. That sucks as much as being hurt. Not only am I scared I them I'm also scared of myself.
I'm just not ready. I wish I could fast forward this bit but I can't.
I don't know how to 'date' so I'm trying to focus on platonic relationships instead.
Learning to guard our hearts whilst also being open is a new life skill we're learning. I course we're afraid. Let it be in a good way.
It's hard not to compare suitors to our exWS's. I do it also, but then stop myself. But until you learn to surrender yourself to the fact that you Ex is totally gone and nothing will bring him back, you cannot move on. Your life wasn't as good before as you think it was. It was just an illusion. He was cheating on you your whole marriage you said. He was just great at hiding it. What a dirtbag.
"You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have." ~ Bob Marley
what fixed it was reading a bunch of help books. reading baggagereclaim and dating some really nice guys!!
then as the yrs went on I got more and more brave and independent.
i think of my life like this: at this moment I have so much to be thankful for cause... and at this moment I have this because prior I did not.
i see trees different, birds, sun on my face. I experience life cause I realize its so short to be upset or in grief or even pity.
i dont want to date but I want to live and laugh. I want to feel alive and important to me. so i make that happen. i often travel alone, see movies alone in big theatre. Im not afraid to be alone and I certainly am 100% glad I found out he was cheating so I could leave that hell and not be blind and betrayed behind my back. i had to realize I chose badly, but he did the actions.
stop fretting over someone who doesnt love you or it make break you spirit and soul. they betrayal doesnt deserve that power. dust you damn knees off as you get up and move forward, what other choice do you have?
My only thought from your first post is - let it go. If your X is still in your thought process, then don't date for now. You, and any potential dates, deserve better.
Has he taken your soul? Only if you let him. You deserve better ,and you know this is true.
Status: D 2011
Above all, be the heroine, not the victim. - Nora Ephron
It is our choices...that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.
- J. K. Rowling
I know my perfect husband didn't exist. He is a wolf in sheep's clothing. He is scum. But my heart is so confused about the mixed signals it got.
Sean, I have an appt with your referral. Realistically it is going to be hard getting in to see him though. I can't take off work that often and his night hours I have no one to watch the kids. I get what you were saying the other day about ex taking more responsibility with the kids but I can't force him to and I certainly don't want to feel indebted to him for anything nor do I want my kids with some scumbag friend of his. But I will get in to see him when I can and imprecise the referral.
I just don't feel like you can get over fears unless you force yourself to and face them. But every time I do I just want to retreat even further. I have no problems with being alone anymore. But it's the emotional loneliness that is unbearable, if that makes sense.
Sorry you're in such a bad place. I struggled mightily with the negative self talk. It can be very deadly.
What I learned from reading a lot and meditating (a lot) is that I could choose to wear the victim hat or not.
After giving nearly all my best years to someone who chose to put my health and life at risk continuously, casually and repeatedly, I could choose to let despair overwhelm me.
Very often during the first two or three years I succumbed to it. It's very likely that my marriage was the last romantic relationship I'll ever have, that's my reality and I lost everything I cared about, my home, my best friend, the love of my life, a secure retirement and my mom, who died in the middle of it all.
I could let it take me down in flames, it would be so easy to do. But I choose not to wear the victim hat. In my mind I burned that sucker and it's no longer in my proverbial closet.
The thing is, every day that I don't have to spend sobbing over the destruction in my rear view mirror is a huge gift. I choose to embrace it as such.
Now I get to live life on my terms, whatever that may be. No man can give that gift to me, it comes from inside.
Maybe in a year or two you'll be able to see it. I sure hope so because it brings great peace.
I know you cannot force him to take your kids, but yeah...in a way you can and need to. You need time to do what you need to do to help yourself....fuck him and his wants. Seems to be no reason in my head why he cannot look after his children more than he does. It's what the decree says and what he wanted. He can take them to dinner one night during the week so you can attend what you need to. Boo-hoo if he doesnt get home til late. This wasn't your decision and you need to communicate this to him and call him out on it. You need to become selfish with him the way he has with you. Tell him to pick a weekday night once a week to begin watching them. He can take them to dinner, then to a movie or something and drop them off by 8pm. This is not being indebted to him, but using him for your gain. He owes you this much I'm sure you'll agree. I never look at this type of thing as feeling indebted to my exWW, but as to "well you wanted this and guess what?...this is what divorce is all about so fuck off and deal with it."
I know that's harder to do than say. But it will help empower you to begin getting past him and how he still makes you feel. Him taking your kids only two nights per month is inconceivable to me. I guess I'm not sure how you will be able to date with that limited time to offer someone. Easy here but many men like myself would get a bit frustrated with that and eventually move on. Whereas we understand your kids come first, we don't want to feel like last fiddle either.
Ask yourself what you are getting out of being in this thought process. I read somewhere - maybe here? - that sometimes we get stuck in a habit to still feel close to our H - or what we thought we had. And that hit me hard. I've had YEARS of practice being stuck in this thought process, it's going to take some time to change. And I will change. I will not let my Stbx ruin my life. And the same goes for you. You want it, I can read it in your post.
I think sometimes we put expectations on our self of where we think we should be. Maybe you think you should be further along because it's been over three years. Remind yourself of all of your growth. Be easy on yourself.
I didn't date at all the first year. I moved the kids and myself about 1.5 hours away. He only has e/o weekend custody. I bought a house and started school. I also started IC, and very intensely.
I honestly could have written your post. You just express it better than I do. I do feel broken and terrified of men. How could I have missed being married to a gay man? We were together for 17 years? Huge walls went up so I could just survive. For several weeks, when I even tried to think about what ex did, my mind would go black. My mind wouldn't allow me to even try to process. IC said that is a form of self preservation…something too painful to think about, so the mind protects the body. Slowly, I was able to process and I've let go of the pain of the past…but I can't seem to allow men to get close to me. I only really dated one man, and he was also emotionally hurting…so I think we bonded over the pain. That was 2 years ago.
But, I don't compare anyone to ex. Ex is an asshat who hurt me. That erased all the good I felt for him. So, I don't compare, I'm just generally afraid to trust again.
I did start dating on-line too, also receive lots of interest…but there is something "wrong" with me too. I panic at the thought of a guy getting close. I've probably gone out with 10-12 guys now and…it is panic. I have to convince myself to even go out with them, and the more interest they show, the more I pull away. At the first hint of something "wrong" with them, I end the relationship.
My peeps in NB's think I'm "emotionally buttoned up", it is hard to show emotional vulnerability, and I think I agree with them. It is waaaaay too scary to let someone "in" to see me. It is almost easier to be alone. I WANT a relationship, but I don't see the path to get there. The more a man wants me, the harder I pull away.
My therapist and I go round and round about it. I recognize the issue. I am frightened of trusting someone, and essentially holding other men responsible for ex's choices. I know it is wrong. But, every single fiber of me was broken when I discovered ex's other life. Every single part of my life had to change. The only thing that stayed consistent were my children. The thought of giving up my found "power" over my new life is also frightening. Handing someone my heart again is just terrifying. BUT, I know this is wrong thinking. I KNOW it is, so I continue to push myself to work through it. I have a running dialog in my head when dating. "Don't blame them for ex." "Don't look for problems." "Just give it some time and find out who they are." "Not all guys are ex." This is what my IC suggested I do, just keep talking myself through the panic. I truly believe it is a form of PTSD. In one email 4 years ago, my life blew apart. Everything I knew about my life was a lie. Everything. For fuck's sake, my H wasn't even straight.
I assumed I would be happy and married again at almost 4 years post d-day, but that just doesn't happen for some of us. I don't know why.
I just know it is. *I* am responsible for my own emotional health. The only think I know to do is to continue to push through the fear and hope one day something in me "clicks" and I feel…safe.
[This message edited by cmego at 9:50 AM, January 12th (Sunday)]
As soon as there is interest expressed, I am paralyzed with fear. I start comparing him with the perfect man I thought my ex was, even though this man does not, and never did exist.
This is what needs to be worked on. You are paralyzed with fear because you fear to trust. You know that perfect man didn't exist, yet you use it to excuse yourself from attempting to trust another.
Don't feel bad that you are in this place and your d-day was a long time ago. You are stuck in a pattern of thinking that continues to make the abandonment and betrayal a fresh event in your mind.
BUt you are strong and can face this fear and release yourself from this pattern. Make a babysitter happen because it will make you a better person.
You can do this.