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Who am I? What do I like?

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PurpleLilac posted 2/14/2014 14:11 PM

Anyone else struggle with this once alone? We are separated, living apart. My life pretty much was jam packed with dancing around WS and his moods. His likes usually became my likes.

[This message edited by PurpleLilac at 4:10 PM, February 21st (Friday)]

MadnessMuse posted 2/14/2014 14:22 PM

[This message edited by MadnessMuse at 9:37 PM, April 18th (Friday)]

cl131716 posted 2/14/2014 14:25 PM

Oh yes! I don't even recognize myself anymore. My life revolved around his. I gave up so much that made me, me because it made him uncomfortable or didn't fit into his life. I'm trying to rediscover myself now.

suckstobeme posted 2/14/2014 14:28 PM

I totally get where you are coming from. I asked myself that question a million times when this all started and I found myself alone.

I didn't have a lot of lofty plans like some BSs do. I already went to school for many years and had a solid career, so I couldn't focus on that. I already was busy at work and didn't need to fill up more time with that. I dropped the one form of sport that I used to enjoy because I couldn't do it on a weekend and because WH was never home. I couldn't pick it back up because it was still on a weeknight.

I had no idea who the eff I was or what the eff I liked to do. I too struggled.

For me, this is still coming to me in small doses. Turns out, I like to do projects in my house. Painting cabinets or redoing the kids' rooms with different bedding or knobs on the dressers, stuff like that. In the warmer weather, I take out aggression outside with my weed wacker and hedge trimmer! I bought myself a Kindle and started to read again. Fiction wasn't doing it for me so I started reading a lot of biographies and books about pop culture. I didn't have to focus so much and keep track of characters that way. I also got new pots and pans for christmas and started sifting through for new ideas. I found the time to connect and/or reconnect with my good friends. I also traveled with the kids a few times and found that we all love to stay in hotels. I tried golf lessons last summer and that seemed pretty cool so I may take that up again this year.

I found that once I slowed down and didn't worry so much about having that big aha moment of finding the ONE thing in life that I loved to do, I was better. I'm not that person that went back to college or went back to a passion that I used to have. I have to find new ones and that's okay. But, it's gonna take some time and as long as I'm okay being with myself and learning more about the little things that I like and don't like, everything will be okay.

For me, this growth has come slowly and in baby steps. That may be how it's going to go for you too. You'll find your balance and your new normal. It just takes time.

Pass posted 2/14/2014 14:33 PM

I went through the exact opposite. I couldn't believe what I had become with her, and I quickly settled back into my pre-Princess hobbies and likes, with a couple important differences:

1. I have two fantastic kids.
2. I have a little more confidence.

Who in the hell was this guy living out in the country, and going to bed early every night to watch reality-based tv with some whore?

The answer: NOT ME. I'm fucking back.

brokendancer7 posted 2/14/2014 15:23 PM

I am struggling with this too. My IC has asked me what I could do just for me, what things I like to do. I am somewhat at a loss. I have always had tons of interests and hobbies, but can't get up the energy or interest to do any of them. During both of H's As, he and OW had big romantic weekends while I was out of town pursuing interests that he didn't share, so going and doing any of that is extremely trigger-y.

Before I was married, I liked to go out and find things to challenge myself, but have settled into the "whatever you want" way of life, too. When I express something else, it usually starts a fight, so I go along. I know that's not being fair to either H, or to myself. He thinks I actually do agree with everything, and I am building up anger and resentment.

JustShine posted 2/14/2014 15:27 PM

We're still together, but I can definitely relate. We move around every couple of years for WH's job, and somewhere in the last decade of this, I totally lost myself as anything but a wife and mom. I've been really struggling to figure out what I want, just as me. It's a very weird thing to realize.

I have multiple degrees, lots of friends, hobbies......but my identity has always been completely entwined with who I am to my family. So now, faced with the total upheaval of my family, I just feel lost, and totally confused about where to go from here.

The upside, though, is that I feel like there is a blank slate of sorts opened up in front of me. If I get to think about starting over from scratch, it's kind of exciting to consider the possibilities - once I get over the disturbing reality that I don't already know what I want.

I keep telling WH that his A gave me a get out of jail free card. I decided not to use it to get out of my marriage. But I like thinking of it as a way to rebuild myself in any new way I choose. When it doesn't feel scary and depressing, it feels liberating!

norabird posted 2/14/2014 15:32 PM

You can find a way to paint pottery without a studio! Have you thought about ADs in the meanwhile? Seems like you could use a little help getting through this time. If your depression lifts, it will be easier to start desiring to do things for yourself again.

RealityStinks posted 2/14/2014 15:37 PM

Yes! I ask the same questions of myself all the time. I'm starting to get beyond the "survive today and worry about tomorrow, tomorrow" mentality. Yesterday, for example, I met a friend for lunch and then we played guitar at his apartment for awhile afterwards. It was a blast, and I remembered how much I enjoyed guitar. So, I'm going to start lessons again after 10 years. I'm sure I'll stumble across more as I go along.

MadeOfScars posted 2/14/2014 15:58 PM

I am hopeful I'll get there too. WW and I did everything together. We liked a lot of the same things, so its hard to do some things I thoroughly enjoyed because its a reminder. Then again, I went and played pool the other night with a co-worker, and it was fun. The STBXW and I loved playing pool, including in that very same pool hall. That said, it wasn't too bad being there without her.

Not going to pressure myself or over-think it. I'll just go with how I feel. If I find I like doing something, I'll do it. If I don't, I won't. It really is my choice though, and its a little liberating.

Ostrich80 posted 2/14/2014 16:12 PM

I'm trying really hard to go back and remember what I used to have passion for. I've been just bee bopping around following ws lead so long, I don't know who I am. We are friends with his friends and their wives, we have activities that he enjoys, we watch what he wants on tv. Geez I can't believe I've just blindly followed behind. I use to ride my horse every day...its been months since I have. I use to enjoy reading and get totally lost in a book but in the past few years I can't focus on a novel, only self help, relationship, how to be a better mf'ing super woman, how to make him love you, how to have a flat stomach blah blah fucking blah. I refuse to buy one more book telling me what I need to do. I like nature. I love to camp, he hates it. I love the mountains, he hates the drive. Dammit if I.have to go by myself, I'm going to start visiting my happy places again.

LoveHerStill posted 2/14/2014 18:06 PM

I still struggle with this to some extent. I was so lost for the first 3.5 years after dday. Depression took all the passion out of everything. I forced myself to do things occasionally but didn't really enjoy it.

I now have a plan for this year. I am getting back in shape (painful, I am so sore all the time), I am going to take overnight road trips on my motorcycle. I love road trips and now feel comfortable doing it alone. I am going to ride my dirtbike more often, north Idaho is beautiful country for that. I am going to camp and backpack this summer. Next winter, I will have health insurance and I am going to return to skiing, which I love!

I am learning to cook and that has been fun, altjough I have messed up a few times. This is new to me as XWW always did the cooking. I like it though and will continue to try new recipes. I love baking and actually won a quiche contest! Yes, sorry to shoot down a cliche, but real men do in fact eat quiche!

Going to start Yoga. My friend is a Yogi, but I can't afford his classes yet.

Maybe archery. Used to do that in HS and it was fun.

Dobegirl posted 2/14/2014 18:21 PM

Oh yes! I don't even recognize myself anymore. My life revolved around his. I gave up so much that made me, me because it made him uncomfortable or didn't fit into his life. I'm trying to rediscover myself now.


This came up in IC this week and I know I just had this dumbfounded look on my face. What do I like to do? Who am I?

I lost myself in this marriage. But not for long!!

GotPlayed posted 2/14/2014 18:48 PM

Same exact thing here. In my case because I was coming into a new country, and different culture, a lot of stuff changed, regarding hobbies and whatnot. And of course I did everything with her.

She changed a lot in the last year, to match OM's hobbies. Now those hobbies are triggers. Being in shape is one of them, but because I need it I'm doing it, though it feels like work. So I'm in a gym and have a personal trainer.

But yes, there's a lot of things I used to do before I met her. And I'm starting to get into those things again. I dropped some of my hobbies that I've always had that take too much time so I can try new things and be more rounded (D-Day removed all interest in hobbies, and it's been great for me to evaluate them objectively before I let them back in).

I'm an introvert, so I joined meetup, and found a bunch of local groups of divorced people and I joined them.

And I'm going dancing tonight with a group of divorced singles. Never met any of them. No date, no pressure.

I think there's a group doing a hike tomorrow, weather permitting. I may do that. And tomorrow night it's Karaoke.

And I've been cooking for the kids, and I'm getting a lot better (I always had basic to intermediate skills).

I don't have the kids this weekend, so take advantage of the free time - I have little enough of it as it is.

hurtingfool posted 2/14/2014 19:01 PM

IC asked me what my long term goals are. I know I had some, but I don't remember what they are any more. Gives me something to think about aside from the A at least.

nekorb posted 2/14/2014 19:39 PM


IC has been pushing this topic. I have some worksheets to do. They are HARD.

I'm a wife and a mom. That IS who I am. I'm good at it. I like it.

It's like I had this awesome job that I loved and thought I was good at and suddenly my supervisor popped in and said "oh, by the way, I haven't been impressed with your work for several years now. You're fired. I replaced you already.".

nekorb posted 2/14/2014 19:40 PM


IC has been pushing this topic. I have some worksheets to do. They are HARD.

I'm a wife and a mom. That IS who I am. I'm good at it. I like it.

It's like I had this awesome job that I loved and thought I was good at and suddenly my supervisor popped in and said "oh, by the way, I haven't been impressed with your work for several years now. You're fired. I replaced you already.".

PurpleLilac posted 2/14/2014 19:50 PM

Well, good to read it's not just me. I guess like everything else about this - it's a process. I'm looking at finding myself as a gift, because otherwise I'd have just gone on being everything to everybody else.

[This message edited by PurpleLilac at 4:13 PM, February 21st (Friday)]

ladies_first posted 2/15/2014 12:10 PM

I gave myself the freedom to be a GENERALIST at hobbies, which took the pressure off to be a Specialist. (Or maybe I have ADD and I'm easily bored.)

I love to walk into a big bookstore and look at all the colorful magazines. Talk about target advertising! Glossy mags (and photoshop) can make anything look sexy.

I make a short list of people, places and things that I want to "explore" and then I get busy. is a good resource.

Change doesn't have to be painful. But I know I do have to step outside of my comfort zone and simply open my mind. During spring/summer, I challenge myself to try one new "thing" and eat one new ethnic meal each month.

Remember: a generalist's best friend is a specialist in the field. The bigger world is just like SI: there are a lot of knowledgeable human beings out there who love to talk about their hobbies and give advice. Take what you need, and leave the rest.

Ashland13 posted 2/15/2014 12:43 PM

Yes, being separated and divorced creates change in us that flows from our head to toes and changes sometimes, like me, our core values, beliefs and dreams.

The thing is, in between the pain, there is also light. Within that light there is merit and grasping at that light, at that merit, sometimes can pull us through.

Perhaps a pottery studio isn't going to happen today, along with other dreams, but you see, Purple Lilac, you are still dreaming. That's a big thing in and of itself that sometimes goes away in us. For me, dreams died for a time and after a few years are just beginning to surface-vague outlines, that is, of dreams I had prior to knowing the Pervert and dreams he called stupid.

Also, FWIW to share, for myself the dreams and wishes are small. Parts and pieces of bigger ones, steps at a time that it is my hope will grow and grow as I and my motley crew of a new household adapt to our new life.

Sometimes dreams also come without a price tag, don't forget those, for in times of financial distress sometimes focusing on those create a more positive outlook and reality.

During marriage, many of us are programmed in a certain way. We are programmed to live, grow and dream in a sense that involves not just a pair of people but also maybe some kids. Now, your universe has been shifted so that along with the shock of letting go, there's sense of the future to make. This is a very long stage that's also a process. Sometimes it sucks. Sometimes it's dead end. But when we rise, dust ourselves off and get up again, that in and of itself is a feat.

Don't forget the small wins in an average day.

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