How do you start to have a life? Many of my friends are with children or married or consumed with their BF. Its not like I am in my 20s so it is harder to find friends.
Did anyone do meetup.com? sigh...
I don't even know how I would date anyone again. I know IC would help me with this, but when you were at my stage of life, did it seem so impossible to move on? but now you have and you don't regret it? i guess I need to hear about others' greener pastures to motivate me. This has been my normal for so long I am trying to envision what a different like would even be like? Thanks for your input, your stories, and words of wisdom. I have to say Im happy there is a place to get support but it does make me sad to think this is such a common theme among relationships. I need faith!
I was married to my high school sweetheart for 20 years, he was all that I knew for all of my adult life. When I caught him in his A my biggest fear was the unknown, I didnt know how to be on my own without him. Our marriage had turned into a brother/sister type relatonship about 10 years prior to the A and I was very lonely and often fantasized about his dying so I could get a clean braeak. I NEVER would have left the marriage just because "I" was unfufilled, I had a son who needed an intact family and that was priority #1 to me. When I left him I was scared to death of being on my own, but excited to start a new life at the same time. I met my now husband just a few months after we split up and honestly it was love at first sight for both of us. I know I had no business being in a relationship that early on but it just happened and it was a wonderful relationship from day 1. We have had our hard times and we work through them. 3 1/2 years later we are married and I am happier then I have ever been in my life. My son is happy and my life is great. I never thought when I left my 20 year marriage that I would ever find happiness.... but I did.
[This message edited by Dawnie at 2:17 PM, May 6th (Monday)]
At first I was allergic to the very thought of dating. It made me nauseous.
I went to IC, group therapy, and did creative expression therapy and nature therapy. LOTS of therapy of all kinds. Hung out with supportive family and friends, just a few people.
I slowly felt better and then the thought of dating didn't make me nauseous. I had low expectations when I started. I just wanted a nice man to buy me a nice dinner. To get dressed up and feel beautiful in society.
I met a nice man and we had a lovely time dating.
I also didn't know how to support myself since half of my business died in the recession (I'm self employed) and I moved to the country to fulfill a lifelong dream of owning rural property. I also didn't know how in the world I could take care of all this by myself as I am not handy. But somehow I am managing and enjoying it a lot. My business is slowly building back up, not yet up to what it was before the crash. But also I've added new ways of working that I really love, like putting on women's retreats in nature and creativity. I was able to do a very creative refinance on the mortgage and get X off the papers.
And I'm still dating the nice man but he is not the center of my life but a wonderful caring part of a very rich and rewarding life. There is no drama in the relationship, but a lot of pleasure, fun and thoughtfulness.
You can't know how good it can be until you move forward one step at a time.
Especially check out the "three things" and "non-dating NBs" which are bumped up regularly.
XWH was my only serious boyfriend, and I'd been with him my entire adult life. I thought I'd married my best friend and that I was happy. Turns out I was wearing rose colored glasses.
I am so much happier now. You'll be surprised by how many people are also looking for friends. I've made tons of acquaintances, some new friends, taken up new hobbies, assembled things by myself, and I'm about to buy my dream house.
My life is 10 times better than when I was married. Maybe more :) You'll get there!
Married: 11 years, no kids
Character is destiny
The life of willies mom:part 2 is awesome. While the first couple of years solo were rough, I have found my groove and enjoy my alone time.
I am fortunate in that I have a great job, great friends, and a supportive family.
Dating has been rough, but while I haven't found "the one", I have met a lot of really ice guys.
It's been helpful for me to have a guy friend that I hang out with - he's like a brother to me.
Don't obsess over it.
First and foremost!!! TIME!!!
Not the magazine but the measure of space. Everybody here will tell you to take your time and you will be better off in the future. You won't feel it right away but it's like lifting weights. You will feel pain in the beginning but over time it will lessen. After a while you will see the results of all that pain. A nice looking body!
Third. Thou shall love thyself! Spoil yourself to your liking. You have to move on from the past. Create a new future for you.
My example is after a full year since d-day I have gotten much stronger physically and mentally. I NC hard after trying to R on my own. First came the downer stage where I felt like crap everyday. Saw couples and just made me feel like I was unwanted. Then went out to the clubs with friends and drank/partied my sorrows away. That didn't really help all that much but after a while I just went to go jogging and I found out my passion. After finding out my passion, I found out my other hobbies. Then life just got easier and easier. I am 99% happy all the time now. Those 1% are the triggers that come and go but I do feel like I am better, healthier now that she is gone from my life. I have a second chance now and I am loving it. You just have to do the same too. But you really have to follow the first three rules: Time, NC, and love yourself. Without those then you are going to be stuck in the same hole.
Now I'm 49. I went back to school, then back to work after being a sahm for almost 20 years. I met a great guy 3 years ago.
But my NB isn't about my relationship with my SO. It's a wonderful part of it, but my NB has been about creating the kind of life I want to have. Good things have happened because I was open to seeing the possibilities and potential. The grass is greener where you water it, and I decided I was going to bloom wherever I was planted, so I water my own grass, a lot.
Pretty pretty please, don't you ever ever feel
Like you're less than, less than perfect
But my NB isn't about my relationship with my SO. It's a wonderful part of it, but my NB has been about creating the kind of life I want to have.
Great words. Gosh that made me feel better. I am doing that myself and wonder why people are in a frantic mode to find love, while I just chill and be what I am.
It gets So. Much. Better! This I promise you! The thing is, in the beginning it's hard to see, because there is so much of the unknown. But like the wind, just because you can't see it, doesn't mean it isn't there. There is a great future ahead for you, but you have to give up your idea of the past and what your future was 'suppose' to look like for it to happen. It will be a new normal. It is a journey, there are growing pains for sure and there are times where it's painful and scary. But there are also incredible moments of joy, self discovery, love and so, so much more. You finally get to a place where you realize, wow. I am so much happier now. And you will also discover how not alone you are. People will come out of the woodwork to share stories, support and more. It may surprise you!
What people have already stated is correct. A new beginning isn't always or just about a new relationship. It's about a new lease on life.
I'll share with you a bit of my story since you want some :)
I met what I 'thought' was the love of my life at 22, was married at 25. We were living in Florida and after 3.5 years of marriage we moved back to our home town for a new job I had gotten. 4 months later, I got laid off (love the economy!) and a month after that I caught him cheating on me, red handed, with his 21 year old employee. We tried to work on our marriage all summer but he couldn't end the affair.
I. Was. DEVASTATED. I tried to make the marriage work, and even though I knew he'd never stop cheating, I couldn't bear the thought of leaving him and giving up the idea of what I had for my future - a house, kids the whole thing. I felt I lost everything I cared about - moved jobs, friends, lost my career and my husband in a handful of months. I was turning 30 and thought - he's already moved onto a younger woman. Women my age in my home state already had 3 kids by then, who's gonna want someone like me now?
At 30 I had to move back in with my parents, with no job. I had to live there for almost 9 months. I felt like my life was going nowhere and that it would never get better.
I was so distraught that no one would ever love me again and that I'd never get to have a family. But it was too painful to stay, so I had to leave. I didn't think I'd ever get better.
2 years later. Here I am. I spent 2 years of that time single. But here's what I grew to find out - single was something I had to get use to yes, but I no longer CARE about being in 'that one' relationship. I think it will happen one day, but that's no longer my focus. You want to know why? My life is So. Much. Better. And I'm happy with ME!
I moved to New York City about 1.5 years ago (2 months post D). I traveled the world, I saw Europe, and spent a month in Paris. I got a new job and have a completely new career path. I realized who my true friends are from before during and after the divorce. While I did lose some friends, the majority of my friendships became stronger, as did my relationship with my family.
My career is back on track and I'm on a path that wouldn't have been possible had I stayed in my home state or with a jealous husband. i have met some INCREDIBLE people. Had I not left XH, I never would have met some of the best friends I have ever come to know. The experiences I've had are incredible. The independence I've gained has been incredible. I've picked up new hobbies - like running! And so much more. I surprised myself by how much I could do and how strong I really am.
None of this would've been possible had I stayed with my X. Now, that life wouldn't have been a bad life, but my life right now is So. Much. Better. I am confident, independent, so damn proud of myself, more sympathetic to others, a better friend and just more well rounded person. In fact, when I do settle down with someone, I will be more of a complete person and know who I am better than I could have before hand.
The life I have now wasn't even on my radar pre-infidelity and thank God I didn't miss out on it! Now, the pain of infidelity and the divorce were bad, yes. And there are times I do still think and miss of him and wonder what our life would be like, but I wouldn't trade what I have now for the world. I can honestly say now I am happier now than I ever was in my marriage and probably happier now than I could've ever pictured before. Because the life I have now is completely 100% the life I want to have. I'm true to myself and I am creating and living the life I want to have - not one that he or anyone else wants for me, but just one that makes ME happy. That is priceless.
There's something about going through this pain that makes you feel indestructible in a way and therefore, you're willing to throw caution to the wind and just embrace life, because, screw it, why not? It's a freedom that I've come to love. I use to plan everything and now I don't plan at all. I love the surprising path my life has taken as a result.
As a side note - I also started seeing someone rather seriously. I dont know where it will end up, but that's ok. I'm happy now and still lovable at the end of the day :) And I will say this, there was a moment when I was in bed with this new guy and, well, afterwards I remember thinking "OMG, thank GOD I got divorced or I never would've experienced THAT! That alone was worth it!" hahaha. I'm just telling you - even the people you meet and date and end up spending your valuable time with are better. Every area gets BETTER.
So you see - there is a GREAT future ahead of you. I think going through a D can help speed up the healing of infidelity at times because it brings you towards closure, you finally know what direction you're heading in. Once I made the decision to D, the healing could happen.
I'm not saying you should D, and I don't know what life will look like for you on the other side, but I can tell you there are a lot of positive stories about moving on. I'm one of them.
A lot of it is about perspective and attitude and 'faking it til you make it'. It will be hard, but there is a great, wonderful light at the end of the tunnel. I promise you that.
Good luck and lots of love!
[This message edited by Confused1829 at 10:28 PM, May 7th (Tuesday)]
I was married for 21 years and our youngest was heading off to college when my XH left. While filing for D, I was filling out the forms to return to school. Six years later, I just finishing my dissertation for my doctorate. I've receive a promotion at work. I have a great and supportive circle of friends. I've become involved in causes that are important to me. I've become much stronger and self sufficient in terms of home maintenance.
I dated soon after my D was final, but I realized that I was in no shape to date, so I took about 2 and 1/2 years off from dating and concentrated on myself and school. I met alot of interesting people and it helped to get some of my self-esteem back.
I met my SO about a year and a half ago, and we've been together ever since. He is a very kind and wonderful man. We have lots of fun together. I'm not sure what the future will hold, but the present is very satisfying.
The first year was scary, everything I knew was related to my life as a married girl. Our friends, my social life, my hobbies, our long term plans.
I started to focus on the little things that I loved: girly movies, books. My god, I think I watched the 8 seasons of Sex and the City back to back for that winter lol. Then I started to renovate my house. The goal was to make it salable but now, I want to live in it, it's my nest.
As for the dating part? I am still alone.....but not lonely. I reconnected with many friends. I had a FWB arrangement that just ended but that's fine. I also date a little bit when I have time. Mostly, I just enjoy being free.
Well this April's Fools Day joke sucked big time.
I left a job that I had been doing for 5 years and found another in my new cities (same job-different offices.) It's not the greatest, but I can pay my bills and travel a bit. I lived with my mom for a while because I needed a soft place to land (and I thought she needed me too...) then I found my own place--first a rented house in Phoenix, now an apartment in TX.
I still have my very old friends--got all of them in the D . I've made lots of new ones too--on SI (many of whom have become IRL friends) and at work.
I no longer have to worry about what the X is doing, either in an A or with his health. My DS is still a great friend and all-we've always been close. One big thing that this experience has taught me is that I really can excise bad people from my life; I've had to cut off contact with one of my brothers because he is just bat-shit crazy, and I'm ok with it.
Life is good--really, really good.
[This message edited by Sad in AZ at 6:33 AM, May 8th (Wednesday)]
Since my ex spouse moved out, I spent a full year trying to get back into the workforce. I had been a stay at home mom for 16 years. I could not find any work in my field (corporate) I think due to my age. I was 51 at the time.
I decided to take the bull by the horns. Took out loans and put myself through cosmetology school. It was a blast! I was the oldest person in the building let alone the class but it was so much fun. I discovered my passion for hair. Upon graduation I interviewed for full time jobs but came up against my age and lack of experience.
Took the proverbial bull by the horns (again) and decided to open up shop by myself. I rent a room in an upscale Hair Boutique and have been slowly building a clientele.
It has been difficult - I won't lie - but oh so rewarding. I know I can do this and I have made so many wonderful friends along the way.
The co-parenting is a nightmare and off we go to court once again next week. But at least my work gives me a place to enjoy and help make someone else's day a little better.
If I can do it - then you can too. Just be strong.
I was just telling a friend this morning how well I am doing, and how sad I am that I waited so long. We were married 11 years, the second half of my M was spent living like roommates. I was scared to finally pull the plug. It took everything I had to follow through with the D.
Now it is like a huge weight is lifted. I realize I was letting fear keep me in a situation that I never would have been truly happy in.
I'm so giddy at the endless possibilities in front of me I'm having to hold myself back from throwing myself into the dating world.
It's not just about dating though. I can do what makes ME happy now. I don't have to worry about his bad choices or odd behaviors.
I don't have to be concerned about how he is feeling about me anymore, and that feels pretty good. Because I like me, and that's what really matters.