The "normal" being that you're not ready.
Yes, your ww has a boyfriend and it's unfair that she got to move on without a blip. The problem is that she started that process way ahead of you. At the time she started checking out, you had no idea. You can't compare yourself to her.
That feeling of guilt just means its not time yet. You're not healed enough yet. Try as you might, you found out that you can't just fill her space and you can't rush this crappy process.
You did nothing wrong. Nothing. You're just not in a place where you can enjoy this choice to date. The guilt is just your mind's way of reminding you to slow down, feel the feelings, get through the grief and then go back to try dating again when you feel more confident and more excited about the prospect of meeting someone special.
Don't be so hard on yourself. There is no manual or guide for this. Trust your feelings and know that you are not alone.
There is no timeline for this. Everyone heals at their own rate. Don't rush it. Taking the quick and easy route may seem like the solution, but in the long run, it only prolongs the healing process.
When you're truly ready to date, you won't feel guilty. You might feel other things, like anxious and awkward, but you won't feel like you're the one cheating on your marriage vows.
It gets better. Unfortunately it takes time. Allow yourself to grieve, and to heal. Live your life according to what's best for you, not compared to what your stbx is doing.
Pretty pretty please, don't you ever ever feel
Like you're less than, less than perfect
I apologized crying to a photo of my kids before the date ! Is that normal.
I compared the date with stbxww often. Not out loud of course. The date went well she was really nice and easy to talk to. But she was not my ex!
It is also not fair to the woman I date to get me damaged. I need to repair.
Speaking as someone who was hurt by a guy who wasn't ready to date, this is so true.
And now he's in worse shape than he would have been had he not been out trying to date because he feels bad about hurting me and he knows he blew a chance for things to work out between us.
You will not regret the time you spend alone, working on yourself and healing. That is a promise.
I remember thinking it was unfair that XWH was with MOW, while I was alone. But since he didn't work on healing himself, he's still the same selfish person he always was, only now he's with a cheater instead of a loyal, honest person. It took me a while to really internalize that.
While alone, I reconnected with old friends, turned acquaintances into friends, and made new friends. I spent a lot of time with my parents and became much closer to them. I focused on my running and vastly improved my times which led to being sponsored by a running store and meeting even more people that way. I took up painting. I've had so many experiences solo that I wouldn't have had otherwise. I gained confidence, self-esteem, and self-respect. I healed, read a lot about relationships, and learned how to recognize yellow and red flags and act accordingly, so that when I am in another relationship, I won't find myself in the same predicament as I did with XWH.
You can't rush healing, and if you try, you're liable to get hurt and/or to hurt someone else.
You've got this!!!
Married: 11 years, no kids
The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short; but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark. -Michelangelo
We may be broken, but dude, they're just fucked up.
It will take a long time, but we'll get through this.
The best thing about hitting rock bottom is that everything after that looks fucking fabulous
Was it too soon to date? Probably, but we all make mistakes along this journey. I too, am someone that will run before I walk, and literally FORCE myself to move forward. Sometimes that means moving forward on things before I'm ready, but the upside is that the determination I have is also what has helped me to heal.
It is unfair that your xw already has a boyfriend. Trust me, I know that feeling! My xh is STILL with the whore he cheated on me with, 2 years later. It feels like they never grieved you and they happily moved forward with their live with zero consequences. But trust me, it's there. There life is their consequence. They haven't taken the time to heal what is so very broken inside of them and YOU deserve better. They are not whole people and the people they choose to be with are not whole people either, and that dysfunctional co-dependent life is not what you want. It may seem like all roses for them now, but trust me, you'll be better off in the long run. Someday they may realize that their band-aids aren't long term solutions to their inner problems, or more likely, they'll be in denial about the source and move on to the next 'fix'.
For me, even though it was too early to date, I would still go out there and 'date' just to prevent myself from being a hermit and to propel myself forward. I wasn't looking for anything serious for a long time, I was just getting use to dating again. Some people have set rules on dating too soon, I think it's different for everyone. But you have to go with what makes YOU feel comfortable.
Hang in there, it's a marathon, not a sprint!
Unfortunately I am so the guy who wants to run before I walk.
Yeah - don't do that or you will run right into a bad relationship that will compound and delay your healing.
The good news is you recognize your typically MO and you recognize that you need some healing time.
I know it is hard to wait out the healing time while our spouses run about like all is great in their new lives. Well, it is not so great there either. They are a broken person in a broken new relationship.
Good news is - that is not your problem anymore. Concentrate on yourself and you will get there!
[This message edited by EvenKeel at 12:10 PM, October 29th (Tuesday)]
I just want to add that while you aren't ready to date, this doesn't mean you can't go out. Being single is so different than being in a marriage. When I went through losing my almost 22 year marriage to infidelity, it took a lot of changing on my end to survive.
I didn't want to date, but I needed to get out of the house. Maybe you could call some friends and go out as a group. Also, there's nothing wrong with heading out alone. I met some really wonderful people, and found I wanted to LIVE. It helped tremendously in my healing, and moving forward.
Your post was so familiar to me. I would cry alone, in my room, talking to my children who weren't there. I felt so guilty for taking away from them, the family they deserved. Truth be told though, my XWH took that life away from them, not me. But we still tend to carry the guilt.
Because we care...
I wish you well...
[This message edited by TrulySad at 12:25 PM, October 29th (Tuesday)]