Some positive aspects of being a single parent....

(64 Posts)
sliceofcake Sun 27-Oct-13 12:10:22

DH and I separating amicably but still incredibly sad and feeling like a failure.
I need some positive tales of how this will be ok, and that I can cope with being on my own with two DC's. At the moment I am struggling to see past the sadness and to the future.

Hi slice, sorry you're going through this, but it really does get better. I separated from my X of 19 years almost 5 years ago now. The first few months are the hardest, but it really does get easier. In fact, if my X offered me a million pounds I wouldn't go back to him now. Here are some great aspects of being a single parent:
- Spontaneity, you can just take your kids out whenever you like, without asking him what he wants to do.
- You can think about yourself for a bit instead of him, put yourself first because a happier Mum makes for happier kids IMO.
- All the decisions are now yours. This may seem scary at first but believe me it is great being able to choose the paint or sofa without compromising.
- If your kids see their Dad, that will give you some very precious You time, maybe even for a couple of days. Again, quite scary to think of at first but wonderful when you learn to let go.
It is a very special feeling being a single parent who is happy. I wouldn't give it up for the world. Chin up, find someone to talk to about it in real life, preferably another single parent who understands, and try and enjoy every moment with your kids. Don't think of yourself as a failure, plan something wonderful that you and the DCs can do in a month or two together, and really look forward to it. Don't dwell on the past, what's done is done, try and think positively and you'll start to feel good about life.
Very good luck smile

Lonecatwithkitten Sun 27-Oct-13 14:17:59

You can do things your way all the time.
You can do what you want when you want.
Those are my top two.

sliceofcake Sun 27-Oct-13 14:43:34

Thanks for these.
I just feel so sad for DS who is 7 and DD who is 2 because having come from a home of divorced parents myself, I never wanted that for my children.
I'm worried I can't cope and make the right decisions on my own. I know that sounds stupid and weak and I am not normally like that.
I'm scared of being lonely. I don't mean necessarily being without a partner, it's more like who will I talk to in the evening, mull things over with, chat about the day.
God, am feeling so sorry for myself, I truly am not usually like this, but this decision has totally floored me.

Minime85 Sun 27-Oct-13 19:50:30

sliceofcake I could have written exactly this. I am in your shoes now. and it is so sad and I too feel like a failure and a little ashamed. I feel very hopeful for a new version of my future though as well. love the advice from the first message and will take it on myself. I hate I will have to miss out on parts of my dc's lives through no fault of my own. but I am going to try and remain upbeat and visit friends, go for walks, read, do work (I'm a teacher) . but maybe as first message said be me again. and try to enjoy it. its going to be so hard but realise you aren't alone as I felt when all this started happening to me like I was the only one and everyone else was amazingly happy. not that I wish this on anyone but it is nice to know I'm not alone. good luck x

mineofuselessinformation Sun 27-Oct-13 20:08:10

I can parent my dcs the way I want to (and this meant a huge improvement in my relationship with my eldest as nobody undermined me).
It is incredibly scary to feel that you will have to make decisions alone, but hugely liberating when you do.
I'm in the middle of selling my house, am about to start a new job and move to a new area. I'm scared shitless but also very excited about it. grin

sliceofcake Sun 27-Oct-13 21:28:43

Thanks everyone, good to know others have felt or are feeling the same, although yes, you wouldn't wish it on anyone. It's incredibly scary and just seems like such a waste. If some big thing had happened to break us up I don't know if that would make it somehow easier to get my head round, I suspect not, but it just feels like we are agreeing to make all our lives worse ATM. There are so mny downsides to this, and not many ups.

I will try to think of myself for a bit though, as this is an area I have sadly neglected for a long time. Hopefully this will rub off on the DC's and they will see a happier mum.
Wish me luck!

Minime85 Sun 27-Oct-13 21:40:42

wishing you bucketfuls of luck. our situations sound identical. I too want something to hang my coat on to say that's it, that's the reason. that all of this is going to end better. x

mineofuselessinformation Sun 27-Oct-13 22:39:04

Slice, you just summed it up.... You will be happier. Your kids deserve a happy mum and you deserve to be happy.
Where's the downside in that?

WorriedAtNight Sun 27-Oct-13 22:53:29

I'm in a fairly similar position, slice, three weeks in. It's all been a shock to me and I feel that dh, who has left us for another woman, has made the decision on his own to make all of our lives a bit worse forever. And to children he professes to love. It's horrible. But already I'm finding better ways of talking to the children about it, and although the work seems relentless at the moment (both young and one not started nursery yet) we are able to have fun together and make each other happy with games and extra books and things which when dh was here I would not have been doing so much of. Don't get me wrong- I wish dh hadn't left, and I still want hm back, but we are finding a way through it. I'm so sorry you're going through similar thanks

whoselifeisitanyway Mon 28-Oct-13 08:52:36

It's hard isn't it and 18 months on I can say there are peaks and troughs. I know it's a cliche but when you really feel you can't cope, just get through the day and breathe a sigh of relief when the kids are in bed safe and sound.

I haven't found I am lonely in the evenings tbh because I am so busy with the tea, bath, bed routine then tidying up and sorting things for the next day, that I only crash out in front of the television for an hour or go on the internet or call a friend and that's it, evening over!

Hang on in there. The best thing is you are no longer with someone who wasn't right for you, however hard that is. I also think the younger the children, the easier they adjust and I think your dc are younger than mine so they will cope.

killpeppa Mon 28-Oct-13 08:54:01

thank you for posting this and thanks for all the answers do far!

I separated last Thursday & have also been thinking about this.

TheScreamingNit Mon 28-Oct-13 09:06:56

I'm loving it.
It's my house. I can vacuum as and when I like- or not. I can play my music without being whinged at.
If I don't feel like cooking a big tea, DD and I just eat picky tea and watch a movie together. No worrying about anybody else whingy bloody XP
When I want to mull something over, or chat about my day, I call my mum, or my other single-mum friend and we have a good chat about it.

There is always hot water.
The remote is mine.
There's always petrol in the car, none of this "Oh, I forgot" stab, stab stab

And while I have much, much more responsibility (with XP I was pretty much a trophy wife. I raised DD and cleaned the house- I made no decisions, handled no money, was given "housekeeping" money...) I have so much more freedom.

I very much understand the feeling of failure and shame- I felt like I'd let everyone down, leaving a "perfect" relationship because I wanted something to change (I asked for a joint bank account) and was refused.
It passes, and even on the worst, shittiest, most craptacular days, it is better now than it ever was before.

Good luck smile

killpeppa Mon 28-Oct-13 10:06:10

I have decided to take up a hobby to put in the lonely nights I know I will face- I've always wanted to learn crocheting. perfect time. I'll have no distractions.

Handywoman Mon 28-Oct-13 14:05:31

Been separated since June and been on emotional roller coaster despit instigating it.

Things are settling down and I can honestly say Ive never felt happier or more fulfilled. We pack so much more into our lives now in terms of spontaneous trips, working hard (homework, busy extra-curricular activities and etc, my work). The girls (aged 8 and 10) do housework with me (the eldest knows how to work the washing machine, clean mirrors, dust, clean the bathroom, mop the floor) and we have spontaneous disco dancing in the living room whenever we feel like it. I've taken up running and feel very connected to my friends. Am dealing with the financial at the moment, petrifying but will be a big achievement. Life is exhausting but most definitely better!

mineofuselessinformation Mon 28-Oct-13 16:01:16

Mine were old enough in the beginning that we could have 'movie nights' - we used to make popcorn, then pull the sofa up close to the telly and all squash under a blanket

sliceofcake Mon 28-Oct-13 19:18:42

Wow, checked back and didn't expect so many lovely replies. Guess it's happening to a lot of us.
I've felt a bit better today, just got on with stuff at work and tried to think of the good things I'll be able to do. Dreading telling our families and the DC's, that will be awful. Just seems such a waste of our lives, but then I think I should be so very grateful that I have two beautiful children and nothing will ever change that, so the past 15 years have not been a waste.
Your replies are really helping btw, good to know that what I am feeling is normal, I keep looking at other people and wondering why my relationship has failed and you can't help but blame yourself.

Thanks everyone xx

Chubfuddler Mon 28-Oct-13 19:25:03

I'm nine months in. The highs and lows are exactly as everyone else describes. I definitely never want to get married again, or live with a man again (relishing my independence too much) but I do worry that at 35 I may actually never have sex again.

You'll get through this, and far from failing you're showing your children that mediocre is not good enough, and that if they want to they too will be able to change the direction of their lives. You're being very brave.

sliceofcake Fri 01-Nov-13 07:25:08

Well, estate agent is coming next week to value the house and then we decide what to do next. Still in this weird situation of being really normal and friendly, so it just feels so odd to to be calmly planning our split. Once we have decided on how and where we will live we need to tell the DCs which I feel physically sick about.
Good luck to all the rest of you going through this, I just keep trying to focus on the future and hope myself and the children will be happier. They know their parents love them and that is what we need to keep telling them. But it still breaks my heart.

littlemefi Sun 03-Nov-13 15:47:37

This is a great thread. DH and I made decision to split a couple of weeks ago, amicably but still in same house until he decides where he'll be living.
Have told our families but not dd (aged 4) yet which I'm dreading, so it's lovely to hear the positives that there can be!

Minime85 Sun 03-Nov-13 18:22:03

told our dcs yesterday as he now has a house and will be moving out on Friday. I had a migraine for 2 days leading up to it (having never had them before) was bloody awful but I feel so much better to be now telling the truth. the dcs were shocked and very upset. youngest DC is 6 and very emotional and has been full of questions and sadness over things like holidays and why isn't there a room for mummy at daddy's new house...but they equally have smiled and laughed and been children too. we hated shattering their worlds. but we planned something nice for after, visited precious grandparents and I had the book mum and dad glue which we read together. we too are amicable enough and I'm giving him advice on running his house as he has no idea!
I know the road ahead is going to be bloody bumpy and I'm scared and sad. but this is the new reality. I didn't want it or I believe deserve it. but it is what it is. I have good and bad days. sending you lots of positive thoughts. good luck smile

sliceofcake Mon 04-Nov-13 15:23:00

i bet you feel some relief minime, would you recommend that book, was it useful?
I too am having good days and bad, today is a good day, but yesterday was a shocker. Told my mum today and she has been great, so feeling better now I have said it to someone in RL, felt I was going mad in my own head before - thank god for MN!
I'm glad this thread is helping, it certainly makes me feel more 'normal' iykwim and that i am not the only one to be feeling like this.
Good luck to all of us in the same boat :-)

killpeppa Mon 04-Nov-13 15:36:37

last night was the first night he's been out of the house (stating at his mums) .

I started a thread about how lonely I felt then cried myself to sleep.
I just hit me that my marriage was over.

today is a better day ( helped by a few sneaky cigs )
he's coming to see the boys this evening.
I'm going to have an Indian & watch a movie.

house searching has halted until all my finances are sorted so doubtful I'll move before Christmas. dunno how we will work that one as he's only able to stay at his mums for a month.

sheeeesh is it to early for wine?

Minime85 Mon 04-Nov-13 18:41:25

sliceofcake yes is was a relief. I slept so much better Saturday night. and yes I would definitely recommend the book.

killpeppa I've had that type of realisation today as I was leaving work, that oh my god he is actually going to walk out on us.

I'm really valuing this thread and support from mn. good luck everyone. smile

killpeppa Mon 04-Nov-13 18:53:43

I found taking up smoking (again) helped hahagrin dont do it

at least there's no one about to whine at me for having a sneaky one after the kids head to bed.


guess yous can tell my mood picked upwink

comingintomyown Wed 06-Nov-13 12:23:34


I have posted many times on threads where posters are extolling the virtues of being single but usually its when its been a while whereas for most of you this is still early days and very raw.

I am now almost four years single after my xh left and heres why I love it

No pressure to provide interesting meals cooked from scratch

No listening to tedious commentaries on other road users driving ability

No wall to wall sport

Nobody making constant "jokes" at my expense

No listening to bitter, dour, cynical and joyless perspectives on life , the universe and everything

No more listening to someone crashing around a room trying to find the door to get out but cant due to extreme inebriation and a whole host of other nasties on that topic

Having any scented candles burning that I please

Watching crap like Storage Hunters without being judged

Being overweight and no I dont like it but not being made to feel like low life because of it

Yes I agree with chubfuddler its odd to think I may never have sex again and that is the only thing that makes me think from time to time a man would be nice . That and when there is a DIY crisis as xh was good at those things but hey I can pay someone for that stuff !

So in my fours years I have had to navigate my 2 teen DC through the split, move house , return to FT work after years out of the market, fight my corner through divorce stuff and see xh marry the OW but I wouldnt change a thing !

sliceofcake Sun 10-Nov-13 20:49:32

I'm starting to get used to the idea and am seeing the good things that will come, still feeling sad, but that is feeling a bit more normal iykwim. I'm looking forward to be able to be totally in control of what I am doing, and the DC's, and to not have to worry if someone is annoyed or in a bad mood.
Although we are still a way off from deciding when he is moving out, what to do with the house etc, I am catching myself thinking of little things I will enjoy on my own, so am def getting used to it, and it doesn't seem quite so terrifying.
Hope you are all doing ok x

Donerelate Sat 30-Nov-13 22:21:23

Can I join? DH and I made the decision to separate 10 days ago and he told his parents and brother last weekend, and I told my dad on Thursday.

It all feels odd as we are still living together and sharing a bed (one of us will move in to the spare room once we have told the dd's) and in fact, since we agreed that it was just not working us being a married couple, we have got on better!

I keep wondering if I have made the right decision. But, I need to take the rose tinted glasses off. Things have been bad for the last 11 years really, with no sex for the last 4.

Just scared I think. Not so much of being lonely - as someone else said, once tea, bath etc has been done, not much time to be lonely.

Rambling now.

Going to tell the girls tomorrow (due to do today but dd2 was ill sad) and very nervous.

Good luck all. Hopefully we can hand hold.

kaparobi Wed 11-Dec-13 16:35:51

I kick my husband of 11 years (partner of 16) out 5.5 months ago when I found out he had been having an affair. I am currently in the process of divorcing him so that I can start to move on with my life, no way back as he is with the OW.

I was terrified of being a single mum at first (and at times I still am) but I have also discovered it is very liberating for myself and my 2 DSs (7 and 5).

-I am currently sat here surrounded by mess that I will tidy up when I am ready to tidy it up and not because I am worried about him coming home and being sarcastic about it.
-The boys and I have a date night once a week after I get back from work. Ok so it is only a fish and chip supper or a meal in Morrisons but we can do it because it is just the 3 of us.
- I can have friends round when I want
- He worked shifts and so was often sleeping at really awkward times so we all had to be quiet, tis the case no more
- The boys can sleep with me in my bed every Saturday night and on the nights when they are upset and need my cuddles.
-We can just get up and go when we want on a weekend (or stay in our PJs all day if we wish)
- When he has the boys I have me time which I put to valuable use.

The list is growing and on the whole I am a lot happier Mum. Yes there are still hard times, there are times when I cry and there are times when I am resentful that he has left me with the boys and he is off being "single" (his words not mine) but I would not take him back now for all the tea in China. I have a magical relationship with my boys now. Double the love, double the kisses and double the hugs from them. I am still in the early day stage of it all and I know there will be ups and downs but if I am honest our marriage was over long before the affair so perhaps that is why I feel liberated now.

Good luck with it all. xx

Minime85 Wed 11-Dec-13 20:53:17

how is everyone doing? how has it gone telling dcs? I've been having a rough few days. nearly 5 weeks since he left and still no real answers from him as to why it all went wrong. but I too had a h who worked shifts so it was always about being quiet and having to jump out if bed at 6.30am when my youngest dd got up at weekend. now we can all lie in my bed and be cosy and please ourselves.

find myself getting more and more angry about it all. but I too feel liberated and happier on a day to day level. its the big things like holidays etc which sadden me so very much. sliceofcake hope you are ok x

Sliceofcake Sat 28-Dec-13 00:48:38

Hi everyone, sorry I've not been back and posted, it's been a big crazy with work and christmas.
Well, we have still not told the DCs, we decided we would have one last christmas as a family, and it's been ok, a bit weird, but on the surface totally normal as no one else knows. I have found it hard at times as I keep thinking of everything being a 'last', I.e. Last Xmas dinner together etc.
I'm still devasted for the children, but as time goes on I am so ready for DH to move out, I just want to get on with it. I'm sure when he finally goes it will hit me like a ton of bricks again, but in a weird way I am looking forward to it, as if can then properly start to move on.
Sorry you've had a bad few days Minime, hoping you had a good christmas with your DC's. It's funny, I was just thinking about holidays today and wondering how I'll manage and what we will do.
Hope everyone who is going through this is coping ok, it seems that no one has said they'd prefer to return to how they lived before, so that's tells you all you need to know I think. Wishing you all a very merry christmas and here's to the new year! Xxx

Minime85 Sat 28-Dec-13 20:02:54

really good to hear you are doing ok sliceofcake . I've been up and down and am perfecting the art of zoning out of conversations. DCs and I plodding along quite well though.

all those lasts are hard. had that in summer when supposedly he was trying when we went on holiday but I really felt like it would be the last one altogether. also dc birthday in october when we knew but they didn't. was so so hard.

wishing you happiness in new year. thanks

Sliceofcake Tue 31-Dec-13 19:02:29

Happy new year to everyone on this thread and similar, I truly believe 2014 will be a better year, and part of that is due to the fact I have made decisions, followed through on them, and can see light at the end of the tunnel. There will be difficult times ahead, but i feel quite liberated that I've made the right, yet hard choice for me and my DC's and I hope they'll understand that in years to come.

My tip for anyone in similar situations is that if you are thinking about leaving/separating etc, then it's probably the right decision. I still feel the sadness I felt before, but have accepted it, know I can't change it, and need to get on with my life and that of the DC's.

Happy new year and best wishes, and here's to a positive and fulfilling 2014! thanks

Mary1972 Tue 31-Dec-13 19:23:33

A few years in here too and it's wonderful. I don't think I could live with a man again but the divorce was my choice and decision and I am free of him, his anger, his comments etc. The only downside was having to pay him, and it was a lot but it was the price to pay for freedom. The children asked me to be rid of him so easiest divorce in that respect in history.

People are mentioning the absence of sex. It is not at all hard to find a partner even if you don't live with them. Given most women want marriage and a man's money if you just want a man for a chat and sex it is really easy to be had if you want that. There is no reason a single woman need ever be short of sex.

yetanotherstatistic Thu 02-Jan-14 00:56:22

A couple of years in and the pain of exh leaving has been worth it. I am much happier, have regained my old self and have no desire to give up my current independence. Seeing the rubbish other women around me put up with in order to remain married makes me thankful for my own situation no matter how unwelcome it was initially.

Dwerf Thu 02-Jan-14 01:21:55

Three years post seperation (aside from a failed reconciliation) and things are okay. The kids were initially very upset, but have gotten through it. In the early days they would phone their dad every night and we were happy for this to happen. Now they don't bother, nor do they bother phoning me when they are there. They share a room at his flat but have their own rooms here, they cope with that pretty well. And they do get their dad's undivided attention there.

As for me, I've found a social life. When the girls are with him, I get to go out and socialise, I've made new friends. I joined a writers group. I find I'm a much calmer person now I'm parenting during the week only. I don't find my self that person who has to keep a partner happy (to be honest, I can't see me living with another bloke) . I get a bed to myself, eat what I like, all the decisions are mine, all the money (hahahaha what little there is) is mine. I just love the independence. And the fact that my future is open. New and exciting things may be ahead.

And my marriage was not abusive or anything, i suppose not being under the shadow of abuse would be a massive plus. I'm just happy I don't feel trapped anymore.

Ororo1 Thu 02-Jan-14 06:26:04

Hello all, I was so relieved to find this thread! I've just separated and feel the exact same feelings described by all here. However, it was my decision to end the relationship as I knew something had died which could not be revived. So no affair on either side or abuse but we were starting to hate each other and the physical intimacy had long gone. The resulting feelings are a mixture of gut wrenching, sickening (feel like a failure) guilt to overwhelming (sing out loud) relief. It's only been a few weeks but as each day goes by I see this is probably the best outcome for us all. Our girls (7 and 5) will not have to bear the brunt of unhappy and angry parents. They are still asking questions but I just answer them as honestly as is appropriate without apportioning any blame. They do and will continue to get quality time with each of us. Best of all, they have a happy and fun mummy.
As for me, like Dwerf, I felt trapped for years and now that I'm free the future is scary but I still feel excited about the fact that it's mine alone to do with and share with whomever I please. Yes, there are times where I feel guilty about not keeping the family unit together for my children but coming from a household with unhappy parents I can honestly say that in my experience it is not better to stay together for the sake of the children.

Thank you Dwerf and others for showing that independence can be a wonderful thing. Also, now that I have it, I really don't think I'd want to give it up again.
Good luck for 2014 Slice! You are a strong person and will get through this hard time for yourself and children. Same to everyone else on this thread. Xx

Sliceofcake Wed 08-Jan-14 21:45:06

I'm so glad I started this thread! It's helped so much seeing people describe the exact same feelings, makes me feel I am not alone or odd!

Hope everyone is doing ok with things especially telling DC's. We have finally done it and it was ok, can't explain how much we were both dreading it, but they took it so well, we are so proud of them.

They still have a mum and dad, and they know this, so we are just plodding on as a little unit of three, and do you know what? We are doing just fine! I'm still sad, but am refusing to dwell on things I can't change and am focusing on the things I have control over, and making sure we have fun.

When I am feeling down I come on here to re-read what you have all said, and it really lifts my spirits, so thank you x

NewBeginningsSnoopy Thu 09-Jan-14 02:52:42

Marking place as this is a brilliant thread and I'm in such a hard place right now :-(

Sliceofcake Thu 09-Jan-14 20:48:13

Talk to us on here Snoopy, definitely helps!

NewBeginningsSnoopy Thu 09-Jan-14 22:05:43

Haha SliceOfCake honestly you don't wanna hear what I have to say. You don't wanna know!

Frizzbonce Fri 10-Jan-14 00:17:46

Hello Slice. You know how annoying it is when people say: 'I know how you feel'?

Well I know how you feel as do all the respondents on this thread. You are not alone and the emotional worst is probably over. It takes courage to end a marriage but now that it's done, you can can look forward to a brighter, happier future. It's amazing how much we can subsume ourselves/our own needs/tastes/ambitions in a marriage we thought was happy - how much compromising we end up doing.

My marriage broke up after twenty years leaving me with two DC's and I felt a huge failure, sodden with guilt and shame (even though it was mutually decided we should split). People I thought were friends took sides and melted away because they thought my 'failure' was catching. A breakup of a couple where there didn't seem to be A Thing to blame the breakup on eg infidelity or alcohol, terrifies some people. If you and DH could split - then maybe they could too. I also found that a few of my female friends started to act like I was some lustful harlot out to seduce their fat balding husband. 'Jokes' would be made about me being 'on the loose' like Anthrax or something. Saying: 'I would rather eat poo on toast than shag your repulsive husband' seemed ill advised so several so called 'friends' disappeared.

Even if you can talk over the finances with your ex, get professional advice to find out what you are entitled to. Check your credit rating - you don't want to be carrying his debts

But I can safely say that after three years, my children are both fine and if they weren't I would know all about it. My parents stayed together and were miserable. I was brought up in a tense and angry house, seething with my mum's contempt and disappointment with my dad. I was too young to understand it but I felt it. It was like a fuggy duvet, and under this, I became an intensely hyper vigilant child, unable to trust my own feelings, and thinking that everybody else's feelings were more important than mine. I had no words for the atmosphere but it poisoned my childhood - dad's alcoholism, mum's anger and bitterness. But they 'stayed' together.

As Todays said, All the Decisions are Yours. You may make wrong decisions but you will also make a lot of right ones, and you have already made the most difficult and courageous one. I was always a bit lazy about car maintenance and odd jobs <blushes> and despite us both working my ex did all the 'manly' jobs round the house. Not his fault - we just fell into a pattern. Now I take some pride in being able to change a wheel and unblock a drain.

Remember that it's not the break up itself that hurts children, it's the anger, any sense of having to choose sides, and being leant on too heavily by the parent. Relate offer free counselling for young people aged 14 - 25.

My Ex is a far better, more involved dad than when we lived together. He never took them to the dentist or optician or read to them. He does now - at first I think because he wanted to be 'good' daddy but now he does it because he wants to.

Despite working hard and looking after the kids, I seem to have far more free time, and head space. My ex hated me working in the evening, despite him having a 9 - 5 job and me being freelance, working funny hours.

Enjoy being single. Spend time with you and the children.

It sounds cheesy but find something to do that helps you discover and define the new you. A book group or some volunteering, or a course in being a stand up comic.

I'm never lonely. I always remember seeing a poster advertising Relate and it showed a married couple both at the far side of the double bed. The tag line focused on the gap between them and read: The Loneliest Place in the World.

I think it's true. To be in a relationship that isn't working or where you feel unappreciated or neglected is 100% worse than being alone. And women are still culturally encouraged to pair up, to 'tame' the man, to feel validated by being chosen.

Keep a journal. When you look back a year or so from now you'll be amazed at how far you've come. smile wine

NewBeginningsSnoopy Fri 10-Jan-14 17:07:29

Frizz that was a really good post :-)

NewBeginningsSnoopy Fri 10-Jan-14 18:51:34

Frizz I too have lost a few friends since the break up. Everyone just thought (and thinks) my ex was amazing apparantly! Or else, as you say, they secretly believed becoming a single mother was 'catching.' Perhaps it is actually contagious. I made the move and I'm sure others will look at me (you know- happy, well-balanced haha) in years to come and then look at themselves in sometimes unhappy relationships and look for a way out!

Sliceofcake Sat 11-Jan-14 21:07:56

Great post Frizz. Thank you! That comment about being lonelier in a marriage that isn't working that on your own is so true and I've already thought that I need to find a 'thing' to do that rediscovers 'me'.
Hoping you are all feeling ok tonight x

TomskiGirl Thu 16-Jan-14 22:44:12

I can SO relate to most things on here. I'm married (barely) and so lonely at home. Breaking free is my plan!

Snugglesrock Thu 16-Jan-14 23:00:37

Just over two years in as separated n loving it in most respects

So much self respect

I've not been single this long for many many years yet I'm actually quite content smile

Hi all xxx

TomskiGirl Fri 17-Jan-14 19:42:28

How do you all cope financially? I don't know where to start, what I'm entitled to or how to approach it hmm

Minime85 Fri 17-Jan-14 20:55:45

there are websites you can go on to check what you're entitled to and child tax credit website calculator too. cab good place for advice too. I'm not entitled to anything. but doing ok. won't be foreign holidays this year but should get away somewhere with family help. I budget and really like only having me drawing from the account as I can keep a tab on everything. I try and pay cash rather than cheques too as otherwise you dont always know where u are if they aren't cashed straight away. smile

GreenRedBlueYellowPurple Tue 21-Jan-14 11:54:29


JuliaGulia Tue 21-Jan-14 13:54:13

Just over a year since he left and I've come to realise that there are definitely positives and, if I'm honest, some downsides too.

Our twins are almost 4 and thankfully we haven't had to have the dreaded 'mummy and daddy are splitting up' conversation. They've just come to accept that there is mummy's house and daddy's house and most of the time they are fine with that.

My ex left to be with someone else whom he has dated on and off for the last year (they are currently together). I know she's insecure about me and the kids so I've have taken the decision to be as nice as possible and live by the motto "the air is cleaner at the moral high ground". I'm pleasant, polite, accommodating and always put the children first so most of the time things seem to run smoothly and I get the respect I deserve.

Consequently I got the equity in the house (so we didn't have to move), increased my hours at work and met a new man on line : - )

The downsides are there, I wont lie. I've lost a few close friends - his best friend and one of my own male friends whose wife became too inscure to deal with our friendship given my single status so we lost touch. I know I'm terribly dependent on the support of my parents (financially and emotionally) and I get cross that my ex's actions have put them in this position. I also feel down whenever I stumble across all the wedding stuff which is stored around the house. The anticipation and excitement for the life ahead still make me feel like something has been lost that can't be recaptured.

But, as everyone says, there are positive - sometime you just have to look for them or create them yourself.

I quickly lost 2 stone and had to buy a new wardrobe. Don't be fooled, I'm penniless, but a nice M&S Autograph jacket in my local charity shop for a fiver made me think about reinventing myself. Now that I don't eat a huge great dinner every evening I'm saving money, time and feeling better for it.

I use my free time to do things around the house that I've always wanted to do. Hang pictures, do cross stitching, move furniture. I've sorted out my sons new bedroom (the twins were sharing), put up the curtain pole, moved his bed and arranged all his toys and it felt wonderful to do it for myself - for him. After the children have gone to bed I use the internet, speak to friends on the phone or indulge in a few beauty treatments.

I've started going to church more and feel like I belong somewhere where people ask after me. They have a book club and activities that the twins can take part in.

And best of all I've spent the last few months being taken out by a charming guy who is patient, understanding and is happy to just see what happens.

Happy days ahead xx

GreenRedBlueYellowPurple Tue 21-Jan-14 20:49:49

Like me Julia, you're still living in the house. I think that makes it harder to 'move on.' I've been chucking out/selling/up cycling a lot of stuff that has bad memories attached!

JuliaGulia Tue 21-Jan-14 23:16:17

There are times when I wish I had sold the house and started afresh. It would have given me a great opportunity to sort through everything once and for all.

But I didn't sell for two reasons: firstly I would have wasted a huge amount of money on stamp duty, selling fees and solicitors and also in doing so I would have given my ex an opportunity to ask for his equity back. And secondly, moving is stressful. Moving when you don't particularly want to, with 2 preschoolers into a house where you don't know the history, neighbours or area seemed like a step too far. The cost of even just redecorating a house, let alone making it secure and homely can be very expensive and money is tight post divorce!

I have always taken the view that if the children are happy, I'm happy and visa versa. They love our house, their bedrooms and the memories we've made so far. We even still have family photos up to remind them that their daddy is an important part of their lives.

But I know when I'm ready, everything will be boxed up and put away until I'm ready to tell the children about it one day.

In the meantime I'm just a Milf with a house ;-)

GreenRedBlueYellowPurple Wed 22-Jan-14 10:26:35

Haha milf! That's quite an offensive way of describing yourself! Yes it's true that I haven't wanted to uproot myself for security reasons too.

Sliceofcake Wed 22-Jan-14 22:21:40

Well, thought I'd pop back to update you all on some of my own positive moments, some mean more than others but if you add them up they all count!
House is calmer
I can watch what I want on TV
Spending more time with DC's as all jobs are done when on my own
Become super organised
Actual free time for myself, which is taking a bit of getting used to!
Peace and quiet occasionally
I an decide what to do with the DCs when I have them
We can snug in bed on Saturdays and watch TV together
There is no complaining or atmosphere in the house
No one tells me what to do or expects me to do things for them
There is a sense of excitement at my new future being unknown
True friends have been there with kind words and thoughts
I feel strong and proud of myself for making the right decision

So glad there are so many positive stories and that they have helped others in the same situation :-)

I'm reading this through copious tears & snot & feeling a little bit better (I think). DH left 2 days ago, packed his stuff today. Me & the DC are moving house in less than a fortnight. I know I should start my own thread really. Sorry.

Sliceofcake Fri 24-Jan-14 22:00:47

It does get better Chuck, I promise, look at all the positive stories we've shared on this thread. You aren't on your own x

Thank you. I am trying to tell myself that this is the worst bit & it will get better, just feeling completely overwhelmed. Although I have finally stopped shaking like a cold chihuahua, must've been the release from all that crying!

Sliceofcake Fri 24-Jan-14 22:16:03

Hang in there, post on here if you feel down. You will get through this, for yourself and your DC's, be strong for them x

Thanks again. I don't want to bring down such a positive thread with my weeping & wailing though!

GreenRedBlueYellowPurple Sat 25-Jan-14 21:33:43

Personally I think life as a single parent depends on your ex (if you have one.) In my case, my ex is d-readful so my life as a lone parent is dreadful at the moment because he's making it so. A word of warning in your jubilant early days- be clever re: your ex!

Phimafre Sat 25-Jan-14 22:51:39

I'm going through exactly the same at the moment and I can so very much understand how you are feeling, sliceofcake. You seem to be one month ahead of me and it's quite calming to see how well you seem to be doing. I separated from my husband in the middle of November, we told our three sons at the beginning of december and he finally moved out two weeks ago. This weekend is his first alone with the kids. The past months before our break-up and ever since have been awfully hard for me and even if I know that I can cope quite well without him, I am totally confused, worn out and sad, of course. It feels as if was stepping from one marathon into the next. One day is fine, the next seems to be unmanageable... But reading how well you are doing lets me feel quite confident...

Thought I should add an update - it's been a week since he left. I think I was in shock for the first few days - shaky, having panic attacks, bursting into uncontrollable tears, couldn't eat or sleep - and it was a mutual, not at all unexpected decision. I think I've turned a corner now. There is still sadness, especially when I see him, but also sense of calm & acceptance. This is how it is, I can & will cope. I'm even starting to get some hope & excitement for the future (when the guilt doesn't get in the way); I'm going to make a lovely home for my boys & a life for myself. Everything is different, but not broken. I hope this helps anyone going through a similar experience envy

Sliceofcake Tue 28-Jan-14 19:45:27

Good way of thinking about it, different not broken!
I saw a good quote the other day, and it really struck home so maybe it will help us on here -
Every day may not be good, but there is something good in every day

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