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newly single after 13 years and scared of being alone

(26 Posts)
bumpsnowjustplump Fri 06-Sep-13 20:44:12

Sorry for dramatic title but I have recently become a single mum, I am almost 40 and have 3 young children who I devote all my time too. When ex moves out I will have weekends where they are not here and I will be on my own.. I have never been away from them, my friends all have partners and weekends are family time for them, What will I do? The thought of being away from my children and being on my own added with the grief of splitting with my partner is overwhelming me. He was emotionally abusive and controlling so most of my friends think I should be glad but I still feel devastated..

ChelseaBun Fri 06-Sep-13 20:54:53

Hi bumps, I came out of an abusive relationship 8 months ago and know exactly how you feel. It takes time to get over it and people don't want to hear that you miss this awful abusive man do they?

Practically speaking you need to sort something out for those weekends because I found them hard too. Luckily I worked three weekends out of four but that fourth week was awful.

Would you consider volunteering your services to a local charity shop every Saturday. Or could you take on paid work for the Saturday? Either way it gets you out of the house and meeting people. Meeting people is so important when you make that break from an abusive man.

Viking1 Fri 06-Sep-13 21:22:43

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

bouncyagain Fri 06-Sep-13 21:28:58

I have also heard good reports about "meet up". What about Parkrun? 5 km runs at 9 am on a Saturday morning. There will be one near you. They stop for coffee afterwards. All of Viking's suggestions are good ones.

Monty27 Fri 06-Sep-13 21:31:36

You'll get used to it and begin to enjoy the time to yourself. Don't worry. Dc's will be fine and if they're happy you'll be happy. It will become a way of life.

bumpsnowjustplump Fri 06-Sep-13 22:10:08

Thank you all. It's all so new and he hasn't left yet as financial things are still being sorted. It won't be every weekend so a weekend job isn't feasible as I will have the children every other weekend. Dating myself sounds great I just need to find happiness in my own company again. I will look up meet up thank you that is exactly what I need. I am dreading Christmas and other special days if it isn't my time with the children.

Vivacia Fri 06-Sep-13 22:22:28

What a fabulous post viking I love that way of putting it.

bumps I too was going to suggest making it a time to really enjoy. Some of it may be spoiling yourself with treats, but perhaps also spend some time getting on top of chores so that when the children come home you can spend some quality time with them.

vole3 Sat 07-Sep-13 06:48:44

Last night for me was going to see About Time and dinner was Cherry Garcia with Phish Food, tonight (after work) will be seeing my friends band - no beer as still on call overnight.

For so many years you have been somebody's partner, then somebody's mum, it takes time to relearn who you are and what you want / enjoy in life without having to put others first.

Regarding Christmas, make plans for you and your children to spend it with other family or away this year. He has chosen to leave, so he can miss out and you need the support / distraction of being somewhere else. Your children will be so hyped up at the different Christmas, they won't miss him as much as you think they might, if at all! I work in healthcare, so the years I'm not with DS I work, so others can be with their family and I'm with other people and kept busy.

The thought of how your lives will change is overwhelming when viewed at this point in time, but baby steps will take you to a bright, if different, future.

TiredDog Sat 07-Sep-13 06:54:31

I date myself (although I've never thought of it like that)

Parkrun is a fab idea. here

I walk my dog miles in summer, I eat out and watch the world go by over a lazy lunch at a scenic pub/cafe. This weekend I will be ripping out a room ready to start some serious DIY. Gardening...house cleaning (thrilling eh!) but I do keep very very busy.

I watch films and make sure I have a good DVD as a back up in case nothing on TV. Good books and just a lazy sofa afternoon. Tbh I now find I don't have enough child free time to fit it all in

PepeLePew Sat 07-Sep-13 07:00:28

I know that fear and it is really hard to start with, but if you approach it carefully, and thoughtfully, it can be incredibly rewarding.

Think hard about the things you used to enjoy pre-marriage and children and start by doing them. Not all at once - it's important to take time just to relax and rest as well. And then get brave and try some new things too. Make a list and refer back to it frequently.

You may find lots of your friends are only too happy to take time away from their families - several of mine have said I'm the perfect excuse for them to have a break! But time alone, and learning to appreciate time alone, is also really important.

I'm child free this weekend - I went for a run yesterday evening then had dinner and read my book. Today I'm going for a really long hike with a friend, then going for cocktails with another friend. Tomorrow I plan to get my nails done then do some baking and run some errands. I may meet a friend for coffee.

I've done all sorts of things I would never have done before - night hiking, going to the opera, a bread making course. Some cost money but lots are cheap or free - the last time I was child free I went to the park with a book and a flask of tea and lay in the shade all day reading. Even things that sound really dull - like sorting out my wardrobe - are fun if they are done through choice and with some upbeat music, and no small children!

I love my child free weekends - really love them - and am a much better and more engaged parent as a result. Guilt free adult time is so important.

Deep breath and make that list! Good luck...

bumpsnowjustplump Sat 07-Sep-13 10:59:19

Thank you all again I really appreciate all the advice. I need to shift some weight so taking up running/walking is a good idea. One I never seem to get motivated to do recently!!

brokenhearted55 Sat 07-Sep-13 12:17:42

How about tennis tennis.

It's fun and you meet people.

whygodwhy Sat 07-Sep-13 12:40:23

I split with my ex nearly 4 years ago, i coukd have written your post ... I won't lie to you it's tough to begin with, I used to allow myself 30 mins of sobbing, then dust myself off and got busy.

Over the months you get used to it and start to appreciate the time to yourself. People said all this to me and I didn't believe them ... But time gives you strength and they're back before you know it.

I spent the years seeing friends/dating (hilarious at times) and putting my feet up.

Life gets better and better you will flourish away from such an oppressive relationship, I had to rebuild myself.

But now, I'm engaged and life is wonderful .... Take your time and mourn for all your relationship should have been and know there are so many better times ahead for you honey.

X

OhThisIsJustGrape Sat 07-Sep-13 13:06:41

I absolutely love my child free weekends.

Friday nights I clean the house from top to bottom. I love doing this as it actually stays tidy for a whole 48hrs!! I have therefore concluded that I don't make any mess at all, it's all down to the children wink

Saturdays I have breakfast in bed - unfortunately years and years of having small children mean that I never have lie ins, even when I'm alone I still wake around 6am so a leisurely croissant in bed is my treat. Then I'll go shopping (even if its just window shopping), have a haircut/manicure/massage.

I usually drag a mate out on a Saturday night or have one over for drinks.

Sundays are generally spent hungover smile then around mid-afternoon I start getting angsty about the children coming home - I've only been separated a couple of months so all still very new and the children are still very much struggling and DD who is 5 always comes home hysterical at leaving her dad's sad This definitely is the worst part of a split, I can cope fine but hate the effect it has on the children.

However, I do find that the two weeks I have in between each child free weekend are much less stressful and I enjoy the children much more because I've had that time to myself to recharge. Being on my own with the four of them is tough at times and I make the most of every minute they're at their dad's, they love being there so I'm determined not to spend the weekend feeling sorry for myself! I'm not sure I'll ever get used to how quiet it is at home when they're not here though, I make sure the tunes are on full blast whenever I'm in smile

Viking1 Sat 07-Sep-13 13:35:41

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

PepeLePew Sat 07-Sep-13 19:11:46

Walking is absolutely great for lifting the mood and shifting the weight...I've just got back from a 20 mile hike through north Kent and am feeling wonderful! And I've burned a staggering number of calories plus had a lovely long chat with a good friend, so am now going out for dinner feeling virtuous and healthy! I'm completely evangelical about walking - it started as a way of filling the day and has become something I absolutely love doing.

Shapechanger Sat 07-Sep-13 21:33:33

It's hideously awful separating... worse than the worst imaginings. And after life with an EA husband confidence is low.

But it doesn't take that long to get used to it and start enjoying it. I missed dc like hell at first, lost a few weekends to staying in bed in tears. A year on I LOVE my life. I'm my own boss, I am capable of doing all those things dh didn't think I could do (told me I'd never manage on my own). My house looks the way I want it to look. I don't have to service a man in any way.

I've even got a lover... I look better than I have in years (and I'm a couple of years older than you, it's not an easy age).

Trust the wisdom of the women on here ^^

You will be fine.

If you are still under the same roof as well, you haven't even had the opportunity to move on yet.

But I warn you, it will probably get a bit worse before it gets better. But it will get a LOT better before too long.

When I separated someone said to me 'you're going to have a horrible twelve months'; he was absolutely right, but it's a small price to pay for a happy future many years long.

Shapechanger Sat 07-Sep-13 21:34:43

I was married 13 years too, btw

HotCrossBunsForAll Sat 07-Sep-13 21:50:26

Crashing the thread, but I really needed to read these posts today. I split with my long term DP in April & weekends are definitely the hardest. Thank you for these wise words you lovely lot.

bumpsnowjustplump Sun 08-Sep-13 19:23:51

Thank you all again, I am going to save this thread for when I feel down, it will remind me life will go on!! My children are 6, 4, and 21 months is there anything I can do to help them through this too?

Mum2Fergus Sun 08-Sep-13 19:38:20

I split from my ex after 17 years together though no kids. I was then single but dating for nearly 6 years before meeting DP. During those 6 years I had the most amazing of times...I learned new skills, took up new hobbies, went in holidays...sure, I had some down times when I thought 'what have I done' but they soon passed. I don't regret a single minute of it grin

theendishere Sun 08-Sep-13 21:21:30

I'm single for the first time since I was 18 - i'm now early 40's with a young child and started living alone with ds 3 months ago. DS is with hi dad every other weekend, friends are all married and busy with family things and I find the loneliness terrible, especially in the evenings. I've tried online dating (see my other thread)and that's no been successful so far. I find I can keep busy during the day, working, with ds, sorting "jobs" out, but the evenings when I just want a chat, or some company are so difficult

catkin14 Sun 08-Sep-13 21:53:03

I just want to add my support to the others you have had.
I left my EA, critical arrogant H after 26 years of marriage. We were together for more than half my life.
At first I was high on the freedom of it all and then the reality kicked in and I started to feel very scared and kept asking myself what had I done?! Its strange how being with someone who makes you feel as if you are constantly walking on egg shells feel safe, but safety in the known I suppose.
Its now 6 months since I left and for the first time a couple of weeks ago I found myself feeling as if I am finally beginning to know myself a little, and not feel as if I have lost the other half of me.
My DC is a teenager and spends 99.9% of his time with me, sadly his DF does not seem to be able to find much time for him what with his work and new partner, but slowly we are getting used to it.
I have found a few counselling sessions really helped with the letting go of it all, and friends and family have been amazing.
Im sure you will find great pleasure in actually being able to do whatever you please without checking with someone that its ok! That is fab!!
Give yourself time, know at times you will feel really sad, but know also that it will pass?
I also have found that not saying no to any new suggestions that people offer (within reason of course!!) has opened lots of new avenues.
And a job after 15 years of being a sahm has been a real gift.
Good luck x

Viking1 Mon 09-Sep-13 08:22:30

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

bumpsnowjustplump Wed 11-Sep-13 21:19:16

Thank you Viking I have been off line and just caught up.. You have really made me smile. I have told the school today who were great, and have a meeting tomorrow with my son and daughters teachers to discuss it personally with them. Doing practical things is helping divert my thoughts. He is still her at the moment still hasn't giving me a moving date..

Viking1 Thu 12-Sep-13 08:34:04

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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