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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.

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


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