How do I hold it all together? (long)(10 Posts)
Separated from my H about 3 months ago. After years of trying to make a go of it including 18 months with Relate he finally admitted he didn't want to be with me.
To start with, I felt relieved and good about life. Got myself a part-time job (he's not working and hasn't for nearly a year) which I can do when DCs at school. Have lost some weight, sleeping better, looking after myself and generally coping well.
But in the last week or so I have really started to struggle. The children are a mess and I am finding it hard to be their emotional punchbag. All three are very upset and angry, obviously. They generally get on really well together but now are arguementative and agressive with each other. Was being very calm and patient but now feel like I would just like some time when all three of them are okay. A few days ago they all played really nicely together and I realised that was probably the first time since their parents split up .
H and I are being very civilised about the split, spending time together with the children, parents meetings together etc. But I feel so angry sometimes - it's like he really doesn't get how much pain he's caused. I'm beginning to feel resentful too as he talks about all the things he's been doing during the day (which I can't do anymore because of my job!).
Also feel very very lonely. We moved about a year ago and none of my friends from where we used to live (40 mins away) have stayed in touch. I feel very sad about this but, looking back, realise that I have devoted so much time to trying to save my marriage that I haven't looked after my other relationships.
Am trying to make friends here but am finding it difficult. Thought I had a good group of friends but none made much effort to stay in touch since the split (they also see H, more than me as I obviously have fewer evenings free). I am aware that it's up to me to make the effort but have got little or no response when I've tried. Have been to a couple of social things on my own to find I'm the only single person present and I find it hard.
My family are trying to be supportive but not that good really - moved here a year ago and none of them have yet visited (we're expected to do the travelling). Needless to say none of them have actually seen me since me and H split.
I know it's still very early days but I'm feel like I'm slipping down a horrible slope. Struggled to get out of bed this morning and do anything at all. Have lots I need to do this weekend otherwise will spend most of my time with children next week catching up on boring household chores.
So sorry you are going through this bad patch. But really you must think of it as just a bad patch. There will always be bad days as well as much better days and even great days.
Sounds like you have done really well already in a short space of time; getting a new job, losing weight, looking after yourself. But you are not superwoman and should be expected to be superwoman. You are allowed the odd lapse.
I feel lonely too especially at the fact that I have zero social life away from the dc.
How old are your dc? Is there anyway you can organise a trip to your family? A change of scenery will do you good.
As you say yourself it really is still early days.
Thanks for responding citronella. DCs are 12, 9 and 5.
'But you are not superwoman and should be expected to be superwoman' - might have inadvertantly hit the nail on the head. Am trying to be all things to all people. Bright, engaged and interested at work; pleasant and reasonable with H; coping well to everyone else.
We jointly took the decision to protect our friends and family but now feel I have no-one to talk to because if they really knew what had happened they might find it difficult to be reasonable to him (which I want for the sake of the DCs).
Family are not that far away (under 2 hours) and, although my mum lives in a 4 bed house I'm expected to do the round trip in a day. Only time I stayed over (with just 2) was when I asked. She doesn't really like having her space invaded! Unfortunately, she isn't a person I confide in and haven't since I was 11! I find her easier to handle on my territory where I know I can ask her to leave if she misbehaves!
Would love to get away but can't think of anywhere to go as don't really want to go somewhere else I have to put on an 'I'm okay' act.
Oops- meant you should not be expected to be superwoman
How are you doing today?
saying what has been said to me -
"because if they really knew what had happened they might find it difficult to be reasonable to him (which I want for the sake of the DCs)."
you should not be responsible for their reactions or actions according to how they see the situation.
be honest - if they chose to ostracise him it is their problem; it is his problem. not yours.
you cannot take on the role of protecting other people's feelings, or protecting your exH from other people. he took a decision, he has to face consequences. you doing yourself no favour by not being honest. strightforward, honest - "we decided to split". or if you dont want to "share" the decision - "he decided to leave". it is the truth.
your friends/family - can have relationship with you, with the children - how they see your exH is up to them. one doesnt need to be bitter and negative about the person - you dont need to be the one to say : "he is a twat" but you can still tell the truth of facts and let people decide on basis of that. "he has left us" - let the other people say "he is a twat" .
i said to my counsellor -if i do xxxx (which i need to do) then exP will get angry - she said - but that is HIS anger, his problem. if you need to do xxxx, then do it. protect yourself - but do what you need to do. it is not your job to protect HIM from his feelings.
spending time together with children - can confuse the children, espec the youngest, they might think on those times (depending on what you do) that you are back together.
maybe for next few months make it very clear and separate - time with dad; time with mum. only very specific things together like school stuff.
Very unmumsnet (((()))). Separated 6 months ago from H - did try to reconnect for couple of those.
I find it so so hard and really identify with what you say re nearly slipping down a slope. Also live far from family and a lot of friends have moved away recently. Just trying to do best I can. Its hard to make more friends - because with loss of H I feel I need more friends to go out with etc. Just trying to do it bit by bit and reach out to old friends a bit more.
I am sorry to hear you are feeling like this.
I wonder whether it might help if you take more time to acknowledge how angry and hurt you feel. Can you afford the money and time for some counselling?
I really tried to be grown up and dignified about my split - even paid for my ex to come on holiday with me and our dd! But sitting on the anger and pain was not the best thing.
You do need someone sympathetic who will just listen and if you can't get that from family and/or friends, I think professional suport can be really useful.
Otherwise, it is just a bad patch, this is not the rest of your life. I find it also helpful to take care of myself when I feel like this, eat well, get an early night, plan a nice treat with the children. Just take it one day at a time and try not to get overwhelmed.
Easier said than done, I know.
I found myself in a similar situation to yours a few years ago. I felt I had no friends around, the old friends were out of town and we also wanted to protect them and avoided talking to them about the split, and my family was very far away and TBH, didn't give a ... well, you know what I mean.
The curious thing is that in the last years I have gone from having almost no friends to have a pretty strong group of friendships. I have never have so many good friends which has made me wonder why now and not before.
Talking to other people in the same situation as me, we realised that the only thing we have done different this time is... that we are prepared to open up, cry on the shoulder of acquaintances and ask or accept as much help as possible.
And when you open up, people tries to help, and show they care for you, and they also start to open up to you. Which is the basis of good strong friendships.
you are not alone, it is just that maybe, just maybe, people think you are coping and do not need them.
I know that this doesn't solve the whole situation but it may help a bit.
Thanks for all your replies. Had a much better day on Sunday. The youngest had a party and lots of the mums stayed which was nice. One mum I know a bit said how much better I was looking, she'd been quite worried last term as I'd looked so weighted down. She's not the first to have commented either.
I do realise I'm just working through a whole range of emotions, I was probably in denial to start with, which was just as well as it meant I was in the best position to support my DCs. I felt so positive, but I did know I'd have to deal with all the hurt and anger at some point. I don't really want to talk to anyone at the moment, more just would like it to be an option. I could see a counsellor but just recovering from a pretty poor experience (unfortunately, not the first). TBH would rather spend the money pampering myself!
www.drw.org.uk/locations2.php seem to be no charge.
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