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Knowing but not believing it will get better

(17 Posts)
Alittlestranger Fri 21-Sep-12 21:00:24

Long-time lurker, now posting for the first time.

I found these boards while I was TTCing. I am no longer TTC because my partner of 6 years left me a little over four months ago. We were far beyond the honeymoon period but I stupidly believed we had moved into the for better or worse stage. Due to work pressures and life stress I suppose it had been for worse more than for better. DP decided he wanted to leave and see if there was better out there (one specific person to be exact, so not quite a leap of faith).

He was 31 and felt young enough to push for exciting beginnings. I am 30 and was ready for this to be it.

Needless to say it caught me by surprise. I felt destroyed. People rallied around and got me through a very difficult few weeks. But now I feel terribly, terribly alone. I sometimes feel that because we didn't have DCs and weren't married people forget how entwined we were and don't understand that I feel barely more together now than on day one. I feel bereft, practically as much as emotionally. I do have friends but I let a lot of friendships lapse during our relationship (we only really needed each other). Plus all my friends are coupled up. I feel like I'm now in a totally different world to them. I feel rudderless and lonely.

I'm worried that I won't meet someone in time to have DCs. Really, really worried. I was single for about three years before meeting XDP, and I can see that happening again. I'm not irrational, I know I have good qualities but I think I'm also quite difficult, especially with new people. Right now I feel dull and unsexy.

Part of me thinks I will look back at this stage in 10, 20 years time and shake myself for being so pessimistic. But right now it feels like a reasonable fear. I know wonderful women who never managed to sustain a secure relationship in their 30s. Meeting people is difficult. It genuinely feels like most men are married and the only ones left have something wrong with them.

I just feel impatient. I don't know how to do Friday nights alone. I've had a long week at work and right now I really want to be on the sofa with DP and a bottle of wine. I don't want to be single and out on the town all the time, or single and sitting in alone. I just feel low and alone. I don't know what I want people to say. I just needed to be honest about how I feel rather than pretending it's fine.

bushymcbush Fri 21-Sep-12 21:53:52

Sorry you're feeling low.

Even if it does take 3 years to meet someone worthy of you, that's still plenty of time to have children. I know it's anecdotal but a friend of mine met her DH at 39 and now has 2 DC.

At no point in your post do you say that you miss your XDP. You say that you are lonely, but not that you want him. Perhaps you could find fulfilment and companionship in other ways - join a ramblers club, book group or even a church (you don't have to be religious and it's a great way to get involved with the local community).

Also, have you considered counselling? Relate offer post-relationship support as well as couples counselling.

FastidiaBlueberry Fri 21-Sep-12 22:09:49

Sorry you're feelng so bad Alittlestranger.

I know you won't believe me, but 30 is so young. You have time to meet someone who actually wants to be with you.

In many ways, your xdp has done you a favour by leaving you now: you don't say how long you were with him, but many men coast along in their twenties with women they don't particularly want to be with but it's habit and convenience, until the question of children arises and then they realise that actually, they don't want to do the children and family thing with this woman and they leave.

I find it one of the major disadvantages of modern day courting: it wastes a woman's fertility years, the years you're investing in a relationship which he has no investment in when the chips are down.

What is even worse, is the fuckers who don't leave; the ones who are too lazy or weak to make the decision that this isn't what they want for the rest of their lives and they resignedly go along with the wedding, the kids etc., until a catalyst such as an affair ends the relationship. Or they just have a crap relationship for the next 40 years.

He had enough honour not to do that to you. That's a plus point, though it may not feel like that at the moment.

I know may just want the familiarity of the man you lived with, but what you deserve, is the companionship of someone who really wants to live with you and wants to do the whole babies and family thing with you. That wasn't your xdp and he would never have given you what you want and deserve.

And one more thing, even if you never find anyone again (highly unlikely) it is better to travel alone than badly accompanied. You need to pick up the friendships you dropped for this man who has dropped you, to find what you like about your own company and yourself and find out what you enjoy doing without this guy.

You came in this world without him and you can live without him in the future.

And also, if you need to wallow in it for a bit, do. You will feel better in six months time and better still in a year; but it takes time.

Harecare Fri 21-Sep-12 22:09:59

It's only now after about 4 weeks of DP leaving me and the children that I'm actually starting to miss HIM. It is lonely isn't it? I looked through pictures last week to make sure we were in love to start with and I hadn't just dreamed the last 8 years. As well as finding out that we were, I also met my old self that he fell in love with. I may not have DP, but I still have me, and I'm brilliant!! (Was crying a lot this evening, but writing that helps!)
Find a picture of you looking happy doing something you love and fall back in love with yourself! What do you like to do? Do it! I've just started lindy partner dancing and it's great fun. You can go on your own and make friends while concentrating on learning the steps.
I'd much rather be single and 30 than 36 and single with 3 kids!sad
My good friend met her fiance on the internet and has just had her first DS at 36 after worrying about fertility due to polycystic ovaries. Another friend of 35 just had her first DS and she had worried about fertility too due to irregular smears years ago.
Everything will be alright in the end. Have faith. Go out and have fun!!

Alittlestranger Fri 21-Sep-12 22:32:03

Thanks for the responses.

Bushy a few people have mentioned that I don't sound like I miss him. I think partly it's because I'm so bloody hurt by him (especially as I'm pretty sure it's as black and white as him leaving me for someone else). But sometimes I think there is some truth in it, and then I just judge/kick myself for not having the guts to face up to that sooner.

My mum suggested counselling but I want to give it a bit more time of trying to cheer up on my own. I had been doing better, it's just the past couple of weeks have been tough again for some reason.

FastidiaBlueberry I think that is exactly what happened, re. coasting along until the prospect of kids was on the table. I suppose it is much better to have a clean break now. Although he's really annoyed me by trying to be a "nice guy" throughout all this so I don't want to give him too much credit!

Harecare sorry to hear you're going through a tough time too. Hope you and the DCs are holding up. I am throwing myself into things, well beginning to. I've drunk a lot (with friends, not alone!) this summer and now want a healthier and more constructive autumn. I've done this before, I know I can do it again, it just feels harder this time around.

FastidiaBlueberry Sat 22-Sep-12 00:31:46

Oh god, no please, I think you're absolutely right not to give him too much credit.

He's coasted along wasting your fertility years. The nicest thing he's done for you, is end it now, before you had children with him. It would have been nicer if he'd ended it years ago when you were younger and hadn't invested all that physical and emotional energy in making a home with him.

But as I say, although when you're 30 and it feels like OMG I'll never meet anyone, it really is young and it's an ideal time to meet someone serious, who isn't interested in coasting. It might look as though they're all settled down, but don't you believe it.

Get out there, re-discover yourself and re-discover what you want from a partner. Concentrating on yourself is the priority now though.

skyebluesapphire Sat 22-Sep-12 01:21:49

so sorry for you. My STBXh walked out at Feb, came back for 6 weeks, then went again. 6 months on, I am starting to feel human again, nearly divorced. he walked out right out of the blue, claiming nobody else, but was texting his best mates wife over 100 times a day.

It is destroying and you feel like you will never get over it, but 6 months later, I feel so much better. Its not been easy, Im on anti depressants and having counselling, but am starting to work things out in my head

All I can say, is it will get easier in time...

Harecare Sat 22-Sep-12 12:21:53

One thing that is helping me is seeing what I contributed to the breakdown. While this doesn't let him off for what he contributed it makes me feel like I can learn from this and move onwards and upwards. So seeing him being kind and decent now isn't him showing you he's better off without you. He was decent before. But something/lots of things happened which you BOTH contributed to which made the break up.

I have discovered that I don't really listen to DP. When he tells me he's sad, upset about his life I don't listen to how he's feeling and help him with that, I jump straight in with my reaction to what he's saying makes me feel.
e.g. "I think maybe I'd be better off living on my own in a flat."
Instead of asking why, what changes can we make together, empathising with the desire to just run and hide, explaining how sad I would be if he left me, I go straight into defensive mode - How dare you consider leaving me when I'm pregnant. Don't you love me? I can't believe you can hurt me like this.

If I can accept who we are as individuals, what I contributed to the breakdown and how I can learn from that, then I can move on to the next chapter of my life. With or without him by my side. Due to the children we have to be able to get along amicably anyway.

He sees my attitude as denial that things are over. This isn't the case (although I am open to discussing reconciliation once he can see his part in the breakdown). I have to accept the past and take responsibility for my part in it in order to accept the present and make a better future.

We are seeing a counsellor together and it is really useful. It's only an hour a week and does mean the wound is still open, but the thinking time outside of that hour is so useful to make the next hour more productive.

Sorry OP that my post is all about me grin it helps me to write down thoughts about what I'm going through and some of my insights might be of use to you. smile

Harecare Sat 22-Sep-12 12:24:19

Another thing is window shopping on dating sites!!!

Aspiemum2 Sat 22-Sep-12 12:38:02

I actually think 30 is a great time to be single and entering into new relationships. I was 30 when I left xdp and it was the best thing I'd ever done.

I took time to lick my wounds (although I left him its a bit of a longer story I won't bother you with). Anyway, when I was ready to date again I found I was much choosier than before. I had a much clearer idea of the type of man I wanted to spend the rest of my life with and the qualities that mattered to me (and the things that really didn't)

Consequently my time dating was much more ruthless efficient. I'm now very happily married and wouldn't change a thing.

Being suddenly single at 30 can be daunting but it normally turns out for the best, I have a few friends who went through similar and are also now in much happier and healthier relationships.

Once you've taken stock and rediscovered yourself a bit, found new joy in previously neglected friendships and basically feel better about life you will see - life had just begun grin I promise smile

Alittlestranger Sat 22-Sep-12 16:01:13

Aspiemum can I hold you to that promise?! I get what you mean, I'm realising that the thought of the type of man I was attracted to in my early/mid 20s is now completely unappealing. I think it's just having the confidence to not feel like I have to settle.

Harecare, no problem, think/write away. I think you're right though, it's always important to consider how you contributed. I can think of several things I would do differently, and things that should have been nipped in the bud to pull us back on course. The problem is I then get frustrated because I convince myself that our relationship was fixable, but he had/has no interest in fixing it.

tiredofwaitingforitalltochange Sat 22-Sep-12 19:46:52

In many ways, your xdp has done you a favour by leaving you now: you don't say how long you were with him, but many men coast along in their twenties with women they don't particularly want to be with but it's habit and convenience, until the question of children arises and then they realise that actually, they don't want to do the children and family thing with this woman and they leave.

I think this is very astute and very true. A lot of women are in their late 30s when this happens. And sometimes the xdp finds another younger woman quite quickly and has kids with her, while the original gf remains alone.

You are young OP. You are ready for kids at 30 which is good in many ways. Some women don't realise they want them/feel ready until their fertility is on the wane. Like Aspie you will likely be more focused when you audition new men.

In your position I would get dating. Not in a search for Mr Right, but to have some fun, broaden your horizons, raise your self esteem and expand your social life. It will stop you brooding about your ex, resenting his loss. Please try to see this as an opportunity... I'd love to be 30 again. 30s are great, you know yourself and are at your most attractive.

Not dismissing your feelings of hurt and loss, but try to move forward. You say it was 'long past the honeymoon period', you can and will, do better. Leave behind the dead wood and move on x

Aspiemum2 Sat 22-Sep-12 20:42:43

Please do, I love hearing those three little words - "you were right"!

I have such fond memories of my early 30's, after the initial impact subsided it was a brilliantly awesome time of my life. Can't wait to read your posts 2 years from now grin

Dryjuice25 Sat 22-Sep-12 21:20:34

Trust me 30 is still young and you can still have it all. I agree this will hurt for a while but this guy has potentially saved you a lot of future hurt.

Now you have a chance to be more discerning with future partners. Im kind of jealous you have discovered Mumsnet earlier than me and I recommend reading the Red Flags thread (and please take heed of these) on here. I wish I had MN 9 years ago before I had DCs with a moron ......

Laquitar Sat 22-Sep-12 22:18:15

I agree with aspie that 30 is a very good age to be single and to meet interesting and mature men.
I wouldn't go on dating sites , i would just socialize a lot with friends. The best things happen when you are happy and dont after them imo.

To add to your data smile i ve met dh (the best partner i've ever had) at 38 after i left a violent relationship and vowed to stay single, i was having fun.

You will be fine, it is good that you finished with him now and no later x

skyebluesapphire Sat 22-Sep-12 22:56:32

I split up with somebody at 28, got to 30 and decided to stop looking and just enjoy my life. Then 2 months later I got together with (now STBX) H...

STBXH walked out on me initially a fortnight before my 40th birthday and again 3 weeks after .....

I really do hope that life begins at 40, lol

Alittlestranger Mon 24-Sep-12 23:13:24

Cor I've just checked out the red flags thread - that's an eye opener!

Thanks for all your lovely encouraging words ladies. I had a nice sociable weekend, but which did remind me that I totally have to relearn my flirting skills if I want to date. smile

Skye having just spent 30 mins marvelling at Nigella at 52 I'm sure 40 is positively embryonic!

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