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novelty of singledom has worn off; just terribly lonely now

(26 Posts)
tiredofwaitingforitalltochange Sun 07-Apr-13 00:23:38

I haven't been on here for a bit. Got lots of support last year when I finally left my unhappy marriage.

It's been five months now that we are living apart and it feels like it's getting harder not easier.

At the beginning it was so liberating, not being stuck with dh, the tension, the distance. Having my own space.

Now I just ache with loneliness. I'm so low I don't contact my friends, who are all married and busy anyway. My phone doesn't ring or beep.

When the kids are with me I'm happy, though it's hard work.

When they are with their dad I am so miserable and wonder if it was worth it. I'm trying not to drink, it dulls it but I have no 'off' button and feel worse the next day.

Please can anyone tell me how I move on, deal with the guilt and pain of separation, make my life better - practical steps.

I can't face internet dating and feel washed up at 42.

How do I start again and find something to smile about. This long winter has worn me out completely sad

Sorry to moan.

deliasmithy Sun 07-Apr-13 00:44:37

Forget the dating a mo, you sound in need of some fun and company in general.
Do you have hobbies or classes that you do? Is there anything you'd like to do?

UnlikelyAmazonian Sun 07-Apr-13 01:02:18

Hey tired, you're totally right ab out the shitty weather. It was hideous for so so long!

The evenings are brighter now and there is going to be more sun, long light evenings and soul-warming weather.

Well done for getting out of an unhappy marriage. Try to recall the unhappiness as it helps remind you that you really don't want the miserable bastard back.

Please give yourself a break for still finding it very difficult. Five months since separation is nothing, really nothing - though it feels a long time.

A year or even two isn't that long either but it will be considerably better and not so sad.

You are going to be ok; you are going to feel better and you are going to be fine with a new and different weft and weave of living....with the usual blips, ups and downs that even happily married people feel.

Take it slowly still. Don't bother with dating sites. Way way too early and probably unnecessary. wink

You simply must be brave and ring friends - married or not, they are people you need and who probably need you too. Don't for one minute imagine that they are all sailing along blissfully with their husbands or partners. There may be many issues you can help them with given your experience and the insight that going through emotional upheaval gives you.

Make plans ahead of your children being away at the weekends. Just start small - a coffee on your own and the newspaper, or a wander around charity shops, a planned meet-up with an old friend. Lean on people as they do really love to help - distracts them from their own issues! Is there anything you would like to try and now's the chance? I did pottery once a week for six weeks (crap at it) and also art classes for beginners - there were about 10 of us and we discovered we all had big traumas we were trying to deal with...they helped me get mine in perspective: one lady had survived the sinking of a ship which had claimed a lot of lives, another had survived a brain tumor, another the suicide of her young husband. It was amazing how we had all learned to live with and recover from pain.

Where do you live - are there any MNtters near you?

You really are in very early stages of post-split..those feelings you had of liberation and release were genuine you know.

It will be ok. Plan plan plan and also get out for the odd walk and maybe a bit of digging around in a garden if you have one. <<>>

ktef Sun 07-Apr-13 06:41:37

Hi tired, so sorry you are feeling low. It sounds like you need some friends, some support and some comfort. Tell your friends this. Remember friends who are married with kids etc are busy but can be lonely, bored and desperate for friendship too (I am!). It may take a bit of planning but try and get out with them, tell them you need them- I know I would love to be needed. Building up friendships takes time annoyingly, but is worth it.

vole3 Sun 07-Apr-13 07:07:08

Can I suggest English Heritage or National Trust membership. Something you can do with or without the children, something you can either plan r do on the spur of the moment and if you pay by direct debit doesn't need to cost you any more than travel on the day (unless you have a penchant for afternoon tea....)

CogitoErgoSometimes Sun 07-Apr-13 07:11:48

Takes a conscious effort to be happily single... smile Partners provide ready-made companionship and entertainment after all. I think you should call your friends but also try to make new friends. Rather than dating, find activities and hobbies that interest you. Could be learning a new skill, sport, a book club, choirs ... there are things out there. Participate as a single with people who enjoy the same thing and you've automatically got something in common.

Would add... if you're feeling really unhappy and there's no particular reason for it, consider talking to your GP rather than self-medicating with booze. Leaving a relationship is a traumatic experience and it can trigger depressive episodes.

Good luck

Moanranger Sun 07-Apr-13 07:23:32

I have recently split with H of 25 years & found local Meet Ups to be very helpful. There are probably some in your area. Do an Internet search. The activities vary from coffee gatherings, movies, pub quizzes, walks. It gets you out with other single people & there is no particular dating pressure.It is important to stay busy and engaged with the rest of the human race at this critical time after the end of your relationship. Good luck!

welcometomysillylife Sun 07-Apr-13 09:13:08

Yes it is hard isn't it. Do you know any other single mums? They will often be in the same boat. Widen your network a bit. Mums from the school, take up with old friends, make sure your married friends don't forget you; they would probably be there if they knew you needed them.

When I split up with exdp, my best friend told me she didn't like to ring because she didn't want me to think she was prying/being nosey/interfering. However she was always there for me when I contacted her. Another person, more of an acquaintance, would ring me every night to check I was ok. You have to do a lot of the arranging, setting dates, etc. because everyone is so busy.

I am almost a year on and you do have times like this.

skaboy Sun 07-Apr-13 10:15:35

I get waves of this sometimes. My kids just gone off with their mum and my friends are either still in couples or not available. The way I cope with it is to always have a back-up plan. Today if my friend doesn't get back to me I'm going to go out on a bike ride.

I think its just a case of adjusting. Its a major life change which I don't think can become 'normal' for quite a long time. I think as time goes on I'll meet more people in the same boat but its difficult sometimes knowing how to start a conversation off. If possible try a positive outlook when you're in any situation where you might meet people, and don't give up!

notthesamenametoday Sun 07-Apr-13 11:07:31

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

notthesamenametoday Sun 07-Apr-13 11:08:44

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Lizzabadger Sun 07-Apr-13 11:11:12

Do you have space/inclination for a lodger? They could provide adult company in the evenings plus extra income you can spend on doing fun things.

TurnipCake Sun 07-Apr-13 11:16:38

I had a few months of therapy following a break up, it was so worth it and I'm still discovering the benefits of it.

Being single can be fabulous (I've been watching SATC reruns wink ) but it can be lonely sometimes, especially if you're craving some company and no one is around. I must admit, that's exactly how I felt yesterday and I could have started a thread about it too.

But being single and feeling lonely and being in a relationship and feeling lonely? I've done the latter too and it's so much worse.

tiredofwaitingforitalltochange Sun 07-Apr-13 11:18:44

I've thought about a lodger. I sort of have space but not at the moment. There is a basement room, but it is stuffed with things from our old home, both mine and ex's. It would be a big job to sort it out and then it would need decorating and furnishing.

It would be nice to have someone around, too. I have an au pair for childcare but it's not like having a proper grown up around.

At the moment I get 100% Council Tax reduction because of being a student. If I had another adult living in the house then I would have to pay 75% of Council Tax which would be more than £1000 a year. But I guess I would have some money from the lodger to pay for this and other bills.

It would be a huge job sorting out the basement though.

I've got a male friend who has separated recently and he has two lodgers to help pay the bills and to keep him company, so I know it can work.

tiredofwaitingforitalltochange Sun 07-Apr-13 11:19:56

Turnip how did you find your therapist? Any tips?

I went to see someone when I was still married but I didn't like her much and it's put me off a bit.

deliasmithy Sun 07-Apr-13 11:22:44

Sometimes a clear out physically also clears things out mentally.

I've heard of counselling being increasingly offered through nhs. Could be worth a punt.

Lizzabadger Sun 07-Apr-13 11:25:14

You could have other students lodge and stay council-tax exempt. Otherwise just factor it in to the rent. You can have up to £4250 coming in from lodgers tax-free under the government rent-a-room scheme but this £4250 includes all the money they give you, including any for bills and council tax. Alternatively you can choose to be taxed at your normal rate on the profits (money they give you minus expenses).

I'm not sure whether sorting out the basement would be too overwhelming at the moment or would be a therapeutic project that takes your mind off things and gives you a sense of purpose. You would need to decide this.

Lizzabadger Sun 07-Apr-13 11:28:31

You can often access counselling either through your GP or by contacting your local Improving Access to Psychological Therapies service directly.

I don't know whether it helps although some people like it. There isn't much evidence that supportive counselling has any long-term benefits. Sometimes I think the time and effort would be better spent doing something pleasurable or that gives you a sense of achievement.

tiredofwaitingforitalltochange Sun 07-Apr-13 11:29:27

I'm not sure either, Lizza. I've 'done' the rest of the house so it's the one area left that needs sorting out. But I've worn myself out with the house.

Plus there is a lot of stuff down there that belongs to ex that he just has nowhere to put... he is in a smaller house and his garage is full.

A lot of the stuff is too good for the tip, but I haven't got the time to organise selling it.

My next door neighbour thinks I need to sort out the basement to have a clear mind. It is horrible knowing it's such a mess, it's lurking down there like a reproach.

downunderdolly Sun 07-Apr-13 11:40:11

Tired of waiting.

Your post resonated with me very much. I split up 2.5 years ago (a surprise and having only been in new country for less than 2 years so not many friends/support) and in my instance it was a surprise.

I am still struggling with loneliness when DS is with his dad but it is a damn sight better than the first year which was a bit of a fog of disbelief, staring into space, panicking about my financial future and when DS with dad seeking salvation too often in the bottom of a bottle of wine.

I don't have a silver bullet answer but things that have helped me are as follows:-

- forcing myself out of paralysis (I had so many things to sort out that I didn't do anything) by giving myself say one 'task' a week.
- getting help - I'm fortunate in that there is a backpackers lodge for cheap labour where I live so for things like your basement could hire some 'muscle' to both help and once I'd hired them the impetus to do stuff
- trying to arrage at least one thing (even just a coffee with a friend) for the w/ends without DS
- forcing myself to do 'stuff' even when didn't really want to like going to galleries, theatre etc - I generally enjoyed it when I did it PLUS gave me something to talk about to friends (and bear in mind most of mine were only around a year old so not the natural ease of old friends) to get me out of feeling like I had nothing to say
- this wasn't a conscious thing but I found making a few new friend who were a bit older than me (older teenage kids) helped (and this wasn't too much older as I didn't have my son till 37). This means I do have people who are easier to arrange to have a drink/coffee with on w/ends....they are more social acquaintances and met them by hanging out at local cafe which turned into early evening bar with my laptop (I know this type of place is probably atypical but there may be somewhere similar where you live?)
- re drinking. I don't mean to sound patronising but given I was managing to put away a bottle + of wine too regularly I would pour out say half a bottle (maybe a bit more; ) and put the rest in an 'out of the way' place....this helped me realise how much I was drinking and made me feel a bit 'crap' if I went to get the rest....again, this worked for me as I would sit on my balcony and not really realise I was suddenly at the end of the bottle.

I had counselling for a while when things first happened (I was in shock as in middle of IVF post some traumatic pregnancy losses and OW involved and ex turned from lovely DH to cunty cuntofferson overnight which was terrible shock) and it certainly helped. As did one particular friend who I could always talk to and felt 'safe' that I wasn't boring her.

Anyway, my love - GOOD LUCK and hope your university course goes well. Perhaps that may give some avenues to meet some new people?


TurnipCake Sun 07-Apr-13 11:43:13

I went through BACP and made contact by emailing and asking if they had any places available for private clients.

I didn't gel with the first person I saw at all, the second person I saw was the lady I had counselling with. I went via BACP as that's who my best friend recommended I go through (also a therapist)

skaboy Sun 07-Apr-13 11:45:16

OP, your uni should have free counselling. I work in a uni and have been making the most of this service.

tiredofwaitingforitalltochange Sun 07-Apr-13 11:52:39

skaboy they do, but you have to go when they say. And my course is full time and it's hard to miss stuff. I might try to do that, though, I'd get about six sessions I think.

dolly thanks for your lovely thoughtful message.

The only way I can drink less than a bottle of wine is to tip some out before I start. There is one of those mini-supermarkets at the end of my road so it's really easy to go and buy another bottle, too, up to 11pm. Not good.

I'm going to go out and do something now. Maybe a swim. I need to tidy up the house as well.

Thanks everyone, I'll be back later. x

downunderdolly Sun 07-Apr-13 12:02:06


Maybe I am talking for myself but the fact that you know that you are drkinking too much sometimes is a positive as I think people that DO have a problem sort of normalise it.....cut yourself a bit of slack my love it is early days but keep an eye on it.

I also meant to say that I am 42 and whilst I'm not in a relationship I don't feel washed up...better not bloody be I have grand plans ; ) .....and again, nothing current but about a year and a half ago I dated someone for a while (bad timing, we are still friends, he just got married again) with whom I had the best sex of my life!! ... I'm only telling you this to say don't write yourself off....there is so much possibility still, it is just hard in the day to day here and now at times.....


SolidGoldBrass Sun 07-Apr-13 12:07:06

Defiitely a good idea to take up a hobby of some sort that has a social aspect. Forget dating: you are really not in the right state of mind to be doing that; you will be a magnet for arseholes at the moment.

What do you like, what interests you? Art, music, books, craft, sport, history? There will be something local that will suit you and probably not be too expensive, because there are a lot of people who join groups for the social side as much as for the hobby itself.

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