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At what age did you meet your spouse..? Feeling hopeless and lonely.

(96 Posts)
AllegraLilac Sat 25-May-13 01:00:30

Brutal honesty time... Decided not to name change.

I'm in my early 20s. I have had two boyfriends and plenty of male attention.

My first boyfriend and I were together from the age of 15 until 19, and he was abusive the entire time. I got out after four years, a bruised, tortured, depressed shadow of who I used to be.

It took me years to recover. I forced myself back on the dating horse, and dated casually, but never managed to trust anybody with my heart or my body. Thus none of these relationships lasted long enough to even be called relationships, though I did make some good friends and my confidence slowly returned.

2 and a half years after getting out of my abusive relationship, a long term friend asked me out. Not my usual type, I said yes. He had been good fun in some really low times and I thought he might be more considerate. Alas no, 6 months down the line, he'd been sleeping with 3 women behind my back and is now boasting about shagging a stripper to mutual friends.

I'm just feeling so hopeless, like ill never love again and have that reciprocated. My worst fear is ending up alone and childless.

Can somebody please reassure me that you didn't meet him until you left university, started work, was a real grown up. All my friends are settled with partners and I'm so jealous of their happiness.

And anyone who wants to tell me that my exes are dickheads would be very well received too. sad

deleted203 Sat 25-May-13 01:04:59

Your exes are complete dickheads and you are well rid!

Met my ex at 19 - was with him til I was 30 and he basically fucked up all of my 20s. (Apart from giving me 3 great kids).

Met DH at 32 and have had 2 more children with him - am now 46 and he is still lovely. You have loads and loads of time - and seriously, life does get better once you decide you can't be arsed to waste time on someone who is a shit - that the only people you want in your life are those who make it better, rather than worse.

At 32 I was only prepared to have a relationship with someone I wanted to be with - rather than settling for someone out of fear I wouldn't meet anyone else.

TheChaoGoesMu Sat 25-May-13 01:11:26

Met dh at 30, but didnt have children until 8 yrs later. You're still a young un op, you have a great life ahead of you.

Ps I had a dick head violent ex in my early 20's too. He's long gone. There is plenty of hope.

bruffin Sat 25-May-13 01:13:47

Met dh when i was 25 got married at 29 and had dcs at 33 and 35. Will have been married 22 yrs in august.

sososlow Sat 25-May-13 01:29:03

Met DH when I was 28, got married at 33. I think in many ways it was better to meet later, as he was well established in his career by then and I've always known he could support us as a family. We've never had the struggles that younger couples have with lack of money coming in and have always been comfortable, didn't have to save for wedding or house etc. My friends who married young or met at university didn't prioritise that when finding a partner - often the man has studied academic subjects but it hasn't translated to a good work ethic or successful career. At least if they've been working for a good few years you will know they're solvent by that stage.

A1980 Sat 25-May-13 01:31:29

Can someone come on and tell me they met someone in their mid 30's...

Getting desperate.

BOF Sat 25-May-13 01:36:57

33 or 34, I think. Blissfully happy for the last seven years. A couple of false starts before then though.

AnneEyhtMeyer Sat 25-May-13 01:37:20

Met DH at 30. Dated (long-distance) for 3 years. Split for 2 years.

Got back together at 35. Married at 35. Had DD at 37.

Stepmooster Sat 25-May-13 01:37:29

Hi OP, I spent most of my 20's worrying about never falling in love, and never being loved and never being happy. Most of that stemmed from an EA childhood. I had to get my head around the fact that I was in charge of my own happiness. Until that moment happened and I had completley embraced the thought of being happy and alone did I fall in love with DH. I had known him for 6 years but it took me until I was ready to be happy and stop messing about with people who were EA (because I needed to be with someone to be 'happy') did cupid fire his bow.

You have years ahead of you and the one thing I do regret most of all is not listening to people when they said you have to love yourself and learn to be happy without needing someone to provide that happiness for you.

Being in love, settled and with a family does not happen for everyone and nor does happiness happen for those who seem to have all these things in life. If you can learn to be happy and not leave happiness up to fate, I bet you will be able to spot dickheads much quicker or at the very least ditch them and move on without too much anguish.

Best wishes xx

TheChaoGoesMu Sat 25-May-13 01:38:55

Oh yes A1. My friend just has. After years of utterly hopeless relationships, this man is the one. Dont give up.

TheChaoGoesMu Sat 25-May-13 01:39:56

You have years ahead of you and the one thing I do regret most of all is not listening to people when they said you have to love yourself and learn to be happy without needing someone to provide that happiness for you.

wise words.

AllegraLilac Sat 25-May-13 01:49:13

Thank you. I know I need to be happy alone. For the most part I am. But waking up and going to bed everyday alone is getting to me. I have so much love to give and want to share it. My problem thus far has been either withholding it too much, or sharing it too readily. I'm an extremes it seems.

Another problem is that I'm anxiety ridden. I worry about everything. Taking mods for this, and counselling. Have done for years. Since the abuse.

What I really want to be able to do is not give a shit. Like you're all telling me, love myself and accept solitary happiness. How do I actually go about changing the way I think and feel?

AllegraLilac Sat 25-May-13 01:51:59

Another completely irrational concern of mine is that after I've been around the block a few times, men won't want me anymore. Mum instilled that in me, very conservative type against women putting it about a bit but no repercussions for men. Ignores dad cheating.

I worry about being branded a slag and winding up used goods.

CVSFootPowder Sat 25-May-13 01:53:53

Some of us didnt go to university. I didnt. I was 23 when I met the man I would marry. We were married 20 years.
But you are so young and have your whole life ahead of you. If you want to meet someone you WILL.

BOF Sat 25-May-13 02:08:58

Allegra- don't worry about that grin. Just be honest and make sure you don't pick sexist wankers.

When I met my DP, I was very honest about my past. It doesn't matter a jot with the right person- if you're ready to meet the love of your life, they'll see you for who you are, not what you've done.

jojomom Sat 25-May-13 02:21:45

Met my now husband when I was 27. Got married when I was 35. First child at 36. Second child at 37. Still very happy and in love.

raisah Sat 25-May-13 02:34:17

Maybe consider some counselling first to help you come to terms with your past. Your abusive exes still seem to exercise some mental control over you resulting in fear of being alone. Your fear of being lonely unfortunately might stop you from seeing red flags and make you settle for another unsuitable relationship.

Thesebootsweremadeforwalking Sat 25-May-13 03:31:21

I didn't meet DH until I was 26. It was worth the wait though.

AmericasTorturedBrow Sat 25-May-13 03:56:46

I met DH at 21 BUT it was def a case I not being happy unless I was with someone. Now 30 and we've had our ups and downs (married at 23, DC at 25&28) but are generally still happy but I'm only now starting to realise what it means to like and have respect for yourself first and in many ways wish I hadn't rushed into it all so much - not because I regret being with him but because I know part of the reason I said yes to marriage so quickly was because I was so sure nobody would ever ask me again.

You have tons of time - I have friends who married in their early twenties, we're divorced by their early thirties and remarried with children well before they turned 40....

Librarina Sat 25-May-13 04:11:15

I met DH when I was 16, ignored him for a few years, realised he was lovely when I was 23, had a happily long distance relationship for 4 years, engaged at 30, married him at 31 and having our first baby at 36.

We're not exactly fast workers!

My good friend met her lovely lovely husband at a NYE party last year. They had a whirlwind romance and a beautiful wedding and are also expecting their first baby at the age of 36. I don't think they are any more or less happy than we are because of the different time scales, it's just the way it happens.

The only important thing is to pick a good person who is your favourite and you are their favourite, and to fancy them and like who they are.

mummywantsaliedown Sat 25-May-13 04:13:15

I was 26 when I met my now husband. I'd just had a 2 year break from dating as I was sick of having my heart broken and rushing into the next relationship.
I actually wrote a list (a few months before I met DH) of things I wanted in a partner. It took a couple of nights of really thinking it through, before I had a list of around 10 things I needed from a partner (simple stuff like must get on with my family, make me laugh). Corny but really helped me to weigh people up when I went on dates, and until DH I knew the 2 first dates I had should stay as the only dates.
Btw, the break from dating was a conscious decision, but the timing wasn't- I just knew when I was ready to put myself on the line again.
Good luck and don't rush into anything!

harryhausen Sat 25-May-13 06:07:52

I met DH at 26. He was 31. We're still together. Had first dc when I was 32. Although we've had our ups and downs, he's wonderful.

OP, you really shouldn't worry. You have heaps and heaps of time.

When I was a late teen/early 20's literally everyone I knew was in a couple. We all used to hang out in couples and I was the lone female on the outskirts. I can still remember the slight bewilderment and panic about it. Now I'm 41, and none of those couples are together anymore. Some are divorced from each other. Some separated just before marriage as they realised their other half wasn't quite right for them.

I spent a lot of my early 20's worrying about all this and not seeing opportunities for fun and casual flirting in front of my nose. If I could speak to my younger self I would give her a little pep talk.

OP, your whole life is ahead of you. You'll find the great blokes. They'll be lucky to have yousmile

Tinkerisdead Sat 25-May-13 06:23:02

I could have written this in my early twenties. I ahem went around the block a few times because i'd start a relationship, wait a while before getting intimate then it would fizzle out after months and i'd end up panicking thinking "argh another notch on the bedpost!"

I was 28 when i met my dh, almost 29. I'd spent sooo long before that worrying that i'd never get married or more that i'd never be a mum. The thing was i worried so much that in hindsight i kept trying to be the perfect woman for each guy. Like a chameleon i'd change and fit in with their ideals in a bid to settle down. I'd tolerate all manner of shit just trying not to rock the boat.

I've said this before on mn but the day the mind games stopped was when i knew dh was the one. When i didnt question the meaning of texts, get left hanging around, people asking for time or space, it all stopped because i was being myself and not trying to force it through panic.

RubyOnRails Sat 25-May-13 06:35:55

Met him at 34, married at 35' ds1 at 36, ds2 at 38.

It's normal to feel the way you do, don't worry.

Fairylea Sat 25-May-13 06:40:14

I didnt go to university.

I met dds dad when I was 18. Together till I was 23 and that didn't work out and I left when dd was 7 months old.

Then I was married to someone else for 5 years until he left!

Then I had a teenagery late 20s with lots of shagging random unsuitables and getting drunk and staying up too late...

Then I met my second dh. I am now in my mid 30s. I have another dc with dh.

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