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Thread to swap uplifting stories of life after divorce/separation to give people struggling lots of hope for the future

(83 Posts)
Ledkr Sat 10-Aug-13 08:22:45

So have been on one if the many threads where a poster has been treated appallingly by her husband and is feeling very sad and worried for hers and her children's future.
Being 10 yrs down the line I posted about how much my life improved after my ex shafted me and his chikdren.
A few posters thought it would be a lovely idea to swap similar stories.
So come on, it will be cathartic and helpful to others.

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Sat 10-Aug-13 11:53:31

bump and nice idea Ledkr.

Chubfuddler Sat 10-Aug-13 12:01:03

Could you copy and repost your post about Ibiza and all the amazing things you've done? It was so inspiring.

I sent to a roller disco this week. A roller fucking disco. I am 35. I tell you there is no way I would have done that a year ago - which may be unfair to ex but I self edited when we were together. I had no idea the extent to which I did it until I stopped.

Lovely Ledkr!

It's almost 4 years ago now for me. Awful awful time, as he was a lying toad for 5 months after separation and I had no closure at all. I lived in limbo hoping he'd either come back or admit the affair had never ended and he didn't want me. Instead of lying! The DCs really struggled as did I. I was diagnosed with depression, lost loads of weight and it was tough.

Well fast forward to now. ExH's relationship with the OW ended a year ago. Surprise surprise the 23 year old didn't like being with a divorced man with DCs after all and that it wasn't all it cracked up to be. He's now with someone else but it doesn't matter anymore.

He sees the kids frequently, we co parent well. We never argue. The kids love their Dad and I am feeling the best I've felt in years. Slimmer, happier, a great social life. I like living on my own tbh and I have a great job and boss. I can no longer see what I thought was attractive about him at all. In fact it feels like our marriage was someone else's life. Not mine but we do get on very well. In fact better than when married. But I think I've let go now of the hurt and moved on.

I honestly think if I was still married I would be miserable. Looking back in hindsight, everything is clearer. I was so ashamed of having a failed marriage at the time, being judged, I wanted to save my marriage at any cost. So misguided. It was a damaging environment for the kids in my situation.

I didn't retain the friends I thought I would on divorce but I made new ones. Fabulous people who will no doubt be lifetime friends.

I feel I'm a better person post divorce. More open minded, less judgemental. I was such a smug married.

I need to go but I'll enjoy reading the other posts later. There's life after divorce and it's better IMO. Yet to meet a new man but I'm only 35.

Ledkr Sat 10-Aug-13 12:27:48

When dh left me I was 35 had four kids was overweight, bored and boring, no social life just worked and looked After home and kids. Had done since I was 17.
When he left I was given a new chance at life.
I embraced my new freedom.
Lost loads of weight with stress had hair cut off.
Took a promotion.
Made loads of new friends and developed a really good social life.
Took the children to some amazing places on my own (very liberating)
We danced on a beach in Ibiza at 3 am then slept all day.
I have had girly sleepovers with all the kids camping out.
Laughed until my sides ached.
Stayed in bed on Sunday mornings watching hollyoaks with dc.
Kissed a few frogs.
Made friendships which will last a lifetime.
I finally have the life I wanted.
I'm glad it happened.
If we were stil together I'd have been old before my time and had none of the fab experiences I've had in the last ten years.
Hope this helps someone.
I was rock bottom when I found out he was cheating.
I wished I was dead.
It took a few weeks to become determined I was going to enjoy my life despite all he did to us.

EroticTebbit Sat 10-Aug-13 12:37:50

Thank you for these. I need them right now.

Jarlin Sat 10-Aug-13 13:31:05

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Llareggub Sat 10-Aug-13 13:39:31

I am nearly two years on from separating from my ex husband, who was an alcoholic. Our DCs are 6 and 4 and at present he has no contact with us.

I moved back home, found a brilliant part time job and caught up with all my old friends. I have a great FWB (actually my best friend) and my DCs love him.

I love my new life. My job is incredibly satisfying. We have a view of the sea from our new house and I've enjoyed showing my DCs my childhood haunts. We go swimming in the sea after school, it's a great life.

Financially I am OK. I feel like myself again, and like someone else said it feels like my marriage happened to someone else. I've had a pretty rough time of it but I know that I am strong enough to deal with anything life throws at me.

I am far more relaxed than I used to be. I love my new life and I am so excited about the future.

lazarusb Sat 10-Aug-13 13:44:16

18 glorious years since I left my abusive ex.

I have fallen in love with and married a nice, respectful man who treats me as an equal.
I have had two more children to add to ds.
We have travelled abroad and around the UK.
We've built a nice home and are reasonably secure financially.
I have had jobs which I really enjoyed and built my confidence and self-respect.
I eat what I like - no more punches because I dared to boil an egg.
I have built a solid group of friends who I socialise with without having to ask permission or explain.
I have my own money - what I earn I can spend on what I like.
I have given up work to become a full-time student and study a subject I adore. This will be the stepping stone to our new life.

I have had the chance to be me, to breathe, to laugh, to live, to enjoy and to learn.
We only get one life - please don't spend it unhappy. There's a world out there smile.

Viking1 Sat 10-Aug-13 14:00:15

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ihatesonic Sat 10-Aug-13 14:06:56

This made me cry. Thank you for your stories, it gives me hope.

lazarusb Sat 10-Aug-13 14:08:47

Oh yes...and I wear what I like and don't straighten my hair any more. If I want to dye it I dye it whatever colour I like.
I know my strengths and that I have more of them than I have weaknesses.
I won't be spoken to like dirt, by anyone.

Llareggub Sat 10-Aug-13 14:28:24

I've remembered another thing. I now laugh. A lot.

I love being single. My DCs do miss their father but they don't understand his illness. Overall, I think they are much happier without him in their lives in the way that he was. Hopefully he will recover and re-enter their lives. I have a few male role models for them. It isn't the same but it is good for them.

katykuns Sat 10-Aug-13 14:29:10

Great thread idea smile

Kicked my ExH out about 5 years ago now. He was horribly lazy, selfish bastard. Cheated on me online with a few young women whilst I was pregnant. Pressured me into sex shortly after giving birth to DD1, when I hadn't healed properly, and when I begged him to stop because I was in pain, he didn't. He never found work, barely washed, and I became a slave to him. One of my lowest points was when he demanded I get his shoes for him when we were at a family gathering, and I just went and did it, and all his family were shocked that I just accepted his laziness. I never thought I would become a doormat.
I finally kicked him out after months of worrying about being on my own. Living on my own was actually so much easier. I wasn't looking after an adult child as well as my DD1. Although sometimes it was lonely, I did find I had more confidence because I had more freedom. I gradually began to do things and got myself on a degree course. I also got with my now DP, someone who was around during the break up that encouraged me I deserved much better.

I am now a much happier person, because the experience forced me to find myself. I have accepted who I am, faults and skills, and my standards for a partner were considerably higher. I had another baby DD, who is now 15 months. Going through that experience with my DP highlighted just how poor my relationship with ExH was. DP is a brilliant father and a great support for me. I never knew I could do so well.

Unfortunately the relationship left me with a coping technique which was to comfort eat when happy, sad, bored, tired... etc. So I am still overweight, but not in denial about it anymore. I am slowly attacking the psychological side of my overreating, and treating it like an addiction, because that is what it really is.

My only regret about the ExH situation was that I spent way too long in a relationship that was so unhealthy. Convincing myself that it was better for my DD1 to grow up thinking that our situation was normal, as well as such a twat for a Dad was just stupid. I am so thankful for what I have now.

fifi669 Sat 10-Aug-13 14:45:52

My ex left July 2010, I was 20 weeks pregnant with our planned child. In all honesty, when we got together, I was the OW. It sounds like another world now, but he seemed so charming and funny, now see as sleazy and immature. We worked together in a bar and it was common knowledge his home life wasn't happy. I told myself it was ok as I never expected him to leave her so I wasn't breaking up a family..... Yes I was young and stupid. They had an argument one night as she caught him looking at me, he went to walk out, she stabbed him in the chest.

Despite his constant flirting with everyone, me paying all the bills as he spent his on drink, explosive arguments, the odd slap etc, I loved him. He was a very tactile man and my family never have been. I got on great with his children, friends and family. He didn't make the time for my family and friends but I'd resigned myself to it just being him. Looking back I had a shite time. His ex wife's feelings were a priority over my own. I assumed it was guilt. He wanted us to start a family. He said he'd been a bad dad and husband before and wanted to do it properly. I agreed to try for a baby. He proposed several times. I said I wasn't ready.

Fast forward to being pregnant... He started a job in a new pub (banned from the one we worked in for smashing glasses in my direction). He starts coming home drunk saying the baby isn't his. I worked 60 hours a week, the only time other than that I wasn't with him was the commute. He would tell me I'd never be as much of a woman as his ex. 20 week scan we find out we're having a boy. I tell everyone. He texts no one. Following evening comes home drunk. Starts a fight. Tells me I'm ugly, shoves me about. I go out to get air. He locks me out. When he lets me back in he's texting his ex saying its over. I sleep in the spare room and in the morning he's gone. He returns a few days later and takes our bed. I find out he'd been sleeping with his ex. He promises to pay his half of the bills, nothing comes. His phone was in my name, big bills with calls to his ex arrive. Despite all this we sleep together a few times, desperate to keep the fantasy of a family. He told me it was just sex. Then the abusive phone calls started. I moved back to my parents. A couple of months later I lost my job. In fact I'd lost my dog, gdad, boyfriend, home, job and crashed my car in the space of 4 months. I was at rock bottom. I cried everyday for 6 months. When DS was born December 2010 I felt empty.

My friends picked me up and made me feel normal again. They gave me the chance to bitch and moan when I needed it. When I found out my ex had impregnated another woman whilst seeing me, I arranged to meet her. She wasn't aware of the situation and our children now know each other. His ex hasn't let his children meet DS. But then my ex isn't interested either. He had the odd request but didn't stick to his promises. Half of his family are in touch, half aren't despite living in the next street down.

Then there's DP. He also worked with us in the bar. If always considered him a good friend. It was only when DS was 6 months old I actually realised how attractive he was! He's the best dad DS could want, we are so close we finish each others sentences and all those other annoying things loved up people do. I feel stupid I wasted so much time on my ex when DP was right under my nose! I honestly felt like my life was ending when ex walked out, all my dreams smashed. It wasn't. It was the best thing he'd ever done for me. I lost him but I regained dignity and self respect. Started a degree with open uni, moved out. I'm me again. DP is the icing on the cake. I've never been happier smile

aliciaflorrick Sat 10-Aug-13 14:56:42

It's a year next week since I found out about DH's affair and he left. In that time, I've stopped walking around like a stooped old woman because the weight of the world has now been lifted from my shoulders. I have a spring in my step and a smile on my face. I've had my hair cut and coloured, I wear makeup and have treated myself to some nice clothes, nothing too expensive because money is tight, but picked up the odd thing in the sales. Before he left I didn't get to do any of that for years, I wasn't allowed to go to the hairdressers or buy new clothes and too depressed to put make up on.

I can look myself in the eye again, and I like who I am now.

I've redecorated most of my house and done some of the renovation work that exH would never give me the money to do. Lots left to do but I have a plan and I don't care how long it takes me to save, it will all be done eventually.

Last winter me and the DCs had heating and we'll have it again this year, never had it before because DH would never give us enough money to buy wood (he lived in a different place because of work so was always made sure he had heating). No more wearing three jumpers and two pairs of socks for us anymore. We still huddle up on the sofa to watch TV though. I liked that part of being cold.

Even though I knew I had great friends before I've discovered how truly wonderful they all are, old and new. He lost everyone as well as me, he's had to reinvent himself with OW and her friends.

My separation from ExH has brought my family closer together, they all rallied round me and on one particularly bad day last year they became like a tag team calling me from where they were all based in the UK, Africa and Australia. Out of everything this is the best thing has come out of my separation.

I get to keep all the money I earn and not just give me what exDH gave me and kept the rest (yes I know, I believed him when he said we had bills in the UK to cover).

I've discovered that actually I wasn't the one who was bad with money even though he kept telling me I was. I can budget and even save. He on the other hand ran £20,000 on credit card debt in the first six months of leaving while he tried to impress the OW.

DCs and I have been on holiday by ourselves and had a great time.

I do struggle to maintain a social life because I'm living in a foreign country and don't have a babysitter.

I'd like to come back to the UK but don't think I can because I wouldn't be able to afford childcare for the DCs when I work.

I don't know when I will be ready for a relationship with another man, or indeed if I want to be in a relationship. I like my time by myself and I like doing what I want to do. I know I will NEVER get married again.

I love being single again, it amuses me that ExH tries to draw me back into his life but I'm just so not interested in him or what he's doing that he gets no reaction.

I'm currently saving up for the holiday of a lifetime in December 2014, ExH is planning on having the DCs for Christmas so I'm going to do all the travel that I've wanted to do but he wasn't keen. I can't afford to pay for me and DCs but I can afford to pay for just me.

I love my life now, wish I'd had the courage to walk away years ago.

Helennn Sat 10-Aug-13 15:21:50

Thank you all, keep them coming. Am teetering on the edge of the big decision but need a push!

Ledkr Sat 10-Aug-13 15:31:37

Good luck helen x

EroticTebbit Sat 10-Aug-13 15:54:26

Good luck Helenn.

One thing these stories have in common is absolute arseholes for DHs- I am separating from mine because we're not lovers any more. He's a perfectly nice man. I wonder if it's better to stay in a loveless but chummy marriage than be alone?
(This is all academic BTW- I am going.)

lazarusb Sat 10-Aug-13 16:16:29

Erotic I'm not sure I could stay in a loveless (or sexless) relationship. You can still be friends outside the relationship but move on and be single or find someone who can fulfil that for you. Very best of luck to you.

Good luck Helen. My relationship was long over before I found the impetus and courage to leave permanently. There were a few catalysts over one weekend that gave me the final push. Best thing I ever did - I even managed to persuade him to let me leave in a way where I was safe.

WeGotTheKrunk Sat 10-Aug-13 16:28:42

This thread is great. I love hearing all these stories. Hoping more people will share xx

I'm still in contact with a big group of ladies, we were all on the thread called 'the road to recovery for the recently ditched' in 2009/ 2010. I've asked them to all come by and post too. They were a tower of strength to me back then as we all shared with each others struggles so much. It was a great thread. In fact we sometimes still meet up. I love mn.

comingintomyown Sat 10-Aug-13 16:43:19

Brilliant thread idea

My XH left three and a half years ago. We had been together 17 years and the last 2 had been really lonely and miserable for me. I knew he didnt love me anymore but couldnt really accept it so devoted myself to being an all new improved wife - waste of time !

However during those 2 years I sought therapy to try and sort myself out ( I was told I was the one who was mad/bad etc) and it ended around the time our marriage ended and was vital to how I approached things and the "success" of how we split.

The therapy changed my life and then XH leaving which whilst massively sad and painful was the right thing for us both was the icing on me finding a new life.

I am me again and the version of me I thought would make him happy.

I am so much more gung ho about life. I would always ask him to book things online etc but now I ahve learnt how to use a computer and everything is done on line.

That is an example of one thing but there are lots more like it.

I have gone from being a long term SAHM to getting a FT job which isnt wonderful but its ok and I have worked hard and got a promotion.

XH and I parent the DC pretty well, they are teens and live with me but spend a lot of time at their Dads. I had been sick with worry that their lives would fall apart when we split but actually its been fine - not perfect and a few bumps but overall good.

Have to go but will be back ...

In short I am happier than in a long time

comingintomyown Sat 10-Aug-13 16:46:17

Oooh do you mean the Dumpling thread ?

I was a long termer on there too... different name

Yes that thread! I was called teaandcakeplease back then <waves>

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