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post adultery/divorce, what made you risk a relationship again?

(29 Posts)
chocoraisin Sat 01-Mar-14 20:06:20

Hi, I'm more interested in other people's views than specific advice really - I'm 2 years post-adultery, absolute was granted before Christmas this year. My ex is marrying the OW and it's all been a bit shit really, especially as I was pg with DC2 when we split.

Having said that, my gorgeous DC are now 3.5 and 20months, and we're doing really, really great. I've been sort of dating for about 6 months, but never anything serious - no risk of it going anywhere. I've been very happy with that, not at all looking for a new Mr Right!

But the thing is, I met someone recently, who is pretty much totally unexpected. And he made me question what it would take for some of those walls to come down again. For the first time since my XH cheated, I'm actually considering that I might want to risk letting someone new in, and it's scary!!

So I wanted to ask people who have come out the other side of messy divorce (adultery or otherwise) and have found a happy relationship again, what was it that was different, that gave you the confidence to trust again? Was it worth it? How's it working out now?

FennCara Sat 01-Mar-14 20:33:25

I remember you chocoraisin! I read your blog. I was left in very similar circumstances to you, except that XH cheated on OW very quickly so didn't marry her...

I have no idea how to risk another relationship. I haven't found anyone I'd risk it for. Sorry to be no help.

I suppose if you know how absolutely fine it is to be single, and how happy you can be alone, then you know if something did happen again you would be ok. If you can be comfortable knowing that, you can give
someone a go without being unduly worried.

chocoraisin Sat 01-Mar-14 20:38:31

Hi smile I wasn't sure if people would remember, it's nice to be back! I know what you mean Fenn I am so, so much happier now, honestly. I had no idea how unhappy I was, until I got this much distance, which sounds odd but it's true. I'm actually comfortable in my own skin, my own home and my future feels exciting again. I look back at pictures of me 3 years ago and just see a person being crushed by life. I'm so sorry you went through it too. I was actually thinking of picking up my blog again just this week, to talk type through this particular stage of divorce as well.

I guess the problem is that I also feel so very protective of this new life, I don't want to rock my boys world for anything or anyone. My home has never been set foot in by my ex, or anyone I don't truly want to bring here. But now, for the first time, I have met someone who has made me question whether those walls (and expectations) are too high, I don't want to run screaming for the hills - after all, I don't want to be alone forever either!

Handywoman Sat 01-Mar-14 20:53:00

Ah choco I separated from STBXH 7 months ago. My walls are very high, concrete with barbed wire on top! And infra-red cameras!!!! It can only be a good thing that you are starting to re-think. Just give it loads of time maybe? Take the wall down one brick at a time? I hope to be there at some point. If in doubt just check in on MN Relarionships! There are always wise words on here. I wish you all the best.

MatchsticksForMyEyes Sat 01-Mar-14 20:56:13

I realised that the longer I left it the more hostile to the idea my dc would be. And also I didn't want their blueprint for a relationship to be the emotionally abusive relationship I had with their father. I have been with a lovely guy for 4 months now and I'm happier than I've ever been.

chocoraisin Sat 01-Mar-14 20:57:23

Slow is the order of the day for sure. It feels really wonderful to be at the start of a conversation with someone on that level, the kind of conversation where you just don't want to stop talking... I sort of want to be near him, just to breathe him in. Not sure if that sounds a bit strange! But that's how it feels. We spent a night together (no nookie!) and it's the best sleep I have had in years, bar none. this has nothing to do with not being woken by two toddlers

Handywoman Sat 01-Mar-14 21:00:31

Haha smile Sounds great choco go for it (you know, s-l-o-w, like) yey for you smile

chocoraisin Sat 01-Mar-14 21:07:22

thank you! I hope it's not just one of those one night wonder things. I don't think he is thinking that though, when we parted he mentioned I'd meet his kids next weekend, and the weekend after he will meet mine, as we will both be on site for a couple of events we work at together and the kids will be there. He didn't seem at all concerned about that, just said he would really like to enjoy adult time before we go there with the children - which was kind of obvious to me, but felt nice to know he is on the same page. And also nice (but bizarre) that I am completely unphased by him a) having kids, and b) the potential for all the children to be meeting me/him fairly soon (although it wouldn't be a planned 'meet this person', it would have been happening even if we'd not moved up a level IYSWIM). I am completely unused to this calm, happy feeling around a potential guy.

It's nice. smile

FennCara Sat 01-Mar-14 21:13:21

I totally understand the protective feeling over the children. If you're careful though, it's good for children to see their mother as a real person with a life of her own, not just a martyr figure. It teaches them healthy patterns for their own relationships.

How do you manage to date with the kids, if you don't mind me asking?

chocoraisin Sat 01-Mar-14 21:17:48

they go to their dad e.o.w overnight, so that's two nights a month I have 'off'. This particular person I met during the first week they went away on holiday with him, so I was on my own for 7 days and 6 nights - the longest since DS1 was born 3.5 years ago. It was hard, but in that space it allowed something more natural to happen with this guy.

Other than that, I'm happy to pay a sitter now and then for an evening out, and my parents have been known to sit for me once in a while.

I've not been dating much though, I think it is less than once a month! I don't have a spectacular social life by any means. I think I just realised though that in this instance, I would probably be willing to find a way. Not sure what that would look like, but it's a definite shift to be wanting to look for one.

Cabrinha Sat 01-Mar-14 21:19:14

That sounds lovely, so pleased for you!

Tbh, though my ex was a vile pig of a man (prostitutes, with retrospect our entire 9 year relationship - nice) I've never really felt that I couldn't let someone in again. Maybe because I'd had several relationships end for "normal" reasons in my 20s, so had a positive view from that.

Here's what helps me though: it's a totally different ball game. I'm 40s, don't want more kids, don't want marriage, not fussed about living together - I'd sort of like to, but as we both have kids (both RP) and kids go to school in own village (we're in neighbouring villages) I don't think we'd want to disrupt that. So... there's no biological clock. Meeting Mr Right can happen at 40, 50, 60... it doesn't matter now. So - I can just stick with this as long as it works for me, and walk when it doesn't. No more crap years of misery worrying about breaking up child's home. So what if I take it slowly? There simply is no rush.

But here's the biggest thing, advice from a friend, and I think it's v helpful and spot on...

Your ex is an arsehole, right?
He has taken from you. You will be happier, but still - he took your previous life from you.

Do not give him this. Do not let him take you future happy life. Do not let him take from you your ability to love and be loved. It's a risk, yeah - but it's one worth taking. Do not let him take your spirit, your ability to take a risk, from you.

Go for it! x

BeforeAndAfter Sat 01-Mar-14 21:50:46

I'm 3 years post discovery of affair and separation and 1 year post decree absolute and late 40s.

I dated lots of men during that time who I happily kept at a distance and then I went on holiday to a very unusual location and met a guy there (no holiday romance at all but a real kinship was formed). He lived 400 miles from me (in UK) and we saw each other as friends at odd weekends, travelling to the other's city. He is completely different to any of the men I dated. He was interested in me as well as being interesting. He understood my baggage and has baggage of his own so we're broadly equal on that score. He wasn't trying to get me into bed quickly (it was the other way around). We're also at the same stage of life in terms of solvency, working etc and that really helps as we can go where we want when we want.

But more importantly I just wanted to get to know him and, using your words, breathe him in. The desire to know him and just "be me" in his presence was a raging instinct and need within me; I've never felt it before and I still want to breathe him in every day. I moved 400 miles to be with him, to get to know him and for him to get to know me. I have no DC so that makes a huge difference.

I do have trust issues (never had any before) and he has been patient with that but I know it frustrates him and we talk it through whenever I wobble.

He's a decent man (and quite the most beautiful man I've clapped my eyes on) and if we don't last it will be for the right reasons and I'm so glad I let my barriers down. The joy of loving someone and being loved has been worth it.

LyndaCartersBigPants Sat 01-Mar-14 21:53:25

Been thinking about this today and I realised that I never really had any boundaries or walls! Perhaps because ex twunt didn't cheat, part of my reason for leaving him was because I wanted that companionship and I knew I'd never get it from him, so I was really open to a new relationship from day one, I just had to find that special person.

I think the trust and fear of being hurt are the main obstacles for you, so if as Fenn said above, you can accept that as a real possibility, but know that you'll be ok anyway, it's still a risk of course, but not a huge one.

You've seen how your DCs have adapted to meeting new friends over the past few years and kids generally aren't phased by knowing someone for a while then not really seeing them anymore. I agree that it's healthy for them to see you getting on with adult life - you're not parading streams if half naked men through the house, just hanging out having fun with another friend and their family.

HowLongIsTooLong Sun 02-Mar-14 01:12:29

Interesting thread. My question is: how does one meet potential partners in the first place? Two years after my separation I am starting to feel ready for something, but my current lifestyle (work and social life) really doesn´t lend itself it to meeting new people. And call me old-fashioned, but I still find the thought of online dating a bit weird. Am I mad not to give it a go?

NotTheFirstBornAgainVirgin Sun 02-Mar-14 08:37:15

Its taken me six years to let someone in again, and it's happened so fast its crazy, but crazy good. It's happening at a time when my exh has made a drunk death threat to me which has involved the police, and he is unfazed. My DDs aged 8 & 9 immediately wanted to check him out by telephone, and again completely unfazed by that. He has struck up a joke exchange with my youngest. He has his own kids - 8 & 5, and suddenly I'm thinking yes - a big family is just what I want with this man. We both come from very large families. He is so much nicer to his kids than I have ever seen anyone be. I am excited about the prospect of him meeting my kids; so that they can see a completely different relationship, and see what it looks like to be treated with love. I have no idea how we are going to make it all work out, but I do hope it does.

NotTheFirstBornAgainVirgin Sun 02-Mar-14 08:39:19

HowLong - I did meetic and I was only on it for 2 weeks before meeting my Mr Right. It's weird - and I would suggest meeting people quickly so you don't build them up in your head too much because in the flesh they can be a massive disappointment!

chocoraisin Sun 02-Mar-14 19:26:43

It's so lovely to hear some happy stories, thanks for sharing. I am going to go see the gy tonight (my parents have agreed to have the boys). I am experiencing something of a butterflies overdrive...!!


skyeskyeskye Sun 02-Mar-14 23:02:56

Hi choco <waves>. I've been seeing somebody since early January. It's not been easy at times but I instinctively trust him because of who he is and the type of person he is although I never thought that XH was capable of cheating....

We also spent our first night together just cuddling/sleeping and it was lovely. I wasn't going to introduce him to DD too soon, was going to take it slowly etc, but things have a way of just happening and working out. It is all very well to try and keep these aspects of your life separate, but in reality, there is no point in me and Mr X getting on great then him meeting DD in six months time and it doesn't work out because I have a child.

He has been introduced to DD as a friend, we go for walks with his dogs. He is very different to me but we have accepted that while we live on different planets!, we like each other and want to see where it goes with no pressure on either of us. He has his own house, I have mine, we both have our own lives but enjoy being together when we can.

He has stayed over once when she was here and I told her in advance that he would be having a sleepover. I also get 2 child free nights a month which is great for us to be together just the two of us.

DD has just accepted him as my friend and likes him. I never thought I'd meet anyone or be able to trust anyone after what XH did to me, and certainly didn't want to rush into anything, but sometimes you just know that it's going to be ok. I think me and Mr X would remain friends now even if the relationship doesn't work out.

Go for it and enjoy yourself, you deserve some happiness.

ANewDoll Mon 03-Mar-14 06:09:41

Hi, choco, I remembered your thread and your blogs.

I filed for divorce from my XH after discovering his adultery. In spite of total denials from him at that time, he is now married to OW. We had been together for 37 years.

When the betrayal was still raw, my only thoughts about a new relationship were always "Never Again"! After all, I was almost 60 and financially comfortable and without ties to a young family, was free to do what I wanted. But, sometimes, fate (or your heart) works in mysterious ways. After 18 months on my own, an acquaintance was brave enough to ask me out and we have now been together for over 2 years. I must admit that he has had to patiently scale my brick walls covered with barbed wire and also occasionally face the machine gun snipers!

The initial driving force for me was companionship and this has gradually grown into love for each other. I realise that it is an old cliche to say that he is a soul mate but we are both very certain that if we had met each other 40 years ago, we would still be together.

Life is unpredictable and you never know what is around the corner. If there is even a tiny chance of you finding happiness with your new guy, go for it!

Good luck.

Tilpil Mon 03-Mar-14 07:36:14

I think it comes out of the blue when you meet someone you want to risk taking all the walls down for But it was the right decision and I don't regret it in the slightest and it really made me realise what an arse my ex was. If it feels right just enjoy and see where it goes and try not too push him away

LyndaCartersBigPants Mon 03-Mar-14 10:04:39 was it, spill! x

LyndaCartersBigPants Mon 03-Mar-14 10:07:35

ANewDoll, that sounds lovely, so pleased for you that what must have seemed like the end of your world has actually turned into something so positive.

chocoraisin Mon 03-Mar-14 10:41:16

oh Skye I'm so happy for you! And ANewDoll, that sounds so lovely smile

Ok, so... all I can say about last night is mmmmmmmm bliss bliss bliss - I feel so happy and warm and fuzzy inside. This morning we could hardly bring ourselves to go about the day, we just lay there talking, holding hands, smiling that contemplative smile that just says, mmm, yes - this is good.

We also had a really honest and open conversation about how we are both wary of starting something new, and need to allow time to just breathe while we feel our way through some new territory. There are 4 children to consider, he is moving back to be close to his, an hour away. But we agreed we both want to let things develop - no expecations, no limitations. The obstacles feel more like simple facts than problems. He wants to see me again this week, and I can't see us stopping seeing each other soon.

Personally, a live out relationship that feels this good feels absolutely perfect. I don't want to rush into anything with our children, and we both need our personal space. But for the first time in my life I feel like I can extend an invitation to meet me in my world, and it's not because anything is missing in my life. It's just because I want him to be part of it.

grin feels like I'm wandering around in a spangly new world grin

LyndaCartersBigPants Mon 03-Mar-14 11:01:44

Ah, I'm a bit choked up reading that! smile xxx

skyeskyeskye Mon 03-Mar-14 11:32:01

Choco, that sounds lovely and long may it continue.

Me and Mr X lie in bed talking, holding hands, it's lovely smile

We are on different wavelengths but connect on some level somehow.....

I'm in no hurry to live with a man again and this suits me fine. Like you say, you are inviting someone in to share your world, by choice.

Take your time and have some fun

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