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A question for divorced/seperated singles who are happy

(17 Posts)
isthismylifenow Mon 11-Jul-16 12:14:34

Separated for 7 months now, from long term marriage. Two teenagers who live with me. I know 7 months isn't a long time, but in my head at the time, I gave myself 6 months to be sad, miserable, get on with life, find new friends, hobbies all that sort of thing.

Well of course, 6 months had gone by now, and its quite the opposite in fact. I am really miserable, haven't done anything that I wanted to do, haven't made any new friends, and lost majority of those I did have (I did do a post on this, as lost friends now as I no longer fit into the married couples clique), just don't have the energy to go and find a hobby and I am lonely.

I only got to see dd for half of her birthday, I sobbed all that night as felt awful that I wasn't out for a meal with her like would usually happen (we did have breakfast, but we would normally let the dc choose a place where they wanted to eat on their birthday). Then there is the mindfuck that I am in at the moment as I had propositions from married men to have affairs (I posted about that too..), so now I have it in my head that I maybe I have always been a tease (as he so politely put it) and that is the impression that I am giving out to people. I am, or should I say, was, quite outgoing, would be the one at the party to be the first to dance, the entertaining one I suppose. So now, I don't even want to go anywhere as if I do, and actually act like I normally would, its going to give out the impression that I am 'asking for one'. So, its simply easier to sit at home.

Just an example, I was supposed to meet friends (a couple) on Saturday, who I haven't seen this year at all. I was going somewhere first and was going to meet up with them once I was done. About 15 minutes before the time we agreed to meet, I got a message to say they couldn't make it anymore. But later that night, the wife checked in on facebook at a pub not far from where we were due to meet. That would hurt anyone, wouldn't it?

So, if you are happy, being by yourself, doing what you want to do, going out with friends.... did you feel like I do now, at any point? Is this a phase, because I am not happy at all. Really, in all honesty, would rather be back in an unhappy marriage, with a husband who I don't trust for a minute, than live like this.

loveyoutothemoon Mon 11-Jul-16 14:27:52

No I didn't.

Maybe your marriage wasn't all that bad.

Yes I did, for a long time.

I left my husand in Sept 2014 and I would say it's only now I am finding peace within myself sometimes but not yet all the time. I left for good reason, I don't regret my decision and I don't miss him but sometimes i wish I had stayed as life was much easier. I had visions of me and DS skipping off into the sunset together happy as anything, I think I was very niave.

I too lost a lot of friends when I left so feel I have had to get myself a whole new life.

It is a phase, it will pass, one day it will. Just take it one day at a time and gradually it will get easier.

Feel free to PM me, you are not alone in how you feel, I'm sure it's pretty common.

Pheonix1102 Mon 11-Jul-16 14:33:42

Sorry you are feeling like this-I know it is tough.
I am in a slightly different situation as I am in a new relationship but can still resonate.
I/we didn't socialise with couples a lot so there weren't too dramatic changes there. However, I did feel my being at the phase of feeling angry and resentment did put some previous close friends off. I understand how it must be to them as people naturally prefer positive energies. Luckily I finally went through that phase but still move those friends from inner friend circle to somewhere further.
Then I made new friends or rather spend more time with those I didn't meet often before and I found it liberating to be with new group of people talking about new interesting and inspiring topics.
I am sure it will happen, if seems slowly, to you. Don't set a deadline for yourself and let yourself take time whilst exploring opportunities.
Look after yourself x

LilacInn Mon 11-Jul-16 14:39:37

It sounds like you let the people around you define who you are, and you don't feel like anyone if there is not someone there to react to you.

Do you do anything that you enjoy that is not dependent on input from other people? Do you study, travel, do creative pursuits or home DIY, or volunteer or anything that does not involve simple socializing with others? I have so many projects and activities going on, can't imagine being lonely or bored. But not everyone is suited to solo living, I suppose.

ravenmum Mon 11-Jul-16 14:40:27

I was going to say "Well, duh, of course it's shit after you split up, for bloody ages", then I read loveyoutothemoon's comment, and apparently "duh" would not be appropriate, as some people have the opposite experience grin

Depends on why and how you split up, obviously, but it's a massive shock, might leave you feeling like the most unattractive and unlovable woman in the world, rips apart all the plans you thought you have. From others' experiences I thought I'd be lucky if I felt a bit better after a couple of years. After six months I started on antidepressants. That's not because my marriage was great, it's because the split was awful.

The antidepressants and counselling have helped, though, and after a year from the actual separation I tried dating again. Now more than 2 years on I go for days without thinking of the split, and when I do think about it, it's without the pain and anguish I used to feel.

And yes, I am actually having fun now; more so than during the marriage!

ravenmum Mon 11-Jul-16 14:46:07

I had propositions from married men to have affairs (I posted about that too..), so now I have it in my head that I maybe I have always been a tease (as he so politely put it)
Oh, and from reading MN it seems that newly separated women frequently have this problem with propositions from married men.
It also took ages for me to stop obsessing over the nasty comments my ex made about me. I felt so guilty. Slowly, slowly I have got it into my thick head that these really are just the kind of things people say to put all the blame on others.

JellyBean31 Mon 11-Jul-16 14:59:24

I left in November 2014, my teenage boys stayed with their dad.... Yes birthdays are shit when you have to split the time with an ex but you see them all the time and a birthday is just another day. I feel as though my stbxh should let me exclusively see them on bdays cos they don't live with me, but of course that's not reasonable so I have to suck it up and make the most of the time I do get with them (which I do, we have a great time together).

I got a bar job too, not sure how old your DC are and whether this is a possibility but it's a great way to get out of the house, meet new people and earn a bit of extra cash. The way you describe your personality, I reckon you'd be a natural grin

We had lots of couple friends and even though I left cos he's an EA arse hole (that they all know about and largely agree with) because I'm the one who left him, he plays the victim so I've let him have the monopoly with these friends. I do get invited but choose not to go on the couples nights but still have regular contact with my girlfriends in the group... It just takes a bit more effort these days.

It will get better OP it just takes time and maybe a bit more effort to widen your circle of friends, but don't let small minded people's opinion change your personality how these married men have reacted is a reflection on them not you flowers

Incognita82 Mon 11-Jul-16 15:05:12

I'm sorry you are having a hard time at the moment. You are in the adjustment phase at the moment but it will get better. I think you are expecting too much of yourself.

Seven months is nothing. I reckon it took me 18 months before I felt consistently happy.

It also sounds as if your "friends" both male and female are largely people you are better off without!. They do not deserve your time and attention and if they can't behave decently ditch them and make new friends (of which more anon).

And as for the wanky married men - yes IME that is quite common. Sack them off firmly and leaving no doubts (I found "I can think of nothing I would like less" in response to suggestions we go for a drink etc, seemed to do the trick). Get angry - fuck them for suggesting you should be less than you are! be you and as loud and outgoing as you like. You did not leave a shitty marriage to creep around and let randomers tell you how to behave surely? You left it so that you can be you.

I think the key thing is when you say that you feel lonely. The dodgy set of acquaintances around you have knocked your confidence. What you need is to plan some regular activities which give you exposure to other people and starting building a new, decent set of friends who are a good fit for you.

I came out of my divorce with not a lot of friends and decided that activities where you are doing something, but are also with others were the way to go. I'm not great at small talk and it is much easier if you have something to do.

My choices were: volunteering in a charity shop (which you would think was dull, but actually has the nicest group of people and we have all sorts of social events); learning reiki via meetup.com, rambling (with Ramblers) and learning to play bridge (because there are always at least 3 other people there). I also sometimes help out a local dog trainer with her puppy classes.

A friend took up managing the local tennis courts which gave her a great social life and lots of new contacts and another became a helper with the Brownies. I don't think it matters what you do as long as it get you out and in contact with others.

I know it is hard to take those steps when you feel down and isolated (and contrarily want to isolate yourself even more), I have definitely been through phases of that, but they don't last and taking those steps to be more proactive will make you feel better.

iremembericod Mon 11-Jul-16 21:02:41

I think it depends on why you split.

I was literally delighted the moment it finished because it was so oppressive. For some reason I also had a lot of friends who were in a similar situation and I threw myself into socialising and generally having a great time.

There are many people in your position and I think it is really important to reach out to them. Are you on social media? Do you know anyone who is in a similar position / single?

My friends got me through that first year of divorce and ex harassment. And I know some people hate FB and the like, but I swear it saved me by allowing me to reach out to friends who maybe I had not seen for a while, with whom I suddenly had masses in common with.

I also do hobbies - running clubs for example are super social and generally full of nice folk. You might not run right now, but thats kind of the point. Do something new, get outside your usual habits.

You'll be fine, but I think being proactive, honest and available for female friends is a necessity.

iremembericod Mon 11-Jul-16 21:06:58

As previous posters say, I too mostly don't see our 'couple friends'

People just find splits hard, and I found they were too keen to not take sides that it felt they were minimising his behaviour so it was just no good for my healing.

Set up a pinterest board and go meme mad about cutting negative people out of your life and the like ;-)

SkyblueAnnie Mon 11-Jul-16 21:56:01

I'm not sure if I am really in a position to offer advice as I wouldn't describe myself as happy ( I've just started another thread along similar lines) but maybe my experience of what has helped me might be worth sharing.

I made a conscious effort to broaden my social circle across several friendship groups so I wasn't a 'drain' on any one set of friends so to speak. It can be hard to arrange to meet up very often if you have family commitments so I try and spread my socialising/ nights in etc across different groups of friends.

Like a pp said reach out to other single friends - old friends you may not have seen for a while via Facebook can be a good start. My kids are younger than yours so it might not work for you but some school mums I knew vaguely were keen to meet up on child free nights

I am still working on the new hobbies/ voluntary work so will see how that goes!

The biggest thing is to always have a back up plan. I had a few occasions where I was left feeling a bit low after plans fell through - I'm quite happy staying in on my own but somehow when I'd sorted a babysitter/ not got anything for tea and a friend cancelled it would hit me harder than if I'd not planned to go out in the first place. Now I try and have a pizza/ bottle of wine and a film on Netflix on standby so I don't feel so sad stopping in at the last minute.

I'm still waiting to see if it gets better. Having an active social life/ things for me hasn't worked so far but it's definitely helped

TheMorningAfterTheNightBefore Mon 11-Jul-16 22:06:29

As far as the married men thing goes, you're in good company.

In the 3.5 years since my exh and I separated, I have been pursued by 5 men in real life (friends' husbands and colleagues). Only 1 of them has been single.

It's not the impression you're giving to them, it's them chancing their hand and assuming you're lonely and vulnerable. Don't fall for it!

LittleCandle Mon 11-Jul-16 22:18:23

I, too, had propositions from married friends. Had they been single then perhaps I might have responded positively. It took me quite a while to move on to a place where I realised I was happy, but my divorce was rather protracted and not amicable. I now house share with a friend and it has been a great decision. However, both my friend and I are aware that most friendships could not sustain living in the same house much past university age. We have been very fortunate. I also moved to a new area, and it has taken time to make new friends, but I have done it. My oldest friends, fortunately, have always been around for me. Please don't decide that you have to get over your split by a certain time. One day, you will wake up and realise that you feel so much better alone.

isthismylifenow Tue 12-Jul-16 08:39:08

Thanks everyone. Love, I am glad that you haven't been through what I am at the moment, but do you really think that I would have left a 20 year marriage if it 'wasn't that bad'. Of course it was bad, emotional abuse, affairs, lies, the love you but not in love with you speech....amongst other things.

I am going to take all of your advice, get out there and make some sort of change. The facebook friends is a great idea, to be honest I have tried to steer clear of it, as I just cant face all the fakeness and beaming happy couples (even though one of them is one who propositioned me) that just make me sick to the stomach. I do know of a few single friends, but I really wasn't there for them at the time like I should have been (being part of the couple at the time, oh how ironic!), that is karma for you hmm

I see now that giving myself a 'time frame' was a bad idea.

I have looked into starting a thai chi class, its just fitting it in that is the problem during the week, as my dc are extremely busy my life does now revolve around them, so when they are not here there is a huge gap. I know that this is probably the case for everyone, and I have to adjust.

The married man thing.... one of them was just so mean to me when I wasn't all up for it, and he said the most awful things. Its difficult to get past that, and I am sure that this is playing a big part of why I am feeling so low right now. Any confidence I did build up, has just come crashing down because of one arsehole.

Thanks again everyone, reading this does make me feel a lot better, I am so grateful for this board so that I can get it all out as I can't irl. I also see now how I am still that person that I have been moulded to be for all these years. So, today I feel a bit more positive, like the cocoon, just needing to get to that next phase.

RedMapleLeaf Tue 12-Jul-16 11:02:45

Hi OP, my LTR came to an end a year ago, it wasn't my choice, was a big shock and came on top of a very close bereavement. Unlike you there were no children involved. So, for what it's worth...

Firstly, I did give myself a time frame, only I chose 3 years. 3 years to build a new life and stay single. (I'm another that was ambushed by married men sniffing out my vulnerability and thinking it worth a punt. Urgh).

At first I filled my time because I didn't like being in a now empty house. The gym, a walking group and a new hobby which all brought socialising. I had a great group of old friends but also made new friends through MeetUp. After a few weeks I positively looked forward to an evening in alone and treated it as I would if I were planning to spend the evening with someone very special.

I also kept my mind occupied (frugal living, mindfulness and reading, watching and listening to things I wouldn't usually). I saw a therapist. I talked and talked and cried and cried with any friend who would listen.

Then at about 5 months I found that I was very, very happy. And life's pretty exciting now and I feel very lucky.

iremembericod Wed 13-Jul-16 09:52:47

You go for it!

It is common to feel that you were not there for people when they split up when you were 'smug married'

I think say it, be honest. Apologise. Unless they are idiots they will get it. It is pretty common after an awful marriage breakdown that people recognise the level of denial that it 'could happen to them'

As for still having the creep who propositioned you on FB, you do know where that 'unfriend' button is, don't you? :-) The first time I defriended someone I literally had heart palpitations - I had been 'friends' with them for years but they were the polar opposite of what a friend is. All I can say is the palpitations passed and I felt completely satisfied to have those people away from my life. Living authentically is hard, but wow, the benefits are massive.

Good luck :-)

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