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After divorce - is it normal to feel like a recluse and not even care

(87 Posts)
recluse Thu 19-Jul-18 21:47:50

Long and traumatic divorce. Ex moved out in April after months of living in the same house. He started seeing someone new last autumn, two seconds after it became clear we would not be together any more, and I had to endure weeks and weeks of his being on the phone to this person very late at night and for ages, also having showers getting ready to go out angry.

There is still some stuff to sort and ex is not settled properly yet, so comes here too often to see the dc.

Still things are a lot calmer than during the divorce, and now I can feel the emotional devastation setting in. And the loneliness. The thought of being with someone else is bad however - and the fact that ex was able to do it so quickly makes me think he really did not give a shit.

There was a work meal and I was sitting opposite someone that I had got vaguely interested vibes from - or something like that. I spent the entire dinner wishing I was sitting somewhere else, and wishing my ex-husband was sitting opposite me instead (but he’s been shagging someone else for months). But I divorced him because of aspects of his behaviour towards me which had become intolerable. Still I miss him, and the thought of being with someone else kind of fills me with revulsion. Is this normal?

And not only that, I just don’t give a shit about a lot of things that I used to care about. It’s as if I have run the gauntlet of an acrimonious divorce, and now I am hardened to everything and everyone. I feel intolerant and as if I am becoming a recluse.
Is this normal?

I have my dc and am trying to sort things out at home, but at the moment everything feels pretty chaotic, and that’s all I can cope with.

I remember conversations I used to have with other parents when my dc were younger, and just think that we used to talk about a lot of inane rubbish confused.

I heard the people next door practising (they are in a band) and am amazed that they can be bothered. What is the matter with me?

OP’s posts: |
Safeguardingfail Thu 19-Jul-18 22:00:42

Sounds like you've gone through a fairly traumatic time and are reeling a bit. Maybe a bit depressed? Just keep reminding yourself of the why. It hasn't changed. And be gentle and kind to yourself. It will get better.

Dragongirl10 Thu 19-Jul-18 22:01:01

Op I think you are traumatised and just emotionally drained......l am sure it will change but you have to recover first...

Just concentrate on your dcs and try and do the odd fun thing with them...when they are with ex them do whatever makes you feel ok...see a friend if you feel up to it, go to bed and just pull the duvet over your head if that is all you want to do...

There were very good reasons you divorced, but it is a huge adjustment to get used to living alone again, l suspect in 12 months you may love it!

Sending you tea and flowers

MsJinglyJones Thu 19-Jul-18 22:01:13

Some of what you’re talking about sounds as if you might have a bit of depression. That feeling of being not interested, not bothered and maybe a bit numb. So it might be worth seeing the GP. You’ve needed a lot of strength to get through everything and it might have taken a toll on you.

But also I do know what you mean in a way about feeling reclusive and not into the idea of a new relationship. I still feel like that 2 years on from separating. In theory I’d like someone to be interested but if anyone looks like they might, I just think oh I can’t face going there, blech. When ex has the kids I just want to potter at home, or go shopping or to the gym. After a long, difficult relationship I think I’m just catching up with being with myself and enjoying my emotional freedom.

Have you had any counselling or anything like that through the separation? Or something like mindfulness or yoga might help you come to terms with your feelings.

recluse Thu 19-Jul-18 22:36:16

In theory I’d like someone to be interested but if anyone looks like they might, I just think oh I can’t face going there, blech.

Yes it was totally that - also this feeling of annoyance, and the stark realisation that no one will ever know me like ex did (though some of his opinions of me were awful). Even worse, no one will ever be him.

When people move on at the speed of light, does it mean that they really didn’t care? That’s how it feels.

OP’s posts: |
recluse Thu 19-Jul-18 22:36:55

I was having counselling but stopped. I might start again.

OP’s posts: |
recluse Thu 19-Jul-18 22:38:14

And the thought of seeing someone naked -


Not that I think anyone particularly wants to see me naked either grin.

OP’s posts: |
recluse Thu 19-Jul-18 22:41:15

Sending you tea and flowers

Thanks smile.

OP’s posts: |
SoapOnARoap Thu 19-Jul-18 22:43:13

I totally get where you’re coming from OP. You can feel like a failure & that you’re alone.

It’s a fact that nearly 50% of marriages will end in divorce, so you are truly not alone & it’ll get better flowers

DoAsYouWouldBeMumBy Thu 19-Jul-18 22:51:39

I think it's normal for you not to be interested in a new relationship at this point, but the other stuff sounds like mild depression as a result of what you've been through. Chances are you'll recover through time and good self care, but counselling should really help speed that up for you, so please go back thanksthanks

recluse Thu 19-Jul-18 23:10:46

Thank you.

And to everyone else.

Why are some people able to just transfer themselves to a new relationship so quickly - like ex did? As if he just needed someone - didn’t matter who it was.

OP’s posts: |
MsJinglyJones Thu 19-Jul-18 23:13:30

I think if someone moves on immediately like that, it could mean they can’t bear being alone, or need a partner to feel worthwhile. Or your ex could have been trying to make you jealous or show you he’s still got it.

It sounds as if you will be better off without him, whether or not he has someone else. He doesn’t sound very caring anyway. You need to care for yourself and look after yourself to recover, and I agree with a pp you may emerge from this bit and realise you’re so much happier- many women do!

SoapOnARoap Thu 19-Jul-18 23:27:52

Some people just want regular sex OP. Don’t question his motives, it’s not worth your head space

YeahCorvid Thu 19-Jul-18 23:51:34

It took me ages to move on. I didn't care that all I did was work and be with my children for about a year, and then another year on I am still coming out of myself and becoming who I used to be / need to be.

It's ok that it takes ages though. no point in trying to rush things.

I think sometimes men can get together with someone else very quickly because they were always more into themselves, and what a relationship could do for them, than the other person. My ex had a gf very soon and told our dds that her children were their new sisters. I was WTF? but he was just needy and rushy and weird and it was over in a few months.

You're doing brilliantly. you can't imagine it now but life will be richer than you could ever imagine.

fannycraddock72 Fri 20-Jul-18 06:29:49

My friend who is a psychiatrist explained to me that people who move on so quickly are usually very insecure, they simply can’t be alone. They usually display outwardly that they are confident and happy, but inside they have a very fragile ego that needs to be fed by getting attention from someone else. They also lack empathy and appear to be oblivious to the insensitive things that affect partners and children.

Ryder63 Fri 20-Jul-18 06:45:15

I think sometimes men can get together with someone else very quickly because they were always more into themselves, and what a relationship could do for them, than the other person.

I agree with this and what fannycraddock72 friend said seems very, very plausible.

My ex BF is like this. Moves on superquick for what a relationship can do for HIM, rather than what he can do for the OH.

As pps have said - look after yourself, rediscover YOU. Try not to give ex and his shenanigans too much headspace flowers

Stinkerbelldust Fri 20-Jul-18 07:16:57

It sounds like you're still fairly emotionally entangled with him. It doesn't matter why he does what he does now. If you're still sat there psychoanalysisng him maybe some more counselling to help leave him in your past.

Tenpenny Fri 20-Jul-18 10:53:24

Hi Op, what you're going through is completely normal, I was exactly the same, had those exact same feelings of just not giving a shit about anything beyond my daughter and just very basically getting through the day. Its been 2 years and I still have some of these feelings, tbh. I remember wondering why ppl cared about such inane stuff aswell. You do sound depressed which is entirely normal considering the emotional devastation you've had to go through. Treat yourself kindly and take each day a time

Counselling will be a brilliant way to process your emotions. Concentrate on pleasing yourself and the kids basic needs.

I think when a man (or woman) moves on so quickly its a sign of emotional immaturity and shows a level of selfishness, and lack of empathy. My ex did the same, still cares nothing for feelings wrt his actions. His new relationship is likely mostly about sex, and the need for an emotional crutch. Youre stronger than this and will end up happier and more content, i promise you


PuertoVallarta Fri 20-Jul-18 10:53:43

Now that you mention it...

I had a brief marriage when young. It lasted less than a year but we'd had the big wedding and everything. I never think about it now and don't feel I was ever married and it's not the same as going through a divorce after years and children together. Anyway...

I was trying to gain entry into a nursing degree course at the time and eventually I had to give up that dream because I simply didn't have the financial or academic stamina. Very very hard as nursing isn't considered some unattainable career but it was unattainable to me. I knew I would be a wonderful nurse if only I could get on a course. I couldn't, though.

Like yours, my husband started seeing someone new while we were still living together (in his parents' houseconfused). One minute I was a bride who was going to be a nurse, and the next I was a soon-to-be divorcee whose husband was blantantly together with a new love. While I sat alone in the ground floor flat of his family home after I'd come home from my job pouring beers for well-heeled professionals my own age.

His new love and eventual second wife was a nurse.

It happened gradually and I didn't notice it or think about it, but I lost the next couple years underachieving, avoiding romance and friends, living back at my own parents' house, only ever going out with my mum.

I thought it was just my personality but it was only really ever those couple of years when I did nothing with my life. After a long recovery which I didn't even notice happening, I became normal. I looked (unsuccessfully) for a husband and hoped for kids. I had great friends and traveled and fell in and out of love over and over.

Until I read your OP, it never dawned on me I'd been under depression after my divorce and giving up my dream in the same year. It never dawned on me how painful it must've been to see another woman have my husband and my dream career.

I guess what I want to say is that's of course it can happen. It's understandable. It's normal.

For me, it lasted only two years and I wasn't aware I'd lost enthusiasm for everything. You will come through this and go back to normal. Don't worry if it takes a long time.

fannycraddock72 Fri 20-Jul-18 11:41:29

I wouldn’t say it’s just men that move on quickly either...there’s probably a higher percentage of men that discard and move on quickly but I know of a few women that have done this too.

In my opinion it’s not healthy to move on so quickly and as I mentioned in a previous post it usually the actions of someone who is insecure and lacking empathy. You need time to grieve when a relationship ends.

OP take your time to grieve the end of your relationship, spend time alone if that’s what you feel you need to do. Don’t take what your ex is doing and discarding and moving on so quickly as the bench mark of how to get over the end of your relationship.

You’ll be ok and will realise your better off without him In time.

misscph1973 Fri 20-Jul-18 12:04:38

Yes, I think it's normal. I separated 6 months ago and I have so many conflicting emotions. I do NOT want to be with my ex, but I do miss him. I do NOT want to live with a man ever again, but I do miss male company. I can't be bothered to see my friends, but I miss chatting.

I think you just need to give yourself time, and be kind to yourself. I really enjoy my own company, I like the silence and just pottering around in my house, I enjoy knowing that it's just me, and I don't have to be considerate to anyone, I can do what I want. And I really don't care what other people say, do or think!

recluse Fri 20-Jul-18 19:42:34

Thanks for all your thoughts.

Yes ex is very self-absorbed, and he probably was not aware how aware I was of all his bloody phone calls to the new person.

I heard what he was saying to her during one of the calls and honestly it was and remains sickening. I have no doubt that he probably likes this person (if they are still together because at this point in time I would no longer know, thank God), but he was literally setting up a new person. I heard it in what he was saying and how he said it. Yet only a few weeks earlier he had been trying to manipulate me into not going ahead with the divorce. As much as I was desperate for his long absent affection, I had to plough on as I didn’t trust him not to go back to all the old behaviours. And then he was totally vile during the divorce. While chatting up his instant replacement. It still makes me feel sick I am afraid. This is last autumn and new year that this was all happening - up until he moved out in April.

I don’t know how to emotionally disentangle myself from him - we were together for 22 years.

OP’s posts: |
recluse Fri 20-Jul-18 20:32:34

How do I disentangle myself?

I think part of the problem is that for the last few/many years of the marriage ex was very distant - used to stonewall me for weeks and weeks after some arguments. I have been desperate for more affection for a long long time.

So the fact that we are estranged and that he is not living with me any more almost feels like more of the same confused. We could still be married (actually we technically still are as the paperwork hasn’t come through yet) - in my mind, someone else is with my husband confusedconfused.

What a shambolic fuck up. Is what I think.

OP’s posts: |
Dragongirl10 Fri 20-Jul-18 21:27:24

op after 22 years it is HUGE re adjustment, please do things you may enjoy even a tiny bit and with your DD.

It will get better.

PuertoVallarta Fri 20-Jul-18 21:57:58

Maybe the reclusiveness is your way of disentangling? Maybe you have to disentangle from other parts of your life temporarily in order to disentangle from him permanently?

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