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40, separated & childless(34 Posts)
Hello. My marriage broke down and I’m moving into a houseshare with 3 others at 40. We never had children — we tried for a while but it didn’t work and then it became clear ‘we’ would not go the distance. The break-up was long and sad.
I’m trying hard to stay positive but I won’t lie: it’s hard. I LOVE children and I love companionship and I feel like ‘the biggest loser’ in the separation. My STBEXH has the house we lived in — we had been renting & he bought it alone and he also has the dog because I can’t have a dog in the houseshare. I also feel he has a better shot at having kids as he’s a man.
So, I guess I’m just looking for some hope or encouragement. I have a hobby that I want to devote time to but it’ll be harder to do with much less space in the houseshare. I’m scared and lonely but also hopeful.
Anyone got any words of encouragement or anyone been in this situation at 40?
40 really feels a lot older than ‘late 30s’ especially fertility-wise. I guess there’s a lot going on in my head. All input welcome.
I had number 2 at age 46 using an egg donor. Number 1 is mine, and I feel absolutely no difference as a mum. You can get your FSH levels checked, and look into egg freezing?
Also - I have a fair few friends who have decided not to have children - although they were very keen to in their thirties. Children aren’t necessarily the magic wand that brings you happiness! I now have no freedom, my life is totally ruled by them - and I still have the same kind of stresses but relating now to their welfare!
Whichever route you decide to take - there are positives and negatives, but I think it’s important to come to terms with your choice and feel settled. And embrace all the positive aspects that life choice offers.
I met my DP 2 weeks before my 40th birthday. We haven't had kids together so I can't help you there but I also felt like I would never have a relationship again when my exH moved out. It can and does happen x
Thanks. I suppose I feel I cannot make a decision as I’d love a family but only with a partner (for financial & medical reasons). I suppose I’m just trying to find the positivity again because this feels like a major life setback on bad days. It feels like a new beginning on good days!
I think - what is absolutely on your side - is that you say that you are hopeful. You need to cling to this. I went through a really desperate period - but perseverance, determination, exercise - are probably the major things that got me through!
Quite a lot of women have children on their 40s.
The real potential of 40 something wine to have children will never be known while we use contraception; even if they contraception was abstinence or withdrawal etc before modern methods. Where I'm from it was common due to religious teachings about use of contraceptive. A lot of women had kids into their forties.
If you don't want to (intentionally anyway!) go the single parent route then you're obviously going to have to put significant energy into meeting men.
Oh and just to point out the slightly icky and in PC fact that your chances of conception and healthy pregnancy and child are better the younger the bloke, with consideration for relationship viability of course. I'm just saying a thirties guy eould be s much better bet if this is v important to you than a fifties etc guy).
(And to be equal about it, when older men have kids, they tend to be with younger women, two sets of aging genetic material do not make for good odds).
There's a ttc 40s thread on the conception forum on here.
Thanks for your messages.
Good point about the younger men!
I’m not TTC yet as I’m single and just trying to readjust to my new life. I think that’s more what I’m thinking: how to make life meaningful as a single, childless woman who’s 40. What can get me through? What worked for any of you?
It gave me a positive mindset, and a great sense of achievement. I also put my successful IVF cycle partly down to completing couch to 10k just prior to treatment.
Join groups. Meet-up. Gym. Zoom exercise. Triathlon. Starting joining clubs and finding fun ways to fill your weekend. I started a degree at university. Wicked fun. You can now do anything you want. Stuck in a boring job. Change it. Go back packing round Thailand/Australia. I’m kind of jealous right now. I had a child at 43 so it’s not over for you
OP - divorce is hard at any age. And it takes time but you will get to a better place. Certainly better than a bad relationship.
You did mention being married - which makes the house you lived in a marital asset, at least if you are in the UK.
Have you had legal advice re financial split?
I am almost 40 & childfree so different situation, but if I was you I would be gearing up to do some hardcore internet dating at this point. It’s a numbers game, expanding your options & being in the dating pool can’t hurt.
Yes Tinder gets a bad rap for a hookup place but there are genuinely people out there looking for love & meaningful relationship who use dating apps & sites. Knowing what you want will help weed out the time wasters.
You also mention that you did previously try to conceive with your ex but it “didn’t work” - so a visit to a doctor to rule out any possible fertility issues would be wise.
Don't forget there are enormous benefits to being childfree, should children not happen for you. I understand that some people have a powerful urge for children, but it isn't all bad news if that isn't possible. Without children, you have complete freedom; all your money is yours to use as you wish, and you don't have vicarious worries on your children's behalf. You can live where you like without having to worry about schools, go on holiday when and where you like, keep whatever hours you like, go on spontaneous trips and breaks, have any routine you want (or no routine) and make career decisions without having to factor in childcare.
I’m not TTC yet as I’m single
I realised but had the same point as vikingwife in that (if the children aspect is important as seemed to be the case?) thinking about v purposeful dating and about getting a grip on your fertility (check that may highlight or exclude any potential issues from your side, tracking etc) is crucial.
Incidentally, how did your stbexh buy the house on his own, and you have to rent in shared house was there no split of assets?
Are you Def getting fair financial deal in divorce?
Thanks for all of your comments.
Clubs & hobbies are a good idea. Exercise is a great idea. I might use this as an opportunity to be in the best shape of my life ... at 40! I love my grub but the endorphin rush of exercise could be good.
I decided not to go after any of his assets in the separation agreement. I just kept what’s mine & he kept what’s his. I really couldn’t handle any more stress. I’m happy with that decision even though I know I could have more if I did but I followed my heart and I want complete independence. A part of me does feel like I’ve lost a lost ... but hopefully it’s temporary.
I agree that there are advantages to not having children. I do appreciate them and I’m willing to accept (with sadness) that it may never happen. However, I’m not willing to accept being single forever — I love companionship and that’s a top priority for me.
I’m worried that when I move out into a houseshare I’ll crash & burn & I suppose I’m trying to prepare now (taking Covid into consideration) for how best to avoid deep sadness & loneliness.
Thanks re fertility . I do track and I’ll ask my GP about FSH. xxx
Have you signed a clean break order? You we're entitled to half the assets. And it didn't mean you werent independent or were relying on him. It's what you we're entitled to after your marriage. Would you feel better now if you had more ££ behind you to start your new life?
Good luck with your new start. A chance to work at what makes you happy.
Yes it’s all signed with a solicitor. I’m happy with that decision. It would have caused great heartache with him & his family and would not have been worth it.
I suppose at 40, most of my mates are coupled off with kids. I Just want to find a way to be happy & fulfilled as I essentially redefine myself. I see so much of STBEXH right now and even though the split is for the best, it will be a strange time when I make the move.
Him keeping all the money, using that money to buy the house you rented (which he had never bought before), thereby leaving you will no money and forced to house share and as a result losing your dog to him...he sounds extremely controlling and a punisher.
Interesting reference to potential trouble from him AND his family if you refused to walk away with nothing.
Have you considered that this relationship may have been abusive and that you had a lucky escape? Child sharing with one of these is a living hades. Total life ruiner.
I’ve made peace with all of that but thanks, I know — splitting was sadly for the best. I still care a lot about him though and moving on will be hard.
What kind of self-care tips worked for any of you?
I’m terrified about how big this is and how much everything is going to change.
What kind of self-care tips worked for any of you?
Repeatedly telling myself that it's for the best and never allowing myself to forget the truth of what he was really like. It's so easy to miss a person and gloss over the the horrors. To appreciate the freedom, you have to remember the necessity for freedom. That's not dwelling, where it's vigilance against repetition. In remembering how hollow that "togetherness" really was, you can come to better appreciate the peace and serenity of apartness. 💐
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