Not sure how to be alone

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-23-2009
Not sure how to be alone
Mon, 01-28-2013 - 1:40pm

Brief history:  I’ve been separated 2 years, divorced 1 year from my husband of 9 years.  We have 2 kids together, 3 and 7.  I left my ex-husband because he had countless emotional affairs, and at the time didn’t think what he was doing was wrong (because it wasn’t physical...according to him).   While I was separated from my ex-husband, I met my boyfriend.  I was in no way looking for a relationship, nor wanted one, but it happened.  At  the time we seemed perfect for each other in so many ways and I couldn’t deny our connection, so I just went with it.

Fast forward 18 months later…I bought a new house to start a new stable life my kids, and he lives with us. 

Problem:  He loves me more than I love him, and I think I want out of the relationship.  In hind sight I fell for him probably because I was scared to be alone as much as I thought I loved him.  I think now I want to be alone.  ….for a while anyway.  I have things from my past I need to address and heal before I can move forward.   I need to figure myself out.  I’m only 34 and I still have no idea who I am.  I feel terrible because I know this is going to devastate my BF.  He’s convinced we are soul mates, and I am the love of his life.  I just don’t feel it.  I keep waiting for the feelings to come, but they are not happening.  I’m afraid of what this is going to do to my children also.  Here I am again taking them away from another man.  They still see their father of course…we have joint custody and all is as amicable as it can be.  But now my BF has been a big part of their already scared lives and if we separate, there is no reason for him to be around.  Do I give it more time?  How do I hurt a man I deeply care about?  How do I explain this to my kids?  I've never been alone, I'm terrified!

Avatar for khatru1
iVillage Member
Registered: 06-07-2004
Wed, 01-30-2013 - 2:36pm

I was alone after my divorce and I took my time before moving on to trying dating again. I really felt ready to meet someone else. You of course did not allow yourself that chance. You need some time alone, but of course you already know that. It will be a little weird at first. The presence of that person no longer there will be noticed at first but gradually fade. The experience will show you that you do not need to have a man. If the future hold another breakup for you, at least you will not be afraid to be alone and that will not be a factor in deciding to stay with someone. You can immerse yourself in friends and activities and your children. At 34 you are still very young and have so much to look forward to. Of course you do not want to hurt your BF, but it will hurt both of you more if you let something drag out that is just not happening for you. Would you not want to be told today, if your BF felt this way about you?? It is unfortunate that you kind of jumped in with both feet and moved in with him and have had him around your children, but you cannot change that now. The longer you keep hanging on, the harder it will be on them. Don't be afraid of being alone, I think you will really enjoy it after a while.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Mon, 01-28-2013 - 8:01pm

First a little about me--I've been divorced twice.  The 1st time was after 13 yrs of marriage & 2 kids who were then 7 & 1--after a few years I married the 2nd DH and was married 5 yrs.  We were older so didn't have any kids together.  That was 4 yrs ago.  I haven't had a BF since--haven't really had many dates either.  I'd like to have some dates, but you know, I'm pretty happy being alone.  Being alone really isn't scary, but you have to re-make your life.  When I got div. from 2nd DH, I basically had 2 single friends & one of them lives an hour away so it's not like we see each other all the time.  What I had to do was make an effort to do things & try to meet people.  For me, taking dance lessons was the life saver--I discovered a place 2 yrs ago to do ballroom dancing and I've made a bunch of friends, a lot of whom are single--now I have friends calling me to go out & do things with them.  I really don't feel alone at all.

I think you are wise not to keep going on with this man if you aren't sure.  I know it will be hurtful to him, but I think you have to be honest with him.  Tell him that it's not that you don't care about him, but you feel that you jjumped into a relationship with him too fast and you never really thought about what you really wanted and you feel that you need some time alone with no relationships going on--you need to focus on yourself and your kids.  I'm not sure what the best thing is to do with your kids, except to say that X is going to go live in his own house.  They probably will miss him but it's more important that they have a relationship w/ their dad.  Since they see their own dad, luckily this man wasn't taking the place of their dad.  I think if you need to, seek some professional help.