Divorce is over, now I'm starting to deal with the emotions

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-06-2000
Divorce is over, now I'm starting to deal with the emotions
4
Thu, 11-15-2012 - 6:38pm

My divorce has been final for a month now, and I guess I'm just starting to deal with all the emotional junk.  I am feeling pretty angry that it was so easy for my ex to leave, as if the kids and I meant nothing.  I don't miss him, mind you, but I'm mad.  My older son is severely depressed, took a medical leave of absense from school, and has moved in with a friend.  My ex has raised the kid since he was 18 months old, but once he decided to leave ME, he pretty much abandoned my son, too.  After he went on his tirade and threatened to kill him and all.  It's no wonder the poor kid is having problems, with all that and loosing both of his grandmothers within 6 months of each other.  It's overwhelming for ME to deal with, but he's just a kid.  I guess beyond having the stress of worrying about my kids, the house, and having all of the responsibility for everything now totally on me, I'm also suffering from a huge blow to my self esteem.  I know, how stupid for me to feel like I'm a piece of crap just because my mentally unstable ex husband left me, but who can ever be rational with feelings?  I just feel like no ones ever going to want to be with me for who I am.  All of our problems can't be exclusive to him, so there's things that I need to work on, but where to even start?  I don't even know how normal people act anymore after living with someone who is bipolar for so long!  I have a lot of divorced friends and for the most part, they have decided to avoid relationships all together and just sleep around with men, using them for sex.  I'm not comfortable with that at all, as I'm a terrible casual sex person.  I mean, sex is just sex to me, I don't get it all confused with love or anything, but I have to LIKE someone before I can sleep with them or it just sucks, so what's the point?  Besides all that, diseases!  One of my girlfriends doesn't even use ANY protection, not even birth control pills; she's not a close friend, but come on!   I have been out with a few guys, but sex is all they want, and I need more than a weekly sex date to make me happy.  Plus, in the next month, we have Thanksgiving and then Christmas, which is going to suck, as my little one with be with his dad and the older one promised my niece he'd go up and spend Christmas with her, so I'm working.  Plus, I'm turning 40.  And I'm alone.  It's a strange feeling; not exactly the end of the world, but not where I expected to be at this point in my life.  I guess I need to figure out what the heck I want from my life now, make all new plans, have new dreams, etc.  It's a huge pain in the butt!  I realized this when I was at my friend's house and saw that he and his room mate were making "dream boards" as part of a new investment they are involved in.  It hit me that I didn't even KNOW what my dreams were or even if I had any at this point.  It made me cry like an idiot.  

Any advice would be great, because at this point, I want to build my life on ME, not on what some man wants, you know?  Only I have no idea what I want, so I don't know where to start.  I know I don't want to be like a coworker who built her entire life on her youngest son, thinking he'd never leave her, lol.  I KNOW my kids will always love me, but I have prepared them to live their own lives, and I'm confident  they will not need me every minute of the day, so I need my OWN life.  So far, I've been able to get a circle of friends, which I really haven't had since high school, I have a good job already, and things I like doing, but I know there has to be more to life than this, like where do I want to live, what are my goals for myself, what do I want to accomplish, things like that.  I've always been very goal-oriented, working on improving myself and learning new things, but for the last year or two, I have just been trying to survive the day, so I feel lost and I don't like it.  How the heck do you get back on track, or even know which track you want to be on after losing, essentially, your entire life?  It is really overwhelming and it sucks, and because of that, I'm mad at my ex.  I know, I'm silly, but I don't care; that's how I feel.  Like I want to punch him in the throat for putting me in this position, though, at the same time, I'm SO glad he's not here!  

Community Leader
Registered: 01-03-2004

Hi,

For starters: one day at a time!

For now focus on doing your job, see friends, make meals, love your kids.

There is no magic wand to heal you overnight. This will take time.

Forget dating period. The last thing you want is a transitional relationship that winds up with another heartbreak. Take a break from dating relationships! It's a gift!

And 40 isn't the end of the world. it's just the beginning.

Give yourself a break.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999

I think you have a pretty good handle on all your issues.  It really takes time to transition from being the married person to the single person and you're just starting.  I couldn't wait til 2nd DH was out of the house but it took a while of floundering around for me to know what to do.  It's good that you have friends.  I got divorced, looked around and basically only had 2 single friends--I had more before but different ones moved or we just weren't close any more.  so that was like first on the agenda, to find some female friends.  I joined a women's group & did make some friends but found out that most of them were married so the group activities are on week nights--that doesn't help too much for weekends.  The thing that saved me was trying out ballroom dancing, which had been near my house for 6 yrs but I guess I never noticed it or saw the sign & thought it was a dancing school for kids.  I've been taking lessons for over 1 1/2 yrs now and the best part of it was making a lot of single women friends.  Cause dating has been terrible--I'd like to date but apparently no one wants to date me.  Hey at least you're only 40--when I was divorced from 1st DH I was around 40 and found it a lot easier to date then than I do now over 50.

I just think you will eventually find out what it is you really want to do.  You have a start--you know that you don't want guys around for casual sex--you do want some kind of relationship.  And I agree with you on the fact that your friends who don't use any kind of protection are idiots--my friend got a nice gift of herpes (which made her terribly sick) with a guy that she thought she was going to have a relationship with, then he dropped her.  For now, just don't feel that you have to change anything big, just enjoy spending time with the kids.  Since my exH was always disturbed so much if my kids made any noise and he intimidated everyone so that my kids would spend most of their time in their rooms watching their own TVs, it was just nice not to have him around & be able to watch TV with my kids downstairs all together & even if I went to bed earlier & they were up & I could hear them laughing--to me it was just so nice knowing that they were home safe & having fun together.

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-02-2008

I agree with wisdom and music and would add that just let your life happen the way it is supposed to.. It will just unfold the way the Universe wants it to and you wont have to do a thing.

Keep going along the way you enjoy your life and do the little things and enjoy the more simple and abundant things all around you.. After awhile you will figure out what it is you are missing and you will find it.. or it will find you..

Trust in your instincts and the universe and God and all will fall into place exactly the way it is supposed to..

Good Luck

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-12-2012

Hi MC,

You are not silly AT ALL! I am in the same boat and feeling the exact same things. I am angry that I'm 43 and in a rental with crappy furniture. Had to sell my home which was decorated nicely and even though it may not have been luxurious I was proud of it as an accomplishment. We would have had a good amount of equity had we stayed in it longer but selling during the down turn was awful. So, I feel like I have the financial means of a 25 year old!

The responsibility thing has hit me too. I have always worked. I worked two jobs for many years to pay down our bills. It just seems a little overwhelming sometimes when I think , wow, I have no one who has my back if I lose my job or get sick. Don't even have someone to drive me to the ER if need be. Having some weird health things going on and was lying in bed last night thinking, "wow, I would have to call an ambulance or try to drive myself because I have no one."

Life is just better with a partner in my opinion. I am ok on my own but it wouldn't be my preference. We all need someone to lean on and to provide support to as well at some point...a soft place to land at the end of the day.

I too, spent the last 3 years desperately trying to keep my head above water and save our marriage. It's going to take me a little while to decide where to go from here. I am OK taking it slowly but I do feel I don't have alot of time left. I definitely don't have any money to go back to school. It's a lot to figure out. Just hope my job stays intact for the next couple years. Some days I want to run screaming from it! Those days were easier when I had some backup at home.

My ex has NO feeling whatsoever about our split, even though he insisted for the last three years in therapy that he wanted to make it work. All lies, really. Once I moved out it was like I didn't exist. He didn't even give me the opportunity to be there when he had our dog put to sleep (I was furious and devastated about that. I want to believe it was a necessary decision but I'll never know). His life is peachy keen and I will be struggling for a bit, which frankly, pisses me off. So much for, "we're in this together."

Don't get me wrong, given my choices, this was probably the best one. He had some mental difficulties he would not take responsibility for so they were not going to change. I couldn't see it getting any better and it had become hell. When he started making large future life plans without me, the writing was on the wall.

Ah dating. I get that too. I miss sex SO MUCH! Haven't had it in 3 1/2 years. I will just not sleep around. It's not me and you're right, there are WAY too many diseases out there. AND, I'm not sure I can even get pregnant anymore but can you imagine an single unplanned first pregnancy at 43?! I know it's not funny but it just makes me giggle - that would be RIDICULOUS. I also agree that men are often looking for sex. I am hoping that there are some out there that are looking for a little more. If not, I guess I'll be alone. I am terrified of small talk! My husband basically ignored me so I'm not sure I know how to behave on a date. I'll learn, although I feel a bit sorry for the first few guys. lol.

I don't know where I want o go or what I want to do either. I'd love to travel but can't afford it and have no one to go with. Do I continue renting or try to buy a home? I know I have to work on building a network of friends, that will come. Most of my friends are far away.

Hang in there. I'm sorry your son is not doing so well. I think all the down feelings are pretty normal and they do pass. It just takes some time.

I didn't think the holidays would hit me as hard as they are since they past few years holidays have been pretty awful but I was in the store yesterday and the Christmas songs were on and I just burst into tears. Lovely. That was a week ago and I really haven't stopped crying. I know it's temporary but it's no fun.

Hang in there and be kind to yourself. From past posts, I know you have a good job, great kids and friends and those things will carry you through until you figure out what else you choose to have in your life. You don't have to decide immediately. Take your time and heal a bit. You've been really busy getting through a rough divorce...now you need a little break and a regroup.

Sorry to go on and on, just really wanted you to know it's all perfectly normal, cause I'm right there too.

Libby

P.S. 40 is definitely not old these days! You have plenty of time to find someone who appreciates you. Hey, here's an idea, spend some time thinking about what kind of partner you would like in the future and, more importantly in my opinion, what you want dating to be, what you will and will not accept on a date. Good to know ahead of time and not bad daydreaming!