My H and I are getting ready to separate.
Wow Tracy - that's a really long time & I'm sure that it has to be difficult --- but here's the thing - it's all how you look at it! From what I've discovered in life, very few couples that are "married" are actually "married". Meaning there are a lot of marriages that exist where people live separate lives anyway. So I guess my question to you is - what "kind" of marriage did you have? Did you have one that was where you & your husband really were on the same page as far as doing things together & spending a lot of time together etc.? If so - then yes, I could totally see the transition as being awkward, uncomfortable & scary to some degree. BUT - if you guys had a life outside of your marriage - then it shouldn't be too hard for you to build on that - everything else is just a matter of title & circumstance. Did you have a life before you were married? Did you have single years where you went & did things you enjoyed - had hobbies etc.? If not --- that may be part of the reason you are here now? I know this is somewhat true for me.
If you really are starting over - look at it like this. MOST people at some point in their lives will be single. Especially now that you find it more & more common for people to divorce after 20, 30 & even 40 years of marriage. And I think there are more single people now than ever. I think people are becoming more selective in their partners - and getting married more for the right reasons - IF they even choose to marry at all. For me, I know for a fact - that unless my relationship consists of BOTH love & function - then I will not ever even consider marriage again. My first serious relationship was mostly functional & my second was mostly based on passion/"love" - neither worked, so this is just what my criteria is based on.
So start to see the good in being single - b/c it is there! There are some down sides yes ---- but if you keep yourself busy and enjoy an active lifestyle - then you should be fine. Sure - the first mos. will be the hardest, but after that - it's downhill from there. You may even get to the place where you see that being single fits you better than being married.
Actually - I was the type that had a boyfriend and was in a "relationship" from the time I was a teenager until I go divorced a few years ago when I was 30. I honestly had never went more than a few mos. w/out being in a relationship. If you would have asked me, I would have definitely considered myself the relationship type. And I would have never thought that I would have been single, much less have CHOSEN to be single - for any real length of time in my life. It's actually all a very mind boggling concept for me.
Then I meet this girl that I went to school w/ (never really saw myself back in school at 30 either) who had been celebate for like 4 years - I knew she wasn't lying, but I found it so hard to believe. Then later, she told me that her & a few other women (who were also very accomplished - she owned a car dealership at one point) had sort of band together, shared their goals & pretty much didn't talk about relationships or men when they hung out. It was such a simple concept, but so liberating and awesome at the same time! I know that's going a little off topic - b/c that's on a whole other level - lol - BUT - the point being ---- is that having a life outside a relationship is not only possible, but it is probably NEEDED in everyone's life - IF you want to accomplish anything a little above average for yourself. Let's see --- men seem to do it all the time - lol - women are just the one's that seem to attach to their hips & follow along for the ride - calling it "marriage" or what not - so.
My advise is to start building your own life & identity outside of being married or your "status" in that way. Start to find people who have either been in your shoes or who are currently there. That will make it much easier. It's not that I don't have "married" friends, but I don't tend to spend much of my time with them. For me - that life is pretty much over & I'm not sure I will ever go back. It's possible that I may one day find someone w/all the qualities and traits that I have & want in a person - to where we can really be a great team together - but it's unlikely. And so it's very much a possibility that I will be single for the rest of my life (and even now, I can't even believe that I'm saying it). I just did my last post on this very subject - so you can check me out at shewritesit.com & maybe that will help you also on your journey towards becoming not only single - but possibly finding out about more of who you REALLY are & more of the person that you are truly meant to be ;)
Hope not too long & that this helps?! (((Hugs)))) :smileyhappy:
Your fear of being "single again" is normal in these situations. After all when you've been married for a while, whether it's 26 months or 26 years, you're going to feel odd being solo.
So here's my questions and my two cents.
First, are you in marriage counseling together or separately? If not, why not? If possible, go. Even if you or he have made up your mind to separate, marriage counseling is important to get your cards out on the table so you don't drag baggage from this relationship into a new one down the road.
If you are in counseling has your counselor suggested a
Thanks for your response.
I would like to say that we seem to have a lot in common & I think your feelings and views are very normal - very similar to mine. And you are not the first to admit some jealousy when it comes to all the people around you that at least "seem" to be happily married. I have a friend of mine who just posted pics on FB of her & her husband living it up one wkend w/out the kids - where they had all the neighbors over etc. It sooooo reminded me of the good times that I used to have w/my husband (oops, there I go again...sorry! X-husband - lol) - and we had plenty. There's definitely a sadness and a heavy weight added to me when I think about never having that w/him again - or possibly anyone else. What can I say, but that life just sucks sometimes. And I also realize that sometimes you can never get certain things back. I think to some extent, you just have to be thankful to have had those times & even though I feel almost nothing for my X at this point anymore, I have to say, I think those times will stick in my brain & w/me for the rest of my life. But as they say - nothing lasts forever - AND - I also think about all the hard work & the emotional rollercoaster that many marriages have to consist of. I think also about all the late nights we stayed up arguing and all the times I felt I was neglected and showed little to no love or appreciation from my X - if anything I was shown contempt. Soooooo ---- having said all that - people who are in marriages & relationships all experience those bad things as well - and they don't post those pics on FB - lol! So keep that in mind when you start to feel jealous ----- AND - think about how they are probably jealous at different points when they see you with tons of freedom - no one to answer to or fight with over things like kids, money & sex ----- how liberating is that sh*t?!!! lol --- We always want what we don't have - and I think ultimately our choice to be happy is more about who we are as ourselves and less about our marital status. Just like there are sad & joyful moments in marriage - there are in being single as well. As far as holidays - yeh - that one can be a tough one - BUT - if you have kids - you can celebrate w/them - mine are all that I need to make my holiday a happy one. Your spouse should just be one person in your circle of family & friends - if you look at him in that way - sure, it will be sad the first few years w/out him - but just like when anyone you are close to passes, you have to learn to work around those things at some point. Surround yourself w/your family or others who may not even celebrate holidays in a traditional way. I personally have never cared too much about the holidays or tradition in that sense - so even if I'm alone on a holiday - doing only what I want to do, I'm good. Start new traditions - like volunteering & doing something for others on a holiday. You will probably find that more rewarding.
I also don't think you were crazy for staying married even tho your husband cheated. I believe that if any couple stays married long enough - there is going to be infidelity of some sort. I don't necessarily think it's natural to go a whole lifetime (or 20, 30, 40 years) w/out being w/at least a few people sexually. IMO - being w/the same person "forever" doesn't allow room for growth in at least certain ways. I know plenty may disagree w/that - but - just my opinion. And if your marriage & relationship can withstand it - make peace w/it - and you still make the decision to be together - then I think there's something to be said for that. I'm not condoning someone who habitually cheats or that you feel you can completely not trust - and you are talking to someone who made my X wear condoms often - lol ---- but people are human - w/feelings, emotions etc. and often a relationship b/w two people for an extended period of time means going off & coming back together - what is it - inhale/exhale ---- so. I also get staying for the kids - so many people think that thought process is outdated or an excuse - but as long as your kids are happy - I think there's great merit & sacrifice in that. Who the h*ll wants a blended family other than someone who is dillusional and niave about all the problems & complications that it brings? Unless someone is being highly abusive - wait til the kids are grown & gone & you will save yourself a lot of unnecessary drama. And even though your D will affect them even when they are grown - it won't be half as much & at some point, everyone is responsible for their own happiness in life...obviously we all end up having to find it for ourselves one day, right?! ;)
Anyhoooo - I'm sure the feedback you will get here will widely vary - and I know I don't always have the most popular beliefs or ideas - lol - but that's what I like about coming here - you can get a good range of different views.
Take care :)
Your final sentence is so true…”it was even harder laying next to a man who had become a stranger to me.”