Who has come out of long term relationships

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by KFld, Oct 4, 2007.

  1. KFld

    KFld New Member

    I know there have been quite a few people responding to my posts in regards to my seperation, but how many people here have ended a long long term relationship/marriage and where are you at now? Are you happy?? How long did it take you to get past it?

    Some days are good and others I just get lonely, and yes angry. I get angry because I think of what my future should have been. I should be looking forward to my future with a husband that appreciated who I was and we should be looking forward to doing the things together that couples do after 27 years of marriage. Instead I am starting my life over. I can't say I really miss him, but I miss the companionship. I used to love when he went to VT and I would have some time alone, but now I have too much time alone. I don't want to confuse this for missing him and get back into something that hasn't even begun to be resolved in any way. He was unhappy with what I had to offer and seems to think this is all about my being able to forgive him or not. I am the same person he was unhappy with 2 months ago, so I know that is not the answer. I'm really thinking more on the lines of not really wanting to work things out, but what is my other option?? Being alone???

    Maybe I need to start finding hobbies.

    I go to counseling tomorrow. I'm looking forward to it. I have days that I really think I know what I want and other days I'm all over the place with my thoughts and feelings. I'm sure this is normal, but I don't like feeling this way.
  2. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    You are very wise to seek input from others who have been there.

  3. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911

    Married: 13 years
    Situation: Abusive
    Resolution: Got out, got son - went into hiding for years

    Hobbies: Drawing, Myself in therapy

    Outcome: Able to make better decisions for myself and realize I am worth (whatever)

    Length of time in therapy for marriage/divorce? 7 years

    Was it worth it?
    YOU BET.
    Will I make the same mistakes again?
    NOT likely
    Do I have a new fiance/husband?
    Does he treat me well?
    Like a queen.

    Would I do it all over again? (divorce?) Yes. He was emotionally, physically, verbally torturous and even if he wasn't physical? My mind deserved better.

    WE ALL DESERVE TO BE HAPPY. When you get over the death of a dream and realize you're worth more? You'll know it.

    You can't compare you to me...but you can know you DO deserve to be happy.
  4. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    Immediately following my separation from exh I felt lighter of heart, mind and spirit. I really just enjoyed having my tiny room and my own space, reading and snuggling up with my girls at the end of the day and being able to make my own decisions about our future. I enjoyed not feeling the dread of spending another boring evening with exh, watching him clean his pot, roll a joint and then fall asleep with the day's dirts still clinging to his sticky, dusty skin. I didn't miss the meals I had to cook; I was able to experiment with different foods and textures, spice things up a bit.

    I did, however, mourn the loss of what our marriage was supposed to be and how were supposed to live out our lives. Part of me still does, for my girls' sakes. However, I did learn to fill my time doing things that brought me calm and peace, like walking on the beach and collecting interesting rocks. I also would pack a dinner and once a week the girls and I would have a picnic dinner on the beach (in warm months). I got back into my drawing a little again. I read like a maniac - any book I could get my hands on. And I learned how to be alone without being lonely...one the most difficult things to learn in my opinion.

    Eventually, my life blossomed into how I wanted it to be, my girls were happy, I was dating current H and life went on. I think talking it over with a counselor is awesome - feeling out how others have fared is great too. Perhaps keeping a journal and making a list of things you enjoy or have talents in will help you to find a new direction just for you.
  5. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    My circumstances were entirely different but regardless of the
    circumstances I think some universal concepts are present. The
    end of a long term relationship is painful regardless of who made
    the move and why. (I know nothing of abusive relationships but
    probably they also are painful.) Each man and woman finds that
    they have to "reinvent" themselves as a unit of one. Most often
    men do not have the inclination to do this, in my humble opinion, and that is why
    they try to keep the same role and just replace the partner. The
    women who are most successful at transitioning avoid making any
    quick choices. No quick replacement man. No quick relocation
    from one neighborhood to another. No quick reinventing by using
    bleach, dye, surgery, radical wardrobe change, career change etc.
    It is easier, I think, when your children are small because you
    must still clean house and cook meals and drive carpool etc. Lord
    knows I have had too many decades of not changing that schedule.

    I have had many friends who were compelled to prove they were
    still desireable, youthful, fun etc. Often they had a procession
    of men. Watching others, I made a personal decision that I was
    not going to share time with any man until my divorce was final
    AND six months passed. I did go to friends homes for parties and
    accepted invitations to cocktail parties etc. on occasion but I
    never even had a cup of java alone with a man. It helped me to
    become self sufficient.

    Within two years after the divorce I changed careers and loved
    my new choice. I began and maintained a long distance relationship that enhanced my self image but didn't interfere
    with my responsibilities. Almost seven years after my divorce
    I married husband. I knew myself by then. I knew him. The kids
    were fine with the choice.

    The secret, I strongly believe, is TIME. Take alot of time.
    Being bored is not the end of the world. You can learn about
    yourself during periods of boredom too. I know you are going to
    end up just fine. I really believe it! Your friend, DDD

    by the way, taking a college class or two would be wonderful for you!
  6. KFld

    KFld New Member

    Thanks. I know I deserve to be happy.

    Jog: I know what you mean about feeling lighter and I have to admit, I don't really miss him per say, just having someone to do things with. When I think about how I'm lonely and would I be feeling better if I was spending time with him, I almost cringe at the thought of spending time with him. When I see him, I don't think, OMG, how am I getting along without him, I miss him.

    I know my moods are also influenced by his. I haven't really seen him much this week and I was doing pretty good. I spoke to him last night and he said he wasn't able to work yesterday because he had a bad day and I didn't buy into it. I didn't ask why, I just told him I would leave enough dog food on the table for him to take to VT with him, as he's taking the dog with him for the weekend. This morning I saw him in the driveway as I was leaving for work and his eyes were red, he looked beat and was very short with me, like he was mad at me for something????? This of course influenced my mood right away and I started feeling sorry for him. Why do I do that. I'm the one who was cheated on because he wasn't happy with the life we had, so why do I allow myself to feel sorry for him?? I guess that is what 30 years of being with someone does for you. I'm glad he's going to VT for the weekend, because now I know I won't run into him at all for the weekend. I feel free to go where I want.

    Good thing I have counseling tomorrow huh???
  7. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    I was married 9 years, to my soulmate.

    I left him 4 1/2 years ago.

    Reasons: He refused to look for employment. We were struggling financially and he was having too much fun being Mr. Mom. Except he was shirking his mom duties too. He ran around all hours.

    I've been in therapy 3 years and am wrapping it up here. Same for Tink.

    He is on his 2nd live in girlfriend since we split. Make that the 3rd! I forgot he moved in with an X for awhile. It helped me see the pattern, what a user he was. It helped me to get over him. He moved from the 2nd to the 3rd's house in one day.

    I am not seeing anyone. I am not anti man, but for the first time in my life, I am comfortable NOT being with a man.

    It was hard at first, to see him jump from girl to girl, when we had just split. It broke my heart. It was at this time that I learned how differently men and women deal with things. I was taking this as a slap in the face, as though it made a mockery of our years together. Once I understood that he was doing this FOR him, not TO me, I was able to get past it. I grieved the loss of my marriage to him.

    Will I ever find love again? Maybe. I have a lot on my plate now. When the time is right. Star is right, we all deserve to be happy. I am happy with me now, and I do not need someone else to fill my time.
  8. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    I think it's really important to your long term sanity and peace of mind to get to a place where you are not only comfortable in your own skin, but comfortable being friends with yourself.

    I know, I know, that sounds so cliche, but for me, that is the ultimate! Being able to be alone with yourself and happy can be such a special feeling.
  9. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911

    him in the driveway as I was leaving for work and his eyes were red, he looked beat and was very short with me, like he was mad at me for something????? This of course influenced my mood right away and I started feeling sorry for him. Why do I do that.

    Why? Because you've done it for so long. And you haven't come to the part in your therapy where you start working on the "whys" what you concentrate on first are the "hows" and then the "whys" will answer themselves for you.

    Don't expect so much out of yourself. I (laughingly) used to be so naive that I believed once he was out of my life or I was away from him I wouldn't have any problems. Truth was, I had problems when I met and agreed to marry him. OTHERWISE I wouldn't have done it. Therapy teaches you how to not "done it again".

    And...fact remains that you are a wonderful, caring, kind, sensitive, person who is human, will feel emotions and this separation in your "subconscience" may be telling you that you somehow failed. In part, yes...but you didn't fail him. You failed to see what you couldn't see because if you could have seen it you would see it now. See?

  10. skeeter

    skeeter New Member

    I was married for 16 years, but the marriage was over long before I filed for divorce. Yep - I was doing the "stay with it for the kids sake". Lots of reasons the marriage was over, but I had done a lot of it "by myself" anyway, what with his traveling for work, his "hobbies" of hunting, shooting, etc. and him always having some reason to not do things with us as a family.

    Sure, there was those few moments of sadness of what could have been - but honestly, what SHOULD have been was long gone anyway, so I really had no regrets. I had peace. I had stability (he had 8 jobs in those 16 years).

    After the divorce, both kids, separately, have asked me why I stayed married for so long. Once I wasn't running interference for their father, they got to see him as he really "is". While they still love him, and try to do things with him, it's sad that they confide in me much more. My oldest even gave his stepdad a father's day card that said "thank you for being the things my dad can't or won't be".

    I knew my now husband before I was divorced, and we had done some group things together (we met because of the musical instrument we both play). Our communicating just led one thing to another and we realized how alike we were. We both realized we ARE each other's sole mate - we just 20 years too late (I tease it's HIS fault!). We married less than a year after my divorce, but we didn't see the point in waiting because others might think we should. We're going on 7 years now, and we're even more happy than when we first married.
  11. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE

    Karen, I was married for 25 years...27 years together. Our situation was very different from yours, though.

    In short, I was deliriously happy the first year to be on my own. FREE!

    The second year I grieved. HARD. Not for him but for the other losses. We really had a great marriage for many years. I loved being married. I was a good wife and enjoyed my role. And I missed the intimacy (still do) and feeling of belonging. I never pictured myself divorced (does anyone?). I used to tell ex that I would murder him before I would consent to a divorce. Imagine my astonishment when I was the one who wanted the divorce. I'm still shaking my head.

    But I wouldn't change the decision.

    By the third year I was starting to get stronger and by this year I've gotten lonely as heck.

    So it does take awhile. And I think it's healthier to allow yourself those stages.

    Meanwhile, exdh "replaced" and is currently engaged. He started dating her a few months after our divorce. And I am happy for him. I felt terribly guilty for wanting out and hurting him....but "men replace, women grieve" and it was true for us.

    For you...........when I look at your situation from an observer's eye, I find it quite miraculous that you are even standing.

    Look at the strength you've had to muster for your son. Then your Mom's illness and subsequent death. And your husband's infidelity and separation. It is too much for anyone to have to go through over several years and you've had to go through it in the last two years....and last few months.

    In your place I would expect to be completely irrational at times, unbelievably happy and satisfied at times, confused, melancholy. ENRAGED, and maybe all of those things in the span of just a few minutes.

    It is normal.

  12. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member


    I wasnt in a long term relationship ...my first marriage was very short and my current one is the long term one, but my parents marriage and subsequent divorce is the one I am replying about.

    My mom and dad were married for 30 years when they divorced. As I have mentioned before the divorce was my moms idea and it was because she was nuts. My dad would have stayed married to her completely unhappy but duty bound. She chose the divorce. He remarried in the spring of 84 and now has been married another 23 years.

    He is very happy with his "new" wife. Even though my step mom used to be my moms best friend we have all gotten over that fact and I love her for how she treats my dad and the rest of us. She has always been fond of me. My dad is now in his early 80s and Pat takes very good care of him.
  13. donna723

    donna723 Well-Known Member

    Karen, I was in a horrible marriage for twenty years, divorced now for eleven years. And I can honestly say that the only thing I regret about the divorce was that it didn’t come years sooner! I was another one who thought they were doing what they should be doing by sacrificing themselves to stay in the marriage “for the kids”. He was AWFUL! He was an abusive, habitual “functional” alcoholic, meaning he could still get up and go to work every day, but that’s about all. He was cruel, manipulating, an accomplished liar, and totally irresponsible with money. He could go into a blind rage at the drop of a hat and blamed ME for all the problems in our marriage! Finally, HE left US, for another woman who was the original “Good time that was had by all”!

    Those first few weeks I went through it all – I felt anger, betrayal, confusion, humiliation, embarrassment, and fear about my financial condition with two kids still at home. But I didn’t miss him and his chaos and certainly wasn’t sad that he was gone! In fact, the very first thing that I noticed was how very peaceful the house was with him gone and how much more relaxed and calm the kids and I were now. And it was in that peaceful atmosphere that I was finally able to think clearly and make plans for the future. That's when I "turned the corner". The kids and I started doing things and going places that we never were able to before. Never realized before how much he had dragged the rest of us down and held us back until he was gone!

    In a few more years the kids had gone their own way and I’ve lived by myself for several years now. I miss the kids being here but I can honestly say that I’ve never been happier! After all those years of being “chained to a loose cannon”, I finally have things under control and the anxiety is gone. For the first time in my life, I do what I want to, when I want to. I spend MY money as I see fit. It certainly wasn’t easy. I don’t have a lot but I have everything I need and my bills are paid. My little house is exactly the way I want it and if I have a few extra dollars, I buy something that makes ME happy!

    I was fifty when we divorced and I’m 61 now. Had I been younger when all this happened, I may have been open to another relationship, and I would never say never, but I honestly don’t want one, and am very happy the way I am. I don’t think I could ever trust anyone again and make myself vulnerable to all that hurt and pain again. And I certainly don’t want “companionship” enough to have to make all those sacrifices and do all that compromising that a relationship requires. I spent the whole first fifty years of my life sacrificing and compromising for everyone else and received nothing in return. I think fifty years was long enough. “Alone” is not necessarily “lonely”. Not for everybody, but I like it that way. I finally feel like a full-fledged "person" in my own right, like I really do matter! I work full time and stay busy, and eleven years later, I’m still wallowing in the “peace and quiet”! I do occasionally have a twinge of jealously when I see friends my age with good stable marriages and no financial struggles. But when I think how far I’ve come and how much I’ve grown as a person in the last eleven years, I’m kind of proud of ME!
  14. mrscatinthehat

    mrscatinthehat Seussical

    Obviously my situation is different as is everyones. I am on my third marriage. I went from my first to my second very quickly and though they were two different men they weren't. I was young and had my eyes closed. When my second husband walked out (to someone he met on the internet) I dropped my proverbial basket. In the same time frame I had lost my dad, my oldest brother, my favorite grandmother and job I loved. Needless to say I went into overload. I know you have been through a lot. It took me a lot longer to be able to reach out and get help going through my mess. Thus I am still dealing with it many years later.

    I am working in therapy on a couple of books. One that doesn't apply here. The other two do.

    The first one is The Grief Recovery Handbook by John W James & Russell Friedman. I am still working it but thus far I like the path that it follows. It has a slightly different look at grief.

    The second that I just started for the group I belong to I don't know a lot about yet but so far seems positive is What Happy Women Know by Dan Baker and Cathy Greenberg.

    Just a couple of thoughts for you to try if you are up for it. I know sometimes just looking at things from a different way (which these books help you to do) can help.

  15. Sunlight

    Sunlight Active Member

    I was married to my first boyfriend at age 18. we hated dated for two yrs and were married another 32 yrs.
    to steal star's formula:
    Situation: Verbally Abusive and he is a schizophrenic
    Resolution: Got out

    Hobbies: flower planting, homemaking, dancing, socializing with friends, loving my grandson, touring winery trails with boyfriend
    Prior hobbies NONE

    Outcome: Able to make better decisions for myself and realize I am worth (whatever)

    Length of time in therapy for marriage/divorce? 2 years

    Was it worth it?
    YOU BET.
    Will I make the same mistakes again?
    NOT likely
    Do I have a new fiance/husband?
    Does he treat me well?
    Like a queen.

    Would I do it all over again? (divorce?) Yes. He was emotionally, verbally torturous next time would have left much sooner.

    I feel sorry for him but not enough to take him back ever again. I am free. lonely at times but free. rather be lonely and bored if need be than tortured

    join a Christian singles grp. that is where I met boyfriend
  16. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Well, I do not think you thought you would find someone that regretted their decision to end a long term relationship. There is always a reason good enough to endure that pain.

    I do believe there are moments of regret and wondering 'what if' with the end of any relationship - married or not.

    I recommend you stop thinking about the relationship you are currently in limbo with. Just pretend it is over and start finding yourself now. Perhaps things will just become clearer to you then. Maybe husband will not be patient at all and then there is no deciding. But, I think you will know if that happens he is not the one for you to spend the rest of your days with.

    I think if he wants the relationship to work he can certainly accept that you need some time to figure things out since he is the one that stepped out of the marriage vows.

    I will share a thought for you to ponder.

    We seem to seek out that which we lack. If we lack money we want more and tend to gear our lives towards getting more money. If it is sex we lack we figure out a way to get that. Once we get one thing it moves down on our priority list and something else moves up. Something we are lacking. As we satisfy one desire another one pops up. Once we get the sex, we want more attention. Once we get the attention we want more affection, etc. I think it is natural. Not necessarily bad, but can get out of control.

    So, figure out what things you are lacking and what order they should be in at this time of your life.
  17. OTE

    OTE Active Member

    Some of us are lucky enough to re-create ourselves several times in our lives. I view a divorce as a chance to re-create yourself. As others have said, it takes time, it's painful but you will get through it better on the other side...if you try. Some prefer to remain stuck in anger, grief, etc. I don't see that as a good choice. So focus on who you want to be. Make a list of short term goals and long term goals and then work towards them.

    If you have free time and that bothers you fill up the time! Look at those goals and figure out what you can do with that time towards your goals. If nothing else take a course in something you always were curious about or wanted to do. I prefer the low cost school district evening courses. Personally every time that book comes out there's about 10 courses I want to take from new foreign language to how to change the oil in the car.

    Nothing makes me feel better than volunteer work. Free time? There's always some volunteer work waiting.

    Presumably you know that many of us are jealous. Your kids are older, you're not stuck in the house with little kids. All that freedom!!!

    Check out the book by Gail Sheehy called "The Seasoned Woman".