Ok, the condensed version of my story. My husband of 20+ years dumped me a year and a half ago for an exgf he'd reconnected with over the internet. (They're no longer together, surprise surprise). I have been a SAHM ever since my kids were born. I did have a career prior to having them, not a high paying one (social work), but a career nonetheless.
The first few months of being separated I was busy mourning, taking care of the kids, trying to get a separation agreement going, etc. There was a lot of instability in trying to get the money stuff settled. Ex-h and I had some tense moments figuring out the money stuff, but we did come to a temporary agreement where he is paying me both child support and spousal support. From day one of our separation he was pressuring me big time to get a job, arguing that we can't afford for me to NOT work anymore. He's a high income earner, but a spoiled little boy who wants to live beyond his means, especially now that he's single again, so this is about him having more money in his pocket.
This was not helpful at the time, as it just sent me even further into a panic. I applied to a ton of jobs, early on. I got one interview, didn't get the job, which sent me into even more of a panic. Finally my lawyer and friends helped me calm down and approach this more methodically. I came to realize that I needed time to get the kids and I settled, to grieve, to negotiate a good separation agreement. Ex-h, among other things, is lazy, so it fell upon me to get that all going. I had to come up with bank statements, budgets, etc....everything. It was a ton of work. In the meanwhile, the support I have been getting from ex-h has been adequate, but barely. No room for frills, but we have enough to survive and to stay in our house. Our agreement is just about done now, and once it's signed I'll be getting more. One less thing to worry about for awhile, until I'm working again.
And, work is really the crux of it for me. I do want to work again, I don't want to be a ft SAHM anymore. I want to work to engage other parts of my brain, to have adult time, and biggest of all for me, to feel self-sufficient and not be reliant on ex-h for spousal support. Child support I have no problem in justifying. But I hate feeling reliant on him, even though I know I'm more than entitled to it. Every once in awhile he lords it over me, but in general he just quietly pays up. Still, for the sake of my self-esteem I need to work again.
I can't go right back in my field, I'm too long out of it. So, I did some research and have decided to take a one year college program that is related to what I've done, but in a growing segment of the field (fundraising management for nonprofits). I start in September. I am confident that once i'm done this program, I'll be working in the field pretty quickly.
Oh, and then there's my love life...for the first few months I was just so happy to be living in a stress-free enviroment, just me and the kids, that I didn't feel the least bit lonely. That honeymoon phase. And then, out of the blue, I met someone online last November. He's wonderful, but it's a long distance thing which makes it pretty impossible from a practical point of view. We've had some struggles trying to define what we have and what is realistic. It's triggering feelings of rejection in me (like, if he REALLY wanted this to work, he'd be more open to finding a way), and insecurity. I dont' like it. Maybe this is a sign that I'm really not ready to be involved with someone quite yet.
I guess that all this rambling is to say that I wonder when I'm ever going to stop being in transition. When will I be stable, working, my own income? When will I have effectively dealt with the fallout of my crappy marriage ending, the low self-esteem and self-loathing that comes with enabling a serial philanderer for so many years? Right now I feel like I am barely treading water, yet there is so much to do. I'm not happy with my weight (I've been binge eating as a coping mechanism, not good), I can't stand my appearance and feel that just physically there's no way I can put myself out there to meet anyone, not looking like this. My confidence is shot, even though intellectually I know I have a lot of great things going for me.
Sorry for rambling and thank you for reading if you've made it this far...I'm just really struggling with this of late, and am feeling so stagnant and depressed about the state of my life right now :(