Here's an update for me! Well, it's been a year (plus) since x walked out the door on our 20th anniversary. I'm doing OK. Sold our mcmansion in less than a month back in the winter--and bought myself a little house with just enough space for me, my kids, our cat, and my rabbits--that I got back after they lived in a shelter for almost six months. Those of you might recall, one of his issues was that he hated my pets with a passion and promised me that he would work on our marriage if I got "rid of" our pets. Of course, I kept in touch with the shelter, probably because I knew in my mind that the day would come that I'd be rid of x and getting my bunnies back. So we're all good. It was a year in May. There was no way I would have every gotten rid of the cat--that was my dd's b-day gift just months before. Ugh...
So here are my issues--and anyone who's btdt, please share:
1. I'm sick of hearing people say, "He left YOU, not your kids." Really? Because the last time I checked, I'm pretty sure I didn't give birth to these kids on my own and had NO intentions of ever being a single mom--especially after 20 years of marriage! When I say, in general conversation or emails, etc., that he left US...I mean just that--he left US. OK, if you want to get technical: he left ME WITH TWO KIDS to raise alone. WTH? I mean, if he runs off with some chicky, is there someone out there saying to him: oh, you didn't leave your kids, just your wife? How is that?
2. I defined myself as a mom and wife. So, my I put my career on the back burner and, as a result, am not happy with where I am now that I don't have a family life. I like my house...but I'm not using my PhD as I should...and I really don't care for my job. BELIEVE ME, I'm LOOKING, but I'm limited to 150 mile radius and my field is limited--as is probably the case with everyone in this economy...but I worry, too, because I'm over 40 and not a top pick at that age for stuff--or at least I feel that way...am I right? The other thing is, I have a weird little niche for my career--and I can work at the more entry level stuff (which is what I am doing)---but the admin positions in education, well, you need to know someone, OR, have worked in a particular division...so it's depressing as heck to be where I was 20 years ago--because I took a few years off to have a family. I feel really resentful over that--especially that since ex never took a day out of his career during all those years. And now I'm back to square one? How is that fair?
3. I had lost a lot of weight in the year that things were happening...but I've gained a lot back. I don't feel good enough to start "looking" for anyone...and worry that it would just complicate life. My kids are 7 and 9. Any tips for older moms with younger kids and dating? I wouldn't mind a man in his late 40s or 50s... but gosh, I'm sure most of them would run for the hills from a gal with little kids. And I don't want to settle for just anyone...but at this age--I don't want a man with a crazy ex in the background, no job, or whatever his screwy issues are. Bleh!
I mean, I don't need it--and I see some of my friends with their dating issues and I just can't deal with some guy who drinks too much, runs around, or can't KEEP a job. He doesn't need to be a millionaire...but I can't wrap my head around the idea of some guy who would need to rely on me for support. I've got enough to deal with. But I have one friends now and she barely makes enough to keep a roof over her head--but her boyfriend has no job, lives with her, AND cheats--and she puts up with it--because she is in her 50s and feels that this "is good as it gets". OMG--tell me life is better than this!
Anyway...I'm doing OK. I like being able to work in my own yard and having a garden--that's all new and fun--but I find myself shaking my head about how I got here. Never thought it would be me...so I get down sometimes.
Hanging in there, though...hope everyone else is, too!
yes yes i remember you. thanks for the update. so glad to see on some levels you are doing well.
so you asked for advise and you will get it. but beware. it might not be what you want to hear.
1. you know its interesting you bring this up. because even for me i always say he left me (well its complicated since i fired the last shot). i dont feel he left my dd. its not the same thing for me. our marriage didnt break up because he didnt like our child (well it contributed a great deal coz he was done with too much responsibility). however i know what you mean. and its only been a year. so you are totally in the grieving mode. but
what's the big deal? he is gone and whether he left you, or the kids or "us" is just semantics. mind you its taken me 3 years to say this but at the end of 5 years i realised how it opened doors for me that would have remained shut if i was still married. so i have gotten over the emotional part of the breakup. but something you are still going through.
2. i so so so hear you. i am in kinda the same situation. however i have chosen to go back to school for my ph d. but after i quit my last job i have never been able to find a job to that level doing what i want to do. if i tried i would qualify for jobs i have the skills AND experience in - but honestly i dont want that.
3. honestly i had to laugh at this. men not wanting you because you had kids? i mean whew good riddance to someone you wouldnt want anyways. cuts down the playing field you know. i am 46. and you know the types i find? highly educated men with great solid jobs BUT omg!!!! how needy!!!! i cant STAND it. they are sooo desperately alone and sooo needy. or so set in their ways. i have to say i find it easier with guys a few years younger than me. however i am not really dating that much because i just dont have the time. and in all these 4 years when i have been actively dating no one has caught my attention. there are always prospects but they all fizzle out. nothing with them. i find i am so much more choosy. plus the fact is i love being by myself. i am happy where i am (i have an issue of living alone and so does dd. so we live in a roommate situation). i need people around me and i always have that so i dont feel like missing a partner.
and going back to my laughter. i hope i didnt offend you. but used to be in a single moms group. and let me tell you even mamas with 4 or 5 kids in their late 30s hooked up with guys. i think in our group i am the only one who is not hitched up. a few broke up a second time and some are still together.
just me? this is what i did. always have people over for meals. i hate living alone and the only way i could was by having people all the time. i love, love, love entertaining. so for instance in summer since i am in school and usually there is always someone at home - i have oodles of children living with me. its a lot of fun. i volunteer at a farm so i get enough produce for food for everyone.
GG you have just started life after things have settled down. you are trully now sitting back and grieving what an investment of 20 years have left you. u dont just get over it overnight. it took me almost 2 years to get over my pain and fears. and my marriage only lasted 7 years.
what feels like now is some kind of walk over fire kinda thing that one has to go through. during my downtime it felt like everywhere i looked everyone was a couple. i so remember weeping inside when i saw couples holding hands. which was later replaced with sarcasm - yeah lovers. be all goo goo now coz u have no idea what might be in store for you.
and then you find your own true space - that is you - just not a bundle of wantings because something failed.
mama sit with your downtime and as each moment passes remember you will never be in that space again. i spend 2 years crying everyday, yes everyday many times a day trying to work on a failing marriage. once i had reached my 'space' i have never cried like that anymore or even felt pain to that level. there is a certain strength in knowing from deep within me is that no matter whatever happens, even another breakup i will never ever walk that depth of pain ever again.
i am changed. i am different. and i love who i am now. way more independent than i have ever been before.
Gosh, lots of lookers....few hellos! Thanks for the responses...you are right...it is semantics--I guess what bugs me is that he left because he was having a mid-life crisis and wanted to get rid of the whole package...so it was not just ME he was leaving. And that implies fault. Ya know?
I'm OK. Some days, better than others.
I have to laugh--a needy man? What is that? Mine was so emotionally distant that he hadn't said that he loved me in about ten years and NEVER gave me flowers. Never. I could take a little needy. That would be a nice change! LOL!
hey granollly! i remember you.
1. i understand what you're saying. leaving the marriage does not mean he also left parenthood, but he walked away and left your kids with you. it's true, he physically left you and your children. otoh, i would be so, so careful to guard my children from the concept that their father left them. they may feel that way on their own, but even then i would reassure them that he is still their dad and still loves them very much even though they are apart. you probably already are doing what you can to protect your kids emotionally, but i just wanted to put that out there.
2. it's not fair! of course not. you definitely have my sympathy.
3. oh man, i also feel not good enough, but i don't think guys will run. most guys who are firmly into adulthood have to expect that the women who could go out with them, may have had children by now. i mean, really . . . and if a guy runs from a woman with kids, he's not right for you.
i know! it's seems like most threads are like that lately.
1. Sometimes they do leave you AND the kids. Sometimes they become even more involved with the kids than they were while married. Frankly, people should just shut up and offer you empathy rather than deciding how you should feel about it for you.
2. I hear you. I wouldn't trade those years at home... but it is a major identity shift... and it sucks that that time is disregarded in the job market. I learned more during my years at home with kids and volunteering than I ever did working for pay.
3. Yes, there are men in the 40s and 50s who welcome a partner's young children. I think your focus should not be will someone want me but will I find someone worthy of me. I know how the body image stuff feels -- my first post-marital relationship had a lot to do with how attractive the guy found me and how good that made me feel.
sparklefairy--in this case, you ARE right. We had been married for over a decade before the kids came. He said he never wanted kids. We talked about it for well over a year before they were born. He was a good dad when other folks were watching--but friends said to me (because I was blind to his comments) that he would say stuff like: do something with YOUR kids--if they were crying or grumpy at a party or something. He was distant to them. He would run off and do things with everyone BUT us when we were married--but now...now that he gets them every other weekend--he is SUPER DAD! He takes them one place and posts 50 pics on FB. And then all of his friends, oh poor Jerk-Off, you are SUCH A GREAT DAD! And it makes me want to just PUKE. Then he sends them home dirty, with clothes that are dirty, and usually hungry. The kids are 7 and 9--but they know the score. When he first left, he didn't even call them. But this last year, they've gotten older and more "fun"--and so all of a sudden he was taking them to expensive theme parks and out to eat every time he saw them---something we NEVER did as a family...but now it's tapering off and he's doing a lot more mac and cheese and letting them play on his computer at home while he texts all of his new single friends. It's pretty sickening.
Sorry--but this is the biggest rub for me. And all the while, I feel robbed--he didn't want to be a dad or husband anymore and so he left. Now he gets to take them away from me when I never wanted ANY of that ever? I would have stayed with him until death--even in a crap marriage--it's just how I felt about having kids and a family--but when he left, he clearly said: I don't want any of "THIS"--this meaning all of it--kids included.