When do you consider yourself "single"? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 18 Old 07-24-2011, 08:13 AM - Thread Starter
 
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This is my first post in this relm.  I have been married for 19 years today but my stbx moved out 19 days ago, to another state far away.  Although he regreted hs rash decision a few days later and wanted to come back, I knew he made the best decision for me and the 3 kids the day he walked out.  Of course, he now says I told him to leave, a complete lie that he may have even convinced himself of.  But that is beside the point.

 

Our marriage had been going down hill for a long time.  He had been unhappy since at least last summer, me for MUCH longer.  But I stuck it out because I had made a committment, a promise that I would not leave him, though looking back, I should have left long ago, even though I did not feel I had enough of a reason to.  As he is the one that left, I feel our marriage is completely over, in my eyes, in the eyes of my friends, most of my family, and God.  But in my stbx eyes and the eyes of the state we are still married. 

 

So when do you consider yourself single?  A single mother, a single woman?  Are they different? 

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#2 of 18 Old 07-24-2011, 08:45 AM
 
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I think it's a state of mind. If you feel it then live it.
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#3 of 18 Old 07-24-2011, 12:05 PM
 
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I considered myself to be single when he moved out, though the state of CA won't consider me legally single for about 4 - 5 more weeks. The marriage had broken down over the previous 6 mo to nothing and him actually leaving was the very end of it for me.


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#4 of 18 Old 07-24-2011, 01:36 PM
 
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For me, it was when I moved out of our marital home. That's when I felt that I'd severed my fate from his.

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#5 of 18 Old 07-24-2011, 03:01 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mugglemomma23 View Post

This is my first post in this relm.  I have been married for 19 years today but my stbx moved out 19 days ago, to another state far away.  Although he regreted hs rash decision a few days later and wanted to come back, I knew he made the best decision for me and the 3 kids the day he walked out.  Of course, he now says I told him to leave, a complete lie that he may have even convinced himself of.  But that is beside the point.

 

Our marriage had been going down hill for a long time.  He had been unhappy since at least last summer, me for MUCH longer.  But I stuck it out because I had made a committment, a promise that I would not leave him, though looking back, I should have left long ago, even though I did not feel I had enough of a reason to.  As he is the one that left, I feel our marriage is completely over, in my eyes, in the eyes of my friends, most of my family, and God.  But in my stbx eyes and the eyes of the state we are still married. 

 

So when do you consider yourself single?  A single mother, a single woman?  Are they different? 



I considered myself single as soon as we decided we were not going to be together anymore and he moved out. I didn't wait until the divorce actually went through, especially since I started dating before the year was up. :)


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#6 of 18 Old 07-24-2011, 04:24 PM
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For me it was when we separated, and were no longer together in any sense of the word. Not simply when the paperwork was finalized. I know it was the same for him too.

 

Wishing you peace during this time :)


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#7 of 18 Old 07-24-2011, 07:45 PM
 
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My ex and I were never married, but together for 12 years.  For me it went beyond the moving into seperate addresses.  I felt single I guess, but was still in mourning - even though I was the one that left.  2 years later I realize that I was single before we seperate physically, but that is only in hindsight.  The biggest factor for me is that I felt like a single mom, much before I felt like a single women.  I still dont truly feel like a single women.  My daughter comes first and that means that my womanhood is sometimes very far way.  Sex - whats that!  I tell people that I am single mom all the time - mostly to explain my exhaustion!  But when it comes to feeling single I certainly dont.  I am married to my kid!  She is my world and I am not ready - even after 2 years to share that world with anyone else.  Wow - I hadn't thought that out until now! 


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#8 of 18 Old 07-24-2011, 09:50 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks, Ladies.  It helps to know that I am not alone in feeling the way I do.  My marriage is over, has been a long time.  I am just physically showing it now.  Even though the state does not recognize my status, I know I am single, trying to make the best decisions for my children and myself, and in an odd way for my ex.  Just hoping and praying he does not try to drag out the process, that won't help anyone, especially the children.  And no, I'm not waiting a year to date if he does drag it out, lol.

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#9 of 18 Old 07-25-2011, 08:37 AM
 
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I think the moving-from-marital-home was a bigger deal for me because I'd already had years to mourn the marriage.

 

I think another reason that I've moved on my slowly is that I have much more parenting time than many single parents. It really is different even having every other weekend, let alone 50%, than being the 24/7 parent.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by lac_2233 View Post

My ex and I were never married, but together for 12 years.  For me it went beyond the moving into seperate addresses.  I felt single I guess, but was still in mourning - even though I was the one that left.  2 years later I realize that I was single before we seperate physically, but that is only in hindsight.  The biggest factor for me is that I felt like a single mom, much before I felt like a single women.  I still dont truly feel like a single women.  My daughter comes first and that means that my womanhood is sometimes very far way.  Sex - whats that!  I tell people that I am single mom all the time - mostly to explain my exhaustion!  But when it comes to feeling single I certainly dont.  I am married to my kid!  She is my world and I am not ready - even after 2 years to share that world with anyone else.  Wow - I hadn't thought that out until now! 



 

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#10 of 18 Old 08-09-2011, 12:29 PM
 
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Right, I don't feel very "single," having the care of my kids 24/7.  Plus I am only separated and voicing that I am open to reconciliation (will never happen bc STBX would need to address his issues is a real way), so I am still wearing my ring.   I think I will take it off when he announces that he is divorcing me.

 


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#11 of 18 Old 08-10-2011, 07:16 AM
 
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I think I tried to feel single before I actually did, and sometimes the line drawn between "married" and "single" still feels murky. We separated physically in September and decided to divorce in early November. I went on a date that, in hindsight, was essentially a one-night stand with a man I used to date in high school. It was a total rebound from all the stress and grief I was handling poorly and I felt really guilty about it afterward, even though XH and I were not "together" anymore. So, single Fail at that point.

 

I have been dating someone casually for the last 3-4 months and I feel "single" (our divorce still isn't final, although we are very close), but the longer I date him the more I realize that I am not ready AT ALL for another man to have an influential role in my children's lives. I have been friends with this man for a number of years so my kids know him and we hang out together sometimes--my kids are super young but we are not physically affectionate or demonstrative of being in a dating relationship at all around my kids. We have gone out to dinner with them before where the waiter has mistaken him for their father, and it REALLY bothered me. He also corrected my daughter once when I was trying to redirect some behavior and since those few incidents I have been less interested in having him around my kids, even if they just think we're friends. He has been totally respectful and apologetic when I feel he has crossed a line (really just with that one time of correcting my daughter), and I think my protectiveness over my children's exposure to other men in my life is not personal. They have just had a lot of change in their lives over the past year and I am figuring out appropriate boundaries for myself and them while I'm dating. I will have to be pretty serious with someone, I think, before I allow someone to have much contact with my children. 

 

So, all that said, I feel like myself as a "single woman" and myself as a "single mother" are two identities which I need to keep pretty separate at this point. I am a single mother first and foremost, and a single woman when my kids are with their dad (2 days a week). 

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#12 of 18 Old 08-10-2011, 07:23 AM
 
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I also have several friends who are single mamas, 24/7. Dating for them has often been pretty complicated and difficult, and I have a lot of empathy for them because I think they don't feel like they are able to have a personal life. I spend the vast majority of time with my kids, but even ONE NIGHT free makes such a difference (I work late the other night they're with XH). Sometimes those kids spend a night at their grandparents, or have sleepovers, or whatever to allow their mama to have a night to herself, but I can see that it is a difficult situation to navigate. 

 

A friend of mine is moving in with me, who is a single mama and the dad lives in another state. We plan to run our household like platonic wives, essentially, except for sharing our income, and so have talked about having our designated "nights out" to get some time for ourselves. I do some similar childcare swapping with other mama friends and our mutual support of each other makes all the difference in the world!

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#13 of 18 Old 08-10-2011, 11:07 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chicaalegre View Post

. We plan to run our household like platonic wives



Wow, that's an intriguing concept.  I hope you will share some of that experience here on the boards! 

 

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#14 of 18 Old 08-11-2011, 12:56 PM
 
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I felt single when we had a calm rational discussion where we both agreed our relationship was dead. Even though he did not move out for several more months. I am still waiting for dependable peace to enter our lives. Whenever I get comfortable my ex drags me back into court.

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#15 of 18 Old 09-03-2011, 07:50 PM
 
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DH moved out in March and we've had all the serious talks about reconciliation not being an option at this point.  I took my wedding ring off a couple weeks ago.  I have been asking myself the same question, so thanks for posting!  I think for me, because many people still do not know about our separation and pending divorce and because DS and I still live in the family home with a lot of DH's stuff around, I feel very much in limbo.  I definately do not feel married, but I also do not at all feel single.  Single mom? Yes absolutely I feel like a single mom.  Good distiction one of the pp'ers made!


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#16 of 18 Old 09-08-2011, 08:59 AM
 
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I feel like I was single when I filed for divorce and we separated residences. He still calls me his "wife" however, even though I am engaged to someone else and pregnant with DF's baby. For him, I guess it is when the divorce paperwork is finalized? For me.. my heart and body are not "his" and I took steps to end our marriage (even though it's taken forever and is still ongoing)


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#17 of 18 Old 09-08-2011, 10:23 AM
 
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This is a good discussion!  Sometimes I feel single, sometimes I just feel entangled (we are in a nasty custody fight).  We were in a domestic partnership (with paperwork) so I did have one big feeling of release when I revoked that partnership, then another when he was at his lawyer's side accusing me of all sorts of nasty lies in court, but...when it comes to the kids and we are together, I realize we will be connected fundamentally all of my life.

 

It's hard.shrug.gif


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#18 of 18 Old 09-09-2011, 04:42 AM
 
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I have not read the other responses, but I believe that once you and your partner have resolved that your marriage has ended, you are single.  If he doesn't agree, then you're not quite single, IMO.

 

He broke his commitment and left.  Because he did that, you are not under obligation to take him back even if your commitment would have held you to staying in the marriage.  For me, once my XH was in a new relationship (which happened quickly), that was my own bottom line of when I was done and free from my marriage, even though I, like you, would never have initiated ending it.

 

Also, there may (or may not) be legal repercussions for becoming involved with another person before your marriage is legally finalized, so be careful in that regard.  You should talk to a lawyer if you haven't already.
 

Your quote here is exactly me:

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by mugglemomma23 View Post


I stuck it out because I had made a committment, a promise that I would not leave him, though looking back, I should have left long ago, even though I did not feel I had enough of a reason to. 


 

 


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