When did you start referring to yourself as single? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 19 Old 03-09-2008, 11:45 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So, I'm in the awkward, adjusting to my new life phase. My husband moved out more than a week ago. We're working on a legal separation (as a precursor to divorce, in my state). Am I "single?" Not legally. What do I call him? Husband, ex-husband? Am I a single mom?

I took my ring off more than a month ago (after I learned, from friends/relatives) that he had set his facebook profile to "single, looking for women" even though we hadn't yet even told our families/friends about the impending separation! I had gotten no help from him for a very long time (life is already easier in the kids/housework department since he left).

I want to be single, I am so much less stressed, and I think DD is even behaving better since he's moved out, I guess I just need to get used to this new part of my identity...
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#2 of 19 Old 03-10-2008, 12:24 AM
 
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I so know how you feel! DH and I have not been apart for long, only a little over two weeks and already I am calling him my Ex. I just want to get on with my life and even though our divorce is not final I just can't call him my husband anymore. I know what you mean though, this stage is awkward since we are legally married still but separated.
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#3 of 19 Old 03-10-2008, 12:24 AM
 
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Gosh you sound single to me!

LOL that coming from a woman that decided today that she was single

~Carla~ LOVING~ LIFE~
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#4 of 19 Old 03-10-2008, 12:24 AM
 
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Baby, you're single! The law is a you-know-what. Yeah, try it on, see how you like the cut, tailor to suit. Go get some new bedding or towels.

You'll love it when the limbo's over, though. I'm still waking up to the fact that this place is Just Mine, and it's suddenly occurred to me that I've detested these hideous vertical blinds for five years. Do I screw around with window treatments? (They're all so ugly, yet affordable.) Do I spend too much money on french doors? Yes, it's expensive, waking from limbo.

Congratulations on your new status.
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#5 of 19 Old 03-10-2008, 03:47 AM
 
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I started reffering to my self as "a single mom" as soon as I left. The boy's dad I reffer to as "my soon to be ex husband" Very soon my limbo will be over...At least I HOPE he will sign the papers before a full year passes!!!! The limbo is just not my dance good thing it does not last forever.

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#6 of 19 Old 03-10-2008, 01:44 PM
 
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You'll know when you're ready. Sometimes it's simple and just sorta comes out. Other times you have to work at it, as you would a lot of things you want. you know?

I don't really refer to myself as anything, much less single. i think i only started referring to myself as a single mother very recently, and i do that sparingly as well. I guess i just don't feel that single/single mother expresses who i am, and i don't really want some sort of label defining me. I'm also still legally married, so that might have something to do with the way i feel on the subject for myself. However my friend who recently separated from her husband is doing really well as a single woman, and i think that's the perfect thing for her to respond with, when asked. So it's just a personal thing for me.

As for my H, i don't really refer to him much, so it's not a problem as to what i'd call him. : However last week for the first time i responded to someone's question with 'my ex'. It felt weird. Even after over 3 years. Usually if i have to talk about him i either say his name, or say "DS's father".

Do what you feel is right for you! It'll come in time.
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#7 of 19 Old 03-10-2008, 11:57 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Interesting replies...thank you all. I guess, yes, I'm really single. I think part of the issue is that I'm realizing, more and more each day, that I never really had a partner, which sucks. Things are simply not much different with him gone.

My 10 year college reunion is this year, and I was thinking back to my 5th, when we were engaged. He chose not to come with me. Not for any reason, or obligation, but b/c he didn't feel like it. There were so many warning signs, so many CLEAR indicators that he wasn't interested in being a team, etc., that it's odd for me to differentiate between "then" and "now."

My workload is absolutely, absolutely less with him gone (plus I no am no longer seething when I'm racing to get out by 7 am and wrestling two sleepy-headed, clingy kids while he's peacefully sleeping in and refusing to help). It's astonishing that the departure of an able adult has decreased the work in the house!

I guess I'm also grieving my realization that I never had a real marriage in the emotional sense. I've been alone since day one (including our wedding day. What a joke. Everyone told me it was the BEST, MOST FUN wedding they'd ever attended. It sucked, positively sucked for me. XH got drunk with his friends, ignored me, then passed out on me. I've never told anyone that before).

Sorry to ramble. I guess these things are all the more reason to embrace my new "single" status...I've earned it
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#8 of 19 Old 03-11-2008, 01:08 AM
 
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You go girl!

~Carla~ LOVING~ LIFE~
Homebirthing, somewhat crunchy, single mom of ~5~.
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#9 of 19 Old 03-11-2008, 10:32 AM
 
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Originally Posted by ToastyToes View Post
Interesting replies...thank you all. I guess, yes, I'm really single. I think part of the issue is that I'm realizing, more and more each day, that I never really had a partner, which sucks. Things are simply not much different with him gone.

My 10 year college reunion is this year, and I was thinking back to my 5th, when we were engaged. He chose not to come with me. Not for any reason, or obligation, but b/c he didn't feel like it. There were so many warning signs, so many CLEAR indicators that he wasn't interested in being a team, etc., that it's odd for me to differentiate between "then" and "now."

My workload is absolutely, absolutely less with him gone (plus I no am no longer seething when I'm racing to get out by 7 am and wrestling two sleepy-headed, clingy kids while he's peacefully sleeping in and refusing to help). It's astonishing that the departure of an able adult has decreased the work in the house!

I guess I'm also grieving my realization that I never had a real marriage in the emotional sense. I've been alone since day one (including our wedding day. What a joke. Everyone told me it was the BEST, MOST FUN wedding they'd ever attended. It sucked, positively sucked for me. XH got drunk with his friends, ignored me, then passed out on me. I've never told anyone that before).

Sorry to ramble. I guess these things are all the more reason to embrace my new "single" status...I've earned it
Wow, i totally hear you. I just had no idea either! Granted, the last 8 months with a newborn and a husband who was only there to shower (as long as there was hot water, once the gas was turned off he didn't even come home for that) pick up his clean clothes, eat the food i had prepared (or worse, take it with him to feed HER) and expect me to have sex with him when he returned at 2-3am (if he managed that, sometimes he'd only arrive a few minutes before leaving for work, just to get his clean work clothes) it obviously sucked. But before that, when i think to how i just did what he asked, and didn't say anything about his total lack of participation in our relationship, and life,... i'm just astounded at myself.

I know one thing, i will NEVER allow that to happen again. Just recently i sat and thought about how all my 'pipe dreams' from while we were married (you know, the things you daydream about and talk about doing together, but you both just think are fanciful dreams) are coming to fruition for me *now*, without him around. I have less laundy to do, less cooking, less cleaning (because man, was he a PIG!) and less financial stress (because if the money goes somewhere, i know it, i did it, and it's under control, within budget!). I've bought my very own house! I bought a vehicle! my budget allows for me to pay all the bills ON TIME ever month, and i'm not letting one go late just to pay another. it's fantastic! But i'm making less money by myself, than i was with 2 incomes. (i'm not getting any money from him either, but that's another story!) But i'm still able to do so much more with it! It's incredible.

I'm sorry, i don't mean to go on and on about myself. I'm just saying it may have taken me 3 years to realize that i was always alone, but never allowed to DO what i wanted/needed to do for myself, but i get it now. And am SO glad to have that anvil lifted from my head.

i know it's tough realizing it all now, but i'm sure you see how great it can be too. So, you had a sucky marriage. You may not have known it at the time, but you do now, and that's what's important. You'll catch it early next time, and won't let yourself fall into the same trap as before. Yay you!!
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#10 of 19 Old 03-11-2008, 11:07 AM
 
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I remember how hard it was for me to go from posting in the Partners forum to here. I still didn't feel like it was right. Once i left him i still didn't feel like it was right to say i was single and i was still calling him my husband. I was still attached. It took living alone for quite some time and not interacting with him for me to start feeling like a single lady. Once i got through some of the pain then i felt like introducing myself as a single mama just felt right. It took me about 6 months or so i guess. We are still married legally but i would never consider myself married.
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#11 of 19 Old 03-11-2008, 08:06 PM
 
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I considered myself single at the hospital when I was birthing and he disappeared for several hours to hang out with his friends and play cards. It was then that I had the notion that we wouldn't make it much longer. It was odd to have someone at my home and still consider myself alone, but it is what it is. It is more a feeling than just the spatial arrangement part of it.

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#12 of 19 Old 03-12-2008, 02:36 PM
 
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Wow- great post and replies
big hugs to you~ the mention of signs that he didnt want to be a team, struck a chord. Its wild how things are only the most clear when we look back on them.
I was single the day I discovered he committed adultery. I took off my ring and changed my name. I grieved of course, but I told ppl I was divorced. In my heart, I knew we were not married. I am actually STILL legally married, waiting on a document after many months.

ELY -Mommy to many

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#13 of 19 Old 03-12-2008, 05:28 PM
 
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i think it is about comfort and honesty. we have to be comfortable with the reality of doing this alone and being damned good at it. until we get there, we aren't single mamas. then comes the fact that we have to be brutally honest about the lives that we lead whether someone is physically there or not.

the reality is having a warm body in your bed does not a partner make. but until we see that on our own, no one can tell it to you and be convincing. i allowed myself the space to grieve the normalcy that, sadly, never existed in my relationship and one day, i felt like i was ready to stop letting him have that power over my life even though we had already split.

it took a while to heal, but now i am whole and proudly consider myself a single mama who is slow and methodical about guarding her life and :.

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#14 of 19 Old 03-12-2008, 09:08 PM
 
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Gosh I feel like a heel. It has taken me less than a month to decide that I am a single mama!

I just didn't realize how feed up with his crap I was until about a week ago!

I love not having to clean up after him and worry about his money spending habits. Among alot of other things.

My kids get read to every night now that he is not here and I like that too!
YAY!!!!!

~Carla~ LOVING~ LIFE~
Homebirthing, somewhat crunchy, single mom of ~5~.
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#15 of 19 Old 03-13-2008, 02:13 PM
 
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I referred to myself as single after my first visit to my lawyer to get him to prepare the divorce papers. In our state there is no such thing as legal separation so I was still married for almost 2 more years until the divorce was final. I dated during that time and bought a house on my own and opened up a business.
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#16 of 19 Old 03-13-2008, 05:55 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Bad Mama Jama View Post
i think it is about comfort and honesty. we have to be comfortable with the reality of doing this alone and being damned good at it. until we get there, we aren't single mamas. then comes the fact that we have to be brutally honest about the lives that we lead whether someone is physically there or not.

the reality is having a warm body in your bed does not a partner make. but until we see that on our own, no one can tell it to you and be convincing. i allowed myself the space to grieve the normalcy that, sadly, never existed in my relationship and one day, i felt like i was ready to stop letting him have that power over my life even though we had already split.

it took a while to heal, but now i am whole and proudly consider myself a single mama who is slow and methodical about guarding her life and :.
Comfort and honesty. True true! I mean, when i was in labour at my house alone because he was saying goodbye to *her*, i was a single mama. When i was in the hospital delivering his child, and he was more concerned with where *she* was, and practically missed the entire birth of his son, i was a single Mama. When he decided to leave the hospital soon after his son's birth, to be with *HER*, i was a single Mama.

I just couldn't face it. In fact, it took me 8 long months to face it. And even after i did the physical separation, it took me even longer to begin referring to myself out loud as single.

I look strong.


But i'm totally not.
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#17 of 19 Old 03-14-2008, 02:17 AM
 
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you know I could say itin th beginning , but I dont know if I believed it.

when someone ELSE said it to me, it hurt so badly.

I remember sharing with a stranger, lol- I did that daily in the beginning, spoke to anyone that would listen. She told me that her dh was raised by a single parent and yadda yadda yadda. I didn't hear one more word- she was trying to say that he grew up fine or something. But all I heard was "single parent". She equating me to a single parent. It felt like a dagger was thrust into my neck and twisted just so. I was in so much agony, the man I loved had left us all. I still wanted to die. It was not real to me yet. I wanted time to stop- not to proceeded with me as single parent.
I guess its all tied up with the heartache of it all. Thats what colors the experience of raising the children alone in the early stages. As the heartache dwindles, there are greater factors that fill in the blanks of being a SP. (Like lack of funds! ) Last week was the first time I said my "ex husband" without any additional grimacing expression. It rolled out effortlessly, just a part of life. I chuckled later at how it contrasted with the crippling effect the reference to me in that conversation a year prior had. So time heals.. it takes time to own and embrace reality.

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#18 of 19 Old 03-14-2008, 08:31 AM
 
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you know I could say itin th beginning , but I dont know if I believed it.

when someone ELSE said it to me, it hurt so badly.

I remember sharing with a stranger, lol- I did that daily in the beginning, spoke to anyone that would listen. She told me that her dh was raised by a single parent and yadda yadda yadda. I didn't hear one more word- she was trying to say that he grew up fine or something. But all I heard was "single parent". She equating me to a single parent. It felt like a dagger was thrust into my neck and twisted just so. I was in so much agony, the man I loved had left us all. I still wanted to die. It was not real to me yet. I wanted time to stop- not to proceeded with me as single parent.
I guess its all tied up with the heartache of it all. Thats what colors the experience of raising the children alone in the early stages. As the heartache dwindles, there are greater factors that fill in the blanks of being a SP. (Like lack of funds! ) Last week was the first time I said my "ex husband" without any additional grimacing expression. It rolled out effortlessly, just a part of life. I chuckled later at how it contrasted with the crippling effect the reference to me in that conversation a year prior had. So time heals.. it takes time to own and embrace reality.
Yes, all of this. In fact, i either didn't tell people anything about what was going on, or i actively supported a LIE, which basically said, we were poor, having a baby in the US is expensive, we owed the hospital thosands of dollars (all true!) and so it just made more sense for me to come here where the healthcare is free for myself and the baby, and i can work to pay off the debt and afford our immigration/citizenship there, and eventually he'll join me.

Seriously, i didn't want people talking about me, or to know about him. I definately thought it was this huge impression of ME that people would get, if i told them the truth about his adultery, and impending new fatherhood with the teenager. Even now, when he visits (which has been a total of 3 times, in 3 years, on DS's birthday) People we come across don't know how to treat him, because they are suspicious that something went down (i'm pretty sure my mother blabbed, even though i begged her not to. But you know those concerned Christian women, they've just gotta 'know how to pray' :roll: )
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#19 of 19 Old 03-14-2008, 08:46 PM
 
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When did i start referring to myself as single? Probably about five years before I filed for divorce. I rarely felt married, he was not much of a partner.
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