Haven''t written for a while- life''s been so hectic lately. I''ve had a quick scan through the post''s- such a stark reminder of the difficulties so many of us face.
Just a quick update then on my situation and a few observations that hopefully will help others.
Decree Absolute came through about 2 months ago. So strange- just a tel. call from solicitors secretary, out of the blue, asking where I wanted the letter posting (I was in the process of moving)- so unemotional, although I didn''t know what I expected.
Life has been total chaos for the last 2 months. Sold and moved out of family home, received decree absolute the same day, took kids on holiday straight after moving out (where the hell do you put 13 years possessions from a large family house!!), then on returning from holiday had to move into my new rented 1 bedroom prison, sorry, apartment, in a totally new city. My new life has started.....
Life has had its highs and many lows. Its so hard living alone. In terms of the process, the big news is that I''m fairly certain that the first stages of "acceptance" have begun. (17 months since split) Have exercised the no contact rule for many months which has helped tremendously. However, sparked by reading a totally trivial article on line about "why partners cheat" I realised, understood, and more importantly "felt" the truth about my situation and my marriage break up. I realise my role in all this and to sum up, without any self pity, I realise that all that happened was that my long lost chickens finally came home to roost. I simply couldn''t give the ex the love she needed from me, and I never would have been able to give her what she needed no matter how hard we tried. She didn''t leave a healthy marriage or relationship, just a sham that I tried my hardest to keep going. I really, really tried though. She just looked after herself and her needs in the end, which is to be expected. She didn''t leave me for someone better than me, just someone that genuinely wanted her. There really is no turning back as that''s the one thing I couldn''t do or fake. I''m paying the price for a lack of decisions that I should have made years ago and I''m now at peace in terms of my understanding at least. I don''t kid myself any more.
What has surprised me is how painful this "acceptance" stage is. I thought it was going to be an easier stage but it''s really tough, finally realising and accepting its over. Just as tough as any other stage I guess. Realising that there is no cavalry coming to rescue me or change my life for me is hard to accept. Its just down to me (god help me!, lol!)
I now have the even tougher task of re building my entire life. Its like being a child again, bored on his summer holidays without a clue what to do!
Relationship wise- just ended yet another brief encounter- lasted a month. Can''t seem to imagine a future- relationship wise at least. Will quit the internet dating for a while- I guess its true I do need to be alone for a good while. Will focus on joining social groups- cycling, walking, running etc to build friendships rather than dating.
Kids have started new schools- I now live 4 miles from them so they are happy. My oldest, a boy, (11) needs me a lot at the moment and we call each other most nights. My youngest, a girl, 9, seems to be able to go many days without any contact from me, which hurts so much, but i guess she gets what she needs from the ex emotionally. She shows a lot of love when we do meet, every other weekend.
So that''s it- I''m alive (!!!) and life stretches out before me. No great gems of advice but hopefully my experience will stike a chord with some others. I do take solice though in the fact that it is a process, with hope at the end. Its great to be entering a new phase of the process at last, after months of being bogged down in hatred and bitterness.
I still lapse ocasionally, then have to spend time remembering what stage I am up to and how I really feel. After breaking the no contact rule I did start to have some bad dreams again, almost as if my brain was letting all the poison out, but it has meant sleepless nights again and a few hours every morning going over it all endlessly and trying to work out how to get back to the stage of acceptance that I''m really at. I have started to talk to the ex- just about the kids and little snippets about each others lives, but always drawing a line and being careful. I can''t say I have forgiven her, or that we are friends, but we are both human and as I said earlier, realising my part in all this has really empowered me deep down.
Yes, Dr M, what a lovely, open and honest post that struck resonance with me. Pleased you have such insight as to ''the process'' re emotions, and that things are on the whole, looking much better for you. Thanks for sharing this.
Dr M - a really nice post - I wish I could reach that acceptance stage - I am trying - and I still catch myself like a petulant young child screaming ''it''s not fair!'' (''and I''ll scream and scream until I''m sick!!'') - and of course - we all know, life is not fair for one reason and another.
I thing accepting life is not fair is one thing, but accepting that our situation has to some extent been caused by one we love - be it parents or ex partners - or our children - is harder - and yet it must be done )
So I read your wise post, and know I have work to do - I just haven''t got the hang of it yet.
Thank you for posting and good luck going forward.
I think I started getting better when I started examining my role in the breakup as well. I think that refusing to be a victim was somehow empowering.
With kids 11 and 9 and living 4 miles away make sure you see them lots. Do you have a set schedule so the kids know when they''ll see you next? I know my eight year old always asks when he is going to see me next. They all (mine are 14, 12, 8) like to know the schedule.
I think, for a man, it is so easy to drift a way from the kids as the mum is so obviously the main caregiver. It''s good to hear that''s not happening to you!