My divorce is nearly complete. Should have been over by now but these things never run smoothly.
I have found myself talking about my ex as if he is still part of my life. With Christmas coming up and more socialising going on, I have found myself talking about things I have done with my husband all the time. How do you start over when you have nothing to talk about?
People chat about places and countries they have been and things they have done. How do you get around talking about your ex when everything you have ever done has been with him.
I am wondering if I have made a mistake in staying in the FMH and continuing with my old life.
I didnt want a divorce and I loved the life we had. I love my job, my children live near me and my long time friends are all around.
I think everyone thinks im in denial because I talk about things as they were. If I sit there not saying anything then im being boring or im not coping.
Anybody got any clever ideas as to how to get around this.
Hope everybody is getting through the best way they can. xx
I think I did this for a long time - I can't really remember but it rings a bell. I think part of it (in my case) was habit. Part of it was maybe a kind of clinging. There was also perhaps wanting to hear things about my past life said out loud? Everything seemed so unreal.
I don't think I do it anymore. Of COURSE, when you have been married a long time, a lot of your past is shared and it may seem you can't talk about anything without talking about him.
These days I can talk about family holidays, or when the children were small, or even my marriage or meeting my ex when it is relevant. It sometimes gives me pause for thought - sometimes I stumble over whether to call him my husband, because he was, or my then-husband, or my ex husband. Sometimes I don't want to get into the fact that I am divorced. But it depends.
You can talk about things you did together without it being about him. eg, 'Yes, I went to Rome once. I had a lovely time, it was perfect weather and I enjoyed seeing the Colosseum' or whatever - you don't need to mention him.
What I would suggest you might want to try if it's bothering you, is to aim to talk about the present or future (or even the distant past, ie your childhood). So you can talk about what you saw on TV or a funny thing that happened to you, or your plans for the weekend, or what you made for dinner, or politics or the weather - I mean, there are so many things to talk about that don't include him. And it gets easier. I was married for 20 years. It's a long time. But after all, the time since then is getting longer all the time.
I still think and talk about my ex too much I think. Because of his obligation and failure to pay child and spousal maintenance, he plays too great a part in my life (will he pay? will he answer my emails? should I take him to court? how dare he? etc) - other than that I don't think about him much, unless I am trying to learn from that relationship, why on earth we married and so on. But I don't need to share that with anyone.
It does get better.
And if you wish you'd left the FMH and fancy a change, there's nothing to stop you moving!
Im sure in a while it will get better. I need time to make a few of my memories. I went to a charity christmas party on my own and I found the only way to fit in/join in was to involve myself in the conversations. Everyone likes to talk about their holidays and where they have been,what they did there etc. You just suddenly find yourself saving, we did this or we did that. I suppose the good thing is im out and about and maybe the fact that im chatting without thinking means im moving on. I was just suddenly aware that these people I didnt know probably thought I was happily married. 33 years is a lot of time to try and forget. Living in the same house for 35 years, its not easy to change. I have a new car, that caused mega meltdown, as my old car I had for 24 yrs. You can probably guess im not good at changes.
Im trying to do things by myself as my friends are fed up nannying me.
Seriously hoping that 2018 is going to be a fab year for everyone struggling. It sounds so much better than 2017.
Depends on your finances !! Also depends on your attitude !! The following takes some doing and money of course.
I went to many of the places I went to when I was with my x and made them my own. Those places included hotels abroad that I had used for years (skiing) and some of the summer resorts.
I took the attitude that just because she didn't want to be with me didn't mean I couldn't visit places I had been to before.
For example I maintain a regular trip on Saturdays around the same old shops/cafes etc. Most people will chat to you even if its just to relieve the boredom of working. Becoming a regular means you get recognised and so you make contacts.
It takes time (and sometimes money) but basically why shouldn't I do these things.
OK back to your problem. The art of conversation has to be developed. For example if someone says they have been to Spain there is nothing to stop you asking 'where'. Then you can follow that up with 'I would love to go there' or 'I went to..... is it anywhere near there'
Notice the word 'I' not we.
You are on your own now so 'I' will come into stories far more.
Yep get out and about and never refuse an invitation. You never know where it may lead !!!
I liked my life before my ex left so saw no reason to change it, same job, house, friends etc. I did have to make a conscious effort to avoid any mention of him and if it is unavoidable now I always refer to him as my ex never my husband even if talking about something that occurred when we were married. I don't like change either but cutting ex out of my thoughts was worth the effort.
you are right as a;ways but i scare myself how easily I talk about him as if he is still part of my life. I suppose I am not comfortable with being alone so pretend I am still we, a unit, a whole. Just get so difficult when you have to start explaining your situation. Cant even tick the marital status box as divorced yet.
A lost cause I think.
Far from a lost cause because you can see the problem and want to do something about it!
I cried the first time I had to tick the divorced box when renewing the house insurance but having the absolute did help me draw a line under my marriage, my sister marked hers by returning to her Maiden Name but I was happy to keep my married name, I'd had it for far longer than my maiden name and as I said I don't like change. I have a new married name now but I'm only half way through changing everything because it's hard work.
I probably found it easier than many people to move on because I'm a very 'black and white' person (so sometimes my suggestions probably sound harsh, they aren't meant to). I very much didn't want to be bitter, as I said I loved my married life and didn't want to spoil my memories of it, we had 2 children together so I sort of boxed it up in my head and focused on now. It's getting so I can recall things to myself and appreciate them but I never talk about them that would just keep the box lid open. No contact at all with Ex, deliberately not speaking about him to the kids and focusing on me all helped but I think it takes time and consistent effort to form new habits.
As far as my life situation goes I 'never appologise, never explain' it's no one else's business and most people are more interested in themselves than they are in me. Practice some 'I'stories it will feel odd at first but the social season coming up will give you lots of opportunities and it's great that you are out there making the effort give yourself every credit.
Not sure any of this is useful but wanted you to know you aren't alone in finding it hard to adjust to the new reality, don't expect it to happen automatically plan plan plan, make 2018 all about you!