So then I go do things with people who love me and make me smile - my kid, my nephew or niece. And if I have any energy at all I try and do something for someone even more unhappy than me.
My IC has taken to telling me it is ok to feel whatever I feel and to stop judging myself. Just acknowledge that I am feeling/thinking these things and let it be.
But I'm a fixer, that is really hard to do.
You will be happy again... With or without a woman in your life...
Your pattern of thinking and feeling for and about her was a learned process... By not being with her you'll become accustom to new thinking and feeling processes...
Takes time but you'll get there... Don't get bogged down thinking about the way you're thinking...
Live your authentic life and good things will come...
I don't know if this will help any, but I am learning very slowly to rearrange my thinking and have read this in a magazine, but forget the name to cite. It had some articles written by people in various stages of life changes, weather this way or death of spouse and so on.
Some of it really hit home and it's to say that love and being happy can come in all kinds of ways, in all shades of colors. Not just romantic love, which is a big deal, but love can be celebrated and had in other ways.
Children are obvious...relatives, too, and I've spent time looking up and writing to very old friends and reconnecting in lighter ways. One person wrote in this article that she used to find Valentine's Day a day she couldn't get out of bed-she is a widow. She said she was out shopping and saw flowers and decided to get some for herself, I think tulips.
Anyway, she bought three or four as they were on sale and gave them to her neighbors, all the same colors. One by one the neighbors planted them as spring came and now they all comment on the tulips to each other and she sees them every day they bloom.
It's kind of a corny story, but what I got of it is the idea of changing how we view these emotions and hard days in life that once held romantic love or relationship themes.
Another similar type of article talked about a person volunteering at a shelter, another at an animal shelter and so on.
My new direction, when I'm stronger, is looking into this-places to channel the feelings that have been rejected and sit lost in space. There are ways to channel this part of our journey, it's just damn hard and a long while to be all right without having what we once did.
The only thing that stays the same, is change. -M. Etheridge
Happiness is about 10% things that happen to you, 50% genetic, and 40% how you deal with things. Therefore, you have control over 40% of your happiness. I'm sure we all know people who choose to be unhappy. It's up to you to decide how you want the rest of your life to be. Whether your XWW is happy or not is completely irrelevant to your life. The faster you reach detachment, the better.
I recommend "Getting Past Your Breakup" by Susan Elliott. "The Journey From Abandonment to Healing" also gets good reviews here, though I have never read it.
Married: 11 years, no kids
The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short; but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark. -Michelangelo
I know the goal is indifference, but I must admit I'm still in the wishing bad things on him stage.. You know, like his ding dong getting some rare disease that makes it crumble and fall off, lol.
But seriously, I see that you have 3 kids, so I would say focus on them, your family, and your friends. You spent a LONG time trying to reconcile with your wife, and if you can let some of those thoughts go, think of all the time you will have to spend focused on them? I feel so much closer to my kids than I ever have before. Giving up on "fixing him" has given me so much more time to get to know them, ask them questions, take them places (including volunteering at the animal shelter), learn about their friends, the shows they watch, what they dream about. I think I was a good mom before, but not nearly as attentive as I am now that I'm not worried about the POS anymore..
And I agree with Ashland's idea of taking the hard times and trying to make new memories out of them. Even the stupid restaurants I go to, I think, "Aw, the last time I was here was with POS, but now it's <xyz>, and I'm taking it back!"
As for your future happiness, that will happen too. I think the newness of your situation makes your emotions raw and you (general you) tend to focus on "what was" instead of "what could be". What do you do for yourself to make yourself happy? Do you exercise? Have any hobbies? What activities do you enjoy doing?
In this process, it is so important to take care of yourself. I've found that the better I feel about myself, the happier I am. That's not to say that I don't have my dark days - even almost two years out. They are fewer and further between now though.
Keep your chin up. It DOES get better and you WILL find your happiness again. (((Running)))