I was thinking about this on my run this morning, as I just recently hit my 5 year anniversary of moving out of the marital house and into my own apartment, which in my mind marks true separation from WXH, as prior to that I'd been considering trying to R with him. Moving out made it final; divorce only made it official. I posted my reality in 2013, when I was one year out. Things have only gotten better, so I'm updating with my reality in 2017, which is 5 years out. I know when I was going through the worst, all I wanted was some hope that things would get better. I was sure they would never get better and I'd be in love with WXH forever, but a small sliver of me thought if others could make it, maybe somehow I could, too.
Fear: disappointing my family (we don't get divorced), friends distancing themselves from me because they didn't want me trying to steal their husbands, being lonely since I'd distanced myself from most of my friends due to XWH's social problems.
2013 Reality: my family stepped up in amazing ways. I am closer to my parents and siblings than ever before. Friends are amazing -- they send their husbands to my house to help me move or lift things. I go out with several different couples -- just the 3 of us -- and it's not awkward or strange. I've reconnected with old friends and made many new friends.
2017 Reality: I have created a community of friends around me that I didn't even know could exist. People who have become like a second family to me. I remain close to my parents and we have a great relationship as well (better than when I was married). Even better than in 2013!
Fear: money concerns. I found out I was losing my job right before D-Day. XWH and I had an agreement that I didn't have to work once that happened since I'd put him through med school and he was just about to make a doctor's salary. I visited a recruiter after D-Day and he told me I'd be lucky to make 50% of my then-current salary, given the job market. No kids, so no CS, and laws in my state are terrible -- I was basically a one-woman scholarship fund for XWH -- so no alimony, either.
2013 Reality: I got an amazing job where I make more than triple what the recruiter said I'd make. I'll be out-earning XWH in a couple of years. I am buying my dream house in two weeks.
2017 Reality: Through hard work and a bit of luck, I've had several promotions and raises. My salary has increased during the past few years, and things look good for the future as well. I love my house, and am in the process of redoing my kitchen. Even better than in 2013!
Fear: living alone. I went from my parents' house to college roommates to married. How would I do everything that XWS used to do, all on my own?
2013 Reality: XWS didn't really do all that much. It's not so hard being an adult! I have become a much better cook, handylady, and manage my life really well.
2017 Reality: I continue to thrive doing everything alone. I can't believe I was worried about this! There are instructions on how to do almost everything on the internet, people are happy to help out when needed, and I can always hire someone. I love living alone and knowing everything is how I want it. Even better than in 2013!
Fear: dating. I'd never dated as an adult, as XWH and I got together when I was 20. How do I do it? Will men be interested in me? ARGH!!!
2013 Reality: I'm currently taking a break from dating, but there is lots of interest out there. It's really not that tough, and the knowledge I've gained from reading about relationships has served me well -- allowing me to break things off when red flags appear and hold out for someone who truly is wonderful. Also, there is so much more out there to life than romantic relationships. I've been having so much fun!
2017 Reality: Dating was an interesting roller coaster -- I wound up going on over 60 first dates until I took some time off to focus on me and my life. And, as they always say, it happens when you least expect it. Through a strange set of circumstances, I met the most wonderful man. We've been together 18 months. It's so nice to be treated so well and to have a truly reciprocal and loving relationship. Exceeded my expectations, and is even better than in 2013!
Summary: Don't lose hope, those of you who are just starting out. I know it's so scary. This shit is HARD, and it's not what any of us envisioned for our lives, or thought would ever happen when we made our commitment. But there is a wonderful life out there, full of caring, loving, faithful people. Just take things one step at a time, and you will find a great life - the one you were meant to be living!! XOXO
[This message edited by phmh at 8:32 PM, March 19th (Sunday)]