Newest Member: PMSandvig


A long random thought about a new(ish) relationship…

I have always said I didn’t want any of my healing to happen in the context of a new relationship and when I told people the story of how I survived my marriage falling apart and everything my ex did that another man would not be a part of a the narrative that saved me. I always wanted to save myself. (But really like myself and my family and friends since there is no way I could be doing all of this on my own.)

So I have been dating someone for 9 months- and it’s really great. He is the nicest man and we spend hours talking, so much so that whenever we spend time together we never end doing what we said we would because we just chat, and he is so fun and understanding and kind. He is wonderful with my kids and a really amazing father to his own kids who seem wonderful too.

But it’s been so overwhelming to me how much I am learning about my marriage from this relationship. In comparison now I see how it was supposed to feel. My current boyfriend is the first person I have ever dated who I never felt like I had to convince to commit to me, and I have never worried about his feelings towards me at all. He is just nice and sometimes that’s shocking to me and I realize how awful my ex was to me.

My ex and I had a horrible sex life. He cheated early on in our relationship and looking back I think that was a dealbreaker for me and it killed those feelings on my behalf. And he was so mean about it all. He told me I would never be enough and no amount of sex would fulfil him and that he would rather we just not have sex than like a couple of times a week because being rejected by not having sex multiple times a day was too hard for him.

I had three kids and was either nursing or pregnant or both from like 9 months into our marriage until after he cheated. I was the solo parent at night and I was exhausted. He expected that I could do everything for the kids and turn around do it all for him too. I remember once he was repeatedly calling me as I was taking our kids on a bike ride and walking our new puppy at a park that no one would ever love me and I had serious issues around sex and no man would ever be okay with that. Etc. and I believed that. I thought there was something broken in me around sex and intimacy, but turns out I actually really want to have sex with someone when they don’t treat me like complete garbage. And it’s been really wonderful and healing.

My ex also spend 16 years telling me how controlling I was. And I thought that was true. I tried soooo hard to not be controlling and again turns out that I’m not controlling. I just, understandably, didn’t trust him after he repeatedly lied to me.

I guess I’m just finding out that all these things that I thought were my fault were actually really a result of being in a marriage with an abusive alcoholic. And it’s sad to me to look back and think of how I allowed myself to be treated. I can’t believe that I ever thought it was okay.

My sweet boyfriend has to deal with a lot of tears when he is nice to me sometimes because I’m just overwhelmed. It’s hard for me to understand why someone is so nice to me just because he loves me. My therapist even had to help me work on making a list of ways he shows me that he loves me so that when I start telling myself that it’s all fake and he is manipulating me that I can look back and be like no here so the truth.

I guess this is just random thoughts but it’s just interesting to me how being in a relationship with someone kind has really shaken up some memories and i am having to re understand them in the context of my new relationship and who I know that I am in a relationship. It’s maybe revealing things about me that I think I knew but I never thought any man would be able to see as well.

6 comments posted: Thursday, October 6th, 2022

A realization I had this week…

I have been chatting with a guy I met online and we have gone out a handful of times. I really like him and he seems like a very high quality person with a good character. This is the first person I have dated since my divorce and it’s been fun.

We were supposed to go out last Friday, but I tested positive for Covid on Tuesday evening. (I’m a teacher so it was bound to happen…) he was really nice about and kind when I was sort of emotional about my test being positive.

On Thursday I got a care package in the mail from him with some chocolates and cough drops and honey and tea and a very sweet card.

I told a friend about it and her response was something like "that’s really nice of him but honestly you are awesome and you deserve and should expect to be treated like that."

I thought a lot about that and ended up realizing that in all my relationships I have never wanted to be a burden or a bother or cause work for anyone else. So I have never had expectations for stuff like this. The thought of deserving to be treated like this seems entitled and selfish almost in my head but in reality I think I have been settling for so much less than what I really want because I haven’t wanted to ask for it or haven’t thought i deserved it.

It was just an interesting thought and realization. As I go forth in my dating experience I definitely want to be someone who has extremely high expectations for those I invite into my life. I have been with someone who doesn’t value me and I never want to do that again.

4 comments posted: Monday, February 14th, 2022

This is really hard.

I’m not sure where to put this, but I just need to say it.

Being a single parent is really really hard and it’s really unfair that I have to do the work of two parents because my ex decided doing that work to fix the damage he caused when he blew up his (and my) life was too hard snd abandoning us was easier.

So now I’m a full time parent to three young kids, I work full time and I’m not getting child support or alimony so it’s not like I have resources like a Housecleaner or babysitter or handyman at my disposal.

And my kids are sad about it too. I can’t do everything for them that I used to as a sahm and I get that it sucks.

But man, when one of them makes a comment about how they wish something could be different it really really hurts.

My daughter got invited to a friends house on Thursday and really wants to go, but she can’t because my mom is picking up my kids because they don’t have school the next day and I have to work so she is being super kind and letting them stay at her house. And my daughter was like very outwardly annoyed and really sad by not being able to go. Even though I made plans for her to go the following week and I apologized that it didn’t work this week.

And then just off handedly my son told me he really doesn’t like how they have to walk home from the bus stop every day and how it would be nice if I could get them when it was cold and rainy. And like I get it - is like a half mile almost and it rains here a lot. But like there is nothing I can do. I would rather be there than at work too.

It just feels like I am trying so hard and absolutely doing my best and I know they will be okay and this is all stupid little stuff but it still sucks and I hate that they notice this little stuff that used to be different. I just wish I could be the mom I was before and I just can’t. I love them the same if not more but there just isn’t enough of me.

And I’m writing this sitting on my bathroom floor crying after I put my younger ones to sleep and my daughter is in her room and I have winded next to me because I need to clean but also I just apparently really need to cry. I just want to enjoy my kids and I’m really sad my life is so hard.

8 comments posted: Tuesday, January 25th, 2022

Starting to date again

How did you all know you were ready to date again? I feel like maybe I am but I really want to make sure I’m okay being alone and I’m not wanting someone because I’m lonely or to just want someone to fill some sort of void.

Im about 9 months post divorce, 18 months post physical separation and 4.5 years post DDay and we basically had an in house separation most of the time since then.

I feel like everything always goes wrong in my life and I never get the happy ending so I just assume I won’t meet someone or will get my heart broken.

9 comments posted: Tuesday, July 6th, 2021

How do you get to the good part

My divorce was final in November and I am really struggling with how to get to a joyful life. I feel like everything is heavy and I'm exhausted.

I feel like my circumstances are different than a lot of people, but maybe not - my exWH has gone completely insane since I filed and then more so when our divorce was final. He recently got kicked out of the house he was staying at with a sort of mentor/pastor guy who took him in. He got kicked out of his office building for sleeping there. He got his law license suspended (he is an attorney, or was... I don't know if he can ever get that back), he was arrested for a DUI, then another one, and then skipped his court date and was arrested for a failure to appear. I have no idea where he is living and he won't return any phone calls or texts and he has burned every single bridge. I filed a missing person report after he sent me some suicidal texts and then stopped responding and I got called when he was super intoxicated and taken to the hospital. He apparently texted his last 4 friends some suicidal thing on Sunday and they hunted him down and he ran away from them and they were all like we are done. He asked one of them for a gun and he was super close to my house so I spent the next morning at the court house getting everything in order for a restraining order. And I've heard from a couple other friends that they have seen him around our town super drunk.

So its like I'm a single mom to 3 kids. My kids are hard. My middle has ADHD and intense tantrums about everything. I work full time and money is so tight because I'm obviously not getting any support from my ex. Between work and kid stuff I don't have any time.

I don't have extra money for a babysitter. I don't have non kid time to pick up a hobby. I have a great group of friends but my circle is small (due to covid and also because just going through the cluster of my life filtered out a lot of people...)

I see other divorced people date and have fun and go on trips and go on girls nights and have fun. I want that. I want to feel light and enjoy life but I cannot see that from here. I just feel exhausted and like I will live in purgatory for the rest of my life. I feel like my hope is gone.

I'm in a bunch of therapy and on anti-depressants but honestly its just like well your life is really hard right now. But it feels like there is no way forward in which is doesn't continue being hard forever.

How do I get from here to there?

9 comments posted: Friday, May 21st, 2021

Never knowing the whole truth - how to move on

I had a random thought the other day about something shady that my ex did early in our marriage (he went to a training out of town for work and lost his wedding ring - he said he must have left it in the room because he took it off one night and then forgot to put it on the next morning and then couldn't find it - he tried to replace it without me ever knowing, but I found a craigslist ad he put in the city his trip was in asking if anyone had seen it which made me think he took it off while out and about...) and at the time it happened I had no reason to believe he was lying even though my gut told me something was off. It was one thing in a sea of really great things, so I just let it go.

Anyways I just had this weird flood of "I wonder what other crap I don't know and I wish I could just know the truth" and then the immediate realization that I will never ever know. And while a big part of me doesn't care - I realize it doesn't make a difference... but I struggle with knowing if my entire marriage was a big lie or if he was who I thought he was and then mental illness and alcoholism changed that.

Anyone deal with these thoughts?

16 comments posted: Sunday, April 4th, 2021

Let's talk about sex....

I wasn't sure where to post this, but it seems like this forum might be the best place to find people who have walked my current path and are further down the road.

I'm 2 months post legalizing my divorce, 14 months post physical separation and probably like 24 months post in house separation. We tried to reconcile for a LONG time, and I was in IC throughout the entire process so it feels like in some ways I am maybe more healed than others in my same situation and in other ways way further behind since the legal part of it is still brand new.

We were married for 11 years, dated for 6 years prior to marriage. I had sexual partners prior to my ex and always felt like I had good physical relationships with my partners (not a ton of people, but some longer term boyfriends) - I enjoyed sex and wanted to have sex. One year into our dating relationship my ex lived long distance for a summer for a job and he ended up kissing (or maybe more - who flipping knows at this point.... but he maintains it was nothing more than that) another girl while there. Once I found out I was obviously super hurt but convinced myself he just made a mistake and it was fine. I think from that though I took away that I was fulfilling this sex need for him and if I wasn't there that he would just fill the need with someone else. I started to feel a little like a commodity. And I legit stopped having a good sex life with him.

It was not not good, but it just wasn't as fun or frequent or passionate as it had been and it often felt like a duty and that wasn't a great feeling. We got married and kids and I was pregnant or breastfeeding or both for 7.5 years straight. Our sex life sucked and I think I took a lot of that on myself, thinking there was something wrong with me. My ex obviously contributed to that feeling for me - but now that I am out of it I see that much of it had to do with doing 100% of the parenting, housework and dealing with an abusive alcoholic who wasn't always nice to me and I didn't trust.

So fast forward - he has a mental breakdown, has an affair, etc. We try to reconcile and there is some hysterical bonding that occurs. It dies out fairly quickly because he is still drinking, has a mental illness, etc. But this all is about the time I stopped breastfeeding my youngest and I think the hormones plus the hysterical bonding made me realize that I actually do really like sex.

So now I am here, realizing that maybe I'm not an cold prude like my ex would have said I was, and the thought that now that I am realizing this about myself and I am alone and cannot have sex is like super frustrating. I think I wrap sex up with emotions a lot, and with the previous boyfriends even though I wasn't in love, they hadn't hurt me and maybe once my ex deeply hurt me I just could never recover from that? Or maybe it felt more like an obligation and like I didn't have a choice since I thought if I didn't he would leave me?

And I in no way want a relationship AT ALL, but I would love for someone to come over after my kids are in bed and we can have some wine and chat or whatever, have sex and then he leaves, until the next time our schedules line up and that happens again.

I feel like its so awkward to talk to my married friends and be like I just really want to have sex - they cannot relate and they don't have any advice for me so it just seems pointless. But like am I going to have to wait years to have sex again?

I don't know - is this a common stage in post divorce? How do you get through it? Ugh....

12 comments posted: Wednesday, January 6th, 2021

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