Life after separation

July 30, 2009 at 11:55 am 5 comments

Before we separated, I can remember feeling very alone and wishing I could live alone. It was unbearable to live under the same roof with someone and yet be so alone. Now I have my own four walls. It is an incredible sense of freedom that came along with the new roof over my head.

It’s been barely three months, and still feels quite new. Some days I wonder where we will both be one year from now. What developments and changes will we go through? Will he find someone new? Will I? How will each of us feel about it? Interesting questions, but I won’t know the answers until it happens.

Recently I felt a strong need to sit down and talk it all out with him — our story, disappointments, mistakes, etc. Every time I suggest we get together, he says he is busy. Now I realize I still pursue this “happily ever after” dream. Why should we be able to sit and talk now — something we were never able to do? I need to let go and take it as it comes.

He is almost painfully proper and correct, which I do appreciate, but it saddens me. There are different phases one passes through during the course of a separation: disappointment, sadness, anger, regret — not necessarily in that order. Perhaps after the initial shock that I finally left, some anger is coming up.

It frightens me at times, as I wonder how dependable he will be. Will he remain so cooperative and generous? Or will he decide he’s had enough and I can totally fend for myself. That I can’t know today either.

On the brighter side, we both have more time to think. From our last conversation, I realize he has given more thought to the children and their respective situations. He is now willing to let our son choose where he wants to be. Originally, he said he should be with me, as he didn’t want the extra work (cooking, etc.). I’m glad he changed his mind. It is important for a child to be able to be where he wants to be, and know that both parents love him and both are willing to take care of him. That is a positive development in my eyes.

A couple of weeks ago a friend mentioned the emotional turmoil that comes with separation. I looked at her like she didn’t understand, and replied that this was such a long time coming, there is no great emotion left. Surprise! I’m not as cool and above it all as I wanted to believe.

So I’m back to trusting in the universe. This was an important step to take. It’s new ground for me, and there continue to be challenges on a daily basis — both large and small. I cope one day at a time, dealing with things as they come along.

Ending such a destructive relationship is kind of like getting over an eating disorder. A massive source of stress is removed, but that doesn’t mean it’s 100% easy sailing the rest of the way. No, it means that I am more balanced, grounded, can establish a healthy basis from which to function and cope, but there are still ups and downs, good days and bad, high energy and low. That’s just life.

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Entry filed under: bad relationships, Coping. Tags: , , , , , , , .

In Transition For madmen only: entrance not for everyone

5 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Johnd  |  February 3, 2012 at 4:33 pm

    Enjoyed this article, all those steps make sense. I also take it on day at a time, some days are good, others bad, but the good days keep being for longer. Ready to move on. Feels good.

    Reply
    • 2. diaryofarecoveredbulimic  |  February 6, 2012 at 11:17 am

      That’s the key. It’s so simple!!! 😉 A big help is to collect the good moments during the day. Perhaps at the end of the day reflect on what was good, even if there were not-so-good elements. It never ceases to amaze me just how much lies between the extremes of “good” and “bad”. A big part of recovery is learning to enjoy, be in the moment, and let go of worries about how long the good might last. It lasts as long as it lasts. Why contaminate it with worry?!

      Reply
  • 3. Donna  |  June 1, 2012 at 6:47 pm

    Hello, after reading this article I actually felt a lot better about my situation. I have been married for 19 years with three children. The marriage was a very lonely one and I spent all these years hoping and praying that things would get better but it never did. It got worst. At the age of 41 I had my last baby and things went downhill from there. He accused me of getting pregnant to keep him in the marriage but nothing was further from the truth since he was the one refusing to use protection and me as a fool following along because I wanted to save my marriage. He told me that I was to old to be having a baby and disappeared for over four months. We spent all of my pregnancy and the last two years apart (with him sleeping in the basement) and very little communication.

    I recently found out from my 13 year old daughter that my husband fathered a child with someone else, someone he told me previously was a relative. I was devastated and thought that my world had ended. Here I was waiting for things to get better and now this and to hear it from my own child. He showed her pictures and told her that she had a sister in another country. To this day he has not said anything about this child to me.

    I spent the last few months walking around like a zombie and crying at the drop of a hat. It just seem like such a hard thing to go through. We both agreed to file for a divorce but now he refuses to sign the papers and tells me that I need to let go and move on….???? How can I move on if he won’t sign the papers?

    I am afraid of what lies ahead but after reading your article I know I can do it.

    Thank you.

    Reply
    • 4. diaryofarecoveredbulimic  |  June 5, 2012 at 9:15 pm

      Thank you so much for your note and your openness. It is indeed, devastating. Yet even the most serious, devastating crisis can be a chance to grow. That’s what I tell myself when the shit hits the fan. You can move on inside yourself. Appraise the situation, look at what needs to be done, and make a long list of goals — including lots of little ones that can be attained fairly easily. That is the first step. And when you start accomplishing things, your self esteem and trust in your own ability to grow and handle situations develops as well. What can you do now, even though the papers aren’t signed? That is an interesting approach that he tells you to let go, move on and yet refuses to sign the papers. And what does he say when you ask him how he imagines that to be possible?

      After being separated for three years, in the middle of which we had a reconciliation, I am now also on the path to divorce. The strange thing is, I learned to love and appreciate him during the separation like I never did before. And yet I realized: We are not meant for each other. During our discussions, I told him that I want to be fair, that I don’t want the children to have to take sides, and that I want to stay on good terms. Through our children we will always be connected. It is a difficult process, especially when one partner is still emotionally involved, while the other isn’t. During this whole process, I have done a lot of crying — for what was, what wasn’t, what I had wished for, how I had imagined everything should be, and the hurts and disappointments over the years. Now I see that all of that is part of life — and sometimes it hurts terribly.

      It is a hard thing to go through, and it is important that you allow those feelings to be. One step at a time and you will go your way. You are on your path — have been all along — and now you are in the process of change. That is scary. We don’t know what will come, what the future holds. We can only take steps, have trust in the greater picture, and do the best we can. And that’s a lot!

      You are a very strong person. To raise three children and to go through 19 years of struggle and hope — that takes a LOT of energy! Now you can learn to use that energy in a new way, to create a more satisfying life for yourself. What I highly recommend is — reach out. Talk to friends. Get counselling. Use whatever support is available. Crises are not the time to figure it all out by yourself and prove how strong you are by doing it alone. You need that strength for other things! I wish you all the best.

      Reply
      • 5. Donna  |  June 8, 2012 at 6:26 pm

        Thank you. I wish you all the best to. I will come back here once its over and live a comment.

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