Posted by gwen on January 26, 2001, at 21:58:58
In reply to Re: Ant-Rock » gwen, posted by Ant-Rock on January 26, 2001, at 8:27:42
I don't want to stir up any more bad feelings. Your situation is very close to mine, and has reminded me of a lot of things and brought up a lot of feelings. My exhusband and I went through a lot over the years. I thought we would always be together because we'd survived so many ordeals.
Unfortunately, during all this, another large bad thing happened to me that overshadowed the breakup of the marriage. It may have initially spared me from some of the anguish you are going through now. Or maybe I have forgotten some of it -- a blessing in itself. After the other bad thing settled down some, I did have to go back and deal with the divorce. It hit me in small increments. I'm still angry at times, but most of it is gone. It doesn't do me any good to be angry.
My friends were great during this time. I busied myself with them and their company. They were married, too, and it was interesting to talk out feelings and hear different perspectives from male and female sides.
One thing my pdoc pounded into my head was the need for finding ways to be good to myself. I'd buy flowers for no reason just because I needed them. (I overruled the usual practical tape loop in my head.) I didn't go overboard spending money, but I did do more things for myself. I didn't drive myself so hard. If I didn't feel like doing something, I tried to do something that felt good.
This is probably too early for you to think about, and your living situation is different from mine, but something else that made me feel better was wiping out remnants of him -- changing things about where I lived so that it would not remind me so much of him. The first thing I did was change the locks on the doors. I found a new route to drive to work. I got new dishes because our old ones were a gift from his mom. I was left with the house and all of the reminders. I changed colors on the walls. I changed the things on the walls. I moved furniture. This process has taken a couple of years. I have just now finished changes in the yard.
I used to hate weekends because I didn't know what I'd do with all of that time. Now I can't wait for them. Holidays still are hard. I need to begin new traditions.
My friendships have changed over time. My married friends have faded some. My single friends have come to the fore and I have found new ones -- I suppose because I identify more with them now.
I don't go to the places where we went (restaurants, shopping malls, etc.) because they bring back memories. Instead, I have found new places that I like. And I have become accustomed to traveling alone. It took awhile, but I really enjoy it now.
Rituals can help bring closure also. I can explain more some time, if you want.
In retrospect, I have to say this breakup is not the worst thing that has happened to me. It may sound selfish, but once the sadness and loneliness dissipates, there is a freedom and joy in realizing that you can do whatever you want, wherever and whenever you want -- without having to bend or compromise. It has been a novel feeling for me. I have finally learned to live with myself. I may not want to live like this forever, but for now it is liberating and feels good. And I have come to believe that it is essential before I ever become involved in another relationship.