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No identity post separation

Community Member

Hi all,
I married my highschool sweetheart - we were together since we were 16 - married for 4 years and now separated - im 33.
I have been battling depression - and was initially diagnosed in the last 2 years of the marriage
Im posting here mainly because im seeking help and advice or similar experiences.
After such a long time with my ex - i feel as if i dont have an identity - Im trying to figure out who i am but unsure where to start
There was always some direction that i was heading towards and now that is gone, and on reflection i let others around me control and make decisions for me or the decisions I was making (career) were to ensure that i was “of worth” in the eyes of her family.
I now sit here wondering where to from now? I think im being vague in my questions or unsure of what im asking - but i get told this is a new start for me, but im scared/unsure of what to do next as ive always had someone else to fall back on - or towards the latter end of my relationship blame for my shortcomings, insecurity and lack of self worth.


4 Replies 4

Community Member

G'day Arejay

I see that this is your first post; welcome to BB. If you participate/monitor this forum long enough you will soon learn that you are not alone.

Your feelings off loss; lack of direction; lack of self-worth; lack of identity and uncertainty are very common after a break up. I personally think that theses are issues that men have more difficulty dealing with than women. That being said, I am no expert in this area and I am using my own experience as a yard stick.

I separated from my wife over a year ago and I am still trying to resolve the very issues that you have raised. The best advice that I can give you would be; be kind to yourself; and get some professional help from a counselor if you think that would help.

If you are like most men, you are probably blaming yourself for what has happened. You may be at fault or you may not be the cause of the breakup. Maybe the blame lies elsewhere. Either way, there is no gain in punishing yourself for what has happened. This is what I meant by, "be kind to yourself".

I'm sure others on this forum will have something more to contribute.

Please stay in touch!

Thanks for taking the time to read and respond to my post Mr Paul

I do struggle with the be kind to yourself mantra - i think i'm OK with what happened/what didnt happen that caused the break up of the marriage. And the moments i do think about it and worry about i find that telling myself that it happened in the past and there's not much I can do about it now to change what has happened.

I have been seeing a psychologist for the last 1.5 years - although i feel that possibly i may need a refresh or a different lens from a different psych? I guess im the only one who knows what is good for me in that sense.

It is comforting knowing that i am not unique in any way with these feelings - but i guess how each of us handle it is unique. Has there been anything else that you have been doing to cope? to try and find yourself/directions

"I do struggle with the be kind to yourself mantra"

I think we all do. That being said, it is less than helpful to beat yourself up about what did or did not happen. I suppose to "mantra" is a starting point; not the destination.

"Has there been anything else that you have been doing to cope?"

At this point in time, you need to find a distraction; something to keep your mind off the breakup. I'm not suggesting anything radical. You may be familiar with the proverb, "the journey of a thousand miles begins with one step". This is the type of thing I am talking about. Try and do something that you are interested in - visit friends, joint a bush walking group, join a card playing group; anything that gets you out and about at least once a week.

I decided that I wanted to go back to school and continue my education. I now attend classes twice a week. It's no magic bullet; but it does help.

"I have been seeing a psychologist for the last 1.5 years"

I did the same for a while. I didn't find the sessions particularly helpful, so I stopped. I did find a couple of self help books that helped me a lot.

You are on a long hard road; we all are!

Community Member

Hi Arejay871

your story is very similar to mine.
I met my then boyfriend at 15. Got engaged 10 years later. Married 13 years later. Then at 32 he told me he was having a baby in 5 days with someone else. Now I’m 33 just finished up with the courts and I feel so low, empty and lost. Life was so easy being with him and now everything is on me. All my friends are married with kids which makes it a lot harder.