Separated again and lost
I’m 48 years of age. I’ve been married and divorced before, having two children to that marriage. Over 10 years down the track I’m separated from my second wife and have two young children. Deep down I think my second marriage was doomed a long time ago. This is not easy to think, let alone say. I am not one to blame a single person for my predicament, as it takes two to make a relationship work. Initially, the separation was like a load off my back. I honestly felt relieved, and somewhat empowered. I love my children beyond words and will always be a part of their lives. In a way, I have always left little strength in the bank for me. Meaning, I give everything possible to my family, but on the slip side pay no attention to myself in terms of having any interests I actively pursue and enjoy (besides running which I do, but is a solitary activity).
I am living with my sister and her three adult children. This is until my house is sorted with my wife (sell or be bought out). This arrangement has been ok, but for some reason I had a desire to get on the forums and spill out my feelings. I know I don’t want to try again with my wife. We’ve attempted in the past to address issues, which have always reverted back to unhealthy actions. Thing is, I feel quite lonely. I enjoy my own company and space, but like a lightbulb moment, realised I don’t have much else than my family and a couple of friends, of which I see rarely. I’m wondering what got me here, questioning every conceivable part of my being and purpose.
I have always had a social anxiety problem and ceased doing things I like, because of how I think I’m being perceived by others. I know it’s silly and have had the same syrategies provided to me over the years, only to slide quickly back into avoidanceville!! I see other people with friends, laughing and having a good time. I am envious to an extent, but also glad sometimes not to have to be busy all the time or need people around me to feel happy. I know it’s contradictory, but why do I revert back to an unhealthy thought and living pattern. And how can I enjoy the moment, instead of wondering how I’m being perceived by others and let the moment be a haze of broken happiness?
I just want happiness and contentment. I don’t know if I’m a good example to my children, seeing me separating for a second time and leaving two young children to be without a full time dad again!!!
Dear Talon (with a wave to Juliet)~
I'd like to welcome you here to the Forum too and think you sound a reasonable and capable person who has had to face some pretty hard times with your marriage breakdowns. Any relationship ending has a huge effect, a bit like an iceberg, you don't realize how big, and wanting to make contact on the Forum is pretty understandable.
As Juliet says it is an separate place with no means of physically meeting others, and while that is frustrating - even upsetting - at times I guess it is necessary. I'd not be here if it was not truly anonymous.
It does allow you to remember there are others in the same boat, and does provide a measure of company and understanding.
As someone who worried overmuch about other's views I've found it very helpful to be doing something I know well when in their presence. It takes some of their focus off me plus allows me to give at least part of my attention to the activity.
I thought of this when you mentioned running. Have you ever thought in terms of making it something other than a solo activity? I don't just mean running in company with others, but turning it into some form of coach or wellness activity - or whatever you can imagine.
The strategies you spoke of would I'd suspect feel somewhat unnatural and uncomfortable, plus take effort. Under those circumstances sliding back to avoidanceville would seem pretty on the cards - like me and dieting I guess.
Giving yourself to others seems fine, and does get things done, but none of us are inexhaustible wells of energy and resilience, are there other things you can do for you?
This is a belated thank you for firstly reading my post, and being able to relate to it so much. I’ve always been good at putting my thoughts and feelings on paper, rather than communicate them. This isn’t always beneficial, in terms of meeting people and fostering happy, healthy relationships. Unfortunately I can’t write everything im feeling and give it to the recipient!!
I think there’s many of us out there who feel the way you and I do. My problem is that I get into relationships, which are generally exciting and spontaneous at first, and then withdraw somewhat when typical relationship ‘issues’ arise. I think I deal with these issues in a measured, respectful manner. But then, don’t we all? I don’t think a degree of social anxiety helps either. Especially when your other half is more social than you, and wanting to get out at every opportunity. I suppose I’m finally coming to terms with who I really am, if that makes sense? But then question is that good enough for other people, when it comes to getting out and doing things I want to do. Only to avoid the situation after a while and miss out on things I enjoy because of it. Being his way for so long has been tiresome. I applaud you for doing the pottery course and reading to children. At least you are pursuing what you want to do and makes you happy.
I’m hoping to get to that point soon, because otherwise I’ll lead a vey lonely existence. And that scares me sh*#less. I think it would be a good idea to bring people with similar hang ups together, knowing that there are no expectations and feel comfortable just being ‘us’.
All the best for your future 👍🏻