Being on Your Own

Someone asked how comfortable people are being on their own post divorce and how comfortable they were during their marriage. The responses were about half and half. Yes, I’m comfortable with living on my own. /No, I’m not comfortable.

Yes, I was comfortable being independent during my marriage./ No, I was not very independent during my marriage.

No matter how long your were married, it is probably going to take some adjusting to your new life.

When I was married, my ex worked nights and slept during the day. If I had to go to the store, majority of the time I went with my daughter while ex slept. I did not drive out of town. If I did, I knew the exact path and did not venture any from it. It took years for me to be comfortable to drive on the interstate without my anxiety paralyzing me. Being in town alone was the same story, if there were too many people I started having a panic attack.

That is why I stayed with him for so long. I could not function – or so I thought – on my own.

It takes a lot of adjusting living alone.

Silence.

The silence when my daughter was with ex drove me insane. I found myself either listening to the TV shows that she watched or sitting in the dark staring at the wall for hours.

Become comfortable with the silence. Give yourself a chance to reflect, relax, and even enjoy moments of silence. More than likely you are always going, always trying to survive. Take a moment. Breath. Relax.

Money.

One positive thing I will say about my ex is he was a workaholic. He always volunteered for overtime. He was always working. He also allowed me to be a stay at home mom for five years. Granted we didn’t have as much money as he is making now, but we survived. We were young. We were comfortable.

This is one area I cannot give any advice. I live paycheck to paycheck. I have entertained the idea of having a sugar daddy just to save money in case something breaks.

I see this being an issue for several divorced individuals.

Do what you have to. You start making choices and changes in your life. Things you thought you needed, you realize you can not afford. You start deciding what you actually need compared to what you just want. My daughter is cared for. I am still wearing the same clothes that I have for almost a decade. They are worn. I cannot justify buying new ones.

Social life.

This is another area where I struggle. I did not have friends while I was married. I never had a girls’ night or a mommy and me group to hang out with. I took care of my daughter, the house, and my husband during my marriage. I sat at home while he would go to drill each month. After he finished on base, he would go out drinking. I remember seeing one receipt where he spent six dollars for a beer and left the waitress a fifteen dollar tip. I was so crushed. I could only imagine what flirting took place.

I see several people make a comment about how they lost friends after the divorce. Remember it is quality not quantity. But definitely make time to stay in contact with your true friends.

Relationships.

Third area that I struggle with… relationships. I have been divorced for five years. I have been done with my ex for about three years. I seriously did not think I would still be single by this time! I decided to do online dating. I thought I could easily find a man. Well… little did I know online dating is full of married men and creeps.

I do want a relationship. I do want to get married again. I don’t know if either will ever happen.

I took about a two week break from online dating. I decided to get back on there yesterday. Immediately, a couple of twenty-one year olds message me – ha!! A married man messages me – NO!! And a gamer messages me – nothing in common.

I guess I am going to continue to give online dating a try. I mean, I want a relationship so I have to make an effort, right? Really doubt Mr. Right is going to knock on my door. I have to go out and try to find him.

Or maybe decide I really just want fwb. Ugh… Sounds fun. But, can I do that? My anxiety, depression, and trust issues – is fwb a good choice for me?

I do miss having a relationship. I miss having an adult to talk to and share with. I miss being married to my best friend.

Identity.

Final thought. After your divorce, it is hard to find your identity. I was always known as ex’s wife, or my daughter’s mom. Never known by my name. Never known for me.

Figure out who you are. Figure out your likes and dislikes. Find yourself.

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