Where to go now - Talk About Marriage
Life After Divorce Divorce is complicated, and change is never easy to cope with. Use this section for help and advice on living life after a divorce.

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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-11-2016, 11:34 AM Thread Starter
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Where to go now

My story is just like so many others. You can do a search for my main thread to read all the sorted details.

I am now a year out from divorce. While the emotions have all died down and my life has moved on I still find myself fighting small bouts of depression from time to time.

Something like seeing a mom and her kids at the store will give me waves of sadness and thoughts of what should have been. I know I am better off now and could never take her back but sometimes its just hard to see others so happy.

Which brings me to the reason I came back here today.

I want to be happy again. I just don't know how. Before my life was all about my family. Now as I am forced to focus more on me I don't know what to do with myself.

I take care of my home in order to keep my sons happy. They have their same rooms and schools and I work hard to keep this big house even though I don't need it. I am trying to keep their life as normal as I can. And I will continue to do so.

I have a girlfriend which I care about a lot. But she has her own kids as well and we see each other every other week. Which is good. Gives me time to focus on my kids when I have them.

My problem is I don't feel I have direction or purpose anymore. Before it was all about my family. Now I have time to think about me and I don't know what to do.

I have started going back to school. Its fun but not really that challenging. Just keeps my mind occupied.

I hate my job. I feel more trapped than ever going to a job I don't like. But I do not have the luxury of quitting.

I am grateful for my health and that I have a nice home. I came out very well in the divorce and only have one more alimony payment to make. I count my blessings every day. I know I am still very lucky and blessed but my feeling of dissatisfaction is very real and it hurts.

I just feel so trapped. I am 45 and I need to figure out what to do now before its too late. I ask myself every day what would make me happy and I just don't know. I pray every day for God to put me on the right course. I am willing to take a chance on life if I can just get that push I need.

Anyway. Just feeling lost today. Don't know where to look or where to turn. So I decided to just post my feelings again and see what advice I get.

Thanks

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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-13-2016, 07:03 AM
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Re: Where to go now

Hugs to you.

It is a slow road.
You slowly, slowly, slowly change your focus away from the family towards you. For me, one of the hardest feelings to overcome was that I was being selfish. Yep, part of that old co-dependency peaking up. We are told over and over that the Mom must put her family first, or you're a bad mom/wife. We're not.

Teaching your kids that everyone needs a rounded, fulfilling life is an important lesson, too. So, if possible, can you join a club or community group. Cooking, gardening, civics, It really doesn't matter what, just something you are interested in that does not involve the kids. You meet people and you get out and about. Just a suggestion.

In youth it was a way I had, to do my best to please, And change, with every passing lad to suit his theories.
But now I know the things I know, and do the things I do; And if you do not like me so, To hell, my love, with you! --Dorothy Parker
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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-13-2016, 07:14 AM
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Re: Where to go now

NMT4M:

You likely find yourself asking the question:

"What now?"

What I find in droves in your initial post is what you do for others. Conversely, sorely lacking in your post is what you actually do for you.

What are your hobbies? What gives you pleasure? Are you physically active in any way? What do you do with yourself on the days your kids are with your XW?

"Our ability to feel joy is directly related to how much pain we are willing to feel." - Mavash.

"The truth is, everyone is going to hurt you. You just got to find the ones worth suffering for." - Bob Marley
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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-13-2016, 07:51 AM
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Re: Where to go now

You're a year out of your divorce, you were with your ex for 22 years (as per your first thread) and you've only got one alimony payment left?

Count your lucky stars.
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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-13-2016, 08:58 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Where to go now

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Originally Posted by Manchester View Post
You're a year out of your divorce, you were with your ex for 22 years (as per your first thread) and you've only got one alimony payment left?

Count your lucky stars.

Yes this speaks volumes to my ex wife's intelligence does it not?
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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-13-2016, 09:01 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Where to go now

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Originally Posted by farsidejunky View Post
NMT4M:

You likely find yourself asking the question:

"What now?"

What I find in droves in your initial post is what you do for others. Conversely, sorely lacking in your post is what you actually do for you.

What are your hobbies? What gives you pleasure? Are you physically active in any way? What do you do with yourself on the days your kids are with your XW?
I was working out. I need to start back again. Cut my gym membership to save some money. Looking to start that back up real soon.

My hobbies are my kids. They are how I spend my spare time. When I am not with them I am with my GF. We share most of our spare time together. I enjoy that a lot. But I feel my life is missing something. Not sure what it is. The spells of depression come and go. I was hoping that would be over but it shows its head from time to time.

Going to school again. ... my employer is paying for it. No big deal. Its kinda fun and it passes the time. But as of right now no new hobbies or friends.
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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-13-2016, 09:09 AM
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Re: Where to go now

Finding happiness in your kids and girlfriend is not the solution. They need to add to your happiness, not be the sole source of it. Think about the amount of pressure that places upon them...to have to provide your happiness.

Planet Fitness costs $10 per month. Do you have one near you? Get on it. Physical fitness is the natural solution to depression. If you can't find and extra $10 per month, your problems are larger than just depression.

You also need to find something outside of your family/GF that brings you joy and commit some time to it. I have seen people do any number of things: jujitsu (my outlet), woodworking, fitness, painting, reading, hiking, travel, etc. I would suggest whatever you find to do that it have some form of social aspect to it. People need other people, no matter how hard we try to justify otherwise.

Find your adventures through whatever hobby you choose to pursue. There are still plenty of adventures to be had if you look a little harder.

"Our ability to feel joy is directly related to how much pain we are willing to feel." - Mavash.

"The truth is, everyone is going to hurt you. You just got to find the ones worth suffering for." - Bob Marley
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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-13-2016, 09:53 AM
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Re: Where to go now

NMT4M - Are you involved in a church or any sort of community activities? Religious involvement is an easy way to make new friends and feel enmeshed in a community.

Also something to consider but if you are spending all your free time with your girlfriend and you aren't happy, maybe there is something inside you telling you that she isn't the right person for you. In general, if you have found a serious girlfriend within a year of a divorce there is a decent change that she could be a rebound and not really an ideal match for you.

Here's a suggestion. Write out a one year plan, a five year plan, and a ten year plan of what you want to have accomplished and how you want to see yourself and then start working on them. It could be start a business, get involved in hobbies, physical accomplishments, travel, learn, etc.
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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-13-2016, 09:59 AM
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Re: Where to go now

You made a comment to reflect on, "I just feel so trapped. I am 45 and I need to figure out what to do now before its too late".

"Too late" is a prison of our own making... while you are aware of it, you actually have a handful of keys in your possession, you just need to find the right one but remember to not quickly discard all the others as you may need them for future doors.

The thing is, we often do cast aside those keys not realizing their importance, but the cool thing is we are our own key maker.

Your children will adapt to a different home, involve them in the process of looking for one that suites you all and is not a burden in any form. They will also adapt to a different school... these changes build and strengthen as long as the love is not changed.

We all know our work is what we put into it... if you are bored it may help to spend some time looking for your calling, but be sure you are listening to your heart as well as your mind. In the mean time, there are ways to jump start your alignment of happiness and work, but you can apply this to anything.

https://www.ted.com/talks/shawn_acho...rk?language=en

Purpose... I believe this is why we exist, each day we have needs to make a difference for somebody, somewhere, somehow. Never forget random acts of kindness, those touch more hearts than one imagines. This can be as simple as rescuing a shopping cart from a mother with small children in a parking lot to helping your neighbor get the trash out when they forgot and already left for work. Observe and listen... the world is full of ways one can make a difference to somebody, and the rewards are incredible for building ideas and understanding for self.

Exchanging a day of one's life feeling lost is a path no one wants... you have so many good paths awaiting you.

Be the peace you deserve...

"We all have two lives. The second one starts when we realize that we only have one".
Confucius

Last edited by Emerging Buddhist; 10-13-2016 at 10:51 AM. Reason: Mindful spelling...
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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-13-2016, 10:37 AM
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Re: Where to go now

Quote:
Originally Posted by NoMoreTears4me View Post

I am grateful for my health and that I have a nice home. I came out very well in the divorce and only have one more alimony payment to make. I count my blessings every day. I know I am still very lucky and blessed but my feeling of dissatisfaction is very real and it hurts.

I just feel so trapped. I am 45 and I need to figure out what to do now before its too late. I ask myself every day what would make me happy and I just don't know. I pray every day for God to put me on the right course. I am willing to take a chance on life if I can just get that push I need.

Anyway. Just feeling lost today. Don't know where to look or where to turn. So I decided to just post my feelings again and see what advice I get.

Thanks
It sounds like you are actually doing a great job. It seems you have set the bar too high for happiness, failing to realize you might already be there. You have created artificial constraints (being 45), as if that had a physical restriction on your ability to overcome hurdles.

Why don't we pack up the constraint of your age, and send it to the sun to be disintegrated? When we eliminate the constraints, what remains?

As I see it, you have moved on. You have wonderful sons, a career with which you can provide sustenance. You have a love interest and the opportunity to take college courses.

Might I also ask how you can say that it is not challenging? The material presented might be very easy to digest and might already be in your repertoire of knowledge. What is stopping you from participating in your current classes, albeit at an elevated level? Maybe you could apply the lessons and material in other contexts?




I have just launched my YouTube channel and have a playlist of uplifting prayers. I hope these help you.

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...kUIgAsqs6KXETW





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post #11 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-13-2016, 01:32 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Where to go now

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bananapeel View Post
NMT4M - Are you involved in a church or any sort of community activities? Religious involvement is an easy way to make new friends and feel enmeshed in a community.

Also something to consider but if you are spending all your free time with your girlfriend and you aren't happy, maybe there is something inside you telling you that she isn't the right person for you. In general, if you have found a serious girlfriend within a year of a divorce there is a decent change that she could be a rebound and not really an ideal match for you.

Here's a suggestion. Write out a one year plan, a five year plan, and a ten year plan of what you want to have accomplished and how you want to see yourself and then start working on them. It could be start a business, get involved in hobbies, physical accomplishments, travel, learn, etc.
I am happy when I am with the kids and with her. But I do feel that something is missing. My purpose in life.. What is my new goals...

I have a five year plan but it mostly involves just downsizing myhome and living more simply. I think that goes a long way to being happy. But I could be wrong.
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post #12 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-13-2016, 01:33 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Where to go now

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Originally Posted by farsidejunky View Post
Finding happiness in your kids and girlfriend is not the solution. They need to add to your happiness, not be the sole source of it. Think about the amount of pressure that places upon them...to have to provide your happiness.

Planet Fitness costs $10 per month. Do you have one near you? Get on it. Physical fitness is the natural solution to depression. If you can't find and extra $10 per month, your problems are larger than just depression.

You also need to find something outside of your family/GF that brings you joy and commit some time to it. I have seen people do any number of things: jujitsu (my outlet), woodworking, fitness, painting, reading, hiking, travel, etc. I would suggest whatever you find to do that it have some form of social aspect to it. People need other people, no matter how hard we try to justify otherwise.

Find your adventures through whatever hobby you choose to pursue. There are still plenty of adventures to be had if you look a little harder.
I have a gym at work but only during work hours. I need something close to home and easily accesable. My old gym cost me 50 a month. It wasn't killing me I just didn't feel like paying that any longer.

I will see if a planet fitness is near by.

Thanks
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post #13 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-13-2016, 01:35 PM
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Re: Where to go now

You need to get out, meet people and do things that you enjoy. Over time you will find things that fill your life in a meaningful way.

One good way to do this is to check out the site meetup.com It's not a dating site. It's a site where people post group activities. For example here where I live there are several groups for people who go hiking, white water rafting, book clubs, bike touring clubs and on and on. There are tons of things to do. Some of the meetups allow children. So you could get your children active in this too.

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post #14 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-13-2016, 01:36 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Where to go now

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Originally Posted by Relationship Teacher View Post
It sounds like you are actually doing a great job. It seems you have set the bar too high for happiness, failing to realize you might already be there. You have created artificial constraints (being 45), as if that had a physical restriction on your ability to overcome hurdles.

Why don't we pack up the constraint of your age, and send it to the sun to be disintegrated? When we eliminate the constraints, what remains?

As I see it, you have moved on. You have wonderful sons, a career with which you can provide sustenance. You have a love interest and the opportunity to take college courses.

Might I also ask how you can say that it is not challenging? The material presented might be very easy to digest and might already be in your repertoire of knowledge. What is stopping you from participating in your current classes, albeit at an elevated level? Maybe you could apply the lessons and material in other contexts?




I have just launched my YouTube channel and have a playlist of uplifting prayers. I hope these help you.

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...kUIgAsqs6KXETW

Classes are just easy. Not that I need hard classes right now but they are only gonna get me a piece of paper at the end. Which is what I want. I set the goal to get that stupid piece of paper and I am gonna get it. It wont help me with money or my future but It does help my pride.

I would love to start a new career I just don't know what to do. And paying for that would have to come out of my pocket. That is unacceptable. I cannot pay for my own desires when I have two kids that need their own education soon.

I will not choose my needs over theirs. That is what she does. I cant live with that. Personal happiness cannot come at a cost for them. They have suffered to much as it is.
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post #15 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-13-2016, 01:56 PM
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Re: Where to go now

Quote:
Originally Posted by NoMoreTears4me View Post
Classes are just easy. Not that I need hard classes right now but they are only gonna get me a piece of paper at the end. Which is what I want. I set the goal to get that stupid piece of paper and I am gonna get it. It wont help me with money or my future but It does help my pride.

I would love to start a new career I just don't know what to do. And paying for that would have to come out of my pocket. That is unacceptable. I cannot pay for my own desires when I have two kids that need their own education soon.

I will not choose my needs over theirs. That is what she does. I cant live with that. Personal happiness cannot come at a cost for them. They have suffered to much as it is.
There is a psychological principle called Anchoring. Like I originally said, I see you doing very well, despite having a tough time in recent years. You appear to be anchored to some more ideal circumstance/future, despite having an incredible amount to be happy for already. You also indicated that you wanted guidance and direction.

If you anchor your mindset to where you have come from, instead of the ideal circumstance/future, you will realize how blessed you are, even in this very moment.

It is apparent from your post that you have direction - abundantly. We cannot always be at the destination, but tend to be between various start/end points.

I also don't think personal happiness has to come at an expense to others. Happiness is meant to be shared.

Best,
RT


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