This is topic stems from another thread but for those of you who have dated or had a relationship post-divorce:
Can you share what the experience was like for you?
How long before it happened? What were you feelings, how did you feel, how did the other person feel, what was the first post-divorce sexual experience like, how did your divorce effect you/the relationship, etc., lessons learned, your stories?
I will go first. Found out about my xw's affair 7/10/2011. Was divorced by 10/3/2011. (she really wanted out, made it easy for me, rejected my offer of R three times. just fyi)
I talked with my counselor prior to dating and she advised me that if I was interested thought it would be ok as my x and I had not really had a real relationship for over a year. Anyway I was approached week of my divorce by an aquataince/friend. She told me she was interested in seeing me, interested in a friends with benefits situation (which blew me away, heck I didnt even have benefits when I was married) or whatever. I was unsure of starting a relationship so soon, but was horney as all get out! (just being honest) It was actually a great experience, as she was coming out of the same type of situation only it had been over a year. I had some feelings of guilt, I also was not over my x. However, the need I had to talk about my situation, her having had many of the same feelings. Led to a great relationship, many many hours of conversation and the best sex I had ever had in my life! The problem was that she was furthur down the road to recovery than I was, I repeatedly reminder her that I was not going to get in a totally committed relationship to do so after just exiting a 30 year marriage would be nuts! I think as long as I was so needy we did very well, but after a few months (and a ton of counseling) I began to handle things better, was not so needy. She in the mean time became more in love with me, was lining me up for a long term committed relationship. We eventually (I eventually) decided to back off on our relationship, as I did love the woman, I did love being with her, but I also knew she was not "the one" nor did I want to find "the one" anytime soon. My advice would be to be very WARY of rebound relationship. Always, always tell the other person where you are in your feelings and the relationship (I did this so often she actually got mad at me for bringing it up all the time) as even tho we do not currently date she and I still talk and text a bit, she is not bitter over our breakup. I do think she was hurt a bit, but cannot and does not hold me up to be a bad guy, as she says "you always told me where you were, I just didnt always choose to listen...but that is on me not you."
. She told me she was interested in seeing me, interested in a friends with benefits situation (which blew me away, heck I didnt even have benefits when I was married)
Thanks for sharing, Hoosier! You are right--it is important to share where you are at emotionally and what you want from any relationship. Glad to hear that all in all it was a good (learning) experience for you.
My 30 year marriage had essentially been over for the last 15 (or even 20) years, at least we had been going through the motions only. I was on the receiving end of some verbal abuse, and I had very little self esteem. I stayed in the marriage because of my daughter (a mistake) and because I somehow believed in "marriage". Our sex life eventually ended up with less than once a month of uninspired lovemaking, and we lived as roommates, passing in the hallway when we weren't fighting. Love was gone.
After spending several years near the end of my marriage transforming my own life, going through some professional changes and working with a counselor, one year I moved out in June and started dating in August. I met several women near my age, and eventually bumped into an old (platonic) high school friend online. We started emailing, and by November realized we were in love. We were located 150 miles apart, so we had corresponded with each other thinking that it was "safe". She had been in two marriages, the first she had children, became loveless, and ended after she had an affair, and the second ended after the guy she married was found to be a serial cheater.
I was a bit apprehensive about her history of cheating, but as she had seemed to do the right thing (ending the loveless marriage as quick as possible) and seemed to be truly hurt by the cheating second husband, I figured she had learned her lesson. Although I never cheated on my ex, I was NOT exactly faithful for several years in college and before I met my ex.
The emails continued for a few months, and we eventually went on an unsuccessful date. I was SO SCARED that I was going to blow it that I acted very stiff and formal and I just wasn't myself. She nearly ended it there, but decided that we should at least try it again, mainly because the emails were so free flowing, joyful, and full of life, unlike the date. We had another date a month later, and things went better. Then we had another date a week later, and she and I began to neck and she told me she loved me but I got cold feet and said I really wanted to be sure this was going to work before we went any further. I'm NOT that old fashioned, and I sowed my share of wild oats before I was married. I was EXTREEMELY excited, and my animal instincts were saying JUST DO IT. But I waited. She went home, and we lasted all of two days, she came back we made love for the next 18 hours. (remember, it was a 150 mile drive).
I moved in with her a few weeks later. We were completely love struck. I could have sworn we were 18 or 19. We walked around with silly grins for weeks. She was aware of the abuse I went through, and promised me that I could leave if I got scared or realized I had acted too soon. She was confident enough that we were the real thing, and I was sure deep inside, but I was still clinging to some sort of "convention" as to waiting 2 years before getting involved, etc.
About the same time, my employer went out of business, this was in late 2009. The area I live in has (and still has) 18% unemployment. Even though I was out of work, I had a large amount of money saved. My ex and I owned a house and had large IRA accounts, so when we split, we were able to do an equitable 50/50 where she kept the house and I got enough money to live on in retirement and to start buying a house. It was almost Karma that my new partner had a house and small IRA. It was almost as if we had a perfect financial meeting, as if KARMA was in place and we both got back what we had lost in terms of love and finances.
At this time, I was still technically married. I was in the process of starting my divorce papers. My ex and I remained married on paper so that I could get health benefits. My counselors told me that I should follow my heart and that if we felt this was true love and were happy, we should NOT run from it because the timing might seem odd to friends and some family members. True love, they said, was so hard to find. My family and friends said I was glowing.
(My sister actually burst in to tears of JOY when I announced I was leaving my ex. She said "praise the lord" and "finally". My side of the family had seen me suffer from abuse and watched my health and self esteem erode for many years, they were happy that I had finally found love.)
My divorce was final about 18 months after separation, and we got married within the next year.
This may seem to have happened quickly. It did. And I have no regrets.
I started looking at online dating sites about three months after the initial separation, but wasn't serious about trying to actually date. I talked to a few guys online and that was about it. Then in October of 2011, 6 months post separation (divorce final in June of 2011) I saw a guy online who really intrigued me. We exchanged a few e-mails, and he invited me out on a date. I was super nervous about it as I hadn't been on a real 'date' in over 20 years. The date was fun: went to dinner and played Scrabble. Anyway, I was really debating about whether or not I was ready to date after the first date because I went home crying about the ex and feeling generally awful. So technically I probably wasn't ready at that point.
But. He asked me on a second date, and I accepted, figuring I should try again as I really wanted to get to know him. I felt a lot better after getting over that first date milestone.
He kept asking and I kept going We had sex about a month into the relationship. It was very awesome sex, I have to say with no regrets and no thoughts of the ex to ruin it So here it is 9 months later and we're still dating. I think I'm more serious about him than he is about me, but I'm enjoying being with him and seeing where it all might go. I'm well aware that he may be a rebound relationship but I'm starting to really have some serious feelings for him.
Lessons learned: I learned that I need to be a lot less needy in a relationship, and the guy I'm with now is good for that because he wouldn't tolerate it. He is very much comfortable with who he is and where he's going in life, and he's not a caretaker, which is a good thing for me. We talk about the divorce and my marriage sometimes, and he seems comfortable with that. I don't bring it up unless it comes up in conversation, as it is apt to do at times.
Went on my first "date" tuesday. Wife and I decided to end it June 10th, official trial is months away but only thing keeping us legally married is a custody battle. Maybe that's a little too fast to start going out, but I'm not dating for a relationship, just to go out and have some fun with others.
I also feel like I'm pretty comfortable being alone too. I'm out there doing things that interest me, I'm not feeling like I NEED someone to be happy. If I stay at home all night, I enjoy myself. If I want to go do something, I do it, even if it feels awkward or uncomfortable at first going alone.
I'm trying to make sure that I am open and honest about my intentions. That I'm not looking to start a relationship.
I'm also trying to make sure I stay balanced and don't get "attached" to any one person. My default behavior is to go full bore with one person really hard and fast. Again, working on the balance thing. I'm hoping that by dating multiple people at the same time it will kind of prevent me from locking in too hard on any one person.
I don't feel any guilt about the dating, because I know there is a 0% chance of my wife and I getting back together, and I'm not out having sex anyway.
All that being said, I'm pretty sure I'll screw up and get sucked into a rebound relationship. I guess that's human nature...
It's funny because I remember going on this site almost a year ago. Reading the advice of Deejo, thinking about how distant that was from where I'd ever be. Here I am, almost a year later, thinking you tread a pretty decent path to follow.
Either way, I'm living life and not going to stop. Finding others who like to go on adventures too has just been icing on the cake.
About a month after my wife moved out I had a terrible rebound experience. She was nice and good hearted and I liked her but it was too early. I needed the affirmation of another woman for my egos sake so... I feel bad for how it went but it needed to happen. I pushed too hard and we ended up sleeping together after a week or so. It wasn't very good and I am completely to blame. I was talking about my ex while we were naked together. My emotions were just mush and she rightfully dumped me after that.
But as I say I needed the affirmation and I got it! So I slid into a FWB thing with another friend for a while until my heart caught up with reality.
Now I have another old girlfriend that has entered the picture. She is quitting smoking and says she will avoid drinking and sex for the next 20+ days to help quit before her daughters wedding. I figure that would be a great experience for me, too so see where that goes.