What's my purpose in life? 39 yr old female, stb divorced, no kids [crisis of faith] - Page 3 - Talk About Marriage
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post #31 of 45 (permalink) Old 03-02-2013, 01:35 PM
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Re: What's my purpose in life? 39 yr old female, stb divorced, no kids [crisis of fai

Keep your eyes on HIM and he will direct your path and give you the desires of your heart, problem is "we" can't see or know the BIG picture.

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post #32 of 45 (permalink) Old 03-06-2013, 11:23 PM
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Re: What's my purpose in life? 39 yr old female, stb divorced, no kids [crisis of fai

I skimmed to see if anyone else already posted these, but as a big book and movie lover, and spiritual seeker in a marital hell all my own (male), I just wanted to mention the book Eat, Pray, Love (not the movie version), and the movie The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. You may find some nuggets in there to help lighten your spirit and make a step or two forward in understanding. Good luck to you, you sound like a wonderful person, I wish you much peace.
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post #33 of 45 (permalink) Old 03-12-2013, 09:00 PM
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Re: What's my purpose in life? 39 yr old female, stb divorced, no kids [crisis of fai

1 Kings 19: 11-14
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post #34 of 45 (permalink) Old 05-05-2013, 05:07 PM
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Re: What's my purpose in life? 39 yr old female, stb divorced, no kids [crisis of fai

Hello,
dontpanic! I am in your shoes. It has been quite a while since you last posted the original thread. Regardless, I so need support and wonder how you are faring now. It is very hard as I feel like a failure because I wanted children and still do although time is not on my side. All my close friends and I were trying at the same time, only I ended up divorced. Now that they have children I feel like I cannot even really talk to them. People don't like talking about divorce. I gave up my career path for my "wasband". I am educated i just feel like I am over the hill and that I am qualified to do not much. I have not worked in the 9-5 capacity ever. I have worked, just not in an office setting and I am 40. Everything, I listen to and watch, our society basically tells me, I am not "part of". OK, that is how I feel. Even my womenizing father, makes me feel like an "Old Maid". I know, I am not but this is a difficult period for me. I hope we can connect or you can let me know how you are doing, now that some time has passed. Thank you for posting your situation and letting me know I am not alone because it sure feels like it. I know everyone has their own process but some sort of comradery would really help.
Best Regards
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post #35 of 45 (permalink) Old 05-06-2013, 11:36 PM Thread Starter
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Re: What's my purpose in life? 39 yr old female, stb divorced, no kids [crisis of fai

Hi, ChriChri123 -
Thanks for your post and response. Although I appreciate the many responses that I received, I am still struggling with these issues. I miss my STBXH greatly, feel a lot of loneliness and what-ifs. I also will feel really stupid if he uses all that he learned from our relationship and goes off and has kids with someone else.

With regard to friends, I have certainly been gravitating to my more sympathetic married friends (although they don't *really* understand) and distancing myself from friends who can't "be there" for me right now. I have also made efforts to make friends with other divorced women that have really paid off. I now am much friendlier with two divorcees I knew from when I was married (I realize now that I was no where near sympathetic enough to their plight) and have also made a new friend who is a divorcee.

I am also trying to spend time with my nieces and nephews and friend's kids (doing homework, bike riding, reading stories) so at least someone can benefit from my nurturing instinct even if I do not have kids of my own.

With regard to your career, you are really not "over-the-hill". I get that biologically there is a certain time when a woman can no longer have children of her own. However, with jobs, people re-train and switch careers all the time - you just have to be open to learn new things. I know a man who was a professor for most of his life until his wife died from a very painful cancer and then, at 58, he trained to become a social worker to help people who had terminally ill relatives. The key with finding the right job is to figure out what you enjoy doing that someone will pay you for. Or, if not "enjoy", at least are competent at. You may want to speak to a job coach who can help you focus on your skills, natural strengths, and interests.

I also really relate to what you are saying about not being "part of" society. On that front I am trying to:
1) meditate and be positive (yoga and deep breathing and positive affirmations about all the things I am grateful for all really help)
2) Tune out the negative messages in society about 40 being "over the hill" and the messages in my community that alienate/stigmatize those who are not married or don't have kids
3) Keep busy and take control of things that I can do instead of focusing on all of the things that I can't do and control. And then try to feel good about what I've accomplished.

I am struggling every day and some days are worse than others, but overall - slowly, slowly - I think things are moving up for me.

Believe me when I say I am so sorry that you are experiencing this pain. I wish I could tell you "don't feel like a failure - things will get better". But the truth is change and growth is slow and hard and no one can walk your road for you. But it does certainly help to have some company on the way.

I haven't posted to TAM in a while but feel free to PM me if you need to vent or a shoulder to cry on.

Good luck,
dontpanic

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post #36 of 45 (permalink) Old 05-06-2013, 11:54 PM
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Re: What's my purpose in life? 39 yr old female, stb divorced, no kids [crisis of fai

40? Over the hill? Women just start getting interesting at 40! They are confident, comfortable in their own skin, don't play mind games, and are not ashamed of seeking and giving pleasure! I love my over-40 wife! She's worth 5 20-somethings!

Glad you are hanging in there dontpanic. Because you stand to inherit life, the universe, and everything.
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post #37 of 45 (permalink) Old 05-09-2013, 04:09 PM
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Re: What's my purpose in life? 39 yr old female, stb divorced, no kids [crisis of fai

We are around the same age. Thank you for sharing. You sound like a very amazing woman; intelligent, beautiful and brave. You are facing situations that are some of the most difficult a person can face in this life. I'm sorry to hear about all of the loss you have been dealing with -- it makes my own heart ache hearing you pour out yours. I don't understand all that you are going through, but I sure feel it through your words.

I've been going through a book that could really help you right now in this transitional time of your life. It is called "Search for Significance":
The Search For Significance: Seeing Your True Worth Through God's Eyes: Robert S. McGee: 9780849944246: Amazon.com: Books

The first thing you need to know -- really need to know -- is that you are loved. You really are. Heck, I'm just some random guy out there on the internet but when I read what you wrote I can tell very quickly that you have an amazing heart and a deep capacity to love. The woman typing on the keyboard at the other end of this conversation is truly loved. You are a daughter of YWHW, and both He and I would love to see you truly smile again and really show the world just how much you have to offer to so many people!

Jesus said this to you:
"“Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.” Matthew 11:28-

He prayed for you, too:

“I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me through their message. I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one—as you are in me, Father, and I am in you. And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me.

“I have given them the glory you gave me, so they may be one as we are one. I am in them and you are in me. May they experience such perfect unity that the world will know that you sent me and that you love them as much as you love me. Father, I want these whom you have given me to be with me where I am. Then they can see all the glory you gave me because you loved me even before the world began!

“O righteous Father, the world doesn’t know you, but I do; and these disciples know you sent me. I have revealed you to them, and I will continue to do so. Then your love for me will be in them, and I will be in them.” John 17:20-25

This is my prayer for you, too. That you will find true significance as a daughter of the King of Kings.

Shalom!
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post #38 of 45 (permalink) Old 05-12-2013, 03:20 AM
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Re: What's my purpose in life? 39 yr old female, stb divorced, no kids [crisis of fai

I'm feeling very similar in my situation...turning 39 this year...wife insisting on divorce. So different that what I thought things were going to be for us. We met in church...very much involved in ministry. But priorities shifted as wife and I weren't on the same page with my desire to pursue further into my theological studies. At the same time, she seemed to have a depth and connection with God more than I...but could turn on a dime and just react to life in fear and insecurity. Being very young marrieds, I was ready for marriage, just not prepared...my wife I realize now was never plain ready. I have felt the hand of God move us along, provide for us, and intervene so often in answered prayer...but my wife nowhere shares that perception and had been living a secret life of sex addiction almost the entire time we've been married. This has been a huge buildup of anxiety these nearly sixteen years, with no children, and lots of arrested development. When she said today she made up her mind for sure that she wanted a divorce...I just felt a mix of horror and relief. Horror for facing a great fear...feeling like I failed to live up to something that was so important to me, but relieved because I have not been happy or carefree for such a long time.
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post #39 of 45 (permalink) Old 05-12-2013, 07:25 PM
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Re: What's my purpose in life? 39 yr old female, stb divorced, no kids [crisis of fai

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I'm feeling very similar in my situation...turning 39 this year...wife insisting on divorce. So different that what I thought things were going to be for us. We met in church...very much involved in ministry. But priorities shifted as wife and I weren't on the same page with my desire to pursue further into my theological studies. At the same time, she seemed to have a depth and connection with God more than I...but could turn on a dime and just react to life in fear and insecurity. Being very young marrieds, I was ready for marriage, just not prepared...my wife I realize now was never plain ready. I have felt the hand of God move us along, provide for us, and intervene so often in answered prayer...but my wife nowhere shares that perception and had been living a secret life of sex addiction almost the entire time we've been married. This has been a huge buildup of anxiety these nearly sixteen years, with no children, and lots of arrested development. When she said today she made up her mind for sure that she wanted a divorce...I just felt a mix of horror and relief. Horror for facing a great fear...feeling like I failed to live up to something that was so important to me, but relieved because I have not been happy or carefree for such a long time.
Going out on a long limb here, but she sounds to me like someone who was abused sexually, and she has chosen to act out her wounds this way. She probably is quite confused about healthy intimacy and needs some counseling. Just my first reaction, since I've seen this before in someone else I know and it sounds very similar to your situation.

You don't need to respond to this post (confirm or deny). I'm just saying this because I want you to be aware that there might be something going on (or something that has gone on) you haven't been aware of contributing to her behavior.
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post #40 of 45 (permalink) Old 05-12-2013, 08:26 PM
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Re: What's my purpose in life? 39 yr old female, stb divorced, no kids [crisis of fai

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Going out on a long limb here, but she sounds to me like someone who was abused sexually.
Yeah, you hit the nail on the head...and yeah, I've known about it for a long time. It was largely unaddressed for a long time, but surfaced when she broke down one day and confessed that she hated sex...and just couldn't handle it. But she wasn't at the state to admit she was totally into porn, online sex, etc. I figured her issues were about her childhood...but she did her best to convince herself and I that she was resilient enough to cope because she was so high-functioning (two Masters Degrees), but I had no idea she had been secretly self-medicating. I still don't know everything I'm sure, but when she demanded a separation abruptly with zero logic...it all came together when I discovered she was having online affairs. Bottoming out to near-suicide, she finally went to counseling, diagnosed PTSD, joined SA, relapsed a couple times ready to fly off to California to meet up with OM, but stopped in time...but again relapsed very recently...getting into another EA online. She says she is committed to getting help, but is pointing to our particular dysfunctions as the culprit, which I can't invalidate, but I aggressively worked on these things while she did nothing, still avoiding intimacy and attachment...she would rather I be a dominant brute who can absolve her of any emotional work while she can still hold the power card. She grew frustrated because she knew I wasn't going to go along with attempts to re-traumatize her to help her to master her issues...and she just put up major indicators of complete sexual disinterest and then sought online affairs with poor saps who could marginally function in the role of a dominant she so fantasizes about. She's threatened divorce so many times, that this time I handled it very well, but I think it is because I am tired of this. Still I told her it is not what I want, but I will not hold her hostage and that if she wants out and gives me papers, I will sign them. I don't even know what to pray for anymore...two weeks ago I wanted this to work out and now I am relieved. Not scared anymore of a future without her.

Apologies to the OP, for my off-topic ramble. Still fresh. My relationship with God is what has always held me together and what will bring me through this...and although I once thought divorce is a forbidden no-no in God's plan, it is something I realize I have been unable to avoid...that I know wholeness awaits on the other side of this wall...God is with me now and will be with me tomorrow. This might sound funny, but without even knowing the situation...some woman who prayed for me a couple years ago about my marital woes randomly said that it took Jacob 14 years of work to get Rachel (and I had actually had been married 14 years at the time without her knowledge). Will there be an actual Rachel in my future? Who knows...all I do know is that I am ready to graduate from this...work on myself and my relationship with God...be a healthy person who will attract healthy relationships.


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post #41 of 45 (permalink) Old 05-14-2013, 09:38 PM
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Re: What's my purpose in life? 39 yr old female, stb divorced, no kids [crisis of fai

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Yeah, you hit the nail on the head...and yeah, I've known about it for a long time. It was largely unaddressed for a long time, but surfaced when she broke down one day and confessed that she hated sex...and just couldn't handle it. But she wasn't at the state to admit she was totally into porn, online sex, etc. I figured her issues were about her childhood...but she did her best to convince herself and I that she was resilient enough to cope because she was so high-functioning (two Masters Degrees), but I had no idea she had been secretly self-medicating. I still don't know everything I'm sure, but when she demanded a separation abruptly with zero logic...it all came together when I discovered she was having online affairs. Bottoming out to near-suicide, she finally went to counseling, diagnosed PTSD, joined SA, relapsed a couple times ready to fly off to California to meet up with OM, but stopped in time...but again relapsed very recently...getting into another EA online. She says she is committed to getting help, but is pointing to our particular dysfunctions as the culprit, which I can't invalidate, but I aggressively worked on these things while she did nothing, still avoiding intimacy and attachment...she would rather I be a dominant brute who can absolve her of any emotional work while she can still hold the power card. She grew frustrated because she knew I wasn't going to go along with attempts to re-traumatize her to help her to master her issues...and she just put up major indicators of complete sexual disinterest and then sought online affairs with poor saps who could marginally function in the role of a dominant she so fantasizes about. She's threatened divorce so many times, that this time I handled it very well, but I think it is because I am tired of this. Still I told her it is not what I want, but I will not hold her hostage and that if she wants out and gives me papers, I will sign them. I don't even know what to pray for anymore...two weeks ago I wanted this to work out and now I am relieved. Not scared anymore of a future without her.

Apologies to the OP, for my off-topic ramble. Still fresh. My relationship with God is what has always held me together and what will bring me through this...and although I once thought divorce is a forbidden no-no in God's plan, it is something I realize I have been unable to avoid...that I know wholeness awaits on the other side of this wall...God is with me now and will be with me tomorrow. This might sound funny, but without even knowing the situation...some woman who prayed for me a couple years ago about my marital woes randomly said that it took Jacob 14 years of work to get Rachel (and I had actually had been married 14 years at the time without her knowledge). Will there be an actual Rachel in my future? Who knows...all I do know is that I am ready to graduate from this...work on myself and my relationship with God...be a healthy person who will attract healthy relationships.
That's what I thought. We will see what God does in both of your lives in the future. She needs some real healing and there are no quick fixes for what she has gone through. Whatever happens with your relationship, my advice is for you to find your strength in the One who loves you more than you could ever imagine.
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post #42 of 45 (permalink) Old 12-19-2013, 08:45 PM
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Re: What's my purpose in life? 39 yr old female, stb divorced, no kids [crisis of fai

The purpose of life is to live it.
Can you name one thing you have always wanted to do? then can you do it? Plan today, then plan tomorrow, then you can learn to plan next week, month year. But for now plan today, live today and repeat. Soon you will be able to do more. Right now you are emotionally a newborn, you need to learn and develop before you can crawl, walk and run. I will pray for you, God doesn't abandon you.
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post #43 of 45 (permalink) Old 03-31-2014, 09:26 PM Thread Starter
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Re: What's my purpose in life? 39 yr old female, stb divorced, no kids [crisis of fai

I haven't visited TAM in almost 11 months.

I hope @Former Self is doing better in his situation. I am so sorry for you that you had to deal with your wife's sex addiction and intimacy issues. Even though my ex-husband did not suffer from SA, I think that it took him the first 10-15 yrs of our marriage to realize that he was not emotionally "ready" for marriage, which sounds similar to your spouse. We went through a lot together, and he was a great friend to me. But he was not really self-aware enough to realize that he couldn't commit to me or anyone else in an intimate relationship until he dealt with his own baggage from his parental relationships. I think that since we separated and divorced he is trying to work on those issues. Unfortunately, he didn't want to work with me anymore.

@RevClonn, Thank you for your thoughtful reply. I know that what you say is the right answer "on paper" and I know that I have to learn to live in the present. The issue is that my emotions continually draw me into ruminating over the past (if only...) and worrying about the future (it wasn't supposed to turn out like this). My "plans" from when I was 18 and thought I could conquer the world did not come to fruition. Now that I am 40, it's hard to re-think what my life is supposed to look like.

I came back to TAM today because I was feeling sad and lonely and I wondered if I had really made any progress at all. I see by looking at my old posts that I am still struggling with the same issues, but that things are slowly getting better overall.

I still don't know what G-d wants from me, but I'm a bit calmer about facing the future alone. I want to do what @RevClonn says an "live life" - choose to make each day something worthwhile. I am still struggling with the "how" and I continue to have setbacks, but I think I have managed to keep moving forward.

You only live once?
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post #44 of 45 (permalink) Old 04-02-2014, 12:07 PM
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I haven't visited TAM in almost 11 months.

I hope @Former Self is doing better in his situation. I am so sorry for you that you had to deal with your wife's sex addiction and intimacy issues. Even though my ex-husband did not suffer from SA, I think that it took him the first 10-15 yrs of our marriage to realize that he was not emotionally "ready" for marriage, which sounds similar to your spouse. We went through a lot together, and he was a great friend to me. But he was not really self-aware enough to realize that he couldn't commit to me or anyone else in an intimate relationship until he dealt with his own baggage from his parental relationships. I think that since we separated and divorced he is trying to work on those issues. Unfortunately, he didn't want to work with me anymore.

@RevClonn, Thank you for your thoughtful reply. I know that what you say is the right answer "on paper" and I know that I have to learn to live in the present. The issue is that my emotions continually draw me into ruminating over the past (if only...) and worrying about the future (it wasn't supposed to turn out like this). My "plans" from when I was 18 and thought I could conquer the world did not come to fruition. Now that I am 40, it's hard to re-think what my life is supposed to look like.

I came back to TAM today because I was feeling sad and lonely and I wondered if I had really made any progress at all. I see by looking at my old posts that I am still struggling with the same issues, but that things are slowly getting better overall.

I still don't know what G-d wants from me, but I'm a bit calmer about facing the future alone. I want to do what @RevClonn says an "live life" - choose to make each day something worthwhile. I am still struggling with the "how" and I continue to have setbacks, but I think I have managed to keep moving forward.
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post #45 of 45 (permalink) Old 04-02-2014, 12:32 PM
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I also come back to TAM for advice lately. My wife walked away with many of the symptoms described in TAM. So glad to read that your world is appearing slightly better. I'm 49. I set goals for myself based around the advice and passionately pursued them. Umm, well, more like desperately did forward movement to get to a place of peace. I wanted pain and reflection of what I could of or should have done to go away . My peace came from God. A feeling that I desperately needed. A real relationship with Jesus.

Not only did I get that new feeling better than before, but my perspective changed. I have deeper, more meaningful relationships and experiences.
No drugs, no harmful habits. Just the quickest straightest path was what I wanted. I'm no zealot. I chose this action and it works.

My sympathy goes out now much more easily. I'm so sorry you've had the experiences your having. I'm there at times and others not as much. Doing the above, losing 50lbs and suddenly realizing I could do anything I did in my 20's also was a huge help. Compliments are nice too, both receiving and giving. Talk, grieve, acknowledge being angry and eventually let it go. Talk to God as you would your closest, most respected friend. I'm here to tell you not as a hypocrite, but as one who suffers with many joy filled smiles throughout the day. There are days I don't even want to start. The best new memories are from the days I went outside and lived the maximum healthy most fun a person should have. The old memories pale and fade as I do this. Ski, hike, cook, ride fast, pray in the forest or on a snow hill.

Your analytical ability as a woman is a rare gift. Obviously you also deeply care. A strong man will treasure this! And 40 to boot! That means fewer hormonal outbursts or drama but still young enough to share some youth.
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