Single Parents - Divorced Adults Group Message Board › What's the best way to "get over" losing the family bond that you

What's the best way to "get over" losing the family bond that you had when you were married, and how to move on and not hurt someone else?

A former member
Post #: 2
I am having some issues of moving on with my life. I never really dated anyone long term before I met my wife and I miss us being a family. I know that we will never reconcile, but she has moved on and I have not "gotten" to that point yet and I don't know how to get over giving up my family. I made the final decision and I'm not sure if I made the right choice.
If there is anyone who can give me any advice as to get over things and move on with my life and "try" to be happy for my ex(who we are kind of still trying to be friends) would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,

Tim
jennifer
user 9687335
Madison, WI
Post #: 1
hey Tim..... my marriage had been over for 2 years but I still miss the "thought of forever" that we were suppose to have and I miss my step-daughter more than anything... I'm sure alot of us can relate to these same feelings...the best advice I can give you is to take it day by day, get out and meet new people, focus on your future/happiness and be the best daddy you can be! smile
kathy b
user 10977654
Milton, WI
Post #: 8
Thanks Tim.
I bet this is something that most of us struggle with. There were a lot of happy memories as well as tough ones. We lost the hopes and dreams we had for a long time - years!
Everyone grieves at a different pace. In hindsight, it helped me a lot that I didn't start dating soon. It gave me time to focus more on me and where I wanted to go from here and to really feel what I was going through. I still have wistful moments, but they are brief and intermittent. It's been 5 years.
It also helped me to have less contact, polite but the less the better. Being involved at all in my ex-husbands life kept me thinking about the past, our plans and envying every success or family celebration he has without me. I considered remaining friends with my last boyfriend, but then I thought ... why? I was crazy about him, but he continued to remind me of what might have been. We had no children together, and being in touch made me sad.
Sometimes I think of it like moving out of state. If I moved I'd have to start ALL over. It is a lot of work though, particularly if you are just plain tired of the struggle. We are worth it. We'd help someone else in a heartbeat. Time to help ourselves. It makes us stronger and happier. It also sets a fabulous example for our kids.
Where ever you are along this path, take it easy on yourself.
Kathy
A former member
Post #: 26
Tim, I strongly recommend taking a class called Rebuilding. It's a 10-week program that takes you through all sorts of issues that arise due to separation and divorce. I've been a TA for the program for the last two classes and I'm glad to say that nearly all participants make good progress in the kinds of things you're experiencing.

I also recommend the book "Broken Open" by Elizabeth Lesser. The title is very apt and if you use it as a kind of guide book (as I did after my second marriage ended) it will help you heal.

If you'd like more information, or just to chat, feel free to contact me privately.

Dave
A former member
Post #: 1
Tim,

Most counselors will say, for every five years of marriage, a year is required to heal. I also agree with Dave - some sort of program such as Rebuilders. Be careful, if you are not healed, you will attract damaged people when you try to date. Sometimes those people can set you back more than the divorce!

If siblings or friends are understanding, you may have to just form new traditions with them. I was married 18 years and have been divorced for almost 11. I have just now figured out a lot of this so be patient with yourself. Be good to yourself and try to surround yourself with positive, well-meaning friends and family.

The friendship thing with your spouse will get better as the pain and anger (or whatever is rummaging around in your heart) lessens. Once emotions aren't as charged and you aren't filled with such excess nostalgia, you will be better able to assess that this person is and was a good person - just not exactly great partners together. You can be good ex-partners, accept their new lives and they accept yours.

When you are ready to date, a wonderful course is Dating Dementia - very well done.

Whatever you do, once you decide to date, make sure that new partner is the one you include and blend into your new traditions. That is a mistake that we make the second time around - not including them. You will want your new partner not to feel like an orphan at a family picnic. :)

Joan
A former member
Post #: 3
I want to thank you for all the advice, the one bad thing is I hate being alone. My ex has the kids the majority of the time and I have never really been by myself. I just watch the movie "Hitch" and I think one of the best quotes I've ever heard in a movie is what Hitch says at the end. He says. " Because that's what people do, they leap and hope to God they can fly cause otherwise we just drop like a rock and wonder why in the hell did I jump"! Its one of the best ones I've heard in a while.

I hope to make it to a get-together soon, I am waiting for my house to come through in Deforest and then I will be more available to go to something soon.
Thanks,

Tim
Laura
user 6540411
Group Organizer
Madison, WI
Post #: 89
Tim, I do hope you can make it to some of our group get-togethers soon. I think it will help. One of the great things about this group is the network of friendship and support it offers, without the pressure and confusion of dating when you aren't ready to take that step.

What both Jennifer and Kathy have said is absolutely right. Most of us struggle, or have struggled, with this issue, and the process of coming to terms with the loss will take different amounts of time for different people. I loved Kathy's comment about having "wistful moments". I have also had those moments, and still do from time to time. But, as Kathy said, they are brief and become fewer and farther between with time.

As for being "happy" for your ex, perhaps your expectations for yourself are too high at this point. I have found it most helpful to have an amicable relationship with my ex. We maintain regular contact with respect to all of the things that affect our children's lives, and while we are not "close", it is friendly. We co-parent and work together as a team for the sake of our children, and I strongly believe we are all happier as a result. Certainly it relieves the stress children of divorce often have when they feel they have to pick sides or deal with one or both parent's anger and resentment toward the other. In the beginning, my focus was on maintaining good relations for the kids, and I really didn't care whether my ex was "happy" or not. Now I can honestly say that while I will probably always feel some measure of disappointment that our marriage ended, I wish him well. But it has taken a long time to get there.

I took Rebuilders and joined this group at about the same time. While I am glad I took the Rebuilders class, I found that being involved, making friends, and getting out with this group was what helped me move on the most, and I will always be grateful this group was available when I needed it. I guess that's why I am still involved and want to keep it going.

Best of luck to you, Tm, and we look forward to meeting you when you are ready.
A former member
Post #: 4
Tim -

I think I went through similar emotions. Here is what I'll say get out, and just get out don't worry about dating. Take time for YOU. I sulked around the house and thought about how miserable I was. I've just recently started getting involved, and meeting new people. I have met a few of of the coolest, and best people to talk to through this meetup group. Talking to people who have gone through similar situations really does help. I checked out your profile. I am also in DeForest, originally from Wausau (saw you were from rapids). If you EVER want to get together let me know. Just get a drink at a local watering hole and watch a brewer game. I have the kids on W, R and e/o weekend (I am kid free may 20-22). You can look me up on Facebook if you have a page.
Brad
user 9893415
Middleton, WI
Post #: 4
...and just get out don't worry about dating. Take time for YOU.

Quoted for truth.

I went through DivorceCare, a Christian base program, this or any other is extremely helpful. One thing I've learned through this is who did what really doesn't matter, no one judges, we've all made mistakes; Divorce sucks.

Getting out with the group was and still is the best thing I've done, it kind of saved me as far as what to do with myself. I felt the opposite you do, I was completely overwhelmed, trapped and drowning with the kids. Wanting a social life and not the local tavern, feeling the emptiness but not ready to date I didn't know which way to turn.

Since actually building the nerve to walk into an event, then finding out I was nervous for no reason, I have been to some of the coolest places I never would have even walked into otherwise. I have, most importantly, met some of the coolest people, it really has changed my life - and I'm fairly new.

Hopefully see you out there,

Brad
Dana
user 13507676
Oregon, WI
Post #: 11
One other local resource is the Bethel Lutheran Separated and Divorce support group. They meet every Tuesday at 7 at the Bethel Lutheran Church near the Capitol. There is a small faith-related element (they repeat the Lord's Prayer, but you don't have to participate) to the beginning of each meeting, but otherwise it is not religious oriented.

It is facilitated by two professional counselors, who volunteer their time. There is no charge. To attend similar groups at the offices of those counselors, for a multi-week period, would cost hundreds of dollars.

Some find it very helpful. I attended for a few weeks and while a lot of the discussion didn't feel that relevant to me, I did get a couple of nuggets of very good advice and I think it was helpful to me to be exposed to the emotions of others.

http://www.bethel-mad...­

The previously mentioned “Dating Dementia” class is conducted by one of the counselors, Margaret Lambert, of this group.

I also strongly second the suggestions to get out and socialize with this group and others. And take it slow on any relationships. One of the strong pieces of advice from the counselors noted above is to stay out of close relationships until you deal with your issues. You might think you are ready, but few are.
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