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Curt551
journeyman


Reged: 03/23/10
Posts: 82
The weight of rejection...
      #681663 - 08/10/10 12:46 PM

I am beginning to think that dealing with divorce is a never ending process where the pain gradually dulls to irrelevance but the emotional damage done has its own unique memory.

My ex and I have been apart for 5 years. I was a hermit for 3 of those 5 years... wake, work, weep, sleep... rinse and repeat. In nearly every other aspect of my life I am confident, assertive as need be, and compassionate. In this aspect (recovering from divorce and engaging in new relationships) I'm not confident, still hearing and sometimes feeling the echos of what she said to me on her way out and after.

In the past 2 years I joined a couple of dating sites and began the process of normalization (if there is such a thing haha) after divorce. I followed through and met with a few of the women I chatted with and enjoyed the time as well as the activities. The activities did not go further than dinner, supper, a movie which was fine by me. I didn't feel any discomfort changing those relationships from romantic to friendship (mutually decided upon), some by my choice some by theirs. Recently I engaged in a very cool dialogue with a woman my age, similar interests, similar passions. She wrote me two to three times a day, we exchanged phone numbers, then she stopped all together and sent me an email letting me know that she appreciated getting to know me, enjoyed our exchange, but she decided to date a long time friend. I return emailed and let her know that I wished her all the happiness the world could offer. When I hit the send button I was surprised how much her change of heart affected me.

I don't see myself as having a lot of baggage. Most things have been resolved but this truly botherd me... makes me want to just be a hermit... work, sleep, find alone hobbies, and accept being single as a permanent lifestyle. Its another step in healing but I have to admit... there are days I'm absolutely sick of finding new things to heal haha.

I do know I'm getting better... I did not type in the cuss words I was thinking while I wrote this haha.


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Debi
Carpal \'Tunnel
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Reged: 06/03/05
Posts: 7155
Re: The weight of rejection... [Re: Curt551]
      #681763 - 08/10/10 08:19 PM

Mmmmmmm. It's always hard when you're not the one ready to let go. I unlike you DO have a lot of baggage but am always honest and up front about it so that I don't have to deal with the "you didn't tell me that" statements.

If you remember last fall (geez has it been that long?) I briefly dated a man that I liked a lot. We had several interests in common and respected in each other the ones we didn't. He and I also exchanged several e-mails a day and spoke on the phone nearly every night. I was devestated when he decided he couldn't see me anymore because of the ages of my kids (his are adults and as you know mine aren't).

It was actually my x's wife who put it in the best perspective when I said I didn't understand why I was so upset. It wasn't like I was in love with him or anything. I had known him for less than 2 months. She said it was because our relationship, such as it was belonged only to me and I didn't have to share it with anyone else. That made a lot of sense considering I share EVERYTHING in my life including a bedroom (with my 2yo)

I think everyone who comes into our lives leaves something and takes something and a little piece of us is never the same. She wasn't the one but she gave you a glimpse of what "the one" could look like. It's hard to let that go.

--------------------
When we were together, you said you'd die for me. Now, I think it's time you kept your promise.


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Curt551
journeyman


Reged: 03/23/10
Posts: 82
Re: The weight of rejection... [Re: Debi]
      #681897 - 08/11/10 09:15 AM

Thanks for the comment Debi. I can't say that I do not have baggage haha. I'm discovering some that I didn't realize I had. You may be right about " everyone who comes into our lives leaves something and takes something and a little piece of us is never the same".

I'm discovering how much a 'relationship' matters to me. I can be alone and I can manage but I would prefer to be with someone. Its an odd thing that I can be lonely and particular at the same time haha. I suppose when that conflict concludes I'll be married again haha. I know that I don't want 'lonely' to dictate my choices even though I feel the press particularly keen at times like these.


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bacall
enthusiast
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Reged: 06/03/05
Posts: 275
Ah....The weight of rejection... [Re: Curt551]
      #681951 - 08/11/10 10:29 AM

Dear Curt,

Well, your post has again hit one of the many "triggers" on the head. I don't think divorce's impact ever leaves a person. I have now listed it in my mind as a waking and walking death. Before everyone accuses me of being melodramatic, let me qualify -- a long term marriage's dissolution by choice is a walking death. I cannot speak for shorter than 30 year marriages. I know some people have a difficult time "recovering" from a relationship of short duration, without vows taken and no children. For those of us whose lives were, indeed, defined by our marriage (yes, I know that is a "mistake," but it is still the truth for more people than might acknowledge it), the aftermath of divorce is equal to an earthquake -- constant after shocks and devastation.

Okay, well, anyway, back to your post. I think it makes perfect sense, albeit very sad, that you feel the way you feel. I think that is why I haven't ventured out into the world of -- whatever the world is nowadays. I've stayed, in a sense, in both a comfort and uncomfortable zone -- I see my children and their significant others whenever I can, I am in contact with all my friends who were my friends before the divorce, I have lost any kind of really personal contact with my large extended ex-in-law family, but still attend events when invited (fewer by the year). But, I have not been interested in looking for someone or trying to "find" someone. This sounds truly corny, but I am going with the more spiritual aspects of life in general. If it is meant to be that I find someone, then that person will enter my life. I didn't go looking for my husband decades ago, and I don't want to pursue a man or a mate, or whatever, now.

Now, I know that we are all at a very different place than what we were all in before. Young people seem to meet and greet and discover new loves, relationships and friends at a fast pace these days. Unlike you, I don't think I would have the patience, fortitude or inclination to do what I guess many divorced people do today. The notion of Internet dating and similar pursuits is an interesting phenomenon. But, I fully appreciate that it might be a good way to reintroduce oneself into the dating world. Maybe some day I'll change my mind over that, but for now, I don't think so. I'm still dealing with the marriage is forever concept that I had cherished all my life. Well, that idea has pretty much flown out the window in my own personal life, so I still can't figure out where I even stand on what to do next. (alas, probably a key factor in my not being able to close out my "old" life and have a new one).

Sorry to be talking so much about me and not your situation. But, I think you are being too hard on yourself. I think what you feel, unfortunately, is so completely natural and normal. Most of us (from what I can vaguely recall!!), even in our single days, felt the stab of rejection, even when it wasn't someone we were all that interested in. It is a basic human instinct to want to be liked, sometimes loved, always respected. You seem to be handling it all pretty well, it seems to me. Luckily, you didn't imagine or hope that she was the one. There will be others and one day, perhaps the "one" that will shine above all the rest.

I also concur with Debi -- everyone we meet or have contact with teaches us something. Some of these lessons are incredibly hard, some so heartwarming it can move us to tears, and then others, just a momentary glimpse or touch of life. All in all, life is all about connectedness.

I am firmly convinced that this one experience will just be a blip on the screen. I think there will be many more good experiences in the future for you.

Take care. Bacall


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ByHisGrace
newbie


Reged: 09/10/06
Posts: 27
Re: Ah....The weight of rejection... [Re: bacall]
      #681961 - 08/11/10 11:47 AM

I don't know if this will help, but you will meet, chat and connect with women who feel attracted/connected to you, and find that after getting to know them, they are not a match for you.

You will then be the one to end that connection, and they will feel disappointed. It doesn't mean that anything is wrong with them, or that they will never meet "Mr. Right." They just weren't right for you. It is just part and parcel of the dating process. And, I don't think anyone enjoys this part of it.

It is hard to put yourself out there, but I think it is hard for everyone.

--------------------
"Once you realize that life is basically ridiculous, you can relax and enjoy it!"


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Curt551
journeyman


Reged: 03/23/10
Posts: 82
Re: Ah....The weight of rejection... [Re: ByHisGrace]
      #682171 - 08/11/10 08:47 PM

Thanks for responding Bacall and ByHisGrace.

ByHisGrace - We are in agreement. I've experienced what you are referencing and believe that it will be a reocurring experience until I settle into a relationship. I also agree that its difficult for everyone to put themselves out there. Sure wish there was a better way but I'm a little old for my parents to try to arrange a marriage for me haha... man... now that IS A SCARY THOUGHT!!

Bacall - I was married a long while as well... 34 years. Its not that I really wanted to jump into internet dating it was more that my work schedule and life choices prevented me from going to places that people seem to go to meet others. I don't go to bars and though I am spiritual it seems out of place to go to church to evaluate which participant I might want to date haha. Maybe its just me. I've been considering the singles groups and organizations that are in one of the cities I work. Most of the meetings close to meet on a night that I work late. I'm still looking and will likely try one of those.

I was not having much luck finding someone just waiting for the right one to show up. Maybe I should start a door to door dating service for all of us that are waiting for that person to walk up on the porch and ring the doorbell haha.

In all honesty, I found sitting and waiting to be persistently depressing. It sounds like I'm really going out a lot but I'm not. I'm in the early stages of venturing out. Its not easy but it feels better than spinning in the same place was feeling.

So... (takes a deep breath) time to risk again when it feels right to do so.


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bacall
enthusiast
**

Reged: 06/03/05
Posts: 275
Re: Ah....The weight of rejection... [Re: Curt551]
      #682280 - 08/12/10 09:26 AM

Dear Curt,
I hope you didn't think that I was being critical of you or of the notion of Internet dating because I think it is a viable option for many and you are so right -- I think it might very well be much more difficult to "meet" people than in the "old" days! Saying that, I am not at home waiting for the knock on the door by my soul mate! I actually thought I had one once upon a time. I keep really busy most of the time for my peace of mind. That might be a paradox, but I enjoy being out, going out, seeing family and friends. Maybe I'm gun shy on the idea of meeting someone else, maybe I am really distrustful of people now. Saying that (or writing that), I hope it isn't really true, but who knows? And, maybe just because I've never tried that approach I'm hesitant to do so.

So, that brings me to my question. What is it like to meet somebody via the internet and schedule a dinner, etc. with them? I know you mentioned your experiences briefly, but do you find it interesting, exciting, nerve-wracking or any or none of the above? Just curious.

Anyway, I think that each of us hopefully heals in our own time and way. I do think it is harder than people realize to connect with others when you are beyond 40! Perhaps I just haven't looked into enough new activities (I know that is true actually). I do believe, also, that if you know what you want -- either in a person or a hobby, or whatever -- that over time you will be successful in your search.

Anyway, just wanted to respond to your post.
Hope you have a great day. Take care. Bacall


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Curt551
journeyman


Reged: 03/23/10
Posts: 82
Re: Ah....The weight of rejection... [Re: bacall]
      #682318 - 08/12/10 11:20 AM

Hi Bacall,

No worries Bacall :). I didn't take it as you being critical at all. My response about waiting for someone to knock on the door was an attempt at humor related to a phase of readjusting to divorce. I think a lot of us wait for that special person to arrive rather than go out there at least until one's comfort level begins to press us out. Might just be my observation and associated assumption... assuming is always risky haha.

I also was not being critical of you in anyway. I agree that each person heals in their own way and that its a process not an event.

Internet dating can be a lot of things I think. Its like the world... some people see it as a meat market, some as a fantasy site, some as an actual way of meeting people. For me it is just one way to get to begin conversations with women who's profiles interest me. Its not so different than conversations like these on a forum except that the discussions are private. You have to sort through those that are genuine and those that are not but your profile, if done honestly, will take care of most of that.

Once you have had enough email discussion to determine whether you would like to meet someone, you simply make the request to meet for lunch or coffee or a soft drink in a public place. Then you meet and talk face-to-face and determine whether to progress forward from there.

There are dangers and rewards which is true in all dating. You have some scammers or disingenous people that you have to sort through but there are also very sincere down to earth people as well. People of a variety of faiths and the faithless.

My experience has been mixed. I have not asked many out but I have a few. I've had one attempt at being scammed which was a really good attempt that I eventually had fun with (an entirely different post). Two that I've remained friends with, one that we mutually decided to part ways, and one that told me I wasn't marriage minded enough after 3 dates haha. I'm glad I escaped that one. I didn't venture out or attempt to see anyone the first 3 years of my divorce. Year 4 was difficult because I would unconsciously catch myself comparing the woman to my ex. I've had quite a few internet conversations but not many meetings/dates for the same reason you mention. I have to feel pretty secure with the person before I'll actually meet them.

Hope that answers your question :).

Warm regards,

Curt


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bacall
enthusiast
**

Reged: 06/03/05
Posts: 275
Re: Ah....The weight of rejection... [Re: Curt551]
      #682503 - 08/13/10 09:35 AM

Dear Curt,
Thanks for your reply. Glad you wrote. Your description of internet "dating" is what I presume it to be. The interesting (or strange, maybe) thing to me is how difficult it is to meet new people -- I don't know if it is an age thing, a work thing (meaning there are some work situations where people meet new people all the time; in my case, it has been the same people for over 10 years), a fear thing, a not being in the right place at the right time thing. I would actually like to just meet/have more friends at this point in my life. I value all the friendships I have (women), but almost 90% of my friends are "happily" married and one ends up feeling last in a long list of people and obligations in their lives. It is the same with me in a sense since I try always to put my family first, but there is a sense of not having anyone of your "own" so to speak -- I don't mean in a sense of ownership, but in a sense of someone knowing you, caring if you got home, planning things with. As time passes, that is probably what I miss the most -- the anchor, so to speak, that marriage graces one with -- even marriages that are not made in heaven and end up badly -- there is a sense of belonging that is very absent when the marriage is over. Maybe not everyone feels this way, but as time goes on, I feel this more than before.

Anyway, as you say, it is probably a good way to meet people. I didn't really think much about people using it as a scam tactic, but I do feel it is something one would need to use caution and good judgment with -- perhaps a much bigger issue for women than men.

Take care, bacall


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Curt551
journeyman


Reged: 03/23/10
Posts: 82
Re: Ah....The weight of rejection... [Re: bacall]
      #682546 - 08/13/10 01:07 PM

I agree, it is difficult to meet people. I live in a small town (population less than 1000) and work in a larger metro area but when I'm working there is very little time to go out and meet people unless I'd go to bars which I am not willing to do. I work in a small office where the women are in their late 20s or early 30s. I'm thinking those two conditions make my rationalizations sound haha but I also think part of it is simply the fear of rejection.

I think finding someone with whom you are romantically compatable with is like trying to pull a diamond from the center of a bonfire... the risk of getting burned is greater than the probability of securing the diamond but once secured the probability of being burned is remarkably diminished... you always think the diamond is hot but in a different sense haha. Anyway, I don't know if there is a perfect way to do this.

I can certainly relate to the missing the comfort of belonging. The routine of companionship and the safety of being part of a duo that is functioning productively. When its good its really good :) Its particularly so in public for some reason. I do not know why attachment is so important in public but it is to many people. I go back and forth with it. Then again, I try not to let loneliness reshape my thinking. I'm not as successful as I'd like to be sometimes.

I think the longer we're single we begin to forget about the difficulties that couples have becoming synchronized. All of the "okay... who squeezed the toothpaste in the MIDDLE!", "put the lid down", "leave the lid up", "you don't want a husband you want a butler", "you don't want a wife, you want a maide", "the floor is not the clothes hamper", "ouch!! do you have to leave that curling iron on 24/7?!?", "OMG what is that on the soap?" haha. I could write a book haha. I am not denying the really good times here but I'm reminding myself that there are synchronizing issues that one does not have to deal with while single... at least in the same way.

On the subject of scammers, I think its actually equal as far as gender goes. On a site I finally left, I got more than my fair share of 22 to 29 year old writing in broken or confused english suggesting that at 56 I was the hottie of the month, the dream of their dreams, send money for a plane ticket and we'll be married tomorrow haha, US cliche's and all. I quote, "hello beg boy, for to I want marry you. I am stible American girl from Georgia USA. I want stible man for to dance and love make. Love me at applepie@[censored].com we chat." Then there are the less obvious posing as missionaries or young american women living in Africa looking for a way home. Some are really good at the scam. These days I chuckle when I see one because once you are aware of the games its pretty easy to pick all but the extremely efficient out of the crowd quickly. Its usually about money or green cards. They seem to pose as men and women in their late 20s or very early 30s and target males and females in their 50s, seemingly, with a preference for Christians or people that sound very lonely in their profiles. I had one actually tell me that 50+ Christian was the primary target. I am happy that scammers are less than 5 percent of the folks you meet on line though I'd prefer they would disappear all together.

Have a great day Bacall :) I always enjoy our conversations.

Curt


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