First, I hope everyone reading had a good Thanksgiving. I'm sure for some people who look on this board, this might have been a day for thanks, but also, unfortunately, for a certain amount of grieving.
It was so good to hear from all of you -- Annie, BeachBabe, Karen, Debi, Nancy and Southerman. I think it would be nice to have some type of cyberconnection for the long term divorced and the aftermath. I do think that while divorce is devastating whatever the age, whatever the situation, etc, it is a bit different for those of us who spent most of our adult lives with someone and then find themselves basically alone. Grown children and family and friends are still there, but as mentioned by other posters, the dynamics have forever changed and if you are not the person who wanted out, your life changes are fraught with more uncertainty and certainly more confusion than others.
Saying that, I just wanted to add to Annie's and Karen's comments. The three of us were married, if I remember correctly, for very long times (over 25 years) and all of our children are now grown and living their own lives.
Similar to Annie, the beginning of the end of my marriage started in 2001. Some days it seems like yesterday this all happened. I look around at the other people in my life, and for many of them, life hasn't changed hardly at all. We're older but all of my married friends have remained so. I sometimes wonder what was wrong with "me" that I was the one with the failed marriage. I know it is counter-productive to see it that way, but one does wonder after awhile. This holiday and this past year, for many real reasons (mostly due to the fact that all of my children are now in committed relationships andmy ex-husband has already been remarried over five years)has been particularly difficult for me. I think it is the lack of hope that I am now experiencing. I used to believe in the theory that "If God closes a door, he opens a window." Well, for one thing, it wasn't God that closed the door! I haven't really changed my life at all. I actually think I act like a married woman, without any of the perks generaly associated with that status.
So, I guess all I really wanted to say was yet another thank you for those who wrote. Sometimes just knowing that others do feel like you do -- that you are not all that unusual-- feeling the broken aspects of your life, is some comfort in and of itself.
Time takes away some things; it adds others. I'm still wondering exactly what it is I'm supposed to be doing right now (and that might have been a quandry even if I had remained married). Raising a family takes a great deal of love, time and energy. I'm glad for what I had. I would like to think that the future holds something in store for me, but I feel fairly directionless (at least today!!).
I do strongly agree with Annie's comments about the "letting go" theory. I wasted a good number of years imagining that everything was going to work out in some magical way. Perhaps it is sometimes our own mind's way of protecting us from the assault that is levied when someone that you still love really demonstrates how one-sided that condition can be. I would say to all who have been "told" by their partners "adios," that they come to an earlier acceptance of that stark reality. The longer one waits for that acceptance, the longer it is to really recover and for those of us who are older, time is not actually our friend.
I'd like to end on a positive note since the above seems to be more bleak than what had intended. So, I guess the good news is that we are still here, life can change and we can make it happen if we continue to try, and that good friends and good dialogue are important avenues for everyone's life.
I wish you all a very good day. Take care,