It was inevitable my marriage was going to end, but I believe both of us can honestly say we tried damn hard for it to work. When we eventually admitted to each other it was over there was a sense of relief. We decided I would remain in the house until such a time our children had got used to the idea and we had sorted out a few of the finer details. The day I moved out I really thought it was going to be easy, and I was looking forward to the beginning of a new chapter in my life. In truth I hadn’t moved on as much as I thought. I went through phases of praising her and hating her and sometimes at the same time! Emotionally I was a car crash and quickly realised I needed to be patient with myself.
I was lucky enough to be openminded and decided to sign up for some therapy. I have told this to very few people, probably because of the stigma attached. It was the best and hardest thing I ever did. The end result was I became very comfortable and accepting of myself. I reflected on my past mistakes and learned a great deal from it. The end of my marriage was not because of my spouse, it was both of us equally. However, the marriage was over and I had to concentrate on my mistakes to ensure I would not make them again.
Friends, mainly male were green with envy and offering to assist me in setting up profiles for online dating sites. Their intentions were good but I declined and decided to be celibate for a while. I had two reasons for this decision. 1, I needed some time for myself, get my head together. I was far from ready to jump back on the saddle. 2, I have two daughters and what kind of message would I be sending them. I am their Dad and role model. I found being alone, a single parent a super experience, it gave me time to focus n my children and myself.
I became the person I wanted to be, and embraced my new identity. I had time to pursue many of my interests that had escaped me during marriage. I lost the extra weight I had been carrying and four inches off my waist. Although during Coronavirus lockdown one inch has magically reappeared. I swim at least 3 km 3 times a week. This was great me time whilst an even better way to stay fit. Don’t get me wrong I absolutely hate the thought of undressing and getting into the water, but feel amazing when I get out.
Once our children arrived I took the role of parenting very seriously, I had always wanted children and was blessed with my two daughter. I would rather stay at home with then go out. This was a problem in my marriage and I can understand now how it must have annoyed my ex. I should have made more of an effort and I regret not doing so. When I became single I had to get out of the house and socialise, otherwise I would have slowly gone mad. I have made lots of new friends and enjoy the banter. It’s also nice to have a beer and watch a match with other supporters. In essence when I was alone I had not realised how isolated I was from the world compared to when I was part of a couple. I had focused too much on my family unit and not others around us. We have a tendency to keep distance in our friendships when we are in a relationship or marriages, because of our priorities and lack of time to do it all. I’ve cleared space now, turned to my friendships and given them my time.
Divorce is like taking off a blindfold and I learned my true friends are immediately. The friends who stick around, those are your friends, keep them close. If a person who is not blood related stands by your side when you are in the dark, you can be certain they really love you. Love them back. That was hard to learn, many of my family did not stand by my side and I do not mean take sides, I was not looking for that.
Only have a relationship, when you are ready. Take time to observe how you feel. Fall in love and take precautions for heartbreak. The first person you fall fo after your ex, is usually the opposite in character to the person you were married to. During this time, explore yourself. I swore I would never date certain types but the person who is probably perfect for me is all the things I said I never wanted. This is because I did not have a clue what I wanted, I did not know me. I had to let down my guard and be prepared for anything. I have learned there is no deadline on this journey, don’t hurry. Take time. Enjoy this adventure while it lasts, because life will surely settle in again. I know I will reflect on the time I spent alone as the most petrifying and liberating period in my life.