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Leaving It Behind

So, my rage has passed. Sometimes I am like the weather in the midwest. Don't like how you feel? Wait five minutes, it will change. Now I find myself a bit emotionally disconnected, and don't really feel anything.

Which, to honest, is a huge step up from the nearly continuous pain I've felt. First from my marriage, then from the process of breaking down what I really think was a codependent relationship. I more than loved her, I needed her.

Anyway...now I feel like I want to simply put this behind me. I don't want to keep thinking about my marriage, it is draining away my desire. It's making me not really want to think about sex, and I fear ending up like her. Honestly I think my heart is trying to protect itself, to wall itself off. I find my normally strong sense of empathy dissolving, my understanding nature becoming less so.

I'm sure this is part of the process of getting over someone.

What have your experiences been? How did you feel in the month following the divorce?
FilteringMachine FilteringMachine 31-35, M 9 Responses Jun 16, 2012

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I've been through it the hard way, FM, after my first marriage ended. (that was my second shipwreck) The first couple of years I was just relieved. The constant pain and stress was like a big lead weight tied to my heart, dragging it around with me for about 3-4 years and suddenly it was gone: I was floating. Then the depression, and then I was unable to let any woman near me for years. Trust, gone, all gone. Then, ffs, I discovered I had morphed in to a total control freak, out of fear and pain and distrust. Took me years to get past that and learn to trust again. Some of us take it harder than others. After my first GF disengaged but failed to notify me, it took me about a year to even arrive at anger after I'd found out. If I'm brutally honest I have to admit that it seems I've never been, and possibly never will be, as deeply in love as I was with those two women.<br />
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Looks like you've already moved past the relief and into the anger and whatnot, but I imagine there will be a bunch of emotions swirling around for a while, since you're not the disengaged, cold, couldn't-care-less refuser type. <br />
My first wife just moved on without so much as twitching an eyelid ...<br />
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Best, -P.

Thanks petrushka.

I also grieved my marriage while still in it. For me, the grief was the easier part of the process; the resulting shame is what paralyzed me and brought on the “emotional numbness”. Shame for the neglectful treatment I tolerated for so many years. Shame at having let H’s relentless criticism, defensiveness and gas-lighting cause me to doubt myself.<br />
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Recently I have moved toward acceptance. To accept means to see things clearly, to understand your own behavior, to see your mistakes and learn from them, to forgive yourself for the behavior and mistakes, and then move forward. Acceptance doesn't mean passivity, as Lao said you really do have to “sit with your feelings” and understand their source. With acceptance comes freedom; the freedom to let go of the “bad stuff” and thereby allow yourself to grab the “good stuff” when it comes by.

I think the healthiest thing about this story FM is that you recognise that your feelings are swirling about. Don't try to pin yourself down to any particular "state of mind" - just let them come and go. <br />
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I wholeheartedly endorse Lao's suggestioon to "sit with your pain" when those times occur. Our natural inclination is to avoid that pain as quickly as we can, by distracting ourselves in some way. But processing it by sitting with it, feeling it, acknowledging it and allowing yourself to accept it is a very GOOD way to help minimise it when it cycles around for a second (or one hundred and second!) turn.<br />
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If you read my story "Maple Syrup" you will see that my first year of being apart from my Ex was, at times, excrutiatingly hard to bear. And there are still moments when the pain is sharp . . . Recently when he held our granddaughter in his arms for the first time, I mourned the fact that we were not taking this new journey (grandparenting) together. But the feeling was much less intense and lasted much more briefly than it used to in the first year.<br />
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You are only one month out - give yourself permission to suffer! {{{{Hugs}}}}

Congratulations, Filter. <br />
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I'll confess, I was a bit concerned for you after reading your last post. While anger is natural, rage is a whole different monster. It's good that you got it out. You can move on now, as you are demonstrating.<br />
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I have a tough time expressing my anger. I dance around it with sarcasm and childish jabs. But, I'm not officially divorced yet, either...<br />
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Your progress is encouraging. I'm happy for you.

I agree that many of us do our grieving before getting out.<br />
Staying emotionally invested is just not doable for many of us in the midst of long-term sexlessness. <br />
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It's actually commendable and an indication of how much of a feeling person you are that you DID stay emotionally invested. But I'm still glad that some of your rage has subsided. Just don't be surprised if it rears it's ugly head when you least expect it.

You're mourning. Even though you know it's over, you still are losing a relationship that was part of your life for many years and you are also losing the dreams you had for the future of your marriage. It'll take awhile and you may swing through several emotions in a day (or minute).

Start looking at other women.

Got that covered! Turns out they like me!

Are any of them hotter than your ox-wife?

My two cents - you need time to sit with your feelings (yes, the ups and downs and numbness too). I reckon I mentioned this before. Its so easy to want to lose yourself in activity or being busy or going through the motion of 'living' life - the doing aspect of what you feel you had missed out on. Living is being alive, not doing alive.<br />
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If it helps, read what I wrote about sitting with my pain. Like Baz, I had done grieving within my marriage, yet I had post separation stuff to sort through. When you catch up to yourself, be completely honest and be gentle. You have to empty your cup of its bitter dregs before you can fill it again, this time with sweetness. Take care.

I think you are right. I've always pushed myself, and I think I'm just pushing too hard to feel normal again.

Mine is probably not helpful to you FM.<br />
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I believe I had done just about all my grieving whilst still in the marriage, and my emotional path out was 'relatively' plain sailing. I can see how you are oscillating between various mindsets, and whereas I reckon I can understand it, I can't truly say "I know how you feel" because I don't. Not exactly anyway.<br />
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But within the confines of what I DO understand, I reckon your reactions are pretty normal. I also think that your propensity to bang off a story about how you are feeling at a given moment in time is an extra-ordinarily smart thing to do. Helps you process it in managable little bites I reckon. I used do that in a personal diary which I religiously kept from March 1999 up to October 2009 (when I left). For what it is worth, I found myself writing less and less in that diary post October 2009. I haven't even opened that diary for a good 12 months now, let alone made an entry in it.<br />
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Writing helped keep me sane (well, sanish !!!!!!)<br />
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Tread your own path.