mourning, grieving, and reinventing yourself after a break-up
DBF (I guess I have to say ex-DBF) and I have been together for seven years and were at the point of moving forward with moving in together and talking about getting married and in the last few weeks I had a realization that it just wasn't right. He is loving and caring and sensitive, but we have very significant differences (both in personality, culture, education level, life experience), and want different things out of life, and want to spend our time doing different things, don't have friends in common - need I say more? I think I've always know deep down that he wasn't "the one" but was justifying relationship because of the positive things about it. I claimed that all of our differences meant that we balanced each other out, but in reality we don't have enough common ground go move forward and launch a life together. It's heart-breaking but I'm proud that I have the courage to finally name it and let him go instead of continuing to avoid the issues...or worse, move in together and get married and then have to deal with it.
Anyway, after lots of talking and tears over the weekend, it's clear that we are going our separate ways. It was really honest and mature - no blaming, no interrupting, no yelling...just real, authentic conversation about the fact that this isn't going to work. So there are the feelings of sadness, loss...and especially guilt since I am the one that brought up these issues. But there is also a sense of relief, that I get my life back, that I no longer have to live with the tension of "oh, there is this thing I want to go do, but DBF wants to stay home and watch TV, so how do we navigate it?" There are friendships I can nurture again, trips I can take, activities I can engage in. I am really lucky that I have a wonderful network of supportive friends, and things I do to take care of myself (journaling, yoga, dance) which are big assets in moving through this.
What have others' experiences been of this kind of transition? How do you move through the grief and loss and come out the other side stronger and brighter? How do you reinvent yourself as a single person after years of coupledom?
I'm going through a similar transition myself. I was with my ex-fiancé for five years and I'm trying to reinvent myself and figure out what I want. I broke it off because he was a boy content with having part time gigs and barely finishing school while I have been working two years now after getting my MA.
Other men have appeared and it's a bit interesting to be in the dating world again. My ex, however, has made some drastic changes(he got a full time job and has a side job) and confessed that he is actually grateful I gave him a wake up call. We're still not together but I am mulling it over. Mutual friends have told me he is trying to get me back.
I don't really know and I apologize that I can't offer much advice--just that I understand what you're going through.
Good for you, SuperCecilia for acknowledging that you weren't happy and doing something to change it! I'm sorry things didn't work out, but no matter how awesome a guy is, if you aren't a good fit, it won't work. I learned that one the hard way too.
You have so much courage!! My ex and I were like that. We had a lot of good in our relationship, but I never felt like he was "the one". I started to convince myself that maybe that feeling was hollywood, that real love was the comfort and the love we had for each other, and that the "in love" feeling wasn't real/I wasn't capable of it. When we broke up (he said the words first, but I agreed), it was all very mutual and understanding. I was relieved that it was not *my* regret to let the relationship go, but I wanted to date other people.
How did I transition? Well...my first mistake was continuing to live together. We thought that because we had always been friends, we could make it happen. He started dating someone else (which was...okay. not great, but I could deal), and from there started a spiral down of drugs and being a complete jerk to me. This man, who I had loved for 5 years and moved 1500 miles for, looked me in the eye and said "I don't have to give a s*** about you anymore, so I don't care what you want". I had 1 friend in the area, who was useless, and everyone else I cared about was 1500 miles away. The biggest pain was the feeling that I never mattered to someone I gave that many years of my life to. I just wanted to know I mattered. I had never felt so lost, so alone, so completely out of control within my own life.
How did I cope? Honestly, a visit to my hometown and my absolute best friend. She took me out, she let me cry, she gave me advice, and we had fun. She is the #1 person who always accepts me for me, and that was exactly what I needed to find my inner strength. I came back after my visit with the idea of moving back to my hometown...but decided I wasn't done with where I was. I'm sure I could have gotten to this point by myself, but having someone who is 100% on my side was what I truly needed. I knew I would move emotionally forward, and I remembered how strong I am. I remembered that NO one, no man or friend, could take that away from me.
A month later, I met my current BF I was in the mindset that I was open to a relationship but I certainly wasn't looking for one. I was happy with myself, and anyone who wanted to come into my life would only do so if they were a brightness to it (and I to them). So while I did not spend a lot of time single, I think the transition to the single life comes with surrounding yourself with good people and things you enjoy.
7/1/13 My Goal: to be 150lbs! for every mini goal met
Mini goal 1: 160 (my lowest consistent weight)
Mini goal 2: 156 (my lowest adult weight EVER)
Mini goal 3: to SEE 150 (New territory!!)
GOAL: To have a fluctuation be UNDER 150
Thanks for the responses and the support everybody.
Andrea - wow! What a journey you had. I am so lucky that I have a huge network of wonderful and loving and supportive friends who have been calling me and checking in, making dates to hang out, offering me a place to stay, etc. Girlfriends are seriously the best - I'm glad you have a good one who was there for you! And glad that you are at a place of happiness and peace now...and even with someone new.
Sontaikle - thanks for sharing your story...yes, I think ex-DBF is dealing with some mild depression and workaholism and staying in the relationship wasn't making him deal with these things. So I really hoping and praying that this will be a wake up call for him, and a chance to really ask those questions of what he wants from life and what will make him happy.