How can this all still be so painful, 18 months on…

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  • #26832 Report


    I have been a single parent for almost 18 months and, although I have had many periods of being ‘strong’ during this time, I am still very emotionally fragile inside. I feel as though I am always living on a knifes edge when it comes to my feelings/sanity! My ex was the one to leave. We have a 4 year old daughter. I still miss him and the family unit so much. I would love to have had another child together and still feel so sad that he has easily moved out/moved on. I have very strong suspicions that he is now seeing someone. He isn’t doing anything wrong by doing this, but boy does it hurt. I feel as though I have been stabbed through the heart, in fact my hear physically hurts. I think it’s the loss of the tiny bit of hope I was clinging to (that he would see sense and come back) Also that it means he can start a new family, something I can’t do (I am older than him and I am not in the right head space to meet someone) I am on a waiting list to see a counsellor as I feel I need help to process my thoughts and feelings… But for the here and now I am really struggling. I want to be happy, yet 18 months on I am still stuck in this emotional rut. Can anyone offer any advice or help, please? xx

    #26834 Report


    I can’t offer any advice but your message could have come from me…. I’m an older single mum to 8 year olds and like you, have had periods of feeling like I’m doing well but at the moment, I’m really low. We’re in the process of getting divorced and I don’t seem to be able to have the conversations I need to have with him to move forward even though I know at this point it is the only way. I spoke to a counsellor last night (work provide a helpline) and after 30 minutes of trying to explain how I feel – lonely – she basically told me to see my GP and that she couldn’t help me. Maybe this isn’t the response you were looking for but you’re not alone in your feelings…….

    #26835 Report


    Hiya. Welcome to the forum.

    If you read back through the threads you’ll find that you arnt alone and your thoughts and feelings during this difficult time are common and a normal reaction to the loss of a relationship. This isn’t the end point though, you will recover and you will be happy again. 18 months in the big scheme of things isn’t that long although I understand that with the black clouds hanging over you it may seem like forever.

    The way forward is to take little steps to find yourself again, perhaps treat yourself with your favourite ice cream, get your nails/hair done, what ever it is that makes you feel a little better if only for a short while, you’ll find that in time the times you feel better will last longer and become more frequent.

    If you feel totally overwhelmed then perhaps give MIND a ring 0300 123 3393. They can tell you about a range of options to help you.

    As for meeting someone new then put it out of your mind, it will happen when the time is right and none of us know when that will be. In a few months or a year down the line you may feel completely different, your life could completely turn around so never say never.

    All the best


    #26851 Report


    I’m sorry that you are experiencing the same pain and frustration LizK. I am also sad to hear that your GP was of little help. I haven’t explored that avenue because I tend to have a good few weeks/months, so I know I do not need medication as I am not depressed. I am just at the mercy of someone else when it comes to my emotions! However I wouldn’t rule it out should this feeling become more permanent

    Thank you for your advice Mark, that’s all really helpful, especially the number for MIND. I’m sure my close friends and family are sick to death of my ‘dramas’!

    #26871 Report


    You are definately not alone. I’m only 7 weeks into this situation. I have a son of nearly 10 with suspected ASD who just wants his daddy home.


    I am 38, I probably would never have had a second child but even so, I feel the door is closed on that now.


    I’m a teacher and find juggling everything hard. Even so, I’m dreading the six week holiday because work is giving me normality.

    #26902 Report


    Oh Lak, that sounds so tough, and although I’m clearly still struggling after 18 months, I am further on than I was at the start, so I can promise that it does get easier. I do have more good days than bad (before it was the other way around) but obviously there are so many ongoing hurdles to overcome. I guess that’s just the  nature being a single parent 😔

    I hope you’ll be able to find some clubs to keep you sane, and your child entertained,  during the holidays. I don’t have any Gingerbread groups in my area, but it might be worth seeing if there are any where you are. Would be a good place to meet others who can relate xx

    #26910 Report


    Hi, just looking through and your sounding very familiar mines 17month now my husband left.. I’m still very much in a rut of feelings but he has moved on which is fine but like u it hurts.

    I feel like I’m trying to rush myself to feel better and it’s making things worse maybe this is how your feeling? X

    #26913 Report


    Yes shesnotok, that is exactly how I’m feeling. If I could take a pill, or wave a magic wand, to rid myself of any feelings for him then I would do it in a flash! Being a single parent isn’t easy, but (apart from finances) the thing that is making it so hard for me is my feelings for my ex. I still wish so much that he would come back and us be a family, so knowing that will never happen now is a killer. I just find it so hard knowing that he is ‘OK’ with us not being together, and being happy with someone else. I just can’t get my head or heart around it. Sorry you feel the same, it’s so hard isn’t it 🙁 Always here if you want to message me, sometimes it helps talking to someone in the same situation x

    #26915 Report


    Hi just reading through all your posts a few similar situations as me. It’s been just over a year and after the initial shock and dealing with finances and getting used to being a single parent I feel I’m now stuck in a rut. He ended things and is now with someone else who is there when my son spends time at his dads. I am luckier than others that we have agreed (most of the time) on childcare arrangements so I feel like I should be ok but I’m not. I too am on a list waiting for counselling. My son has ASD and am also dreading the holidays I don’t get help from family so feel quite isolated. Sorry this isn’t a helpful post for advice just don’t want you to feel alone.

    #26933 Report


    Its hard. They say time is a good healer.  U can do this try and do more of the things you love hobbies etc be proud of your self and live for the now.  I st take it day by day and live for those little happy chaotic moments.

    #26934 Report


    I’m sorry to hear you’re feeling this way. I know how you may feel. It’s been just over 2 years since separation but my ex lived in the house until 6 months ago. I just found out more evidence of her cheating. It hurts to be alone and I only see my son 40% of the time due to my job.

    I don’t miss my narcissistic ex wife but I’m lonely and feel unloveable after all the cruel things my ex said! Hopefully both our situations will improve soon

    #26939 Report


    I have been a single dad for nearly 6 years. My dd mum has not seen her for 4 of thoses . She moved on and had more children with someone else. Even though she cheated on me and left me to look after are child all these years.  And she does not do anything for are dd. Not even send child maintenance or cards etc.

    I miss the days when we raised are dd as a family. I am 28 now. I have times where i feel really depressed and lonely. And i feel like i am failing my daughter. I wish i could talk to my ex about my worries and have meaningful  conversation with her about are dd. But it just end up in arguments and a blame game.

    But i still miss her some times. And i feel broken with out her.

    I have not been in a relationship since her. Feel even now when I try get close with other women. I just think of her and feel guilt. What is stupid i know.

    But at the end. I just carry for my dd. Being the best dad i can be. I am still working and see friends. And keeping busy.



    #27089 Report


    Thanks everyone, it is reassuring to know I am not alone, although I wish that none of us were having to deal with these rubbish situations 🙁 Time is a good healer, I absolutely agree, however this period of time seems to be going on forever… I don’t want to waste any more of precious life grieving for something that is clearly a one way street. I just need to work out how to end the grief! Good luck to you all, let’s hope our happy ending is closer than we think xx

    #27146 Report


    Hi, I know how you feel. I was there 22 months ago, after my wife walked out suddenly after 15 years of marriage and left me with our five children, ages 2 to 12. (She lives with her 30 yr old BF in Italy, she met on Tinder)

    I’m now 46, and since that day, I have had all the children, youngest is now is 4 and eldest, 14, with me 24/7. They have seen me at my lowest, (I’ve sat in the shower with a bottle of wine, in tears) and throughout my journey back. Even now, I still manage life a day at a time. I have been there for them through their therapy, countless nights crying for their mum, my eldest starting her periods, others starting High school.

    About 2 months after she left, just before Christmas, one of my daughter’s teachers rang me to check on me and asked how was feeling. I asked her does it ever get any better and she told me that she was divorced and yes, it does. But, I wouldn’t realise it then.

    She was right. I couldn’t see it at all then, but life will get better very slowly, very gradually. It might only be little things, going for a walk, listening to music, watching a film, cooking a meal. But it does get better and even though you may not be able to see that now I’m sure it will. I refused anti depressants numerous times from the GP, as I had the five children at home. But, I did see a counsellor and it helped process my thoughts and feelings.

    Stay strong and find something positive to focus on each day.

    #27149 Report


    Hi Kendo,

    A truly heartbreaking but inspiring story. How you managed to pull through is beyond me.

    Hopd life is better.

    Thanks for sharing


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