New to this! And feeling very isolated

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  • #28751 Report


    My husband (12 years- partners for 18) and I have decided to separate (I don’t want to but I can’t make someone be “in love with me”- however continue to live together until we have renovated the house (this in theory seems like a good idea- in practice I’m not so sure)

    We have a 16 year old daughter who on the face of it seems to be coping well- she has a great circle of friends and they all know to text me if she divulges anything worrying. Life shouldn’t change too much for her, she is our priority and will continue to be

    I am a teacher and this is where I am struggling- yes I am fortunate to have the long summer break but the lack of routine, adult conversation has given me too much time on my hands- I’m just thinking, over thinking and wondering what the hell the future holds!

    I don’t know where to start financially! Emotionally I am all over the place, huge lows that plateau for a little while then head back south again.

    My immediate family have been amazing- but I live 120 miles away. I can’t being myself to tell the extended family- as I feel like a failure!

    Friends are great- but they have their own lives to lead and I don’t want to be a burden

    I’ve not only lost my husband, but my best friend- yes he’s still at home and we try to chat but it’s not the same and never will be- his life hasn’t changed, friends and family on the doorstep so I’m feeling sad, lonely and just yuk!

    #28876 Report


    Firstly, thank you for writing this – I’m in a slightly different situation but some of what your saying completely resonates. My husband was diagnosed with bowel cancer when I was 6 months pregnant. It became a terminal diagnosis within a year but he battled on for 4 years and died a year and a half ago. My son is now 5 years and I’m also really struggling with the summer holidays. I worked in the NHS for 11 + years but they couldn’t offer me a financially viable term-time contract once my husband died so I had to leave. I really miss talking to adults, I miss the school run where for 5 mins I get to talk to other parents and feel connected somehow. I miss having someone saying ‘wow, that was a tough one today’ or making me a cup of tea. It’s the little things. I’m also stuck for babysitters and am finding it challenging to have space for myself. I completely resonate with not wanting to burden others and I  find friends dont often fully understand my situation,  and they are so busy juggling their own families (which I completely understand) but it also makes me feel more isolated. I’ve also not been kind to myself for feeling this way and your post has been helpful to me as its normalised some of my emotions – thank you. I recently found an online babysitting service which was all vetted and checked etc and I’m trialling it this saturday for the first time and I’m heading to a meditation workshop and discussion. I have mixed feelings about it but I think I need to speak to someone other then a 5 year old 😉

    I’ve only just joined gingerbread, only found out about it today in fact so I’m a newbie too! I hope you’re ok. Your situation sounds challenging and I hope you’re being kind to yourself – it doesn’t sound easy! I also feel sad, lonely and yuk – maybe we should both plan something into our week for an hour that’d make us feel better about ourselves?




    #28879 Report


    Hello to both of you!

    just put my two kids to bed (both under 5) and the loneliness is hard once they’re in bed. The loneliness is also hard during the day….

    Although I speak to people on the phone, it’s not the same. Like you both said, everyone has their own lives to get on with and you don’t want to become a burden.

    Last week I got excited about my cleaner coming! I’m also a teacher and the lack of routine is difficult. I have no one to look after the kids, I can’t even pop to the shops without taking them. I find solace in Netflix and listening to audio books or meditation. I also see a therapist once a week which really helps.

    I’m here and hear you both.


    #28890 Report


    Hi. I’m in a very similar position – husband of 18 years. Made the decision to separate about a month ago (instigated by him) but he’s still living at home at the moment – and yes we’re still renovating our house too. Two kids aged 14 and 15.

    I live 200 miles away from my family too.

    It is v tough and I keep having mini panics about being on my own in the future…


    #28908 Report


    I found when I first separated, I needed to feel there was someone local and even if I wasn’t talking to someone, there was at least another human within 50 yards I could chat to.

    My lovely neighbour came to my rescue by  being there. I might not speak to her every day but just being able to hear her working in the garden or coming & going in her car made things better.

    Little things helped a lot at the start.

    #28911 Report


    Hi there. I feel very similar. Weirdly I have always been in control of everything I’ve done, I’m an architect so used to people coming for me for advice, problem is now I’m separated after 11 years, it’s like I’m completely useless, almost forgotten how to cope on my own.

    Dont feel isolated, you sound like a nice person, ye will be grand. I wish you luck.


    #28930 Report


    Can I just say how lovely it is to receive the responses! They did lent come for a while and I though I was out there alone- knowing I’m not is really reassuring and I hope you all keep in touch!

    This was the first post I’d put on here and I really do appreciate the responses!

    I decided to bite the bullet and run off to Turkey for a week with my daughter! I have to say fully supported by the ex!

    I’m not going to lie- the inability to access social media is allowing me to clear my head! It has given me an opportunity to talk to my daughter about next steps and how she is feeling?!? This may not have happened at home?

    The next hurdle for me is telling extending family and friends (the though of failure really stings!) I’m not a quitter and he’s he one who wants to walk away! I have come to terms with that but why does it come down to me to tell everyone??

    #28936 Report


    I know…. I’m sorry, but you are a brave and courageous person. You can do this. You are not a failure. You are about to do what’s best for your daughter and yourself. I know it doesn’t feel like it at the moment. I feel your pain. When I first told people, each time I had a horrible feeling in my stomach and a lump in my throat. There are still people I haven’t told because I’m worried they’ll be judgemental. But I know hand on heart that this is a brave move. You are grieving for your relationship and that takes time.  That sting will eventually start to disappear. If you’re into reading (or listening) check out Brene Brown and her talk about courage. She really helped me. She’s also on Netflix.

    #28945 Report


    Its such an unspeakably awful time, the best thing in my opinion is a magic wand to make it all go away or a crystal ball to see what the best thing to do is, Unfortunately in the absence of these articles I’m not sure what the answer is,  I lived with my wife once the decision was made for 7 months and we have now been living apart for 8 months. The pain and regret are still there but the shock and horror of the initial adjustment have passed.  My advice is to drop down to the lowest possible gear time wise and just to get through each day as a separate event.  Try and use what ever good stuff comes along as a stepping stone to the next good thing whatever it may be and however modest it is.   I’ve  no idea where I am on the rocky road but feel, optimistically, that there is still a long way to go and the worst is still to come prepare for the long haul.  Good luck, what ever happens, you are not alone, if it’s any comfort at all it’s a pretty crowded boat.  Everyone I have spoken to that’s been through this says it gets better eventually and I have faith in that and it’s what keeps me going even though I’m on holiday with my three kids posting on a forum I’ve just found  at 4.20am so as you can see your pain is felt!!


    #28954 Report


    Similar situation except he’s moved on very quickly to live with new partner (mutual friend) & don’t feel I can say much as the split is mostly my fault.

    I’m a teacher too & really struggling with holidays, lack of money since he cut his contribution & getting everything under control.

    You are not alone!

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