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Joined: Aug 2004
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Hi everyone.

My situation is that I'm EXTREMELY lonely. Yes, I enjoy being a mother, I still miss my STBXH terribly, I'm working on getting over that.

I'm just wondering if what I need is to go out with someone else? I really miss companionship, the one thing I was missing my entire M. I have been lonely for 7 years, but now I'm lonely with no one to beg attention from.

I was just wondering, how long should you wait? How long before you start looking again and more over, how do you know that you're ready?

I'm ready not to be lonely, but I don't trust men, any man that is, anywhere right now. I'm afraid of being hurt all over again. But I NEED companionship. I'm so horribly lonely I don't know if I can stand it.

Suggestions?

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<small>[ August 30, 2004, 10:36 PM: Message edited by: laura_lee ]</small>

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Ok, we go over this a lot....

You have a STBX - that means you are still married. Conventional wisdom holds that married people don't date people to whom they are not married.

If you are dating to escape loneliness, you will only find yourself in worse shape. You will be dating for the purpose of medicating your pain. That's why drug addicts use. Plus, you will be only using the person you date.

The general rule of thumb is that it takes something like one year to get over 4 years of marriage. Doesn't hold true for everyone. But that is what is recommended by the people who went to school to learn how to help us help ourselves.

If you are lonely, look for volunteer activities or other group activities.

In his autobiography, Terry Waite, who spent years in solitary captivity in Lebanon, quoted Augustine as saying:

To have peace, you must know yourself. And to know yourself, you must be alone.

This doesn't sound like the time you need to be dating. This is probably the time you need to spend seeing your contribution to your present state and working on your personal issues.

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I guess I was only asking because my STBXH is doing it, and he's happy as pie. I swear it only adds to my misery to see him so blissfully happy while he slaps me with D papers, C battle and does anything he can to get what he can "get" from our failed M.

Yesterday I had to sit in a room with him with a person from friend of the court and hear him say that he cancelled MC after 1 appointment because "well, we both knew we were getting D, what's the point in going?"

For some reason I couldn't open up my mouth and say "But I wanted to continue going so that we can learn to communicate for our daughter!"

I just don't know what to do with myself. My IC says to stay away from him, my doc says to do what is best for my child, Friend of the court tells me to keep in contact w/H. I don't know what to do!

I have been trying to date my STBX since he left, and with no results. It only makes me feel more miserable. I look back through all my years of life and all I see is that every man in my life has created this pain for me.

That's something me and my IC are working on. I just don't know how to heal myself from that. I need suggestions.

P.S. I think my quote is quite appropriate for my situation right now. I do love the feeling of love, but I have no room to be loving another man right now. I can't even love myself.

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Dear Heartache-

I really feel for you, I've been there myself. Keep in mind that your STBXH may appear to be happy as pie, but looks are deceiving. Remember also that what comes around goes around, his actions will catch up with him eventually.

I agree with the other posters. You are still married so until the divorce is final don't date. Even more than that belief however is the my belief that you are in no condition to enter any type of relationship right now. You need to work on yourself and get to a point where you love yourself again. Then and only then will you be open to loving and receiving love from another person.

The lonliness really stinks, but with it comes a new found strength and a new friend - Yourself! Work your way through your pain. The end result is a new improved you and a much better life.

Keep posting this board is a great source of support as we know what you are going through.

Take care and God bless!
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Along with St. Augustine, you can read the Consolation of Philosophy by Boethius. He was imprisonned and later executed. He wrote the book while imprisoned.

Or you can do what I do and read A Confederacy of Dunces.

I'll add just another con to dating. You say all the men in your life have caused you pain. If you start dating in this vulnerable state, you'll be attracting the kind of men who will do this all over again.

<small>[ August 11, 2004, 10:28 AM: Message edited by: greengables ]</small>

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I suggest that you wait till the DV is done to date. Prior to that, make friends, go out in group activities, do things that are fun and intriguing, turn off the TV, read books - at bookstores, smile at strangers and practice relating to people in a non-dating way. You get so used to interacting with your spouse that it's a bit weird to go back to the world of dating where ANYTHING can happen... rejection, acceptance, passion, etc. It feels big and new and scary all at the same time.

That being said, loneliness is countered with friendships. If you can make friends with women with whom you can relate... or get involved in some kind of volunteer/charity thing. That way you're out being social in a context; you don't have to be the stranger approaching strangers. There's a lot of wisdom in avoiding being along with a man till after the DV... it looks bad and will inflame your DV no matter what stage it's in.

The loneliness will fade. It's a phase and is part of mourning. It will last for as long as it lasts. I went to bookstores and sat in the aisle for self-help:relationships and read every book there was. Later, I graduated to more enjoyable "interest" books and some casual conversations in the bookstore. They never went anywhere but it was good practice. Then, I started to regain my sense of humor and one day I met someone I knew was the "one". We're engaged now and will be married within a month or two. I never thought I could trust again... and it's still a struggle sometimes.

I like being alone. I like being with her even more. Be strong.

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I am of the opinion to get out and start meeting new people! Now, this may lead to something or it may not. I have definitely felt much better the last 2 months by hitting a few clubs/bars and talking to women, getting a few numbers and hooking up once or twice. I have no problem with this as my STBX is with another guy---this 2nd A began prior to us calling it quits. She now lives out of state but comes back periodically and she seems like she doesn't care about anything except trying to get my goat again where I ignore her which I know drives her crazy.

So, not sure whether you should "date" or not, but by all means, get out and see what is there! The social scene will help you as long as you are with a few friends, do not go alone.

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One case of adultery does not justify another.

Get a life. Find and do things that make you happy.

But not things that would make you feel guilty.

And don't medicate away how you feel by 'hooking up". You have no idea how slutty I think that phrase sounds. I do believe I would drop like a hot potato any man who even mentioned that phrase to me. Wait, I would slap him before dropping him.

It sounds like you guys have been attending the "Howard Stern School of Recovery". <img border="0" title="" alt="[Roll Eyes]" src="images/icons/rolleyes.gif" />

<small>[ August 14, 2004, 06:46 PM: Message edited by: cinderella ]</small>

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Nature: OH Crap! Now you've done it! You have suggested that somebody start trying to be happy before the paperwork is done. Don't you know you could be crucified for suggesting that here? I made that mistake once, I swore I would never do it again. I wholeheartedly agree with you though. Oh what the he!!. Never say never, right? I went out with several after I knew my marriage was over, had rebound fling, dating someone very special now. My divorce has been final 2 weeks and I don't remember ever being happier. If I had custody of my kids, you couldn't knock the smile off my face with a 2X4.

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You guys have it all wrong!!! Dating is not going to make anyone happy if they are still married.

Look at it this way...when you are going thru a divorce, it can make you miserable. AND vulnerable. You think the best thing would be to date or "hook up". But it's not. You'll have baggage from your marriage that will affect any new relationship you might start. It's called a "rebound". And in the end, you'll get hurt and so will the OP.

What is wrong with waiting?? It's not forever, just a little while, until the divorce is final. It's never killed anyone!!

Take some time to get to know yourself without your spouse. Take some time to figure out what makes you truly happy. That, in the end, will help you to be happy and more content in any future relationships.

Give it a try and see how it works!

Mitzi <img border="0" title="" alt="[Smile]" src="images/icons/smile.gif" />

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There is definitely a difference between dating and getting out of the house with friends. IMHO when you can no longer say that you are “extremely lonely”, then you will be on the way to healing. I personally will not “date” until I am healthy enough to enter into a positive relationship.

To me this has been a great time of self-discovery and an opportunity to seek and find true happiness and satisfaction with myself. Sure I’ve stumbled on the way but don’t you think that will make more likely to be successful in a new relationship.

I’ve been on these boards and around life long enough to watch many people hurt themselves and their children by forcing a new relationship on themselves. Does it make sense when experts say to wait a year, as some do, to date before your divorced? Does it make sense to have your children meet and get attached to someone you are just starting to date? Not to me, because, again IMHO, you are once again setting them up for loss in their life and not respecting them by not allowing them to properly go through the grieving process.

This simple thing about dating is definitely a selfish and important subject. Make well imformed decisions from your brain and not from your genitals as so many people do.

Hugs, Thoughts, & Prayers

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I just want to clarify my comment "hooking up". I have met a few people for dinner and drinks, nothing more. I do go out with friends and enjoy myself whether I speak to a member of the opposite sex or not. So, I never say the words "hooking up" to another woman or anyone else for that matter, it is just a catch phrase, I do not want or intend to offend anyone. So, please understand my position, I mean no offense here on these boards which I have helped me a great deal.

Yes, I have gone out on 2 dates which has led to nothing more (and no further dates with these people). These various social engagements has helped me personally in the following manner:

1. I am able to leave a very cold and lonely home which is now half empty and ready to be sold.
2. I am able to enjoy my friend's company at social gatherings in the presence of members of the opposite sex.
3. If I am with another woman, I enjoy their company, conversation, laughter, etc. for a short period of time.
4. Ultimately I feel better by getting out and meeting new people and making new friends.

So, I am not advocating this type of lifestlyle, as always, IMHO, you need to decide for yourself what you want to do. I knew I needed to get out and transition myself into my new Life and this is one way to do it. I also am active on my own in many ways (gym, fishing, hiking, etc.).

I found myself very unhappy if I was home alone staring at the 4 walls and almost getting into a self-pity type of mood. So, I get out, hike, fish, etc. and meet new people and feel much better for it.

I am not at all in any sort of R at the moment and do not plan to, just have fun and take everything one day at at a time. I do realize all of us in this D situation are vulnerable emotionally.

Anyway, just wanted to clarify and maybe help HHM in some way. I know this has helped me and I was simply trying to help her. HHM, maybe you can meet with your friends and do some fun activities together?

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Seems to me, you are not ready to date regardless of the divorce being final or not.

This speaks VOLUMES to me.
"I'm lonely with no one to beg attention from"
and
"But I NEED companionship. I'm so horribly lonely I don't know if I can stand it."

I could see you hooking up with just about ANYONE simply because you NEED to.
Also, I could see many people willing to take advantage of you because of this neediness.

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I don't know about all of this!

First; Heartache hurts me did not use the term "dating" in her post!

Second: If we are "radically honest" with ourselves and those we choose to companion with about the situation; what is the big deal?

I don't think that Heartache hurts me is talking about sex. It sounds to me like she's talking about helping herself "get healthy". We could wallow in our misery, alone for years waiting for our WS or XS to "come to their senses" and rejoin the marriage or for the D to become final, which can be a very long time in some states.

I'm with Nature and deafjeff on this one and I'm faced with the same issue right now. I feel that Heartache hurts me should use her better judgment, go out & let her hair down a little! The "roller-coaster ride" takes it's toll and a little therapeutic-sanity with friends for an evening has got to be refreshing! Her friends will keep a watchful eye; I know that mine will! Good Luck HHM!

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Ummmmmm....unless I am completely stupid, the title of this thread is "HOW LONG TO WAIT BEFORE YOU DATE"

Yes, she is talking about dating. Not necessarily sex. But dating. And if it's ok for her to date before her divorce is final, then it is ok for any spouse to go out on a date.

Mitzi <img border="0" title="" alt="[Smile]" src="images/icons/smile.gif" />

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I am making an interesting "Hmmmmmmmmmmm...." observation.

I find it interesting that three separated guys all find it okay to date while still married, but vilify their WW's for doing that. I note that those three are primarily focused on getting their own needs met and it seems that their Taker is in control.

I also find it interesting that the two guys who waited until their divorces were final AND have each taken some time for their own growth and working on themselves, are also two men whom I would trust and have demonstrated their wisdom and maturity. I note that those two are primarily focused on mutual meeting of needs and it seems as if their Givers and Takers have a balance of control.

So Heartache Hurts Me, I think that shows you the answer to your question. If you "date" while separated and before growing and taking the time to work on yourself, the men that you attract will most likely be focused on how they can use you to meet their own needs--not necessarily considering you or your needs. They will want to TAKE from you, and that will be how you are treated. If you "date" after the divorce is final and after some personal growth and taking time to work on yourself, the men you will attract will most like be wise and trustworthy, and be focused on mutual meeting of needs, will most likely be focused on knowing their own needs and also aware of yours, will consider your needs, and will want to GIVE to you and TAKE from you--and that is how you will be treated.

So which do you want? You can decide for yourself.


CJ

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Once the divorce papers are signed and finalized then it is ok to date another IMHO. The divorce papers are a big deal, your divorce papers will consume most of your spare time. I'm going through negotiations now, and its difficult.

Many wait until they are setup in a new house until they date again, giving some time for themselves to get prepared.

Until the papers are approved and you feel comfortable in your new place, don't date.

Just my opinion.

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Mitzi

Yes, she is talking about dating. Not necessarily sex. But dating. And if it's ok for her to date before her divorce is final, then it is ok for any spouse to go out on a date.

FaithfulNewCJ

I find it interesting that three separated guys all find it okay to date while still married, but vilify their WW's for doing that. I note that those three are primarily focused on getting their own needs met and it seems that their Taker is in control.

To Mitzi & FNCJ: OK; let's call it dating. Surely you are not saying that HHM would be doing the same thing that WS has done! Please compare apples to apples for a moment! If A had not happened in HHM case, would we even be having this conversation?

Perhaps if you focused on offering advice to HHM on how to deal with the loneliness and properly socialize rather than bust on 3 men who are working on their loneliness issue, albeit respectfully, your posts would be more helpful. Making bold assumptions and disrespectful judgments usually has negative results so please be careful where you tread!

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I would like to respond to Fishracer on this thread, so temporary threadnap!

Fishracer, if you remember, I responded to you once or twice with fairly wise thoughts. I don't know if you know ANY of my history or not, but let me fill you in. I have been on MB since Sept. 11, 2000 (yes, I'm born on April 20th also--Columbine Day). <img border="0" title="" alt="[Frown]" src="images/icons/frown.gif" /> Anyway, I'm not a virgin at this, and I have life credentials of my own. My exH had an A with two women at the same time, the month after my D was born. Then, he moved out-of-state on Feb. 3, 1999 to live with yet another OW. He was gone until Father's Day that year, and only came home "because the kids deserved two parents" not because he loved me or wanted to work on our marriage. He stayed in touch with OW, and on the Millenium New Years Eve, he left us again to go be with her. This yo-yo continued through 2000, and I found MB and lurked for several months--learning.

My exH was abusive. He punched holes in walls, kicked and threw our pets, grabbed them by their ears, grabbed me, pushed me, and hurt me. He broke my things to scare me, burned my journals so I could not prove he was violent, and torn up all my marriage books because they were bullsh*t. He left me at the side of the road miles from home. He locked me out of the house on a freezing winter night. Meanwhile I learned.

My exH was diagnosed bipolar rapid cycling, borderline personality disorder, and anxiety disorder by a psychiatric doctor--so it was not just a spiteful exW exclaiming that her ex was nuts! He actually, really did have mental health problems that were destructive to relationships and raging, blaming, splitting were "normal" occurences. Meanwhile I learned.

My exH continued on in his life and had 11 other affairs of varying degree: everything from ONS from flirting with waitresses at work, to physical affairs that lasted for a while, to online explicit sexual contact, to webcam cybersex, to meeting people in person whom he had met online, to email intercourse. These also were not "imagined" or made to be worse than they were, because I printed some of the stuff and kept them just to remind me that it really was raunchy and I didn't make it up. Meanwhile, I learned.

In the end, my exH refused to deal with his raging abuse, with his mental illnesses, or his unfaithfulness--so we divorced. That is when all that I had been learning began to work in me, because I began to see that not only was he abusive, but I volunteered to stay with a man who thought it was okay to treat me that way!! I covered for him! I saw that not did he have 3 mental illnesses, but at work I tried to make excuses for his odd behavior and not let co-workers take the brunt of his distorted thinking. And I saw that not only did he have 13 affairs that I could document, but I was so desperate to be loved that I chose to stay with a man who treated me like leftover meat.

So, I have put in my own time with pain and loneliness and learning. I have ached for months and months wondering where he was. I have missed holding feet under the blankets too. I have longed for the comfort of a hug from a male person, or the pure pleasure of holding hands. And dear Fishracer, I have tried for FIVE YEARS to save my marriage. I have been in your shoes and I have been in Heartache Hurts Me's shoes. I am not just hoity-toity telling her not to date until her divorce is final because I'm being judgemental. I'm telling her to wait because I've been around the block AND because I've suffered every pang of loneliness and loss myself.

I've been on MB and seen what happens when a BS comes on here and is vulnerable. I've seen countless time where the BS develops an emotional attachment to another BS they are posting to here online, and whether they want to admit it or not, they are having an EA. Yes, it's painful to hear, but the two BS's are starting an affair just as real and addictive and painful as the one their partner was involved in. Just because the WS did it first doesn't make it right!! And yep you're right about one thing--if the WS had not had the A in the first place, we would not be having this discussion because then the dating person would be the WS!!! Separated does not mean divorced...it means separate and unavailable.

Fishracer, Heartache Hurts Me entitled this thread "How long to wait before you DATE." To me, that implies anything from a light-hearted get together with a friend of the opposite sex, to getting out there at the clubs and seeing what's available, to one-on-one dating with someone, to going on a date because you kinda like them...on and on in various shades of gray. And after all my years of experience, and all that I have been through, and all that I have learned, it is my STRONG advice to wait until AFTER the divorce is FINAL before doing any dating.

And YES--I put my money where my mouth is too. I took that year during the divorce to develop my own self-esteem...to get to know myself...to learn to be responsible for my own feelings...to grow through the suffering and loneliness, not avoid them...to get my life in order...to prepare myself emotionally and mentally for going to court...to make sure my kids were stable and doing okay...to get my head together...and most importantly of all, TO GET MYSELF HEALTHY. It is unrealistic and unhealthy to want to go out dating because I am extremely lonely and NEED companionship. And furthermore, it has been 1 1/2 years since my divorce was final, and I have been on a grand total of (what was it??) 9 one-on-one dates I think. Well, something like that. My point being that when I did decide to start dating, I didn't look to just fill my needs of loneliness--I chose to date because I thought I had the tools I needed to be a good partner.

No, I do not recommend sitting at home staring at four walls. No, I do not recommend watching TV every night and eating a frozen TV dinner. No, I do not recommend entering a convent. <img border="0" title="" alt="[Razz]" src="images/icons/tongue.gif" /> But I do STRONGLY recommend that some time be taken until the divorce is final as a hiatus from relationships to learn about yourself and what went wrong and what YOU need to learn. As an example, I attended a lady's abuse support group, I went to concerts in the park, I went to line-dancing classes with a whole group of friends (about 8 or 10 of us), I went to dog shows and car shows, and I went to every single park in my county--and took my dog with me. See?? Not sitting around moping, but rather doing things that are healthy and not necessarily relationship focused.

I do not back down from my previous opinion to Heartache Hurts Me, nor would I change my advice to you. In my opinion, it is wisest and healthiest to not date AT ALL until the divorce is final. Period. I have some life experience and MB experience to back up my opinion. If you disagree, we have different opinions--that's all.


CJ

<small>[ August 17, 2004, 03:49 AM: Message edited by: FaithfulNewCJ ]</small>

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