Marriage Builders®
Okay, we are divorced - many of us have been through some rough, tough times.

Many of our insecurities/personal issues may have developed due to our marriage, many may have been with us our whole lives.

I just wanted to start a conversation on this. I get constant reminders now in my everday life that I still need to be working on me. Does that make sense?

I'm working on my answer right now - lengthy one (LOL!) but wanted to get this out there for any one to post on.

Hugs,
Llama

P.S. Non-divorced MB'ers feel free to answer. Since I'm divorced, I wanted to get a sense of where every other divorced MB'er was. (Not trying to keep you off the post, lol! All comments are welcome here!)
((((((((llama))))))))) Kewl subject....

My first insecurity was the thought of "being alone" and man was that a hard one to overcome. However, with time and God swooping down and hitting me upside the head that one has passed. I made serveral emotional journeys seeking myself and once I found my inner happiness, the lonely's have disappeared.

One that haunted me from my marriage was very superficial, but after being cut down for so many years, I had very little esteem in my looks. I'm over that one as well. Heck last weekend I got hit on by a much younger EXTREMELY attractive girl who thought I was on 23 (must of been bad lighting).

In all honesty, I feel that I've reached the place where when my journey started I thought I'd never be. I'm healed, healthy, happy, handsome, and horny....

[ January 15, 2003, 02:22 PM: Message edited by: LostHusband ]
My insecurity is that I will be alone. I have kids so that places a burden on memeeting people etc. My dv has made me feel unattractive because of the way my WS treated me. That coupled with lack of time makes me feel really uneasy.
Sorry should have said that I am handlin it by eating healthy, staying fit, throwing away my old clothes [Smile]

Am trying to find my own time but also acknowledging that it may be too early for me just yet and keep sayin' "hey dont worry".
Insecurities from Dv:
1) Not having a man in my life. Even though my XH and I were apart 50% of the time (so I'm used to living alone), I always knew he was there somewhere in the world for me. In some sense, my life was defined by my M. And I really like being married and knowing there's someone there. My first reaction after the Dv was to rush out into another R. Big mistake! Now I'm learning to let other things fill that spot my H used to fill. I have so many close friends, numerous hobbies, sports - these things aren't a substitute for what I've lost, but they can come close if I let them.
2) I'm OLD !!!! 45 years old is a terrible place to be for a woman living alone in Beijing. There are lots and lots of 20- and 30-somethings here in this city. And since I still am wanting a R, and since all the 40+ men are out chasing 20-something Chinese women, I'm stuck with the under-40 crowd of single men. How do I deal with this? Two ways. First of all, I honestly wouldn't want to be younger than I am - I like being older, wiser, more mature, more experienced. Older people are more interesting. And it's true that women's sexual lives start after 35! [Big Grin] So I've developed a confidence in myself based on my advanced age. Still, gotta admit that the looks are going - sags and bags and wrinkles, ugh. Haven't figured out how to have a positive attitude about THAT yet.

One security that's come out of my Dv:
1) My XH made me feel very unattractive & insecure of myself as a woman before the Dv. Having these 20-something's hitting on me - and even starting R's with some of them - has done wonders for my ego. That's been the biggest help for me in coping with Item #2 above.

Llama, you said:
quote:
I get constant reminders now in my everday life that I still need to be working on me. Does that make sense?
You bet! I thought that once my Dv was final that I could toss out MB & all the wonderful things I'd learned - specifically about working on myself. Not so! I'm starting to realize now, after several months, that I need to continue working on me and stop looking outside myself for validation.
I find constant triggers that remind me that I have alot of pain to get over, even though my life now is full and happy. Even...or especially.....good things. I have a male friend who comes over and we have supper, watch movies, etc. He's great, cuz I know he'd like to be more than friends, but he's willing to take it easy. One night he helped me with dishes and I was so upset afterwards....kept thinking "why couldn't it have been like this with my x"? Knowing what I know about my x now, I know it wouldn't have and never will happen; and I need to move on with my life and who knows, this friend may even be the one. But meanwhile, I have to keep putting myself back together cuz I'm always coming unglued over the littlest things.
My biggest insecurity will be trust. I trusted my stbx completely. My insecurity isn't so much because of her EA, I understand that those things happen and lies and deception are part of it. I trusted that she was being honest and open with me about her feelings before that. She never let on that she was unhappy feeling empty or unfulfilled. There's was no constant conflict or anything like that. Just one day she tells me she's unhappy and it was downhill from there.

I worry that in my next relationship, no matter how happy, blissful or in love my next partner seems, I'll always be waiting for the other shoe to drop. My W completely blindsided me.

sad dad
I had my bout with insecurities and all throughout
my life..

Loneliness I learned to handle years ago..when I was in my early 20's--I looked at the Cross and seen Jesus alone..all his friends running and hiding, His Father turning his back on him as He carried our sins in His death..his mom standing at the foot of the cross helpless to do anything, and I realized..I've never BEEN THAT ALONE in my life..even though it's felt like it sometimes..

I also dealt with the 'being single' again before my ex even moved out of the house..it was something I had to come to terms with before I gave him the Ultimatum..to be here or not be here
and I was content with the thought of being single again..

I guess my biggest fear was about my kids..and could I provide enough financially and emotionally for them..to be here when they need me most and still provide all their wants and needs..without to much change in their activities
with my going from full time homemaker to worker/student..it's a struggle financially but I am able to be here when they need me for the emotional stuff..

my son is really struggling in some areas..mostly his dad being gone out of town all the time (which he was before the divorce) but now he's a little older (8) it has a bigger impact on him..

I started dating a wonderful man..who actually wants to be here..and spend time w/ me and the kids..he meets needs for all of us that we never really knew we had because they went unmet for so many years..they really like having him around..
and to be honest...so do I!!!

We've had our struggles with trust issues, I think
dating is when they really come out..but if your blessed enough to have someone who is willing to help you through that and understanding of why you have trouble trusting it's so much easier..

I've grown up alot spiritually, and emotionally since the divorce..and I am truely happy for the first time I can remember...
Sad Dad's post about trust reminded me of something I realized a few months back:

It isn't that I can't trust a new woman in my life...it's that I can't trust ME!

How's that for an issue? [Roll Eyes]

See, here's the thing: When I met my XW, it was very nearly "love at first sight." I just knew from early on in the relationship that she was the one I just had to be with forever.

Falling in love with her was the easiest thing in the world. Moving in with her seemed like a great idea, and before you knew it, we were shopping for rings, engaged, and then married. Everything seemed so right.

Nowadays, I can't believe that I could have been so wrong about something! I trusted my feelings, and my feelings (as well as my XW) betrayed me in the worst way. I'm not gun-shy about trusting another woman, but I'm deathly afraid of trusting my own feelings again.

I'm having some of those feelings again with the woman I'm dating. I feel like I did in the early stages with my XW...this woman is downright wonderful, and I could very easily fall for her...perhaps even harder than I fell for the EX.

Yet when those feelings come up, I find I'm second-guessing myself. Is that weird? It is like a voice inside my head saying "remember the LAST TIME you felt this way? Do you really want to go through THAT again?"

I haven't figured out how to handle this one yet, but I guess its just another step on the long road to becoming a whole person again...

[ January 17, 2003, 01:01 AM: Message edited by: cjack ]
cjack,

The exact same thing here. How can I trust myself to judge someone as honest and trustworthy and faithful when I THOUGHT I already had that, and got cheated on through my married life?

I just spoke about this with a friend yesterday, and I said "Well, first sign of trouble with a new man, ANYTHING at all, and he's outta there."

I believe I feel like this to protect myself. I do not want pain again and so I will do anything to avoid it. Yet I realise Mr Perfect isn't out there. Clearly I am not ready for a relationship, because relationships ARE a matter of chance, and I don't want to take any chances right now. So what I am doing about this insecurity is not even looking for the chance to date. It is safer that way for me.

Love and light,

Jacky
I guess I'd have to add that I am afraid of trust issues as well.

B/c of FOO issues (abusive father, etc.), I had trust issues with men in general, and my xH unfortunately had to take the brunt of my insecurity. He was totally trustworthy, but I didn't trust that he wouldn't stop loving me one day, so I kept him at arm's length. Always.

Essentially, he got tired of it and finally withdrew himself. Thus began the demise of our M. [Teary] See.....not totally his fault.

Sooo, my issues with myself go all the way back to how I acted toward my DH all during our M, and would I NOT do that again?

Plus, I am also *old*, and not looking forward to being alone. What if I become infirmed, and not able to care for myself, or work to support myself? Who would be there to help? I have no children. That is one of the worst fears.

As far as dating again, looking for "another" H, I am not. I am believing God that in His perfect plan, M is forever, and that one day He may reconcile us if H returns to Him and repents. But how long before that happens? If ever? I have no clue, so meanwhile, I wrestle with the issues I outlined above.
Some say love is a "decision", if so than so is trust. On the other hand harley says no should trust 100%, actually I don't think anyone does or lies would never be disbelieved and secrets found out. It seems natural (and healthy) to fear relationships, not so much because trust is required, but because you have to let yourself be vulnerable, that is the opposite of control, and decidedly not normal. Our emotions tell us not to trust (yet we also "want" intimacy). Our cognitive sides tell us we want a relationship (and see the value in same), and one realizes that requires trust and vulnerability. This sets up an internal conflict and anxiety, which if not recognized and understood, impacts our ability to be a "worthy" partner (as well as anyone we seek, if they have the same unresolved internal conflict). I think that is why there is a pethora of self-help books about what healthy people look like, and what healthy relationships look like. By using your brain AND your heart the likelihood of a relationship worthy of giving trust (ie being vulnerable) is greatly increased.

But ultimately one has to make a leap of faith, take the risk of being hurt, that is the price of not going it (life) alone. Trusting yourself to survive if your trust in someone else (or yourself for that matter) is misplaced. Those who try to hedge their bets, exercise control in the form of somehow getting a gaurantee (like vows, other promises, pre-nuptial agreements, etc.) will never find the real intimacy of a trust (vulnerable) relationship, or the benefits therein. Although they may successfully create a pragmatic type relationship, which may be satisfying enough, that is a personal life choice, and is dependent on ones ability to take emotional risk.
1. Am I worthy?
2. Am I pretty enough?
3. Am I accepting enough?
4. Am I too old?
5. Afraid I'll live the rest of my life alone.
6. Where in the world will I meet anyone?
All these things surface in my mind every day. I know I am a very nice person; giving, caring, affectionate, good work ethic, good mom, etc. I take care of myself, am petite, told I DO NOT look almost 50.....Sooooooo.....why do I worry?????? [Roll Eyes] I guess because I live in sucha a small town with little opportunity to meet anyone, much less have anyone to validate what I think are the good qualities I have. I'm lonely. I, too, liked being married. I need someone 'around.'......go figure! This is NOT where I thought I would be at 50!!!!!
My insecurities right now are mostly about finances and my 3 kids. My ex doesn't see them, and rarely calls....I stay in prayer that the kids will be okay. God is carrying us through this.

I am a teacher...and so far my ex has not sent child support (it's just been 6 months since we've separated), so I worry about finances, and just getting by....though God has taken care of me so far.

I don't worry so much about future relationships, except maybe the timing, since i have kids. I do know that one day I will love and marry again. I feel I do have a lot to offer and would like to receive love this time around

Good thread, would love to hear from others
KK
GeorgiaSweetie, you've written my post for me too! I have exactly the same fears and doubts and most days think, well, if no one ever loves me again, (and I too feel like almost 50 is pushing it, although the Oil of Olay has done wonders!!) at least I had the love of my life at one time...even if he did turn out to be a lying cheating sack of **** [Mad]
So if I never find it again, I can take solace in the good memories from a few years ago.
And who knows what God has in store for us?
Broken: This, too, shall pass, gf! [Wink] I continue to work on my issues and try to be a better person. I have a wonderful daughter, son, boss and job. I count my blessings! If I get too lonely, I'll buy a dog! [Big Grin] Won't have to do it's laundry, either! lol! As for OofO, well, I buy that stuff by the case! I can understand certain parts sagging with age, but KNEES?????? [Roll Eyes] Hugs, gf! We'll make it!!!!!
As for the knees - two words. Walk/Jog. Helped me lose about 70 pounds this past year. Knees are looking GOOD!
Still didn't make H want me anymore [Teary]

Another insecurity!!! **Low self esteem!!**
If he doesn't love me any more, who ever will again??

This has been a great thread for defining our issues - thank you Llama!
that's too bad you feel that way...i did too at one time. WS are manipulating lying sacks of sh***t but guess what? i know i am still attractive cause young guys eye me all the time...I now know I won't be alone for long....if I am at all....HE HE HE
After all of this... I don't see (currently) how I'll ever be able to re-enter a relationship where a woman has even a vague chance of sinking her claws into any of my dreams and ambitions. I wonder about pre-nups (if I ever get past that) and financial arrangements so that if things fall apart... she won't be in a position to take half of everything I worked so hard for.

I know that sounds soooooo materialistic, but I built up a business with a friend and it has been a huge issue in the DV. The house has been too. She believes in the hidden asset money tree and it drives me nuts. All of my dreams: family, loving wife, kids, my own business, etc. Sometimes I feel like she targets each and everyone single one as she becomes aware of them. Like she's punishing me for having the gall to DV her for her A.

Like CJack, I wonder at being able to trust MYSELF enough to trust anyone else. I keep looking for a shred of humanity in her and I never see it there at all. And, when I do fall in love, I wonder if I'll be with this new person and mentally/logically/intellectually stripping away any feelings of love to see if there is enough "whatever" there to wonder if I'm being naive again.

I feel bad for whoever that person is.
Ok, not divorced yet, but been trying to be for 2 years and more. [Eek!]

When stbx first left, I was devastated! I had all the horrible thoughts of being alone, etc that have been mentioned before. So I dated after 6 months, the first a 28 year old. That was kind of exciting, it did much for a 38 year old ego. Only went once, the guy was TOO young. [Wink] Then saw a few guys who to this day are still friends.

I took a lot of time off from dating while I repaired the damage of an abusive marriage, and just now am thinking about it again. It's funny, I worked through all of the insecurities... so I'm 40. I look pretty darn good for a 40 year old (yes, I have some wrinkles and gravity is begining to take a toll and I am carrying some extra weight around), but that just proves that I haved LIVED!! [Cool] If someone is so superficial that they can't accept me for being me, then what would I want to be in a relationship with that person for?

I'm learning to speak my mind, for what I think and feel is right. I'm learning to accept that I am an asset and shouldn't be treated like a liability.

You know, I am pretty happy now. Yes, I sometimes get stressed and worried, but that is life, too. I'm going to be all right, and maybe someday, I'll find that one special guy who will be there into old age, a true companion. In the meantime, I've got me to work on, the kids to raise, the animals for my entertainment and companionship, and a career that is growing and giving me opportunity that I would never have had while married to the control freak.

I've learned that I *CAN* do everything I need to. There are buttons... have anxiety attacks if I fill out a credit application, worry about the kids, etc. What is that old saying, "time heals all wounds"? I think it is because in time, humans have a way of making things work out, which may be different (both ways and length of time) for each person. The insecurities are there, but by growing within ourselves, we no longer attach the same power over them. I think we all have to learn to live with what makes our own selves happy, then we can realize that a "mate" is a complement to ourselves who is also independent of us.

Keep your chins up, cause we're all on the right road for self knowledge and acceptance, and when we reach it... the insecurities will be the stepping stones of what made us who we are. Best of all, they will be behind us. [Wink]

Lori
My fears? I have been divorced over two years and feel pretty recovered from that. Just left a horrible relationship...but the list remains the same:

1) that I will be abandoned
2) that I will be alone
3) that I will settle (yes, a personal choice, but sometimes the fear of #1-2 might cause #3 if I am not aware)
4) that even if I do find someone, that things will change unexpectedly because of the tenuousness of feelings and emotional needs.
5) that I will be cheated on and lied to (a problem in my last relationship as well as my marriage)

Despite all of my progress over the last two +years, I still fear these things. I love my life and where I am, and yet, I still get melancholy at the thought of spending another night alone and never having a family....
Llama: I, too, think this was a great idea for a discussion thread! From the looks of it, it seems that we all pretty much have the same fears. I'm still waiting for your 'long' version!

I continue to work on my issues...including the knees...lol! I was running last summer and fall, but it got just too cold! Will start again in the spring. I miss it! Exercise certainly makes me feel better! It makes me feel stronger, healthier, and like I'm doing something very positive in my life!

Does anyone else have the winter blues? I think that's part of my problem.

Hugs to all!
X first walked out, felt so lonely. Then I started to think, X was in Navy. when X came out he distance himself from me & son. Ive been alone for a lone time, just didnt know it.
Trust would be a big problem. X had A while working as cop on duty. dont think I could ever trust a man while he works.
Finances is biggest problem. trying to raise 13 yr old son who has medicial problems & ADD on $490 childsupport. X quit paying Court order medical & school. trying to find a job working around school hasnt worked out. son is starting to show learning problems & hehavior problems. Dr. said son has aggression towards Cops (X)& nurses(OW).
felt old X left me for OW who is couple yrs older than my oldest son. But after seeing her I can see why no one else wanted her. thought she would look like Barbie, blond and slim. I may be almost 49 but I feel I look better than her.
Dating isnt a problem. Been ask out but declined. Son is having mental health problems, after dad abandand him he is very protected of me. doesnt want any men around me. Dr. said son is afraid I will walk out on him too like dad did. cant put him though the things X has. Besides I need the time to get my life together before I drag someone else into it.

m-17 1/2 yrs
me-48, x-43
c-13, 29, 8 gd
d-5-02

ow-32
c-3 under 11
m-10yrs
d-7-02
Oh my goodness - I can't believe all the great responses! So so sorry I haven't posted mine yet. It's been one of those weeks.

My whole life growing up, my insecurities had to do with my appearance, mainly weight. I'm attractive, not overweight, but have to really watch it or I will gain a ton since I'm a shorty.

When I was married I was insecure about my weight and later became insecure that my XH was not telling me what was bothering him. You know the helper in us? I think back about it and wonder, was I pestering him to tell me what the heck was bugging him? He acted this way - like I was the one who had the problem with him. But good intuition has always been something I've had - he obviously was balancing two lives and was a mess and couldn't tell me.

Quite frankly, the day before his d day - I was prepared to file for divorce. After months of therapy, him taking medication for his intense anxiety, constant fighting, etc. I had just HAD it. I was exasperated and felt at my wit's end. I was a happy person who was so unhappy. I was a pretty secure person who felt so insecure.

It wasn't until I discovered his online affair that I started feeling really insecure about myself.

Then after some great therapy - felt better about it and began to take care of me. The truth was, regardless of the affair - I discovered that our marriage wasn't really over, it had never really begun. Does that make sense? We had all of these problems before we EVER walked down the aisle. We should have never walked down the aisle.

I felt like I had really lost myself.

But, now - I'm back! Whoo hoo.

I'm very comfortable with myself, appearance, and body shape now. Hey, I'm not perfect - but who the heck is.

Trust - I never had trust issues in my life, maybe with strangers, salesmen, etc., but not with those close to me.

Even now, I'm dating a nice man. And, trust isn't an issue with him. Actually, his insecurity is trust.

Then I wonder, am I too trusting?

My issues? Well, I could be a better listener. Still working on this. I tend to make assumptions. When something upsets me, I tend to get loud and yell. (This has ALWAYS been an issue of mine.) It's a challenge, but it's getting easier. I don't have a temper, I just get exasperated when I feel no one is hearing me (validating me).

I'm also learning that since we're MB's, we're one step ahead in the growing process. I've learned so much. Haven't you? Good and bad.

Ok, I'm done rambling. More tomorrow.

Thanks to all who posted. I'm going to read over them all again tonight.

Hugs,
Llama
Can I sum them up succinctly:

-I'm not 25 anymore. Would anyone ever want to marry me.

-Can I get my children raised well. Finances. Emotional/mental health. Model proper family stuff - they will, at this rate, reach adulthood not living in a household with two adults for models. Acacemically. Can I really provide all they need.

-Can I prepare financially for our needs. College. My retirement.

-The thing I was most beaten up over was my lack of organization. Is there a man out there who would be able to cope with my lack of organization which results from never learning those skills and being an ADD adult.
These are really scary issues!

bangarra:
quote:
Ok, not divorced yet, but been trying to be for 2 years and more.
I totally relate to this!

llama:
quote:
Quite frankly, the day before his d day - I was prepared to file for divorce. After months of therapy, him taking medication for his intense anxiety, constant fighting, etc. I had just HAD it.
STBXH had started drinking and using drugs again about a year before d day and had been severely verbally abusing me for about 4 months. We'd been to MC. In fact, he said he was leaving and, with relief, I said, "Go!" But, when I found out, almost immediately, that he'd moved in with a young woman who worked for our company, a recently married 21 year old woman with a young daughter, the whole situation changed, and I was devastated. I fought, unsuccessfully, for two years to get him back... they're still together (not working and getting high)even though she's the one he's abusing now.

cjack:
quote:
Nowadays, I can't believe that I could have been so wrong about something! I trusted my feelings, and my feelings (as well as my XW) betrayed me in the worst way. I'm not gun-shy about trusting another woman, but I'm deathly afraid of trusting my own feelings again.
This is my WORST fear! I'm dating a man right now. A really nice, considerate man. I trust him, he's been totally honest with me. But, I don't trust myself, my judgement, at all!

Nina too:
quote:
The exact same thing here. How can I trust myself to judge someone as honest and trustworthy and faithful when I THOUGHT I already had that, and got cheated on through my married life?
I found out my STBXH had been cheating on me throughout our whole life together... and I never knew. I never even knew that for the first 8 years we were together that he was a heroin addict!

Georgiasweetie49:
quote:
1. Am I worthy?
2. Am I pretty enough?
3. Am I accepting enough?
4. Am I too old?

I'm 51 so I totally understand how you feel! And my H left me for a real dog! a much, much younger dog...a puppy?(no, they're cute!) But, I got asked out by a 25 y.o., a 35 y.o. told me he'd ask me out if he wasn't married, a 37ish guy wanted to ask me out, but I was already dating a 43 y.o. man. I hadn't looked at another man in 20 years and really never thought I'd date again. I still have a hard time believing he really likes me, even though I'm not sure how much I like him either. Ah, dating...

broken X 3:
quote:
well, if no one ever loves me again, (and I too feel like almost 50 is pushing it, although the Oil of Olay has done wonders!!) at least I had the love of my life at one time...even if he did turn out to be a lying cheating sack of ****
I also felt that my STBXH was the love of my life, and your description fits him perfectly! I think we're lucky to have loved, I think it's even better than being loved. But, don't give up now! Yes we're "old" and the statistics are against us, but, as a 58 y.o. woman friend of mine pointed out, we still look good to older men (and she's dating a 54 y.o.). So, stick with the Oil of Old Lady (as the kids call it)!
"Oil of Old Lady"!!!!! [Big Grin] [Big Grin]

How that made me laugh! Thanks so much. Actually, I got quite the ego boost this past summer when my 16 year old's guy friends told her that mom looked "hot", and I'm very fortunate that I do look a bit younger than my true age. Maybe there is hope for me yet!
But I am beginning to believe in myself again, and that is the most important thing!
Lets try-

Thanks for your post. Another thought has crossed my mind. I mentioned it in my earlier post.

Even though I was a BS, I don't feel like I have major trust issues with others. Should I? I'm a pretty trusting person, I think I have decent intuition - but I wouldn't say I'm naive or overly trusting. That's me.

I'm dating a great guy right now who does have trust issues. So, we make for an interesting pair. I have to be honest when I say if there is one thing I learned from my first marriage, it's how to communicate better. So, we can discuss an issue if one comes up. And, I think overall, we're doing it pretty well.

I'm continuing to read relationship books. I feel good about myself. I feel my wounds are healing very nicely.

I'm going through an annulment right now and that has helped me tremendously with the healing aspect of divorce.

I don't have all the answers. I have to forgive myself often (sometimes hard to do, I can be pretty tough on myself). I also have to recognize and admit my mistakes more. When I was married, I always felt like I had to fight or stick up for myself. Reality is, I make mistakes. I did in my marriage and I do it in my everyday life. I'm trying to be a better listener and a little less defensive.

Does anyone know what I'm talking about? The defensiveness thing?

Overall, my relationship with my family and friends feels better than ever before. I feel I have found the peace in my life that I deserve, but continue to work on me every day.

Hope we can keep this post going. It's helpful to chat with others who have/are going through the same changes.

Hugs,
Llama
^^^bumping up^^^^
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