How to deal with life after divorce?


#1

Hello! I used to be quite the regular here, before things went to pot with my wife. :mad: And now the divorce is finally coming in a few weeks. We’ve been separated for two years now, and I’ve got some questions!

How in the heck do you do it?
‘What?’ you ask?
Everything!

Going form having sexual relations with your wife almost every day for eight years, to nothing with the drop of a hat, the anguish is hardly tolerable. Not only physicaly, but mentally as well. It compounds the loneliness, and creates one giant poop ton of temptation. It doesn’t help that all of your family and friends tell you to just go out and get laid. Yea, I could do that, but I don’t want to. It’s just not the right thing to do.

:blush:

And how about the loneliness! I’ll admit, I did date a gal for several months after my wife left, clutching at straws and such, and a great friendship has came out of that once we put our heads back on straight. But goodness, I’m craving having ad activity partner, someone to cuddle up with, someone to talk to. It’s disappointing to come home after a twelve hour day at work and not have anyone there. Nobody to share the day with, to fall back on for support, to even help with the household chores!

I’ve got four kids, half the time. Good ol’ county I’m in, I’m lucky to have them that often, not that she wants them any more than that anyway. It is a mean task to take care of them those days. And to take an eight, six, three, and two year old to mass? I feel insane for tiring.

I’ll be filing for an annulment, I’m sure our marriage isn’t valid, she has a long history of mental illness, alcoholism, and drug abuse; before, during, and after the ceremony. Provided it’s found invalid, what then? What woman would take on a guy with four kids already? And if not, or our marriage is found to be valid, what then? I’m only thirty, that’s a long time to remain celibate! I’m not that strong. That’s a long time alone.

What about the day-to-day now? How does one do it? :shrug:

Any pointers?


#2

God Bless you and ease your pain.

How do you do it? What’s your prayer life like? You don’t need to answer that by the way.

I spent a ton of time at confession, Adoration, mass, reading bible passages, praying the rosary. It was the only way I could find an ounce of peace. Joy and happiness did not come for some time, but it did come.

I actually called Friday night “date night”. I would get dressed up, fix my makeup, and head to Adoration for an hour or such.

I will keep you in prayer as one who has been in your situation for a 10 year period.


#3

My wife left five years ago and divorced me just over 12 months ago. I.ve got the kids( 7 in total 4 at home 3 have left home) she left them. She has mental health problems as well. My story is pretty much like yours.
Thats what everyone in our situation asks" How do you cope"?
We’re not the only ones on these forums asking that question.
Focus on your faith its the only answer I can come up with because your pretty much on your own. You know I don’t date or anything pretty much don’t find the time although when the kids go to their mothers place I’m left wondering what to do with myself. Don’t really have a social life only God.

I’m open to suggestions from anyone. What do you do.


#4

Well God Bless you for your honesty! I know myself just how difficult it is at first and believe me you get kind of numb after a while. I only have one child and she is grown now and I have made it through 20 plus years divorced. This is something you have to deal with and you can only do it by being honest with yourself about the problems you have encountered during your marriage. You must pray and above all you must seek out your priest and request counseling from him or from someone he may suggest. It will be hard on you and the kids at first but please don’t do anything at all for a while or at least until the divorce is final. This way you will harbor no personal guilt in the areas that matter most which are, your relationship w/God, your children and the Church. Please speak with your priest and listen with an open heart and mind, he will help! As for the sex thing, well good luck my brother!!! :wink:

Bill K.


#5

[quote="bill_Karabinus, post:4, topic:181879"]
Well God Bless you for your honesty! I know myself just how difficult it is at first and believe me you get kind of numb after a while. I only have one child and she is grown now and I have made it through 20 plus years divorced. This is something you have to deal with and you can only do it by being honest with yourself about the problems you have encountered during your marriage. You must pray and above all you must seek out your priest and request counseling from him or from someone he may suggest. It will be hard on you and the kids at first but please don't do anything at all for a while or at least until the divorce is final. This way you will harbor no personal guilt in the areas that matter most which are, your relationship w/God, your children and the Church. Please speak with your priest and listen with an open heart and mind, he will help! As for the sex thing,,,,, well good luck my brother!!!! ;)

Bill K.

[/quote]


#6

From what I have seen, most marriages break down over time - couples do not go from sex every day wham whoopiee to divorce the next.

Remember, unless the tribunal finds your marriage was invalid, you are still a married person. Your spouse has chosen to be away from you.

Offer up the suffering for the return of your spouse.


#7

You have an opportunity. Forget about other women - for now. You have to learn to be happy alone. Happiness comes from the inside. God has already given us everything and the only things that can make us happy. Find them. Happiness comes from using the tools that God gave us to the best of our abilities. Spouses, kids, careers, etc. cannot make us happy. We have been lied to.

Find out how to be happy. Then you can you look into other things.


#8

Thanks jrabs, bill Karabinus when I do get going on that stuff, it’s very helpful. It’s the getting started that seems to bugger me.

I’ll make the plans, and when time comes usually have a F-it moment. My spiritual life has been very dry and bleak since she left.

I was at a real high spot before the end. She was teaching PSR and leading a woman’s theology of the body study group. We had study groups that we went to together. Then within a few months after the last baby was born she was having yet another affair. All my regular prayer and fasting didn’t seem to do jack, yet again. I just don’t have any trust I reckon. In people or God.

JPRO, bill Karabinus no offense, but it’s nice to see others having the same problems! Wish you didn’t, it sucks, but I’m glad I’m not the only one who is confuddled with some things.

that_name, I understand. There was always issues in the relationship. Not saying there wasn’t. Quite frankly, it was a horrible relationship, and for our sanity and safety it’s better that we are apart, even if we are married.

MtnDwellar, not to be rude, but what you are saying does nothing to help. It’s true, yes, and I know these things all too well. However knowledge of the subject matter, and knowledge of the implmentation of it are two separate things. Pain makes the how very hard. Even our Lord struggled with his anguish!


#9

My prayers are with you - and with your children. The only way I make it through is by constantly reminding myself that I am sacrificing an earthly pleasure for something greater. When I find myself having to choose an attitude, an emotion, a desire, I try to always choose the higher and offer it all up. I can really get depressed and very angry, bitter, resentful when I think "I will never have sex again", "I am always going to be lonely", "I will never have a companion to share life with" -- but what helps me is just to do the best I can today... not to dwell on the past, not to project into my future; but to see opportunities and circumstances that I have today and choose the better option at the time. It is not easy. Loneliness is horrible. I place myself in the Garden with Jesus and think of His agony -- even his best friends weren't available to share in his darkest moment. This truly does help. If you have extended family, foster relationships with your kids and any aunts, uncles, grandparents. Hang out with male friends - host something like a poker party when you don't have the kids. I also recommend not stirring up those feelings of sexual desire - by carefully choosing the kind of movies, reading material, hangouts, one can remove alot of that temptation and that has really helped me. Not that desire is going to go away, I just don't put myself in situations to escalate it. God bless and I am truly sorry for what you are enduring.


#10

I really am sorry. sad situation.
I understand you feel let down by prayers that did not appear to work. They did - just that the result was not what you wanted. Prayers/fasting are never a waste.

I also understand that it may be hard to start having faith again - but this is not God’s fault. Don’t punish Him. Did you start to distance yourself from your parents or loved ones after you found out about the last affair? Why would you distance God for the same reason? He did not do this. He is only here to help and listen.

Prayer can be a tinly little plea for trust. God, please help me to trust you. Amen. You may not be able to carve out dedicated time for prayer, but certainly you can walk about the grocery store mentally chanting, “Jesus help me, God help me to trust.”

And that is prayer.


#11

I know. Intellectually I’ve got no beef with the man upstairs, it’s the emotional trust that’s failing. I know it happens, and have talked with a few priests about it. Part of the journey. I guess as long as I don’t stop believin’, and tell God “any way you want it,” the wheel in the sky will have open arms. We have have gone our seperate ways, and although she’s lovin’, touchin’, squezin’ another, I’m not who’s crying now.

Ok, that went on long enough. :thumbsup:

It’s a dang amusement park!


#12

[quote="Trelow, post:11, topic:181879"]
I know. Intellectually I've got no beef with the man upstairs, it's the emotional trust that's failing. I know it happens, and have talked with a few priests about it. Part of the journey. I guess as long as I don't stop believin', and tell God "any way you want it," the wheel in the sky will have open arms. We have have gone our seperate ways, and although she's lovin', touchin', squezin' another, I'm not who's crying now.

Ok, that went on long enough. :thumbsup:

It's a dang amusement park!

[/quote]

OK - well then perhaps that will be your chant to God - so to speak. "God grant me enotional trust" repeated when you are driving, walking to your car, pushing your cart.

That's all I used to say for months on end - just a one liner, "God take my pain."

It is an effective prayer as much as any other prayer.


#13

I understand the intellectual confidence but emotional/spiritual emptiness deal, so I empathize, but that was a really bad use of Journey song titles.


#14

[quote="The_Bucket, post:13, topic:181879"]
I understand the intellectual confidence but emotional/spiritual emptiness deal, so I empathize, but that was a really bad use of Journey song titles.

[/quote]

I thought it was fun!


#15

[quote="MtnDwellar, post:7, topic:181879"]
You have an opportunity. Forget about other women - for now. ** You have to learn to be happy alone. Happiness comes from the inside. God has already given us everything and the only things that can make us happy. Find them. Happiness comes from using the tools that God gave us to the best of our abilities. Spouses, kids, careers, etc. cannot make us happy. We have been lied to.

**
Find out how to be happy. Then you can you look into other things.

[/quote]

This is so true, but for me was a difficult lesson to learn - and I am still a work in progress! On Feb. 2, I will have been divorced 15 years. It was a bad situation - it was the right thing to do. God blessed me with a wonderful son. I truly thank God for him.

I heard a great line. We may not always be happy, but we can always be cheerful. It is a choice we make. That choice can cause others to want to be around you. This can help a great deal with the loneliness. Real peace and joy and happiness, though, come from within. While God may not give us all we want, He certainly does provide what we need.

Coming home to an empty house is not easy, but we are never alone. As Christians, as Catholics, we know this, but we don't always really know this! My son was very young when I was first divorced. I used to dread putting him to bed at an early hour because I felt very alone.

Choose to be involved. Father Wade just today on EWTN talked about "service outside your comfort zone." Your church probably could use help for dinners, on committees, with RCIA or CCD, etc.

A recent suggestion from a local priest was to walk the Stations of the Cross. It serves to remind me that, as I walk with Him, I need to remember that He always walks with me, that every time He fell, He got back up.

I also think of 'Footprints in the Sand' - wowzone.com/fprints.htm

I will not seek an annulment, so, I have chosen abstinence. For me, it is the best choice, and not a difficult one. Without going into any further explanation, I feel sex is over-rated, and certainly not a necessity, or a source of happiness. I respect your attitude on that regard.

If your marriage is annulled, I would still suggest you take time to build your self-esteem, and allow God's grace to help you to find an internal sense of peace and love that doesn't depend on others or on the 'stuff' of the world.

I will keep you in my prayers.


#16

Count me as one of "The Club":p.
I'm raising 4 little ones (all under the age of 10) and finishing up a long divorce, hopefully soon. I understand the loneliness, just wanting someone else to really CARE about how your day went, it seems like everyone is just lending their time. And a hundred different ways that the absence of the spouse you chose and devoted your life to, took it upon themselves to split and you're left alone.

What helps me is to set a goal for each day or each week. Here are some things I've checked off on former daily tasks: take a walk, read a Psalm and meditate on it, go to the Adoration chapel for 15 minutes this week, wipe down the leather couch with cleaner, scrub the bathtub, have the kids write thank-you notes for their Christmas gifts, donate 3 items to the local food shelf, read 5 books to the kids before bedtime. You get the idea. Maybe this won't work for you (sounds like you're working outside the home quite a bit), but I sometimes get feeling so low it does help to have something outside of the ordinary to accomplish.

It also helps to find little ways to make life special for the kids, like having a candle-light family dinner once in a while, or everybody throws on their pajamas, grabs their pillow and blankets, and have a giant sleep out in the living room while making flashlight shadows on the ceiling. Leave little love notes for them once in awhile. Our kids didn't sign up for this situation, but I can be darned sure they have some wonderful sweet memories of how much their mama loved them. :)

As far as the sex thing...:shrug:, I offer it up to God to call down virtues for my children.

I wish people understood how much physical touch can be missed. It feels like no one ever touches me anymore! It would be nice for people to call and ask sincerely "How are you?" and then be able to really TALK. It doesn't replace the spouse you signed up for, but it helps to alleviate isolation.

Perhaps it may be easier one day when the adjustment eventually takes place, to not really remember what it was like to have someone make that lunchtime call that asks, "hey hon, was just wondering how your day is going?" or to have that spouse cuddle up at night, to have that moment when you're going to fill up the gas tank then you realize he/she already took care of it for you. Getting used to the new life will help. Just not sure how many years will pass before the adjustment happens.

Major rambling.....

I'm sorry you're going through this too. It sucks!


#17

LindaSK, you have just repeated what father said to me Saturday, and summarized his homily as well. Thanks! I forget things too quickly!

SarahR, that's a good idea. I've got a horrible habit of neglecting a lot of those things. In fact just a few weeks ago was the first time since she left that I had all my laundry folded! Well, I did pay her to come by and fold it for me once. Ugh


#18

Does your church offer a support group for divorced? I've seen bulletins that have advertised support groups for the divorced, widowed and separated. Maybe you could look into attending some meetings. Call your diocese and ask what they have available.

While I can't say that I know how you feel, I can sympathize with you. I'm 43 and never been married. Loneliness and the lack of a companion does stink.


#19

[quote="Trelow, post:17, topic:181879"]

SarahR, that's a good idea. I've got a horrible habit of neglecting a lot of those things. In fact just a few weeks ago was the first time since she left that I had all my laundry folded! Well, I did pay her to come by and fold it for me once. Ugh

[/quote]

You know, you are not expected to do everything. Sometimes we need to ease up on ourselves a tinch.

It is OK that you did not fold your laundry. It's ok if the dishes are not put away and the newspaper is on the table.

You strive to keep some semblance of order and maintain a realistic and healthy lifestyle.

My hubby up and left one day leaving me with two small kids. There was a span of about 10 years where I folded the laundry maybe 5 times a year. We lived out of laundry baskets in my basement. I ironed what we needed daily, but it was less stressful for me then folding laundry - which my hubby had always done.

My point is - you can pick.

Fast forward....I married a man a few years ago that now does the folding once again.. :D


#20

Divorced mom of 4 here.

Let’s talk about the laundry first. My best advice is to get rid of a ton of clothes. Purge. Donate whatever doesn’t look great on you or the kids. Just hold on to a handful of outfits. It makes it all so much more manageable. Same goes for just about all material items. Get rid of as much as you possibly can. After a certain point I made an incredible number of trips to the dump and to the Salvation Army. It was very liberating.

And it is so much easier to not have piles of laundry all over the house.

As for the rest of it…

During the first year I went to counseling once a week. I went to confession about twice a month. Later I went to adoration a few times a week. I prayed the rosary daily. If you want someone to talk to when you get home from work, pour your heart out, seriously.

Well, after about 2 years, and truthfully just before I received my annulment, I decided to try dating. I went to Catholic Match and wrote in my profile that I was just looking for friendship until I received an annulment. I don’t recommend doing this though at this point because dating as friends is a tough, tough thing to do.

As for having 4 kids and dating, don’t let that weigh heavily on you now. I am sure for a man that should be easier than it is for a woman, but as a woman, I can tell you that it did not pose a problem. I am now in a relationship with a very nice Catholic man for the last year and a half. We are taking it slow because of the issue with the children, and I think that is for the best.

In fact, in all of this remember that God’s timing is better than your timing. Chances are you got into the marriage you did because you either rushed or didn’t do things in the proper order. Try to avoid that this time around, because being able to wait and having some patience will make everything much more clear to you.

If you are finding yourself at a point where it seems too much to bear, then tell God exactly that. Believe me he understands. Even Christ had help carrying the cross, and he was God! You will never have a friend or lover who will understand you and be there for you the way that God always is. In fact, I tell that to my boy friend from time to time: “God loves you even more than I do.” So, whatever you do, don’t try to fill the hole in your heart with a new relationship without first letting God fill that place of loneliness.


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