What my wife may have to look forward to…

I found this article a few days ago when I was looking for something else:
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-1387389/They-married-love-Now-divorced-lonely-theyre-new-generation–women-dont-know-date.html

My wife was 22 when we got married. I never gave it a second thought at the time — but a few weeks ago I realized that she was still living at home when I moved to England and we got married. We had been penpals for a number of years before that (no Internet or texting back then). She didn’t have a serious boyfriend at the time we started writing so, other than teen boyfriends, I have been the only long-term relationship in her life. (In my own case, I had a few multi-year relationships before meeting her.)

Clearly, since I regularly babble on here, and have Facebook and LinkedIn accounts, I have some social media skills. But, if she continues to drift further away and look for someone else, she may struggle more than me. This might also be true of some of the people who read this rambling blog who have been unceremoniously dumped by their husbands.

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About Single Dad

I married young. Now, after more than 20 years of marriage, 3 wonderful daughters, and many ups and downs, my wife has decided the marriage is over. The "About Me" and "My Background" pages on my blog have more details.
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10 Responses to What my wife may have to look forward to…

  1. First of all; thanks for posting the article. This is my life in a nutshell! Well… apart from the fact that I haven’t turned to internet dating and although being single for 18 months now I still can’t imagine ever doing it.

    I’ve read your blog with interest, but have found it a bit difficult to help with any comments seeing that I never had kids, never married and was the one who chose to end the relationship. But this time I might actually have something to say from your wife’s point of view.

    I was 18 when I met my ex and was in no way looking for something “steady”. We ended up spending a bit more than 10 years together. There are many reasons why it ended, but one of them was that I couldn’t help wondering about the “what ifs”. Although I knew we had it good in many ways, I always had a small voice inside of me saying “but what if this is only good because it’s the only thing I know?”

    My ex and I wanted very different things in life, which probably helped make that voice louder and louder. It’s also one of the reasons I don’t regret anything (except not being more honest with myself and ending it sooner). I haven’t had any contact with my ex since then, but I’ve heard he’s met someone new, which actually makes me very happy. I never wanted to hurt him and never blamed him for the relationship ending – it was all about me realizing that I was very far from the person I wanted to be.

    I don’t know if you can use this at all or if it compares to your wife’s situation. From what I’ve read you haven’t written that much about what she has said (or if she even has tried to explain herself). But my guess is she’s feeling some of the same what ifs. You never know what’s going to happen when she starts exploring them. She might find that she likes life “out there” much more. But she might also see that what she had was great and want to come back. Then the question is; would you be willing to take her back?

    • Hi BAS,

      My response is a little different to what you might be expecting given that you took the time to kindly examine how your situation might compare to my wife’s situation…

      I’m impressed. Starting at 18, to have a relationship for 10 years is a Major Achievement. Sure you eventually drifted apart. But, let’s face it, most people’s priorities change after they finish school/college/uni and have been working for a few years. Before then, a serious relationship is a struggle for anyone.

      But you managed it — a 10-year relationship. Be proud of that!

      My bet is that the next person you settle down with may well be another very long-term relationship; it might even be The One for you. Since you can obviously make something work long-term and you’re only in your late 20s, it’s quite possible. Way to go!

      You said:
      There are many reasons why it ended, but one of them was that I couldn’t help wondering about the “what ifs”. Although I knew we had it good in many ways, I always had a small voice inside of me saying “but what if this is only good because it’s the only thing I know?”

      I think this is very similar to my wife’s situation — she was even younger than me when we got married and seems to be wondering what she missed in life. The big shame is that she waited until now to think about it. 😦

      Thanks for your interesting background on this.

      • Wow – thanks for your reply! You’re right, I wasn’t expecting a response like that. But I really appreciate it 🙂

        I don’t consider being in a relationship a big accomplishment. On the contrary, I think I hid too long in the relationship. And I could easily have seen myself in the situation your wife is in now had I stayed.

        But in some ways I guess you’re right. I have a few friends who are 30 and have never had a boyfriend. I can tell they’re desperate in a way I don’t think I am, because at least I know that I can make a relationship work.

  2. mysterycoach says:

    You know? I hadn’t looked up to date for 7 years. Time slipped through my fingers and there was the ex 4 years ago (I believe you remember that story) and it’s not easy, not really out looking for some one with the nature, values etc., that I want and I’m sure it’s not easy for a lot of people honestly.

    • Hi MC,

      First, I didn’t realize that your ex was 4 years ago. I assume you’re definitely completely over him and ready to Move. On.

      Finding a good match is difficult. For me, it happened quite young.

      Did I just get lucky? If so, that isn’t a pleasant thought because I am unlikely to have that luck again in the future.

      Or am I just not fussy and am instead fairly easygoing when it comes to matching with someone? That could be useful.

      Who knows which is more likely to be true. I know I don’t, and I’ve known me for a long time. 🙂

      • mysterycoach says:

        No, the fella I was talking about recently was CB. The “ex” was someone “from” 4 years ago who I dated when I was in my mid 20’s and we’ve stayed friends, I kept the family and he started saying things about getting together but all he wanted to do was see if he could still “get to me”. It worked, I fell for it and he went back to his life. He didn’t mean any of it. That wasn’t a relationship. HIM I am completely over.

        CB I’m getting over more every day, with some residual feelings about it, but that will pass in time too. I did what I felt were the right things however with the wrong person… at least I tried anyway 🙂

        The last relationship I was literally “in” was 7 years ago. Time slipped through my fingers, life took over and here we are. 🙂 I’m not venting about a guy from 4 years ago although I could 🙂 He shouldn’t have taken advantage of me in that way. Not knowing me 20 years like he does. Course, I was mad at myself for falling for it, but I’d told him that I was looking for something real in my life years prior and I assumed (mistake) that when he seemed to shift that he had good intentions. I was wrong.. that hurt.

        I think it takes time to find a person as we get older … hopefully we’re armed with more self knowledge and make better choices. At least that’s what I’m trying to do now.

  3. Surrey gal says:

    Off I go to read the article. I think many women – or perhaps men too? – after a long marriage don’t know how to date. Regardless whether they dated before or not.
    Times change, we are older and dating when you are 20 or 30 or 50 is completely different….

    • Hey SG,

      You know, you’re probably right in that things have definitely changed. Online dating, expectations of relationships, blogging, all these things change the way we might meet people, form new relationships, keep in touch … and break up.

      Now you’ve given ME something to worry about! It was your turn though. 🙂

  4. everevie says:

    I don’t really think it matters how long you’ve been in or out of the dating arena…it kinda sucks no matter what.

    What I hate for you…is that not only will your wife find dating to be difficult…but you will too…and you didn’t ask for this.

    Hopefully following the misadventures of your fellow dating bloggers will help you navigate a bit more successfully. 🙂

  5. My wife was 28 when we married…I was 40. She had a child when she was 19 from a previous relationship (that child is my beautiful daughter now and I love her as if she were my own).

    But, she raised her basically alone for 5 yrs, then I came in and added stability, a loving husband etc.

    She always had this wanderlust…wondering what she had missed out on. But I thought (knew damnit!!!) we were supposed to be together. (wow…was I wrong) She also has insecurities.

    She did not have to resume dating…she got to do that while we were still married and had the affairs. This …ahem..gentleman showed her a different life. One where the spouses were at home with the kids, so that they could have ultimate freedom to be in the wilderness, photograph etc.

    Not that I would not have done all of that with my wife…but we had the constaints of family and scheduling. It was much easier when the babysitter was the husband she was cheating on!!. He took advantage of her insecurities, showering her with praise. The same praise from me was not the valid because I was not “an artist” (neither is he really..he’s a 3rd rate photographer that’s a big fish in a little town). But it did garner for him the adoration that he needs for himself.

    After it ended the first time 5 yrs ago, the wife seemed so remorseful, claiming it was such a mistake and “what the “F” was she thinking!!

    But she is now back with him. I feel sorry for her in a sense that I have seen his pattern for 30 yrs. He is even older than I am. Eventually his stripes will show and she will be left without the man that would have walked through burning walls for her. I too am a man that cherished family wholeness. Divorce, especially through betrayal…sucks.

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