Divorced in 40s, trying to move on and rebuild......
Hi, so I'm looking for some advice and perspective from others who might have been in my situation. I'm 45 and recently divorced, my ex and I separated 18 months ago after she had a long affair which I discovered a couple of times (in between attempts to save the marriage), she is still in that relationship although the little I see of it, it always seems to be in some sort of crisis. Since then I've tried to take all the advice I could around how to recover (it was a very very traumatic breakup and we have children).
I've had periods where it has been tough and periods where I've felt happier and settled. I've largely been single and focused on my own life and my kids (who live with me 4 nights a week) and tried to protect them and heal myself. I still feel some anger towards her and the other man but much of that has subsided (she is a good mum) and my ex and I generally get on well enough to co-operate over the kids and most times my life feels like its becoming normal, it has been 18 months so there is some distance from all that now. I have a strong desire to move on and meet someone new and bring that dimension back into my life, I feel ready for it. Over the past few months I've tried online dating (I think its probably the only practical way I'll meet someone with my lifestyle) and have put a lot of effort in, been on some dates and seen a couple of people a few times, but the ones I like just seem to lose interest in me after either the first date or a few dates. I've just had a first date with a girl I had an amazing few days texting/chatting with and was very strongly attracted to online, as she was for me, ending in her texting saying she wasn't attracted enough to me in person - which has left me completely gutted. I fully realise this is an over-reaction to a first date / online fantasy but life just feels like a continual series of knocks and my self-confidence gets hit every time.
I get a lot of "you're a really nice guy but...." responses which I guess is standard rejection material, but it feels like I'm in a bad cycle here. i'm aware that online dating is a marathon and a numbers game etc, its not me its them, rejection is part of the game etc etc but at times I really feel like I can't do much more of this, I wonder if my emotional resilience has been shot by my marital breakup. I am resilient in many other areas of my life, I'm not bad looking, I'm a decent individual with values and not a "player", reasonably career successful and I have a lot to offer someone and yet I feel pretty lost in this world. I think I'm too much of a "nice guy" and women often want a bit more edge, possibly, it does feel a little hard to take when my ex left for a guy who is a total player by the sounds of it. Anyway, I know life is not fair and that you have to take knocks, you make your own luck, but any perspective or advice would be welcomed. Thanks.
Well, I am a girl and definitely don't want a player in my life. But when you say nice... What do you mean? You could be picking the kind of woman that usually goes for a strong character or someone who knows all the tricks. Because they live fast and loose, they just want it easy and fun. No drama, no depth... And as a divorced person who took it hard, you have depth and drama, even if you don't reflect it, it shows. And trying to hide such things, if you are an honest person, it makes it more obvious and hurts you.
Can I ask, why do you want a wife so much? You have children, you have family. Why won't you focus on life instead? I know it isn't the same thing. But it seems to me, this isn't working. When something doesn't work, you should find another way to live, till everything else gets on track. That's what we do as people, we try to survive anything. Figure out what's really holding you back!
Love is different. A stable relationship, sure. But from their perspective, they want a real connection. And to establish that, there need to a basis, something which means so much to both people in a relationship. It needs to touch the heart. Because that's what a relationship is. It has to come from the heart. Not really from looks or money. If it is about money, it will be obvious anyway.
I hope this helps.
Hi problemsurfer, thanks for commenting. I don't really want a wife, not sure I'd get married again (open minded, but its not important to me) but I would like a relationship. I've been single 18 months and I have a decent life, friends, interests etc but I definitely feel that having someone in my life would enrich it a lot. It has seemed worth putting the effort in. Also, you referenced looks etc, I'm not saying i have an abundance of either, I didn't mean to suggest that I think that should be enough, of course not, I guess I'm just saying that all in all I think I have something to offer at first glance (which, let's face it, online dating sites boil down to, you can't tell much else from a profile). So I get interest, it just doesn't seem to convert in real life.
I think you're probably right that I project something. I do understand what attraction is about, that it's chemistry and connection. I think I possibly project a bit of sadness about the recent past, without knowing it, and I also possibly hold back a little for fear of rejection, which in turn makes it more likely. That's all I can think of. So even though i feel that it's time to move on, perhaps i'm not there yet. not sure, hence wanting to get other people's experiences and perspective.
Yeah, I didn't mean to be so harsh. It's nice to have everything you want. But people mostly try to avoid what they really need. I just wanted you to figure it out first, and after when you really need someone, she will be drawn to you. But please don't hide from this, it's really not that complicated, building a relationship. The complicated part is to figure out what is really troubling you.
That's cool, I didn't come on here for cotton wool
I think what is troubling me is a lack of confidence to figure out what I truly want from a relationship and the self-belief that i'm capable of getting it. It is hard to remember the time I last felt really happy in one, years, and being left takes a lot of coming back from. Perhaps I need to spend more time building my confidence back up through non-dating related things, just live a bit more life, get a bit of resilience back. Anyway thanks.