It’s been a weird couple of weeks for me. First moving back into our home whilst my husband was away, then moving back out again. Going from the fairly peaceful days whilst my husband was far away immersed in his training course to having him back in my headspace with his bitter words and attempts to sabotage my relationship with my children.
And looming even larger in my mind, the completely unexpected approach of a seemingly eligible single man who it turns out I had nothing real in common with and who just didn’t stimulate me enough (in any sense of the word!).
As I have said before the thought of a new relationship – the pursuit of a companion/lover/partner in crime – was nothing more than the vaguest of notions simmering away on a back burner up to this point.
When I was in the thick of my marriage – the bad bit – I remember thinking “I want nothing more to do with men”, I felt that I could happily be celibate for the rest of my life, that I am probably better suited to being alone and that having my first ever home – just mine (and the kids of course) would be an exciting novelty. For the only person controlling me to be me. For compromise to be a thing of a the past.
But now? This recent tryst has opened up the floodgates to a lot of feelings of self doubt and worry about loneliness – suddenly feeling sexy again only to be plunged straight back into long-term celibacy. Honestly, I just can’t stop thinking about it right now which is a bit shit considering I was doing so well just being me and being as good a mum to my kids as I could be.
I read a couple of articles yesterday about sex and the single mum and one of them really helped me come to terms with where I’m at – or at least put things in some perspective. The author mentioned that feeling of being in a daze at the beginning of a new relationship – totally pre-occupied, you know? Not great when you have small children who need you to organise everything from their homework, to their meals to their social lives. Giving 25% is kind of short-changing them somewhat.
Then there are all the thoughts about being in the dating pool, dealing with idiots, trying to navigate the sharks, trying not to get sucked into another relationship vortex, trying to decide if ‘casual’ no-strings relationships are the way forward or just the fast-track into an emotional mire.
I need to try and remember all the things I was looking forward to about getting out of a bad relationship and being single again. Yes, one of the things I wrote down at the time was ‘flirting’ (not much of that goes on in a bad marriage), but actually, most of it was about getting out and doing things I enjoy again, seeing my friends un-hindered and experiencing things that my husband would have disapproved of (festivals, blog conferences – ha ha!).
Plus despite my ever increasing years I need to remember that people don’t just stop having relationships once they hit 40. I don’t have a biological clock ticking any more which is kind of cool in that there is no pressure to rush into anything. Also one of my good friends at work – an absolutely lovely guy – just got married for the first time at the age of 55 to his partner – a two-time divorcee in her 50s with two grown up children and grandchildren.
The one thing that is dumbfounding me right now is that my husband, after a separation of four and half months, is deeply involved with another woman – someone who seems uniquely suited to him (although I don’t envy her long term). He is suddenly taking up tennis and talking about skiing holidays (two of my favourite sports which he would never have contemplated during our ten years together).
At one and the same time he has moved on so, so quickly, (I know they have already discussed moving in together – don’t ask me how!) and is yet still so wrought with anger over my decision to leave him.
So yeah, that’s where I’m at. Single, frustrated and under attack but still hopeful for the future because it’s in my own hands now.