It's been a little while since I've posted, but things are still progressing in the right direction towards my divorce which will be final at the beginning of April.
Anyway, last week marked a big milestone for me because I went to stay with my sister about 3 hours away from home and my soon to be ex and I finally separated all of our stuff and officially moved out of the place we had been living in. (We have not really lived together for awhile, but he still technically lived there).
So here's my problem - why am I not feeling much in the way of pain and hurting? I cried for about the first hour on the way to my sister's, but I'm not entirely sure if I was actually crying about him or the fact that my life is going to be so different on my own. I'm afraid that I'm supposed to be feeling more hurt and because I'm not, I'm going to crash and burn in the future. I do feel incredibly guilty about leaving him (he is an alcoholic), and I have spent many hours in the past week agonizing over whether or not he's ok, but when it comes to us not being together any longer, I'm feeling nothing. I do know that I am mad at him because he never changed and now I have to face life alone, but that's not exactly the kind of feeling I was expecting either.
Is this normal? Should I expect to feel hurt after awhile, or have I maybe just accepted it? I would think that after 11 years of marriage I would be a little broken hearted. Also, I haven't really thought about how I'm going to feel when he finds someone else, but I think that might be when the devastation sets in.
Sorry this was so long. Thanks you guys for all of your help over the past few months!
This whole thing was a process for you. I'm sure took a long time to decide to divorce so you've have done a lot of the pain, hurting and grieving all along. Now that the reality is setting in, it is anti-climatic for you. I'm sure you will continue your mixed emotions and doubts for a while but once you are established in your new life, you will have no regrets.
If he finds someone else, then she gets to live with an alcoholic.
Well, you said that you have been "separated" for a while. It could be that you mourned the loss of your marriage long before you started the divorce. I know that when I filed for divorce from my ex it was a major relief because I spent the previous year mourning my marriage. I never really cried about it. As a matter of fact, when the judge granted the divorce I thanked him with a huge smile and walked out of the courthouse like I had won the lottery or something.
Don't worry about how you should be feeling. Everyone's circumstances are different and therefore provoke different reactions. Who knows, it may hit you one day and you will have the break down you think you "should" be having. Or, you could treat this as the new beginning you deserve. However you feel, don't feel guilty about it. I'm sure with your soon to be ex's alcoholism you have been through enough grief to last you a lifetime. Embrace your new beginning.
"Is this normal? Should I expect to feel hurt after awhile, or have I maybe just accepted it? I would think that after 11 years of marriage I would be a little broken hearted. Also, I haven't really thought about how I'm going to feel when he finds someone else, but I think that might be when the devastation sets in."
I think you're not devastated now b/c you have accepted it, and you know in your heart that it was the right and best thing you could have done for yourself.
If he happens to find someone, then I imagine that you'll feel the same hurt, and anger that people do after getting out of any relationship. It will sting, it always does.. but you'll also remind yourself why you are no longer with him, and you'll tell yourself that you are in a better place now, and you'll be alright because you're stronger then maybe you ever thought you were.
I never post here, but I will now because this sounds a lot like what I went through when my ex and I finally separated. He was a drug addict and also an alcoholic. After 3 rocky years of thinking that I couldn't live without him, I thought for sure that I would be devastated and depressed when our relationship finally came to an end. But I wasn't. I would cry about being alone just as you have, and I would cry about the other things in my life that needed changing. Up until that point all I had ever focused on were the problems in our relationship and the problems my ex needed to deal with.. so everything else (my career, my health, my friendships, the repairs my house needed, etc) was pushed aside. And then suddenly there I was, face to face with all these issues, with no more excuses as to why I couldn't deal with them. I felt alone and helpless for a while, but I knew deep down that I would be ok.
After we broke up, I didn't feel much at all. I also thought maybe everything would all hit me down the line, and that I'd fall into a crazy depression and regret leaving him. But that never happened. About 6 months after leaving, I had a realization. I wasn't in love with my ex, and I hadn't been for a long time. I had fallen out of love with him while we were still together, and even the thought of him finding love with another woman no longer bothered me. When I realized that, I stopped feeling guilty for leaving him (he was a good person deep down, he just had too many issues). Now I feel that my ex will be much better off with someone who truly loves him. Perhaps someone who he'd care about and love enough in return to change. If he can find someone like that (and I'm sure he will) I will be truly happy for him.
If you're not in love with your ex, you wont react to a break up the way someone still in love would. And don't feel guilty about leaving him. He will be ok.. and sadly, the divorce might be exactly what it takes to make him realize that it's time to change.
My advise to you is to take things one day at a time, don't overwhelm yourself by trying to fix everything overnight, make some new friends, do some crazy things you've never done before, GROW as person, and learn to love being alone sometimes. I feared being alone before.. and now there are times when I CRAVE it. Good luck hon, you will be fine!!
Thank you everyone for your replies. They have been very helpful today. I think what everyone has said is true. Last year I did spend a lot of time being deeply depressed because I was so torn up over leaving him or staying in an unhealthy situation. Lately, when I try to think back on the good times in our marriage, I'm finding it very difficult to remember any. There were way more bad times. Of course, there are certain things I will miss about him, but there are so many other things that I won't miss. So maybe my grieving process happened last year.
I do love my ex, but if I'm honest, I don't think I am in love with him anymore. I really kind of separated myself emotionally from him all last year (which was probably a good thing). Also, I remember that whenever I would contemplate leaving him in the past, I would always think that maybe my leaving would make him change and that eventually we'd get back together and live happily ever after. That hasn't happened this time around. I don't imagine us ever getting back together and I'm ok with that. I want to move on and I want him to move on. I hope that he will find fulfillment in his life because he is a good person who deserves to be happy and break free from his addictions. But I also realized that I'm a good person too who can't stay in a realtionship hoping that one day he might get better and be the person he once was. I guess I'm just feeling that life is too short and I need to move on. I want to be happy with myself and hopefully find someone someday who I can share my life with in a positive way, not in a codependent way.
I hope that one day in the near future I will wake up and not feel guilt, regret, or anger over my marriage. It happened, it was a part of my life, and I can't forget that, but I don't want it to define the rest of my life. Thanks again for the advice everyone.