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Should I stay or should I go?

(20 Posts)
Lyndie Mon 21-May-12 12:17:29

I am currently looking after my GD until my working contract re starts at the beginning of next month for just over a year.

Not in a happy marriage but we are quite good friends. The house is under offer and therefore I have to make a decision on whether I buy a house on my own or we stay together. Like a lot of people I am scared I will end up in one room with a 2 bar electric fire all alone! Financially it will be difficult if I don't get another job after my contract ends or start a business.

There is a lot of history as you can imagine but I have been totally in love and suppose I want that feeling back.

Am I being unrealistic to think at my age I can find a new relationship. I have tried living on my own and I was so lonely I felt like giving up, so I have to go with how I am! I have tried the normal routes to finding someone, as I have been separated but we have been living in the same house.

I used to be far more outgoing but now I don't seem to be able to socialise as I used to. I think most of my friends were made when I was younger but they are moving on now their children are grown and some need to get equity out of their properties.

I have a lot of involvement with my children and I adore them all and the GCs but I can't live my life through them.

I will leave it there.

Barrow Mon 21-May-12 14:40:29

I now find myself on my own in my early 60s - I was widowed last year. Yes it is scary to be alone after spending so many years with someone but I feel if you stay just for the sense of security you will wake up 10 or 15 years from now wondering about what might have been. You don't say how your husband feels about this - is he aware of how you feel perhaps he would like to try to rekindle the marriage now the children have moved out.

If you do decide to move out - is the vision of you have being alone in a room with a one bar electric fire realistic - I'm sure your children would look out for you.

Like you I find it hard to socialise - I am quite shy. I have joined National Womens Register who meet regularly to discuss a wide range of topics. I am also looking into joining a keep fit group (although when I tried that a few years back I did find the group I joined a bit stand offish as I didn't join at the beginning and I stopped going, but I intend to try with a different group. It is difficult walking into these things on your own when you have always been used to having a partner. Good luck

whenim64 Mon 21-May-12 15:05:39

Lyndie isn't it a natural consequence of your separation that you will live in your own homes when the house is sold? Does your husband want to look for a new relationship, too?

You say that you were lonely last time you lived alone, so could you plan your lifestyle so that you don't feel as lonely? You could meet new people via all the usual things like actvities, clubs, becoming more active in the community or with a politcal group, volunteering, work etc. Some people like to do a rota of invitations for afternoon tea or dinner in each other's houses. There are lots of opportunities to avoid loneliness, and living alone doesn't have to mean misery - I can vouch for that! I love living alone but am never lonely.

You don't need a partner to enjoy life, and if you want the occasional date, try a dating website and see how that pans out - there are several good ones that help in terms of safety and matching you with suitable people.

Who knows, this time could be a totally different experience now you know what the pitfalls could be for you, and you can avoid them. Good luck! smile

fieldwake Tue 22-May-12 09:55:25

Don't know enough about your relationship. Could it just rub along in a different format? Instead of black/white= together/alone. Maybe like family brothers/sisters etc. you may not be bosom friends but they are 'there'.

All I can say there a lot of us out here on our own and in 12 years I have never felt lonely and have a huge network of 'friends' now. Worst is they are getting older, more housebound, dying etc. as one would expect with this age group.

As for another man, well in this age group the ratio in this area is 40 women to every single man. Don't rely on that.

fieldwake Tue 22-May-12 10:01:49

PS just thought I know loads of couples who have split/divorced who live next door to each other. 2 mobile homes, 2 terraced cottages, house in 2 flats, my ex (20 years apart now) live in separate villages but get on ok briefly when meet up at childrens, family events, communicate when problems etc. exchange cards, presents. But we both live totally different lives now we follow our own faiths, interests, lifestyles, being frre to be toatlly our selves. Swings/roundabouts. pros/cons.

whenim64 Tue 22-May-12 10:51:49

I think I would have stayed in my marriage longer if we had lived in separate houses in the first place! grin

Annobel Tue 22-May-12 11:34:46

Lyndie, if you do decide to live separately, please trust your own resources. There are so many things you can do while you are still young enough and fit enough. I got divorced in my 40s and never seriously entertained the idea of finding a replacement. Work and teenage sons kept me busy for a while, but gradually other things began to take their place. And, selfish as it may be, I just don't want to share my space any more, except for short periods when family come to stay.
My ex lives two continents away which is just about far enough! I think that the fact that I lived singly through my 20s and got married just short of 30 may have some bearing on my having been able to adjust to the single life after my sons had both gone their separate ways. Being alone does not mean being lonely. Admittedly my life is much quieter now than it was when I was working, doing an OU course and heavily involved in local politics, but I take part in U3A activities, help to run the NWR and its book group, volunteer at CAB and go to visit my family about once a month. I dread that the day might come when this lifestyle has to end by reason of health problems, but it hasn't happened yet.

fieldwake Tue 22-May-12 12:18:22

Ah I was the opposite, met 19 married 20, divorced 53, partner 6 years. Then at 59 alone. Phew 40 years was enough.

Lyndie Tue 22-May-12 17:50:05

Thank you all for your encouragement. Its appreciated. Lyndie

dorsetpennt Tue 22-May-12 18:48:22

Annobel your life sounds remarkably like my own. Like you I was divorced in my 40's with 2 children to care for, my husband stayed in the U.S., and I have never bothered to look for anyone else. And have never regretted it. I've had friends who married and divorced again! Not for me and I didn't want to put the children through it. I suppose as we have been on our own for so long we have found it easy now. I do work 2 days a week, I have a number of friends I see often, I'm not a joiner but I quite like my own company. I visit son and GC often and my daughter lives close by.For Lyndie though if she has been married a long time the future must seem bleak, it needn't be though and I think everyone has given her such good advice. If you are unhappy being married why would you want to stay just because you're worried about being on your own? Try it, you may be surprised.

fieldwake Tue 22-May-12 23:24:35

Just thought are you a Libra? Hard to decide between 2 things? Can mean neither are the answer and a third is the solution.

Nanban Thu 24-May-12 10:52:43

There are so many things that should influence your decision - it's much easier - isn't everything - to go it alone if you are financially secure because you can do so much more, consequently meeting more people and not having to stay home and be lonely. It depends on how much you see of your children and their children and whether they will see you being on your own as more of a 'threat' to their own time. Do you work, do you enjoy your job and have friends there too; do you have friends that you can go out and about with, holiday with.

I'm guessing that your marriage has been a fairly solitary affair and the out and about together hasn't been in evidence anyway no matter that there is another body in the house. Anything new is scary and you would need to be very brave or desperate to jump out there BUT new and scary has a way of turning up trumps and you may, a little bit from now, wonder why you never did it before. It sounds as if your marriage is a lonely business so perhaps leaving it and being free of it dragging you down will be completely liberating and you will rediscover the person you were.

And fieldwake has it quite right - there may very well be a third solution - just maybe your husband is thinking all the same things and, knowing absolutely nothing and probably saying completely the wrong thing, perhaps you need to talk to each other frankly and see if you can change the pattern that has become so bad for you both.

fieldwake Thu 24-May-12 11:05:24

Thanks [Nanban] I have been giving it more thought. I think if my husband and I had just been ourselves, as we are now, and not tried so hard to get on and make it work, whatever that means some ideal? we could have carried on. It would have never been a marriage really tho' just relatives living in same house. I suppose that is what couples did in the past as they had little choice. You think we couldn't easily leave home as youngsters you had to live within parents home. Sometimes now the slightest thing they leave home as with marriages. Perhaps try being yourself where you are and see what happens? only an idea into the mix.

fieldwake Thu 24-May-12 11:18:14

Sorry Lyndie I missed out the financial aspect. Yes it is not all heaven on your own. I have gone from a nearly paid for semi to a council bedsit with some benefits. It has to be a great improvement or like me seeing my friends in less than perfect marriages being able to put up their families, walk to another room, run a car, have holidays etc. etc I do suffer from envy envy but then I want the best of both worlds. When I over hear conversations, snappy words I don't envy them. Very few are still 'in love' that you miss. Sometimes I think though a bit of normal strife in life is energising. Living in this conflict free relationship with my self is a bit predictable and bland. Though there is plenty of conflict elsewhere.

Nanban Thu 24-May-12 13:41:50

How many marriages settle themselves into friendships of sorts - and we love our friends of course, so not a cold uncaring thing. Sharing, and enjoying things together is what is important and if you can still do that, being together/apart is not pointless - if you can't do that, go find something better if only being yourself and not needing to keep trying.

fieldwake Thu 24-May-12 21:10:07

Ah Lyndie I was thinking about you as I was out today. Maybe you are bit bored, perhaps when you are retired you will be mixing more with the thousands of us out here, many in the same boat. I have so many friends all wanting to have a good life and such good company much like many on here. Also I read years ago when I was on my own for the first time. Don't go after an exciting man (often trouble) make your life interesting. That way you are absorbed, have more to give (less needy) and have the choice only settling if the man is right. Feel the fear and do it anyway. It seems that a decision is imminent, if the house sells soon. A fork in the road.

Greatnan Fri 25-May-12 08:14:39

It was the imminent sale of our house when I was almost 38, after 20 years of a boring marriage, that prompted me to separate and then divorce. I knew I did not want to enter into another 25 year mortgage with my husband. I have been very happy on my own once my daughters were independent but I have to admit that it helped that I had a very good salary.
I wonder if those of you who have chosen to remain single have been as annoyed as I have been by well-meaning friends telling you not to give up hope because there is some man 'out there' for you? Because they could not live alone themselves, they assume that every other woman must be desperate to tie herself down! (Perhaps they are just jealous? smile)

Lyndie, have you tried writing a list of pros and cons of staying married/being separated? How good are you at practical things - are you happy driving yourself everywhere - have you confided in anyone who knows you both well? It certainly is not a decision to be taken lightly.

As has been said, do not pin your hopes on finding another partner - I have had dozens of short term relationships in the last thirty-odd years and perhaps I have been too picky (discriminating) because there was some drawback to all of the men which stopped me settling down with them. Many of them had baggage in the shape of resentful children, or were bitter because of their experiences with their ex, or were obviously looking for a housekeeper/chef/nurse. If you are going to 'go it alone', be prepared for just that.

sussexpoet Fri 25-May-12 13:23:43

I know from bitter experience in my younger life that living in an unhappy marriage is the deepest form of loneliness. And I did "try again", going through two further relationships that were equally destructive. To my surprise, after living "alone" happily for more than a decade, I moved to another part of the country, found new friends and met the man who has turned out to be my soulmate - I was 67 when this happened;I'm now going on 75 and still gobsmacked at it all!
Don't spend more years of your life in an unsatisfactory partnership, don't waste yourself. Good luck to you!

gracesmum Tue 05-Jun-12 15:21:55

lyndie - wondering if your dilemma has resolved itself? I was thinking too, is this decision down to you or do you both feel the same way? sussexpoets last sentence says it all. Good luck!

granal Tue 05-Jun-12 19:05:23

Yes Lyndie - Sussex says it all.
Am at a similar fork in the road myself at the mo - have posted on here previously, but had to remove the post, as thought I might have been spotted! Had loads of excellent advice, but in the end, it comes back to YOU being happy.
Hard as it may seem to uproot, you owe it to yourself to be happy. If you are not, for whatever reason, do whatever it takes to make you so. The guilt of upsetting the other person is a big obstacle, as I am discovering. But, that thought keeps bringing me back - I am taking little steps. Have had a break away on my own - put things into persective, and still feel the same. I may be putting practicalities (sp) to the back of my mind, but I'm sure I will get through somehow. Don't have big spending habits (clothes, going out, etc), so will be down to basics.
Don't think I would be actively looking for another man in my life - Don't think I am really cut out for relationships - too much compromising.