How Do I Get Back Into Life After A Divorce?
Ah, well, I know exactly how you feel. I didn't want my divorce either. We feel so helpless when our life partner and lover discards us for superficial reasons. But I learned so very much about people and life in the years after my divorce.
I learned about loss, and how people can fight against it and deny it. How loss can make them bitter if they allow it. How people can lose trust and never trust again. How they grieve their losses and idealize their past life and see the present life as ashes.
Single people of a similar age tend to hang out together. I had a friend after my divorce, a woman who had divorced her husband to be with her lover who also was married. He chose his wife instead, at the 11th hour, and she chose to never recover from her betrayal.
I had another friend whose best friend ran away with her husband, and for twenty years they had chided her for not accepting that they were "star-crossed lovers" and for not celebrating their happiness. She buried herself in bitterness because these people she had cherished refused to acknowledge that they had hurt her to find their joy. They refused to acknowledge that their joy had a cost; and it was betrayal and her pain.
I watched my husband's lover be fired from her job and run out of town by the people of my small town who were angry at her behavior. I tried to intercede with her landlord and her boss, but they had made up their minds about her character and there was no dissuading them. I offered her forgiveness and financial resources , because her life had been ruined by a man's selfishness as mine had been. She scorned both, stating that she had made her choices as an adult (she was very, very young) and she would take the consequences.
I dated men who had been hammered by divorce and the financial crash of 2008 who were looking for a woman to make them whole again financially. I dated men who were locked into loss and sorrow and who could never love again because they couldn't trust again. I dated men who were aging Lotharios, seeking sexual adventures to fill the empty places inside themselves. I dated men who were looking for a "nurse and a purse", some woman who would keep house for them and obey them while paying part of their bills.
I didn't spend much time with any of these heart-sore people because my heart was still filled with love and understanding. I was still on good terms with my ex-husband. But this time I knew that I had a fresh start. I could find a life partner who truly would be my partner. A man who had known love and known loss and yet didn't become bitter from the experiences. A partner who lived in the present and celebrated each day because he understood the fragility of life. A man who was heart-whole despite loss and betrayal.
I did find this partner, and I found him within two years of my divorce and I married him in the third. I found him because I knew exactly the qualities (the inner qualities) that I was looking for. I quickly passed on all of the people who were bitter, angry, betrayed, or willing to use people.
You are looking at the past, and probably through a looking glass that is hazed and distorted with age. You are seeing your loss and idealizing your partner. She couldn't have been that wonderful; she had true and devoted love and she rejected it. People reject love for the flaws within themselves. You can examine yourself and determine if you were critical, angry, or demanding. If you were, then now you know that these qualities destroy a marriage. But the truth is that some people enrage us for little reason and some people soothe us for little reason. Relationships aren't really about the people, but instead are about the energies between two people. You've had one bad pass, but your life isn't over yet. You have a chance now, the opportunity, to find a better love. Someone who nourishes your best qualities and who believes in you. Someone you can trust and build a future with.
Of course you're not interested in doing things that young adults do. You're more mature, and those activities don't captivate your attention the way they did when you were younger. You're not that person anymore.
‘11 When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things.'
It's not at all uncommon for people to try to relive their previously known happiest days, believing that will bring happiness. However, you cannot turn back the clock. You are a different person, with a different outlook and experiences. It's doubtful reliving the past would be satisfying in the long run.
You're in a time of change. It's time to do different things - after all, doing the same things and expecting different results is the definition of foolish. It's time to stop looking back, and start looking forward.
So do grown up things. Get a second job. Go to night school. Learn to paint or dance or scuba dive. Volunteer. Join a sports league. Work on building a home business.
You should also be developing some buddies, men that you hang with and do guy stuff. Men can offer support and friendship, too. You have more than two choices - alone or with a woman.
And think about where you want your life to be headed. Are you interested in getting married again? Or do you want children? Is now a good time to look for a job in a different city/country? Figure out what you want for yourself. Right now, you're focused on returning to your wife (who doesn't want you), or trying to re-create what you had with her. As long as you try to cookie cutter your life to an exact copy of the past, you are severely limiting your opportunities and choices.