Divorce, Depression, & Despair

BorregoWrangler

Adventurist
Founding Member
#1
The title here has been the gist of my life for the past year. It's still difficult to wrap my mind around the fact that my marriage is over. 14 years of building a life with someone, raising children together, planning your future with the one you thought you'd be with for the rest of your life... I don't have the words. There's so much uncertainty in my life now, along with panic attacks, anxiety, and hopelessness. I'd like to think I'm starting to get better, since spending more time outdoors has greatly improved my mood. My faith and my children have been an anchor in a sea of despair, and I know I still have a long road of healing ahead of me. Talking with friends and family sure helps but I'm considering getting profession help for my emotion/mental issues as well. Any suggestions or words of encouragement would be appreciated, especially from those who can relate. I hope everyone here is doing well and staying healthy with everything going on right now.
 

RickLB

Adventurist
#2
Been there done that x2. You can recover and you’ll be ok. Just focus on your kids and yourself!!! You can’t change what happened so look forward and move that direction. Do right by your kids and don’t bad mouth the mother, in front of your kids, but don’t let her bad mouth you either sometimes you may have to set things straight and it’s not going to be nice but kids know who is right and who isn’t.
It’sa tough road but you can do it. Contact me anytime if you need someone to listen. Stay strong my friend, you got this!
 

richard310

Adventurist
Moderator
Author
#3
John I'm sorry to hear you're going through all this. I don't have much experiences but I do agree with Rick above. Focus on the kids and focus on yourself. Stay busy, create a new routine and mix it up a bit to keep that daily motivation. Keep going on those hikes and adventures with the kids as I'm sure they need it too, or if that doesn't work, build on top of it or find something different to help alleviate the stresses. I know I fall back to one of my numerous hobbies or working out when the going gets tough and I need to de stress, whether it be physically or emotionally.

Keep up the faith, keep your head up and keep moving forward. We're all here to listen and help where we can, so continue to reach out.
 

Mike

Adventurist
Founding Member
#7
Very sorry to hear about this. I went through this in late '05. Our 11 years was a toxic relationship and moving beyond it, it really came clear how toxic it was. We did not have kids (luckily) so I cannot offer advice on that outside of doing what is right and best for your kids. Don't forget, they might need professional help as well, as they are and will deal with this for a long time.

As for you, you need to focus on you. Do what is right and best for you (not withstanding the kids) and just take things one day at a time. Long term relationship breakups are never easy and can be with you for a very long time, depending on the relationship and how/why it broke up. Remember you are not alone and you are not the first. Many have gone down this path and for most, it always ended up being a better choice in life, if not one of the most difficult to make. It was a difficult one for me and left me questioning if it was the right choice. As the divorce moved forward, I was enlightened with info that made me know, I had made the right choice. I am getting close to celebrating my 14th year together with my 2nd wife and life has been so much more enjoyable, as we are so much more compatible together. Sure life has brought up and downs but there have been way less downs and way more ups.

Don't give up, take one step forward each day, improve your life and never feel you should not reach out for professional help. I did and helped with transitioning from that toxic relationship and got me into a much better head space.
 

Herbie

Adventurist
#8
A hearty +1 on being willing to talk to a professional, even once or twice. A double-helping of this for the kids. It's hard to see how your kids are really taking it, and it can take years to rear its head.

I'm speaking as someone who benefitted greatly from this - my sisters and I had our minor issues bubbling away for almost a decade after our parents split, and it was only a major eruption that got everyone some help. Even a few sessions were incalculably important. I've seen it in friend's kids too - the parents are dealing with it (with or without professional help), but everybody assumes the kids are "fine" because nobody is crying or throwing things.
 

BorregoWrangler

Adventurist
Founding Member
#12
I appreciate all the replies and take it all to heart. Here’s are some things I’ve written down as reminders for myself.

Don’t fight with your ex-spouse —over the phone or in person— in front of the children.

Don’t criticize your former mate in front of the children. When your children criticize an absent parent, don’t encourage them or join in.

Don’t force children to choose between their parents, and don’t turn them against your ex-spouse.

Don’t allow children to bully you with threats of moving in with the other parent. Condoning such emotional blackmail will encourage them to become manipulative and may even hinder their moral development.

Don’t use children to spy on your ex-spouse, forcing information out of them upon their return from each visit.

Don’t ask children to carry angry messages from you to your ex-spouse.

Don’t put a child down with such remarks as, “You’re just like your father/mother.” Not only does this strike the child as a criticism of the other parent but it may also make the child feel doomed to repeat their mistakes.

Do prove yourself a good listener, letting your children express their feelings —even feelings you don’t agree with.

Do communicate clearly, freely, and openly. Protect them, though, from details they do not need to know. Your son or daughter may seem the ideal confidant. But remember, a child is neither a miniature adult nor a surrogate spouse, however mature he or she may seem.

Do comfort your children and assure them that they did not cause the divorce, nor can they now jump in and save your marriage.

Do show plenty of genuine, warm affection. Children may assume that parents who can stop loving each other can just as easily stop loving their children.

Do cooperate with your ex-spouse in protecting the children from your disputes.

Do balance praise with discipline, setting fair limits and realistic goals.

Do set the example yourself, avoiding the immoral behavior you teach them to avoid.

Do spend as much of your leisure time with the children as possible.

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Dave

Adventurist
Founder
Senior Staff
Editor
#13
VERY wise words in the post above.

Seems like a lifetime ago that I met you John. Coyote Creek IIRC.

I feel your pain. My story is very similar. My first marriage of 9 years was a disaster on every level, but it made me who I am today.

That's how I ended up in the Navy, heartbroken and alone and needing direction and a way to provide for my children. I had to close that door HARD on my old life for other ones to open. So much goodness came out of the ashes of my first marriage that today, I wouldn't change a thing. By being humble enough to be the FNG and starting ALL the way over from scratch, and that school of hard knocks, this community was born.

One day, your children will understand. One day you will have moved on. That day will come faster than you think. Live every day like it counts. It does. And your are doing the right things (pictures tell the story). Just be consistent.

And above all, let it go. Move on and be good to yourself. You have an amazing chapter ahead of you in life that those of us who went before you can see clear as day. Trust in God, keep the faith, and STAY ON THE PATH.

We're moving home to California in the summer of '22, looking forward to hanging out with you again.
 

BorregoWrangler

Adventurist
Founding Member
#14
VERY wise words in the post above.

Seems like a lifetime ago that I met you John. Coyote Creek IIRC.

I feel your pain. My story is very similar. My first marriage of 9 years was a disaster on every level, but it made me who I am today.

That's how I ended up in the Navy, heartbroken and alone and needing direction and a way to provide for my children. I had to close that door HARD on my old life for other ones to open. So much goodness came out of the ashes of my first marriage that today, I wouldn't change a thing. By being humble enough to be the FNG and starting ALL the way over from scratch, and that school of hard knocks, this community was born.

One day, your children will understand. One day you will have moved on. That day will come faster than you think. Live every day like it counts. It does. And your are doing the right things (pictures tell the story). Just be consistent.

And above all, let it go. Move on and be good to yourself. You have an amazing chapter ahead of you in life that those of us who went before you can see clear as day. Trust in God, keep the faith, and STAY ON THE PATH.

We're moving home to California in the summer of '22, looking forward to hanging out with you again.

Thank you. We'll have to meet up in the desert again somewhere when you guys get back.

I am thankful that my kids are only 10 minutes away when they're with their mother. I do worry about them a lot and one aspect of that is for their physical safety. They're with my from Thursday to Sunday evening and we alternate every other Saturday. But they no longer have the protection of their father every night like they used to when our family was whole. So I've told my ex to never hesitate to call me if she finds herself in a bad situation with our kids, and I'll be there asap.
 
#15
I will just echo the many posts above. My life, eventually, vastly improved after my first marriage collapsed. It takes a while, but not that long. Sometimes, in the wrong relationship, you lose your "self". Now is your chance to get back to that if needed.
The first moment I realized just how much of myself I had lost, I was driving locally and "Wish You Were Here" by Pink Floyd came on the radio. Music of my youth. I was so struck that I pulled over. Not in sadness but in realization and some small victory that I was able to locate that small slice of my soul that had been suppressed in support of compromise.
Started to write the rest of MY story, because it is a good one, but I think the message I mean to send is that good will come out of this for you. Show those kids who you really are, what makes you passionate and what your guiding principles are. When they are grown, as mine are now, they know you and remember.
 
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