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Rebuilding my life at 50 is so much harder than I ever thought it would be


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I remember distinctly back when I was in my mid 20's when I had so much drive to be successful and build a life for my future. Then at 27 buying my first home. I was involved heavily with my church and had tons of friends. Then at 36 I married the wrong women. To be honest I knew it was wrong from day 1 but went through with it anyways. Then she got pregnant and I stayed with her because it was the right thing to do. The next 10 years were the worst years of my life. I can not even begin to describe how these years changed me. I lost myself, I felt beaten down by a woman that I tried to love that only used me and drove me into financial ruin. Not to mention emotional bankruptcy.

 

I can not explain how I allowed this to happen. I guess it was kinda the frog in the pot theory. If you put a frog in a boiling pot of water he will jump out, but if you put him in a cold pot of water and slowly turn up the heat you will be eating him for dinner. After 10 miserable years we finally divorced. She remarried shortly after and took our two kids with her. I do have them every other weekend but that is it. They live two hours away.

 

So I found myself trying to find myself again. I went way off the deep end. I was lost. I started hanging with younger people and that is where I met my ex gf that brought me to this site. She was 22 years younger than me and full of life, she was attractive to me and she liked me and I liked her. Life was good again. I was having fun, escaping back into my mid 20's. It was the first time I felt loved since before my marriage. I was starving for this type of affection and immediately fell hard for her. She made me feel alive. She had a large circle of acquaintances and they all accepted and liked me. It was just what I thought I needed at the time.

 

Then the inevitable happened, we broke up. She dumped me. But not in the way a healthy girl would do it. She put me through hell. She never fully went away and I could not let go because she was my happiness. I had moved here to this city only 2 years before that and had not made any friends while I was married so when we split I was not only losing her but all of my social connections. It was too much to bear and I hung on for dear life. This went on way too long. We stayed in and out of contact, with her coming back and going away numerous times for a couple of years!!!! Aww, I was a fool who just could not let go. This experience with her over these 3 years was more damaging to my physiological and mental well being than the 10 previous years with my ex wife.

 

I don't totally blame myself, it was the perfect storm. I could not create this situation again if I tried and I don't want to. So now we do not talk. I finally cut her off for good. I am now trying to rebuild my life as it should be with good people and those that are more age appropriate. I am finding it the hardest thing I have ever tried to do. The place I live seems to have only two types of people. Partiers and stay at homes. I no longer want to hang with the partiers/young ones and the people my age have mostly lived her there entire lives and have already developed there group of friends. This place is very clickish!

 

I have started attending church again and even joined a home study group. Unfortunately so far the small groups have be infrequent with low in attendance. I work from home so there is no opportunity to meet people from work. I joined 3 meet up groups but they do not have many events. I am trying to find a hobby. I joined a bowling league. So as you can see I am trying.

 

However, I feel defeated, broken and depressed and am having trouble fighting for my new life. I feel like I am running out of options to meet people. I simply am running out of faith and hope I can figure this out and that things will get better. All my friends live out of state and this is really hard. I find myself wanting to reach out to my ex gf for comfort though I won't because she can not provided it. She can only cause me more pain and hurt. I don't love her anymore or particularly like her as a person. It seems that when I am feeling like I am today though, it makes the pain of her rejection and selfishness hurt even more.

 

Additionally, I am starting to feel like a loser with nothing to offer anyone. I don't have a lot of money anymore, I lost my house and I'm 50 with two young children. Who would ever want to date me? Most women age appropriate have kids that are already grown. I feel like I will be spending the rest of my life alone.

 

I know this all sounds so depressing but it is how I am feeling right now. I hope to find a way through this and get established. It does not take a lot for me to feel hopeful. I really am a pretty positive person. But right now I see no light at the end of the tunnel. Thanks for listening.

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I think time and luck will help. The first is a given, the second is a possibility. You are doing all the right things, putting yourself out there, joining groups and so on. It is good you left your marriage, it is good you had some 'wild' time too. But both your relationships seem to have not been right for you in the end. I wonder if that is something you could look into, and try to consider who matches you best?

If it's any consolation, I feel like a loser too! I'm 36, single and childless and everywhere I look are people my age who are settled, most often pregnant or with children. I've obviously just split up with someone. It's a hard time.

At least you are better off now than when you were being used by someone.

Perhaps you could plan a holiday for you and your children?

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You have had a colourful life in a sugar coated sense.

 

I think right now, what you should be looking at is your children.

Become successful for them.

Let the fact you have children become your inspiration.

Doing this and knowing that they are your inspiration despite how tragic your life has been, in the end is something which can make your children proud.

Knowing that you did the best you can for them.

 

Unless having someone love you while you are on your death bed is more important.

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You have had a colourful life in a sugar coated sense.

 

I think right now, what you should be looking at is your children.

Become successful for them.

Let the fact you have children become your inspiration.

Doing this and knowing that they are your inspiration despite how tragic your life has been, in the end is something which can make your children proud.

Knowing that you did the best you can for them.

 

Unless having someone love you while you are on your death bed is more important.

 

Thank you for what you said. It hit a nerve tbh in a good way. When my wife and I were together I made my children were my priority. I would come home from work and she would go off and do her thing after dinner. I would play with the kids and I gave them 90% of every bath they ever had at night and would tell them a story and put them to bed. I wanted them to know there father and have a relationship with him which I did not have with mine.

 

I have kinda lost my way these past 3 years. My ex wife remarried and moved two hours away with the kids and I felt these incredible emptiness. I felt not only did I lose my family unit as unhealthy as her and I were but I lost my kids. I was in this big house all alone and they were no longer there to play with at night and hold. It was brutal.

 

But I hear what you are saying. They need to be my focus again even if they are not here and I only get to seem them every other weekend. It is just hard to have all this free time and no friends.

 

I do not think it is unhealthy to also desire a partner but my kids should be my inspiration. thank you.

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No Problem Live-and-Learn.

 

Sometimes I wish I had just one child.

But the opportunity never came up so I see you with your children and think about how I would be knowing I have children.

 

Despite me being easy going with whether I have children in my life or not, I guess I can tap into how I would be if I did have children.

 

I know a child may need support, even in to a ripe old age.

I would like to be there for them when it's needed most.

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@Live-N-Learn

 

Rebuilding is not easy. I'm 43, and don't know how I'm going to do it.

 

I don't have any children, and now that my relationship has effectively ended, feel that we should have taken the plunge. Perhaps it's just a reaction to the loss. I don't know.

 

One thing I do know, as difficult as it seems, we must try to move forward, and think positively.

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What is wrong with spending the rest of your life ALONE?

 

This may sound harsh, but my answer is 'No problem!' I face the possibility and it doesn't scare me any more. Accept fear, and it will stop bothering you.

 

There's nothing wrong with being single even for the rest of our lives. Being single is much better than being trapped in an unsatisfying relationship. And you are not alone (whereas I am a childless, 45 year old woman!). You have two children to love, and probably good health. Your too much free time means you can pursue something productive. Work harder to make more money. Get more education that will enhance your career or make you happy. You wrote well so must have great learning potentials.

 

Don't look for love for the time being, at least for a year. When you meet someone while feeling like this, you will be attracted to a wrong person again. In my experience, four relationships (including my recent divorce) that started when I was not content with myself all failed. Because, I was relying on them. I was looking for support and comfort from them. But they couldn't give them to me, even though they tried. I avoided my own part - being independent and doing the hard work. It took me long years to realize that I had to work out my issues on my own.

 

Love will find you when you are ready.

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Intotheself, thank you for your post. Your advice was insightful and full of much learned wisdom.

 

You are correct in deducing that I have a lot of self work that needs to be done before I am healthy enough for a relationship that can be successful. My struggle at the moment is not going to a therapist or reading what needs to be done. It's finding the discipline to stay consistent doing the work whatever it may be. It's like something inside of me thinks I deserve to feel miserable. I seem to self sabotage my own good efforts. I start making progress then bam... I do something stupid that sets me back into feeling like crap.

 

On a conscious level this makes no sense to me at all. It must be something rooted deep in my subconscious. I hope to figure it out and overcome it because it seems to be the root of all my problems.

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LNL,

 

I never thought I'd say this but I am sooooo happy I broke up with my ex. He is 28 and a full loser. The guy I am dating now is 46, super successful and completely adores me.

 

You gotta believe that you CAN and WILL meet someone who is better than your ex. You are a caring, emotions guy form what I can tell of your posts. WHo is to say you won't meet someone better than your ex? I did. I almost feel embarrassed at how upset I was over him.

 

You have to believe there is someone out there better for you. She will come. I have never dated guys in their 40's, but I will say its AMAZING! My only suggestions are to not give up hope and date much closer to your age. Your time will come LNL, if it came for me, it will come for you!!!

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I am 51, so I know how you feel as far as age. Working at home is in itself hard since you dont have a lot of interaction with other people. I have kind of given up on meeting someone, but having friends is really important. Just keep yourself as busy as possible, maybe consider some volunteering too...

 

It takes time to create a social life so keep chipping away....

 

Hang in there.

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Hi Sad- I am really happy for you my friend. I forget how old you are. How many years apart are you and your new man? As for my ex, I do believe there is someone out there much better for me than her. I did not used to think that way but I do now. It really is all about me becoming the person I want to be again and regaining myself. I have not been happy for awhile so it is not something anyone can give me. I have to do it alone.

 

Blue-why have you given up on relationships? 50 is not old and you may very well meet someone. As for working at home you are right it makes it much harder because I don't have daily interaction with people in an office which in itself creates relationships. I have to work hard to find events where I can be around people. I do plan to volunteer at the church to serve so I can meet people. like you said it is a slow process and I am not a very patient person. lol

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Another 50 year old single person here so I can relate. No kids, no husband. There are TONS of single people now but society and the media still try to make single people (especially women, but maybe I feel that because I'm a woman) feel like losers. It's just not true but it is difficult to not buy into this concept.

 

I think it is important at this point in life, at least for me, to adopt a buddhist type outlook and "detach" from any particular outcome and really try to let go of the idea of "the one" or "that special person who is going to bring joy to my life" and live in the moment. It's not easy and I am often not very successful at it. I think it is true that you have to love yourself and be happy in your own life before you can have a successful relationship with another person. Everyone has flaws and we are all just trying to figure it out. So it's important to try to stop beating yourself up because you are doing the best you can, right now. Let go of the past and try not to let it define who you are today. You have a lot more living left to do! I'm saying this for myself as much as for you....

 

I stopped looking for love and just did what I felt like doing, going out with friends, going out alone, staying in. I haven't been able to bring myself to do online dating in the last year or two. I've done it in the past. I work at home a lot too, and it can be isolating. When I'm with other people I forget about my loneliness though, and then I crave being alone when I'm around people too much! Go figure. Because of my new found laissez-faire attitude about love and relationships, I now have several male suitors. I think it is true that when you let go and just surrender and NOT TRY, the universe provides. They are all nice people, none of them floor me like the ex but hey it's something and I'm grateful.

 

There are people being blown up in Iraq and people dying of hunger and people living in squalor and I'm damn lucky. If I'm alone, I'm still damn lucky (fingers crossed).

 

So go easy on yourself LNL, and try to just let go of it all, and try to have some fun in the New Year!

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LNL- I just dont want to go through the pain again... It doesnt seem worth it. Maybe I will feel differently in time. I feel kinda like Rapunzel above.

 

Do you live in a small town??? Being around people has been what has really saved me. When I am home alone it is so painful.. Now I am on a two week break because I work for the schools so we are off on Winter break. This is even hard.

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I am also approaching the 50 mark in the near future. Anyway LNL, you should not even be contemplating any new relationships until you get yourself together and my guess is you will not be ready for at least a year. It will take that long at least to heal because you havent let go of hope with your recent ex in my opinion. Use this time to work on yourself, get yourself back, set goals, enjoy your children, begin to look forward to new beginnings.

 

I have set goals in 2012 to become the fittest I have ever been in my life, further my educational goal, work and make as much money as possible and possibly do some dating?

 

 

I have done a little dating in 2011 but I was in no way ready for it. I believe that I may now be at a point in time where I am ready for it because funny as it seems, I now dont really care. I was going to contact my ex at Christmas and New Years to keep the channels open and hopefully become friends with my ex. Become friends with my ex, I wasnt fooling anybody but myself, I wanted to reconcile. I am instead going to wish a merry christmas and happy new years to one of the girls I dated several months back. Not sure what she'll think however since I know she was expecting contact several months back. I may or may not meet someone for me however now it is not a primary goal for me, if it happens it happens if it doesnt Im okay with it.

 

Looking back going NC was definitely the way to go even though countless times, I wanted to contact her. A year ago, every waking thought was consumed with my ex. Now today, I can say that I am almost fully healed. I know I dont have much further to go. The hurt and pain are almost at an end and subsiding rapidly.

 

I think like Rapunzel said, when you honestly get that laissez-faire attitude is when you might possibly meet someone. In the interim, your not ready. Heal and look forward to new beginnings and appreciate what you have. You dont need someone to complete yourself.

 

Heres to a new you in 2012.

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Skippy, and LNL-

 

That is where volunteering has literally saved my life... I live in New Mexico and we have a lot of poverty here...so working for animal rescue and helping out the kids makes me feel like I am doing something worthwhile...

 

Dont ever give up! Find things that will bring meaning into your life and do them. Maybe even a part time job that isnt working at home would be worth considering?!

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Yes the media does make it sound that way and I do believe being single at around 50 for a woman is harder than for a man. You are a good woman and I know your story. I wish you the best in your search for happiness.

 

 

 

I can understand you not wanting to be hurt again relationships are not without risk. I feel they are worth the risk but it is ok not to feel that way. I would not say I live in a small town but it is difficult place to meet people of quality. Most are already in established groups at my age and it is hard to get in or even meet them.

 

 

 

 

I am sorry to hear about your situation and understand how you are feeling. Working from home is very difficult and not having anywhere to go at night is almost unbearable. We both need to try hard to get out and meet new people. Please don't give it though I know the feeling. We will get there if we put in the effort.

 

 

 

Oh, I have let go my friend. That woman could come to my door right now and I would slam it in her face. I am not healed yet from all that her and I went through but I am definitely not interested in having her back in my life ever at any capacity.

 

But I do agree with you that taking the time to get my life together would be wise before dating again. I know if I can somehow meet enough new people as friends and build my own foundation again I will be OK.

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I had to start out at 50 too. I am not buying into the "it's harder for a woman than a man" bs ... it's hard for both sexes to get over relationships, no matter what age. I am quickly learning that it's great to be single and free to do what I want to do.

 

Have a happy holiday season! I used to work at home and know how isolating it can be. That's why I returned to brick and mortar, lol ;-)

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I think it is harder for a woman to find a man at 50. Most men can date down to around 35 if they want and it is fairly common. Much less common for a women to date a man of lesser age. What I mean is most men prefer the women to be younger than himself.

 

I also believe there are more single women by around 4-1 ratio than men between the ages of 40 - 50. As for rebuilding a life, it is equally as hard imo.

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Times are a-changin' ...

 

You are right that there's alot more single ladies our age than single guys. There are many men that prefer younger ladies (which it seems like you do; and that's okay ), but judging from the dating sites I have been to, alot of guys are seeking women closer to their own age, too. Alot of middle-aged women are scared of young guys (I certainly am!). I have had younger guys flirt with me. Of course, right now I am too fresh out of my last relationship to date anyone. Ex was 10 years older than I am ... I have dated mainly older guys. I would like to see how dating younger ones is, or at least guys closer to my age (+/- 5 years or so).

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