Dealing with Divorce Catch-All


This thread has grown quite a bit since I told my initial story (still below). While I hate every time we have a new member, not wishing this on anyone, it has been very helpful and uplifting over the last two years to see all the community support, outreach, etc... that goes on with each new addition. That said, the thread has obvious grown rather organically as a sort of place for outreach from those going through this, and this necessitates some rules about this thread in the interest of the well-being of our members who are coming here with their own stories.

This thread is a safe space for divorcees.
This is a place for any divorcee to come, get what they need to off their chest. I've received some concerns privately about this thread.

This means outside readers to a situation may not always be comfortable with how that person gets their baggage, their rants, their whatevers out of themeselves.
Some folks don't like how others air out their grievances. Totally get that. The experience is different for all of us. Some folks will have more anger than others. Some will have more sadness than others. None of these people are wrong to feel the way they do. Prolonged feelings of this are certainly something that that individual person may want to address... but still through their choices. Going along with that...

Quick guide to the above:

1. Being angry is ok. I'm not going to tell other divorcees they can't be angry. I certainly understand if that makes so folks uncomfortable. Hell, it makes ME uncomfortable as hell. For me, it's completely the wrong way to go about stuff post divorce... but that doesn't make it wrong for others.

2. If you have insights into ex-behavior (as I guess I'll call it from now on), awesome. That said, still a safe place for the divorcee. Comments about how the divorcee could have worked on something more, could have been something different, etc... are not yours to make. Feel that way? Good for you. Feel like putting that out there? Not so much. If someone doesn't ask for specific advice, don't throw specific advice out there. Want to post about the things you did that helped you? Great. Want to post about the things that someone else SHOULD be doing? Not so much.

Expanding a little on the safe space thing, please avoid the use of gendered slurs. This thread is meant for all divorcees, not just male divorcees. Words like b*tch, c*nt, sl*t, etc... are not conducive to having all divorcees participate in this thread as they need or want to. If you need to use any insult, may I recommend asshole? It's not gendered, racist, ablist, homophobic, transphobic, or anything else.


Some elements of this thread may unfortunately involve emotional triggers for folks (and some fairly hard ones, seeing as how they're very likely to revolve around exes), and that everyone will need to do their best to respect the feelings of others. Other posters are not your ex. If they're doing similar things to what your ex did and that makes you uncomfortable, unhappy, angry, et al..., that's understandable. But, it is not your place to hurt them in response to your pain from someone else.

And now, the original post from me...

So... yeah. That is happening.

She had been spending a lot of time out of the house. I, honestly, thought that was healthy. Have some time together, some time apart.

Apparently, this wasn't enough for her, and now she sees me more as a brother she comes home to that is very kind and considerate.

And... I don't know what to do. I called my mom, made arrangements to move back in with her. We've already started splitting up the stuff. Got some more of that to do... but as far as I am concerned, I don't care about the house (it is in her name, but it really is her grandmother's house... damn, I am really gonna miss that sweet old lady).

I have to go to work tomorrow... and I feel like I am having trouble remembering how to breathe and put one foot in front of the other.

How the hell do you deal with the first day after the person you have loved unconditionally tells you she wants out?

All I want is for her to be happy, so I'm going as soon as I can make the arrangements to do so.

I'm making the plans, and got a few things planned for when I am out. Some things to work on for myself... but all I can think is, why haven't I woke up yet? This has to be a bad dream... even though I know it isn't.

Any advice from any fellow Goodjers who have been through this?

I have no good advice, but my heart breaks for you Demos. Thank goodness you're putting yourself out there for support from friends. We'll all find happier days on down the line together. Promise.

I don't know what to say but if you want to chat on Skype I'm available all day.

LouZiffer wrote:

I have no good advice, but my heart breaks for you Demos. Thank goodness you're putting yourself out there for support from friends. We'll all find happier days on down the line together. Promise.

I couldn't put it better myself. Demos, If you need a friendly ear to listen or just want to play a game I'm up for either.

I don't have anything as far as advice to add either but if you feel like hanging out with some goodjers, shoot me a PM. I can probably get a few people together around C-Bus.

Terribly sorry man. The pit Ghastly speaks of is deep. It takes a good amount of time to put things back into some sense of order. Allow yourself that time. Don't think you're doing it wrong, because there is no good way to go through it. Just have to put one foot in front of the other and eventually find yourself on the other side. Lean on whoever you can.

It's still difficult to remember how I made it through, but you will. Once again, terribly sorry.

I was just detached while she was talking to me about it... and was in tears for a good 45 minutes while on the phone with my mom. Hell, just reading some your posts has got me a bit dusty. My mom is being super supportive though, and just about drove out to get me tonight.

First thing I am doing when I get back to my mom's is buying Skyrim and its add-ons on Steam and modding the sh*t out of it... hopefully that plus Diablo 3 shpuld be enough of a time sink to keep my mind of thigs until I can find a therapist or something...nas my mom is strongly suggesting that... and I can't really refuse hat right now. Then I guess rejoining the queue from the back of the line for a PS4 on Amazon or something.

What the hell am I going to do with all my time? What the hell am I going to do with that money I have been giving her for our expenses? I just... don't even know.

Probably the worst surprise I have ever gotten.

You're going to feel way worse before its over bro. I'm sorry to hear that. Self-image and self-worth tend to go right down the tubes. If you need anything at all man, we're all here for you. You can feel free to Skype me up if you need as well.

It sounds like a mostly amenable divorce, which is the only 'good' thing about it.

Having done it, twice, about the only advice that fits all divorces is get it over with. Don't drag it out, make a quick and clean break. My first divorce, we were stuck in a lease, couldn't afford to break it, so we ended up as roommates for a while. Ah, ya. That didn't work well for me, just kept dragging the pain out, like starting the day by slicing open a healing wound and dropping a live coal in it.

Cut your losses and get out. Find other things to focus on, to keep from thinking about what you lost, until time has dulled some of the sharp edges and you can actually think about it rather than obsessing about it.

I'm sorry to hear that as well. One of the common mistakes I see a lot is that people do not protect themselves, especially in the early stages of a divorce. Of course everyone wants to have an amenable divorce, but I've seen people give up rights and money they should not have just to get it over with.

Get a lawyer. Now. You love her, you want her to be happy, I understand that. But you need to think about yourself now. I would recommend not moving out of the house until you speak with a lawyer. Getting a lawyer is nothing against her. You're not going after her or trying to hurt her. You are protecting yourself.

Get a lawyer before you make any decision about joint bank accounts or who gets what. You may rationalize that you don't need one - you're wrong. Get one. Please.

Demosthenes wrote:

I was just detached while she was talking to me about it... and was in tears for a good 45 minutes while on the phone with my mom. Hell, just reading some your posts has got me a bit dusty. My mom is being super supportive though, and just about drove out to get me tonight.

First thing I am doing when I get back to my mom's is buying Skyrim and its add-ons on Steam and modding the sh*t out of it... hopefully that plus Diablo 3 shpuld be enough of a time sink to keep my mind of thigs until I can find a therapist or something...nas my mom is strongly suggesting that... and I can't really refuse hat right now. Then I guess rejoining the queue from the back of the line for a PS4 on Amazon or something.

What the hell am I going to do with all my time? What the hell am I going to do with that money I have been giving her for our expenses? I just... don't even know.

Probably the worst surprise I have ever gotten.

My best advice is to do everything you can to avoid denial or any form of not embracing the new reality. It doesn't sound like you're really in too much danger of that right now, but I've seen a lot of people go from the extremely understandable "this is so surreal" phase to wondering when the dream/nightmare will end and everything will get back to normal. How quickly or firmly you want to embrace the new situation isn't something I can really say since it's impossible for someone outside the situation to really account for everything that might be happening, but if something feels like backsliding to you, pay attention to that feeling and avoid it.

I do agree with Cheeba - find some way to protect yourself. This is the sort of thing that starts off as "let's be adults and not fight," and very often turns ugly when someone finds something they feel justified in fighting over. Best case scenario, a divorce attorney in an amicable split won't cost too much and everything will go smoothly. Worst case scenario, it will save you a lot of damages. In both cases, though, the lawyer will ensure that everything is taken care of cleanly so there won't be any nagging issues of ownership, property, and whatnot that come up to surprise either of you down the line.

That all said, I feel for you. It's probably good that you want to see a therapist. Divorce is something that leaves scars for the rest of your life - small or large. It's good to take the potential emotional damage seriously even if you feel like you're emotionally stable or self aware.

You'll find something to do with the time, btw. Make sure it's not constantly blaming yourself or questioning your self worth and/or what you did to cause all of it. You'll catch yourself doing that regardless, but I suggest strongly against taking it up as a hobby.

I don't really have anything to add except good luck and I pray all goes well for you!

One thing I have not seen here is "don't become vindictive"... You don't sound like the type but people do some desperate things when in pain. Not only will other people resent you but you'll also have to live with what you did once you're in a better headspace.

One of the unfortunate sides of this is that you will go through a very long and arduous period of grieving and mourning over the loss of the marriage. Do not try to fight them. They are natural processes. And don't let anyone tell you that you should stop mourning or grieving or that you have done both long enough.

I am glad you are considering a counselor. It will help you greatly to work through things.

If you need to talk, you can send me a PM.

All my thoughts and prayers to you, Demosthenes

Yeah. Been there. Really feel for you Demos.

It's going to hurt like a bastard for a long time. Treat it like and injury and go easy on yourself. Let people at work etc know. If they're not complete arseholes they'll get it.

Much as I hate to agree with cheeba, I agree that you should let the legal side of all this stuff be handled by a lawyer. I wish I had. Mine wasn't spectacularly acrimonious or anything but I do wish I'd not put myself through the paperwork side of things while my heart was broken. A lawyer won't turn it into War of the Roses, they'll just handle the stuff with their head and not their heart.

Hobbies help. Gaming helps. Keeping your hands and head busy will help move through the pain.

Big hugs from me. As others have said, DM me or grab me on Steam if you need an ear. I'll be up hours others won't be.

Sorry to hear Demos. Keep busy. Like cheeba said, get a lawyer. If you need anyone to BS with, give me a yell. I know it probably feels like your world is ending and it's hard to future think but time heals all wounds and you may find down the road that this was for the best. Where one door closes, another opens. Mourn and then live well. Be kind to yourself.

Not divorce no, but an ending to a long relationship yes. All I can say is..f*ck. Its only been ..6 weeks for me? Try to stay positive.

:(. My thoughts are with you Demosthenes.

Hey Demo, you got a weird dude who likes achievements thinking of you and sending you some positive energy from Kansas City. All the very best. Also, cheeba is right. You don't have to be aggressive about getting a lawyer or doing it as an FU, but there is going to be a lot of questions and work dividing up assets and both you and your ex will need it done right. A lawyer will really help make the transition easier, as crazy as that sounds.

I found this on the Kissing Suzy Kolber website (Football humour and news), and found it appropriate.


Read more:

STEP 1: BREAK CONTACT. Cease all communication with your ex. This is an absolutely imperative first step. (If she tries the “let’s stay friends” horsesh*t, don’t bite. She wants to stay friends so SHE feels better about dumping you. There is no benefit to you.) Unfollow her on all social media (it’s up to you whether you want to unfriend her on Facebook, or merely hide her from your feed). If you can’t trust yourself not to get drunk and text her in desperation, then you need to delete her number from your phone. Communication with her will only make you think about her, and if you’re thinking about her, you’re not moving on. Pretend she’s dead. You don’t think about texting dead people, or driving by their house late at night to see if the blinds are open and is she having fun? Is she watching The Daily Show? Oh God, you used to do that together! And she always wore those cute pajamas… NO. SHE’S DEAD NOW.

STEP 2: MOURN. You’re heartbroken, go ahead and wallow in the sadness. Drink by yourself and cry while looking at pictures of of the two of you together. Bore your friends with stories about how much you miss your ex. Turn down the opportunity to hang out with friends. Stay indoors and feel miserable. You get ONE MONTH of this, no more.

STEP 3: REBUILD AND IMPROVE. When you’re in a relationship, you rarely realize just how much time goes into hanging out with your significant other. After a break-up, you suddenly have all that time to yourself. Treat it like it a gift, and fill those hours with new activities and new people. Take a cooking or bartending class. Join a running club or a yoga studio or a CrossFit gym — something that improves your body and introduces you to new people. Volunteer at a hospital or an animal shelter or a tutoring center. Become a better, stronger, smarter person.

A lot of people write in to the mailbag complaining about not being interested in other women long after a break-up. I say: don’t worry about other women. Take care of YOU. Make your life about self-improvement and learn how to be happy alone. As you continue with Step 3, you’ll become a more confident and more interesting version of yourself. You’ll meet new friends who never knew you when you dated Whatsherface, and the new circles of people will include new women.

Your improved physique, knowledge, and kindness will help you find someone smarter and prettier and funnier than the stupid toolbag who dumped you. And someday, months or years down the road, you’ll run into that ex, and she’ll tell you that you look “really good,” and you, in turn, will wish her well, because you are genuinely happy and are doing better without her. And the fact that you’re better-looking and happier without her will FILL HER WITH THE BILE OF REGRET UNTIL THE DAY SHE DIES COLD AND ALONE! REVENGE IS YOURS!!! SWEET REVENGE! IT TOOK SO MUCH WORK, BUT IT WAS WORTH IT!!! MWAHAHAHAHAHA!

Read more:

On a serious note, exercise and health are going to be better solace right now than booze and video games.

Been there. Was totally caught off-guard when my first wife simply walked in the room and said either I was moving out or her and our daughters were. You will definitely go through a mourning period. After all, it is the death of a family.

Stay as busy as you can, but know there will be days that you just can't be busy enough. Knowing those days will come makes them a little easier to deal with. A little. It doesn't sound like there are any children involved and I cannot tell you how much easier that makes it. For me, my first marriage was totally miserable, two totally mismatched people (story of my life right?) But I have always been a VERY involved father with my two daughters. I went to every volleyball/soccer game (and cheered the loudest!), every concert/recital, etc. Did homework with them every night. Read stories at bedtime even when they got older. All of a sudden having to do that over the phone and then not doing it at all for months when they stopped calling because they were believing poisonous lies my ex-wife was feeding them was amazingly hard. Literally cried for hours every day I missed them so much. They are both in their 20's now and now have a realistic view of what happened. They wanted to give my ex a taste of her own medicine, but I let them know that forgiveness is a thousand times more powerful in their lives than revenge. One makes you a better person and one just makes you empty. They made the right choice.

Anyway, you will have rougher days. Yes games can keep the mind busy, but I agree with Sally that exercise, health and being productive will be far more beneficial overall. Stay away from the booze as much as you can, but there may be days it seems like it is just the thing to do. Of course once the booze wears off, you still have the same situation and now have a hangover to add. It is a depressant and that is one thing you do not need.

If you want it, I will PM you my phone number as someone who has walked this path. The best analogy is going through a divorce is like walking slowly through hell. But you don't need to walk alone. The offer is there. Let me know if you want it. Everything said stays between us. Even IF we speak stays between us as far as I'm concerned.

Hang in there.

Well, video games is definitely going to happen, but I am going to work on some other stuff too. I like the idea of taking some kind of class... cooking wouldn't be bad.

Also, I am very tired. I just could not sleep last night. Barely got a wink and I had a fun allergy attack in the middle of the night (like an allergy attack, not it's dusty in here... though dust is actually one of the things I'm allergic to, lol) so that my nose was quite literally completely stopped up, I couldn't swallow, I was like straight up mouth-breathing the whole night.

This is one of the roughest things you will deal with, and it won't get easier for a while. That's the bad part. The good part is that you clearly have a very supportive family, and this community is Herculean when it comes to helping each other through the bumpy sections.

I'm five years out from my divorce, which was about as amicable as they come. I'm in a healthy, happy relationship now, and in every way, I've moved on. But there's still a twinge occasionally when I hear someone mention my ex. It's impossible to give that big a part of your life to someone and expect to get all of it back. That being said, I am happier. Much. Things will turn out okay. You just have to fight through some sh*t now.

Many hugs. I'll add my voice to the "if you ever need to talk" group. PM me if you need.

So sorry to hear - as you said, it isn't the kind of surprise you want to have. I know a couple of people who have been through divorce and got into exercise in a big way. They said it really helped as it kept them occupied, but they could still think about things, and I could see it was really good for their feelings of self-worth and positivity.

I'm really sorry to hear this, Demos.

I've been where you are, and it really, really sucks. My divorce was amiable (as divorces go - the annulment was another story...) and since we were only renting a place, it was easy to divvy things up and pay the penalty on the lease so we could both walk away. It still hurt, but it was easy(ish).

Given that there is a house involved in your case, I'd get a lawyer. And not because you want to take her to the cleaners or anything, but if nothing else, you want a clean break from any financial responsibility for the house or anything else. Last thing you need is a couple of years down the road to find out the paperwork wasn't done right and you owe some mortgage payments or some such stuff. Ditto for shared accounts, credit cards etc.

Plus, if you're required to separate first for a period of time before applying for a divorce, you'll want to see that handled right. What paperwork is involved? Who pays the court fees for processing said paperwork? Will you have to pay any sort of spousal support? Will she? Who gets what of the things you bought together?

Legal stuff aside, there's also the emotional trainwreck of being suddenly on the outside looking in on your old life and wondering what the hell happened. YMMV, but for me, I spent a lot of time running "what if" scenarios in my head. Wondering how I'd missed this coming. Wondering if I was profoundly stupid because it came so suddenly and seemingly out of the blue and I felt I had no warning. It's painful beyond measure to think that someone you love could think, "You know...just no. I'm done." and that you can do nothing to fix whatever broke or changed.

I think it's OK to spend some time just zoning out with a video game, but I'll second the others here and say make that a really small part of how you deal with this. Talk to someone - talk here, PM me (or we could Skype if you want!), talk to a professional (not a bad idea anyway - I wish I had instead of rebounding into a terrible relationship), take up a new hobby that engages your creativity and mind more fully than any game ever could.

And don't feel like you've got to put on a brave face, either. Grieve fully for this relationship - don't think you just have to "get over it". I'm not sure anyone really ever does. Like Trichy, I'm in a good relationship, and happily married again, but I still have twinges of pain when I see or hear my ex's name.

I also second the advice of not trying to do the whole "We're just friends now." thing. Beyond the necessities of what the divorce requires you both to do together, you need to back away and give yourself and her some space to heal. Maybe later you can meet again, and maybe you can have a relationship based on true friendship because you'll both be stronger and in better places mentally and emotionally, but this early in the's really, really easy to either resent and hate each other while trying to be friends, or to fall back into the comfortable habit of being together while also knowing that you're not together at all.

Trying for friendship now is an easy mistake to make (especially as it's part of the insidious "If I can just show them how rational and awesome I am, they'll second-guess their decision to leave and maybe they won't and we can fix things" mindset). Being a decent person during the process of divorce is not the same thing as being a friend - that's easy to get mixed up about.

Again, this all YMMV - this is just the stuff I wish someone had told me at the time.

I'm here if you ever want to talk (and I promise not to offer advice of any kind if all you need is an outlet). *hugs* to you, Demo, it does get better, it just takes a lot of time and grieving.

So much good advice here. I just wanted to add my support in this tough time. I initiated my divorce, and it was really a good decision, but even so, it was really hard. So I'll be thinking of you. I only see your forum posts, but you seem like a really good guy, and I'll be hoping for many good things for you. I'm also here to talk.

Give yourself space to just be. But get out of the house. Limit the time with videogames. They are tempting escape hatches, but not solutions.

Divorce can bring out the worst in people, even those who originally have the best intentions. So think strategically about protecting yourself now, such as closing joint accounts. I don't know what your living arrangements will be, but figure out what's equitable and take steps before things get more emotional.

Man, I'm really sorry to hear about this. I have nothing to add to the excellent advice that's already been posted, just wanted to send some good vibes your way.

I am very sad to hear about this, Demos... I can't offer much advice in terms of handling a divorce, but my suggestions would be to stop thinking about it as a big fatal capital-D-word, and think about it as a breakup. You are young; the life ahead is full of chances and opportunities. You will heal.

Now, regarding grieving and healing. My advice is to break the routine and to DO. SOMETHING. ELSE. Which means -- SCREW VIDEO GAMES. As much as the notion of gaming your sorrow away might offer the comfoft and solace you need, I think it's wrong. In fact, no to pass the undue judgement, but I urge you to analyze things for a brief moment, and consider if videogames could be one of the factors of your breakup to begin with.

Get out of that ordeal a different man -- a better, stronger you. Do something else.

  • Challenge yourself and occupy your mind with some sense of a goal or a purpose.
  • Resume an old hobby or start a new one.
  • Start running, of you already do, establish a 5K challenge for yourself.
  • Joing a spinning class and set a goal.
  • Learn a foreign language or two.
  • Learn programming or electronics. Figure out Arduino. Hack yourself a Nerf GLADoS turret. Write an Android app. Create a Minecraft mod.
  • Learn drawing, painting, or 3D modelling, and produce something awesome.
  • EDIT: Volunteer. It is a tremendous relief valve. See if your local YMCA/Big Brothers Big Sisters/food pantry needs hands.

F*ck videogames. Seriously. Do something awesome.

There's a ton of good advice here and I really can't add to it beyond my sympathies. I had a 5 year relationship fail in 2008 where a house had been purchased 6 months earlier and it sucked huge but I managed to get through it with support from great friends. No more advice for me to add but if you ever need a gaming buddy to help divert your mind, find me on Steam whenever I'm there. Good luck man!

Well, I started out my work day by crying in the parking lot with one of my "work mom" friends here.

Felt good to get that out a little, and as I've been talking with people, it's gotten a little better. Still feel those tears pop up occasionally, but I'm working on de-Steph-ing my desk right now, not really throwing anything away... but certainly removing anything that reminds me of her from my line of sight.

Put in my time off request for next week so I can spend the weekend packing and moving... then I guess getting settled and having a day or two not to worry about anything except remembering to eat, and probably figuring out my commute to work from a completely different direction so I'm not late on my return.

Gaming is still going to be my main hobby. And I suspect I will be doing a fair bit of it this weekend/next week while I'm off once I'm moved in. But I am looking at some other things. I kind of want to get back into making comic strips... will require buying some supplies, but would be fun. I don't know that I would try to put them online like I did in high school, but I might make some game related ones and post them here.