So it has been a long time since my last post. The reason being me and my husband/partner (we had a muslim wedding but not a legal one) have separated. It has been an ongoing journey of heartache. I do not want to go into details yet, or maybe never, but let’s just say its been a very hard few months.
I think relationship breakdowns involving children is so much harder as there are so many more things that need to be considered. We have been lucky enough for things to be relatively amicable for our own sanity, and for the sake of our little boy.
So I thought I would pass on my learning’s so far which might help you if you are ever in this situation:
- Try to stay calm. The world may feel like it is falling apart but try your best to stay calm. I know it feels like the end of the world but it is not.
- Ask for help! Talk to your family and friends. Ask for help when you need it. You are not superwoman/superman – you are human – you need to have people to support you. There have been many, many nights which I have sat on my own binge watching The Crown on netflix and avoiding phone calls. This is fine but when you need to speak to people, speak to them!
- Do not feel guilty. Shit happens. It really does. You are not a failure. You are doing the best you can for yourself and any children involved so do not feel guilty. There will be good days and there will be bad days but you have to love yourself.
- Your children will be fine. In my opinion, it would be worse for them for you to stay in an unhappy relationship for the next 20 years till they leave home. Shower them with love and reassure them that nothing is their fault.
- Look after yourself. Please try not to fall into unhealthy habits. Mine unfortunately were red wine, chocolate and worst of all cigarettes – it is really not the best. They might feel make you feel temporarily better but long term they won’t! If you need it to survive those horrific few weeks, I get it I really do. If you have to, and you think its all between you and a full breakdown, do it, but alternatively you will feel so much better with lots of rest, lots of water, some exercise, self care and fresh air. I’ve started personal training sessions which have helped get the endorphin’s going.
- Do not get into another relationship until you have totally healed and took some time to find yourself again. Being in a long term relationship you can start to lose yourself, you can grow apart, your passions change, your priorities change. Take some time to explore who you are and what you enjoy. Also be realistic about what you want in your next relationship. Do not compromise on finding love.
- Make new friends or invest more into existing ones. My work colleagues have been my saviours. However I’m still struggling with finding women in a similar situation. Most of my friends are married with small kids of their own so it has been difficult to see as much of them as I would have liked, but I have started exploring new friendships with women at work, and started looking into other social groups, where hopefully I can meet some other single mums. Search for groups in your area or check Facebook for maybe single mum groups. I must admit though I sort of have appreciated the time on my own for self-reflection and reading too.
- If at all possible keep things friendly with your ex – especially when co-parenting. I will be honest me and my ex have had a few heated moments since the split but 95% of the time we have been supportive and understanding of the pain we are both feeling. The topic which causes the most angst is trying to sort money – if at all possible when this gets heated maybe just leave it until both of you have calmed down. We have agreed all along with 50/50 parenting of our son, even though I would like to have him more I feel its both of our right to see him 50% of the time as long as that works for him and he is happy – which fingers crossed so far he seems to be.
- Try to stay optimistic about the future. I know this seems hard in the early weeks, months and even years but things will get better with time. There will be more chances at love and you will be happy again, whether that is with a new partner or on your own.
So I’m still only a few months into my separation and we have lots to still go – the house being sold, me finding a rental, etc etc but I hope that at least you can find some comfort knowing you are not alone. Reach out on here and we can support each other.