What if I was single

I realize that there are single people who are content and fulfilled.  When I feel utterly miserable in my marriage, I sometimes wonder, what’s wrong with me that I can’t just manage as though I were single?  I’ll try harder to find ways to have a good life, a good day, or a good moment in which I’m mindful, thankful, and responsible for my own state of being.  Lately I’ve been wondering if I would even be able to be one of those healthy single people.  Would I be happy and content if I was always single, or would I still feel this lonely?  A friend of mine that left an abusive marriage once told me, “The worst pain is when you’re alone with someone.”

Maybe it’s the ongoing and repetitive wounds of someone being lukewarm about me.  The message that says he can take or leave me regarding intimacy.  Maybe it’s feeling like I’m never good enough, that my efforts to please always fall short, and that I’m resistable.  My inability to fathom how he can seem entirely unmoved during the times when something has hurt my heart, when tears are silent but unstoppable, or grief has dropped me to the floor to weep. 

Maybe it’s that stuff that I try to accept, but somewhere inside of me, I can’t.  What if he really did change?  Has there been too much pain now?  Could I forgive and heal at this point?  If we end our marriage, am I capable of even being happy and content? What about being able to put it behind us?  Do I magnify a small offense because the past is littered like a graveyard of bones?

I guess I won’t know unless I know one day. 

It’s also possible that the love I crave isn’t real and isn’t possible.  Maybe no one has it. What if I’m just unrealistic about men and relationships?  How would I know?

We have a cat that is insatiable for affection, cuddling, and attention.  Maybe at this point, I’m love starved and scarred, and even something good would bounce off my emotional scar tissue.  (I enjoy this cat very much.  We fit well.)

On the other hand, a man wouldn’t have to do too much to raise the bar my husband set.  Celebrating my birthday, or giving me a Christmas present would put him a giant step ahead.  Engaging me in conversation because he enjoys my mind, values my perspective, and misses my company?  Blue ribbon!  Leaning in to touch me and breathe me in?  Hall of fame.  If he consistently wanted to make love (unless he really was sick), that would give him a Superman cape in my world. Being consistent, caring more about my state of being than his being right?  My trusted friend.  Believing in me and finding happiness in my joys and pleasures as we thrive together and cheer each other on?  My beloved.

That’s what I doubt exists.  That’s what I should probably write into a book and sell as a dream.  I’ll even read it when I’m lonely.  For so many years, I’ve always told myself that I believe that a man and woman could have a great love.  Now, I’m not so sure.  If it does exist, I doubt even more that I’m capable of being part of it.  Still, I long to be someone’s dearest.

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This entry was posted in abusive husband, abusive marriage, Christian marriage, covert abuse, loneliness, passive aggressive, passive aggressive husband. Bookmark the permalink.

40 Responses to What if I was single

  1. Exodus says:

    It sure wouldn’t take much to impress us would it PJ’s? I’d probably have a coronary if I received a thoughtful gift.

    I’ve often had the same thoughts as you about being able to forgive and move on. I know I could because last winter when Norman was normal for two weeks, I didn’t think about the past at all. I was relaxed and savored the moment. However, after having that experience only last for two weeks, I think it’s unrealistic of me to even imagine that my marriage could improve. Everyone will decide what they are willing to sacrifice to stay in a marriage.

    I’m one of those people who is never lonely when I’m alone. My loneliness arrives when I realize that I’m with someone that I should be connecting with and can’t. No worse feeling in the world. I do like sharing my life with someone though. I really want to be married and for practical reasons as well. I’m getting older, I have no kids. I’m a traditionalist and I love being a wife.

    I too wonder about being single. I dread the thought of it actually because I love being in love and sharing my life with male partner. There are a lot of creeps out there today and it’s rare that I ever meet a man that I respect enough to consider dating. SO, guess what I did PJ’s? I actually signed up for a trial run on a Jewish dating site……hahahahah I’ve given up on gentiles- at least the ones in America. The crazy thing is that when I began filling out the questionnaire, I felt so nervous and was trying to be so honest and still paint myself in attractive form. Then, I thought, heck no, I’ll just paint myself as a chain smoking, separated, uneducated homebody and see if I get any bites. I wanted to see how many loser Jew guys there were on the site first and then, I’ll go back in and improve my profile. I think it’s best to know ahead of time what the dating population looks like.

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    • Jane D. says:

      Exodus, Elisabeth at ElisabethKlein.com is using online dating. She isn’t Jewish (she’s Christian) but has written quite a bit about how she is going about using online sites. You might be interested to see what she is doing.

      I’m still married, emotionally I’ve already checked out but I am still in the marriage. I wouldn’t date now – I’d consider that wrong – and I’m pretty sure that if my marriage breaks up I’d never marry again. This has been awful and I feel too damaged to ever try again.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Exodus says:

        Jane,
        Thanks Jane for the info but to be honest, I think online dating is a farce even though I’ve known a few women to have success with it. To each her own. I’m of the traditional school of ‘ meet and greet naturally’ through our every day experiences. I believe that the internet creates a very dangerous illusion when it comes to meeting others. I only signed up to entertain my cynical mind and test the waters sort of like how I apply for jobs that I’m not qualified for just to gain experience and better insight into the world today. Plus, I never know what will happen. I’ve gotten jobs before that I wasn’t qualified at all to do and ended up doing a great job! A lot has changed in the last ten years and I’ve been in total isolation for last 4. What a strange dehumanized world we live in. I don’t have kids to keep me ‘trendy’ so that makes it even more challenging. I feel like an old cave-dwelling recluse. I don’t even do any social media and have no desire to. I’ll get involved with a few social activism groups and ‘ Meetup’ hiking groups and hopefully, I’ll meet some people to help open doors of opportunity.

        Living in an abusive marriage creates a moral dilemma for us all. I agree that it’s not right to date just because you’re marriage is miserable unless you have that agreement with your spouse ( apparently a lot of couples have open marriages) but I never had a marriage other than the legal contract to show for it. I’m not suggesting that anyone have affairs but I think we need to be aware of what and who we are respecting and why. Certainly there are the legalities to uphold when there are assets and children involved but those aren’t what constitute a marriage. It occurred to me one day that the legal contract was based on distrust and limited liability whereas the covenant was based on mutual trust, unconditional commitment and the spiritual union with G-d. Even despite the daily abuse, I respected Norman for being a financial provider and remained committed to fulfilling my duties as his partner even though I would not have sex with him. I did feel it was terribly wrong to have sex with an abusive spouse. He didn’t have affairs but that’s not because of any moral conviction. He never honored or respected his marriage or me as his wife, friend or business partner. I upheld my vows because I knew I wanted to be true to my own values but then it occurred to me that I really wasn’t doing that. Tolerating abuse isn’t one of my values and it’s certainly not one of G-d’s. Anyway, abuse tends to scramble and undermine everything- including our values..

        I’m not in a position to start a new relationship but I would like to have some new friends. I also need to keep an open mind so that I don’t get stuck in my trauma. I have a tendency to freeze-up and isolate which will not be good for a single woman living on her own. I have a very strong distaste in my mouth for men actually and even in my last job, I had trouble accepting help/assistance from men and would get very defensive and felt they were just hitting on me which was not the case at all. I knew I was in trouble. I don’t want that to happen again. My marriage was a sin based on a lie- Norman took his vows in vain and betrayed them day after day and I sinned by not living in truth and honoring myself by commanding better by ending it. While I’m not seeking another relationship, I really try to not to put limitations on my future that are based on past experiences.

        My divorce will be nothing more than a very bothersome and costly legal technicality. ” Oh what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive” 😦

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        • Exodus, you said: “My marriage was a sin based on a lie.” That is exactly what I feel. Even the way my marriage came about bears witness to this. It was based on a lie – more than one, in fact. And it was a sin. From before the engagement on.

          Like

          • Exodus says:

            Same here Seeing…” even before the marriage”. Live and learn. I know why I made the choices that I did and I’ll never ever compromise my values to be with anyone ever again..friend or spouse.

            Like

      • lonelywife07 says:

        Jane D did you know that Elisabeth also has a secret FB page where we can post and ask for prayer and meet other women who are in bad marriages? I’ve been on there about 4 weeks now and I’m really enjoying it…

        Like

    • WritesinPJ's says:

      Exodus, it’s funny when you put it that way. I crave alone time, and love the rare hours alone in the house, so it’s obviously not that kind of alone that hurts. I love the whole concept of a true love relationship, and all the sharing of joy and sorrow and life that comes with it.

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      • Exodus says:

        When I am lonely, it’s because am in need and looking for someone to fill my time and the void I’m feeling in my life. it’s a negative feeling and state of mind where I am longing for something that doesn’t exist. On the other hand when I’m alone, that is a positive feeling and state of mind because I feel content and I’m not longing for anyone or anything. I’m happy with myself.

        When we feel hurt in our loneliness, it’s because we have put unrealistic expectations on something or someone. I always feel lonely around Norman because I expect him to hear me, to respond to me and my needs, to want to care about me even though I know he’s incapable of such things.

        Don’t go to a pub if you want to have sober conversation.

        Liked by 1 person

    • marsocmom says:

      I would have to add what I tell my daughters. Dating is hard because you go into it with the expectation that this could be a relationship. You never get to see the other person as he really is, because dating is all show. I’d much prefer to just be friends with someone for a while, then see if it progresses, slowly. And I think dating websites get you started on the wrong foot for just that reason. No hiding, no pretending, just be real because that’s what it takes for a marriage to flourish.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Seeing the Light says:

        Marsocmom, I know what you are saying, and I agree. I just wish it was safe with the friendship route, but I’m not sure that is safe either. Mine started with a feigned friendship because he knew I was not interested in dating or marriage. He knew that I would have bolted if we weren’t just friends. The turn it took from “friendship” to engagement to marriage was some false theology mixed with deception and psychological/spiritual pressure. Now that I look back he was steering things from the start and the friendship was never just friendship from his vantage point. He was manipulating things from the get-go.

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      • Exodus says:

        Marsocmom, yep, those expectations get us into trouble every time!!
        I never liked dating and I don’t remember dating much one on one. I most always met a guy when I was out with a group of friends and then we usually continued to group date which I think is better. We would date alone for special occasions. I’ve been on two blind dates in my whole life and they were so bad that I’ll never do that again. Friends are not always good matchmakers. 😦 I think everyone should date for at least two years before marrying and make sure that they socialize with that person and not just hang out as a twosome.
        I think there should also be required marriage and parenting classes every week for one year before a license will be issued. Our culture is in the toilet. We encourage the most immoral and irresponsible behavior from young people today. We make teenage pregnancy trendy, divorce is trendy, shacking up is trendy and of course everyone goes to a trendy church to repent for all their trendy sins. Disgusting!

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    • lonelywife07 says:

      THIS…”I’m one of those people who is never lonely when I’m alone. My loneliness arrives when I realize that I’m with someone that I should be connecting with and can’t. No worse feeling in the world.” YES!
      It finally hit me how disconnected PA Man and I were when we went on a cruise several months ago….without our kids. Oh.My.Word….the disconnect was so in my face, it made me sad, even when I was supposed to be having the time of my life!! :/

      And Exodus, that bit about the online dating? BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA Love it!! 😉

      Like

      • Exodus says:

        It’s kind of like being married to a blind date now that I think about it!

        Like

      • newshoes123 says:

        I went away last year on vacation with my then pah, and it was so obvious that we had nothing to talk about and nothing left in common… he took away all of the things that I loved about in the beginning and I felt that all he showed me was nothing but a smokescreen of lies and deceit.

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  2. Jane D. says:

    My daughter and I (after we ran away for the long weekend from my husband and his Friday night tantrum) spent the long weekend camping with a party that included three long-married (20+ years) couples that we have known for over 10 years. It was interesting to watch each couple together. Each couple clearly work together as a team, and each person in the couple has great affection for the other. They have the fruit of working through the hard stuff together. So I think those couples exist.

    That isn’t me, and isn’t my marriage.

    I think I could be single again. I’d be okay. I’m way better at making friends than I was 22 years ago. I have a good church family but am cultivating a church family at another church just in case. If people get divorced in our church, I’ve noticed, the woman tends to be ostracized – unless she was the only church attender of the couple. I’ve seen it many times. It sounds awful, but I just feel like I’ll be okay no matter what happens.

    I think I became emotionally numb about five years ago.

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    • Exodus says:

      Jane, I have spent so many years watching/observing other couples in action in an attempt to understand and save my own marriage. It’s such a lonely feeling to see how couples can work and communicate together to accomplish things.

      Divorced women in church are considered threats to other married women. When I was a young girl the women in our Church became so ugly toward my mother, my brother and I that my mother pulled us out of there and we had church at home instead. The Sunday school teacher even called us bastard children and made fun of us because we didn’t have a dad ( my parents were divorced). Anyway, even today married women in Churches often feel threatened by divorced women as if they are now the town sleeze. I always laughed at them because I knew that if they were that insecure in their marriage than they didn’t trust their husbands for some reason ( gee wonder why?).

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      • lonelywife07 says:

        Wow…I love my church…and now I love it even more! We have several divorced or widowed women in our church…and they are treated just fine…in fact, we always include one of the women, who’s a friend of mine, when we go out as a group…I’d have to leave a church like what you’re describing, Exodus!

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    • WritesinPJ's says:

      When I was away several years ago, it took me by surprise how people liked me, and I started to make at least acquaintance friends rather easily. They were female friends, and that was just fun.

      I’ve seen divorced women ostracized silently in the churches so many times. It is awful, and it’s so wrong.

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      • Exodus says:

        PJ’s, it doesn’t surprise me at all that you would be likeable. I make friends very easily too even though I’m not a social butterfly. If we were at a cocktail party, I would be sitting next to you having a blast, talking about all sorts of wild and worldly things but of course Norman and your pah would be frowning, jealous of us and glaring at us with tense jaws and those piercing eyes that nail us to the wall.

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  3. Like you, I doubt. But at the same time I know that I deserve much better and life will give it to me, a lovable and respectful man.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Bronze says:

    All I can do is let you know of my experience from the other side. By the end of my marriage I was soo lonely, so starved of affection, so worthless that I feared that if any man came near me and offered me an ear or friendship, that I would swoon into his arms and he would have me by default. I would have melted into that mans chest, I was so starved of love, affection and acceptance. Now, I have been out for 2 years and NO contact, I don’t have that need. I am content. I have my kids who hold me in high regard, I have friends I don’t see enough and most of all I don’t have somebody who on a daily basis acts like I am shit on the bottom of his shoe. Just the ABSENCE of that, has taken that deep need and longing away. My strength and LIKING of myself is growing. Don’t get me wrong – it is hard, it was hard, many tears have been shed and the RAGE that emerged after it was all over was unbelievable. The final, previously unexpressed RAGE at having had a man in my life for 20 years who refused to see me, hear me, notice me, KNOW me and who despite my best attempts decided I was his enemy to be rebelled against and no matter what I did, that is how he set up the dynamic in our marriage. I am slowly coming to a place of health, self esteem (where I no longer fear I will fall for any man that shows me kindness), I have worked hard on myself and have re-established boundaries I should have had all along. I read your posts and they remind me of exactly how I felt inside that warped world these men create. There is no team because he doesn’t want to be on a team – he wants to have something to take out his inner shit on and I”m convinced it’s his mother who he ADORES and yet my instinct is he wanted me in that role so he could hate me. Ladies, it sucks being with these men. I have lost a lot financially but boy, my house is so much more joyful and HONEST. My kids are happier. I don’t want another man but if I find one willing to meet my very high expectations i would consider but I will NEVER live with another man in my home again. My peace, my home, my lovely life now is not worth losing for a man. Best wishes to all of you.

    Liked by 5 people

    • GainingStrength says:

      Bronze, I am in the last months (fingers crossed) of my divorce. Since he has left I have been calmer. Still up and down days, but he’s not around. I don’t plan on dating any time soon (if at all) because I feel at this point in my life I would be suspicious of everything a man does. That is not a good place to start a relationship.

      I plan on working on myself. Try to find out who I am and try to remember what made me happy. I gave up and changed a lot of myself for my abuser and now I want to improve myself so I am never tempted by another abuser in sheep’s clothing. Your words are encouragement to me, thank you. I realize it will be hard, but some days….I don’t think hard is the right word. 🙂 It took 30+ years to get brainwashed and I figure it will take a few years to get most of that out of my brain. It’s scary thinking of being on my own, but it’s also exciting. Thank you again for your words, they do plant hope in my heart.

      Liked by 1 person

      • paescapee says:

        Bronze, I’ m agreeing with everything you’ve said. I am still anxious around men generally because I don’t trust them but I love my own company and I’m learning to trust myself to do what is right for ME. I may meet a man or I may not- but that is not a reason to hang on to a bad relationship. I feel that it is dangerous to date before we have regained our strength and some self-esteem otherwise you are in danger of attracting another predator. We are self-sufficient as independent people with friends, family and colleagues. A loving relationship would be nice but desperately seeking one means you lower your acceptable standards of behaviour. We don’t need external validation from a man, but to learn to respect our own needs.

        Like

    • WritesinPJ's says:

      Bronze, your words are rock solid encouragement. It’s my hope that the absence of the negative messages will be hugely healing!

      Liked by 1 person

    • What a terrific comment. Pure gold. Thank you, Bronze.

      Like

    • Exodus says:

      Bronze, what a wonderful post. I believe that once we make the leap to freedom and it’s in our blood, we want to protect it at all cost. I know I will. I feel the same way about severing ties with my mother a few years ago…there have been moments when I was so upset and scared that I wanted to call her for help but I know that I would just be taking ten steps back if I did that because any of her help comes at a hefty price.

      I’ve had moments where I wanted to just give up and just resign to staying here and then I imagine it and there’s no way I could ever unpack a single box. All this time I’ve been imagining what it would be like to wake up every day without being stressed as soon as my feet hit the floor and I imagine coming home from work and not feeling that kick in the gut when I think about Norman coming home. I also think about getting a dog and I can’t do that as long as Norman is around. I keep imagining coming home to a happy dog and feeling joy and comfort in knowing that they won’t ever get stressed out worrying about me or feeling afraid during fights.

      I know I’m not vulnerable to a man charming me off my feet. Those days are gone. Charm and good looks isn’t going to impress me in the least and any person that needs fixing is going to have to get pity from someone else. What does concern me is my ability to relate to people in general now without feeling shame, feeling so defective and defensive. There are so many triggers in the real world. Just hearing a coin drop at the checkout in a store sends a wave of fear and anxiety over me that stops me in my tracks ( Norman throws all his money all over the place..yard, house, driveway) I won’t ever talk about this marriage to anyone. Once I’m free, I’m never looking back.

      Liked by 1 person

    • paescapee says:

      Bronze, I’ m agreeing with everything you’ve said. I am still anxious around men generally because I don’t trust them but I love my own company and I’m learning to trust myself to do what is right for ME. I may meet a man or I may not- but that is not a reason to hang on to a bad relationship. I feel that it is dangerous to date before we have regained our strength and some self-esteem otherwise you are in danger of attracting another predator. We are self-sufficient as independent people with friends, family and colleagues. A loving relationship would be nice but desperately seeking one means you lower your acceptable standards of behaviour. We don’t need external validation from a man, but to learn to respect our own needs.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. GainingStrength says:

    PJs, that is the most evil part of these abusers, the seeds of doubt and fear they plant in us. I think this is why most stay way too long, This is the part of recovery that I believe will be the hardest for me, to quiet the doubts and fears. I pray that all of us will find our confidence and be brave enough to do what is right for our lives.

    Like

  6. paescapee says:

    Ladies, just because passive aggressive abuse can be made up of silence or indifference, please do not mistake it for being benign. It eats away at your health and confidence; it undermines your mental health and damages your other relationships. Managing the daily struggle saps your energy and stops you doing the small hobbies and things that make your life fun. Perhaps you may sometimes be more lonely if you divorce, but I can’t see how you cannot be happier and healthier. This will pave the way to other, better relationships.

    Liked by 1 person

    • paescapee, AMEN!!! You said: “Ladies, just because passive aggressive abuse can be made up of silence or indifference, please do not mistake it for being benign.” I could not agree with you more. I wish any of the women that are holding out hope that there is something kind or warm under the surface could see just their husbands for just exactly what they are. The passive aggressive abuse is not benign and the passive aggressive men are not benign. There are absolutely predators through and through. They are malignant.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. newshoes123 says:

    “The worst pain is when you’re alone with someone.” – SO SO SO very true. Being married should give you some sense of belonging with someone (notice I didn’t say TO someone), feeling like you matter to them, feeling like you have someone who has your back, and that at the end of the day, you connect with. Lonely in a marriage is not a marriage at all!!!

    You know PJ, you deserve to have that love that you so crave for. I understand too about being love starved, I’ve felt empty for so long in this relationship, I might as well have been single!! In fact, a lot of people thought I was!!! They assumed that I was because I did a lot of things on my own and never really spoke about my relationship until just the recent years and only because I had to tell people what I was going through. We deserve that kind of love and I know it exists, I’ve seen it firsthand. I’m longing for someone to hold my hand because they cannot bear not to touch me, to have someone make me supper just because they want to please me, to have someone cuddle me while we watch a movie and giggle histerically because we both said or did something so incredibly funny that we cannot stop, and just have that one companion that above all else will love me unconditionally and one day soon I will have that when I’m ready. I wish that for you PJ, with my whole heart. In fact, I wish that for all the ladies here who have been living hell for way way too long.

    No wonder we check out of these marriages, there’s no one there to feed our souls!!

    Like

  8. It is better to be alone than to wish you were.

    Liked by 1 person

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