The Break Up & what comes next | The Starting Again Series

break up

I’ve been putting off writing this post for so long. It’s been whirring around in my head for ages about how to put this on paper or if I even should. But how can I start my Starting Again series if I don’t tell you the reason I’ve had to start again. It’s taken me a long time to work out how to write about my breakup without saying too much about what actually happened but being able to talk about how I felt. It’s been long enough now. 8 months in fact. I’ve had notes in my iPhone for ages, so it’s a Monday night and after a couple of coronas I feel like I’m ready to put it all down.

As I said in my Resolutions post, 2018 was a hard year for me. I spent the first half of the year waiting to see if the man I’d married 5 ½ years ago still wanted to be with me and the second half getting over the fact he didn’t. The break up was long and drawn out. It extended over months and months. In actuality the whole thing started back in late 2017 but didn’t finally end till June 2018. That’s not to say it didn’t still hurt but I had a long time to deal with what was coming and even longer to prepare for what it really meant practically speaking.

In February he moved out. For space. To think. At my suggestion to be honest. I thought space and time without worrying about me and my feelings would be good.  We agreed a month and yet three went by. I lived this kind of half-life. Not married and yet not single. Of course, I didn’t tell anyone except close friends. In fact, I continued to lie in my village that he was away on business. Maintained a façade that all was well and that he was just working a lot. Those few months were probably the hardest. Harder than after the breakup because I just didn’t know where I stood. I tried to keep my blog and social media going. Trying my hardest to post pretty pictures and witty captions when in actuality I was terrified about what was going on. Valentines and my Birthday passed by with no proper gifts and no celebration with him and as May and our wedding anniversary approached, I forced a decision. I was tired of waiting. And he ended it.

I cried. A lot. Partly because I was of course so sad it had ended but also because I knew how hard everything that was to come would be.  I understood the enormity of what this meant for me and for my immediate future.

Then he changed his mind. Decided we were worth fighting for and he moved back in. And whilst being realistic that it still might not work, I was optimistic and happy. We booked a trip away. We made an effort to try and do more together, to talk, to stay off our phones; the usual promises we all make. But weeks later he ended it again. I won’t tell you how, but let’s just say series 6 episode 7 of Sex & The City is a close suggestion.

I didn’t cry. I’d already done this once and by now I was exhausted from months of tears and stress and to be honest I was just glad I had a decision and a direction to move forward in.

 

FEAR

The biggest thing I felt afterwards was fear. Fear about being 37 and having to start again. Its why I wanted to write this series because I know I’m not alone in this feeling. No one ever really talks about how frightening this can be. Being divorced isn’t something I ever wanted on my life list.  Despite the fact I felt some excitement at starting out on my own and the thought of being able to go on dates again, have a first kiss again, all these were outweighed by an overwhelming fear that preyed so badly it kept me awake at night. That fear hasn’t gone completely but I did lessen it some in two ways

  1. Don't think too hard or too far
    I’ll be honest the main way I dealt with the fear and the whole thing really was not to think to hard or too long about it. Its not that I live in denial, I’ve fully accepted what’s happened but I just don’t sit and think too deeply about what it all means because that way just leads to spiralling thoughts and that terrifying fear again. I try my hardest not to dwell on the why’s and the past and instead try and look forward and plan what’s to come.
  2. A Practical mind
    The second way has been to approach everything with a practical mind. As I was the financial dependent in the marriage, I made sure I was clued up and fully educated on what would happen if we broke up and how things would work. The more you know, the less you will worry about it.

TO TELL OR NOT TO TELL

Because I kept what was happening a secret for so long, I found it hard to start telling people when we had actually ended. I was ashamed actually. And embarrassed. Ashamed that it failed, that I couldn’t make it work and I didn’t want people to look at me with a look of pity or for me to get emotional or upset in front of people. It meant I actually avoided people. I stopped popping into the theatre because I didn’t want people to know we were having problems. However, whereas to some I was extremely tight lipped in fact purposely deceptive, in other cases, the truth tumbled out of my mouth like verbal diarrhoea. Telling a PR at a press event all about my break up because we were talking moving houses or blurting out “I’ve just broken up with my husband” when a blogger friend told me they were engaged. It was like one extreme to another.

The truth is you tell people when you are ready. Its nobody’s business but yours but once you start telling people, as hard as that moment is because it will make everything real and truly happening, it will help you move on.

CRY

I think lots of my followers on social think I’m so strong and that I’ve coped so well with this breakup as I’m always full of witty remarks and #debsondating banter on my Instagram stories but the truth is I had some awful days. Of course, I’ve cried. For weeks after the break up I would spontaneously burst into tears over the silliest things, spotting our wedding china in a cupboard or hearing a certain song. It’s totally normal and you shouldn’t feel bad for crying. It doesn’t mean your weak, it just means your human. But eventually the tears have to stop. You can’t keep crying over the same thing. That’s my vow for 2019. I won’t shed tears over the same things, there’s no point.

ANGER

This is the one you have to keep under control. This is the emotion that will make you do way more stupid things than being sad or upset. Of course, I was angry. Not that he ended it. I agreed with the reasons to be honest but the way things dragged out and the dishonesty that later came to light, hell yeah, I was livid. But I chose to channel this anger to my friends or family, not at him. To begin with I wouldn’t bad mouth him too much to my folks. I didn’t want them to hate him you see. I couldn’t bear that he was the bad guy so I defended him and his decisions, a lot! Then I stopped. He’d made himself the bad guy and it wasn’t my job to protect him anymore. So, I make sure if I want to vent or rant, I ring my folks or see my friends. It’s the best way to get it out of your system.

LETTING GO OF A LIFE

The biggest thing is you have to do is to let go of the life you thought you were going to have. I thought I’d have a life in a village, with an amazing house, dogs, maybe a kid one day and properly settling down. That’s not what my future looks like now. That’s not to say I won’t ever have those things and its also not to say that the future that’s waiting for me isn’t equally as brilliant and exciting.  I wasn’t happy. I hadn’t been for a while and now I can look forward to a future where hopefully I will be much happier, but to do that you have to let go of the imagined life you planned.

ACCEPT YOU’RE NOT THE ONLY ONE MOURNING

There is a moment when you realise, you’re not the only one that has to let go of a possible future. My parents especially were broken hearted and they didn’t have the same amount of time to adjust to it all like I did. I tried my hardest to be sensitive to the fact that they also were upset. There were so many why’s and trying to understand the reasons so they could come to terms with it and in the end, I said it needed to stop. The why’s didn’t matter. It had happened and all I wanted to do was start to move forward. They respected that and honestly have been incredible, always there to listen and to talk to and I couldn’t have done this without them.

STAY OFF SOCIAL

I’d vowed to myself that I wouldn’t air my dirty laundry in public. That I wouldn’t start slagging off my ex on Facebook or bad mouthing him. I’ve seen it before and it’s not how I wanted to be nor did I think it would make me feel any better. In fact, I waited two months before I put anything on my own social media and even then, I didn’t detail what had happened or mention him, but kept it about me and my new chapter with the two dogs. When I’ve come to write this Starting Again Series, I’m also trying to be careful to keep things about the facts and my feelings and not overshare (at least I hope so) as you have to be so aware of what you put online. Once its on there you can’t take it back.

My advice, do the same. Don’t sling mud on Facebook or social media, be the bigger person

BEING THE BIGGER PERSON

I’ve tried to be this. I’ve failed a couple of times. The odd angry text sent or name called but divorce is hard man. It’s confusing and difficult and it would be a whole lot more so if I was arguing every minute of the day with my ex. So, take the high ground. As hard as it is. Be the bigger person because that way you can hold your head high and be proud of yourself.

 TWO SIDES TO EVERY STORY

The hardest thing to deal with for me was that not everyone knew the truth. There’s a large proportion of his friends and family that don’t know what happened, how he messed me around months, how exactly he broke up with me and in the end after further revelations why I’m able to apply for a divorce.  They only know the story he’s told them and I’ve had to accept this. Its just something I’ll have to live with. At the end of the day the people that matter to me know the whole story and that’s the most important thing. Some stuff you just have to let go.

TALK AND TALK AND TALK

I feel like all I’ve talked about last year was me and my break up. Even I’m bored of talking about it to be honest, but my friends and family have been amazing. You have to talk about it, it’s the only way you can work through feelings or thoughts and its way better to get it out of your own head. For me I have this, to be able to write about it which is so cathartic and helpful and I’m so grateful for that too.

LEARNING TO BE OK ON YOUR OWN

Friends and family are an amazing support and they will be there as much as they can but everyone has their own life. Your plight isn’t on their mind every day like it yours. They can’t check in on you every day and they can’t be there every minute. Eventually you realise you are on your own. Not in a bad way, you’re not ALONE you just have to learn to be ok just you. For me it wasn’t that hard living on my own. I’d lived in the house pretty much by myself for the entire time we’ve had it so in that respect nothing changed. But I struggled at weekends where days would go by with no one to talk to or just watch tv with. I have a post coming all about things I did to get over my break up so I’ll talk about this more in that post but it is something I wish I could be better at, being happy being just me. But I’m getting there.

 

HARD CONVERSATIONS

Once you’ve got past the initial breakup, especially if there is a divorce involved, but even with a separation there are some difficult choices and conversations ahead. Conversations about money and houses and belongings, decisions about you and your life and what you're going to do. Its something I'll talk about more here on the blog. It won’t be easy, but you have to push through all of this to be able to move forward. Getting through this and making choices about your future is the only way you’ll be able to start again. And you will.

 

Debs

x

 

READ PART ONE OF THE SERIES - THE EX FILES 

39 Comments

  1. Emma
    January 15, 2019 / 1:06 pm

    A beautifully written piece about a difficult time – thanks for sharing your thoughts and feelings.
    I know it’s been hard for you but this is a new chapter for you and this could be #yearofDeb !!!
    Em x

  2. Danielle
    January 15, 2019 / 3:15 pm

    First time on your site… Respect!! Raw honestly full of emotion and yet you kept it classy!! It takes a strong person to be able to be the bigger person.

    Life can only get better from here on out … I’m looking forward to being a part of that adventure!

  3. January 15, 2019 / 3:51 pm

    I’m so proud of the strength you’ve shown through all of this, and that you never let what happened impact your sparkle or optimism for the future. I’m a firm believer in what will be will be, and that everything happens for a reason – and this was a test you had to pass through to get to something better on the other side. You’re fabulous darling, and you’ll have the best life ever with someone who values you in the way you deserve to be valued. H x

  4. Jess
    January 15, 2019 / 4:06 pm

    What a stunningly beautiful blog post. If i could hug you through a screen I would, but then again, you’ve probably had your fair share of hugs. I’ve had to start again this year although my circumstances were completely different. Just know that you are doing so so well and are incredibly strong.

    xoxo
    Jess
    The Crown Wings | UK Travel & Lifestyle Blog

  5. Rex
    January 15, 2019 / 4:28 pm

    Thanks for your honesty you’re always so bubbly so onwards and upwards x

  6. Heather
    January 15, 2019 / 6:08 pm

    Love this Debs, you are strong and also wise as not holding onto bitterness is the best revenge ever! Love that you have been able take the crap that has been dealt to you and come back with positivity and help for others goes to show what kind of person you are! Keep being your lovely you!! xx

  7. Stephanie
    January 15, 2019 / 6:32 pm

    This is a fantastic post and I think it shows everyone just how dignified you are as a person. Wishing you nothing but happiness in 2019.

  8. January 15, 2019 / 6:48 pm

    You are amazing, strong and unstoppable. Always cheering you on 🤗

  9. Susan White
    January 15, 2019 / 6:56 pm

    You are strong. Take strength and courage from your friends, gather your girls around you and go out into the world and have fun. When I went through this I was in my 40s with 2 children and thought my life, my future was over. After a while I realised that I was really happy being single and started to really enjoy life. You must remember nothing stays the same, things change and your happiness will ge back 10fold. I believe everything happens for a reason and just like me your time will come to fly…..You go girl xxx

  10. Emma
    January 15, 2019 / 7:04 pm

    Beautifully raw piece of writing. Not sure what else to say except sending hugs. Break ups suck no matter if you’re expecting them or not so I wish you oodles of happiness for the future. xx

  11. Gemma
    January 15, 2019 / 7:05 pm

    Thank you so much for writing this, I am going something very similar (actually incredibly similar!) and to know there are other people going through the same as you is so encouraging. Stay strong & I look forward to more blog posts Gxxx

  12. Sam @47west
    January 15, 2019 / 7:09 pm

    Darling Debs –

    You know I just think you’re an inspiration –

    Thankyou for sharing…
    I’ve just turned 38 – I have been exactly where you are and yet sadly, I think so many other women either also will have or may be in the future.
    There are no words to help when we are living the pain – but small comfort in the knowledge that things get brighter when time passes.

    Thankyou for kindly sharing your heart and soul – it is so heart felt it will undoubtedly be a tonic to so many other women.

    Standing strong honey and woman to woman I think everyone reading this will agree – “We are with you”

    I’ve said in the past –

    The rain is needed for the flowers to grow.

    You are such a beautiful lady inside and out.
    Sharing this is about new beginnings for you to bloom and grow now.

    Just keep being you Debs – we all think you are ace!

    Lots of love
    Sam xxx

  13. Marina bylett
    January 15, 2019 / 7:28 pm

    You are young , beautiful and your life will go on don’t waste your precious time on want has happened look to the future .. its hard but you will be ok
    Take care and keep strong x

  14. Emma
    January 15, 2019 / 7:31 pm

    So pleased you shared this! It not only helps you but others also. Thank you x

  15. Abi
    January 15, 2019 / 7:32 pm

    Along with every other comment – beautifully written raw honest and balanced and thoughtful.

    I think this will positively help and support a lot of people
    out there without you even realising

    Looking positively forward to further posts x

  16. Simona
    January 15, 2019 / 7:45 pm

    Hey,
    It’s my first time on your blog. I saw Emma’s post and decided to take a look. I went through something similar, but very very similar. It felt like you have put all my thoughts on paper. I can relate to everything except I wasn’t married. We had 7 years together and plans to get married.
    Well done, you are a brave woman x

  17. Jen
    January 15, 2019 / 7:47 pm

    A beautifully honest post!

  18. Katie O
    January 15, 2019 / 7:59 pm

    Wow, sounds like we had the same 2018. I’ve honestly never read your blog, but will be a die hard reader from now on. I can identify with this so much it hurts and I almost broke my “no crying 2019” rule (since I cried my eyes dry for half of 2018). Things are still hard for me, but they are getting easier. I hope things are for you too. Hoping for a much brighter 2019 for us both!

  19. Lorraine
    January 15, 2019 / 8:10 pm

    I love this! I’m also divorced and can relate to every word and every feeling. It’s a very tough time and in some ways continues to be. A new chapter in the book awaits and until we get there no one knows how it will end so enjoy your new found independence and control of the tv remote! Xx

  20. Geri
    January 15, 2019 / 8:39 pm

    A brilliantly written post that touched on so many of the emotions I’ve encountered since separating from my husband 12 months ago. The sadness, the embarrassment and the uncertainty are all there along with what I can only describe as a form of grief for the loss of the relationship and the memories which like you say, pop up at the strangest moment. Thank you for sharing this. x

  21. January 15, 2019 / 9:54 pm

    Just beautifulky written; honest, raw and incredibly dignified x

  22. Izze
    January 15, 2019 / 10:02 pm

    Thank you! Simply thank you. Beautifully written.
    I am going thru a break up right now. After ten years,an affair and dragged out break up,lies and 2 counceling Sessions,he ended it during the 2nd Session. So you gave my feelings a voice!
    Wishing you all the best!!!

  23. Sarah
    January 15, 2019 / 10:08 pm

    I don’t know you, but what I do know from reading your beautifully written article… is that you are indeed a kind , honest woman with dignity and grace… who fought hard to save what was so very Precious to you.. Your husband will in time realise that he let someone very special go, as the saying goes’you never know what you’ve got till its gone’ Look around you, Mister Right is out there ready to snap you up…

  24. Tracy
    January 15, 2019 / 10:09 pm

    Debs…. such a thoughtful, honest and painful read but thank you for your open heart…. and remember in all this …you are enough

    Those of us who follow your blogs, instagram etc etc … we are there as an extra support… your extended blog fam! We are the family you don’t see often but still care and support you ❤️❤️❤️

  25. Sarah
    January 15, 2019 / 10:11 pm

    Beautifully written post. Your honesty and bravery in sharing will help many. The way you’ve handled such a difficult situation is a testament to you as a person. You should be proud x

  26. Kirsten
    January 15, 2019 / 11:04 pm

    Thank you for this. In a world of bloggers with seemingly perfect lives, it’s good to read some honest and authentic words.
    I went through a break up of a long term relationship too last year. All of your words resonate with me.
    I find socialising with other friends, with their husbands and family difficult as I compare myself to them, and why I’m not in that situation. Getting used to a different lifestyle as a single person will get easier. I hope.
    I look forward to reading more of what’s to come!

  27. Emma
    January 15, 2019 / 11:32 pm

    You’re a strong, inspiring lady Debs. Amazingly honest. Here’s to a bright 2019 xx

  28. Sue
    January 16, 2019 / 1:17 am

    Wonderfully, well written, honest article.
    I went through a breakup 12 months after getting married, it was so difficult to live with the constant threats to leave, if I didn’t do/say everything to his liking. So I made the decision to leave, I could not live with the uncertainity, the not knowing if I did something to bother him he may be out the door and having a family in that type of environment would never work.
    That was back in 2002, so I spent a while enjoying life, rediscovering who I was, left my job and travelled abroad. Then when I least expected it I met and married a great man and we now have 2 children. I count my blessings that I walked away from that and hope find your peace and happiness, where ever that may be. xxx

  29. Jen
    January 16, 2019 / 4:47 am

    Its quite sad when we breakoff. But that’s not the end of life. Stay strong. Time will heal you. I’m glad you share it on social media. It’s not easy to do so. You’re bold and very brave. With this boldness go and conquer this world. Don’t care about what ppl say. They will always judge you. Love from India

  30. Danish Pastry
    January 16, 2019 / 7:44 am

    This is similar to my own story! Why do they have to deceitful and unable to make a decision? It just draws out the whole process, and makes it more painful – my partner only ended it because some close friends told him he had to make up his mind before my birthday, We’d been together for 7 years, and had got engaged the year before. But even after we’d sold the house and moved apart, he turned up asking if we could still “see each other”, and that his new girlfriend meant nothing to him (despite the fact hed been unfaithful with her, and she’d split up her own family including 2 kids, for him – they’ve since married)! He denied all the way through he’d lied, even though I’d found evidence of this. I told him politely that hell would freeze over before that was going to happen.
    This is 16 years ago, and if I met my ex today I might even say thank you, it was a wake-up call. If things hadn’t ended how they did, when they did I may never have met my husband. Although I still think he could have handled it better and more honestly. My husband went through a similar experience with his ex, so our experiences have helped make us stronger and not accept B.S. from anyone.
    I suppose what I’m trying to say is that you can get over this and have a fulfilling and happy life. It takes time, and there will probably be tears along the way, but it is totally do-able.

  31. Rosalie
    January 16, 2019 / 3:53 pm

    What a brave and helpful article you share. Time will heal everything. xx

  32. Christine
    January 16, 2019 / 5:45 pm

    Hi!
    I’m here because of Emma’s hint and found this beautifully and so authentically written post. It’s exactly what I went through five years ago. Especially the fear about having to start again I know so well. But you’re right: Making choices about your future is the way you will start again and will make you happy again. All the best!

  33. Elle B
    January 16, 2019 / 6:46 pm

    Wonderfully written and explained. Had somewhat of a similar situation myself last year so I know where you’re coming from. Good on you for having the courage to write this post (and so eloquently too). I’m almost a full year on, living a life I sometimes don’t recognise but I do know I wouldn’t and couldn’t go back there and that keeps me going (that and my fur baby).
    Onwards and upwards

  34. A New Yorker ❤️
    January 18, 2019 / 5:29 pm

    Stay strong. I’ve been there (12 years ago), and sympathize with every emotion you have had. Take time to love, and be good, to yourself. It will make you even stronger, and ready for your next relationship, as well as more of life’s ups and downs to come in general.

    The saying “time heals all wounds” is true.

  35. January 23, 2019 / 8:24 pm

    A brilliant, brave post. You’ve got yourself a new follower. All the best for the next stage of your journey, Debs: everybody here is rooting for you.

    x

  36. January 29, 2019 / 6:11 am

    This must really make you sad, stay strong. I’ve also felt it. You can tell everything, but I have never dared to tell on my blog. Maybe you can relax a little where you like. blumbergclinics.nl

  37. March 10, 2019 / 9:43 am

    You’ve been recommended to me on the #SundayBlogReading chat and I am so pleased that I have found you. Your words have resonated with me so much and this piece is so powerful. I’m so happy that you are able to speak about it because it has made you stronger.

    I’m looking forward to reading more :)

    Anoushka

    • Bang on Style
      Author
      March 14, 2019 / 9:55 pm

      Thank you lovely xxxx

  38. March 31, 2019 / 12:41 pm

    So sorry to hear about your marriage break up, it’s so brave of you to open up and talk about it. Xx

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