Few things can feel as emotionally devastating as the end of a long term relationship. All the time you've invested can feel like a waste when you're busy packing things up and figuring out how to restart your life. (I've gone through this once myself, and trust me, it's hard.)

After Redditor Bma1500 asked the online community, "Folks whose long term relationships/marriages ended, what surprised you the most about suddenly navigating life as a single person again?" people shared their stories of hope and resilience after breaking up. It's probably the balm some of you need at this moment in time.

"We were together since we were young..."

How much of my life was dedicated to the relationship. My schedule, my hobbies, my sleep hours, my feeding. Everything changed after our marriage ended. We were together since we were young so I think it was natural our life's were tied to some degree but not so much. I had to start over most of my life, like if I was starting a new character on a video-game.


"Took me months..."

Suddenly not having someone to talk to in between everything else you do. I never realised that at every free moment I would pull out my phone and have messages to reply to from my SO which meant I was always busy.

Suddenly, I had nothing to do in the gaps between. Took me months to retrain my brain not to immediately reach for my phone and open up messenger. Who the hell am I going to tell about all the mundane, inconsequential but amusing stories and anecdotes that happen throughout my day now?


"How quickly my ex and I..."


How quickly my ex and I became friends. I thought we would resent each other and be hateful, but it turned out we are better off as buddies. Now his wife is one of my best friends and our kids adore each other.


"I am not only capable..."

How capable I am! My ex convinced me I needed him to take care of things around the house. Once he left, I made bookcases, used the chainsaw on the woodpile, took a long camping road trip alone, spread 18 cubic yards of mulch in 3 days, fixed the bathroom sink stopper, replaced the "guts" in the toilet tank, saved more money than ever before, and so much more. I am not only capable of doing more around the house, but I can also do it all better and faster.


"Literally the moment..."

Literally the moment when the judge pronounced us as divorced after 33 years of marriage, the thought struck me: I can do whatever I damn well want and I can reshape my future now.


"I was much more..."

I was much more confident and successful as a single parent. I made better decisions and leaving him was one of those.


"I had forgotten..."

I had forgotten how couples biased the whole world is. People will invite you and your partner to go along on some event, out to dinner, whatever, but you alone? Nope. It's socially isolating to be single in a time when you would, theoretically, want to be more social.

I'm actually happy single, but I miss some of my married friends and doing shit with them. It's like I have to remind them I'm alive.


"A more depressing one..."

How little I have to empty the rubbish bins was quite shocking, a lot of the time now I don't even have to put the bins out for collection. A more depressing one is how many of my friends didn't come to see if I was ok or even ask. I am ok but that's not the point, i feel like I had always been there for all them whenever they had troubles. Oh well, lesson learned I suppose.


"On the other hand..."

How every single part of my life was impregnated with the presence of my ex. My hobbies, my friends, all my hanging out places... All carried significant memories of our time together.

On the other hand, it also meant that I ended up going out and meeting new people in new places so I didn't end up constantly being reminded of my past relationship... And met who would eventually become my wife.


"Contrary to other responses here..."

The expense. Contrary to other responses here, being with someone for almost twenty years and sharing all costs, suddenly trying to live on my own salary drove me into a lot of debt. Now under debt review and trying very hard to live within my means (not easy in a 3rd world country).


Image by Mary Pahlke from Pixabay

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