I’m a newly-divorced mother of two, working full-time, with sole custody.
Our 15-year marriage was very lonely, yet I did everything, including therapy, to save it.
I’m grateful that I have a very close relationship with my ex-husband’s family and my own, plus much support.
Despite my life being much better since the divorce and a good routine with the children, I sometimes feel very lonely.
I’m craving intimacy and a deep relationship with someone.
However, I have very little time for myself and am usually too tired to go out. No-strings sex doesn’t appeal to me.
Online dating scares me. I’d much rather meet someone in real life, to get to know as a friend. Most of my friends are married.
Stuck in Work/Kids/Sleep
“Lonely” is the repeat theme here despite feeling you improved your life.
Now you need to focus on improving your post-divorce situation without getting mired in missing a relationship.
Use your family supports to take a break from routine and inertia.
Depending on the kids’ ages, spend at least one weekday night on being out with friends, going to a gym, doing something “different” and energizing like joining a tennis clinic, etc.
Then allow yourself one weekend night for trying online dating (be specific in your profile: e.g. “looking for friendship first”) or going to a group social event (kids’ sleepover night with grandparents?).
Post-divorce living and socializing call for adjustments: Try new approaches, and avoid retreating from the efforts required to get out the door.
I recently moved from my detached home to a townhouse complex. I don’t know my neighbours well other than a quick hello, which is difficult sometimes as English isn’t their first language.
They’re a husband/wife/two young kids with one set of parents living with them.
Understanding that townhome walls are thin, I've accepted hearing their children run up and down the stairs and noises throughout the day.
However, there’s been an increased amount of noise at night, generally starting around 10:30pm-11pm in the room behind my bedroom.
(I work shifts and thus try to be in bed by 10:30pm).
I hear chairs being dragged (to a table?), drawers slamming, cutlery clanging, doors slamming and banging (like heavy weights being dropped on the floor).
I respect that different cultures may eat/sleep at different times, but it’s becoming very disruptive to myself and family.
It awakens my young child and has prevented me falling asleep. I’ve even been awakened at 2/3am.
I’ve used fans as white noise to try to drown out their sounds and I occasionally use a sleep aid.
I don’t know how much longer I can put up with this.
Am I in the wrong to want to address this and if not, what ‘s the most appropriate way to do so?
Young and Restless!
You have a right to inquire about middle-of-night noises, but going about it delicately is essential to trying to avoid a major clash of needs and cultural differences (if that’s really a factor here).
Look into the municipal noise laws for your area, in case they’re of any help in seeking some accommodations.
Next, inquire of the neighbour on the other side of their townhouse whether they’re experiencing similar noise disturbance. If yes, you have backup for a polite but strong request more consideration.
If nothing improves, seek legal advice to decide how to explain the seriousness of the nighttime disturbances to your neighbours and to negotiate some solutions agreeable to both sides.
FEEDBACK Regarding the letter from the man whose wife of two years left him and plans to seek support to raise their young son (December 7):
Reader – “You suggested that he seek a lawyer and "do everything legally possible" to see his child regularly.
“Rather than just access I think men should be encouraged to seek custody of their children. Joint custody is more common now, and children benefit enormously from close relationships with both parents.”
Ellie – I agree completely, that children of separated and divorced parents are likely to be better adjusted and emotionally secure if they have close supportive relationships with both parents.
This divorce was an extreme situation. Since the letter-writer couldn’t even get his ex-wife to answer his calls, it was so unlikely that she’d agree to shared custody that I focused on his starting to at least get regular access to his young son.
Tip of the day:
Avoid loneliness by joining friends and group activities on a regular basis.