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I didn't get married until I was 38. It was my first and so far only marriage, and I kind of felt that I should have known what I was doing by then. You know, career first, marriage and kids, second. my Ex was 35, and it was his first marriage as well.

For two grown-ups we certainly managed to make a big old mess of things — so much for maturity with age.

Of course, in Northeast Louisiana, I found that most women who were my age had teenagers and some were already grandmothers. So, when I also became pregnant for the first time at 38, I was definitely considered an odd bird.

However, the advantages to marrying "late," so to speak, are many. If you've been alone, you've learned how to handle a car jack and can change a tire in under 30 minutes. If you've been alone for the first 15 years of your professional career, you've learned how to rent moving trucks, how to pack like a pro, and how to drive a 26-foot U-Haul van pulling your car behind it.

You have repaired a leaky faucet, unclogged a bathtub drain, and replaced various and sundry household fixtures and appliance parts. You've had to be self-sufficient.

The chores of life I can handle on my own. What I find I miss the most is the emotional support. For no matter how bad my marriage was, and mine was very bad, I could at least count on Stinky to be there, another warm body that could help ease the troubles of life. Don't get me wrong, under no circumstances would I want that life or him back. What I miss is the sharing.

Living with someone makes life easier. Two incomes, two sets of hands, two drivers. Two people to help get the kids to school, ball practice, parties — I lived a life where there was a mother and a father, a son and a daughter.

But with so many of us, we have found ourselves completely alone with no one to turn to or to count on except, well, except ourselves. It's lonely, and sometimes it wears even the toughest of us completely down to the bone. It's our world now.

We didn't ask for it. It happened to us.

But here's the good part — we have each other. In the midst of our worst day, when we've been ill and still had to go to work, when our less than friendly neighbor has called us to cuss us out because our dog accidentally got out again and they can't tolerate the fact that we have done the unthinkable — my God, we've broken the leash law (what is the world coming to for Christ's Sake?) — even on these days, we must take heart. We are not alone. We have each other. We're communicating every day to women just like us who are hurting, sad, confused, lonely.

What a great world we have here at First Wives World.

I am so very proud and very blessed to be a part of it. There. I feel better, now.

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4 comments

  • Comment Link Guest Monday, 28 January 2013 00:02 posted by Guest

    Learning to live solo: Yes, not having a live pillow to hug, get emotional support from and share burdens is so so very hard. I have been on my own for 4 years and have one son 11 years who shuttles between father and me. I have learnt to cope with most things but when I am sick or feeling lonely - life sucks. There is just no remedy for this. I have no family support whatsoever and friends seem busy with their own lives. Life can be hell and pointless at times. Living solo is the most difficult thing for a divorced woman.

  • Comment Link Guest Monday, 14 January 2013 11:45 posted by Guest

    Totally agree. I miss the: Totally agree. I miss the smell of after-shave, and someone to empty the bins and move furniture....BUT I d not miss the second-guessing of hir whereabouts, tryin to reason with him or his bad habits. I miss somone, but not HIM. I guess time will be a healer. Let's hope so!

  • Comment Link Guest Monday, 14 January 2013 05:32 posted by Guest

    our wishes dont come true....: i'm overwhelmed by reading ur article....sometimes perhaps we wish too much 4 ourselves....we want love, support ,family, children....everything...but we 4get that our destinies often dont support us at all....the picture in our minds f wat our lives cud hv bin, torment us a lot.....i also am somewat similar 2 u ....i wanted a husband, children & much more....i had an idea that this was quite normal wich every woman shud get.....but didnt know that fate had sumthing else rittn 4 me....in order 2 keep our fundamental rights & self-respect intact, we now hv 2 sacrifice a lot--that longing 4 support, a hug that wud say 2 me that he loves me....every hope & dream that i had about a marital life in my mind......now the condition is such that i feel either i wud get my own rights 2 life wich wud allow me 2 live a life of dignity or i wud get such a life wer i wud hv a husband but nothing else.....i wud always feel like a slave....

  • Comment Link Guest Sunday, 13 January 2013 21:16 posted by Guest

    Learning to Live Solo: Thanks for this. I am adjusting to living on my own also. It is lonely sometimes but now it is starting to be more exciting then scary for me. I was with my ex since I was a teenager and married my whole adult life so now I have my first bit of freedom. Your bit about your neighbors made me smile because I had one of mine come over screaming and yelling at me about my son parking in front of her house. My goodness, you would have thought it was the end of the world as we know it! Silly, petty people have no idea just how bad life can get in an instant with no warning at all. But we do have this site and each other and we will all be just fine. If we take care of our selves and give ourselves time to heal we will still have good lives. Maybe not the life we planned but in some ways even better. Happy New Year everyone!