I had what my friends have: a spouse, children, a home. My friends’ families and mine visited each other, and the grown-ups talked about kid things, house things, and (privately in twos) spouse things.
Now my wife is divorcing me. It's not what I wanted, but there it is.
My wife lives in our house with our children: they have dinner together and play with the dog and watch TV together. I’m about to move into a small apartment with no spouse, no children, no dog, no TV.
My friends used to think of me and my wife as the “veterans” of our circle because our teenage children as so much older than their kids, but now, I feel like I’m the odd person out. Worse, I feel like my friends are living busy, responsible, 24/7-child-focused lives, and not only am I still trying to get < parenting time > set up to see my children, I’m also out of work.
I know that in time, things will come: I’ll get a job, I’ll get time with my children, and we’ll establish a routine. I’m still their father, I still have children, and my friends don’t think any less of me – they are, in fact, concerned about me and support me.
I haven’t lived on my own in more than 20 years. I know I must think about myself and my life and what I want it to be, but when I’m down, I feel less “adult” than my friends, even though I'm 45.
Does anyone have any advice on how to cope with these feelings, even if it’s just affirmations to tell myself?