The SW Experts | Dear Sybersue: I Want to Start Dating Again after my Divorce but I Feel Old & Unattractive!
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Dear Sybersue: I Want to Start Dating Again after my Divorce but I Feel Old & Unattractive!

Dear Sybersue- dating after divorce


Hi Sybersue,

I am a big fan of your talk show and have been watching many of your videos to help get me out of this self sabotaging stage I seem to be stuck in since my marriage ended 1 year ago.  I am 38 years old with 2 children ages 9 and 12.  My 45 year old husband ended the relationship because he said he was tired of my sweat pant wardrobe and that I never wanted to do anything. OK he is right about the clothing part but his idea of “doing something” is rock climbing on a vertical slab 2000 ft up, ice camping in the Rockies or hiking up Mount Everest! He’s obsessed and fanatical about staying in shape and is not happy just going for a bike ride or playing basketball with the kids!  A long romantic walk on the beach would never be a part of his online dating profile I can assure you of that!  He verbally bashes me anytime he can, which is usually about my appearance or my nursing career. He hates it that I take care of anyone but him! To be honest, I am relieved we have ended our 15 year partnership as even my children were fed up with having to be a part of all his fear factor day treks and need for control!

So…the main reason I am writing is because I seem to have developed a self esteem issue about my physical appearance and taken on the attitude of “who would want me!”  I cut myself down at any given chance and can’t stand to see my own reflection in the mirror right now.  I used to be a beautiful confident woman up until about 3 years ago when my relationship started going downhill.  My husband hasn’t really looked at me in a sensual way since he had an affair with a 27 year old a few years back.  (I found out through a friend who happened to see them out a few times.) When I confronted him he didn’t deny it but said he stop seeing her if I was more sexual towards him. It didn’t seem to matter when I was 3 years ago; he still stepped out on our marriage!

Since then I gave up and figured what’s the point? He still found someone else he preferred, no matter how many sexy outfits I wore, how many sexting messages I sent or how pretty I did my hair for him.  He just constantly threw her in my face and complained about everything at home.  He also repeatedly said how much older I looked than my 38 years! I am grateful to say that men still look at me and I am not over weight but I still don’t know how I can get past this self defeating place I have put myself in. What is wrong with me and how can I change this.  I would like to meet someone and have a “real” relationship one day!


Kristina B.


Hi Kristina,

I am so glad you wrote because there are many other women who feel this way when a long term relationship ends.  It takes time to build yourself back up after this type of scenario and even the strongest women have self esteem issues after a break up.  Throw an affair in the mix and it can set a person back for a very long time dealing with the hurt and rejection they feel.

So let’s talk about your ex husband.  I don’t know his name but he sounds like a Dick so let’s use that to refer to him in this advice column from now on. Dick has some serious control issues here and he has been playing with your self-worth. He is not a partner; he is an all or nothing guy with everything having to be ALL his way. He even puts this onto his children with how he controls what day to day activities the family has to participate in.  Dick is 45 and is the one having the real problem dealing with his age and looks! He threw those comments at you because of his own “fear of getting old” demons! His affair was all about that ~ soothing his aging ego! Many of the things that your husband rudely verbalized to you are really about him.  He started to squash you because he felt crappy about himself!

[Tweet “Only include positive people in your day to day activities #Truth”]

The fact that you felt good about yourself up until the affair 3 years ago is a good sign that you can find your way back to that place again. You just have to erase that negative programming that your husband kept feeding you in those last few years together. Due to his own aging insecurities and maybe some guilt, he was trying to drag you down to make himself feel better. Think of the cliché “Misery Loves Company.”

You need to change your surroundings and only include positive people in your day to day activities. I am sure the nursing helps a little and thank God you had that to escape to over the years. I have huge respect for nurses! Go out and do all those little things that were beneath your husband’s outrageous demands. You’re free to do as you please now and how liberating that must feel to you. Take back your power that Dick stole from you and be thankful that you have a new stage of your life to look forward to!

You’re young and beautiful and there is someone out there for you but you have to make the effort to get out to meet them. You are worthy of love so start visualizing yourself in a loving happy place. Your children need to see this from you too as they want to see their mother doing well. When you’re happy they’re happy. The next time you walk by that mirror I want you to look at yourself and say “I am a beautiful woman inside and out” at least 2-3 times per day. I promise you in a short time you will start to believe it again and you will not give Dick’s bullying comments another thought.  Dick who?

Go get ‘em girl and keep me posted on how you are doing! Thanks for watching my videos!

Sybersue <3

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