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It's all come back(16 Posts)
I have been separated for over four years now. I now recognise the marriage as emotionally abusive in many ways. Shortly after splitting from my ex-H I got involved with a man who turned out to be untrustworthy in many ways but I ended it and enjoyed being single since then. I've spent some enjoyable time on my own with the odd casual fling/dating etc. I have a decent job, my own house, teenage children. Recently met someone and it all feels more serious and with potential to be longer term. He treats me well, we have fun together, he is very caring, gentle and considerate and it's all enjoyable.
However, at the weekend I was looking through some old photographs from the time I was married and got a shock at my appearance. I was very thin and also looked quite beautiful but had a sad and kind of haunted look in my eyes in many (including wedding photos). Seeing these photos has brought back a lot of the trauma of my marriage. I feel sad for the person I was and also shame that I 'let' it happen. It's affecting my current relationship as I feel reluctant to get further involved, despite having strong feelings for him. I want to talk to my current partner but I am scared of opening myself up. He knows that there is something on my mind. The other day I was really low and he asked me what it was but I couldn't tell him. He hugged me and then we did something nice together to take my mind off it. I don't know what to do.
I don't have the answer but I feel the same and would love to know what to do
Have you done the Freedom Programme? I would recommend that too. But yes, counselling would be my advice also.
I have done the FP online and I'm signing up for workshops starting in April. I really felt that I had worked through all this and then suddenly it hit me again. I have now worked on some of the automatic, unhelpful thoughts that I was having around this and I've opened up a bit with my BF. I also have a problem saying 'I love you' because of a stumbling block relating to my ex - basically I found a whole screen of 'I love you' and kisses that he sent to another woman. When I challenged him he said that it didn't mean 'I love you' and that he didn't love her....OMFG! I find it difficult not to think of that when a man says that to me.
Ok, so I say this with kindness....you are going to have to get over it. If you don't, your Ex is going to haunt you, for the rest of your life, and ruin any chance of you ever finding happiness again. Do NOT let him have this power. He took some of your past. Don't let him rob you of a future.
I was with my ExH for 20 years, and he cheated on me the whole time. He also assaulted me on a few occasions. It's over. Done. I could look back with "what if's", but what's the point? It is what it is.
I am now happily remarried, to a lovely man, who I know would never cheat. I had trust issues at first, but soon realised that not all men are pigs! Some men are bloody lovely and I just hadn't picked well the first time around.
Please throw yourself in to this lovely new relationship. Don't look back. Just look forward. You deserve for the rest of your life to be happy.
I think it's really tough to trust love again after you've been deeply hurt - it fundamentally changes you as a person & I found that I struggled to trust my own judgement.
My marriage ended after my exH had an affair - he blamed me for it all & said some hideous things to me. Even 3.5 years later, he still can be an arse.
I didn't suffer any abuse as such, so I can't comment on that - but building a relationship now takes some effort from me. I tend to be quite guarded and have the odd day where I doubt that my new chap won't turn out to be another liar and a cheat. However, he has been nothing but consistent, open & incredibly easy - it is slowly breaking down my barriers. I think the fact that we are taking things slowly is enormously helpful.
There is always a risk involved with love & I suppose it's about taking that risk - I really fear having my heart broken again, but one thing I know is that I got through it after my marriage ended & it has made me stronger in some ways. I don't want to go through it again, but I know u will survive if I do.
I think just give yourself time & be gentle with yourself. Accept that there will be blips along the way as you went through something very traumatic, but you are stronger, more resilient & you survived.
Just do more of the nice things together. You will trust each other more. The issues in your first marriage will be put into context, diminish maybe. The sack on your back will get lighter. You will roll those problems up into little balls and then toss them away together.
Aw thanks everyone for your kind words of encouragement. I am loving this new relationship and having a good time. It's just from time to time my fears rise to the surface. I am strong and resilient. It's so strange to be with someone who actually cares and puts me first, who doesn't make a drama out of everything and who is actually interested in what I want after being married to such a selfish self-serving man for so long and then being on my own for a good while. I can hardly believe it...I think I need to enjoy the ride!
Yes, enjoy it! It's your time. I was the same as you when I met DH. Felt very nervous. I checked his lap top and phone for evidence of cheating....ridiculous! My old demons haunting me. Never found a thing. Been together 8 years later this year, and he has never let me down, not once. Always does what he says. I should call him Ronseal really. Does what he says on the tin! Oh, and here's the funny bit. He's way way better looking than the first Husband who cheated! First Husband was scrawny, 5 ft 7, skinny and weak.....DH is 6 ft 3, got a Rugby players body, dark hair, so handsome! Aah. ENJOY!
Aw thanks Blonde...and good for you....Your DH sounds gorgeous. My new fella also 6'3" and yummmmmmmm x
Just chat to,your DP and tell him that if you open up to him this means you are giving him a level of trust you find very hard to let go of. Explain how it makes you feel. Then if you think he will be supportive and not do a runner bite the bullet and open the floodgates. If he stays he's worth it, if he doesn't he never was X
Working on it...so far, so good...I've told him some of what went on in my marriage and he was concerned, quite shocked and assures me he won't do anything like that. I still can't bring myself to say 'I love you'. But he's backed off a bit on that...he does say it sometimes (usually when we've had a few drinks) but it feels less pressured now and I'm starting to trust that there's no catch.
I'd make space privately to think about it, write about it and generally process it. Too many people go through things like this and act like nothing happened, expecting it to just fade away into the past. But it doesn't, it's like a wound that needs treating in my view. X
Therapy is really the only way forward, I know what people here are saying in "don't look back", but looking back, from a place of strength and safety, with someone who is understanding of you is the best way of facing your fear safely, challenging it and then see who you are today;
I know is a lot of effort, but you're undoing all the effort of your twisted abuser...
Keep posting, mumsnet is a brilliant help to us victims of abuse.
Thank you! Writing about it is a good idea...as is therapy. I agree, it's not fading away. In fact, I feel like it's getting more prominent. I feel like I was in survival mode for so long that now I'm not, I find it difficult to know how to get on. Although I enjoy the company of new BF, I feel I need a lot of time on my own. I'm good at being strong but I'd like to relax now. In some ways it's getting worse even though I feel more comfortable with new BF.
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