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Help me to make sense of this, please!

(9 Posts)
InNeedOfSense Sun 19-May-13 09:30:33

Hello there, I am a longstanding MNer and (lately) a serial namechanger. I've posted in Reltionships before when my marriage was hitting the skids, and you lot were absolute lifesavers, truly. You kept me sane in my saddest moments and gave me the courage to cope. So truly, thank you. flowers This might get a bit long - I'll try not to ramble too much.

Anyway, here's the next episode in my life...so, I'm separated from husband, sep[arated about 6 months ago, not yet divorced or started proceedings. H wants to me to divorce him for unreasonable behaviour so that he can move on and find a new woman. I havent gone ahead with this yet, initially because spillting wasn't my idea and it fells / felt all wrong for e to intiate divorce when I was the one who did all I could to keep the marriage together. At the time I said to h and everyone else that I had no intention of finding a Mr New myself. I've done a bit more thinking about all this and am now starting to think that maybe intiating divorce would be okay, maybe my saying I don't want to start it is actually my sticking my head in the sand and trying to pretend it's not going to happen. I have absolutely no desire to get back together with h, and I'm under no illusions that he wants to get back with him - I think I have some sort of fear of divorce, maybe from my religious background, combined with all the leaglese of it - I'm a bit scared of courts of law, etc. So I'm seeing a very good counsellor every week and working through all the stuff from my marriage, which is bloody heartbreaking, tbh. I am getting on much better with h now that we're not together, he's being v. good with the dc and doing nice little things for me. I'm seeing (again) that he is not a bad person, he was just a terrible husband to me. I think and hope he could be a better husband to someone else, and I'm absolutely okay with that.

So, as well as all this going on, completely without meaning to, I've gone and fallen for someone else. Really, really nice guy, good fun, single, lots in common, known him for a while, while I was still married, just lovely. I think he likes me too, and it feels so weird to be back in that teenage world confused. I'm so happy living partnerless with the dc, I work ft, I have loads of interests and lots going on in my life, I have enough money and a lovely house, so it's not that I am lonely or feel that I 'need' a man; I have no desire to 'date' or seek out a new partner. I just really, really like this one! grin He lives an hour's drive away from me and we've met up in groups of friends a few times.

So one of the things I'm trying to work out is whether I'm kidding myself, imaginging things, or whether he does like me. So, here's the stuff...Last time I saw him, which was for a kind of weekend houseparty, when I first got there and said hi to him, we hugged and did the kiss on cheek, and he said hello but his voice went all out of control grin and nervy.

That night in a smaller group we went out to dinner then he (lovely guy) and I stayed up talking v. late. He invited me to stay with him later this summer and asked if he could come and visit me. I said yes, that'd be lovely, then was awake literally the whole night in a complete state smile Next morning we were in a bigger group and I just caught him staring at me, and did that quick-look-away pretend I wasn't checking him out thing. I had a moment when I was talking to another male friend who was asking if I'd ilke to stay single or meet someone, and I said 'well, it'd have to be someone pretty special to sweep my off my feet' and did that involuntary flicking my head towards lovely guy. I felt so stupd afterwards. blush Lovely guy and I talked quite a bit together over the weekend, nothing sexual at all and nothing to do with my exh either, just lots of getting to know each other. As I left, he repeated the invitation to stay at his, and put a date on it, and I repeated that it'd be lovely if he could come over here some time.

I know that if I were reading this I'd say it was obvious that he fancies me, but tbh, my exh was sexually abusive and the more I go into this with the counsellor, the worse I realise it was. I've only ever slept with exh (I was a virgin when I got married) and exh was always telling me that I wasn't good enough, and I'm realising that I've never had sex with someone who really loves me for who I am. How sad. sad I'm blubbing now, writing this. So somewhere deep inside me, I can't believe that anyone would fancy me. I've always felt so sexually inadequate, and so unattractive. I look in the mirror and see someone quite good looking, quite stylish, even a bit sexy maybe, and I know that I'm a nice, fun person with lots of friends and I get on well with everyone - yet I still feel so second-best becaues of exh. sad If I did get together with lovely guy, it'd almost be like being a virgin, becaues all the sex I've had so far in my life has been so weird and unloving that I don't know how I'd be in a normal, loving relationship.

The other thing is that feeling so bowled over by lovely guy has brought back all the feelings I had fo exh when I first met him all those yaers ago - it's been so crap with exh for such a long time that I'd forgotten just how smitten I was when I first met him, but it's like a physical memory, how I feel now is the same potent chemical mix that I had when I first met exh, and I haven't felt this for nearly 20 yrs ( I got married young). So in a weird way, it's adding a different layer of grief and reminding me of how I really did love / fancy exh once. It's also making me think that if I felt all this for exh and he turned out to be so abusive, can I trust the same feelings for lovely guy, or might he turn out to be the same? I'm also going through all the feelings about divorce and remarriage which is a bit of an issue from a religious POV. I blubbed all over a v. religious (actually, a priest) friend who told me that I shouldn't feel guilty and should feel free to divorce and go on to have other relationships. I know I'm very vulnerable, despite appearances (good job, etc etc) and lovely guy, I'm sure, knows that too. But where do I go from here? I need to contact him to sort out when we're going to see each othe next, but feel so completely nervy confused. If you've read this far, flowers wine brew.

MushroomSoup Sun 19-May-13 09:51:16

And...breathe.

This is all right, and good and normal.

It's time to just move onto into the 'new space' that's ahead of you. You can divorce immediately, or not - there's no rush (if ex wants to rush it, let him do the donkey work.)

Enjoy your time with new man. You're right to be wary but not to be terrified. One step at a time! It's exciting and you're going to be FABULOUS again!!

InNeedOfSense Sun 19-May-13 09:56:50

Thank you smile I do need to breathe! grin

God, you've got me blubbing again! grin

sleeton Sun 19-May-13 10:34:43

I would agree with everything MushroomSoup said.

Just wanted to emphasis .... take your time .... spend as long as you like in every tiny little stage of your new life and potential new relationship and enjoy the moment.

It sounds like you might not have had too much of that in the past ... time to revel in each little moment of being you!

Yes, do contact him to sort out when your going to see each other next, but don't do anything that makes you too nervy. When you next meet, will presumably be your first proper 'date', so pick something you are totally comfortable with. Lunch or a walk or whatever you like to do.

<we will all need to move over soon, to make room for your growing confidence grin>

KatieScarlett2833 Sun 19-May-13 11:22:11

I read this and thought awwww smile
Yes, it's time to divorce the H. Let it go. Keep on loving your new life and if lovely new man plucks up the courage .....

Take it as slowly as you need. Be friends first if that helps. Let him know you like him but want to take your time to get to know him. If this goes well the sexing will cease to be a worry. wink

InNeedOfSense Sun 19-May-13 13:51:06

Thank you. I'm coming to terms with the idea of divorcing, and I'm so glad that my home life has become so lovely and calm since exh moved out, and also that exh and I are able to be co-operative for the dc. There's a lot of good going on, after a dark time of dysfunctional marriage.

Two things: I have lots of male friends - I work with mostly men, and some colleagues have become great friends, who I'd meet for coffee, chat on to on the phone, go to pub with etc. Do you think (I know you're only going to be able to go on what I've said in my OP) that this lovely guy might just be a lovely friendly person and that I might have misconstrued him? I've been married for a long time and am so unpractised at working out if someone might like me. I was always rubbish at it anyway! grin blush

Also, lovely guy is v. similar to me in terms of religion, and one aspect of our religion is no sex before divorce (that would be adultery). So this may be overthinking / overworrying, but I'm now starting to feel a bit hypocritical about initially saying to exh that I didn't want to divorce just yet, but now thinking that if we wait for 2 yrs to elapse and divorce on that basis, I might die of sexual frustration (which I didn't feel even slightly until I saw lovely guy). I know all this religion side of it might sound like nonsense if you're not relgious, but it is my life and I do take it v. seriously and take much comfort and meaning from it.

sleeton Sun 19-May-13 19:04:02

Your first thing. No, I don't think you have misconstrued him .... I think he fancies you.

Your second thing. Yes, for sure, I do think you are overthinking / overworrying.
You have been separated for six months, your exH has made it perfectly clear that he wants a divorce now, he has also suggested that you divorce him for unreasonable behavior (it could hardly be the other way round, now, could it?), and you are starting to see that (whatever happens) there is a good life ahead of you.
So, yes,yes,yes, you are overthinking / overworrying. smile

Raaraathenoisybaby Sun 19-May-13 19:39:03

I empathise so much about being freaked out by sex stuff after an abusive relationship. I used to be so confident in that area - after exh I feel I have nothing and like you say - a virgin. I don't know what the answer is I just wanted to say I so know how that feels x

InNeedOfSense Sun 19-May-13 19:46:53

Thank you both. Like I said, I'm seeing a counsellor and we haven't really got on to the difficult sex stuff yet, but I am becoming more aware of it as the counselling is touching on other areas. My counsellor said that it's like my exh has 'brainwashed' me wrt my self-image, and sex is part of that- he's made me feel constantly that I'm not good enough sexually (oh the stories I could tell). I've only ever had sex with exh, so the thought of 'starting again' is a bit terrifying. Raar, if you've previously been confident sexually, can you remember who you used to be and try and get back to that place?

I know I'm overthinking, I just don't want to mess this up or male a complete fool of myself and lose the friendship of a really lovely guy. Sigh!

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