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The after-effects of an abusive marriage.(6 Posts)
I luckily came to my senses & somehow found it in me to leave a very long seriously abusive & controlling marriage. Decades of which were sexless (him not me). I've had as much therapy as I could afford but that was all about me finding it in me to leave. I now have a new set of issues. Some time has passed and by a miracle I've met a new man. He's the polar opposite of my ex. He's so 'hands off' in terms of control I struggle to adjust. He's unbelievably loving, tender & caring. He makes me feel so precious & loved. My problem is that I keep having this mental image of myself slapping & slapping him & shaking him, shouting 'you're not real' - trying to get him to drop the pretence & start behaving abusively, controllingly because that's what I get, what I understand & can relate to. It's like all the old walls confining me have been pulled away to be replaced with total freedom of movement & I have difficulty accepting it. To be treated with love, care & respect is just so weird. As much as it's wonderful it's also uncomfortable, unfathomable. I can't afford more counselling, can anyone recommend any books or other resources that might help me. I am utterly stunned at this good mans behaviour but he's the normal one isn't he? It's me that needs fixing. I think part of me needs to cry but I can't. Cry to release the effort it took me to survive my marriage for so long and cry to release the joy of such a pure happiness with the new man.
Have you been on the Freedom Programme yet? It takes a long time to adjust - how long have you been out of your abusive relationship for? Well done for all you have achieved so far
Freetofly, I understand totally what you are feeling and you are so close to understanding the reason why. You know that your new partner is treating you as most men should treat a lady and that your abusive husband is the minority. That's the first step done! Your new partner sounds lovely and perfectly normal! I'm not sure what books to read but I think if you contact your local women's aid and attend the freedom & empowerment programmes they maybe really helpful to you. Remember, you deserve this relationship, you deserve to be treated like a queen, to be respected & loved & to feel safe and secure. Look how far you have come, celebrate how amazing and strong you are to have survived an abusive controlling marriage, then left it. You are amazing, an inspiration, you just need to finish your journey to acceptance and happiness. You are closer than you think, keep going!
you def need a lot more therapy for your sake and this man's.
I think it can take years to really get over an abusive relationship. While the abuse is always the abuser's fault, you need to learn how your own behaviour was a part of that (e.g. why you felt you had to accept it, rather than leave). It's a long, complicated process. And once you've gone through that, you need to spend some time learning how to be completely free - i.e. out of a relationship and living a life where you completely own your own decisions and actions. When you're comfortable with being in control of your own life, it's a lot easier to draw acceptable boundaries in new relationships and they feel less scary. You trust your own judgement more about what is and isn't acceptable, and feel more relaxed about 'just seeing how it goes'.
All new relationships can make you feel a bit uncomfortable - in some ways that can be very enjoyable; the butterflies feeling, etc. However, if it's really making you anxious, to me that says you haven't yet healed enough to be ready for this, or maybe the new relationship is moving a little too fast for you. Why not try slowing it down to a pace you're more comfortable with?
Good luck and enjoy it.
Agree with a PP, if you haven't attended the Freedom Programme course then call WA today and sign up.
Also read about co-dependency. No doubt. after years of abuse you are in this category.
I'm glad you have found a loving man but you need some more therapy to adjust to this way of life. This is 'Normal' for so many people and you need to understand that.
Your GP can probably refer you for CBT that might also help.
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