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Life after an abusive relationship

(8 Posts)
raggedtrouseredphilanthropist Sun 27-Sep-09 18:16:35

I was with xh for 14 years, and only after we split did I realise the relationship was abusive. I knew bits were wrong, but thought it was normal. It was mostly emotional, but with some infrequent low level physical violence too.
Anyway, it's over a year down the line and I am getting back on track. I am having counselling, and I get really lonely, but I am pulling my life back together. And its so much better than it was, in so many ways smile
BUT, I find that when there is male interest in me, I sabotage it - I don't respond even though I am interested, find small things 'wrong' with them that really arent an issue (eg shoes!), or just get out quick. My barriers are up so quick that I don't give any new men a chance to show they are not like my ex. I have had one VERY short term relationship in the past year and a half.
So, I guess what I am interested in is, have other people who were previously in abusive relationship found this to be the case with them? And if so, how did you get past it? How long was it before you were properly dating again?

aseriouslyblondemoment Sun 27-Sep-09 18:34:39

evening,long time no hear!smile
well you know my history as such as it's a similar one to yours and from what i can gather is common with us lp's
tbh i think it's trial and error
went out with a fair few idiots til i met my present bf and even then i tried to talk myself out of it
meeting his family and friends and just seeing how he related to others helped me alot and made me realise that yes,he was genuinally a thoroughly all round decent bloke
it is a v.different relationship to the one i had with exh and can honestly say i haven't felt so happy in such a long time
<excuse the gushiness!>
i think it's v.much a case of actions as well as words

FredaMare Sun 27-Sep-09 18:55:58

be patient and give yourself some time. A year isn't very long to unlearn behaviours.

I am 3 years out of an abusive relationship and am only now relaxing. I, too, have hooked up with tossers, mistaking attention for affection. However, I've been with my bf now for just over a year and life is pretty damn good. It took me most of the year we've been together to let him in. And I am still getting used to the concept that it is accepable to have an opinion different to the other person's - that hadn't happened to me in a very long time. I still catch myself sometimes and expect it all to come crashing down, but it hasn't so far.

Give yourself a break and a bit more time to heal. You have plenty of time to find the right person to let into your life. Sit back and go with the flow.

raggedtrouseredphilanthropist Mon 28-Sep-09 13:10:35

thanks.
I just don't think I can trust anyone - they seem nice, then I think 'what is wrong with them', as if 14 years of being treated badly, but in that kind of head-fuck way that abusive relationships work where you wonder if its real / normal / you, has made me wonder what everyone else is going to end up like
And I also kind of think - there is no point going out with you, becuase it won't last. Which obviously it won't if you dont make it past 1st date. So many barriers...

And of course, low self esteem.

God, I have LOADS to talk to y counsellor about. I just want to know if other people felt like this too. It seems everyone who split up about the same time I did, is already several months into a new relationship (I know, I know) whereas I am struggling even to BEGIN anything with anyone..

violet101 Mon 28-Sep-09 16:21:29

I cannot talk from experience as I'm still planning my exit route.....BUT....

I think you have to work on your low self esteem first - No-one can truly love you if you don't learn to love yourself first. Because even if they do, you won't believe them.

I'm not even sure how you go about rebuilding self esteem (haven't go that far in the life manual yet!)... but def worth a discussion with your counsellor..

Perhaps focus on making friends first, thus taking the pressure off 'relationships'until you're ready?

Snorbs Mon 28-Sep-09 16:47:41

Give yourself time. It's not a race to get into a new relationship; if it's too early for you then it's too early. For what it's worth my ex moved out about three years ago and it's only in the last year that I've felt ready to start looking.

FredaMare Mon 28-Sep-09 17:19:12

I feel it's important to be content with yourself before you can be content with someone else. Not to mention confident about your importance in a relationship. Don't look at what other people are doing - maybe behind the scenes they are repeating the same patterns that caused the last break-up.

Maggie34Behave Sat 03-Oct-09 21:01:48

It's over 2+ years for me, and I'm just not ready yet. I don't beat myself up over that. There's no rule that says I have to meet somebody.

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