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    • #129589


      I’ve not posted before.

      I’m out of what was a long awful marriage – a lot of stuff but one of the lasting things is a very damaged self-esteem and my ex’s voice in my head telling me how useless/undesirable/awful/ vile I am.

      I’m not long out and very shortly after I managed an ex from long, long ago got in touch. We chatted…and things quickly turned sexual.

      Initially I said(detail removed by moderator)(I know this isn’t everyone’s cup of tea but fine for me). But he kept initiating more and more: telling his friends about me, deep and meaningful conversations, spending all night together etc etc etc.

      After many months I realised it’s basically a relationship. I discussed it with him and we agreed yeah, we’re “seeing” each other.

      So far so wholesome yeah?

      Only I don’t know if I’m being treated well. I keep thinking “would I have accepted this before the abusive relationship?”, “am I being played?” But then is it just my fears and poor self esteem???

      Some examples:
      We make no plans. He messages (detail removed by moderator) before and asks if I’m free.
      95% of the time we watch TV, have take out, then spend the night. Nothing else. He has a lot of excuses as to why that’s all we do.
      He never comes to mine or meets me halfway. I have to go to him
      Sometimes he doesn’t wash the house or even himself before I see him.
      Since we said we’re seeing each other he’s stopped messaging consistently. In fact, sometimes he just ignores me
      He keeps going on about (detail removed by moderator)
      He won’t acknowledge me on social media, likes none of my posts but very actively likes other women’s posts.
      When I go around his he doesnt emote – he doesn’t really show he’s pleased to see me. He tells me (detail removed by moderator)
      After initial promises I’ve never met his friends

      But is this normal? Is this taking it slow? Is this a nice, relaxed relationship?

      Or is it someone wasting my time? And playing me for a fool?

      I’m sorry, I should ask friends. But they don’t understand my mindset. I don’t trust myself or my intuition. Any advice gratefully received.

    • #129590

      Hi, I got involved with someone else and realised I was in another unhealthy relationship. So I’m not sure I’m the best person to advise but my impression in reading this was that this doesn’t sound like a healthy relationship based on equality and respect and being valued. I read something that I found helpful to think about when dating etc… focus on how they make you feel, do they bring out the best in you… . You don’t sound happy in this relationship from what you’ve described, you deserve to be loved and cherished. Other people might see things differently though and I know I made a mistake in who I chose to be with after my ex x

    • #129591
      Wants To Help

      Hi there,

      Dating after an abusive relationship is a whole minefield of emotions and experiences. I could write a book on mine.

      To be honest, it doesn’t sound like your new relationship is much fun, but don’t forget you have some say in this too… this is not all on his terms. Is he wasting your time? If you think so then pull the plug on it. Is he meeting your needs? Have you communicated to him what your needs and values are? FWB is fine if that’s what you really want, but this has now morphed in to something a bit more, and now you’re not quite sure whether you are in a serious relationship, a casual relationship, is it exclusive, or are you both just ‘making do’ with each other? And you do mention he is an ex? So what went wrong first time round? In his mind, you set him a challenge. You told him you didn’t want a relationship with him, you just wanted FWB. He has worked on you to make you accept more, and now he has it he’s won the challenge. It’s not FWB at all, but what exactly is it?

      Some people don’t make plans. That’s fine if both are fine with it, but if you want a man to make plans with then cut this one loose and find someone who is happy to make plans. What we need to learn and accept is that we cannot date someone with an expectation to change them in to someone we want them to be. If this man does not want to make plans with you then that already tells you something. If he has poor hygiene and you’re finding that unattractive (I would too) then ditch him. You shouldn’t be needing to tell a grown man to shower before you meet him, surely his own sense of pride and desire to present himself clean and smelling nicely comes from within?

      Get your ex abusers voice out of your head and stop hearing his hurtful comments of how useless, vile, awful you are. You will be none of these things. You set your own worth and values. Do not settle for less than what you want. I did that many times in my younger years because I felt a failure being single. I made do with many unsuitable boyfriends because I felt that being with someone was better than being alone. To me, being alone meant I was a failure and not good enough. I was so wrong.

      It does not sound to me that your situation with your ‘new ex partner’ is fulfilling you, so don’t drag something out that is not floating your boat. Don’t try and prove your worth to him. If you have to prove your worth to someone then that really is the moment you should be walking away from them. He’s an ex for a reason. Warmed up soup never tastes the same.

      I would strongly recommend some You Tube videos by relationship advisor Matthew Hussey, especially one called Happy Enough. It’s less than 10 minutes long but is eye opening to new relationship advice and how we communicate what we want from someone and how we need to have the confidence to walk away if our needs are not being met. Surviving domestic abuse and how to move forward is a constant learning experience. I have been out of my abusive relationship for well over a decade and I’m still learning new things all the time. Start with knowing what you want from a partner and don’t settle for anything less.

    • #129597

      Hello ladies, thank you so much. I really appreciate your responses.

      you’re right. I dont feel valued. I think that’s the key thing maybe. I guess I don’t value myself much so the idea of feeling valued by another seems like never never land

      @Wants To Help you write so well!! You’re right, I haven’t the faintest what I have ended up in. It’s exclusive but only because I said(detail removed by moderator). However writing that, I realise that doesn’t preclude flirting up a storm with other women.

      When it was FWB I was calm about the whole situation. Last minute meet ups were fine – part of the deal. But he kept wanting more and more time and details and little nice moments only couples have. He messaged 24/7. He supported me when I was sick. I got caught up and maybe I liked feeling pursued.

      But now I’m miserable. Why am I continuing to drive a significant distance to see someone who doesn’t greet me with so much as a “how was your day”, to sit in his filthy lounge and pray to God he’s showered (he didn’t shower for several days in the recent hot weather) and brushed his teeth (not guaranteed). He makes me feel like these are unrealistic expectations.

      I liked that he knew me before my whole abusive marriage. I felt like he knew me before I was a mother and older. I liked feeling he *knew* me.

      A few times I’ve tried to bring up how I feel and there are always excuses. He can’t come to mine (detail removed by moderator) Oh but yes, he can make plans for sexually explicit things. I said (detail removed by moderator) and gave me the silent treatment.

      I think, writing this out, I’m in the old abuse survivor pattern: desperately trying to get things back to how they were instead of seeing them for what they are. *sigh*

    • #129598

      Take a look at The Freedom Programme. Women’s Aid recommend two years before starting a new relationship for very good reasons. You’re still extremely vulnerable and this man sounds awful. If your friend was describing him as her boyfriend, how would you feel, what advice would you give?

      • #129605

        Hi @KIP I keep trying to imagine it was a friend and find myself saying “what do you see in him?”. I think (and I’m not good at saying what I think anymore) that I liked his constant attention, that he seemed so interested in me (my abusive ex treated me like an especially irritating speck of dirt on his shoe) and how relaxed he was (I’m quite highly strung).

        But now I just feel anxious and frustrated a lot of the time. Like, he knows I’m coming around so why doesn’t he shower? Why hasn’t he changed the bedsheets (detail removed by moderator)? Why (and genuinely answers to this are what I need) when I don’t message him I get accused of (detail removed by moderator) but when he doesnt msg me I’m just meant to accept it? Why when he says (detail removed by moderator) online all the time? Why does he like to tell me (detail removed by moderator)? Why can’t he ask what I’m doing next weekend instead of waiting until (detail removed by moderator)? Is this what modern dating is? Should I be ok with this? ARRRRGGGGHHH.

        I miss feeling sure of myself. I did the Freedom Project long ago after a short relationship with a violent man. Oddly enough this current man is the one I dated after that violent relationship

        My local domestic violence service don’t recommend the Freedom Project and instead gave me a sort of self help book. As you can probably tell, it’s not going swimmingly :(.

    • #129609

      When I started dating again I used it to practice my social skills and my judgement. I was no where near ready for any kind of relationship for a long time. This man sounds truly awful and he’s not interested in your opinions or in you to be honest. It sounds like you’re really still very vulnerable and fragile and that’s why women’s aid recommend taking a lot of time to work on yourself. It took me years to gain my self esteem, confidence and even now I have moments of doubt, so keep working on yourself but don’t sell yourself short. You’re in charge here and if you just want this man for sex then men have been doing it for years but don’t let him string you along or mess you about. You get what you settle for in life x

    • #129624

      Dating is supposed to be fun. Try and find the girl who you were before the abuse. She’s still in there. Confident, take charge, fun, optimistic 🥳👍

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