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    • #147876

      Hey all, so it’s actually a big anniversary for me since I left my abuser.
      Mostly I am ok now. Sometimes it catches up on me and it’s hard to cope. I still have a lot of work to do.

      I have been dating someone for quite a few months now.. I didn’t mean to date so soon, it just sort of happened. I like him alot, he was everything my ex wasn’t. We had a great time, I learnt how to relax around a man, I learnt how a kind, generous, adult man can be. How to be treated equally. I learnt how to open up and be vulnerable and have a man do the same to me. I learnt how sex can equal and the man can be giving and gentle.
      We met every (detail removed by Moderator), after (detail removed by Moderator) he text me saying he didn’t want a relationship, he had a lot of bad thoughts and didn’t want to drag me down with him. I said it’s ok because I am not ready for a relationship anyway. So we carried on having a great time, trying different things, going to new places, he started to act like he was getting more and more into me. Talking about holidays, being more loving and thoughtful. Then again he would abruptly text me saying something like (detail removed by Moderator). I would ask him why and he would talk about how his last relationship ended because (detail removed by Moderator). In the end she ended it and he hadn’t expected that. He was obsessed with looks, he said that he was average and women he was attracted to normally were not attracted to him. This conversation always made me feel like I must not be that attractive. Then next day he would seem better. Then we would have great times again together. For a time he was very supportive when I needed some support, started calling often. Then he would go a bit quieter again. On one depressive episode he even (detail removed by Moderaot). Later he apologised and said (detail removed by Moderator). Then the last week he was a bit quiet and when we met he told me that he felt like I was waiting for him to be ready, he had thought he wanted a relationship with me for a while, but he just doesn’t think I am his type, that there was no spark. He apologised that sometimes his behaviour would of made me think otherwise…. Said he will always be there for me. That he loved spending time with me. That we have been good for eachother.

      He has really confused me, when I was with him I mostly felt so comfortable and relaxed. We always left each other feeling a lot better and happier. But I would also get anxious when he didn’t text, then when he did I thought everything was good and felt all fine. But I think that’s to do with my issues. But also I was thinking, he is quiet becuase he is having a depressed episode and soon will text me and talk about all his issues, which did get repetitive at the end and cause me stress. Stress is still something I am struggling to handle.

      Some other red flags:
      So he seemed obsessed with his ex and couldn’t stop thinking of her.
      One time he was really down, he told me (detail removed by Moderator).
      Then a bit later he was depressed again and said it started because (detail removed by Moderator)…he was upset about this.
      (detail removed by Moderator)

      Just would really like some people opinions. I am sad about it ending..

    • #147877

      Hi there. It sounds to me like he has someone else and was using you. The red flags are there. The pushing and pulling. He doesn’t want any kind of a relationship yet he’s making you believe he does. Mixed signals are confusing. It’s ok to be sad but you’ve learned some new things here. Time to put yourself first and well done for getting back out there. Meantime spend some time dating yourself. It can be fun and eye opening x

      • #147878

        Hey Kip, I don’t see how he could have someone else unless he just met them. We spent every (detail removed by Moderator) together…. I think he would of told me also tbh. Though when he met his ex he said he was dating someone else at the time.
        The worst thing is my friends and family, I feel such pressure to settle down and have kids because I have no kids yet.

      • #147880

        Thanks for being there Kip. Another time actually he said he (detail removed by Moderator). He had apologized but couldn’t guarantee it wouldn’t happen again. Because he has bad days sometimes..

    • #147881

      Hey my lovely.
      To me it reads as if he has some serious problems depression and maybe even obsessive qualities maybe ive read it wrong but thats what it seems to me. What you need to ask yourself is are you ready are you able to cope with someone elses hurt? Remember you are still healing still finding yourself still understanding all you have been through do you want or need to take on this mans hurt and pain too?
      I cant seem to see red flags if they hit me in the face so I just cant help there but to me if im being honest here to me as much as you crave the compassion the support the enjoyment he brings im not so sure its gonna be good for you this chap seems to have his own issues that he needs to work through.
      However having said all that I am just so chuffed you were brave enough to go out there sweetie and you should be too. Xxxxxx

      • #147882

        Hey darling, thankyou ❤️
        Yes I took a chance and it did cause extra stress on my already stressed body. But I also had good times and learnt alot.
        I’m sad at how things have turnwd out though and It makes me realize I’m maybe not as strong as I thought i was at avoiding men when they wave red flags.. its hard to navigate the world these days. I’m still hyper vigilant and have alot to work on myself that I don’t know if really i can handle a relationship anyway. But I don’t really know how to navigate this limbo state that we were in either.
        I hope your alright x*x

      • #147883

        If he didn’t end it i would have pursued the relationship even with the red flags i know that.
        I think he may be back in contact also and this could of all been a power play. My abusive ex did exactly the same, ended things in the early days, then took me back and was very non committal for months..

      • #147886

        I guess we dont know till we try right?
        You now know that maybe you arent ready red flags or not maybe you just need to concentrate on you.
        I get the loniness i get the need for love i want all that and im still with my prat but i think that maybe you need more time to find that you again to heal to love the amazing lady that you are.

      • #147895

        Your so right thankyou, your a beautiful women ❤️
        And don’t feel bad about staying, leaving was more then tough, more then the hardest thing I have ever done. It’s actually indescribable and words cannot do the fight to get through any justice 😘
        Lots of love x*x

      • #147910

        I will always always blame myself and feel bad for not being brave and couragous and for being weak and a hypocrite and for being me i guess I can only blame myself for still being here but Thank you for your kind words my friend.
        You keep on fighting you are an incredable inspiration even if you dont feel like it you really are keep going keep reaching for those stars i got a feeling one day you gonna grab em xxxxx

    • #147887

      Hey eye-opening, he sounds like he uses depression when it suits him and then apologises saying he was having or had a bad day…. I know a fair bit about depression and I haven’t known it to make someone behave they way he is and that’s a massive red flag (this example was in the Freedom Programme about how they will use mental health, it is common).

      It is great that you had some good experiences with him and even better that you recognise some of his behaviours are not right.

      I am also dating, it is so strange and like you I am hyper aware (sometimes I am too vigilant and untrusting and challenge my partner a lot). I am taking it at a pace that I am comfortable with… really slow 🐌 😒 😆

      What would you do if he did contact you to try and hoover you back in? Maybe take a step back for yourself and feel into it. You have already been through so much ❤

      • #147894

        Hey my lovely here for help ❤️
        I feel so so grateful that you amazing ladies are taking the time to read and reply to my post. Truly you have made me feel so much better.
        I know what you mean, I also found dating kind of triggering, just being with a man, made me feel like I was back there in the abusive relationship and I had to basically tell myself alot that this is a different man, different time and place. It’s been good practice at being around a man. Sometimes when he became more full on and was calling often, I felt a bit overwhelmed and wondered if I could cope with a relationship. But I wanted one, or wanted one that progressed really really slowly..

        I remember aswell, he was having a depressed day when I told him about my ex, the first thing he said to me was (detail removed by Moderator), nothing else, like I’m sorry to hear that. When I told him yes, he said something like : thats fair, or that makes sense then. Like if he was just emotionally abusive then it doesn’t count…

        Gosh I really don’t know what I would do because we did leave it open like we could still hang out, he told me to see how I felt..

        Much love x*x

    • #147898

      To be honest I would let that man go before it gets to deep he’s blowing hot and cold like one minute he wants you the next he dosent.if he really liked you he’d be certain of that.Also depression dosent stop you from asking someone how their day went this is just mind games someone who cares don’t wait to contact you and check in on you daily or someone who is very interested .so many red flags in this I would write an essay .like him making you feel that’s not good someone who likes you wouldn’t make you feel that way they would be complimentary towards you it sounds a bit like a sympathy boat but as you have said it made you feel unattractive it sounds like he’s trying to deter you from wanting a relationship with him the feelings aren’t mutual.women he’s attracted to are not attracted to him?he’s basically told you he’s not attracted to you he’s not mentioned you as an attractive woman but talking about it as though it’s other women that sounds off to me .or have I read that wrong ?i really hope you didn’t have sexual contact cause it sounds like he dosent want a commitment

      • #147913

        Hey Mellow, thanks for replying, sorry I will go on a bit more, I am still feelign crazy about this.
        At some point he was talking with me all day, he obviously he liked me, he told me he cared alot about me and liked me alot. But didn’t think we would work down the line becuase I am not his type. He would say those weird things about not being able to attract women but then would then tell me he is attracted to me…
        Then like a few weeks ago he had a bad episode and then my feelings for him cooled a bit becuase I wasn’t sure I could deal with that happening. So the next times I saw him maybe I was not so loving or fun with him.
        I feel like maybe he couldn’t love me becuase I am so damaged, I felt myself go back into those old grooves sometimes with him. Like we met some of his friends and I kept looking at him to see if he was alright, like I would with my ex and I kept needing to check myself and correct my old habits like that. Also sometimes I would have kind of flashbacks when I thought I was back with my ex for a second, then have to remind myself where I was. But we were not doing anything particular. I thought that’s probably a normal part of healing. I have had constant therapy since leaving for PTSD and now i’m having just CBT therapy..

    • #147902

      Hi there,

      I wrote a post quite similar to yours about a year ago. I had a similar experience where I wasn’t really ready to date but just happened to meet someone. Because it was so wonderful to meet and spend time with a man who wasn’t awful like my ex, I ignored the red flags; the relationship with my ex was so lonely and I felt some joy again. But, he was also hot and cold and it left my so anxious. I was constantly second-guessing myself and making excuses for him because I thought my trauma brain was misreading things – it wasn’t, and I was grateful for the feedback on this forum. I shared something about my ex with that man and he didn’t react well, told me he had some of the same tendencies. This was later proven when he publicly blanked me while I was with a friend (who he knew) and he then wrote me a long, verbally abusive message. All the time I had been telling myself he was hesitant because his ex had really hurt him and he suffered with depression, but eventually I wondered whether she hadn’t left him because of bad behaviour. In any case, I hope that this share is helpful to you – it took me a long time to see his true nature because I was so soon out of the relationship.

      This man may have made you feel good at points in comparison with your ex, but that doesn’t mean that it is a good relationship for you. He has made comments which make you feel less than, and his behaviour has been inconsistent. When you needed him to be present emotionally, he has let you down and blamed it on his depression. I also suffer from depression and I can tell you that it does not stop me from expressing empathy for others. Through all this talk about his ex he has made you feel that you are in second place, and he is now asking you to accept something casual (this is also what this guy did to me). Whether or not he is being deliberately manipulative, you deserve much better than this. When I was going through it, somebody on the forum told me how empowering it had been to walk away from a man who was not meeting her expectations. I know it is really hard because this experience is so lonely, but I would advise you to do the same here. If he is telling you he isn’t going to be there, walk away and don’t accept something which isn’t what you want. I get the kids thing but this guy can’t be present for you, he won’t be present for them. Figure out what you want and if you’d like kids then maybe you can meet someone great in the future; like Kip said, it’s best to date yourself for now. As an aside, I have been dating myself for a while and it is really great – I even take myself out for dinner sometimes!

      Take care


    • #147909

      wow this is giving me so many anxious thoughts. I want to tell you to walk away as quickly as possible. My ex has a severe mental health condition and used it for years to control me and as an excuse for his behaviours. It has taken me a long time but I now know that using his mental health like this is not acceptable and I would never accept it again. Sorry I know this is harsh but we are already vulnerable being on here and I don’t want you to get hurt again.

      • #147912

        Thanks for replying Wispea, gosh I am still so upset.. I just can’t get him out of my head or help feeling like why couldn’t he love me, he liked me, he cared for me alot, everything was so good, we were such a good match…
        I know maybe I sound crazy but I want to message him and ask him more questions..
        He hasn’t been in a relationship longer then a couple years.. I want to talk to one of his exes to ask about him, to hear their side, it might help me. But would hate them to then tell him. He told me he has always been the one to end relationships, so his ex leaving was a big blow. (detail removed by Moderator)

    • #147914

      Wow, this has been an enlightening thread for me. I’m not ready to date and I’m not sure if I ever will be but I’ll never say never. If that time ever does come, I’ll remember this thread. I would definitely have been suckered by the depression thing until I read the responses. Thank you all!

      Putting his emotions and red flags aside, I think nbumblebee has a really valid point. Try to focus on you and how this relationship makes you feel. I’ve never had a normal relationship but I’m told that it should be a fairly even tempered vibe with relatively few dramatic highs and lows. If it feels like a roller coaster with times of perfection and times of utter chaos and rejection then it’s probably not doing you any good. And I think that is what really matters. Do you feel that this relationship is good for you. Is it mutually supportive and perhaps even curative?

      Let go of the things that don’t make you strong. xx

      • #147916

        Hey Eggshells, he did me so good in many ways, I learnt alot about normal relationships, just in the everyday things we did. When he was down then we would be open and I would also share my experinces and we would try to offer support and help to eachother. Not just for him. Though he would go on a bit more then me for sure and sometimes he was so down he couldnt really talk and just pushed me away.
        Though sometimes when he was down it would cause me anxiety and stress.
        But yes there was ups and downs. Depending on him, depending if he liked me at that time it seems like.
        I feel like he doesnt know what he wants and is chasing a dream.
        Ah man have I been hoodwinked? Am I totally in denile? After red flags, after everything you all say, I still would take him back if he came back…

    • #147957

      I just remembered, this guy also said once that he slapped an ex because (detail removed by moderator)..somoene has suggested to me, it sound like you have developed a sort of trauma bond already to this guy. Becuase of the push pull dynamic the relationship had.
      I wonder if the trauma bond I had with my ex just easily passed onto him, or its easy to make a new trauma bond in my vulnerable state.

    • #147998

      I guess trauma bonds can be transferred, yes.

      When I left my ex I looked up how I could get a dopamine hit and as a result I started doing all sorts of things to get that hit to replace the trauma bond; walking in nature every day, mindfulnes, one of those head massager things etc. I managed it so conclusively that I never missed him.

      I guess moving a trauma bond from one partner to another is just a way of replacing that dopamine hit that we crave so much after we leave. xx

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