This topic contains 4 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  BakingQueen 6 months ago.

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  • #71783
     BakingQueen 
    Participant

    Hi Ladies,

    I would love if you could share your experiences on starting to date after leaving your abusive relationship.

    I have met someone and he seems really nice, feels like I have known him forever, he’s listened to me when I’ve told him how certain things make me feel (which I was originally anxious to say but I had to because I don’t want a repeat of my last relationship), he knows about me being a single mum who studies and works and gives me the space to study and encourages me too. But…

    A couple weeks after we started talking, he got a cold, then he had dental issues, then he has trips to the hospital and it all feels a bit like he’s tried to draw me in and see how far he can go with these “issues” before I say “what is going on here?”. But it could also be bad timing. Another thing is, he seemed to rush into referring to me as his girlfriend (it hasn’t been that long), he calls and messages me everyday and if I don’t respond for a while he’ll keep messaging (which could be seen as either controlling or he’s very interested).

    As I type this I think I see where this is going. These are all red flags aren’t they? Ergh!

    I haven’t told him about my last relationship so he doesn’t know of the abuse I have already experienced.

    Am I going crazy guys? How did you ladies, handle moving on to your other relationships and finding someone who wasn’t toxic? Did you see any warning signs and ignore them? Were you overly cautious to the detriment of what would have been a good relationship?

    Thanks for listening.

  • #71787
     Tiffany 
    Participant

    I would say individually these could be potential red flags. I had one early on in my current relationship (he disclosed very early on that he had had issues with addiction). I decided to give him the benefit of the doubt in that one, so long as he stayed sober and kept going to his meetings. I think one is the most I would accept of any kind of potential red flags though. After all addicts can be good people, and once they are out of the destructive cycle of substance abuse then they are just people again. I would have thought the same if my partner had become ill several times shortly after meeting him. Could be coincidental. Or messaged more than seemed normal to me. Some people text more than others. To close friends, particularly those with kids I might send four of five different messages before they get a chance to respond. But both of these, combined with calling you his girlfriend before you were comfortable with it? That’s a red flag to me I think…

    I didn’t follow all the women’s aid advice for dating after abuse, I waited less than the suggested two years before dating again. And I disclosed the abuse early, which can be a risk if the new man turns out to be an abuser, because he could use that knowledge to control you: make you think you are overreacting because of your past, rather than reacting appropriately to their bad behaviour.

    I got lucky. I am still with the guy. He isn’t an abuser. It’s going well. There have been no more red flags. But I am only just settling in to trusting the relationship now, close to a year after meeting him. We took everything slow. Didn’t kiss until weeks in. Met in public and didn’t go to his house and he didn’t go to mine for over a month. When I started staying over I always turned the car so it was ready for a quick getaway if necessary. It never was, but he accepted that was a necessity for me. And I was emotionally ready to run even after I realised that I didn’t have to be able to physically run, because he wasn’t going to hurt me. I think that was necessary for me in the trust building phases. To keep in mind that I could leave and I wouldn’t be any worse off. It took months before I let the relationship get to a point where I would be upset if it ended. Because a boyfriend should be an optional addition to a happy and fulfilled life, not the goal.

  • #72109
     fizzylem 
    Participant

    Hi BQ – sorry not got there yet. However, I would say these are red flags – that are telling you – ‘I need to express how I feel and discuss it with him’. So that you present him with the opportunity to respond to you, if he responds and it feels ok/good, then great, he’s listened and he has gained a little bit more understanding of you. But then if he carries on with no change to this behaviour, then he’s not right for you is he.

    He can only guess where your line is, what your personal boundaries are / what you are comfortable and uncomfortable with ‘until you tell him’. Each of us differ here and there, have varying degrees of tolerances and intolerances. What might not bother one person may severely effect the next.

    E.g. you could say something like, ‘it’s kind of nice to get your texts, but its also a bit scary, maybe a bit too full on for me, if you’d like me to stay interested then there needs to be a lot less of them! (try to make it into something playful, own it and let him know how you feel, giving him chance to respond. Make sure it is done face to face too, this is important to you so you dont want it to be misconstrued in any way.

    We cant expect someone to get it right for us all the time hey – open communication is the key to a healthy relationship and it takes two to make that happen x

  • #72116
     [email protected] 
    Participant

    This is really about boundaries, so say you were to say to him btw dont text or call me after 8 tonight as im having an early night, im kind of tired. Wait and see if he does anyway, if he does say to him i asked you not to text but you havent payed attention to what ive asked. Youll then have an open dialogue to make your feelings clear. he needs to know now (at the beginning that you have boundaries which youll state what they are, youll discuss things with them if he tries to cross them then if he does again theres a consequence then follow through. Youll soon get to know what his intent is. i read this its lundy bancrofts suggestion so i cant take the credit lol. Ive started to say what i mean and mean it with both my daughter and my new partner it seems to be working so far! I have to be honest as always i find it hard to follow through with the consequences – as yes im a bit of a softy! but thats what got me into my mess lol xx take care xx

  • #72655
     BakingQueen 
    Participant

    Thanks Ladies!! I’ll be taking all this on board

    X*x

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