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Looking for peace

need someone who understands

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Hello,

I am new here and came because I am having a very hard time allowing myself to get into a new relationship and wonder if anyone has any helpful advice.

It took me a long time and some therapy to really except that my husband sexually abused me.  I felt like because he was not physically forcing me to have sex that what he was doing was ok.  He bullied me, put me on a sex schedule, would not sleep in the bed if I didn't want to have sex, toss and turn if he actually slept in the bed and would not let me go to sleep until I gave in.  Sex became something I hated and resented.  He ended up having an affair and blaming me because I was not any good.  I finally divorced him but I have  trust issues and I am scared to have a relationship because I have so many triggers. I really don't want to be alone but I don't know how to exist with a partner.  Any advice out there??

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Hi @Looking for peace, welcome to AS!

I too come from an abusive marriage - my ex-husband did not sexually abuse me, though - his was more of the emotional/controlling type.  Even so, it sounds like your ex-husband had some controlling tendencies/manipulation tactics (the bullying, when he wouldn't sleep in the bed with you until you gave in to sex, a schedule he 'expected' followed, etc) and I'm very happy to hear that you're no longer married to him.  You deserve so, so much better than that.

However, if you want my honest opinion/advice, I think you need to hold off on a romantic relationship and just be by yourself for a little while and work through some of the emotional wreckage that your ex-husband left in his wake.  

I am sensing that you have a myriad of trust issues, but this isn't surprising, considering the toxic relationship you just got out of.  I have these little issues with trust, too...so I do understand all of that.

I would definitely suggest seeing a T (therapist) if it's within your power to do so.  Just to talk out some of these feelings you're having.  I mean, this is a great place to turn to in order to meet people who are in the same boat, but sometimes we just need a little bit more.

If therapy is not an option right now, that's okay, too.    

Maybe you could focus on further developing your current relationships (even if they're just friendships) with the "safe" people in your life that you feel you can confide in, learn to trust, etc.  Make spontaneous plans with friends.  Schedule outings, meet for a meal, go shopping.  Enjoy yourself. :) Do things that you want to do, that you CHOOSE to do, because you want to...because now, you're free.

I think, in time, you'll feel better about maybe starting a new relationship with someone, should this person come along.  I think that your being 'scared' is a strong indicator of your simply not being ready for a relationship beyond friendship right now, and that's okay.  Listen to yourself, acknowledge what your heart, body & mind is telling you.  When you're ready to take the next step, you will just know - that fear will have subsided a bit.  And your chances of it being a healthy relationship will be so, so much greater then.

That's just my opinion, feel free to take it all with a grain of salt.  I'm hoping others will chime in, soon. :)  

Again, welcome to AS!  I'm sorry for the circumstances that have brought you here but am happy to meet you.

Best wishes,
Capulet

 

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Thank you for the advice.  I have talked to a T and will most likely go back.  I have a very good friend who really does want to have a relationship and I worry that I will lose a very special person.  

 

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Hi and welcome :)

I pretty much agree with Capulet. Unluckily, that's not the kind of thing that you can wipe away with some advice.
Can't your friend wait? Does he know something? Could you just tell him that you don't want to lose him, but with your husband things didn't end in the best way and you need time before starting another relationship?
Make sure to be truly ready to make something sexual again before doing it, it could take a lot of time, and it could also be not so easy to figure out. Personal experience.

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Posted (edited)

Hi @Looking for peace welcome to AS. Though I am sorry for the trauma that brought you here.I wish I had some advise to give you I have been single for a very long time avoiding relationships altogether its just easier for me to be alone. I do understand not wanting to be alone, and I am sure if your friend wants a lasting relationship they will be ready to wait for you to get a chance to start healing. I am glad to see that you have started with a therapist and I would say it would be a good thing to continue to work with a t while you go through this you could even talk to the T about your feelings. 

I want to point out AS is a safe place to share and receive/give support. Please take your time look around share at your pace. 

Edited by BraveOne

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On 6/4/2018 at 6:04 PM, Looking for peace said:

Hello,

I am new here and came because I am having a very hard time allowing myself to get into a new relationship and wonder if anyone has any helpful advice.

It took me a long time and some therapy to really except that my husband sexually abused me.  I felt like because he was not physically forcing me to have sex that what he was doing was ok.  He bullied me, put me on a sex schedule, would not sleep in the bed if I didn't want to have sex, toss and turn if he actually slept in the bed and would not let me go to sleep until I gave in.  Sex became something I hated and resented.  He ended up having an affair and blaming me because I was not any good.  I finally divorced him but I have  trust issues and I am scared to have a relationship because I have so many triggers. I really don't want to be alone but I don't know how to exist with a partner.  Any advice out there??

Hi Looking for peace,

Welcome to AS. I am very sorry for the trauma you experienced at the hands of your husband, but you have found a very supportive site. Even with him being your husband, he had no right. Physical force does not happen in all abuse cases and in more cases than not, it is by someone that you know and should trust. He broke that trust. I hope you find your way thru your triggers and struggles. I wish you the best on your healing journey.

Mary

:supportu: 

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I really appreciate people to talk to who have the same type of experiences.  I have looked for support groups in my area and there are none close enough.  I think this is a good place for me.  @BraveOne I have felt the same way and been alone for awhile.  I am so much happier alone than I was with him that I was content to be by myself.  I am angry I cant feel the same way about men that I used to.  The guy in my life has been a friend for a long time, I actually knew him before my husband.  He has been very supportive but I think he is worried he is waiting and I may never be ready.  I am afraid I will never be ready.  

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Looking for Peace, I hope a male opinion here is okay. Sadly enough, forcing does not always have to be physical. That does not make one kind better or easier. I am so sorry for your past experiences. Though it is good you are away from that type of abuse at this point. His trying too put the blame on you sounds like major manipulation.

Trust can tend to be such a huge issue for those of us who have been abused. It cannot help but likely come up again within other relationships. That may not necessarily be fair. Though it does not also make that any less real. So your frustration at yourself for feeling different toward men is warranted. I just hope you try realizing that your feelings are valid just by being yours. 

Uncertainty can be even harder than knowing something bad. My mind never shuts down and I'm wanting of knowing what is happening tomorrow like yesterday while understanding it all the day before that. It is just sadly not always possible to know what will happen going forward. The good news is that you are now in control of what you're comfortable with and wanting most. No need to even get it all right the first or second time. Life comes at us way too fast for that to happen. It is all about trial and error.

As for this good friend of yours and your worry about him waiting. Please know that him choosing to be there for you is of his own volition. There is thus nothing at all to feel guilty about since life isn't even filled with guarantees. Anyone truly worth it in the end will realize that there is truly only one you and that you're worth waiting for. You have the right not to know. He should perhaps focus on just continuing of being there in an unconditional way focused on what's best for you as opposed to any possible partnership.

:luck:

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Its wonderful to have a male opinion.  My ex made me feel like all men are just like him.  I learned how much I was manipulated once I was out of the relationship.  I often get angry that I didn't figure that out sooner.  I stayed in the relationship far too long and hate that I let him get away with so much.  I feel I am doing much better with my self esteem now and I have accepted that I have had trauma in my life and that it is not my fault but I have to deal with him on a regular basis because we have kids.  I am nice to him for the kids sake but that is very tough.  It's like healing and then ripping the scab off.  I definitely have triggers that cause me great anxiety.  I just hope it keeps getting better.  Thanks for listening :)  

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Looking for Peace, I assure you that not men are all one certain way. It does sound like more of that manipulation. Wanting you to somehow believe that he was not doing anything out of the ordinary. So as to make you then doubt yourself even further.  Men and even women can in fact do the same exact thing wrong yet have totally different motives or reasons for doing so. Not that intent means more than interpretation of course. Just that he seems to not have cared for you or your well being. You were getting more negative than positive and that's not the signs of a happy nor healthy relationship.

Thus it may have seen like you were lonely a lot even when not necessarily being alone. It does tend to suck not having someone.  Though better maybe being by yourself even still than with someone simply not worth it.

As for not figuring out things sooner. I have always been hardest on myself also. Though it is also honestly much easier to look back on something I have found after the fact. Much more of a challenge while actually within that moment of time. 

So you likely did not get with him wanting things to go this way. My sincere hope is you are a little more gentle with yourself as a result. One of the most important yet also hardest lessons I have learned along that way is all in life is specific. That includes all events and people. Though, we also cannot help but be affected by what happens to happen within our lives. Hopefully, time will prove to provide some more healing. Talking about your feelings and thoughts may provide you with a key to opening that perhaps currently closed door.

:luck:

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