Does anyone have any advice for dating again after divorce f

Does anyone have any advice for dating again after divorce from an emotional abuser?

Go slow and pay attention to how they talk about other people and exes. I feel like that is the tell for how they view people ingeneral and , thus, how they view you.

Also, it is perfectly ok for you to change your mind at any time.
How long were you married to this guy? I have been EA relationships. What did your look like. Mine made me feel like I was the problem and sometimes I still thinks so. I would love to have someone to relate to. If its not too hard for you.

We were only married for about a year and a half. His behavior was increasingly erratic and dangerous. When we were dating it was a few isolated incidents of screaming but he was also lying about his past and gaslighting me about things but I didn't know until later. After we were married, the screaming became increasingly common, it was scary and it helped cover up the other more covert things he was doing. He blamed me for everything that happened, said horrible degrading things about me that were untrue and would try to convince me that I was irresponsible and unable to handle criticism if I didn't blindly agree with what ever character assassination he had subjected me to. After awhile he started doing things like leaving me at restaurants, locking me out of the apartment for "back-talking," punching holes in the walls, chasing me down the street if I tried to get away from him. I had asked him to get help before and after one particularly bad day I insisted. He took two months to go to a session because he said he wanted to make sure and find a specialist and do it right. He went to three sessions, refused to do anything the therapist suggested and then in true narcissistic fashion started calling me abusive and saying horrible stuff about me to our mutual friends and then told people that he had left me to save face. What was yours like?

@tsruby oh wow, that sounds terrible and alot like one I had several years ago. Mine was alot like being callef names or being bossed around then when I declined or got hurt I was too sensitive or mean for not ironing shirts or making coffee on command.

Sometimes I feel like maybe it wasn't that bad but I think that is just remnants of the cognitive dissonance. Sometimes I wonder if it was really my fault too, but logically I know it wasn't. He treated me like garbage but wanted me to treat him like a king. He would use me being upset about the way he treated me as "evidence" of me being emotionally unstable and say that me standing up for myself was abusive.

@tsruby yep, very similar. I often think to myself, “if only I weren’t so sesitive or could accept being put down, I would still be getting hugs and kissies”. I am such pain right now because of this recent break up. Its been one month and I have him on auto reject list on my phone so it has been no contact. I still am praying for him and sometimes I pray he will come back and want to get help. But, I know it would be like yours as he is 50 and tried to get help so many times and still has these same beliefs.

When we were still together I often told myself he didn't really mean it but then I got to a place where I had to wonder if the horrible stuff he said isn't what he really meant or if the good things he said were. I told him about this but he couldn't really give me a reasonable answer. He said that I was just criticizing him and making him feel bad for no reason. He often did that. Like when I am stressed I don't eat as much and he would tell me that I was doing it on purpose just to make him feel guilty. It was like my experience was never real to him, everything I was doing was just to mess with him in his mind. But now I think that the horrible stuff he did and said is really who is he and the rest of it was a show. As long as I only acknowledged the show and gave him excessive praise for doing simple things the play continued and everything was fine in his mind. But it wasn't real. I don't think anyone should have to close their hearts off to the extent that someone you care about saying terrible things to you doesn't hurt or illicit a response. I am glad you are out of your situation now. For me it has been four months but I am already doing a lot better. I met someone that I enjoy spending time with but I am not sure if I am ready and I don't know how to know for sure. I don't want to mislead him or involve him and possibly hurt him but I also don't want to shut myself away. It is all still pretty confusing. I am worried that I will attract the same kind of partner again.

I know how you feel. I often wonder why I am so attracted to the tough guy, bad boy type. I fear myself for this. I know and understand now that it is not just a "type". Good luck to us.

It good you got off early and not waiting and believing you can make a saint out of him. Abusive relationship destroy one and it always make you feel you are the cause if you stay longer than five years. At times lead some to take their life. Thanks to goodness you have ended it. You just have to give yourself time focus more on yourself, built your dignity and set a goal. You have came out from a horrible experience you don't need another encounter from a second else you may start feeling you are the cause. You have feels to begin a new relationship that will erase the horrible experience but I say you need time and for now just you , yourself and you. And When you are ready look out for his personality and physiology. The way he talk to counter attendants and look at girls. In all you alone know what you want so that's why I advice you need to give yourself time not to make mistakes.

1 Heart

I think I want to be ready but I am really enjoying being on my own too. I went on a date last night and it was fun but today I have been feeling really anxious about it. I don't think I am ready to open up to someone and I am worried it will serve as a distraction from my own healing.

1 Heart

Time is something we do need to give ourself but I no for me I miss having someone around. It has been almost 2 months since I left and it has been no contact. I have went out a couple times but there hasn't been any click at all and I'm sure it's just me guarding myself and not wanting to make the same mistakes again. I did go out last night with someone polar opposite of my ex and had a great time. I'm not ready to get into any relationship I just want to try to have di because like all of us they shelter us from the world. I felt last night I was seeing the town I had lived in for years for the first time. My advice to you is don't start a new relationship up right away. Work on healing yourself and find someone to have fun with on more of a friend basis for a while. If they really like you they will be around when you are ready. Good luck and I'm glad you got out of your terrible life.

1 Heart

I know you've had several replies, but I want to give you my response to your first question and I hope we can have a little fun while we're at it, okay?

So Hoo yah!

My most main piece of advice is the same for people who are starting over as for people who are starting for the first time: Date a lot of people!

Date a whole lot of people!

When I say "date" I mean it in the classic North American sense. I don't mean hooking up. I don't mean booty calls. I don't mean romance. I don't mean deep emotional experiences. I mean date. Date a whole buncha people. Date lotsa people. Make it about enjoyment, not necessarily fun (learning the difference as we go). Don't dress up so much. Doesn't matter who pays. Doesn't matter who drives. Date.

This is much easier now with the Internets than it was back in ancient times (like 1997). Use all the resources available, but it's best to just invite your um, "victim" over for a simple dinner (spaghetti is easy & delicious). Then send 'em home. (You are allowed to date 'em again, but then you run the risk of starting a relationship and then are no longer following my advice anymore and that just might hurt my feelin's so I don't wanna hear about how my advice I helped you meet your boo. Okay? )

The more people you date, the less of a big deal everything about people becomes. I've been out with confident ugly women and insecure beautiful women. Everybody makes bad financial decisions. Every body has odor. Everybody is weird about something, whether it's beliefs or politics or social issues or their family or their relationship with animals or they support the wrong ball team. Also, it's the 21st century, we expect women to ask men out now. It's not a thing anymore, so if it's still a thing with you, now you know you can easily fake it until you make it.

I did have some fun with this post, and I hope you did too. In all earnestness, I believe it's healthy to date several people without the added baggage of high expectations and commitments. It helps if you are up front with folks about your intentions.

The challenges are well worth the rewards, in my opinion. So good luck to you in your new life! Cheers!

Hi tsruby,
It's been a while since we've chatted and so I'm checking in with you. I hope you are doing well.

@Tallman160916 Thanks! I have been doing pretty well. I went on several dates and then decided I just wasn’t ready and am happily enjoying my simple, single life. I am having some stress about the whole thing the last couple of days but I suppose that is normal since it is the first holiday season since the divorce. How are you?