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Confused and lost separation and new love after escaping toxic marriage

Community Member
I have only just escaped a toxic marriage that I had almost lost my life to. The man I married was for all the wrong reasons, tradition, everyone's opinion, family, settle too fast, me being hopeful, just everything was wrong with it. During the relationship there was no intimacy, no emotional talk, alot of abuse, it didn't feel like a relationship at all yet we still married, we lived in different rooms to eachother isolated the whole time. I tried to escape this marriage multiple times, running away, asking for a break up, asking for a divorce, each attempt resulted in friends and family being threatened, suicide threats and so much more, eventually I gave up and decided to stay even if it meant being lonely and forever one-sided, life was really miserable i was trapped and the only thing i could do was to keep effortlessly trying to repair something that was beyond repair and keep suffering the abuse, the neglect being cheated on and consistely shamed while covering up for all his actions to survive. One day, he introduced me to his friends, one of them changed my life. This guy was bright, celebrated my wins, tried to pick me up when i was down, made me feel comfortable with my flaws, was just as shy as me and taught me many things as we grew in life. It caught me off guard when I caught feelings for him, I was terrified, I knew it was impossible for me to be with him because I had already committed myself to his friend. So I kept denying the feelings I had for him for a long time during our relationship which only made things worse. To try stop the feelings I threw myself more at my ex, had a baby, tried to buy a house, my ex was the whole time completely uninterested with anything I did in the marriage. These things caused me even more heartache and pain because I was constantly rejected and here this amazing guy completely the opposite was sitting across from me who over the years seemed to be everything perfect I would consider in a guy and there was nothing i could do. After many years I finally built the courage to take my child and flee my marriage, to flee the abuse. I am fixing alot of broken things going through separation and have been thinking about this man as I heal, but can't seem to shake the feelings I have for him off. I am heartbroken because the people I talk to that did leave me behind family or old friends all disagree with my choice of feelings.. but no matter what I can't help but feel he may actually be the right one for me.
9 Replies 9

Hi IrisLight,

Welcome to the forums, and thank you for sharing this here. We know it isn't easy, but it can be a really great step towards feeling better. 

It sounds like you've been through some incredibly difficult times, and could be having an impact on how you're feeling day to day, so please know that there’s always someone here for you to talk it through with. The Beyond Blue counsellors are available 24/7 on 1300 22 4636 or online, here. 

We’re sure we’ll hear from our lovely, supportive community soon. In the meantime, here’s a few things you might like to look at: We are here to support you and you are not alone. Thank you so much for sharing here. Please feel free to share a bit more and let us know what is going on for you, and what might help, if you feel comfortable.

Kind regards,

Sophie M

white knight
Community Champion
Community Champion

Hi, welcome

I think many people could relate to you especially those that have endured a marriage of control and sadness. I'm one too.

Having said that, you deserve a pat on the back not only from others but from yourself. You've survived, you are incredible and you know what? You can have happiness if not this guy then some other guy that will treat you proper.

My 1st marriage, 2 kids, I was mentally abused. My best friend was so helpful. I'd matched her either my brother in law. 25 years later we were both divorced and I decided to risk our mateship. I cooked vegetables soup as she made her way to my new home in the country. There was something in the soup!

We married in 2011. Life since has been amazing.

Reach for the stars.


Beyondblue topic the best praise you'll ever get

Beyondblue topic worry worry worry


Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hi IrisLight,

Firstly, congratulations on escaping your nightmare marriage - well done :)! Secondly, I would say to disregard the words of friends and family, you can’t live your life according to what other people think and feel, they have their own life and don’t even know this person. That being said, I would advise you to take your time. As someone who was in a DV relationship for many years also, you are in a vulnerable state for quite some time after getting out, even if you may not entirely realise it. And are susceptible to fantasizing about people as a sort of savior. I hadn’t realised this at the time but straight after I left my relationship I met a man who I thought was wonderful and was everything I was missing. I was convinced that he was the one, but alas it turned out not to be the case and I was left heartbroken and it brought all my old feelings back and really set me back on my recovery journey. Just be careful not to idealize this guy and convince yourself that he’s the one before you get a chance to really get to know him. That being said, I think you should give it a shot, what have you got to lose? Would you say he is close friends with your ex-husband?

Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hello IrisLight, sometimes when people are happy in a relationship/marriage they then try to throw themselves at this person hoping that by having a baby or buy a house will radically change the whole situation, unfortunately this doesn't happen and only confuses your struggle to be happy.

Family/friends at some point want to have their say which you might agree or disagree with, but it's your choice, but can I suggest you try and ease yourself into a new relationship without any thought of a commitment, because you only get to know someone properly once you are living together.

Take care.


Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hello IrisLight, I'm sorry I meant to say ' sometimes when people aren't happy in a relationship/marriage'.

My apologies.


Thanks Tony,

Those posts you shared were really helpful, I will try to remain positive and see where this goes if not then wait for another if it doesn't happen between me and him.

That's really romantic and thanks for sharing, sounds like you and your best friend were meant to be. It gives me hope, I hope the same can happen for me one day too.


Hey thanks Juliet_94

I can relate to your advice at the moment. Being in a DV situation has made me step back from everything for a bit to heal and reflect on what happened and reflect on what I can do to avoid getting myself into that situation again. It's a tough journey because I noticed that I did tend to see him as the saviour, couldn't help it, he was always there in my darkest times and he doesn't even know it.

I learnt to stop painting things when they are not, which was one reason I stepped back. But after looking at the situation, he seems to be that rare person that can read between the lines of things and I'm trying hard not to look at him with Rose tinted glasses but he really does.

In terms of close this is a tricky one to figure. He always seems to be that friend with 1 foot in the ring and 1 foot out for himself with my ex. He doesn't seem close to anyone, really reserved kind of guy, but always steps in to help when things go wrong. Surprisingly, he has opened up to me alot and I'm not sure whether it's because he knew I was in a vulnerable situation or because he wanted to, we shared alot of deep talk. I haven't had an affair with him, but he does seem really close to me.

My wife talked about leaving me last year and then asked for an open relationship. I got on the dating scene because I was sure she was leaving but I was also sure no woman would want to talk to me. In 6 months I had one serious relationship, several women telling me if I went to being fully single they'd be very interested and a lot of other overall pleasant interactions.

There is no reason to assume you need a relationship to be happy, but if you do decide to look for another one, it's pretty likely you undervalue yourself and how likely it is you can find someone.

Also, much love and respect to you for finding the courage to leave an awful situation. Those sort of things are designed to destroy your sense of self worth but I am sure your child will forever tell their friends how much they appreciate your love and what you did for them. It's common in an abusive situation to be cut off from your own friends and to know his friends, who then take his side. This too shall pass. Your abuser is NOT the right one for you, he just conditioned you to think he's all you could hope for.

Thank you,

I agree, it took me a while to figure out what kind of situation I was in, he really twisted reality for me. At one point of the relationship I figured I had to learn to not take anything he said in personally because the amount of emotional abuse on a daily basis was destructive.

Thanks for the advice, I hope my son says that one day. I am just happy me and him are alive and finally free.

Just healing and will see what happens I suppose. I'm not planning to jump into a relationship for a while, but only because I need time to heal and learn about myself.