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Help with moving on

freedom2018
Community Member

A few months ago, I left my husband, who I had been with for 9 years. We were originally having problems because he no longer wanted children anymore, and he knew that that was a deal-breaker for me. He thought our marriage was going to end, so he went and found himself an online girlfriend to cope with our break-up. This all happened while we were still living together, and I believed, still working on our marriage.
We have now officially split, although we are still under the same roof. Looking back at our relationship, and doing some research, I now believe I was married to an emotional abuser.

I have recently started seeing someone new, who is wonderful and sweet, and so very kind. He knows everything about my previous relationship and is happy to go slow for me. However, I feel like I am sabotaging the relationship now. He is very busy at work so is unable to message me very often during the day. I stress if I don't hear from him for hours on end, and start messaging him constantly. I even am constantly doubting him, asking if we're okay, or if he's busy talking to other girls. I don't believe I am good enough for this wonderful new man, and I feel like I am ruining any chance I have of a successful relationship due to my doubts and self esteem issues from my previous relationship. I feel like I am apologising constantly for my behaviour, and he says he understands and I don't need to worry. But surely he will tire of it eventually?? To be doubted constantly and to have to offer reassurance constantly must be exhausting. I'm not worth the hassle! But I want to move on. I don't want to be like this. I don't want my ex-husband to have a hold over my life anymore. Can anyone provide advice on how I can start to move on, and not be such a naggy cow to the new guy. He does nothing to deserve my doubt.

5 Replies 5

JessF
Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor
Hello freedom, I think you are halfway there by recognising that your behaviour is anxious and you have no reason to mistrust him. Perhaps the next time you feel the anxiety rising, before you fire off that message, print out your post above and read it for reassurance. The best way to tackle things like this is to slowly retrain yourself, urge by urge, not to act out of anxiety.

I'm interested when you say you don't want to feel like your ex husband has a hold over your life anymore. In what ways do you feel he still does? Is it still living together? Or do you feel he is connected to the anxiety you're feeling about your new relationship?

baet123
Community Member

Hey Freedom,

Welcome to the forums and thank you for posting. You have come to a good place if your seeking for some advice/suggestions from people who have been in your situation. Sorry to hear that you were in a crappy situation for a while but I can tell that you are extremely loving, caring and resilient which are amazing qualities to have. Be proud of that!

Congratulations on your new partner. Being open and honest is extremely important in all relationships to build trust. I think you are worried about being hurt again or losing someone you love and that is completely understandable and a normal reaction considering what you have been through. He seems like a great guy and he is extremely understanding of your situation and the reasons why you may be acting the way you do sometimes.

I think you should consider moving out and not living with your ex-husband. Seeing him day in, day out won't help you move on. If your financial situation allow you to do so, this is something worth looking into. Seeing him regularly may subconsciously bring back or cause some insecurities that you have to rise to the surface. I would work on beginning to love yourself again and start feeling as if you are worthy and good enough because I sense you are. It may even be worth seeing a psychologist to discuss your concerns and discuss some treatment/intervention methods and techniques that may assist you.

You have so much to give and you have amazing qualities that everyone looks for in a partner.

Please keep us posted.

Hope this helped.

All the best,

Nick.

Hi JessF. I feel like this anxiety and doubt that is affecting my new relationship is caused by the years of emotional abuse that my ex-husband put me through. I feel like he has emotional control over my thoughts.. “if I wasn’t good enough for my ex husband, then I’m not good enough for anyone”. I feel like the new guy will tire of my constant doubting and anxiety.

JessF
Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor
Hello freedom2018, just because you 'feel like' he has emotional control over your thoughts does not mean it is true. You are the owner of your thoughts, and you continue to give him power by telling yourself the story that he has emotional control over you. The statement 'if I wasn’t good enough for my ex husband, then I’m not good enough for anyone' is a good example of this. Let's say, just for argument's sake, that the first part is true. Why are you judging yourself against the standards of your ex-husband, a man who you feel emotionally abused you for years? Is this someone that you should want to be good enough for? If we changed your statement to 'if I wasn't good enough for an emotional abuser', then does the second part make any sense?

GoodWitch
Community Member

Wow JessF that's a very simple and effective exercise. I hope it helps freedom2018!

I wanted to chime in to paraphrase something I heard a while back, can't recall where. It something like, lack of trust isn't about your lack of faith in the other person, it is about you not trusting your own ability to handle it if that person hurts you. I'm probably mangling it. But the thing is we can never control another person's behaviour. We can only control, or try to control, how we handle their behaviour. You can't control how often your new man texts you, or how often he will reassure you...at least not without having potentially negative consequences like you fear (maybe he will get sick of it, you can't know for sure he won't). What you can know about yourself though, is that you can handle whatever happens with him, even if it is bad. You've survived and ended an emotionally abusive relationship, and even found a new person who cares for you. So even if the worst happened and your new man did something to hurt you, you could handle that. You've survived before. You can handle anything.

Once you know you can handle whatever happens you might be able to let go a little of the need to try to control what happens. I hope that makes sense I feel like I'm not articulating well.

It's also possible it may just be too soon for you to enter into another relationship, at least one that may end up being serious. With you still living with your ex, it's got to be confusing. Are you in counselling yourself? Have you been able to work through the effects to your ex's emotional abuse? It might be the time right now to do that and to focus on yourself so you can rebuild all your emotional strength

Wishing you the best xo - GW