Relationships after abuse: how to deal with love and loss??
I am new here and this is my first post.
I spent 2 years in an abusive relationship, and then 3 years single and recovering before I met my partner (we are both in early 30s). I did have some difficulties learning to let someone into my life again, and he wasn't really looking for a relationship ship at the time. We have been together almost 3 years now, seeing each other on weekends. We live 1 hour apart and this has always put a strain on things as we have very busy lives. Arguments have been escalating since we bought a bus and renovation plans got underway. The bus is at his parents house for logistical reasons and I am struggling to contribute to it with equal time and money. He feels like the longer the project takes, the more of his life wastes away and now he sees me as holding the project back. We were struggling to find a compromise that keeps everyone happy and yesterday we had a disagreement that will likely end our relationship for good.
I was really looking forward to this future with him so I am mourning the loss of him in my life as well as this dream of bus life. I don't see this being resolved and I am not sure I want to if we can't find a way to communicate better as arguments are still triggering for me and when he is hurt his nervous response is 'attack or be attacked'. I have suggested couples therapy but he is not keen/doesn't think it will help.
I have been through terrible break ups before (leaving an abuse relationship was very difficult) but somehow, I feel even more betrayed that I have let this man into my life and have been hurt again. I've been crying non stop, feel nauseous, and completely irrational. I thought after what I've been through previously, I would be better at coping. I know time will help as it is obviously very fresh... to be honest I am not even really sure what I am asking with this post. I am so exhausted of trying so hard and of being hurt. Why is this so hard and how is it ever possible to love again when loss is so incredibly painful?
Welcome to our friendly online community, we are so glad you decided to join us here. We know it can be hard to write the first post, so thank you for having the courage.
We're sure that a lot of our community members will relate to these feelings and hopefully some of them will pop by to offer you words of wisdom and kindness.
We would strongly urge that you contact. They offer 24/7 confidential information, counselling and support for people impacted by sexual assault, domestic or family violence and abuse. The lovely supportive counsellors have a lot of experience offering advice and support to anyone who has been through trauma like this. You can contact them on 1800 737 732 or visit https://www.1800respect.org.au/
If you would like some help finding mental health support, we would recommend that you get in contact with the Beyond Blue Support Service. They are available 24/7 by phone on 1300 22 4636 or on Webchat 1pm-12am AEST on our website: www.beyondblue.org.au/getsupport One of our friendly counsellors will be able to talk through these feelings with you and can offer support, advice and referrals.
It can be incredibly hard to heal from an abusive relationship. The next relationship afterwards can often be the hardest as it triggers a lot of those old feelings and also bring up past hurts. The reality of love and dating is that basically every relationship will need to fall apart before you find your person where it works. That in itself is a difficult process for all of us and the reason why some people stay in relationships that are not working. Your issue here isn’t actually the bus, it’s your communication styles and conflict resolution. The “attack or be attacked” attitude is problematic and something he would need to work on but he doesn’t seem particularly willing. Which is another barrier to long-term success. You no doubt have some things you need to work on too (we all do), it may be that he feels attacked when you raise things etc. After being in an abusive relationship, you may also be quick to pull the trigger and end things at the slightest conflict. These are all guesses and only you know best. It can be exhausting constantly putting ourselves out there only to be hurt, and the loss of our hopes and dreams is acute. That’s why I got a dog lol, all of the love and companionship but none of the hurt 🤣 take the time you need to heal and mourn the loss of your relationship and everything you thought it would be. Also consider whether these issues are unresolvable based on what you know of his personality and make your decision from there. And try and remember that everything needs to fall apart for something better to come along
Thank you, you have been very perceptive in your assessment of the situation and you were right; the 'problem' wasn't actually the problem...we have had calm and honest discussions now and better understand where each of us are at. We plan to keep going and work on the issues we have talked about. I feel a bit embarrassed I was so overwhelmed but I actually did learn a lot from the whole experience and feel like it needed to happen.
Thanks so much for taking the time to reply, it was very useful and much appreciated 🙂
I’m glad that you have gotten to the bottom of what you were arguing about and have been able to have calm and honest conversations, that is a huge achievement. Oh please don’t be embarrassed, if I had a dollar for every time I’d packed my bags, physically and mentally, after a fight I’d be a rich lady 😂 I’m just glad that you have been able to come to some sort of understanding, and remember we’re always here if you ever feel like a chat!