I’m recently divorced after a year and a half of separation from an abusive relationship. Any advice on getting back in the dating scene and believing again?
Anyone who’s experienced the isolation, humiliation, and pain of an abusive relationship needs emotional healing time.
This often requires professional help, to believe in yourself again.
You need to bolster these following convictions before you date: that you have a right to a healthy and happy relationship, that you’re capable of finding a partner you can trust, and that you’ll never again find excuses for accepting abuse.
Until you get to this point of self-confidence again, don’t date. DO go out, be with friends, meet new people… but don’t rush into getting emotionally attached to anyone too soon.
Once you feel less shaky about dating, and sure that your self-esteem’s intact, start dating people you already know, before turning to online sites.
Even if it’s “practice dating” because you don’t feel an immediate turn-on, start with someone who feels familiar and comfortable. Tell friends and family that you’re open to dating again, and meet people they actually know.
If you’re still on your own in six months, you can try online dating but be very selective. Don’t build up expectations until you’ve met someone many times, and know where and how they live.
I’m going through a really bad break-up, can't sleep, eat, just cry. We dated over a year and I moved across the country for him.
After six months I returned home, feeling homesick. We agreed to long-distance dating. He said he’d plan to move to me.
But I discovered he was messaging a friend saying he didn't want to be with me, didn't miss me, and that he had wanted me to leave, but he didn't call a break-up for fear I’d stalk him (which I’d never do).
He won’t talk to me any more but I feel it’d be better if we were friends.
Open your eyes: he’s a cowardly snake. He’s badmouthing a woman he lived with for a year, who only left because of being homesick. Yet he’s twisting the facts, to look like he’s so important, he’d be stalked.
Friends? Drop all contact. He’ll only use you and hurt you again.
Can you recommend experienced female family/marital counsellors in my area? My wife and I are having trouble communicating without arguing, often related to the stress of parenting our two young boys.
We find ourselves having dramatic blow-ups in front of the kids.
I cannot recommend specific people but have many suggestions about how to seek a therapist that “fits” your needs. See my home page Guide to Find A Therapist on www.ellieadvice.com.
It’s normal to disagree, and also healthy for parents to discuss, even argue, different points of view, so long as they do NOT do this in front of the children, and do not just fight to win.
Since your boys are young, you should also research good parenting books and theories to see if you can find some common ground as a basic approach.
Whatever your particular background was growing up does not mean that’s necessarily the “right” way as opposed to the other parent’s, or that it’s right for these particular children in this environment.
You’re wise to seek help. But arguing in front of children is very emotionally upsetting and confusing to them, and teaches them to be less responsive and less trusting, rather than more.
Commentary Regarding the issue of men “bashing” women:
Reader – “My mother worked in a small company where she was the only woman. The men always treated her respectfully, but her boss had many friends who’d drop in, sit in his office, and complain endlessly about their wives (her boss just listened).
“She couldn't help but hear every word and there was no way to shut it out. She finally mentioned it to her boss who agreed he was also tired of listening to it.
“The next time it happened, he said: “Well, you married her and you're still married to her. What does that say about YOU?”
“The complaining stopped then and there. A couple of his friends even thanked him for making them stop and think about their attitude toward the person they were spending their life with.
“English language has a word for grouping people based on a common denominator, then "bashing" them – bigotry.”
Tip of the day:
If you accepted abuse in the past, you need a boost in self-esteem before dating again.