If I asked for something, I was put down/ignored. If I suggested something, same thing...ignored/told I was crazy. There was never anything for ME in my marriage. Ever. The manipulation to get me to marry him..
(((hugs)))) I'm so sorry, psychological abuse can do a lot of damage.
I dealt with that also and I am a very strong person, and it STILL took quite a bit of counseling to undo the damage.
I did have an idea of what a healthy relationship is "supposed" to look like though, but I had never been able to find a guy I was attracted to that was able to have one. In the past, I generally went after alpha-males (and every single one of those had some narcissistic qualities).
I waited over a year between the last one and the one I am currently seeing. Right now we have hit a rough spot (I posted about it) and am getting 2 x 4's on why I should dump him, but honestly, he is wonderful to me.
This one DOES listen to me. He totally cares about what I think, how I feel, if I am happy (imagine, a guy caring if I am actually happy!) He is nurturing and kind and gentle. Totally opposite of what I am used to, but we do have to work thru some stuff. Being with him is easy, we get along wonderfully. Dealing with some of the problems and issues that arise because of our pasts is taking some determination and persistence though.
But here is the deal....he has a past, I have a past. Our past DOES affect our present from time to time. I still have financial ties with WS that are not going away any time soon because right now I am having financial difficulties and WS is bipolar and a SA and has a hard time with impulsive spending, so he is paying down his debt, but VERY slowly. I also am coparenting with a diagnosed psychopath.
I figured also that no one out there is going to want to deal with that baggage, but you know what? I am a good person. I have a good heart. I am worth someone investing in, even if they do have to deal with some crap.
And the guy I am with right now feels that way also. He is willing to deal with that crap, and I am willing to deal with his crap. Because we are both working hard towards a better future.
There are good caring guys out there cmego. Sometimes they are hidden a bit or you have to open your eyes to other possibilities than what you would normally be attracted to.
"nah...he won't hang. As soon as he knows (insert whatever), he'll walk away. What is the point
Not true. Actually, I have had several guys want to go out with me and date me seriously. They all know about my past because I am fairly vocal about it. I make jokes about it. I put it out there and that way people can decide beforehand if they want to deal with it or not. There are plenty that will deal.
When does life feel normal?
There's no such thing as normal.
When do the ghosts leave??
When you decide to banish them. When you change the track in your head that is playing over and over about "nah...he won't hang. As soon as he knows (insert whatever), he'll walk away. What is the point?".
What are your positive points? Make a list. If you are having difficulty, make the list on here, we could help you! Come up with 20 positive traits about yourself. Then start going over that list every day. Say it out loud. Remember who you are and who you are in the process of becoming.
There was never anything for ME in my marriage
What do you want out of life? What is important to you? What gives you pleasure, and makes you feel fulfilled inside?
Those are important questions to be able to answer. If you have no clue, start taking quizzes (you can find them online) that help define your personality, your values, your ethics. Those can be a good place to start to help you realize who you are, what is important to you, and how you want to live your life.
When you figure out who you are, you will attract the right guy in your life for where you are in life.
[This message edited by NaiveAgain at 6:46 AM, September 12th (Thursday)]