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New Beginnings Post Reply     Print Topic    
User Topic: Heal Before Dating
movingforward13
♀ Member
Member # 38405
Default  Posted: 9:12 AM, January 6th (Monday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

From an article I read....

CBN.com – With the numbers of singles, and single-again, swelling, more and more people are bouncing in and out of relationships, including marriage, apparently learning little from mistakes in the past. Having been hurt, again and again, many are ready to resign their dating membership, withdraw their ad, abandon their Single’s groups and settle into the easy comfort of their apartment with a bowl of popcorn and a plasma TV.

Why are singles retreating at increasing rates from the Dating Scene? What’s going wrong, and how can we fix it? In a sentence—we haven’t learned how to date smart, which includes being completely ready to date in the first place.
One of the first tasks of any serious dater is to determine if they and their date is really emotionally ready and available for love. This is no easy task, since most feel eager for a relationship.

Any of you who have dated in recent years know there is a vast difference between those with “the urge to merge,” those hidden behind a brick wall of distance and deception, who are scared to death to let themselves be vulnerable at all in a relationship, and those emotionally and spiritually ready for transparency and love.

But, how can you discern the difference? This is the critical question.

One recent response voices some of these concerns:

I have been in several relationships that I just ended abruptly. Each of them said that I am not willing to give enough to make the relationship work. I am very afraid of getting hurt, that is why I do not want to go too far. But now I realize the fact that I can not go on for long like this. How do I know when to let go and love someone freely and stop thinking from the beginning how bad I will feel if the relationship does not work? I am really confused and want to know how I can change things for the better.”

Sadly, this writer is experiencing many of the concerns typical of those seeking a love relationship. Let’s explore some of your concerns, expanded upon in my forthcoming book, Are You Really Ready for Love?, and what you can do to protect yourself from future hurt.

First, listen carefully to the feedback you’re receiving. Anytime we get a message over and over, from multiple sources, there’s a good chance there’s some truth in those messages. In your case, they’re saying you don’t give enough, and you add that you’re afraid of being hurt. I suggest participating in counseling to explore old unresolved hurts that may be hampering your willingness to take risks in dating.

Second, guard yourself from the urge to merge. Having gotten out of a serious relationship, and still reeling from pain, many rush into a new relationship with the hope of anesthetizing their pain by entering into a new, euphoric love relationship. The problem is, every time a relationship ends, we need to take time not only to grieve that loss, understanding what went wrong and what to learn from it. Go slowly, allowing the experience to impact you.

Third, it is natural to fear being hurt, but these risks can be managed with good judgment and discernment. Each of us needs to be an astute judge of character. When we trust and untrustworthy individual, we’re likely to get hurt. But, we can learn to trust only trustworthy people. This is the way any of us know how much of ourselves to share with another. Can they be trusted with our words, our emotions, our love? The old principle, test, trust, test, trust, applies to each of our lives.

Fourth, after discerning who can be trusted, by judging their character, we take risks. In every relationship we take the risk of being hurt, knowing we can minimize those risks, and also knowing the incredible payoffs when we find someone worthy of sharing our lives with. When we refuse to take risks, we remain safe, but painfully alone.

Finally, as you work on healing old wounds, developing a good judge of character, and a willingness to take risks, you’re probably prepared to enter the dating arena. Being really ready for love means you’ve done your work, are emotionally and spiritually stable, and know what you’re looking for in a date. Additionally, you’ve prepared yourself to be an attractive date yourself.

Entering into the arena of dating and love involves risks—but these risks can be managed. We don’t have to blindly enter a dating relationship, crossing our fingers and hoping we don’t get hurt. As we prepare ourselves, growing stronger and wiser, we gain self-confidence and trust that God will guide us through this challenging, yet exciting journey of our lives.


Once a cheater, always a cheater happens when your cheater doesn't have remorse.
Regret is not remorse- know the difference!

Posts: 643 | Registered: Feb 2013 | From: DC
invictus
♀ Member
Member # 21623
Default  Posted: 9:37 AM, January 6th (Monday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

How does the article compare to your experiences, movingforward13?

I think it was about a year after the divorce was final before I started dating. I wasn't looking for "love" and certainly wasn't "healed" by then, but gave it a go anyway.

I view dating differently than I did before marriage. Dating was a mate-selection process; learning who and what I liked and didn't like, what I could deal with and what I wasn't willing to put up with, and ultimately looking for someone I knew would be a good parent, since that was part of the life-package.

Now I view it as developing social friendships, which is how I should have viewed it when I was younger.

I enjoyed dating one person for about a year, liked him and was really affirmed as a person and a woman. Eventually, it seemed like we were on a hamster wheel, and although I wasn't seeking commitment, I wasn't comfortable perpetuating a relationship that didn't develop into something deeper. So we parted as friends.

If a person begins with the understanding that they are not looking for a replacement or a "quickie", I believe dating can help heal, even if it doesn't result in a relationship. Sometimes it's just nice to spend time with someone not related to you!

And not everyone can AFFORD counseling. The best thing about counseling was that nobody was trying to "fix" me, but SOMEBODY was listening to me. Maybe dating is an opportunity to listen and be listened to. If it leads to understanding, then that's a potential new beginning.


♥ BW (59) m. 31 years - Divorced in 2009. Living in low income apartment, but it isn't as bad as it sounds. ALMOST making ends meet. Anybody have a spare miracle?

Posts: 1871 | Registered: Nov 2008 | From: Texas
Betrayeddaddio
♂ Member
Member # 30198
Default  Posted: 10:13 AM, January 6th (Monday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Very timely post for me.

I, like many here I suspect felt like I had already put in the time....3 + years post D-day, 6 months since I stated I wanted to separate (haven't felt married for almost the whole 3 years)so jumped right into dating to fix myself.

After a few dates with this very nice woman I have come to realize all of those post marriage clichés are pretty spot on and I am more screwed up than I wanted to believe. I am numb, possibly dead inside, I couldn't even enjoy intimate moments with this woman without mentally checking out to think how I wasted 19 years of my life with the stxww.......skipped the time to heal part I guess. Calamity ensued, back to the drawing board for me.......

These seem to apply to me...

I have been in several relationships that I just ended abruptly. Each of them said that I am not willing to give enough to make the relationship work.

Second, guard yourself from the urge to merge. Having gotten out of a serious relationship, and still reeling from pain, many rush into a new relationship with the hope of anesthetizing their pain by entering into a new, euphoric love relationship. The problem is, every time a relationship ends, we need to take time not only to grieve that loss, understanding what went wrong and what to learn from it. Go slowly, allowing the experience to impact you.

I haven't done the work (I'm not sure what the work is honestly), I don't want to trust anyone, and its not fair to bring other people into your mess.....live and learn.


BH-42 WW-40 DD-5 DD-9 DD-11
D-Day 09/27/2010 Wayward wife had a 10 month A with married DB co-worker Separated Oct. 2013

Posts: 709 | Registered: Nov 2010 | From: Canada
movingforward13
♀ Member
Member # 38405
Default  Posted: 10:28 AM, January 6th (Monday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I think many people date right away to numb the pain from a relationship ending. Numbing pain isn't healing it.
Most of the work is enjoying being on your own and learning (and loving) yourself. If you can't stand to be by yourself, how can you expect to be in a healing relationship? You will be depending on that person to make yourself happy.

I was one of these people who dated immediately after separation from my husband. After a few dates, I realized I wasn't ready. I even broke a sweet guy's heart in the process.

Hurt people hurt other people. People who are still hurt from previous relationships, in my opinion, shouldn't be dating until they worked out their issues to prevent hurting others. I honestly believe though that broken attracts broken so healthy people would normally pick up red flags and warning signs before the euphoric love sets it and will stop it before getting so far.
Healthy people will have strong boundaries, not let someone lie to them continually, and will be able to end a relationship that is harmful.


Once a cheater, always a cheater happens when your cheater doesn't have remorse.
Regret is not remorse- know the difference!

Posts: 643 | Registered: Feb 2013 | From: DC
Betrayeddaddio
♂ Member
Member # 30198
Default  Posted: 10:58 AM, January 6th (Monday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I was one of these people who dated immediately after separation from my husband. After a few dates, I realized I wasn't ready. I even broke a sweet guy's heart in the process.

Yes I think that's where I am at. (not a sweet guy though )

I guess it is not a race to see who is okay first (WS or BS)...life is strange that way.


BH-42 WW-40 DD-5 DD-9 DD-11
D-Day 09/27/2010 Wayward wife had a 10 month A with married DB co-worker Separated Oct. 2013

Posts: 709 | Registered: Nov 2010 | From: Canada
fraeuken
♀ Member
Member # 30742
Default  Posted: 11:26 AM, January 6th (Monday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Very timely for me as well.

I have been wanting to get into that mindset to allow myself more time to heal and then I succumb to the temptations that seem to have been coming along at an increasing pace lately.

After my last relationship was short-lived I went out on dates with some men, just because I could and because it made me still wanted and attractive. It was so wrong and I could feel it. I feel myself withdrawing emotionally right now from anybody who approaches me as a possible romantic interest, and I know I am certainly not ready to give myself to someone. I realized I am happiest when I am at home, feeling comfortable and protected, snuggling with the kids and the cat while watching a good show or reading my book. I feel safe when I am surrounded by my girlfriends and couple friends.

Thank you for you posting, this really hit home today.


Temporarily independent with the whole world at my feet.

Posts: 1260 | Registered: Jan 2011 | From: California
butterfly13
♀ New Member
Member # 41847
Default  Posted: 3:53 AM, January 9th (Thursday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Y'all are going to think I'm crazy, but I don't necessarily agree with the general statement that is being made here about not dating.

All of us heal at a different speed and the parts of us that have been damaged by a WS A are different for everyone.

No one says you have to go out and find a replacement spouse or use dating as a distraction from your healing process. That is a conscious decision you make.

My WS SA & LTA has reaped HUGE destruction on my sexual identity. I have been doing lots of work with my IC to remind myself that I am an attractive woman. My IC actually recommended dating as a way to reinforce that point...that it is ok to feel desired and wanted by a man.

I've only signed up to a dating website and don't honestly feel ready to date. But I have to admit that the amount of messages in my inbox every morning make me feel GOOD and make me realize there is light at the end of this tunnel.

I don't think this is a morality question...everyone has to be conscious of the choices they make with regards to this topic and be prepared to reap the benefits or pay the consequences of their behaviour.


Me: BS
Him: WH
Married 14 yrs
DS:9, DD:5
DDay: Aug '13 LTA

Posts: 28 | Registered: Dec 2013
Nature_Girl
♀ Member
Member # 32554
Default  Posted: 10:01 AM, January 9th (Thursday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

After all that I went through with my SA NPD ex, the last thing I want is to be with anyone else, possibly ever again. My sexuality is shattered. I could see having male friends of the 100% no sex variety (Friend Zone), but I know enough about men to know they never want to stay FZ'd, and I'm unwilling to be in that conversation again. I don't want to be flirted with, I don't need external validation.

I'm enough for me.

I'm definitely not healed.


Me = BS (Stay-at-home-mom)
Him = EX-d out (abusive troglodyte NPD SA)
3 tween-aged kids
Together 20 years
D-Day: Memorial Weekend 2011
2013 - DIVORCED!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wJgjyDFfJuU

Posts: 10004 | Registered: Jun 2011 | From: USA
Decimated
♂ Member
Member # 31656
Default  Posted: 11:18 AM, January 9th (Thursday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

After a few dates with this very nice woman I have come to realize all of those post marriage clichés are pretty spot on and I am more screwed up than I wanted to believe. I am numb, possibly dead inside, I couldn't even enjoy intimate moments with this woman without mentally checking out to think how I wasted 19 years of my life with the stxww.......skipped the time to heal part I guess. Calamity ensued, back to the drawing board for me.......

And this…except for the cat.
I realized I am happiest when I am at home, feeling comfortable and protected, snuggling with the kids and the cat while watching a good show or reading my book.

It’s been almost a year since my divorce was final from XWW. I joined an online dating sight and started dating almost immediately. After about 2 months I realized that I wasn't ready for this. I wanted to jump into something in order to forget my X’s betrayal. I wanted to feel desired and attractive again. I would have settled for feeling human. Her affair destroyed so much of whom I was…my dignity, pride, self-esteem…. I felt dead inside too...numb. I wanted to feel alive again. I did meet some nice ladies but I wasn't really attracted to any of them. Because of my all of my new trust issues...I was seeing red flags everywhere. I remember thinking I would rather be home watching TV. I took down my profile and haven’t dated since. I realized that I wasn't even close to being ready for a relationship or even to date.

I would really like someone special in my life…someday, but I also realize that I need to do a lot of work on myself before I involve someone else. I honestly don’t know when I’ll be ready to date again but for now I’m just focusing on myself and my children. I am still bitter over what she did to me and our family. I do notice attractive women but I don’t seem to trust them enough to want to engage them right now. That coupled with my self-esteem issues…nothing’s going to happen. Until I get myself straightened out…I won’t be ready. I need to learn to love myself again and that seems to be difficult for me. The ultimate rejection of infidelity has a way of destroying that.


Decimated
Me -BH 48
Her-WW 40
D Day #1 9/09 (found out about friendship, she promised NC...she lied)
D day #2 1/11 (found out EA on going...she lied)
D day #3 4/11 (found out EA was a PA...still lying)
M 16 years, 3 kids
Divorced - 1/13

Posts: 106 | Registered: Mar 2011
strugglingmomi4
♀ Member
Member # 18015
Default  Posted: 9:43 AM, January 10th (Friday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I myself also jumped right into a relationship after my XH and I's divorce. I wish now more than anything that I would have taken the time to heal from the hurt of our my M. I thought I was ready... that our M had been dead. I was wrong. The only advice I can give to those freshly out... work on you. Take time for you. Seek clarity, understanding and forgiveness for your past relationship and your part it in. Find yourself in the things you love. Make others smile, share your experiences and build a new you... not reliant on anyone or anything. I know I would have done things so much differently.


...Anyone can give up, it's the easiest thing in the world to do... But to hold it together when everyone else would understand if you fell apart, that's true strength...


Posts: 277 | Registered: Jan 2008
Betrayeddaddio
♂ Member
Member # 30198
Default  Posted: 8:37 PM, January 11th (Saturday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Great points being made here, clearly I enjoy my weekends with my kids but I desperately need to work on the weekends without them (get a life comment here). I'm am going to focus on rebuilding relationships with friends and family that got pushed to the side when I was married. Dating, I thought, would be part of the healing process but I am learning it is something that will have to wait until I am healed.

Her affair destroyed so much of whom I was…my dignity, pride, self-esteem…. I felt dead inside too...numb.

At some point no matter who did what to who, we need to take ownership of ourselves and not "let" someone else take parts of ourselves....I am not the same person as I was pre-affair, but I can be better (just different). A work in progress.....baby steps!


BH-42 WW-40 DD-5 DD-9 DD-11
D-Day 09/27/2010 Wayward wife had a 10 month A with married DB co-worker Separated Oct. 2013

Posts: 709 | Registered: Nov 2010 | From: Canada
BAB61
♀ Member
Member # 41181
Default  Posted: 1:36 AM, January 17th (Friday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

This thread was exactly what I needed to read! I'm only 3 months post D-day, 1 month into a 6 month mandatory separation before D can be filed. I know I am in no way ready to date, was just curious about when others started moving on. It appears it's not a time issue as much as a self-healing issue. So glad I've availed myself of different avenues to achieve that. Thanks to all who posted here!


Boss A** B*tch
BS/52 Me, STBXpos/56, dd's 16&14
1st D-day 10/19/2013 EA/PA
2nd D-day 12/7/2013 LTA/Rendezvous
S 12/7/2013 No-fault state, 6 mo S, counting down the days.

Posts: 1271 | Registered: Oct 2013 | From: DE
Topic Posts: 12

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