I think you are terrified.
I think your ex pulled all sorts of mind games and you are not only unsure of who to trust but you don't trust yourself.
I believe you are a strong minded, independent woman and that is precisely why you are now reeling from your last relationship.
I think you are so panicked to return back to that strong independent woman that you are in active denial that anything is wrong and are desperate to fast forward through this mess and be fully heeled.
I really believe you are on the path to heeling and you may be getting past your breakup but I don't think anyone who mention their ex 17 times in one post has truely heeled.
I surfed through Baggage Reclaim and nothing applied to me there. I'm past a lot of those stages already...But, thanks for suggestion.
What exactly did you do to get post those stages and to achieve an emotionally healthier you? What did you do to get past the dysfunction that resides within yourself? Think about this....are you really past those stages or have you swept things neatly under a rug, so you didn't have to face them? To me, it sounds like you've just compartmentalized everything and put it away.
<------The master of compartmentalization.
Sometimes it's better to push someone away...not because you stopped loving them but because you can't take the pain anymore.
You already have acknowledged red flags, which isn't a super sign 2 dates deep.
And seriously, the only reason I have found not to read baggagereclaim is because the truth hurts.
I was over my ex, the betrayal, the devastation of my life. It took me less than 3 months to get over the loss of a 25 year marriage.
I was giddy and excited to date again.
I was strong, so much stronger than others who had been through this.
I was different than everyone else who had been through this. They didn't know me. They didn't understand.
I am coming up on the 2 year anti-versary of my d-day and I realize I'm not even close to ready. I've been through 1 rebound guy and 2 semi-serious (or so I thought) relationships.
I was warned, gently and not so gently, that it was too soon. I knew better, lol. Technically - I guess I know better now.
So my two cents:
1. Give yourself some time. Seriously, fight the urge to "get out there" You deserve the time to heal and you are only delaying the process with filler emotions because the real emotions are too painful and scary.
2. It is waaaay too easy to perceive any romantic interaction as serious interest. You are trying, whether consciously or unconsciously, to replace the lost feeling of intimacy from your marriage. It's almost like I was playing house with these guys. Like on the show Bewitched - I just replaced my "Darren" with another "Darren" and went on my way hoping no one would notice it was a different guy and I was piece of crap loser who couldn't keep a man home and happy.
I know better now but two months out you cannot think straight.
You just cannot.
That's why you're here asking opinions. Somewhere deep down you know it's too soon and that part of you is trying to save the part of you that has something to prove to the world.
[This message edited by roseguide at 9:27 PM, May 13th (Tuesday)]
Maybe he just wants to have a fling. But, I'm not a fling kinda girl. I'm a good girl
Even though you are over your WS, it doesn't mean you are healed. This is the time to kind of coccoon a bit, lick your wounds, do some introspection, spend time alone and get to know yourself. You need to strengthen yourself because dating is not for the weak or the vulnerable. You should be approaching dating from a position of strength, not need or vulnerability or confusion..... Who are you, what are your values, what is important to you, and what do you want for your future? Those are important things to consider before dating again. And, it is perfectly okay if you decide that what you want right now is to just enjoy and date around casually and have fun (as long as you can stick with those rules and you are sure to let the guy know so he can decide for himself if he is okay with that.) Or, if that type of thing isn't for you, it is perfectly okay to wait a while until you can offer your entire heart and the true essence of who you are, and then date seriously again. What really matters is how you feel about this, and what is important to you.
[This message edited by NaiveAgain at 10:09 PM, May 13th (Tuesday)]
Just him saying that he's a rebound is highly inappropriate. On the second date? You should still be talking about what movies you like and where you went to high school. The way it seemed to me in your original post, it read almost like a "poor me" kinda thing. This is a huge red flag never to be overlooked. Any kind of appeal for sympathy, or attempt to psychoanalyze you coming from a man is very bad news.
Then his story portraying an entire breakup hinging on the events of just *one* night (???) and portraying his ex as completely unhinged is just plain bad bad bad. I'm sure you can figure that one out.
As far as being "ready" to date.. who knows. Ime, seeing an actual therapist, and one I really like who is good, did me way more good than reading any book or website. I think it says a lot that you notice the red flags with this guy.
.I was so excited to go out, put some tight pants on and sky high heels, a little lipstick, dinner and a movie...
For the year or so I didn't date between guys, I made some new friends and got all dressed up and went dancing most weekends. I had a blast! Actually, I haven't done that for a while and I miss it.
While I had time to think about what I wanted and figure out what was important to me without any outside (guy) influences....I started back to school for a new career, I bought a drum set to bang around on, I made lots of new friends, I ran for president of student government (and won) and I dabbled in politics.
I know who I am better now. I know what is important to me in this life. I know what I want. I am dating again, but now I won't let someone else determine my path. At this point in my life, my new guy knows what I want and he can come along for the ride or he can watch me as I fly. But since I took the time in between guys to figure out what was really important to me (instead of devoting most of my time to my partner(s) and changing my wishes to accommodate them I am a much stronger person now.
This is YOUR time.
There are several other articles on the 'discovery' phase idea that I find really helpful. Pull back your expectations and don't let your hormones drive you.
One variable is: how long ago was your last D-day? Mine (DD #2) was April 2007. So by the time my late husband lost his 26 month battle with stage 4 lung cancer in January 2013, I'd had over 5 years to heal, and over 2 years to pre grieve his approaching death.
SI members here were pretty concerned that I was rushing into disaster with my friend turned new romance. But, reread the above paragraph. I was initially quite confused about my now husband's intentions, when he first began expressing interest in me. I have since learned, thru observation and reading about it, that this is pretty common practice in retirement communities. I also found out that my late husband, either deliberately (quite possible knowing late hubby) or unconsciously "handed over the reins" when he asked his best friend (my new husband) to "look after hit after he died".
I worried that new hubby might have been after me because late hubby left me reasonably well off. He has since shown that to be highly unlikely by his actions. I am fat ((albeit very attractive) and wheelchair bound.
We do NOT have a chaste relationship and it's rather difficult for a male to fake it in bed. Only very recently have we slowed down to 2x a week.
So, as always, your mileage may vary. Keep your eyes wide open as I did, heal first as I did, then you pays your money and takes your chances anyway.
Not every situation that looks scary to other concerned parties is going to be a fail.
I had a rollercoaster ride with this guy in less than a week. I am NOT ready. I know, because I attracted the same kind of guy again. I failed. So, guess what, YOU WERE ALL RIGHT. :) In a good way of course.
I cannot reiterate my point enough of how I literally cherish every single one of you who has commented in your own unique way.
Get this. I asked about his ex-wife again. The story got a little more detailed. He told me she was controlling and he liked his freedom. They didn't get married until after she had his kids and he took her to Vegas. Translation= she put up with his shit and he cheated on her before they were married and proabably only got married because she had his kids and was nagging him. I asked why he didn't marry her sooner, he said he never thought about marriage.
So, there you go folks. I am over my STBXH, but I am not healed. I'm going to find another therapist and do some soul searching while I enjoy my cocoon time and have positive friendships with my friends and family. And I'm going to sift through the Baggage Reclaim website again. Denial is not a pretty thing...
Again, thank you, thank you, thank you everyone.
Phoenix Rising, everything you said is true.
[This message edited by libertyrocks at 10:39 AM, May 15th (Thursday)]
The initial attraction can be hard to resist, but stepping back and seeing the red flags despite it is huge!
I agree with a pp that, technically, the initial relationship(s) post-divorce ARE rebounds, unless an individual takes a significant amount of time without any dating to heal and process.
But with that said, I don't think rebound relationships are all doomed, or that you should *necessarily* avoid dating (there's a great article posted by someone just a few topics down about the positives of rebounds). What I think is necessary is that you still do the work to process and heal, which is definitely challenging to do with a rebound, but not impossible.
My husband is my rebound relationship from my divorce. But I did 2 years of weekly therapy, including several sessions WITH him and my therapist, prior to marriage, to make sure that I was working through it all. I read a ton. I really worked on processing the divorce and infidelity. We're very happily married (just had our 2 year anniversary on Monday).
So, contrary to conventional SI wisdom, I do believe it can work. But only if a lot of work is done at the same time.