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dealing with men who are expressing being attracted to me

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Shehawk posted 7/3/2019 09:44 AM

So I am not quite to 5 months since my spouse chose the online flesh market including online groups filled with porn and offers of sex and contact with his at least one physical and several at least emotional plus bonus stuff APs over his marriage.

I have been working on healing and cutting the blame he places on me for our affair and the shame of him telling me no one would ever want me out of my soul (and literally staying alive from my advanced Lyme Disease that I had when he had the one fully PA I know about and the resultant life threatening betrayal trauma from the 6 plus months of TT and continued lies/betrayals).

Anyway a fairly substantial number of men have been approaching me and telling me I am beautiful and some offering me help with things and/or actually expressing a desire to date me.

I realize that I personally will not date until I am divorced. So I tell them that and try to make sure I am sending the right messages to men as I go through my healing.

I am just being myself. Pretty much the same self my husband cheated on but feeling better physically since my Lyme is kinda in remission. I dress pretty modestly, but feminine and am nice to people but not flirty or suggestive. Pretty much the same person I have always been but people tell me my energy is so different now that my spouse left me.

But I am wondering how others of you are dealing with almost a flood of attention. I am I my 50's and married for over 30 years plus and I always dealt witb any attention in the past by setting firm boundaries that I was married but now that I am soon to not be married, how have other people dealt with this sort of attention?

I have had several men hand me their business cards after chatting with me and two widows indicate an interest in dating me and the several men tell me I am beautiful even in stores etc. I am chrystal clear on my values and who I am and my husband told me I was fat and aweful and no other man would ever want me so this is all quite a shock.

I am kind of an introverted nerd who got bullied a lot in high school. My husband's betrayal hit me hard because there were lots of overt and online references to his group of people being cool kids which he knew was one of my deepest wounds.

Anyone want to weigh in on this and help me navigate this.

[This message edited by Shehawk at 9:47 AM, July 3rd (Wednesday)]

Chrysalis123 posted 7/3/2019 09:55 AM

My first instinct is to think:

Be Careful! Lots of predators that specifically target middle age recently divorced or widowed women.

Read up on signs of predators/socipaths and their techniques to hook people. Anything that sounds too good to be true probably is too good to be true.

And go very, very slowly in any new relationship.

[This message edited by Chrysalis123 at 11:13 AM, July 3rd (Wednesday)]

WhoTheBleep posted 7/3/2019 10:25 AM

^^^Wow, I never even thought of this.

I think you're handling it fine. If you have no intention of dating yet, then just enjoy the attention. And keep your boundaries.

When you are ready to date, again maintain boundaries and keep your eyes and ears wide open. And related to what chrysalis said, Don't lend anyone any money or add them to your bank accounts or assets.

HappyTree posted 7/3/2019 11:05 AM

You will learn what you are and are not comfortable with. When I started dating, I had trouble accepting complements from men. Like, if a guy has only been dating me for a week, why would he say that "I'm amazing." I had to re-learn that complements are normal and healthy. I also had to learn to think about my feelings alot. Just because a man likes me, does not mean that I have to like him back. I don't owe him anything.

Shehawk posted 7/3/2019 11:15 AM

hello Chrysalis123 and Bleep.

Great advice to be careful. And go slow. And see that behavior matches what they say.

This group I'd wise and I really value everyone's opinions and feedback.

I have been doing a lot of work in another group on healing myself and my femine energy. That group says this sort of thing is pretty powerful...being solid in who you are with good boundaries and healing your wounds. Don't get attached too early. Don't chase love. Make sure people are who they say they are and their values match yours. Let people show up for you and either accept or not who they are, but don't try to change them etc etc

I started to do the work when my husband was hiding his inappropriate behavior and withholding sex. I have kept doing it because if I did not heal myself from the damage from the betrayal, then the betrayal trauma would cost me my life.

I am just a bit blown away with how people are responding to me now tho. Especially since my missing spouse is going out of his way to blame me for absolutely everything ever wrong in our marriage and for his cheating.

Funny thing..no one is ASKING for money but I am sure being OFFERED a lot of things.

To clarify...A couple of pretty solid men have led with the fact that they are (verifiably) solid I including financially.
I was inclined to suggest THEY needed to be careful sharing that kind of information with people. And yes it is real. They verifiably own property and had or have businesses or are on the boards of things etc. A couple were widowed.

These same sorts of men are unsolicitedly offering to buy or do things for me. Not cars or anything lol but definitely dinner. Even a random man at the dollar store who had no idea I am recently separated told me I am beautiful and offered to buy me the marshmallows I was looking for in the isle they were in.

The men who gave me their cards were men I had semi or totally intellectual conversations with, but the inference was definitely on me calling their personal phones that they wrote on the card. None of these men were married (again verifiably) or set off my creep radar. One in particular asked a number of relatively casual questions about me and when he found out I had taken care of a parent (one reason I had not worked outside the home much in the past few years) he expressed appropriate EMPATHY for my loss. Wow.

One is in the same sort of field I used to work in and the other in a related field.

I have done a lot of work on myself in the other group in terms of my feminine energy, boundaries, and related things.
None of these behaviors were love bombing or instalove.

One of the guys was a widow who wants to date a woman with integrity and is very clear in an understated way that he was actually taking the time to get to know who I am. A friend who is an infidelity and physical abuse survivor actually pointed this out to shocked me. He asked me questions about what I like as in I LIKE to go to rummage sales and I LIKE to partner dancer I LIKE keeping a neat clean house and decorating it with vintage finds...not as in I LIKE to be tied up (I don't and we did not talk about stuff like that at all lol).

And two men stand out as taking turns talking WITH me for a semi long time (not monopolizing the conversation). That was new territory for me too.

Not a single one of men who asked me about myself blinked an eye at the fact I was a SAHM who focused on taking care of my family.

They were also not trolling for secrets about me that they could later throw up in my face and destroy me with. Been there done that and have the tshirt with my missing spouse.

WS learned that I had a me too story or two and CSA. When he wanted to hurt me after the affair he told me that I deserved it. He also told me that the fact this ruined me for him. So I am pretty vigilant about a man asking questions about me just to get things he can later hurt me with.

I would love to hear other people's thoughts. This is all kinda overwhelming for a nerd whose husband threw away their decades long marriage for internet strangers.

[This message edited by Shehawk at 7:43 PM, July 3rd (Wednesday)]

Shehawk posted 7/3/2019 11:16 AM

Thanks Happytree

"Just because a man likes me, does not mean that I have to like him back. I don't owe him anything."

JanaGreen posted 7/3/2019 11:58 AM

It sounds to me like you are meeting genuinely good gentlemen.

I had heard all kinds of dating horror stories, but in the 7 months between the time I allowed myself to start dating and the time I met my now boyfriend, every single man I went out with treated me with respect and kindness. I was blown away, having dealt with my ex for so long. Now, of course anyone with a brain is going to be on their best behavior on a first date, but I somehow avoided the handsy assholes.

Enjoy the attention. It sounds like the energy you are putting put there is attracting quality men.

Shehawk posted 7/3/2019 12:13 PM

Thanks JanaGreen it is actually kinda scary for me but so happy and reassuring that you found good men after betrayal.

BobPar posted 7/3/2019 13:28 PM

Anyway a fairly substantial number of men have been approaching me and telling me I am beautiful and some offering me help with things and/or actually expressing a desire to date me.

What is wrong with this?
I would just be on the look out for love bombing as a red flag. Too much is a big warning sign for me. Dating is about learning and observing boundaries, it can be messy and take time. Don't rush anything.

Hippo16 posted 7/3/2019 14:36 PM

Shehawk !!! kind of scary name


So I am pretty vigilant about a man asking questions about me just to get things he can later hurt me with.

I think you are being both smart to keep in mind the above but also suspicious of intentions.

If you get along with someone - keeping the getting familiar paced - not to fast. (I don't get the hook up culture)

I would also do a background check and add to my list of things to do to assess the level of friendship - meet their family and friends. Find out work history. A lot of rich or well-off people are real by-the-book jerks. Users, narcisist etc. How have their children matured?
What is their relationship to immediate and distant family? Getting to know someone is a bit like paint by numbers - you have to color bit by bit to get the big picture.

I think if a man is really interested in a woman he will take all the time needed to make that leap to friendship and more - months even - maybe a year or more!

(!@#$ spell checker)

[This message edited by Hippo16 at 2:51 PM, July 3rd (Wednesday)]

Shehawk posted 7/3/2019 19:56 PM

Thanks for your thoughts and advice Hippo16.

I never thought of a background check..

I like hawks because they are monogomous and mate for life.

[This message edited by Shehawk at 10:05 PM, July 3rd (Wednesday)]

CaliforniaNative posted 7/4/2019 23:18 PM

I run background checks on men I date. However they are frequently outdated. For example I met at man and it said he worked for a consulting company, when he really he works at Amazon. I ran it on someone who died 4 years ago and they still havenít updated her status to deceased.

Shehawk posted 7/5/2019 19:40 PM

Have to admit you guys are scaring me a bit but probably rightfully so.

If my WH had run a background check on his hotel stranger danger (oh I don't know, maybe asked her newly ex husband about her or read her divorce case even) I bet that might have stopped their situationship. But he was in the online internet flesh market already when he found her so if not her it would have been or actually was someones (plural) else.

[This message edited by Shehawk at 9:59 PM, July 5th (Friday)]

Shehawk posted 7/5/2019 19:41 PM

And I literally am asking how you deal with someone saying you are beautiful, nice etc after your spouse discarded you like yesterday's trash.

Superesse posted 7/5/2019 22:48 PM

Shehawk, lovely Native American name?

I am older than you by at least a decade and have no grasp of what being single might be like for me, but I've gotta say, you are making me a bit envious....

For what it's worth, I overhear from a few men who are our general age and trying to date, stories about meeting too many jaded career-first type women, who never wanted much to do with being a homemaker, and/or who have lots of health problems, or who have have been with what these guys perceive as "too many other men," have been married/divorced too many times, etc., etc. you get the drift...

So your natural attractiveness, along with your background and your values, might just be striking them as a rare find, ever think of it that way?

I think if I were single and looking to date after my decades of a bad marriage, I'd want to find a widow who'd had a good marriage, or else...nobody. Too many people with tons of baggage.

WhoTheBleep posted 7/6/2019 06:21 AM

So your natural attractiveness, along with your background and your values, might just be striking them as a rare find, ever think of it that way?

Kind of what I was thinking.

And I literally am asking how you deal with someone saying you are beautiful, nice etc after your spouse discarded you like yesterday's trash.

At first, you look at them side-eyed and suspiciously. "OK buddy, whatever, what's your angle?" you think.

Then you lighten up, realize your ex is a disordered douchebag, and you enjoy the compliments. You give the new man a chance. He has a clean slate and has not betrayed you in the past. And you ARE in fact beautiful and nice, etc.

New SO calls me beautiful every single day. At first I wanted to eye roll. I thought he was laying it on way too thick. Now a couple of months later I see that this is just him. He is very affectionate and complimentary and he really really likes me. So now it brings a smile to my face every time. How freshening after the daily abuse and put downs I suffered from WH. Time to reprogram your brain!!

It's pretty intoxicating. I'm loving it!

[This message edited by WhoTheBleep at 6:26 AM, July 6th (Saturday)]

Shehawk posted 7/6/2019 07:57 AM

Superesse Thanks for weighing in :)

Yes Native American and love the fact hawks are monogomous and mate for life. But I picked the name because a friend of my WH called me that decades ago pretty much as a derogatory thing.

Hawks ARE very beautiful aren't they?

They are also very powerful medicine which like one of the other posters said, is scary to some I guess.

If men in your area are saying things like that, perhaps I should start spending some more time in the District again when I am single :) I stayed in an amazing hostel there last week.

It does scare me the whole question of how many men someone has been with. For me, only my husband while I was married.

My runaway husband did slut shame me because I was not a virgin when we married and had gone through a pretty messed up time period after a breakup of a long term relationship the year or so before I met him. Also he threw CSA (adolescent in my case) up in my face a lot as having ruined me for him. So this is a hot button for me that I need to heal some more and be cognizant that there are men who will judge me for my remote past.


As always thanks. Your comments have really helped me survive this.

"New SO calls me beautiful every single day. " I am so happy for you Bleep. So very happy. Kind words are so welcome aren't they?

You said it would take awhile. Right now it is just me getting used to simple things like people asking me questions about myself and listening and taking turns talking in 2 and multi way conversations instead of interrupting me constantly so THEY can talk or talking constantly.

My conversations with people now are pretty easy. When issues come up they are talked about and people seem to negotiate things with me without screaming at me like my runaway husband used to do pretty much every single day.

Thanks for weighing in!!

sillyoldsod posted 7/6/2019 08:06 AM

Be Careful! Lots of predators that specifically target middle age recently divorced or widowed women.
Dirty John being one of the more extreme examples!

Superesse posted 7/6/2019 09:23 AM

Shehawk, my mother was from WI, and her mother's mother was NA Algonquin/Ojibway. Maybe I should move back there, eh? 😊

But no, don't come to DC, if you want to meet an honest man! I don't live down there any more, I'm far away from that scene. (But nice that you enjoyed your visit.)

About these New Beginnings, a true story which might help make my point from yesterday: I have an older friend whose first husband died over 20 years ago. She immediately started receiving attention from her late husband's former boss, himself a divorce. She decided to date him, mostly because he had known and liked her husband; they had that in common. She hadn't even really had a chance to be single again, before he proposed!

So...she married him. And spent the next 20 years struggling with his personality. She told me she'd had no time to really think about what he was looking for, or why he wanted to marry her. He just really came on strong, I guess. She was still reeling from becoming a widow, whereas he saw a rare gem, and he wasn't going to let her get away!

She told me he demanded she be a very traditional homebody; she couldn't freely meet for lunch in town, unless he was away overseas; then he'd be gone for a month. She has lived in isolation on his secluded farm. Now she is in her mid 70's, and he has died. I hope she will finally be able to grow out of the shell she fit herself into.

You are in the driver's seat of your life, in many ways now that might not be familiar to you. Savor having choices, but don't let your horde of fans squander your power!

Shehawk posted 7/6/2019 10:54 AM


Thanks for the thoughts. There is no age too old to enjoy life and be free from infidelity. Go live your best life ever.

Absolutely (everyone who posted) I do need to go into this with eyes wide open. The other online group I am in relating to being a woman of value in my relationships teaches to avoid early attachment and to see how a man shows up in his actions.

What I am still healing is a terror of rejection because of how "can't make this kind of thing up" brutal my runaway spouse's discard of me is.
I really am lonely and being a very sexual and sensual person whose WS used to punish by withholding sex (so my love cup is probably pretty empty right now). I guess regardless of whether someone knows I am fairly newly separated or not (all but a couple don't know this) I could be vulnerable. It must be coming through in my posts so I need to keep working on it.

I am pretty sure that other members share my pain and vulnerability and that others will still will weigh in on this topic so thanks to all!!!

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