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Every. Single. Insecurity.

worldtraveler posted 10/16/2019 06:41 AM

I haven't been on this site in a long time. My husband cheated on me for years, we went into false R, then real R, ups and downs, etc etc... then he completed suicide in 2017 and left me with our 3 year old daughter. I made peace with all of it through therapy and an incredible life coach. I'm generally happy!

I've tried dating off and on in the 2.5 years since, and have not really enjoyed it much.

Until I met someone where the emotional and physical connection was instantaneous. He's the total opposite of my "type" yet we are aligned on so many things. And he's told me he's in love with me.

And I CANNOT get out of my own head. I thought I was "over" this!!! The trauma of the past betrayal is so strong that I am automatically skeptical of this loving man's motivations, and I can't POSSIBLY believe that he would love ME. Why me? My LH hurt me and left me in the most extreme way. I was NEVER enough. So what could a smart, generous, family-oriented, sexy man want with me?

My best friend is counseling me to just allow him to love me. I don't know HOW!! I worry about losing him because he keeps saying I'm holding back all the time. While he is very understanding and gives me all the space and support I need to process things from my past, I'm paranoid that unless I start showing up in total love to him the way he is to me, that he'll get fed up and leave.

... and this is why I've been up since 2am in the morning

devotedman posted 10/16/2019 07:21 AM

You don't say how long you've been cdating this man.

However, one SI thing that you're not doing is "let go of the outcome." You do you and what you're comfortable with. You do realize that your late husband's cheating and suicide were both acts that were all about him, right? You weren't consulted.

Tell this man the truth, that you think that he's great and that you're afraid of losing him and that you're also scared to trust.

If he's as great as you think that he is he won't run.

To me, telling you that you're not all in sounds like pressure. It really does, but that is just my take on it.

WhoTheBleep posted 10/16/2019 14:36 PM

Same question: How long have you been dating this man? Professing love too soon could be a red flag (love bombing!!) and your gut may know this.

I'm having similar issues in my own head, although neither of us has proclaimed our love for each other. But it is a conscious effort at times to stay out of my own head, due to STBX trauma and scars.

Are you in IC? What did you do to heal on your own before you met this man?

worldtraveler posted 10/16/2019 16:00 PM

To be clear, he hasn't pressured me or told me that I'm not all in. I am saying that about myself. He observed that I'm holding back, which I absolutely confirmed to him and stated why. Whenever I have expressed that I need space, he has responded positively, but I feel it's my own hang up and paranoia about losing him if I don't figure out how to allow and accept love.

I'm no longer in IC. I was in IC for about a year, then did deep work with a life coach to help with mindset issues relating to my marriage, which was tremendously helpful. I continue to work with a certified life coach on this relationship as well.

DevastatedDee posted 10/16/2019 16:10 PM

This has to be so hard, dating after such trauma. How to know what is your gut warning you about danger and what is just your own trauma keeping you aloof has just got to be one of the most challenging things after infidelity, and yours included suicide too.

I don't have advice so much as ((hugs)). I haven't gotten back out there yet.

gmc94 posted 10/16/2019 19:15 PM

No advice, but huge hugs. My WH hung himself at 8 months, but was revived. Even though he lived, I struggle a lot with the suicide trauma. It's a whole other thing, IMHO, and it does not pair well with relational betrayal trauma.

It sounds like you are pretty clear about the problem, and working toward a healing solution. Sounds pretty effing healthy to me. I think we sometimes have trouble giving ourselves 'permission' to heal or grow, esp when the obstacle seems big or the stakes seem high. You deserve that space, and he deserves the right to give it to you, if that's what he wants (and it sounds like he does!)

Phantasmagoria posted 10/16/2019 22:27 PM

Why not you? Youíre no less deserving, less unique, or less worthy of love than the rest of us.

Youíre putting too much pressure on yourself, while struggling with your own self-worth. And youíre envisioning a negative outcome, when in reality you really donít know what the future holds. Thereís no race. Just enjoy each otherís company. Little signs will help him and you know that things are moving in the right direction, it doesnít have to be all-in commitment until youíre ready, and maybe you find over time you donít want that. You donít owe him anything other than being honest with your feelings, and doing your best to learn to live in the moment, not the past or the unknown future. And if he doesnít have the patience for that then thatís on him, not you.

Ultimately, you have to do whatís right for you at your own pace, and not bend to or get overwhelmed with fear of what you think might happen.

Pass posted 10/17/2019 09:33 AM

And I CANNOT get out of my own head. I thought I was "over" this!!! The trauma of the past betrayal is so strong that I am automatically skeptical of this loving man's motivations, and I can't POSSIBLY believe that he would love ME.

I had a HUGE problem with this when I started dating, and even more so when I eventually found someone to love. Luckily, I was still in therapy at the time. Here are a few of the helpful things my shrink told me:

1. Remember that YL (my girlfriend) is NOT The Princess (my ex). She is a totally different person, and I need to get to know her for all her plusses and minuses. It's like flipping a coin, the side that it landed on for the last flip, doesn't affect the probability of the next flip.

2. YL deserves the right to earn a good "credit rating" for all the good things, and lack of bad things, that she does. That credit rating should be taken into account when she eventually screws up and does something bad, instead of me just saying, "Well, it finally happened!", and deciding this is also a bad relationship.

3. I do not have the power to turn nice women into abusive cheaters. That's how some people choose to behave, independent of who they're with.

4. While I should always be aware of patterns of how she's treating me, it is tiring and unhealthy to be constantly wary.

5. Look at the evidence - the hard physical evidence. Never mind the things my brain is telling me.

6. Most importantly, it's never too late to get out of a bad relationship. If your analysis at a later date tells you this is bad, it won't matter that you've put so much time into it it will hurt, but you'll know that leaving is the best option.

None of this is saying you should ignore your gut, but try to look at everything that is happening in the light of this being a brand new person.

A book that really helped me is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Dummies. It helped me to realize there are multiple ways to read a situation, and that defaulting to the bad way is an easy trap to fall into. Changing your thought patterns is huge.

Also, when I started dating YL, I told her my entire history, and she was lovely about it. She said that she understood that as we work our way through a bunch of firsts, my reaction may not always reflect the current situation - because my hurts were pretty big from my marriage. I kept that in mind, and tried to make those reactions less extreme.

We've been going strong for almost five years and we have a wonderful relationship. This guy may or may not be a long-term keeper for you, but you both deserve the chance to give it a try.

[This message edited by Pass at 9:36 AM, October 17th, 2019 (Thursday)]

Hopeful Lady posted 10/17/2019 10:22 AM

Hugs. First, you are lovable. All the trauma you went through before does not reduce your worth as a lovable human so donít deny yourself the chance of happiness with a decent man. I had some of the same feelings you describe with the man Iím dating, and I did something to push him away because I felt I didnít deserve such a good relationship but I hurt him. I now know that what I did is upsetting in dating even where there are no feelings.

Some above posters asked how long youíve been dating him. I agree that itís important for you to include that in your thinking even if you donít answer that on here. Personally Iíd be cautious with a man who says heís in love with me after a fairly short time or if heís never been around me on bad days as well as good, but thatís just me.

For some people, beautiful long-term relationships have followed early declarations of love but more common is love-bombing..

worldtraveler posted 10/17/2019 13:01 PM

Wow, thank you all for the thoughtful and generous comments, everything from the "watch outs" to tips on a better mindset around this to the compassion shown of my situation/history.

I'm seeing BF this weekend, and I think I will bring this up and have a more in-depth conversation about it with him. Wish me luck!

KaleidoscopePic posted 10/18/2019 20:11 PM

Iam so sorry that you have been through so much trauma. It is understandable when you feel reserved. My xh tried to commit suicide twice last year. What others have said on here is true. His suicide was not about you; it was about him. His cheating was not about you. It was about him. You are getting some great wisdom here from other posters. I especially like the long message you got from Pass. Lots of good nuggets of truth. When I am too much in my head, I journal. It really helps me get down to the core issues and gives me perspective. I think it might give you some helpful insights. You say that you were in IC. It might be good to do a few sessions again to help you move forward. I am also wondering . . . I had an abusive grandmother who died in 1993, but her abuse had left me so insecure. My husband at the time (ex now) and I were in counseling and I was talking about how insecure the abuse had left me. The therapist urged me to write my grandmother a letter. "But she's dead. She's been dead for years." I said incredulously. "Oh no!" My therapist responded. "She's alive and kicking." You might consider writing your dead husband a letter and getting it all out on paper, what it's done to you and your self-worth, What it is doing to your current relationship. It might be that the more you write the more insight you will get into yourself. Another thing I really encourage you to do is to rewrite the story and instead of focusing on all the losses, all the insecurities, rewrite your narrative with you as the heroine, focusing on how you have been an overcomer, focusing on your strengths and the strengths that you have shown in the face of adversity. I think those exercises could be really enlightening, and I think the one where you rewrite yourself as the heroine can really be empowering.

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