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New Beginnings :
How to know if my connection with someone is real or trauma bonding?

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 HurtAndBroken531 (original poster new member #83478) posted at 1:23 AM on Sunday, June 16th, 2024

I've been dating on and off for several months. Usually casually and mostly because I wasn't in a place where I thought I was ready for a relationship.

After some time, I decided I wanted to try and meet someone for the purpose of a relationship so I started to act differently with dating. I wasn't talking to multiple people at once, I would talk with one person at a time at least until we went on a date or two and then usually passed for whatever reason.

Then I met this woman. Remarkable. As it turns out, her 16 year marriage had just ended due to infidelity on her husbands part. She was wading back into the dating pool. She had dated someone for a few months but it wasn't serious so she ended it. We spend the first few days texting, talking on the phone and then at night spending 3-5 hours on facetime. At first it's all about commiseration about what we've been through. We finally feel like we've met someone who understands what we endured. Eventually the conversation turns to other things. We have so much alike. Interests, values, all of it. We keep talking. Every night still 3-5 hours on facetime. We're in week 4 and I recently tallied it up. We've spent 23 hours on the phone, 35 hours on facetime, plus countless texts each day. We've met in person 4 times and the chemistry and tension is there. We both admit there's serious feelings here. Our communication is truly unlike anything I've ever experienced. We tell each other everything and we talk about anything with no fear of judgement. I dont know what this will be long term as I'm not trying to have expectations but I finally feel like I have a good model for a healthy relationship that I maybe never had with my ex.

My only concern is if this is becoming something because of a trauma bond or something similar. Everything else about us seems to align for the most part. The way we value family, our views on things, etc.

It's getting real very fast, and I think it's entirely plausible I love this woman. I know it's early/honeymoon/etc, but it feels so fast? Is that a problem. We've spent so much time engaging and I truly feel safe with her and she feels the same.

What pitfalls or traps may I be missing?

Thanks for any guidance.

posts: 38   ·   registered: Jun. 15th, 2023   ·   location: USA
id 8839891
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annb ( member #22386) posted at 12:17 AM on Monday, June 17th, 2024

I'm far, far from an expert because I stayed with my WH, but IMO you are moving way too fast.

I took a look back at your first post and your D-Day was literally one year ago.

I think you need to give yourself time (as does she) to process all of the damage inflicted on both of you and just take it a bit slow. Both of you are emotionally raw and vulnerable.

Weekends here are quiet, but I'm sure there will be others with divorce/dating experience who can guide you.

posts: 12178   ·   registered: Jan. 10th, 2009   ·   location: Northeast
id 8839962
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EvenKeel ( member #24210) posted at 2:38 PM on Monday, June 17th, 2024

I would consider less of what you are finding in each other and more of what each of you have done to be healthy. IE how long have each of you been D? How much healing have both of you done, etc. All that takes so much time per how many years you were married. I remember being at the one-year D point and thinking "I am good" but when I got to the two-year mark, I could look back and see how much better I was than the one year mark, etc.

I am concerned because you said she her 16 yr marriage 'just' ended. That puts her in a very raw position.

New R's are so intoxicating. We all seek validation but we are especially vulnerable in those early months.

I am not saying your matching is not the one. I am just saying to make sure you both give yourselves time to heal and get healthy. I.e., damaged attracts damaged and you want to make sure you are both at your healthiest for the best chance at your NB.

If you feel it is going too fast, then slow down a tad. If she is 'the one', then slowing down a bit will not change that.

posts: 6903   ·   registered: May. 31st, 2009   ·   location: Pennsylvania
id 8839990
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nothisfriend ( member #53171) posted at 3:42 PM on Monday, June 17th, 2024

I've been down this same road. I met my current H through mutual friends, family, and interests after D-day and S but before my D was final. We took it slow, getting to know each other and enjoying the happy feeling of trusting someone again. His D was due to his wife's A and was final a few years before mine. It was a relief to hear from him that my reactions to what I was going through was normal, he'd been through it also. As our relationship started developing that first year I mentioned that I worried it was a rebound relationship and we talked about it. One of the things I love about him is his honesty and openness about how he is feeling - what worries him, what makes him happy, and the secure feeling our relationship has.

We were long-distance for quite a few (4?) years (2.5 hours apart) and saw each other on weekends and vacations. Talked on the phone every night. I needed my alone time to figure out how to live with myself after 30 years with my XWH. My love began working remotely during the pandemic and so he moved in with me. That's when we knew we could live with each other and we both felt even more secure. Just last year we got married and couldn't be happier. Our discussions rarely touch on our ex-spouses anymore but we are comfortable sharing any blips that come up. We are a team.

Me: BS 50 (at the time) Him: WH 53 (at the time) D-Day: 10/25/15 Married: 28 years. One son, age 18 (at the time)
D final 2016 REMARRIED to a marvelous guy on 4/22/23

posts: 1296   ·   registered: May. 11th, 2016   ·   location: Illinois
id 8839994
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Shehawk ( member #68741) posted at 1:36 PM on Wednesday, June 19th, 2024

I wish you a healthy and fulfilling relationship with someone who genuinely cares for you and is faithful.

As for my thoughts on relationships….I am a big fan of something I learned in another online group I joined while trying to figure out what was wrong with my marriage. ( Turned out it was that I was married to a lying cheater but that is a topic for another day. )

What I learned that works for me is something the media and romance novels and even some healthy FOOs do not teach. That is to take small drinks of "love". Avoid getting intoxicated. Spend small amounts of time getting to know someone. Not hours on the phone and FaceTime in the beginning phases. And for those of us who emotionally attach with sex, taking that very slow too so I could see the actual person and not through a fog. Actually observe their actions IRL. See what their actual expressed values are. Does it align? Take time to see how they actually live their lives and react to people and situations. Watch to see how they have or are actively working on their own trauma and foo stuff. See how they act when something does not go their way. It might sound boring. I admit. But it’s yielded me a much healthier relationship than my marriage to the Chex (cheating ex).

[This message edited by Shehawk at 1:36 PM, Wednesday, June 19th]

"It's a slow fade...when you give yourself away" so don't do it!

posts: 1675   ·   registered: Nov. 5th, 2018   ·   location: US
id 8840120
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Superesse ( member #60731) posted at 7:07 PM on Wednesday, June 19th, 2024

To elaborate on Shehawk's good post, if you are taking that advice yet feel in some ways pushed to get sexual or even to become heavily romantic with a new interest right off the bat, I can say that in my life, that always proved to be a big red flag - as it turned out to be for another poster here, last year, also. The ones who come on so strong so soon. Especially when we are our most vulnerable, like after a relationship ends badly.

I don't know all the reasons why people want to plunge into the deep end, but for me, I think I held a subconscious fear that if I moved too slowly I could possibly lose out to somebody else, plus it was so appealing to fall in love, right? Huh. It proved to be a big lesson from my youth that I needed to unlearn!

But then in middle age, I made sure to go slow and stay just platonic friends with my SAWH for 4 years before he proposed...and still got the shock of my life 4 years later. So it is no guarantee.

I like the small sips analogy!

posts: 2071   ·   registered: Sep. 22nd, 2017   ·   location: Washington D C area
id 8840133
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truthsetmefree ( member #7168) posted at 3:42 AM on Thursday, June 20th, 2024

It seems to me you already have an answer to your question. Obviously it’s bothered you enough that you’ve spent time to calculated all the time you’ve spent.

Plenty to be lost/missed in a rush.

What’s the harm in slowing down?

At some point you have to decide what you value the most - the truth or your ideal storyline. If there’s a disparity between those, one of them usually takes longer to show up. ❤️

Hope has two beautiful daughters; their names are Anger and Courage. Anger at the way things are, and Courage to see that they do not remain as they are. ~ Augustine of Hippo

Funny thing, I quit being broken when I quit letting people break me.

posts: 8994   ·   registered: May. 18th, 2005
id 8840166
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