Dating again after being in an abusive relationship can be a large step if you’re still trying to heal. Often it takes time for you to realize that the relationship you were in was an abusive one.
You would recognize physical abuse more readily than emotional or mental abuse. It was something that sneaked up on you as evidenced by you having to be careful about what you say or do for fear of causing tension in the relationship.
Friends and family understood that you were in an abusive relationship. But you had problems seeing it because your emotions were clouding your vision. Besides, you felt that they couldn’t see the whole picture. How could they? They weren’t in your shoes.
Yes, he picked fights and yelled and belittled you sometimes, but other times he cooked dinner and brought you flowers. True, he hadn’t cooked or brought flowers lately.
And lately he’d been immersed in television programs, social media, or other activities that exclude you. Matter of fact, you’ve had to search your brain to recall the good times you spent together.
You found a little surprise in his pocket one day when you washed his clothes—a condom. And you two didn’t use condoms.
He said he’d held it for a male friend who forgot to reclaim it. You didn’t really believe this but maybe, just maybe… He did sound convincing. You were confused. You wanted it to be true so you gave him the benefit of the doubt.
But what about the time his wallet fell on the floor and out spilled these business cards from a bar and gentlemen’s clubs? What excuse could he have given for these that you would’ve believed?
And remember the couple of times he didn’t come home and he said he spent the night on his buddy’s couch because he was too wasted to drive home?
At some point, there was no more denying it. You knew you’d been betrayed. You then went through varying emotions from anger to loneliness to depression. Your hand crawled for the box of tissues just in time for the waterworks.
Dating again after being in an abusive relationship means that there are things you’ll need to resolve first. What will you do now? If you were sharing his home, where will you go to live?
Realize that you’ll have to reclaim your own identity. It used to be you and him; now it’s just you. You’ll have to face your friends and family—the ones who told you that you were in an abusive relationship.
It may seem unbearable to part ways especially if you were with him for an extended period of time. It may even be to the point that this ends your desire to ever date again.
Although this article is written from a woman’s point of view, being a victim of mental and even physical abuse applies equally to men. Often it’s more difficult for men to extricate themselves from a tense situation because they don’t have the emotional support or sympathy that friends, family, and society afford women. But the same healing processes that apply to women, apply to men.
If you’re considering dating again after being in a traumatic experience, there are further steps to take. An online site known as World of Psychology, offers these suggestions:
Dating again after being in an abusive relationship may take time but what’s the hurry? Take from the experience what you need to grow in maturity. And when you’re ready, wade back into the dating waters.
21 WARNING SIGNS OF AN EMOTIONALLY ABUSIVE RELATIONSHIPIn-text: (World of Psychology, 2018)
Your Bibliography: World of Psychology. (2018). 21 Warning Signs of an Emotionally Abusive Relationship. [online] Available at: https://psychcentral.com/blog/21-warning-signs-of-an-emotionally-abusive-relationship/ [Accessed 9 Dec. 2018].
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