For those who left an abusive ex - are you scared of dating? Did you get over it?

I am curious to know how others have struggled with the prospect of dating again after leaving the abuser. How long did it take to feel comfortable? what feelings did you struggle with? Were you ever attracted to someone yet scared of them at the same time, even though they were not scarey?

I am nearly two years’ out of my 10-yr marriage, 4 yrs of living together prior to marriage. I have been taking care of myself, losing weight, etc. and I’m starting to like the way I look and feel again. I’m also getting attention from the opposite sex but I have no idea what to do with them. Right now there is a man that I am attracted to but when I see him I get scared. He’s really tall and broad and I forget just how big he is until I see him again. In that moment, my brain is saying “wow, he is so much bigger than I remembered… run away, run away.”

I get a chill in my spine but my heart skips a beat too. The chill in the spine is stronger and prevails, making me hurry past him. It’s too bad because I sense he is interested in me but I can’t bring myself to open up. I work with men of all sizes and have no fear of them… it is just this one. It is such a distraction. How old am I? Ten?!

Stuckette, Life after an abusive relationship can thrive! I spent 33 years married and we dated for 2.5 years. All the while he was abusive. He beat me in the head, the legs, places where it could not be detected, would throw me across a room. One day I pretend to faint and he panicked. You would think I would have the courage to leave, but I did not think I could survive on my own. Well after many years of therapy, I finally grew that back bone. He was 6’ 4 and weighed nearly 400 pounds. One day I had enuff!! He got within an inch of my face and screamed and yelled at me. I am only 5’ 3 and 150 pounds. I did not flinch nor did I back away. It was like what the heck? What do I do now. It threw him off guard. It was soon after that, I left. Took his sorry butt to the court house and said Here you have him! No, I did divorce him. I am dating someone now. Total opposites. He has never said one unkind word, never have I felt any kind of threat from him. Life is so good now. I am so sorry I didn’t leave sooner but you have to muster up the courage. May God bless you! Heal, heal and heal some more!

Stuckette,I can’t say at first that I was “scared” to date. I just had No interest. Spent 3 happy years on my own… My son became a senior in high school and I started to become open to the idea of a “friend/date”. I was pretty sure most men weren’t the creeps my ex was and if I remember you and I had one from a similar mold. I did find out that even though I had spent those 3 years happy and healthy that it isn’t until you add someone else to your life that you start to notice your baggage, big or small. Little insecurities in yourself, fears, ect. I also kept a watchful eye on the one who I was dating and pretty sure would have ran at the first sign of trouble, (probably still would) but that isn’t necessarily all bad. Even though there are struggles, I try to trust that I’ve learned from the past and try to enjoy what is. Dating whether from a past with an abusive ex or not is another journey in itself for each of us. I don’t think it’s ever completely worry free. Lol Been almost a year for me with the same person. It’s has for the most part been wonderful! Taking it day by day, if it turns out it wasn’t meant to work out I’ll have no regrets. An effort was made, things learned, and new joy was found. You don’t have to commit to a life time, just a dinner and go from there. Go slow, trust yourself and your instincts. J

I was not in an abusive relationship…my ex was a good man, we had a decent relationship for the better part of 11 years. We grew apart in some respects over the years but what killed me was the person he chose to be to me in the last three years of our marriage. I’ve spent a lot of time in the last four years reliving my relationship with him looking to see what I missed. I missed signs along the way telling me he wasn’t committed to our relationship. I was…but I also contributed to our demise because I didn’t put forth 100% my expectation of the level of commitment I wanted. I thought it was implied taking our relationship to the level we did. I think I understand some of it better now. I came from a loving family - my parents have been married 56 years and raised three kids together. It wasn’t always sunshine and roses between them, but they were/are both committed to each other and the life they’ve made together. My ex’s family is broken all over the place…his parents divorced when he was young. He was abused, abandoned, and not from a home with love and understanding. Still knowing all of this, I believe he really did want what we had in his life. I had little reason to believe he was not happy. Somehow a life long commitment either disappointed him or scared him away. I’m not really sure what brought it on but he was clearly unhappy those last few years of our marriage. The fact that he didn’t talk with me about it until those last few years, after he had left the marriage, makes me very sad and angry. What I’ve learned is you can’t ever know someone who won’t be honest with them-self. That’s what scares me most…I can only hope my experiences will guide me to the right answers when the time comes for me to be asking those questions .