A New Relationship, and Questions

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Kat54

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A New Relationship, and Questions
« on: July 09, 2021, 05:17:47 AM »
Iíve started seeing someone recently and while it feels great to be with someone who is I guess considered normal and so far have not seen any red flags with behavior.
We have great conversations, heís polite, I would say even super nerdy and this has been on a really slow track which for me is probably good and Iím not used to that.
The only issue is heís newly separated from his wife and not divorced. Though she has moved to another state with their youngest daughter. They have not started any divorce process yet as they have been dealing with the emotion instability of their youngest and have had to hospitalize her and send her to a therapeutic camp so heís had to fly back and forth in dealing with that.
My question is my own issues from always ending up in bad relationships and never putting myself first which Iím trying to do but Iím in such unfamiliar territory with this new person in my life. He certainly isnít love bombing me and showering me with gifts and wanting to move this along and itís not chaotic with mood swings or crazy behavior. Iím afraid of getting more emotionally attached to him and then getting tossed aside. I donít know how to navigate this relationship. My ex was always very controlling and just told me what to do and I would do it and it was emotionally and verbally abusive. I donít know what normal looks like so Iím unsure about him.

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Sapling

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Re: A New Relationship, and Questions
« Reply #1 on: July 09, 2021, 06:41:35 AM »
Hi Kat45,

Glad to hear you're seeing someone who seems normal so far :) You haven't seen any red flags, which is great. You enjoy the conversation. Yay! You are not being love bombed. Awesome. It sounds like things are going slow which is also great. Your fear and doubt sound pretty healthy to me. Fear of getting attached to someone and then being cast aside is a normal fear that goes with the risk of intimacy. I would be concerned if you thought "this is everything I've ever wanted! Happy days!" That would be more of a PD red flag because that's kind of what love bombing does to us.

Whether you feel comfortable seeing someone who is separated but not officially divorced is a personal decision you have to make. But it is a decision, a choice. You may decide that his separation is proof enough that the relationship is over. You may not want to date someone who is legally still married. This is a good opportunity to consider what your boundaries are around those things. If your ex was controlling and ordered you around, this may be the first time you've been able to make choices like this, and that can be a be daunting.

If I were in your situation I would talk to someone I trust who's values are similar to mine and who I know has integrity and a moral compass. I would talk it over with them and ask them to be a sounding board for my concerns. Other than that, its pretty normal to be unsure of someone you don't know very well. Part of why PDs can cause so much damage is because they bypass this process of slow mutual revelation and just barge past our boundaries (sometimes before we even get a chance to figure out what those are). Lastly I just want to say- good on you for putting yourself out there. It takes courage to date new people especially after experience verbal/emotional abuse from a partner. You can be proud of your courage and take heart in the fact that you are trying to choose differently, to learn new skills and to grow. That will bring you the love you want  :yes: even if it is not with this particular person.

I can also recommend this podcast called 'Deeper Dating' by Ken Page which I listen to when I'm feeling scared or unsure about what I want from people romantically. It has helped me a lot (and he is across the whole PD thing).
« Last Edit: July 09, 2021, 06:46:03 AM by Sapling »

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1footouttadefog

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Re: A New Relationship, and Questions
« Reply #2 on: July 09, 2021, 12:37:12 PM »
I agree that it's up to you to decide if the still married but separated works for you.

However this man seems to be up to his eyeballs in family responsibilities either way.  One does not have to be a pd or abnormal to be complicated.

His availability my come and go with such issues with his children.  Things could get complex and stay that way.

As with other issues in relationships you have a right to decide if it's enough and if it's right for you.

If you feel doubtful or uneasy, remember you don't have to choose to date a man with a complicated life.

On the other hand if you enjoy the level of involvement he can offer and are able to navigate being one of many things he is balancing in his life then I hope the relationship brings joy.

You get to decide based on you and you are not obligated to push past any reservations you may have about continueing just because he is polite and non pd.

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Kat54

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Re: A New Relationship, and Questions
« Reply #3 on: July 10, 2021, 05:32:15 PM »
Him being separated doesnít bother me and having to devote time to his kids. Two are in college and the youngest is with his wife.
I like my new independence and we see each other every other week. Maybe down the road that could change but like I said this pace is slow and itís fine for me.

Heís definitely not pushing boundaries and seems respectful of my needs. Itís something Iím not used to.

And you are right, Iíll get to decide if this is enough for me and if not I will do whatís best.

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MarlenaEve

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Re: A New Relationship, and Questions
« Reply #4 on: July 24, 2021, 11:16:37 AM »
Well done for meeting someone who seems healthy and put together. Do you know how much of an accomplishment it is? If not, realize it. Pat yourself on the back for getting out of the trauma bond/love addiction and for going with people who don't make you feel like your FOO.

As for him not being totally separated.
I usually assume that, if I meet a great guy, he'll not be perfect and he'll probably have his own past and baggage. So, I'll try to accept that and work around it. If he'll want to work on our relationship, he'll probably be interested in not making me feel uncomfortable and try to end things officially with his ex. But, people always do the best they can and whatever they do, it is never a personal thing.

What matters most here: are you COMFORTABLE with this current relationship? Does it fulfill all your needs? Are you willing to wait a bit more until he finishes things with his ex and moves on completely? Is that something you can do and won't have any problem with in the future? if yes, continue dating him, if not, express how you feel to him. Tell him what you want from a relationship. Speaking up about who you are and what you want is really empowering. It also helps the other person understand you and your needs more.

I'm not a therapist so pls don't take my advice as the go-to advice for your situation. Look into yourself and ask yourself if your higher self is OK with what you have with this guy and should you go for it or not.

Because your true self/wiser self knows best what to do. I just gave you some tips based on my former dating experience.

Good luck.
Everything can be taken from a man but one thing:
the last of the human freedoms-
to choose one's attitude in any
given set of circumstances, to choose
one's own way.
-Viktor Frankl

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Kat54

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Re: A New Relationship, and Questions
« Reply #5 on: July 25, 2021, 11:43:14 PM »
Thank you MarlenaEve for the advice. Right now Iím ok with how things are and I realize heís in a different place in life than where Iím at. Heís got 3 daughters that need him so heís there a lot and thatís what he should be doing. My kids are a little older and both are doing their own thing and have become adults who donít need me day to day.
 I am willing to wait for a little for him to start winding down things with his ex. If I start to see that nothing is happening then that might be a red flag to stop things and move on.
And I have learned to speak up much better so Iíll have that talk with him if it comes to that.