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Questions on Dating someone who was emotionally abused..


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Old 28th June 2005, 3:19 PM   #1
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Questions on Dating someone who was emotionally abused..

I am in a relationship and have been for about 3 1/2 months the woman I am with I love very much. But in here previous marriage in which she has been divorced for over a year when we met she was married 8 yrs but was with him 11yrs. He emotionally abused her so granted to say when I pay her a complement its hard for her to believe it...Her bitterness and negative attitude seems to be there alot.
Can someone love someone else if they don’t like them selves? Now for my part due to the insecurities of her past relationship and her insecurities with her appearance. I chose not to tell her that I was being a friend and only a friend to and old girlfriend...so dumby me lied to her about the things I was doing when we first met.
A girl I was seeing off and on for sex mainly…… contacted me about two weeks prior to me meeting my current girlfriend...me and the x were broke up when she contacted me no sex...and told me her mother was dying of terminal cancer having gone through this ordeal my self I could very much relate to her pain. Well long story short I meet my new girlfriend and fell in love and have not slept with anyone else...but I did go to my x's house several times while me and my current girlfriend were dating to be there for here with her mother that’s all overnight I might add....well the x found out about the current and called the current girlfriend and filled her head with lies!!!....so my current girlfriend feels betrayed...Rather then getting mad and denying like I did at first I calmed downed and realized I love this woman and if she can forgive me I will do what it takes to make it work...well my current girlfriend is having a hard time some days she talks to me and others mostly now she is defensive and wont tell me whats on her mind she hangs up on me curses at me...and when I keep trying to finally pull it out of her...which takes a while then its her insecurities that are eating at her...well with all that I have done is added fuel to the fire that already exsited right?
Here is some history on me...I am college educated...1 yr on my masters done in computers...I work in the computer field, I workout, play golf, read , and for the most part am a pretty positive person....now my skeletons in which I have told my current girlfriend everything...so here it goes..First is it true that a woman with a low self esteem only attract bad boys ex con and they shouldn’t be with them??? Well everyone I am an ex con white collar crime due to a gambling problem and I have been in recovery for 3 yrs ...but I have been to jail a few times in the past 15 yrs....3 to be exact...the longest amount I did on the state work program was 36 months....I went to work every day in the public...but everyone new I was an inmate...so my current girlfriend has handled this pretty good..and I love her for that....but I have been reading self help and references to try to work through all of this with my current gal...and I am finding out some disturbing things....like can a person with low self esteem truly love someone else? Is my current girlfriend with me because she can’t get any better ....meaning I am an ex con...?? Also she is 30 yrs old and I am 40yrs old this doesn’t seem to be an issue but should I be concerned? I really hope you can give me some advice. What do I do about rebuilding the trust she said she would communicate with when she gets insecure…but doesn’t she gets mad and ignores me …I feel like she is treating me like her ex husband where she said they went days without speaking??? I have told her I will not be her doormat…and if she is going to be rude and disrespectful by hanging up on me and wont talk then I have no choice but to move on…no matter how much I love her…. Thank you for your time and help. Is it silly to go to couples counseling so early in the game? What more can I do to rebuild her trust?? Thanks again !!!

Boomer
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Old 28th June 2005, 3:36 PM   #2
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Boomer3232, I'm recovering from an abusive and violent marriage, been separated about 5 months now. I've been in counselling through a local domestic violence center for just over a year and in a mens survivor/victim of DV group for about 8 months.

Counselling can help, both couples counselling and counselling for your GF. For your GF getting into a support group for survivors of DV will help her immensely.

Survivors of DV can have challenges recognizing what is or is not abuse or DV. When your GF was in her abusive relationship she got programmed into reacting a certain way to triggers. Now in this relationship you can unwittingly trigger her into reacting the same way she did in her abusive relationship. It isn't that you are being abusive or violent it's that she associates certain things with oncoming abuse and gets defensive and protective of herself automatically. In a support group she'll be able to talk about her experiences and reactions as well as hear other survivors talk about themselves and what they do to recover to a successful life and a new non-abusive relationship.

It can be challenging in the sense that both parties need to be aware of what is really going on and that the reactions are not a necessarily a reflection of the current relationship but a remnant of the old bad relationship. Can the relationship with your GF work? Yes it can and it has the potential to be immensely satisfying for both of you--perhaps more so than a so called normal relationship but it can take a little more work and patience.

Sorry about any rambling here, last night wasn't a great night for me. I was in the anger stage of recovery last night and didn't sleep.

Best wishes.
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Old 28th June 2005, 4:27 PM   #3
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I believe counseling is a necessity for both of you right away. From your post you both sound insecure. Her about what has happened in her past and the staying overnight w/ your ex & lying about it, to you wandering if she is with you because of who you really are and not because 'emotionally beaten up women tend to get with bad guys'.

You aren't a bad guy, I hope you didn't tell her that 'her kind' find 'guys like you'. That's not helping the situation. Have you stopped contact with your ex? Have you two been doing things together? Sounds like the communication part between you two can be tweaked some. That's where a MC comes in handy. You've only been with her 3 months and all of this is happening right away. It's because you both have a history. If you two are serious about each other then you take each other's problems and face them TOGETHER. Her abuse isn't just about her, it's about the both of you. With abused partners you have to be very sensitive to their needs. Both my ex-fiancee & my wife have had their share of abuse. They have a tendency of lashing out at the closest people to them. So that's something you'll have to endure. You'll also have to endure the possibility of your gf being in a depression.

I can't stress enough that she seeks domestic violence help for abused women, and counseling for the both of you. Of course she is going to be insecure, look what she's been through and although you messed up by lying that is all she knows right now because of her past. However if you two are determined enough it will work. Just be prepared for alot, since she has alot inside her that will come out in not so nice ways until she gets the help she needs.
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Old 28th June 2005, 5:28 PM   #4
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Thanks to both of the post your information is very helpful!!
As for jmargel,
I have started counseling to make me a better person as well as to get some insight into what i can do to help my GF....My GF said she did counseling for a few months after her divorce and the counselor released her.???...everytime i mention getting counseling or going back to it ...my GF gets defensive...and i honestly sit down and try to make it a comfortable atmosphere to talk to her about it...but she still gets upset...if she is in denial..then me and her are doomed..correct?? Any other tips to working with her?? I also live about 60 miles from her...that seem to create a problem with rebuilding the trust...any tips on what to do about rebuilding the trust....i answer all her questions and i am diligently trying ....i have no reason to ever lie to her again...and dont want to...i thought i was help out and old GF because i could relate to how hard it was to loose a mother....since this happend 4 1/2 weeks ago I havent had any contact with the ex and dont want to.....What are your tips for "tweaking" are communication??

Thanks again for you time and help...
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Old 28th June 2005, 5:50 PM   #5
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Also jmargel,
its been almost 2 weeks since we have physically seen each other and about 2days since we've had any communication...After the last hanging up and cursing at me I told her i needed time....I am honestely wondering if since its only been 31/2 months that we or i should just go get me togther even more than i have been working and then if fate brings us back together then so be it....what is you insight on this....?? Also when she does somthing like get angry hang up the phone on me ...wont take my calls ....etc.....then I get up set and respond....usually by letting her know i am not going to be her doormat and that if she is not going to communicate with me then its not going to work....well she doesnt seem to take responsibility for her actions and sincerely apologize...she tends to concentrate on me being upset....I tell her the "dog" was fine...if you kick it it will respond....when the dog is doing what its supposed to be doing...then dont kick it....she doesnt seem to understand this....??? what do i do about that...draw my lines and if she tries to cross them and get defensive then i have no choice but to leave/ break up???

Thanks again....
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Old 12th July 2005, 9:04 AM   #6
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How are things going now? I didn't realize you needed my advice, sorry. Continue with counseling. You two should still be in the puppy dog love stage, so having all these problems right now isn't good, however that doesn't mean it's not worth getting through them.

She has alot of emotional baggage and she'll eventually need to see a counselor. You can't fix her problems, only her along w/ a therapist can. Don't keep beating yourself up about the ex-gf thing. You apologized and it should be left go. However if she continues to bring it up just tell her nicely (no matter how many times it takes) that you want to be with her and that nothing happened. Be ready for her to lash out on you as well over the months/years. It's a totally different ballgame when someone you are with has been abused. Alot of the time the abused will become the abuser because that's all they know. Just like what you preceive as the norm and how to deal with things, this is what they know how to deal with things.
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