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Old 05-16-2014, 09:26 AM
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Healthy relationships

I have been "seeing" someone for a period of time now... We were friends and it transitioned into dating... He is aware of all my history and current situation and not scared off (shockingly- lol)... We see one another once a week or so because my kids are my priority and his are too and the fact that he gets that and respects it is a huge part of my liking him...

Anyway, my point in writing is to say that I find myself sometimes feeling anxious about the fact that this relationship is so normal. I don't know that I ever had one before.

My marriage from the start was full of drama, crises, rescuing xAH from problems of his own making and then feeling "loved" because I solved the problem for him.

This new relationship is without drama. S has a good job, primary custody of his kids, coaches his kids in sports, is kind and respectful to me, attractive, not a big drinker etc... AND I find myself wondering what is wrong with him because of the fact there is no drama.

I am healthy enough to realize this thinking is INSANE on my part and I talk to my therapist about this frequently...

My marriage was a lot of highs and lows... when things were good, when xAH was complimentary, he was over the top.... but the lows (and there were more of those) were awful.

With S, it's even keeled and as hard as this is to admit, I find my emotional self wishing he was more dramatic even though my rational self knows that is nuts.

I really enjoy his company, am super attracted to him, and have known him long enough as a friend, prior to getting involved romantically, to know he's a really good man.

So why isn't that enough? Why does my sick codie self think something must be wrong with a man who is decent and kind and good and without drama...

We are having dinner tonight and I am all sorts of anxious about my own emotions around all of this that I have written so I sort of hope someone gives me a virtual slap on here and tells me to snap out of it because Im annoying myself with how ridiculous I am being, yet can't shake this feeling...
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Old 05-16-2014, 09:31 AM
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Well, it SHOULD feel odd because it is DIFFERENT

Someday soon it will feel GREAT becasue it is normal

You can't erase your past and what it has done to your perceptions, only time can do that
Be patient with yourself!
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Old 05-16-2014, 09:34 AM
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wttbh, I could have written what you just wrote about a new relationship and the kind of marriage I left, ugh. I've actually thought this week that I might start dating and then my mind was filled with all the dreads of I can't go through it again and all the what IF'S! Mostly not being sure of me and my PICKER!

I hope all the best to you that he is a winner and if not, the right one will come along for you.
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Old 05-16-2014, 09:39 AM
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SNAP OUT OF IT!!!

So here's a question for you -- is it "this calm normal stuff is boring" or is it "this can't be true, there has to be another shoe somewhere waiting to drop"?

For me, I lived that second part for quite a while with my now-husband. Things were so calm and normal with him that I was expecting some big-ass unpleasant surprise to surface and everything to fall to pieces again. I can still get these absolutely insane thoughts of "he's hiding something!" even though I know he isn't.

I think that's just part of the long-term recovery, honestly. Being so accustomed to drama and living a life where you're always ready to pounce on the next problem.

Let me warn you, though -- once I (mostly) settled in my mind that this is actually life now, it actually is this calm and pleasant, it was like all the years of high-adrenaline expecting-the-next-disaster caught up with me and I basically worked and slept for months. I mean, really. Worked, had dinner, went to bed at 8, slept tip 7, rinse and repeat.
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Old 05-16-2014, 09:40 AM
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Originally Posted by fedup3 View Post
wttbh, I could have written what you just wrote about a new relationship and the kind of marriage I left, ugh. I've actually thought this week that I might start dating and then my mind was filled with all the dreads of I can't go through it again and all the what IF'S! Mostly not being sure of me and my PICKER!

I hope all the best to you that he is a winner and if not, the right one will come along for you.
Yeah I oddly am not dreading the what if he is like AH.... I think if anything I am more likely to push him away bc I convince myself crazily something is wrong when it isn't...

It's almost like with "normal" I don't know what to do... I feel oddly more settled and familiar with dysfunctional than I do normal...

So I suppose it's progress that I am not choosing men who are like xAH...
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Old 05-16-2014, 09:40 AM
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I can only speak from personal experience and wouldn't dreaming of advising you on what to do here. When I was deep into recovery-oriented therapy I met a very nice, normal guy. We shared many interests. He was funny and respectful. We went on a date and talked on the phone. He bored me to tears.

There's nothing wrong with that guy, but I just wasn't ready. Bad timing. I was still in the middle of learning to love and accept myself and so wasn't ready for someone who appeared to like me just as I was.

Later, when I met my now-husband, I was ready. There's no drama with us, but I am never bored. It had nothing to do with that first guy. It was all me.
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Old 05-16-2014, 09:41 AM
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well hon with your nutjob ex still in the picture and causing all KINDS of DRAMA, you are contantly in a state of high alert, whether you even realize it or not. of course it's hard to slip into a non-drama at-ease state - i don't think it's that you are restless or bored or LOOKING for the craziness to be ok....it's that you have not had the opportunity to just BE ok.

it would take some serious compartmentalizing to on the one hand be ready at all times for whatever comes next from Nutjob AND to simultaneously be all relaxed and zen in other settings. rather like trying to quietly sip tea and take small bites of watercress sandwiches while bombs are dropping all around you!!!!

don't force yourself to feel anything or be anything that you aren't ready to be. it's ok to be YOU and not try to fit into yet another ROLE.
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Old 05-16-2014, 09:47 AM
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Originally Posted by lillamy View Post
SNAP OUT OF IT!!!

So here's a question for you -- is it "this calm normal stuff is boring" or is it "this can't be true, there has to be another shoe somewhere waiting to drop"?
yeah the latter... certain he's not really what he seems... expecting to be blindsided... despite the fact I have known him for quite some time and KNOW he is not a bad guy, I still have that "waiting for the other shoe to drop" thing going...

For me, I lived that second part for quite a while with my now-husband. Things were so calm and normal with him that I was expecting some big-ass unpleasant surprise to surface and everything to fall to pieces again.
Yes! That is it exactly! Despite there being on going nonsense with xAH, I am really pretty happy with life (even the job crisis has resolved itself largely at this point and I have a solution bc I put on my big girl panties and figured it out) and really am afraid to have there be a "big ass unpleasant surprise" rear its head... I guess the easy thing is to push S away and stay safe and secure in what I know and can control... But my little avatar, Scaredy Squirrel is a great kids book bc it's about making yourself be out of your comfort zone and not miss out on things just bc of fear... So, I am really enjoying my time and this transition from pals to more than pals with S, but I am freaked out nonetheless and my go to solution to that is to find a problem and push people away...

I can still get these absolutely insane thoughts of "he's hiding something!" even though I know he isn't.
Yes. I relate.

I think that's just part of the long-term recovery, honestly. Being so accustomed to drama and living a life where you're always ready to pounce on the next problem.

Let me warn you, though -- once I (mostly) settled in my mind that this is actually life now, it actually is this calm and pleasant, it was like all the years of high-adrenaline expecting-the-next-disaster caught up with me and I basically worked and slept for months. I mean, really. Worked, had dinner, went to bed at 8, slept tip 7, rinse and repeat.

I was telling my best friend last night that I kind of go on auto pilot all the time bc if I stop and think about much of anything that has happened in the last year, or even month, I think I might just be overwhelmed... but the same is true of resting-- I stay busy ALL the time bc I think I intuitively know that when I stop and rest and realize that maybe, just maybe the worst is over, I think I could probably sleep for years straight!
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Old 05-16-2014, 09:53 AM
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Originally Posted by AnvilheadII View Post
well hon with your nutjob ex still in the picture and causing all KINDS of DRAMA, you are contantly in a state of high alert, whether you even realize it or not. of course it's hard to slip into a non-drama at-ease state - i don't think it's that you are restless or bored or LOOKING for the craziness to be ok....it's that you have not had the opportunity to just BE ok.

it would take some serious compartmentalizing to on the one hand be ready at all times for whatever comes next from Nutjob AND to simultaneously be all relaxed and zen in other settings. rather like trying to quietly sip tea and take small bites of watercress sandwiches while bombs are dropping all around you!!!!

don't force yourself to feel anything or be anything that you aren't ready to be. it's ok to be YOU and not try to fit into yet another ROLE.
I can totally completely see this as me! I wish I had a way to make this a picture and could make it my new avatar.... Because I have kind of gotten good at the compartmentalizing thing yet there continue to be bombs all over...

I am not bored at all by S (at least not yet Sparkle Kitty!) so that is good... I think I just don't really know what to make of a man who is decent, a good dad to his kids, sweet to me and accepting of things being a bit crazy with the ex still but who doesn't see that as defining me or the cloud that needs to hang over me at all times...

I think honestly he is helping me realize that I do NOT have to make xAH's antics and craziness keep me in this state of chaos and I can figure out how to not think about it as much as I do and well, it's just strange for me to have pleasantries in my life above and beyond my kids, to focus on.

I don't really recall other than my kids and a close friend, what enjoyment I have had in life in a long time and it's unfamiliar to actually enjoy myself...

But when I am enjoying myself that's usually when I start wondering when the next crisis will arise or wondering if this calm normal time spent together is really for real...

My thinking and my own head are my biggest problems! Please don't all agree at once!
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Old 05-16-2014, 10:51 AM
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I have these thoughts sometimes. It's as fast as, he has to be messed up! then, no that's just me! then, I couldn't do anything about it anyway! then, I'll know when I know! then, let it go. I'm not eager to make any commitments, because I'll know when I know.
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Old 05-16-2014, 11:55 AM
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You most certainly DO NOT DESERVE.... any sort of slap.

I found that I needed the gift of time, and track record. Over time, I got data points and track record. I gave myself permission to let it build until I simply had to see it was real, and not some wolf in sheep's clothing. It was the trying to decide, before I had enough track record, that was causing anxiety. Once I gave myself permission just to let things unfold, the anxiety subsided.

Just like over time, with data points and track record, you eventually came to the reality that you were better off without your AH, you may over time, with data points and track record, come to the reality that Mr. Nice guy is not an evil morph just waiting to strike out at you from the darkness.

It's ok not to be confident, until you are. It's ok to give it time, until you get that confidence.

CLMI
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Old 05-16-2014, 12:04 PM
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I am not in a serious relationship but when I date I sort of have developed a go with the flow attitude. So I go out and have fun with whatever we're doing at the moment and let it fly...I don't worry about the future or the past...so I say are you having fun? Do you enjoy the dates and connection? If so then it's going great!

I don't think your thinking is insane at all - it's completely understandable given what you've been through....one of the things I work on a lot on therapy is giving myself a break (no negative self talk). You deserve one and deserve this great guy.
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Old 05-16-2014, 02:33 PM
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I can understand how you must feel. It's night and say compared to what you're used too.

Take a deep breath, relax, and ENJOY this. This is how healthy relationships are supposed to be!

Lucky girl!
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Old 05-16-2014, 02:57 PM
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Old 05-17-2014, 05:38 AM
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I completely understand you. I'm still with my ABF but things are on the edge of a knife. I'm noticing though that even in other situations, I'm waiting for things to go all drama on me. I spent 10 days with my mum and the whole week was fun, good times, good food, and very little alcohol. I had one tiny bottle of alcopop and that's all. We never fought and never argued and I realised that this is what life should be like, no matter who we are with. I was completely at peace and I want that all the time now.
But I think that for a while at least, we are always going to be primed to deal with drama. I am on high alert every day, but now that I've had a taste of drama less life, I want it.
My advice to you is to just enjoy it! It will take you a while to get used to this, but don't push him away if he's done nothing wrong. It may or may not work out, but this man is showing you how you should be treated, and how you deserve to be treated. He sounds lovely! I'll give you a big hug and tell you to snap out of it! :P Enjoy the normality
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Old 05-17-2014, 06:23 PM
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the "new" guy and I have been a thing for over 2 years. It did feel odd, especially at the beginning. Even now, there are things that just seem strange to me, but I'm chalking up at this point to it being actually "normal".

for instance, if he's mad at me, I clam up, and just try to pretend he doesn't exist. Becasue keeping quiet was one of my coping mechanisms when ex was in a ranting/raging mood. Um, that doesn't work too well in a normal relationship, let me tell you. LOL He has been exceedingly patient with me though.
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Old 05-17-2014, 06:47 PM
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i am in the same boat. i do not know how to have a healthy relationship anymore. Theres a guy who is very sweet to me and I know he's a good guy, and that SCARES me. I'm no where ready to be involved yet but i guess i am so used to be treated horribly that i have no idea how to react to being treated with respect.
He also has no idea about what happened, but has known me for a couple years. How do I even tell him? eesh.
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Old 05-18-2014, 04:23 PM
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You deserve a good, healthy terrific man!! I sense your insecurity and fear, which probably lies in self-esteem issues. My advice is to take it one day at a time and try to let go of expectations. Just enjoy it. No one can predict the future or control what happens. I'm happy you've found this.
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