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Old 12-11-2016, 03:51 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Different Me, Attracting Same Men


Hi ladies,

This is my first post here- so hello & hope you're all doing well.
Last week I celebrated 3 months sober after 10 solid years of alcohol abuse. Yes, I have a long way to go but I look forward to this long road in healing and learning how to live without this nasty substance in my life everyday.

I am two months away from celebrating my 30th birthday and am still single. I have a solid trail of attracting men who are wrong for me, either emotionally unavailable, abusive in some way (or all) and just plain misogynist. My first "love" or relationship ten years ago almost left me dead so I have found comfort in men who don't treat me right. Getting sober has slowly started opening my eyes and I am now dealing with my PTSD form that relationship and combating my depression.

Since getting sober I have found that even though I am telling myself and the universe that I want a good man who will treat me right, I seem to be attracting the same character from my past. Am I being tested or something? I don't understand this. I know the process takes time and I am willing to do all the work and be patient but I can't believe that I am working so hard internally yet still getting the same results externally. It's like they walk into my life, it's the same dialogue, the same interaction, I know the result and I'm still curious about giving them my attention.

This post may not be a question but I think I just needed to vent somewhere in hope that maybe someone will understand and have a few words of comfort in return.

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Old 12-11-2016, 06:13 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Good Morning Selena!

Read your post and can totally relate. I too have a history of being attracted to men who, in my case were emotionally unavailable. I think my attraction to these types of men had to do with unresolved feelings of abandonment that started in childhood. With each choice of relationship, the abandonment issues were reinforced as they too would abandon me emotionally and eventually physically as well.
After the last break up with a push pull roller coaster relationship I set some rules for myself. No relationships with a man for at least one year. No dating, no sex, nothin, nada! During that time I completely focused on me. I attended small groups via my church, private therapy, 12 step groups ( CODA), online forums about healthy relationships. In other words, I did the work!
That one year off from relationships turned into three which was ok, I had ALOT of work to do lol!
In the last year of that third year I met a guy via some family friends and we became friends. He was absolutely not what I would consider 'my type' nor anything like anyone I would normally be attracted to. Funny though, we became such great friends and hes now my husband! I FINALLY have what I woul consider a healthy relationship with none of the past toxicity. I credit abstinence and alot of internal work as well as a gift from God for having him in my life!

My advice: be abstinent from all relationships right now, do the work to heal yourself, in the future: be open to someone who doesnt fit your 'type' or mold of who you would normally be attracted to.

Best wishes for you!!
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Old 12-11-2016, 06:23 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I'm so glad you're here!!! I'm also going on three months sober (77 days!), and am 29 years old.

I was in my first physically abusive relationship with someone at the age of 12 (he was 18,). After that, though I managed to avoid physical abuse in relationships, i found every single guy I was interested in who was interested in me was emotionally abusive, manipulative and entitled up until I was around 24. I was always attracted to people who are highly intelligent and well off, but are actually sort of sociopaths to be honest. I don't know WHY I liked this. I just really found myself always falling for this type of person.

After a particularly bad breakup where i dropped out of university for 6 months to avoid seeing the guy I had left, I made myself a promise that I would never, ever let myself feel that way again. No matter how 'I'm love' I felt, I would dump someone at the first sign that they would belittle me or try to control me in anyway.

And even though it hurt at first, I did it. I felt like I was giving up so many who could be 'the one' by terminating relationships very quickly if they showed signs I associated with abusive (ex jealousy, name calling their ex's, not valuing my aspirations, bullying me into things I didn't want to do, expecting me to give up my friends, saying rude things about my friends, expecting sex or any kind of compensation from me, acting angry if they didn't get what the want -- basically treating me like an object who belonged to them) ) -- a lot of times I second guessed myself and was like 'you're being too hard on this guy! He's a doctor/lawyer how horrible could he be?' Or whatever, but looking back now I realize that even though I usually dated well off, intelligent, good looking guys, my standards for how the valued me were suuuuuuper low.

Over time, i also become better at picking up on the cues that 'good guys' we're giving me that they were intersested in me. Before this, I had gotten so used to the narrative of how bad relationships start that I just believed that's how ALL relationships start, and was using that as a model for how I gaged a successful interaction.

It's a massive shift in how you value yourself and how you think it's acceptable for others to value you, and it doesn't happen over night. I'm married now to a really awesome guy who thinks I'm incredible and really believes in me. I had to learn how it felt to be in a normal relationship, and learn how to appreciate the way it felt to be valued.

My best advice is keep saying no to people who don't treat you right, and keep reinforcing your value to yourself. It took me over a year to really start gravitating toward 'good' relationships. Another thing I would mention is try giving chances to people you might have never considered before. My husband was a good friend of mine for 7 years before we started dating, who I had never even considered dating.

Happy, supportive relationships after abuse are totally possible, they just take a little extra time and effort! It seems like it takes forever, but keep working at it!
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Old 12-13-2016, 01:53 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Oh my God! You both blew my mind, thank you so much for your responses in great depth and detail, I understand my situation a lot more now and will take the appropriate steps to ensure I set myself on the right path, staying away from men or dating while I heal is a great start and I will do that for as long as I have to. Thank you so so much! much love x
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Old 12-13-2016, 08:13 AM   #5 (permalink)
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You've gotten great advice here, Selena and I hope you continue your recovery. I suspect you will gain even more clarity as the months go by. My experience is that it takes time to work through these kind things. You know intellectually that the guy is wrong for you, but there you are. It's another step to then change your beliefs and actions. At least, that's how it worked for me. I'm really glad you joined us and congratulations on 3 months of recovery.
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Old 12-13-2016, 08:56 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Wow - great advice posted here! I can't add much to that other than to say that the best relationships I have seen (including my current 21 year one with Mr. Troy) are relationships that are based on friendship. All relationships begin with passion and physical attraction but in time passion doesn't burn as brightly but instead ebbs and flows and looks fade. Without friendship to fall back on the relationship is very difficult to maintain during those ebb times. Mr. Troy and I have similar interests and love talking together about so many things.

Mr. Troy was not someone I would have looked to for a relationship when I was younger because I was looking for excitement instead of stability. I have found through many failed relationships that excitement isn't all it's cracked up to be, and stable and supportive can bring such joy and satisfaction.

When you feel ready to date, one thing that shows a potential partner's character is how do they treat women that they have no interest in sleeping with? Mr. Troy genuinely likes and respects women. Not in a want-to-have-sex-with-them way but in a values-their-thoughts-ideas-wellbeing kind of way. He is a treasure and I am very blessed. He has set the bar very high and I would rather be alone than settle for less now.
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Old 01-16-2017, 09:18 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Patterns that have been there for a long time are very, very hard to break, but not impossible

I attracted a lot of shady characters from the time I was a young teen. Only in the past year or so have I broken that pattern and I am mid 30's !

This sounds so unbelievably cliche, but the core of what you need to do is, love yourself, respect yourself, and if you are unhappy with yourself in any way, take steps to change it. NOT for any man...for you.

Once you value yourself, you won't allow the riff raff in. What helped me was this : I made a list of the unsavory traits that most men in my life shared, and then figured out all of the red flags that I missed early on.

I look for those diligently now, and I don't feel guilty about breaking it off, either. That brings me to my next tip : Don't get too attached too quickly or too close too fast. Make them prove that they have good intentions.

Everyone acts like you have to move fast these days. No. there is nothing wrong with taking it slow and getting to know someone. I wish I would have learned that years ago !

If a guy bails because you want to wait to be exclusive, or wait to get intimate, or take your time on anything, good riddance. He had an agenda anyway.

Doing all of those things saved me from the heartache and frustration that I've gone through for almost my whole life. Give it all a try, it will all feel weird at first, but I promise it will be worth it <3
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Old 01-16-2017, 09:53 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I became aware of my codependent patterns when I got sober and learned to love myself more. I haven't attracted the wrong type of man since, but I haven't had too much exposure, like I don't go out and I don't use dating sites..

Where are you going that men are coming on to you and pursuing you, where are they coming from?
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Old 01-16-2017, 09:54 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I didn't realize this was so old and the OP probably won't even see it lol
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