After abusive relationship, will my expectations be too high?
Trust after abuse
Am I expecting too much?
The prospect of moving on from my horribly exhausting, loveless, abusive marriage of 12 years is quite exciting! [Remember fellow hubbers, not everyone reading this has read my past hubs so I must reiterate my situation to allow others to understand. To some of you I probably about on desperately annoying and whiny, and that's okay. Everybody has a breaking point and unfortunately I am overly tolerant, but after this many years of bottling my emotions up because my husband didn't want to hear it, I'm akin to a pent up cougar recently released into the wild...grrrrr].
Due to some of the things that happened early in my marriage, I fell out of love with my husband almost immediately. He's the type of man that is so charming and likable when you first meet him, you wonder how on earth he was single in the first place. It must've been the woman's fault that they parted ways, she must've been psycho or just plain stupid. Or at least that's what these men (if you can call them that) portray to their next prospective victim. Which was me in this case. To be honest with you, I'm not so sure that I was ever in love with him at all. Following an extremely difficult and dysfunctional childhood, at 20 years old I was dying to get out of my moms house. I had always suffered with a social phobia, PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), depression, and anxiety, thanks to my family genetics. I found it hard to keep a job with these unwavering conditions. My family was oblivious, or just didn't care about my emotional issues when I was young. I saw a counselor for a very short time after my sister and I were molested by our step-father, but mom was in a drunken haze most of our childhood. She had not a clue. I never even knew I had a phobia, ADD, PTSD until I was a married adult with two children.When looking for a man to share my life with, there was no possible way to be 100% honest with him about my issues because I didn't know they existed. I couldn't save myself, my children, or my husband-to-be (at that time).
The only thing I was looking for in a husband at 20 years old, was someone who could financially take care of me. After all, my mother was married 6 times with nary a break between them. She jumped from man to man so that she would not have to work either. Growing up I resented her for that, but now I realize that she never faced her own inner struggles. I don't know how she could've thought she was doing things right in her life, but who am I do judge? She did what she knew. Her parents were alcoholics, they were very mean to her and her three siblings. They were basically shunned throughout their childhoods as their parents wandered around in a drunken stupor. Mom wasn't given the skills to be an attentive parent.
In my mind, still today, I see nothing wrong with being an at-home-mom. For obvious reasons, such as our ever-changing economy, it's becoming an extinct role for women, but I am a very simple, un-materialistic woman. I never expected to get rich in my lifetime, I was happy with the idea of being home with my children and possibly even being a content housewife.
I recall where my husband-to-be and I were the day this life changing conversation took place. We sat at his best friends house, talking about our hopes and dreams. He mentioned that he wanted his future wife (whomever that would be) to stay home with their children. He wanted to take care of his wife so that she wouldn't have to deal with the burden of a full-time job and the scary thought of someone else raising their children while she worked. Those words stuck with me. It was only a couple of days later that I decided to ask him to marry me. I saw my out.
We only dated a mere 2 1/2 months before we were married in my mothers garage. Oh how romantic (barf). I was pregnant three weeks later. As I sat in our recliner, 8 months pregnant, watching he and his friend play cribbage for hours, I heard hubby tell his buddy that he was high on drugs at our wedding. That is a day I'll never forget.
That is a quick summary of the beginning of the end. Please read my other relationship hubs to get the gist of the entire marriage. Let's just say I lost the "happy-go-lucky" girl I once was, for 12 years. Now I'm blossoming into an even happier, stronger woman. Here is my continuing dilemma:
Since I've been out of love for 11 years, I am giddy at the prospect of finding a real true love someday. Soon I will have the chance to go back out into the world and accept love that may come my way. But after being treated like a dog, and sometimes worse for so long, how in the world will I be able to truly trust another man? Will my expectations be too high? Will I purposely make myself unattainable to avoid being disrespected, berated, and abused again? I've been sheltered from the outside world, all that's been proven to me is that men are disgusting pigs and I expect way too much from them.
But do I expect too much? Here's what I expect from a man and a truly loving relationship. You decide.....
My Expectations For A Lover
1. I expect my man to talk to me with respect. It's not necessary to swear and call me names to make a point.
2. I expect my relationship to be equal in every way. What's his is mine, what's mine is his. He has a life outside of me (within reason) and I have a life outside of him (ditto).
3. Friends and family are important to me, therefore they must be important to my man also. Someone who loves you will not tell you that your mother never loved you because your childhood wasn't great. He is forbidden to make me choose between him and my family whether he likes them or not. He'll lose. I love my family regardless of their faults, just like I expect my lover to do for me.
4. He must stick to his word. If he says he's going to do something for me or my family, I expect that exact thing to happen. For instance, if he tells me that he's going to stop at the store and grab something for supper, I expect him to be a man of his word. If he truly forgets, that's one thing. He hasn't the right to point his finger at me and tell me that if I wasn't so lazy I'd go to the store myself. Keep in mind that I will exuberantly do for him what he does for me. If he treats me like a queen, he will be treated like a king.
5. My children are number one to me. Since my new love is not their father, he must respect me as a parent and let me take care of their business. Everyday life is a different situation. If he sees my child doing something that he knows I would not approve of, he can discipline them as I would. Otherwise I expect to be told of the issue and we can deal with it as a couple. I agree with Dr. Phil when he says that, in a mixed family the childs biological parent should deliver consequences.
6. Respect is a huge word. It covers many different subjects in a relationship. I expect my new love to allow me and anyone else for that matter, to be who they are. Don't try to pin your views on me as if I'm the devil if I do not concede. Everyone is different. That is the beauty of the human race. He needs to respect my friends and the time I spend with them. I will do the same for him. Friendships are just as important in life as any other relationship.
7. I want my lover to WANT to spend time with me. Sometimes I want alone time but I also want a date night, to keep the sparks flying between us. An ignored relationship is not a relationship at all. You have to keep the love alive or what's the point? I'm referring to romance here, not just sex.
8. Another respect issue, don't expect me to be your slave. We're old enough now to understand why we clean up after ourselves. This one may sound petty to some, but when you have three children and a household to run, you don't need the added stress of another "child" to clean up after when they're perfectly capable of taking care of themselves. Of course I don't mind the socks on the floor and the normal guy stuff. But if you cook a meal (which would be sooo sexy and appreciated) please have the common courtesy to clean the spaghetti sauce from every surface in the room, including the ceiling if need be. If you spill chocolate pudding all over the floor, don't just leave it there or call on the kids to clean up after you. Do it! If you ask sweetly, I may do it for you:)
9. I expect my man to think of me once in a while. Before himself! I know that's probably a tough one, but I don't expect much. I'm a giving, compassionate, romantic woman and I will do for you. Just let me know you love me once in awhile, and not by slapping my ass or poking me with your "thing", that's not love to me, it's rude and degrading. There is a time and place for everything. Use your head! The one with the brain inside:)
10. If he can't go a week without sex, he need not apply here. And if there happens to be a time where it's even longer than a week, he'll be okay, promise. The good part about this scenario is that if he truly does love me and respect me in the ways I hope he will, there'll be no time to want it in the first place. I'll want to love him back, and often:)
11. Once in awhile, I welcome my lover to plant a sweet kiss on my forehead or the tip of my nose. Hold my face in his hands. Those simple, romantic gestures will be rewarded.
12. I know that men cannot read a womens minds. Sadly I only recently learned this one....lol....would've saved a lot of guff. But I do expect you to care enough about a few things, to remember them on your own. I shouldn't have to ask for love or romance.
13. I want my lover to make me feel safe.
14. I will not tolerate being insulted. If he has something to say to me, he needs to have the intellect to speak like an adult. Name calling is for children.
15. I will not tolerate mind games. I am probably one of the most honest people you will ever meet. I say it like it is. Sometimes I may be a tad opinionated, but I expect a man to be as honest with me as I am with him. Little white lies don't count. I don't have to tell him that I had McDonalds for lunch. That is an example of a lie that I would accept.
16. NEVER will I allow my partner to wolf whistle or flirt with other women, especially in my presence. This is one of the things that irks me the most about some men. Total disrespect. I have eyes, I can see if someone is attractive, he doesn't have to ogle them to the point of crashing his car! I've heard of this truly happening, it's ridiculous! I'm very open about most things and would welcome a mature comment if someone is particularly good looking. When I watch The Fast and The Furious, I can't help but stare at Paul Walker. Love him:) The difference is, I would never try to hook up with someone while in a relationship. I would never shun or ignore my partner to flirt with a stranger. Disgusting.
17. Sorry but no strip clubs. They harbor disease and make me sick to my stomach. Looking at beautiful women is one thing. I'll probably pick him out a sexy lady calendar or magazine but I can't handle men's clubs. They're crawling with perverted, dirty freaks.
Well, what do you think? I'm assuming many people are bored with me by now. I've been crying about having a real man for too long I suppose. Sorry, this is my life. Read my hubs in a year, they'll be much more interesting I can promise you that:)
So what do YOU think of my expectations? Are they too much? Of course every situation is different and the 'monkey business' that we call life is constantly throwing poo at us. These are my own rules. Sometimes rules are broken. We'll cross that bridge when we come to it:)
- Resources for Understanding the Abusive Relationship
Surprisingly, many who are involved in an abusive relationship do not know they are, or are not sure they are, regardless of whether the abuse is emotional or physical.
- How to Get Out Alive From Abusive Relationships
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