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After abusive relationship, will my expectations be too high?

Updated on February 18, 2013

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'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:)


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    • MissJamieD profile image

      MissJamieD 4 years ago from Minnes-O-ta

      Faith, thank you so very much. I appreciate your comments more than you know. Even though I may be a strong woman, sometimes I feel weak and need to remind myself how strong I really am, and you just did that for me:) God bless you as well!!

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 4 years ago from southern USA

      You certainly are not expecting too much! You deserve all of that and more out of a relationship and respect. I am so glad you have gotten yourself out of that abusive relationship and recognized it for what it was and left. Good for you! You are strong, amazing and I pray that all who read this article, who are in an abusive relationship, take your advice.

      Excellent write!

      Voted up ++++ and sharing and linking

      God bless you. In His Love, Faith Reaper

    • MissJamieD profile image

      MissJamieD 6 years ago from Minnes-O-ta

      bwhite-good for you sweetie I can't tell you how good it makes me feel when I hear stories like yours;) you're an amazing woman! Thanks for reading and let's keep in touch I could use some support like you! Hugs

    • bwhite062007 profile image

      Brianna W 6 years ago from East Coast

      This was a fantastic hub and you said everything I have been wanting to say for a long time. Your expectations are not too high. I came out of a physically, mentally, and verbally abusive relationship with my kids father 4 years ago. I took alot out of me and I stood depressed for a very long time. I gave love another chance to only be heartbroken once again. Since then I have been a single mom and can't say that I do not enjoy it.

      That relationship made me that woman that's not going take your s*** that I am today and I love it. It made me stronger and smarter. I have had men who want a relationship and I gave a few a shot, but I still do not feel ready yet and I am content where I am. But my expectations are the same as yours when I am ready.

      You have to learn to trust again, or nothing will ever work. But you have to also remember to not let a man walk all over you again as in your abusive relationship. I have never gone back down that path, and the second a guy gets controlling, I'm out and have never looked back.

    • profile image

      missjamied 8 years ago

      ms. K--thanks sweetie. You're so right:) I appreciate your support so much. Hugs

    • profile image

      Ms. K 8 years ago

      You are not expecting too much at all! I hope he comes your way, and if not, you sound like you have a lot of self love and respect for yourself, and many kudos to you for that! Good luck!

    • MissJamieD profile image

      MissJamieD 8 years ago from Minnes-O-ta

      AE--you're very perceptive. I didn't even notice that no men had commented yet...that's

      Thank you sweetie, and thanks for the Kudos during your recent HubPages interview. You've been an inspiration to me and I'm honored that you named me. I'll never forget the knowledge I've gained from you:) Hugs

    • AEvans profile image

      Julianna 8 years ago from SomeWhere Out There

      I do not believe your expectations are to high , in fact they are right on target. You stick with that goal and you will find the man of your dreams. I have also noticed that there hasn't been a single man who has commented I wonder why that is? I enjoyed the hub and it certainly is not boring. :)

    • MissJamieD profile image

      MissJamieD 8 years ago from Minnes-O-ta

      MM--you always have great advice, thank you so much:) I totally realize that this new guy may not be Mr. Right. I would never improvise my own values and ethics for anyone, it doesn't matter if he's Mr. Right or not. You're absolutely right about this. I agree totally. I don't think this guy is that guy, but we're enjoying each other I know that. And we haven't even consommated the relationship, we're just having fun and he understands what's going on. I'm not closed off to the fact that he could be right for me, but I'm taking things one day at a time. Thanks again MM, you're amazing:) Hugs

    • Mighty Mom profile image

      Susan Reid 8 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA

      You deserve everything on your list. And, I'm sure you're prepared to be the mirror image of all (or most) of those things to your man, too! That's what an equal partnership is.

      If I may make one suggestion/observation (from my own experience and experience of many girlfriends and guyfriends who have survived divorce). Don't jump into a long-term commitment with the first man who comes your way. It is absolutely essential to allow yourself your "transition" man. I don't know why this is, I just know it is. Maybe to get back into practice of being romantic and dating.

      After that fling or romance is out of your system you can settle into the mode of keeping your eyes open for Mr. Right. And again, this is from my experience. Don't be surprised if this man is NOTHING (surface-wise) like your current hubby. His beauty may be more internal than external. But you'll recognize the deep love. I did!

      Wishing you all the best in this journey. Hugs, MM

    • MissJamieD profile image

      MissJamieD 8 years ago from Minnes-O-ta

      boozy--I'm so sorry to hear what you're going through. I know the despair you're feeling right now and it's paralyzing. I just want you to take away one thing from me if nothing are a beautiful human being that deserves to be happy. If you are not happy, nobody's happy, and what kind of life is that to live? And I think YOU are the brave one for coming here and at least trying to find out what your marriage issues may be. It takes a strong woman to even begin the step towards confidence and a future. You are one of those.

      I hope you understand that you can do whatever you set your mind to. I've been in the deep, depths of depression and self-hatred so I am proof that life out there does exist. You just have to grab onto it and never let go:)

      I wish you the very best and I welcome you to email me privately if you ever need to talk. I'm here.

      God bless you sweetie and I hope to be talking to a "happy" boozy very soon!

    • profile image

      boozy3112 8 years ago

      Thank you to people like yourself who can write hubs like this. I feel I am a coward for burying my head in the sand and pretending it hasn't happened only to find it has and I am going to ruin another marriage (3rd) if I don't sort it out and deal with it.

      Doesn't matter it he isn't the one as long as he is helping you to have what fun you are able to and enjoy the rest of your life.

      I had to email my husband and he still doesn't know all, I couldn't talk to him, he has now realised why there are somehtings that drive me mad and hurt a lot, he has stopped doing and saying somethings, he didn't ever mean them like my other husbands did, but, now he thinks he understands.

      There are times when I am unhappy and still feel caught up in the past, but, most of the time happy.

      I am thankful that my ex's are hundreds of miles away from me and have nothing to do with me except what is in my head and the scars left elsewhere.

      Thank you for writing such good hubs and being so brave to be so open about it all, it will help those of us one day, which it has already for me the day after I spoke to someone and emailed my husband.


    • MissJamieD profile image

      MissJamieD 8 years ago from Minnes-O-ta

      boozy, that was so very sweet. Thank you so much. It's hard to deal with all of this psychological shit. My ex is still showing up at my house whenever he wants, making me feel guilty about past decisions, but he can't listen to any of his own bad decisions..he's in straight denial. It's very sad actually. I may have found a nice man already, but whether he's the "one" or not, I'm not focused on that as my number one priority, but I am trying to get used to trusting someone else again, enough to open myself up to them. It's hard. I'm so happy for you that you were able to do that and are now happy. Congratulations sweetie. You're so right about beauty being inside and out. That's one of my favorite sayings as well. Keep on keepin' on hon. I wish you the best. I will make it:) Thanks to special people like you!

    • profile image

      boozy3112 8 years ago

      Belief is right. After coming out of my last abusive marriage only three years ago, I didn't believe I would find a "nice" man again, but, I did. This is probably the first time I have talked about it. My husband is my soul mate, respectful, brilliant and my hero. I just wish I could deal with the past, but, I know I will.

      You carry on and you will find, not just Mr right, Mr perfect and I wish you all the luck in the world, but, he is there for you.

      Best wishes and blessings, as I keep saying to a friend you are beautiful inside as well as outside.

      For the future .........


    • MissJamieD profile image

      MissJamieD 8 years ago from Minnes-O-ta

      belief--thank you so much:) You're so right about meeting a nice, normal man...I won't know what to do with myself:) But it'll be worth the wait I just know it. Thanks so much for the support and thanks for reading!

    • belief713 profile image

      belief713 8 years ago from NJ

      @ MissJamie - I don't think you're expectations are too high at all. Like cindy said, I think it's what everyone wants and deserves. I guess if you settle for less, less is what you get? But then there's also life and circumstances that play into the decisions we've all made. Just think, when Mr. Right comes along you'll think you're dreaming. Wishing you the best...

      @Ivorwen - congrats and continued blessings

    • Ivorwen profile image

      Ivorwen 8 years ago from Hither and Yonder

      Jamie, Your expectations are not too high or unrealistic. I know, because I have a man who respects me, loves me and values me. We can discuss issues without hurt feelings, we know when to back down, so as to not disrespect the other person. We raise our children together. He holds down a job and cares for the needs of the family; I am a homemaker, and that is my dream job.

      I'm letting you know this to encourage you. It can be done, and it only happens by having high standards. Predefined, as you have done, before you ever meet that guy.

    • cindyvine profile image

      Cindy Vine 8 years ago from Cape Town

      Okay, just remember, no backing down! I'll be watching you!

    • MissJamieD profile image

      MissJamieD 8 years ago from Minnes-O-ta

      I hear what you're saying Cindy, I just want to put it out there that I don't expect perfection because I am the only perfect person there believe that I'm being realistic with my expectations, I will not let anyone hurt me ever again, I can promise you that! Hugs

    • cindyvine profile image

      Cindy Vine 8 years ago from Cape Town

      Hey, hey, hey. You're already starting to back down! EXPECT every one of them and that's what you'll get, okay?

    • MissJamieD profile image

      MissJamieD 8 years ago from Minnes-O-ta

      cindy and Eldritch--I really appreciate the support from two intelligent, sweet women, thank you so much! I assume that you've both dealt with bad relationships, for that I'm sorry. There were many years where I was a hypocrite, telling other people they shouldn't put up with abuse, because they shouldn't, but there I was inside the tornado myself. I wish you both the best in your situations. I hope you don't have to deal with these emotions but if so, I'm here if you want to talk. Both of you!

      I realize my expectations in a man will be hard to come by, but I don't necessarily expect every single one of them. Simple respect pretty much covers the entire framing of a relationship. I can put up with many things as you've probably gathered, so I won't be a stickler, but I will stand tall.

    • cindyvine profile image

      Cindy Vine 8 years ago from Cape Town

      Yep Jamie, now you've heard it from two of us!

    • Eldritch Elegy profile image

      Eldritch Elegy 8 years ago

      Cindy is absolutely right. Don't back down. Don't expect anything less. Your expectations are not unrealistic at all... but they will be very hard to come by. Respect yourself enough to never settle for anything less than you deserve (but let's see if I can take my own advice, hm?).

      Your maturity and understanding are like a breath of fresh air. So many people are incapable of overcoming what you have and developing a healthy respect for themselves that it's upsetting to see. I'm glad you realize your own worth despite your circumstances.

    • cindyvine profile image

      Cindy Vine 8 years ago from Cape Town

      Oh God, Jamie, this is brilliant and brought a tear to my eye. All you want is what everybody should get. But some of us, we only get the shit and I don't know why. I'm a nice person, you're a nice person, why did we end up with such bastards! Now you've identified what you want from your next man, don't back down girl. If they don't measure up or give the red flags, move on, no matter how much you want to be with someone. I wish my arms were long enough to hug you from here!