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Discussion Starter #1
I got married when I was 25 to a man I thought the world of and whom I was deeply in love with.

Shortly after we were married, he became abusive and very neglectful. I put up with it (making all the usual excuses) until one very bad incident of physical abuse (after two years of marriage) when I realized very quickly I had to get out.

The divorce is done and I'm free of him. However, the guilt and shame follow me like a disease. I thought these feelings would go away after a while. I tried everything I could to save that marriage, but it was doomed. I gave up on ever being valued or loved, I gave up on children because I couldn't bring them into that lifestyle, travelling, everything and I would've stayed if he hadn't become violent - that's how much I valued my marriage and vows. I'm angry with myself for not seeing the signs and getting away from him before we got married.

Now, I've met a fabulous man, who loves me and treats me well. He knows of my past, and he has never been married. He wants to propose to me - even wanted me to look at rings so that he knew what I liked. I love him so much, but I'm so scared of making a mistake again. I can't be twice divorced.

I also feel like a big fraud - how can I have a wedding and wear a wedding dress and profess my love to someone when I've already done it and it failed so miserably?
 

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You need to let go of the past.

Stop feeling ashamed because you did do everything to salvage your first marriage--your husband was an abuser. Abusers do not change.

Have you been to counselling to help deal with the guilt you have? The shame? Stop beating yourself up.

You cannot change the past. IT's done, gone already, can't fix things or make it better. That time is over now.

Accept that.

As for the new guy--I would actually hold off on doing anything major right now until you get your feelings sorted out.

You can marry again, just be sure you are in the right frame of mind.

Kudos to you for getting out of an abusive relationship. Most people can't/won't/don't. It's not an easy task.

Do you ever hear from your ex?



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Remember: you are marrying him, and not your past. This man knows about your past, and wants to share a life with you. Honestly, you can spend your time looking back on your past, with regrets, and what he ends up getting is a wife who is not able to share completely in the happiness. It boils down to a part of you that maybe feels like you deserve to be punished for your past. But anything negative in your life going forward impacts him.

Its so hard to put this in words, but I'm only encouraging you to see that this guilt accomplishes nothing, yet keeps the marriage from attaining its potential.

Sometimes, it can be helpful to talk to your future husband about how you really feel. Let him tell you that it is okay to let go of the guilt. I'd also encourage you to seek pre-marital counseling, like my wife and I did. We worked through plans and an understanding of what we would do to make sure that the marriage succeeded. Part of that was in verbalizing that we would view our mistakes as opportunities to grow closer, and learn to let the hurts go instead of building resentment. We affirmed our belief that phsycal and mental abuse is not acceptable, and that the threat of divorce would never be used in anger.
 

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You need to forgive yourself. But if it is time that you need, then your current boyfriend should love you enough to give you that time. You should never be forced into marriage or engagement for that matter.

Give yourself some credit; you are a wonderful person for wanting your vows to mean something...it means that you are a very faithful and loving person.

Forgive yourself.
 

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I also think that counseling would be a great idea for you. What you went through was traumatic, and it can definitely help to talk to someone that can help you.

It's so great that you've found a new man that sounds very understanding. I also agree that you may want to wait for marriage until you can sort out your feelings. If this guy loves you, then he will encourage you to do whatever is best for you, especially if it means your relationship with him will be stronger.

I do have to say that I absolutely hate to hear about the feelings your having about yourself. Their is zero reason for you to have any feelings of guilt or shame. You made the brave choice to get out of the situation and move on with your life. You should feel proud of yourself that you're such a strong person.

My father was physically abusive to my mother. She stayed in the marriage for 9 years for a number of reasons, but mostly scared that things would be worse if she left. However, she finally found the strength to leave when I was still young. She raised both me and my sister on her own while putting herself through nursing school. She has been very happy for years and years now. I can tell you that the only feelings I have towards my mother are complete admiration. She deserves to be happy and so do you.

You can't guarantee that this new relationship will work out, but you can't let fear keep you from living your life. Otherwise your ex will still be in control, which is what most abusers want, and he doesn't deserve to win.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks to everyone who has posted a reply - there seems to be a recurring trend towards forgiving myself. Easier said than done I'm afraid.

To be honest, I'm pretty upset with myself for making such a horrible decision. I did go to counselling for a little while after I left him. I was able to learn a lot - my learning curve was very steep and very painful.

Other than some minor embarassment, I thought I was okay. But then things started turning towards marriage with this wonderful man. I have learned to trust my instincts (which, had I listened to them BEFORE I would've never married that monster), and they are telling me that my new love is wonderful and that I'm safe, but I feel like I wasted myself on my ex and that I'm letting my new guy down by having been married before.

I know it sounds crazy, but feelings are feelings.

I do appreciate everyone's thoughts.
 

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I think you are punishing your self for things that were beyond your control. You did take your vows seriously your XH did not. This is no reflection on you or what your new marriage will be like.

Do not rob your self or your future husband of a great relationship/ marriage because of what your XH did- he really doesn't deserve any more from you.
 

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I think you are punishing your self for things that were beyond your control. You did take your vows seriously your XH did not. This is no reflection on you or what your new marriage will be like.

Do not rob your self or your future husband of a great relationship/ marriage because of what your XH did- he really doesn't deserve any more from you.
:iagree:

You're only fault in your 1st marraige was BEING BLINDED BY LOVE, believing in another human being. Should you crucify yourself over this ? Goodness NO!

Not sure what the red flags were or if others warned you to NOT marry him. BUt please realize when we are young, unless we were taught really really well, most of do some things we regret,find ourselves in situations we never thought we would be in & it sounds he made a switch after the wedding, how was you to see it coming for sure. He HID a part of who he was.

Sounds like you tried to hold on for much longer than he deserved.

You have come through this experience with MUCH to teach others, to not ignore those little red flags . Do not beat yourself up about it, our past helps us grow, Look where you are now, FREE to love another who treats you beautifully.

Here is a good book Amazon.com: Shame and Grace: Healing the Shame We Don't Deserve (9780060675226): Lewis B. Smedes: Books
 

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If a wedding is feeling yourself when you divorce not from yourself you not divorced but if you were not you divorced your marriage in them without divorced
 
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