Last week I made the decision to end my 7-year marriage because of physical and emotional abuse. I feel like I’ve already been through those famous five stages of grief–denial with all the years I stayed in something unhealthy, bargaining was the last few years when I urged him to get counseling and tried to forgive him. Now I’m DONE. I actually feel a huge wave of relief and happiness and hope for a future of actual love and that I might someday find a guy who can be kind and compassionate the way I am and the way I deserve.
My question is this: How long is it necessary to wait before getting back into the dating scene? I should mention I have two small children and I don’t want to rush anything. I just want to ride this wave of optimism because I’ve never felt so confident and lovable before. What would you recommend?
I don’t have a strong attachment to any man in particular right now. I just really believe that love may be possible for me after all and I don’t want to quash any potential dates on the basis of some arbitrary rule.
Thank you so much,
Congratulations, Ann, on having the courage to leave a situation that was making you miserable. I must admit, I’ve never fully understood the psychology of abuse — and how people who are objectively treated poorly choose to remain in relationships — but I’m glad you’ve broken free.
You can do WHATEVER THE HELL YOU WANT right now.
More importantly, I’m glad that you’re feeling relieved, happy and optimistic about what happens next — that you’re looking forward to your new lease on life, rather than being paralyzed by fear like so many other victims of abuse.
Which is why I want to tell you in the kindest, most non-professional way possible, that you can do WHATEVER THE HELL YOU WANT right now.
You’ll get a whole bunch of opinions, but all that matters is you.
Sounds to me like your marriage was dying for years and that you’ve already mourned its death. Sounds to me like your head is on straight and, while you’re cautious about exposing your children to other men, you don’t want to have to wait until they’re teenagers.
If you’re riding the wave of self-love, get back out there and explore your dating options as a single mom.
So if you’re riding the wave of self-love, I couldn’t think of a more opportune time to get back out there and explore your dating options as a single mom.
And if you’re gonna do it, just make sure you’re prepared, and you’ll have an incredible time meeting the kind of guy who will appreciate you for all that you are.