It is the end of the month and I am doing my last piece with Fraternities 4 Family because the campaign is ending. I felt the need to address this issue, of life afterwards because no one ever does. Most people assume once you are away from your other half, everything will be hunky dory. Prince Charming was the whole problem, and life will resume and all the eligible suitors with jobs, careers, and a future will want you. And you will want them. After you get married and live happily ever after with your 2.5 kiddies, you will drive them to softball and make lemonade. Oh and this will all be like a bad dream.
Not so much. When I was there, I was a mess. I found it was far from happily ever after, an if anything it was just the opposite. I was out of hell but just went to a higher layer. Life was real, I was damaged, and there was some healing to be done. Here are ten things no one tells you about what happens afterwards.....For real:
You Will Be Paranoid-
Every time you hear keys jangling or someone walks too close to you on the street, it will make you go nutso, especially if your ex had a habit of stalking you. Or worse yet, you might check the house to make sure no one broke in if your ex had a habit of that. Some women have even called the cops thinking someone broke into their house when there was no one there. It’s because you are used to being tortured. So yeah, you’re a little crazy right now. Don’t worry, as time passes this too shall pass. It won’t last.
You Will Feel Terminally Unique-
The thing about experiencing relationship violence is you feel alone during the experience, and afterwards you feel alienated from the rest of the world. You have lost your ability to relate, and the relationship problems other people bellyache about are asinine to you. You might want to tell them, “At least he has a job and doesn’t hit you!” Truth: Whether the relationship is violent or not, everyone experiences unhealthy codependency at least once in their dating lives, not just you. The secret is to know everyone has dark times, and to get out there and keep living.
You Will Be Very Angry-
Yes, you will have rage issues. This is normal, you have been through a ton of crap. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself getting road rage for no reason or snapping out at service workers because they are moving “too slow.” You have been bullied, and sometimes when someone is bullied excessively they want to take it out on everyone else. Just remember, these drivers and service people did nothing to you. They are doing what they are supposed to do. Snapping out at them will make them feel badly, and won’t make you feel better.
You Will Have a Reckless Phase
- Okay, you have been through some hard stuff. It’s okay to want to cut loose. Beware, you will be cutting loose in a way you never dreamed of. As in getting drunk in any day that ends in a “y,” drug experimentation, inappropriate sex activity with strangers, overeating/under eating, or overspending. When you risk losing your job, house, car, etc it is time to put on the breaks. Seek therapy or a Twelve Step Meeting pronto. They will love you until you love yourself, and most women in there dated your ex or his clone.
You Won’t Want Nice Dudes, and They Won’t Want You
- In the movies, a nice dude rescues the girl from the abusive lover. Truth: This ain’t gonna happen. When a nice dude hears abusive ex, he gets weary because he thinks you are crazy too. And he’s right, you chose to stay. Also, if your ex is stalking you, he might run because he doesn’t want to get killed. Can you blame him? If he chooses to stay, you won’t trust him because you are not used to trusting. Also, you were with a jerk, so you became a jerk in order to survive. This will get old for everyone involved. So maybe work on yourself so that the nice guys know you are sincerely open for business.
You Will Have Some Friends Consider You Persona Non Grata-
Yes, some of your friends won’t stick by you. When things got bad, you cut them out. And then when you came around, you brought drama. That makes people tired. But good news is, they still love you. It killed them inside that you were going through this. Also, hurt is simply masquerading as anger. They miss you, but you messed up. So do what you have to do to repair those friendships aka be a friend again. If they see you are sincere, nine out of ten times they will be back.
You Will Have Friends and Family Try To Fix You Up-
Everything thinks what you need right now is a good matchmaker and a nice guy. They couldn’t be more wrong. Every once in a while, this ends happily but most of the time this is a disaster. You might melt down mid-date, which sucks for everyone involved. Or you might dump on your date mistaking him as your therapist, which most dudes can’t deal with. This too shall pass, but you need some alone time so you can work on yourself. Seek real Therapy not a male captive or some sort of counseling so again, history does not repeat itself.
You Will Date Beneath You-
One consequence of dating someone who’s abusive is your self-esteem is crushed. And you let them crush it. So therefore you will not view yourself as worthy of quality company. Instead, you will settle for someone who simply does not hit you or put you down. A race horse being a horse alone does not make it a winner. Translated, you might find yourself dating a string of unemployed idiots or ex-cons for a little bit. Again, this is why therapy is important kids.
You Will Find Some People Don’t Relate-
Yes, there are men who will ask you what you did to make your ex so crazy. Some might even call you bitter, God forbid you be honest. Others might walk away because it’s “too much.” Some women might tell you that you’re a “drama queen.” Also, if they are older they might inform you that you picked him, it was your fault you couldn’t deal with him. Or they might let you know you are an idiot for picking him in the first place. Either they are forced to look at their own stuff or life hasn’t happened to them yet. Don’t worry, when it does it will be brutal.
You Will Lose Faith In Love-
This is a given, and be prepared for it to happen. You will distrust men for sometime and will believe love will never find you. You will become the cynic at Disney Movies. Yeah, it happens. But be aware that just as there are bad men, there are good men that will treat you well, too. They key is working on yourself and breaking those patterns so you find them. Also, it is not giving up hope and having faith that there will be a happily ever after. Sometimes you have to go through hell to get to heaven.
So it's not going to be happily ever after right away. Don't get discouraged, it does get better. It isn't a presto chango thing but it does get better. You will find nice people who want to date you, and your dreams can come true. But it won't be instant. It won't be because of some man who's the right one. It will be because you worked on yourself. For more on dating violence and legal solutions go to http://www.charlesullman.com/our-firm/fraternities4family/
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