The craziest thing just happened last night. My ex's girlfriend found me on Instagram and she sent me a message asking if we could talk. She says she just wants to ask me "some stuff" about my ex. And she said only here (on Instagram); she said please don't say anything if I see her out somewhere.
My fiance told me it was totally my call, but she wouldn't touch this with a 10-foot pole. She is worried it could be a set-up of some kind. But my ex hasn't bothered me in years, why would she start now? This girl would be about 8 months pregnant now and if she's looking for a way out I can't just leave her hanging after she's reached out to me. I couldn't live with myself. So I've already sent her a message back asking her when a good time for her is. I'm waiting to hear back.
I guess my question is, if you've been in contact with your abusive ex's new partner, what kinds of boundaries do you establish? And how do you establish those boundaries? I already know that I won't go into any details with her regarding my life now, in case she did decide to relay anything to my ex, but beyond that I'm lost. Any advice would be great. I'm still in a bit of shock.
Hi Ava, I had some experience with this. For me, it was very soon after the abuser and I broke up, so it was a little traumatic for me. I actually contacted my ex's new girlfriend to warn her. I actually e-mailed her and she asked me to call her at her work. I figured it was safe to talk to her.
We basically compared notes. The abuser was doing the same things to her that he had done to me. She had only been dating him for a few months, so she was kind of still "in love" with him. I sort of knew her a bit as I knew people who had worked with her. She was married at one time and her husband at the time beat her up and landed her in the hospital. So, my ex didn't hit her, therefore, she didn't see him as abusive. She said she "saw some strange things in him"..but they didn't deter her from being with him. She was very confident in her choice of dating him and because she claimed to "see through him"..she didn't really believe that he had been abusive towards me. She believed that I was still missing him and was so messed up by him, she sort of felt sorry for me. When I spoke to her, she told me they had just broken up.
I called her again a month later and confronted her as I was told they were back together. She didn't agree or disagree. She basically told me to let him go and move on with my life. 2 months later, The Jerk contacted me, I tried to warn her again as this time he wanted to get back together with me, yet he was still dating her. This time, I sent her an e-mail and told her what he did. So, she didn't really respond to me , she went straight to him. He abused me all over again, calling me names, putting me down, he was a true jerk. I am pretty sure she was supporting him in the abuse as I am sure he had told her terrible lies about me or she wasn't aware of what he was doing. Either way, She is now on my shit list.
I guess what I would say is be careful. Your ex may be abusing her and I suspect that is what is happening and why she wants information to see if it is "her" or if this has happened to others. If you talk to her, perhaps find a way to protect yourself, meaning either text or e-mail, and if you meet, do it in public. I wouldn't trust her. I wanted to trust my ex's new girlfriend..now wife. I thought we would share stories about the ex and form a bond against him. That isn't what happened. I think she was curious so she agreed to talk to me, but she basically acted like I was the one who was still so messed up, she hadn't been affected by him yet.
Now, I have a very hard time believing that she isn't being abused in some way, even though she acted like it was all my issue. Remember, your ex has done a number on her, she has probably shared a ton of lies about you and the new girlfriend has become the "ally" of the abuser because she has been led to believe that you (we) are the abusive one who hurt him. Something must be happening for her to seek you out.
I would tread cautiously. I would let her do most of the talking, let her share what is happening. I would not share ANY of your personal life now..no details like where you live, or if you are happy, where you work, or whatever. If you meet her in person, park a ways away and walk, so she doesn't see your car. I would not trust her at all, even if she is the nicest person you have ever met. She is with your EX..and your ex hurt you terribly. If something is going on, perhaps be prepared to give her resources for support like the local DV center or a Hotline number. I would urge you to be neutral, don't share a lot of details about your life with the abuser. You will be opening yourself up to be hurt. She may not hurt you, but you never know.
If I had to do it all over again, I wouldn't have contacted or spoken to my ex's new partner. It hurt. I also would not get in my head any idea or expectation of her being nice. I would be very cautious and let her tell me her story, and either agree or disagree. I would just be cautious about how much you share. It can come back and hurt you somehow, especially if she tells the ex that you and she talked. Your ex could come after you and make your life miserable, so in this case, maybe "less is more".
Good luck Ava. You have found your happiness, don't let your past come in and mess it up in anyway!
No, I wasn't planning on sharing things about my personal life, or meeting her in person. She said she only wants to talk online, on Instagram. She specifically said not to say anything or even look at her if I see her out in public. This is a very small town and word gets around. My thought was that she's afraid of my ex finding out. That said, I will be very careful about what I say. I just have a question, if she wants to know whether whatever is happening with her also happened to me, how do you tell her it happened or what happened without going into too much detail? I'm just trying to figure out where to draw the line.
As far as my ex, if she were to try to come after me or even speak to me, she'll be in jail for the next year, the judge promised her that when I was given the 5-year protection order. And I wouldn't hesitate for a second to call the police. I've actually wished for it in the past when I've seen her out, that she'd approach me or say something. I'd love to see her put away.
Anyway, I do want to help the girlfriend if I can but I promise I will also do what I have to to keep myself safe. I don't want to mess up what I have either.
Hi Ava, the online stuff..that sounds like a smart way to do it. I suspect something is happening as she is reaching out to you. She probably is afraid, it all makes sense if she is being abused.
As for what to tell her, you could say "I hear ya, I know all about that", or "yes, I can relate to what you are talking about". Or just "yes, I know exactly how you feel". Or "I don't want to go into a lot of detail, but I can understand what you are saying or how you are feeling, I have been there too". You are basically connecting with her without revealing specific details of what went on. You can just listen and say "what you are talking about sounds like abuse to me, here is what you may want to consider..calling a DV hotline or going to the local DV Center". You can tell her that "Abusers usually have been abusing their whole adult lives. Letting her know that she is not the first person the ex has abused. Telling her that what is happening is not her fault, that she doesn't have to live that way, all of those words can help. You can say "Some of what you are saying is typical of her (meaning the partner, your ex)." Does the new girlfriend know you have a protection order against her now partner? If so, then you can say, " I don't want to give specifics, but there are reasons I have the protection order against her". Also, "Abusive people never stop abusing, she is more than likely repeating things she has done before".
You can say things like "I have done a lot of research on the subject of unhealthy relationships...what you are saying sounds like very unhealthy to me". Or direct her to the Lundy Bancroft books. That will help her understand what abuse is, if that is what she is interested in.
I believe she really wants to know that your ex treated you the same way she is treating her right now. She wants to know if it is her that is causing your ex to be abused or this is something your ex does to everyone.
I am "friends" with my ex-boyfriends' ex-wife (if that makes sense). She and I have compared lots of notes. She has forgiven me for being the "other woman" and she completely understands what I went through with the ex. She hates him, as he abused her for 12 of their 20 year marriage (I believe it was longer, she just didn't see the first 7-8 years as abuse). He used a lot of the same tactics with her that he used with me. She and I have never met in person, we only texted and e-mailed each other. We have never spoken on the phone either. It helped me tremendously to make sense of all that happened with him, by knowing he did the same to someone else.
I didn't realize you had a protection order for 5 years..that is such a good thing! I am so happy for you Ava, you are doing so great and it sounds like you have found your joy in life! I feel for your ex's new partner, she must be miserable.
If you want, feel free to share what she says to you, we can help you to interpret it and you can share your replies here before sharing them with her if you want some feedback first. Whatever you need, let us know!
We're going to talk tomorrow during my lunch hour. She said my ex will be at work then too. It's like an instant messenger thing though so I won't really be able to run it by you but I will let you know how it goes!
I wanted to share something big (to me) with you. I think I've mentioned before that my fiance and I love going to karaoke. Our friends tease us about being "so old school" but whatever. LOL. My fiance loves being onstage and her voice is just beautiful. She's a regular there. Well I've always left the singing to her, even though she tells me I have a great voice and she can't understand what I'm afraid of. See I went out with my ex to a karaoke bar in my college town once and some friends had tried to get me to go up and she told me I shouldn't because "you know, your voice is okay but the people in here are brutal." She said they'd boo me off stage if I wasn't perfect. So I didn't do it and I haven't had the self-confidence even with my fiance.
Until last night. I asked my fiance what if I suck? And she said "You're not gonna suck, but if you do, who cares? It's 1am, everyone is drunk, they won't remember." LOL. So I did it and I sang "I Don't Think About You" by sang Kelly Clarkson(!!!), which is a very emotional song for me to just listen to. I didn't think I was going to make it through AT ALL. But I did and I did NOT get booed off. I got cheers. They knew it was my first time so maybe they were being extra nice but several people stopped to tell me I did great and they hope they'll see me back up there again. I cried, it was so emotional and so healing.
This was such a big hurdle for me. I still have a hard time being the center of attention. When I was a kid my mom said I loved it; I made sure everyone noticed me. But my ex squashed that and it's something that I guess I still carry around. But I'm hoping this is another step towards getting more of my old self back.
This is the song I sang. I still don't know how I did it. Being a little tipsy probably helped.
I Don't Think About You Kelly Clarkson
When you're lost in the moment You can't see where you going I didn’t who I could trust So I put all my faith in us Oh, you tore me to pieces Turned my strength into weakness I didn't want it all to fall apart So I decided just to play the part But honestly, I do it all again Putting up with all the bullshit, he made me strong enough to do this
It used to bother me Thought I could never leave After all that I've been through, nothin’ left to prove No, no, no, I don't think about you Weighin' down on me I lost my sanity And now that we are through Nothin' left to lose No, no, no, I don’t think about you
I feel freedom where I stand now And I feel proud from who I am now Yeah, I learned a lot along the way I love the woman that I became I was patient, but not anymore It's back in my hands And you swore I'll never do it But it's your turn to face the music
It used to bother me Thought I could never leave After all that I've been through, nothin’ left to prove No, no, no, I don't think about you Weighin' down on me I lost my sanity And now that we are through Nothin' left to lose No, no, no, I don’t think about you
It was hard to hold on Days and nights I thought I'd never make at all Couldn't make it at all Now I stand tall Feeling like myself again, no worries at all Breathe No one can stop me from livin’ this moment for me
I found my heartbeat After all that I've been through No, I don't think about you
It used to bother me Thought I could never leave After all that I've been through nothin’ left to provem No, no, no, I don't think about you Weighin' down on me I found my sanity And now that we are through Nothin' left to lose No, no, no, I don’t think about you I don’t think about you (No, no, no) no, no, no (Not anymore) not anymore No, no, no I don’t think about you
Hey Ava..what a great moment for you!! That is so so so good that you went and did what YOU wanted ! It is a HUGE hurdle to go over and you did it! That is awesome!! And what a great choice of a song to sing! Those words are so meaningful and they hit home! I am sure it took a lot for you to get up there and sing such an emotional song. BUT KUDOS to you! That is so cool that you did!
For me..I believe it takes a ton of courage to do things that we have been "squashed" from doing in the past by a narcissistic jerk. Abusers don't want anyone else to have any attention and do everything they can to prevent it, because after all the only one who should have any attention is them. WELL BS to that! But, when we take that step and listen to our gut that says "you can do this and you want to do this, and you should do it"..it is beyond HUGE. It is like climbing to the top of a mountain and taking in the beautiful view that we never knew was there. It is even better than that.
My ex-husband used to cringe every time I wanted to sing or play my flute. I love to play my music and I love to sing (I am not that good at it, but I don't care anymore..LOL) He would tell me that I wasn't that good and make fun of me in front of my kids when I would play. He didn't have any talents or joys like that. I like to play and I am not great by any means, but I can play well. For the longest time I wouldn't play in front of people because of him, I was convinced that everyone would cringe. It really made me lack any confidence in my ability. I have been playing the flute since I was 10 years old..that is over 40 years. I remember I did play in church a few years ago, something I hadn't done in over 20 years and it felt great to be doing that again! It took an awful lot of courage for me to stand up there..I think I even felt like I was doing it to spite the exes and prove to them and to me that I can do whatever I set my mind and heart to. It was a big step for me! People complimented me after and it was so nice. Big step in my healing journey!
I am so glad you did that! I am not surprised that you got cheers! I bet it was beautiful! AND the difference between a healthy relationship and an unhealthy one is your fiance' supported you and encouraged you and cheered! Your ex..tried to sound like she was protecting you because she "loved" you so much, yet she was actually manipulating you so you wouldn't look better than her. It was all about her. Your fiance'..it is about putting you first.
My ex-boyfriend (he was abusive)..he was musically inclined and he would encourage me to play, he did this until other people liked my playing and I got more attention than he did. He stopped encouraging me after that, in fact we were supposed to go on a trip and make a recording together (him on guitar and me on flute), he ended up writing me out of the song basically. He told me it just didn't sound right and since he was paying so much money for this recording, he wanted it to be just right. It was bullcrap, it was like he used me to make him look good, but once that ended and I looked better than him, he stopped it. He had me convinced I just wasn't right for the song..I believe I made the song sound better, but he disagreed and since he was paying and being such a great guy in taking me along, because I was his "number 1 fan"..I didn't get to play. Turns out, I didn't go on the trip, he threw me out of his house before the trip came and he took his new girlfriend with him. Who I am sure followed him around like a puppy and supported him. Which is just what he wanted, a "fan" to support him,not someone who took the spotlight away from him. It really bugged him that I was in the spotlight with his fellow musicians instead of him.
I am glad you and your ex's partner are going to get to talk. It sounds like it will be pretty safe. Hope it goes well! Let us know, I am curious to hear what she has to say.
So we talked. We talked well past my lunch hour, actually. It was a lot harder than I thought it would be. Of course, I only know what she chose to tell me, but it sounds to me like my ex is doing almost exactly the same things to her as she did to me. Some of these things she admitted were happening out right, some she essentially admitted were happening by asking me if it happened to me, if the ex ever did "X" to me or if ex ever made me feel a certain way. Claiming to want to protect her and using that as an excuse not to trust her decision making. Check. Forcing her into arguments and then getting angry at her for being so argumentative. Check. Pacing around the house angrily and telling her she should know better than to bother her when she's "like this". Check. Telling her she couldn't live with out her and no one will love her (the girlfriend) like my ex can. OMG, huge check. It's just everything I went through. She didn't talk about the violence so I don't know how bad it is (I do know she's hit her) but she did ask me if my ex ever made me feel like it was my fault when she "lost her temper", for not knowing when to walk away or not knowing when to shut up, or just not listening. And then, having this ability to shut all of that off and turn into the sweet, fun-loving caring and attentive lover she was when they first met and to make her almost forget that anything was ever wrong. It hit home big time. I honestly felt like I was talking to my 18-19 year old self. It brought it all back.
She also told me that she is due at the beginning of June with a baby boy and she and my ex are supposed to get married right after he is born (hence the ring she was wearing last time I saw her) and she's not sure if she's doing the right thing. Apparently she (the girlfriend) left the relationship last July. And not long after got drunk in a bar and woke up with someone she barely knew. I remember I almost made that same mistake just a few years ago, went out with my fake I.D and got myself a little tipsy, met a nice guy who invited me back to his place, but thankfully I was sober enough to stop myself. Anyway, she found out she was pregnant, tracked the guy down and he wanted nothing to do with it, wouldn't take her phone calls or answer her texts, basically cut her off. She didn't believe in abortion and she was too scared to tell her parents (who know about but don't support her sexual orientation) so she called my ex for help and my ex told her she'd help her raise the baby if she'd just come home. She had nowhere to go and didn't know how she would be able to take care of the baby, so she went back and that's why she's still there. She says my ex hasn't "really" (whatever that means) hit her since she came back and she describes it as "way better than before", which of course leaves me to only imagine what was happening before, and to be afraid for her of what I can say with absolute certainty will start happening again after that baby is born. My ex apparently is acting very excited about this baby and I imagine that's why she's being so "nice", so the girlfriend will stick around and my ex will have the baby to use as a pawn in her sick game. I didn't tell the girlfriend this of course, but I wanted to.
I was biting my tongue, so-to-speak, almost the entire time, but think I did pretty good not going into detail, or telling her what she should do (Run!). I said things like, "Oh yeah, that sounds familiar," "I definitely get that", or "I know how that feels". I did tell her that she didn't have to get married if she wasn't sure, it's a lot harder to get out when you're married than when you're just living together. I gave her the DV hotline number, a couple of local shelters and a number to a local legal aid service that can put her in touch with lawyers who take DV cases pro bono. She was a little bit defensive, she said she didn't say she wanted to leave, she just didn't know if she wanted to get married. But she did say thank you so maybe there's hope. I told her that we can talk again if and whenever she feels like it, just let me know. And she said ok and immediately logged off. I guess I just wait and hope now.
And now I'm off to have dinner and unwind with my SAFE, loving, beautiful and magnificent partner (who is sitting right next to me and made me add "beautiful and magnificent". ). I just wish I could share this with my ex's girlfriend, I wish she could understand how much better life can be and that she deserves this much happiness too. When I left 3 1/2 years ago, I could never have imagined myself where I am now. Never.
She has already messaged me back and said she wants to talk again! I didn't see the message until hours later so I just sent her a quick reply and haven't heard back yet. She asked my why I left. I'm worrying now that I said too much. It just all came out of me. I told her I realized I didn't know who I was anymore. I was tired of hiding such a big part of my life from the people who loved me and tired of feeling afraid all the time. I don't know, does that sound like too much? I began second-guessing it as soon as I hit send, but you can't take it back. I hope I didn't blow it.
She did say that this is the first time in a year and a half that anything has made sense. All this time she's been feeling like she was going crazy. One day she feels like it's all she can do to hold it together and the next everything feels fine and she's thinking maybe she is just overreacting. Holy crap do I know what that's like. I told her she doesn't have to live this way (as I did last night) and of course we can talk, to just let me know when.
Hi Ava, have you said too much? I don't know, It sounds to me like you acknowledged what she is going through and gave her the little bit to know that she isn't the crazy one. Giving her the numbers and telling her about the hotline and shelters..all good stuff. She has information and can make a decision if she wants.
She is being abused just like you were. I don't think you blew it at all. Second guessing is fallout from being abused. I second guess myself a lot. It is really hard to break out of that habit.
Maybe just continue to be careful. You can't be sure of what she is doing or not doing. You don't know if at some point it will slip to her partner that you and she talked, it could backfire. I am leery of talking or sharing with anyone who has contact with my exes. At some point, you could come up as part of the conversation and that "box" is open again about your relationship with the ex.
I know I shared too much with my ex's new partner. I regretted it as soon as the words were out of my mouth. I trusted her to not tell the ex and she did, went straight to him. So never again for me. BUT..you have to listen to your gut. If it doesn't feel right, or you have some doubt, then don't share. This girl knows enough now to know that what is happening to her happened to you. What else does she need to know? I know letting her share her thoughts and feelings can help her, but counselors may be the best thing for her. Especially if she wants to talk further.
Believe me, I want to help anyone who is being abused, I feel strongly about that. BUT I am not willing to put myself in a unhealthy situation for me in order to do that. Been there done that, not interested in doing it again!
Hey Karen, I know, my fiance doesn't want me to keep talking to her either. I've been having nightmares again the last 3 nights since I talked to her. Really graphic ones. The first night I didn't think much of it, but now I'm starting to worry myself. My fiance said she just doesn't want to see me go through this again after I've come so far.
I'm supposed to talk with her again today but I think this is going to have to be it.
Well, I guess that's that. I talked to her again. She said my ex hurt her this morning she wanted to leave. Great! But then she asked me if I'd come and get her. From her house where she lives with my ex! She thought since my ex isn't there right now it shouldn't be a problem. Seriously. I told her there's no way I can do that. I told her to call the police or a shelter and they would come get her. I even offered to call for her or even to get her an Uber, you know? But I said I just can't go down there. I have a restraining order against my ex for a reason. I told her if she wanted to leave right now, I'd do anything I could to help. Just not that. I guess she wasn't happy with that because she logged off without saying a word. At least for her safety I hope that's why she logged off suddenly. If she messages me again I'm just going to tell her I can't do it anymore.
Hi Ava, sounds like this whole encounter is triggering you. Kudos to you for setting a limit! I am really glad you didn't pick her up. I worry that somehow your ex is behind this. I don't want to believe that she might be, but if this girl really wants to leave, she needs to call a hotline herself and make a plan to leave. There are people out there who will go to great lengths to pull us back in. My gut is telling me to be careful, be very careful. This just seems too quick too weird. I don't trust this.
Your ex could be behind this. There are abusers who will pay people to give them information and many people can be bought. You are not the solution to her problem. It just doesn't sound right to me. You set a limit and she didn't want that..possibly or for her safety she did log off. Either way, I would stay away from doing anymore. If she is doing something that is a scheme, she will keep trying. She may even keep pushing because she is being pushed (possibly) by your ex.
At this point, you have done all you can. Honestly, I would walk away at this point. It just seems too weird. Most people who leave, it can take some time. They are afraid to leave, they are hesitant, maybe I am misunderstanding, but it just seems to coincidental. You share info, you give her attention, and next thing you know you are her "savior" and she wants you to rescue her?
If it were me, I would take a step back and leave this alone for a bit. You gave her the "tools" she needs to make a choice. You can't be the answer to her problem. She needs to find another way.
Kudos to you! I don't know why, but I feel like you dodged a bullet here!
I left work early today after that whole conversation went down and I've been thinking about it and what you said.
First, no you're not misunderstanding. It was that fast. Maybe she's been thinking about it for a long time...that was my only thought. But I'm with you in that I don't understand why she'd expect me to be the one to rescue her. I hate thinking it could be a set-up. Me fiance said that too. I feel bad for the girl either way. I just wanted to help her.
What I don't understand is, if she's helping my ex set me up, everything she asked about as far as my ex's behavior, happened when I was with her. How would the girl know those things? I don't think my ex is going to tell her, "Here are all things I did when Ava and I were together. Use this stuff." Abusers don't admit to being abusers if they want you to stay. You know what I mean? And why after all this time would my ex try to set me up? And for what? I haven't seen her, other than in passing, spoken to her or been bothered by her in over 3 years and the protection order ends in about a year and a half--January 2020. What could she have to gain by this? But then I have to remind myself that my ex is crazy and crazy people do things that don't make any sense. And that's scary as hell. Oh God I hope you and my fiance are wrong about this.
Right now I'm wishing I just hadn't gotten involved at all. Damn
Hi Ava..I agree with what you are saying about why would they want to be back involved. I met a lady about a month ago who was married to a guy for 2 years and they have been divorced 23 years. She is still terrified of him finding her and trying to kill her. He attempted it once many years ago and she has never gotten over it. She still believes he will find her at some point. Sometimes, I think these jerks just have a point to make and they will not rest until they have made it.
One thing with exes/abusers, they will make their new partner their ally. They will say and do things that paint you in a really bad light. It will make the abuser look like the innocent victim they are far from being. So, to get the new partner to join with them, and be on their side, they will do just about anything. The new partner is now being abused and all that is happening to them now? They want to see if it happened to you. Your ex may have told her new partner HER side of the story and it didn't make sense. They can and will twist everything to make it fit their needs. The bottom line, is the ex could be involved and that is what one cannot trust. The gain is satisfaction that you are miserable and rattled. That your ex can still control your emotions. That you are even thinking of her..that may give your ex great satisfaction to know that she is still on your mind.
I hope she is not behind it either, I would like to believe that this new partner is being abused and she is finally realizing it and doesn't know what to do about it. That would be giving her the benefit of the doubt. The good that can come of this is IF this new partner is truly being abused, you confirmed for her that what is happening to her, happened to you and you gave her some tools to help her go forward and change her life.
Don't beat yourself up. Perhaps, give yourself permission to believe that you may have helped her. If she is messing with you..and she may keep trying to contact you which could indicate that, then don't give her any further opportunity. And, she may not be setting you up, but it could also be a way for your ex to hurt you again. The new partner may also want to get at you because your ex may have completely blamed you for everything. The new partner wants to "stick up" for your ex. It could be anything at this point.
All I know is I trusted my ex's new partner and she screwed me over big time. I tried to help her and I will never help her again. Part of me feels bad for her because I will never believe she is happy, and part of me hopes she regrets treating me the way she did as KARMA will happen. AND if she is miserable like I think she is, then good.
At this point, I hope what it was is she is being abused and needs help. Remember, she is confused, she is attached to the abuser, she is scared, she is not sure, she is probably walking on eggshells, and she is probably being manipulated. My hope is that you helped her a bit. Hopefully, she will find support elsewhere at this point, you have done all you can.
I know I've done what I can. She messaged me again and said she was sorry for asking me to come and get her and she knew it wasn't fair to me. She said she left yesterday and she's staying at a shelter.
I told her I'm glad I was able to help her, glad that she's safe, and I hope she stays away from my ex, but I can't be her support system and to not message me anymore. I have to move on. She said, "It's okay, I get it." and then she logged off. I decided to just block her so she can't message me at all. I just can't deal with it anymore and I know it was a huge relief for my fiance. She'd never tell me what to do but I know she's been worried sick about it.
If this girl really was being sincere about everything, and I was able to help her, then I have no regrets. But the whole thing has really messed with my head. I've been in a really great place for the last year and half and it sucks to be dealing with the bad dreams and the anxiety again. My fiance came up behind me this morning and it startled me and my heart jumped into my throat. This happened all the time in the beginning of our relationship but it's been ages. I'm going to see my counselor this next week, just to talk about everything that's happened. I think now that this whole thing is over, it won't take long to get back to normal. But I'm with you, Karen. Never again.
Hi Ava, Sounds like you set some really good limits and I applaud you for being able to do that! It is really hard to stand up for what is best for US!. I still struggle with setting limits!.
It really sounds like she was legitimate in all that she said to you. I hope she is telling the truth. BUT you stood your ground and let her know you can't go forward with her. That is HUGE! it is not easy to tell someone to stay out of our lives. I am going to say that I think you helped this girl make her decision to leave. I hope you have no regrets! You did a great thing for her, maybe years later she will seek you out and share more with you.
I have learned that it doesn't take much for me to experience a "trigger" from something. And when I figure out what it is,? It gets a little easier each time letting the sadness and all the negative thoughts we have go. Sometimes those triggers are harder to let go than others. But, you are also healing and going in a great order of where everything is. It will be OK Ava! One day at a time, this will pass at some point!
I'm pretty sure she really did leave. I haven't seen my ex out without her since my fiance and I first saw them together about a year and a half ago. But yesterday my fiance did. My ex didn't come close but she said she could tell my ex made it a point to make sure she saw her. She said they made eye contact and she could see that my ex was furious. She tried to stare my fiance down but as soon as my fiance stood up and faced her she walked away. I don't know if she knows I talked to her girlfriend or she's just angry she got left again and decided to take it out on my fiance. I don't know.
My fiance and I actually got into it a little bit over this. I told her to please be careful because I know my ex can be unpredictable, and my fiance said she's not worried about herself, she said she's not afraid of my ex but she wants ME to be extra vigilant now. I know she meant well but it evoked memories of my ex having different rules for me than for herself, under the guise of her wanting to protect me. It really hit me in a bad way, so much I started shaking and I told my fiance NO, you don't get to do that. You don't get to tell me to keep myself safe and not do the same for yourself. I know my ex and she's liable to pull anything. Anyway, I explained to her why it upset me so much and we talked it all out and she apologized and promised to be careful. I'm okay now. I know that disagreements and misunderstandings are part of all relationships and it's good to know I can confront them with her without fearing her reaction.
Hi Ava, I am glad she left, a little surprised that she actually did that, but glad for her! And if she did, then she is getting the support and help she needs. That too is a really good thing!
I completely understand about you and your fiance getting into it a bit. Them wanting to protect us can actually trigger feelings in us. It is really hard sometimes to separate out what is "good intentions" and what is controlling.
My guy (we have been together for 3 years)and I had a similar issue a few days ago. I am going to have to be around my ex-husband for about a week at the end of the month. Our daughters are both graduating, one from high school and one from college. My ex and I are going to a dinner that my older daughter wants us to attend with her, it is with one of her professors from her college. I am fine with us both going, but I am worried that somehow my ex-husband will need a ride to the dinner and I will have to ride in the car with him. I don't want to be that close to him. My guy now has been asking me almost weekly if I have resolved this "potential" issue with my daughter. Meaning, telling her ahead of time that I am not transporting her father to this dinner. He told me "I am going to keep asking until you resolve it". I told him to not do that. He CANNOT have a say in what I do when it comes to my ex. It felt EXTREMELY controlling to me. He told me he has a problem with me in the car with my ex and he said he knows I am not always able to not "give in" and drive him. He said he knows I will do it to "keep the peace" and not cause any problem for my daughter. He told me he would stop asking, but he knows it will hurt me terribly if I let the ex into my car and that close to me. So, he is trying to protect me. I know he means well, but it didn't come across that way. We did talk about it and we resolved it. I have told my daughter that I cannot transport her Dad to the dinner, she will transport him. I feel bad about us having to take 2 cars, but I can't hurt my guy by being around my ex and I cannot be around my ex as it will hurt me. I didn't fear his reaction either.
I am happy that you were able to say something to your partner and work it through. That is a sign that your relationship is healthy. I believe mine is too. I needed to figure out his reasoning and when I learned it wasn't because he wanted to control me? And he honestly wanted to protect me, as he won't be there to protect me..I knew his intentions were not abusive, but more loving. AND believe me, I still struggle often with knowing if he is potentially abusive, or he really does love me and care about my well being. Sometimes that line is not very obvious. I didn't feel threatened or on eggshells or confused. It is good to ask those questions and see the response you get.
Being vigilant is not a bad thing. We can't trust that the exes are going to be decent. We have to assume that they are not. I don't trust my ex. I don't think he will do anything bad, but he may have a clue that he makes me uncomfortable and that may be enough for him to feel he got to me. So sadly, we have to be on our guard. Your ex may be unpredictable. That alone is a reason to be careful.
Sounds like things are good and that is what matters!
I can see how you would feel the way you initially did in the situation. Little things like that are triggering to me as well. This was the first time in a while that my fiance has said anything that caused that reaction in me but I see it with other couples who are friends or family of ours. Even when I'm 99% certain neither person is abusive. I notice subtle little remarks like once my sister and I were going out together at night and her husband stopped her and said, "Are you really going out in just that?" I was instantly on alert. Like, who is he telling her what to wear? It only took a minute for me to realize that he said it because she was wearing capris and a tank top and it was cold that night. She told him, no I have a jacket in the car and he said , "oh, okay." And that was it.
I've gotten to a place where I've stopped looking for signs that my fiance could be abusive. I'm certain that's not the case. But my fiance knows I have these kind of triggers and tries not to take it personally. And I'm getting better at recognizing what it is and letting it go.