What’s it like being in a healthy relationship after unhealthy ones?

posted 2 years ago in Relationships
Post # 16
Member
4246 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: August 2015

The biggest thing for me was that it was easy with my husband.  It’s always been that way.  I never felt like I had to explain myself or that he would blow up at any second.  He also is always there when I need him, and always has been.  I married the most trustworthy guy I’ve ever met.  There’s never been a question in his loyalty or his trustworthiness, and that has not changed since we got married.

Post # 17
Member
742 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2018

It took me forever to tell my new fiance that I loved him back, but he waited and was ok with waiting. I never felt pressured, but it still took me a lot of time to feel comfortable being vulnerable with someone else. He’s actually got a masters in mental health counceling, so he was able to help me work through some stuff. I was in a physically abusive marriage for 7 years, and even after being with my new fiancé for three years I still sometimes have little panic attacks if something happens (For example, we were wrestling one time, and he pulled me off a door frame and I had a little flashback. It was awful.) I don’t doubt him at all, I trust him completely, but it took about a year and a half to get to that point. At first, if he got upset at something, even if it wasn’t at me, I would freak out. Good times far outweigh the bad now, thank goodness. Give yourself time, and if you need some therapy, there’s no shame in that. Thank god for therapy. 

 

I do have trouble trusting strangers though. I get very nervous around strange men especially. I’m hoping with work that will change though. 

  • This reply was modified 2 years, 2 months ago by  yogabride2018. Reason: I said the word "time" like eight million times
Post # 18
Member
2271 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: March 2017

I had trouble trusting Darling Husband at first because I had a previous bad relationship. I remember I saw some things once that I thought were maybe numbers from another woman (they weren’t). He remained calm when I was irrational and talked me through it. I think that was a turning point for me because he didn’t get mad at me and he didn’t make a big deal about it. 

For me, trust was something that built over time. As I became more comfortable, I was more open with my feelings. 

I knew the relationship was different because there wasn’t drama and things were easy. 

Post # 19
Member
7715 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

TinyDove22 :  I understand how you’re feeling bee. I’ll go against the grain a bit and say that I did not trust my husband from day 1, not at all. Not because of anything he did, but rather cause I was so used to being let down all the time by my ex that I just sort of had low/paranoid expectations for any man I was dating. I definitely can relate to feeling like the other shoe is about to drop at all times – I totally felt that way in the early days with Darling Husband. It seemed impossible to me that he could really be the nice guy he seemed to be after my experience with my ex and then with a few men I casually dated for a few months before I met Darling Husband.

For me the trust was built very gradually over the first few months that we were dating. The best way I can describe it is that every single time Darling Husband had a chance to let me down in some way, he just didn’t. This could be in really small ways, like if I told him I was stressed about something at work – would he remember to ask me about it later? Yes, he always did. If we made vague plans to do something the next weekend, would he follow up or flake out? He always followed up. Then gradually these little tests became more serious. My parents are in town – will he be up for meeting them? Yes, he was. How will it go? Will he show up on time, make an effort? Yes! 

When you’re getting to know a new partner, there are a million opportunities to let each other down in both small and big ways. With my ex, the red flags started piling up early…flaking out on plans, being generally unreliable, getting blackout drunk the first time he met my parents. So I was just paranoid that Darling Husband would do the same shit, but never, not once, did he disrespect me, not on the little things or the big things.

A few months went by with Darling Husband consistently not letting me down, and I began to trust him – which definitely made me vulnerable. But he’d earned it – through his actions. And now we’ve been together 3 years, got married, and the trust continues to grow.

To answer your question – how is being in a secure/healthy relationship different than being in an unhealthy one? I think the biggest difference is I don’t feel like I’m going into battle every day lol. It’s just easy. My relationship is the most stable, secure thing in my life – it is my rock. With my ex, my relationship was the biggest source of angst in my life. That’s the difference!

Post # 20
Member
1195 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: January 2017

It just feels so- normal. It’s not work. It never seems like we have to work at it.

We talk about anything under the sun. Neither of us is passive aggressive, we have never had a single fight in over 3 years together (and we have been through a lot medically due to his health issues. He’s nearly died a couple of times. It puts things into perspective). We have so much in common, same goals and values, always make time for each other. He is my rock as much as I am his

Post # 21
Member
330 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2015

TinyDove22 :  What’s it like? It’s wonderful. I feel safe, respected and loved. That’s the best feeling there is.

I knew my ex was abusive. He was manipulative, down right mean and had no problem getting physical with me. I knew this, but not the extent of its affects on me until I met Darling Husband. I’ve gotten better but in the beginning I apologized profusely for the simplest things, flinched if he moved too quickly or aggressively and had extreme paranoia that he was mad at me when he was quiet, tired etc. The biggest thing that stands out is the apologizing. Of course I apologize when I’m wrong but Darling Husband accepts that I am a human being who has flaws, and so is he, and he doesn’t expect perfection. I always felt like I was walking in egg shells with my ex. Darling Husband has been incredibly patient as I’ve worked through these things, and that stands out to me in a huge way. He doesn’t think I’m overreacting or being “dramatic”.

 

I feel content. I am passionately in love with this man, but I’m also calm and composed with him…which i never get with my ex. I suffer from PTSD and anxiety from my ex and I wouldn’t wish what I went through on anyone but I’m so grateful because now I know what it’s like to be treated poorly and I know how blessed I am to have Darling Husband.

Post # 22
Member
87 posts
Worker bee

I think it might be different with everyone depending on what your past relationships were like and what you didn’t like about them. For me, the difference is having trust, respect, being able to communicate freely without worrying how the other might react, and never punishing the other because of past relationships. My SO and I both had toxic relationships in our past, and we have both been very open about what we want and don’t want from each other since the beginning. To be honest, everything that I had wanted and more has come naturally with him. I was single for a few years to learn who I was and how to love and respect myself, and my SO came in and validated it that much more for me! I know my worth, and wouldn’t settle for anything less. I hope that helps! 

Post # 23
Member
378 posts
Helper bee

VioletBee :  THIS! Feeling safe, loved and respected when you communicate…having the absence of fear…

Also, when you are in a healthy relationship, it should be easy. I have never had to wonder or guess what he is up to. I never feel insecure (unlike the relationship with my ex husband).  I trust my current with my heart because, well, he has integrity.

Post # 24
Member
111 posts
Blushing bee

It’s like night and day. With my fiance, from the beginning, I never worried about if I would hear from him or whether I should make plans in case he bailed on me. From the beginning he was open about how interested he was and how he felt lucky to find me, and we never played any games with each other.

After dating someone for a year who was always looking for the next best girl, would ditch me – when we had plans – to go out with his friends, and just really wasn’t a good person, I feel so fortunate to have found someone who is the complete opposite. Even if I didn’t have this ex to compare to, my fiance is still amazing and I am so grateful.

(Feel the need to add that our relationship is obviously not perfect, as no one’s is. But on the issues of making me feel secure and loved, things are pretty awesome.)

Post # 25
Member
930 posts
Busy bee

The biggest thing for me was that I felt okay not having to do EVERYTHING with my SO. In my past, unhealthy relationships, I felt like I had to be with them 24/7 which meant I missed out on a lot of avtivities and events with my girlfriends. Now, as much as I love spending time with Darling Husband, I also know I can have fun and enjoy myself when I’m doing my own thing too.

Post # 26
Member
3845 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: November 2019 - City, State

TinyDove22 :  The big thing for me was that I felt heard and that it was OK to be me… battle scars and all. Both me and my SO have some well-earned major trust issues . We were honest about it from the beginning but the difference was that instead of taking an insecurity personally, we discussed it. We asked each other “what about this current situation is making you feel that way?”, then we’d determine if it was old wounds being applied to a new situation, or an actual issue. It was almost always old wounds and we were able to talk through it instead of punishing each other for our previous partner’s missteps. Sometimes it was something the other person said or did and we were able to talk through that and resolve it. It’s the fact that we give each other the benefit of the doubt. I was very hesitatant with SO, he could feel me holding back, but understood why. He didnt take it personally and just gave me the time i needed to trust him. I found that every time what he said lined up with his actions, I was able to trust him a little bit more. It’s definitely a process and the right guy will be willing to give you time to get there. the wrong guy will pressure you to be ready RIGHT NOW and wont care that you’re not there yet. 

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