How do you learn to trust someone who is worth trusting ? how do you know, when you meet someone, when they are on ‘best behaviour’; when you fall in love – how do you know that person won’t let you down? How do you know you wont reach a point weeks months or years down the line when the inherent faults, that were there from the beginning prove themselves to have no solution and you end up with no option but to end the relationship. Ending not only the personal relationship but a whole host of others between families and friends. You lose more than just that ‘one person’; you lose the social circle you have built together, you lose the future you had planned and you lose the security of the past experiences you had as a couple.

As an adult of 51 now Im looking back at the wreckage of not only my marriage, but also my most recent, moderately long standing ,relationship (almost 6 years). On paper there relationships ended for very different reasons, my marriage because my ex was a  drug addict who loved drugs and alcohol much more than me or his children, and my relationship with ExP because he hated my eldest son, created a hostile and unpleasant atmosphere at home (and the small matter that he refused to earn a living and basically expected me to fund him in entirety ad infinitum)

Whilst superficially these re very different scenarios. there are  a number of things in common

  • i ended both relationships
  • Both men say they didn’t see it coming although to me it was as clear as the nose on my face that I was at the end of my teather with no where else to turn
  • i tried, fruitlessly pointlessly and repeatedly to get both to see ‘my point of view’ with no effect /result
  • the seeds of destruction were there at the beginning – but I chose to overlook them.
  • I think by the end both were a bit afraid of my frustration and found it as impossible to communicate with me as I did with them.
  • I waited for too long to call both relationships a day, at least two years in both cases

What does this say about me? about my choice of partners? about how ‘desperate’ i was to feel fulfilled by having a ‘man’ at my side. About how much I was willing to tolerate before saying ‘enough’? About how much self esteem I have ,that I allowed myself to be treated like this? about my expectations of a long standing relationship as a dreary, loveless, battleground with little pleasure in it (for the female partner anyway)

And yet I did get out, eventually something snapped inside me and the weight of disappointment and constant let down just pushed a button that said ‘No more’. I never missed my ex Husband when he left, and I don’t miss my ExP. On the contrary I’m rather enjoying the peace, the opportunity to spend quality time with my children and the lack of aggressive hostility in the house. Most of all Im enjoying the loss of GUILT and anxiety that I was carrying around constantly, knowing that I was allowing HIM to treat MY children in a way I didn’t like, but being powerless to effectively stop it.

when I shudder and think ‘never ever again’ , there is a big part of me that means it. I cant imagine ever allowing myself to be that vulnerable to another man again. Cant imagine trusting anyone again, trusting them to respect me and my values /opinions enough to take my needs into account. A very small part of me thinks that MAYBE if I could get my judgement AT THE BEGInning. Not ignore the “little nagging doubts” maybe I could do better …


  1. I’m the chronically non-vulnerable type; according to every therapist I’ve had this is the one quality that stands in my way when it comes to true intimacy.
    I’m not sure I care about that though…


  2. I think these relationships have made you stronger, especially because you will now recognize the pattern right away. That’s what happened with me. I ended a six months relationship at the first sign of “unacceptable” behavior. This was nothing like my former self. I did miss the man, but something had changed within me. Not drinking helps see these things so much more clearly. ; )


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