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Healthy relationships after abuse

How do I know: am I feeling bad in a new relationship because it's unhealthy too, or are they "ghosts of the past"?

Photo: Boris Revo

Signs that your reactions are pulling from a previous relationship:

  • Your partner is caring, attentive, but can't please you in any way, seems uninteresting, boring.

  • You want to give advice all the time, to teach you about life. When there is a feeling that you know better what your partner needs and that you are thus taking care of them.

  • There is a lack of trust, suspicion of your partner, a desire to control them, an obsessive fear of losing them.

Signs that something is not right in the relationship as a whole:

  • There is a feeling of loneliness around the partner.

  • A feeling that the relationship is pulling back, there is no personal growth.

  • Never getting what you want in the relationship.

  • Losing myself in the relationship: not understanding who I am, what I want.

  • Having to do things all the time to prove to myself that I mean something.

  • Feeling guilty when you say no to your partner. That you are not a priority for your partner.

  • Feeling tired all the time physically and emotionally.

This doesn't always mean you need to break up and your partner isn't right for you. But it is a signal that something is going wrong, and you need to deal with the cause.

Can you fix it on your own?

There is no simple answer, because everyone's mental state is different. On people we cripple, and on them we heal. If you are lucky enough to meet a kind person with a reliable type of attachment, there is a chance to cope on your own. But as a rule, after an abusive relationship you need a comprehensive recovery of your personality, which means quite a long therapy. To learn to understand one's needs and desires and to begin to allow oneself to meet them. It takes time to make new social connections, find a job, friends, your values, and believe in yourself.

Where should we start?

Try paying attention to the reactions you "got" from the past. Then stop yourself in the moment and change your thinking and behavior. For example, if you are afraid to start talking about your desires, then tell yourself that you did so in a past relationship, and you don't want to in a new one; you already tried that and it didn't lead to anything good. If this kind of self-talk doesn't help, or if you don't understand the destructive attitudes you have, go to a psychologist for help.

Maybe you need help?

  • For two weeks or more you are not in the mood, no energy or energy.

  • Thinking about the past, you are constantly crying, feeling guilty, angry, powerless, wanting revenge.

  • You feel sorry for your ex, you want to go back to him despite the fact that you were definitely bad in the relationship.

  • Constantly checking his social media in the hope of learning something about the ex; re-reading messengers.

  • You can't sleep properly, eat (refusing to eat or overeating), work, or lead a social life.

  • You have difficulty trusting people.

How do you explain to a new partner what's going on with you?

A loving person is able to hear and understand your concerns and accept apologies. If you realize you snapped at him or don't open up, ask for forgiveness and tell him why it happened.

For example: "When you insist on something, I feel angry and powerless, feeling like I did in past painful relationships. At such moments, I argue and attack you. In fact, I don't feel like doing that. I'm working on it. Forgive me, please. If you notice this in my behavior again in the future, please bring it to my attention. And give me a hug."


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