Wrestling The Trust Bear After Divorce
Chances are after a broken relationship, you will feel your heart is battered and bruised and not up, for risking more damage by allowing yourself to trust others. Often, we have been lied to, hurt, cheated on, or just plain blindsided by the demise of our marriages. These feelings are very normal, after all if we didn’t learn anything from these unions we wouldn’t be human.
I find that learning to trust again really falls into two distinct areas, firstly learning to trust yourself, secondly learning to trust others.
I am a huge advocate of focusing all energy on self-love and working on learning to trust yourself again first. I do not recommend that you even attempt to have a relationship or trust a new partner until you have done some serious work on yourself. Trusting your self takes many steps but the most important three are as follows:
1. Forgive yourself, remember that liars, cheaters and even abusers are usually very good at reeling us in, and at the same time excellent at hiding the real them, usually it only surfaces once we are already in serious relationships or marriages with these people. It most certainly doesn’t make you a bad person if you chose to believe the “I love you’s” and the “you are the love of my lives”. We all at times wish to believe the best in others and that trait you should try to preserve some of only with a little more guardedness.
2. Take some time to really analyze and take responsibility for any part of the blame you may have had in this relationship, often we either enable or choose to ignore some of the red flags we may have seen, along the years. Until you come to peace and forgive yourself for the part if any you played you won’t be able to move forward happily.
3. Practice huge doses of daily self-love, admit that you are not perfect, but that you are enough. That you no longer will be or stand for any bad behaviors in a new relationship, draw a line in the sand mentally and be prepared to walk away at first sign of any red flags. Gaining mental resolve and inner strength takes time, but with daily positive action you can do it.
Ok, so we have battled our own personal demons, and forgiven ourselves for our past partner choices, and now you finally find yourself strong enough to attempt to date or have a relationship. It may well be terrifying the mere thought of getting hurt or attracting the same kind of person, the truth is we may actually do this. However, if you keep that line in the sand you can navigate your way to a new better partner, in a healthier manner.
1. When meeting someone try to keep an open mind, do not go into every date with a chip on your shoulder or presuming they will be a person like your ex. I can’t tell you how many people come off as the victim still of their ex. Playing or acting a victim is very unhealthy and highly unattractive, it will drive any actually decent person away quicker than anything else.
2. Hope for the best, but never be blind to the worst, listen for tale tale things, do they admit to cheating on their ex? Do they seem to have any anger still, do they seem controlling, how do they treat the waiter? Even very simple interaction can tell you an awful lot about anyone in even a brief time. Feel free at any first date to end it and leave, you owe no one anything except kindness and honesty.
3. I highly recommend the ten-date rule, which seems like a lot but I started to implement it after so many people seemed to be able to hide certain things for longer than I would have thought. If you use my 10-date rule, it forces you to really spend more time talking and, it really weeds out those with disingenuous motives and those not really into you or vice versa. the 10-date rule is literally that for 10 dates, no sleeping together, no overnight dates, just 10 times you meet in public for an event a meal, a coffee a work out session etc. I promise you it works, and trust during this time is built as you both have to by the nature of this plan, invest time, money and energy. Be warned hardly anyone gets to the 10th date, but that is a wonderful thing, as if you are not meant to be you aren’t meant to be.
Trust is hard, we are all works in progress, but we should never ever allow one unhappy marriage or relationship to forever color our opinion of the entire human race. One person doing xy or z isn’t indicative of the entire 7 billion people of the world. I find it very sad when I speak to people why haven’t dated for years since their divorce, why give your ex that kind of power over your future and your happiness. If you find yourself really struggling with moving on seek help, so many great professionals can help you move on happier.