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I joined this group because after a horrible 20 year marriage, it's hard to trust my judgement picking men and I have a deeply embedded fear of being used/hurt again. I've wanted a relationship...but can't seem to lower my walls enough to really trust and be vulnerable with someone. The last man to suggest a relationship to me, triggered a panic attack. There. That's my dirty secret...

Freespirit64 8 Mar 3
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I hear ya "sister" ... 25 years for me!

Gzilla60 Level 2 Mar 20, 2019

Relax. Just make sure the next one is not an asshole. attention on: how he treats waiters, how he treats his female relatives, how he treats people he owes (that's very important), etc. Once you make sure he's a good guy, let things go. You can't test things without testing itself. Hehe!


The best person to have a relationship with is yourself. No one understands your struggles like you. No one understand what you need like you. πŸ˜‰

Stoutwolf Level 2 Mar 11, 2019

Take some time for yourself and don't rush into anything. Just enjoy meeting people and see how comfortable you are letting your guard down with those you can develop a feeling of trust with. Perhaps look into a support group or counseling to help you deal with unresolved stress or trauma. When you are ready to put yourself out there again, you will.

bleurowz Level 8 Mar 4, 2019

My late partner was very unhappily married for 25 years. They were from Iran and she was married at 17 and probably thought it was a normal marriage. But after coming to the US and dealing with other couples (she became the director for a private elementary school) she realized it wasn't normal. When her 3rd son was older she separated from her husband and then later divorced him (but he still managed to harass her). We met from a mutual friend/relative and spent 2 months talking on the phone. After we met she was still hesitant but still wanted a meaningful relationship. Finally, after another 2 weeks things changed and after 7 months of traveling back and forth we married and she moved to the NW. It was a dream relationship for the both of us. She died with a smile on her face and with happiness (it was an easy death and she was surrounded by the community).

Point is, makes some notes on what you want. Maybe some dating sites might work but don't be too quick to meet and watch out for the abusers. Finding the right one is not easy but with luck and caution it can be done.

What a beautiful story. Thank you for that. I think I'm just feeling anxious moving to a new city. New people. More men here, lol! Not afraid to meet and greet...I'll literally talk to just about anyone. It's just that 2nd step if you find someone you like...scary....

@Freespirit64 I think the less time one spends in the company of another actually helps. Too much pheromonal and gut reactions can trip one up. Get to know another through phone calls and writing. People are often more open when writing then speaking face to face. But that's just me.


Take it slow.. read tons of books on relationships, maybe even see a counselor..
You will be ok! Its a learning curve but try and look at it as an adventure. ?

hippydog Level 8 Mar 3, 2019

Heal, learn to see your value, and live your truth. When you see that you will be able to live fully again. 23 year marriage that went bad , we both hurt each other and now there will never be a reconciliation in any form . I’m good with my children, and I forgave myself as well as her. I’m happy now , and see the value of living individual truth. Self nurture, and letting go the past is the key. Blame , resentment, anger can be released and love ,forgiveness and most of all self - love can transform you.

Beautifully stated.


Wow. Upon reading the first part of the first sentence, I thought I was reading my bio. Had to look twice. 20 year marriage. Very gun shy about trusting judgment. Maybe it's something in the atmosphere bringing the asshole out of people, cause I feel like I was on the train tracks looking the wrong way. How did I not know I was married to such a despicable narcissist?

All I can say Free, is breath. Relax. At some point, when it feels right, you will have t trust that person again. Don't let the asshats ruin the rest of your life too. Enough energy and time has been wasted on those types of people. Now... t take my OWN advice πŸ™‚


It sounds as though some time for you to regroup & work on yourself might be in order. You might want to consider therapy if you're not already doing so. I have gone that route to deal with my issues in the past, and I believe it helped considerably.

SonofMax Level 7 Mar 3, 2019

It is hard to trust again. I often wonder if I will be able to, if/when a man comes along that I want to. Time will tell. For both you and I. I think I have been/am doing the work to get there, but haven’t had the opportunity to test my progress. I hope you are too.


It's okay to take a break. I'm in a similar situation. Intimacy doesn't really have to be about a relationship that's sexual and romantic in nature. It sounds as if you feel pressure to find someone for a relationship. Spend a little time regrouping, getting your priorities straight, figuring out what it is that you really want. All that is perfectly acceptable. I have a very unconventional and negative way of looking at romantic relationships. It works for me so therefore it works. When you take the pressure off yourself you'd be amazed what's possible.

Kojaksmom Level 8 Mar 3, 2019

After that long of a time being unhappy in a Marriage I definitely don't blame you for having some walls . It's best to try and lower some of them tho


I think it's okay to be cautious after a lifetime in a horrible relationship. I think lots of people support that but sometimes society likes to bandwagon pressure to be coupled. Do what keeps you safe and happy. If this is a step reaching out to make a change, I hope you find support to help lower your guard, but I still think do it on your terms, when you're ready. For me, my secrets never go away. So my defenses are always there, and I'm okay with that. They are there to protect me.


I'm just a fellow schmoe figuring stuff out for myself, but here are my thoughts:

For you to answer for yourself: what made the marriage horrible? What traits in your partner upset you? It might help to identify what went wrong and why. If you can comfort yourself by understanding that and being able to identify that a new person is not like your ex, and that you are in charge of your choices, it could help.

Any relationship in your life evolves to fit the needs of the parties involved. Nothing is permanent. Nothing is an iron clad contract. If you move forward but find it's not feeling good to you, you can respectfully communicate that and walk away.

It may also be that you just haven't fit with someone well enough to find them worth the risk of intimacy.

Well said.

You're exactly right, my wise llama


That "last man" who suggested a relationship didn't turn you on enough to have a relationship...so why have a panic attack? Trust your judgement. You're being cautious. You're developing independence and the wisdom of self-love. Go with that. Don't even call it a "panic attack" call it your inner wisdom...not a "dirty secret" at all..now it's not even a secret.

Be strong. Be independent. That's admirable. The right one will come along when you're ready. Or he won't. Let that be OK.

words of wisdom...

Thanks for that.

@Freespirit64 And @Lavergne thanks for your support...I'm applying this to my own insecurities...talking to myself, as it were...

@Freespirit64 Funny bit of trivia to share....a woman who worked with me found herself in a situation she NEVER thought she would be in. Caught her husband cheating - long story short - divorced at 47 with two almost grown girls - totally devastated emotionally. So in this day of "instant everything" - she got on the dating sites and literally turned her search into a "job" of sorts. Would meet a guy for lunch, different guy for drinks after work, 3rd guy for late nite dinner (all in the same day - day after day) - this went on for a few months and she actually did meet a fantastic guy. A year later they were married - so far - so good. So I guess it gives credence to the whole "its a numbers game" theory. For those of us who lived thru it with her - it was entertaining to say the least - but exhausting. I don't know where she found the stamina...hahahaha

@Lavergne 3 per day? Wow. She must have been/still is very attractive. Good for her for getting it down to a process. The more you meet, the more to chose from. I'm guessing this was/is in a big city. Us in rural areas don't see that frequency. Good for her....let's hope it lasts...but if it don't let's hope the break-up is clean and friendly.

@Robecology Yes, she was/is very attractive and it was Charleston SC - not the biggest of cities but big enough to provide a great sampling of all those "fish in the sea". To be clear - most of the dates she had did not even lead to a 2nd date....it would have been very easy for her to have just thrown in the towel at some point. I suspect pride had a bit to do with it - no one likes to feel like they got dumped for someone better (?) --- that being purely subjective. Happy to report they now have a big blended his and her family - and they have even made room in it for her ex husband. So "its all good".... πŸ˜‰πŸ™‚


Sounds like you're putting too much pressure on yourself to "find" a relationship....sometimes the best relationships find you..... just take a beat, relax ...try to live in the moment. πŸ™‚

Lavergne Level 7 Mar 3, 2019

Living in the moment is really the best advice. It does help. A lot.

Well said vera

@germangirl90439 yes you two give me hope!

I agree. A date is not much of a committment. A relationship is not a marriage. I was married and divorced 3 times, each one worse than the last. The most important thing I got out of all that was a son... and a lot of food for thought. Should I ever meet someone who does check my boxes (kindness, intelligence, sense of humor, honesty, childlike wonder at the amazing world we live in) I will still have to be convinced that my own flaws will not drive them away. I won't marry again easily. It's just too hard and I like myself, by myself very well. Learn to love yourself and don't settle.


Is a hard thing to deal with. You have a moderate anxiety disorder help and medication is available . Am a retired P A so am familiar with this.

bobwjr Level 9 Mar 3, 2019

I was diagnosed with PTSD a few years ago, from the marriage incidences and a 20 year career as a 911 dispatcher. Sometimes I feel those two things have hurt me in ways I'm still discovering. The counseling really helped. But still....ugh...sometimes life is hard!!!

@Freespirit64 medical marijuana can help a lot was in army PTSD common hemp or marijuana helps greatly in many cases hope is legal where you w

@bobwjr I smoke pot like a freight train! It helps a lot!

@Freespirit64 life is hard but regaining emotional stability so you can have a meaningful relationship is worth it I was a combat medic doing air combat rescue I recovered from PTSD have a meaningful relationship soon I hope stick with it will give meaning back to life don't give up

@Freespirit64 some hemp products also cbd for when you have to drive no thc but still helps let me know if you need help

@Freespirit64 send mail here to contact me


Trusting another is hard if you can’t trust your judgment. Work on yourself and the panic will lessen. You’ve been victmized but you can reject the self-labling of β€œvictim”.


I did a 17 year relationship that ended very badly so badly in fact I ran as far away as I could leaving everyone else I cared about behind. I found a woman that lived on the other side of the world and never looked back Guess we all it differently. In my case this was a mistake in hindsight as now again I am alone. Guess the moral of the story is Beware your first thought in lew of Time because it is true what they say Time heals all wounds. It still sucks to be alone

Oh yeah when you find the right person it won't be so hard

@DavidGreen1 I feel that's true. Thank you. Guess I needed some uplifting today!


hugs Breathe-

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