Allowing someone new to get close to your heart after divorce can be scary. There is the constant fear of having your heart trampled again. If it is the case that you were in an abusive relationship, as I was, there is the fear that the new person you’re interested in will turn out to be exactly like, or even worse than, your ex. Trust me, I understand the fear. I’ve been there.
A Question of Judgment
I’ll tell you that for the longest time after my divorce was final, I questioned my own judgment. I doubted my ability to make good decisions because, after all, I had chosen to marry a man who ultimately abused me so badly mentally, emotionally, and a couple of times, physically that I suffered a brain hemorrhage.
I had stayed for many years, enduring an absurd level of cruelty and belittling. Just as is the case with many women who finally get out abusive relationships, I have been asked why I stayed. I asked myself that same question many times over the years I was trapped. I came up with a ton of answers as to why, but could always counter those answers with reasons that I should have left. Ultimately, though, I understood that God kept me there until the very moment that I was to get out so that I could be a living testimony for other women to learn from. I stopped questioning my own judgment the day I fully took that knowledge in. Understanding that, though, did not alleviate the fear I experienced when I thought about becoming involved with another man.
Releasing the Fear
You guys already know that I had planned to stay single for the first five years after the divorce. I had put a plan in writing and was slated to put it in motion when I was blindsided by the man who would ultimately turn out to be my soulmate. The largest part of the reason I was able to release the fear in moving into a relationship with him was because, at the base of our relationship, there is friendship. We’ve been friends since we were children. We’ve been lovers off and on over the years — many, many years. Ours, though, is based on friendship. It is not just a basic friendship either. It is genuine friendship. We are each other’s confidants. The level of trust between us is undeniable and unbreakable. We don’t take that for granted.
I believe the easiest way to eliminate the fear of being in another relationship after divorce is to make certain that the basic element of friendship is there. Get to know the person you’re interested in. I don’t mean just the basic stuff. Get to know that person’s soul. I’m not naïve enough to believe that you can possibly know every single thing there is to know about another person, but you can go deep. Every person has a dark side. Had I not ended up where I am and know that I have no worries when it comes to any level of abuse with this man, I would have taken as much as needed to get to know a potential partner.
Don’t let your past, the things that happened there, or the fear of what can go wrong in the present prevent you from enjoying a new relationship. You deserve happiness and happiness cannot develop fully in the shadow of fear.