I don't trust/like men much anymore...
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Old 02-07-2012, 03:29 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default I don't trust/like men much anymore...

I have been in a verbally and emotionally abusive marriage for 10 years. I'm considering leaving and that's how I found this forum. Before that, I was in a 2 year abusive relationship with a boyfriend who held a gun to his head in front of me and threatened to commit suicide on the spot if I left and lots of other scary things. All my other boyfriends in life have been OK, not abusive.

Right now, I have gotten to the point where it is very hard for me to even be around men. I find it very hard to talk to the men I work with and feel very threatened by men on the street, male salesclerks and just generally don't want men to even talk to me at this point. All my doctors are female - I cannot imagine even going to a male doctor. I had to go to a male specialist and he was very dismissive, just as I had suspected he would be.

I still have hope in my heart that if I get divorced there could be someone out there for me. I am not concerned about appearance, I just want someone kind and decent who is caring and NOT ABUSIVE. Do those people exist? Have any of you ladies been abuse survivors who found it hard to deal with men afterward? If so, how did you get over it? I almost wonder if being a lesbian would be easier - women seem to be more kind in general.
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Old 02-07-2012, 03:46 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: I don't trust/like men much anymore...

Oh gosh i'm sorry you've ended up in such a sad place.... have you had counselling? That's some heavy stuff to deal with.
You could no doubt be taught some skill to cope with your anxiety regarding being around men.

Many many men are wonderully kind and loving....please don't close your self off to this thought.

Do you have any 'good' males in your life?
What about your dad, a brother, an uncle, BIL....
Can you spend more time with men you feel safe around?

Sometimes we have to look for the beauty in life and the people around us because of the preconceived ideas we hold on to (and because there is so much ugliness in the world).

PS: don't blame you for the female doc thing... it's all so private and personal some of the womens checks/treatments we have...so i don't think that unusual.
My H and sons all see a male doctor for their comfort too..
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Old 02-07-2012, 03:54 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: I don't trust/like men much anymore...

My dad left the family when I was 2 and he doesn't have anything to do with us. My stepdad and grandpa have both passed away but they were great people. It's just so easy to remember the bad stuff and to think all guys are into porn, are abusive, are liars, etc., when that is your most recent experience. If I do get divorced, I'll have a hard time trusting and dating people but I guess it will just take some time. I do plan to start going to an abuse survivors group soon so maybe that can help, too. Thank you for your reply!
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Old 02-07-2012, 04:00 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: I don't trust/like men much anymore...

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Originally Posted by luckycardinal View Post
My dad left the family when I was 2 and he doesn't have anything to do with us. My stepdad and grandpa have both passed away but they were great people. It's just so easy to remember the bad stuff and to think all guys are into porn, are abusive, are liars, etc., when that is your most recent experience. If I do get divorced, I'll have a hard time trusting and dating people but I guess it will just take some time. I do plan to start going to an abuse survivors group soon so maybe that can help, too. Thank you for your reply!
Sounds like you're a magnet for them.

Did you ever wonder why?
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Old 02-07-2012, 04:03 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: I don't trust/like men much anymore...

Yes, I have, and I'm exploring that in therapy now. I used to have very, very low self-esteem and have only in the past few years started to truly love myself. In that time frame, I've gotten my college degree and am in the process of getting another, have developed my career and am in general doing a lot better. I also had my breast implants removed - I had been ashamed of them for so long. They were way too large and I got them for someone else - they were never me. Now that they are gone, I feel powerful, beautiful and confident. I know I couldn't tolerate an abuser now and I really think I would see them coming a mile away. I just wonder if I would overlook someone nice and suspect them because of my history and my determination to never live that life again.
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Old 02-07-2012, 04:10 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: I don't trust/like men much anymore...

Luckycardinal, sometimes women attract abusive men, because of self esteem issues.

I am not blaming you for the abuse. I am only giving you my perspective because I have experienced the same mistrust that you are talking about. I picked losers and users because I felt that I didn't deserve any better.

The relationships that women have with their fathers, set the blueprint for the men she will gravitate towards. For better or for worse, women choose men like their fathers.

My best friend only likes lowlifes that refuse to work and have long criminal records. She has pregnant for the second time and the father is a welfare bum. Her dad was never in her life and she tells me that she knows her kid's father won't leave because nobody will want him. It is sad and heartbreaking.

The only men I trust are two of my brothers, my father and my husband. I still doubt that most men are caring and respectable because of my experiences. I don't hate men, but I don't trust the vast majority of them.
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Old 02-07-2012, 04:15 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: I don't trust/like men much anymore...

I hear you, FirstYearDown - it's hard to trust due to bad experience. I'm sure a lot of men feel the same about women, so I'm not "hating on" men or anything. I know I have attracted these people due to my low self-esteem, and even though it's improved a lot, I still wonder if anyone nice could like me. But then I remember that nice people liked me before that abusive boyfriend and that I have a lot to offer. I also KNOW now that it's so much better to be alone than to be with someone who doesn't respect you. I would rather live my whole life alone than to compromise on that.
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Old 02-07-2012, 04:23 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: I don't trust/like men much anymore...

I'm really sorry that you've had such bad experiences. I can tell you that the men in your life that have abused you are not normal and that there are good men out there who would treat you respectfully!

You deserve that and you deserve to be loved and cherished and protected and cared for.

Many times people that are in abusive relationships find themselves leaving only to be in another abusive relationship. Why that is the case I don't know, but I think the best way to avoid it is to go to individual counseling.

There may be something in these men that you are subconciously attracted to, or there may be signs that someone would be abusive that you are not picking up on that someone else might. The fact that you stayed in an abusive relationship for 10 years shows that you have an incorrect paradigm of yourself.

If you really believed that you are a person of value and worth who deserves to be treated right, you would not tolerate the abuse that you have put up with. I think until you can understand that, and accept that you are someone who is worthy of a good, healthy relationship, you will not be in a place to recognize a man who will provide those things for you.

A counselor will help you to see yourself for who you are, to change your way of thinking (cognitive behavioral therapy is the technique). The first step though is to get out of your currently abusive relationship. There are so many resources for women in your situation. I noticed today someone posted about their abuse on YouTube and on the first comment is a woman who said, "Please come stay with me, we help out one person at a time in an abusive relationship no strings attached no questions asked." There are so many people that want to and are willing to help you get through this, please take advantage of them. You can start with National Domestic Violence Hotline .

So sorry that you have been wronged, we are not all like that. Don't give up hope!
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Old 02-07-2012, 04:35 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: I don't trust/like men much anymore...

I am sorry you feel like this. There are good men out there. I know you have trust issues. Realize if those trust issue are not addressed it may cause problems in your relationship when you do find a good guy. Trust is important in a relationship. Work on yourself for now. Good Luck
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Old 02-07-2012, 04:38 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: I don't trust/like men much anymore...

Thanks, guys. It's nice to know there are supportive men out there! I am in therapy and it's working, but you're right, COGuy - if I was stronger, I probably still would not be in this relationship. I'm improving every day, though!
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Old 02-07-2012, 04:42 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: I don't trust/like men much anymore...

My husband's loving patience helped me overcome my trust issues.
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Old 02-07-2012, 04:49 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: I don't trust/like men much anymore...

Lucky--my advice is to get out of your marriage and fast. You have been dealing with that for 10 years too long.

You should look into getting some counselling to help you through this. You have a pattern now of choosing to be with abusive men so you want to get to the bottom of that and start taking steps to pick up on red flags earlier so that you don't stay with people like that.

As someone who was in an emotionally abusive relationship, I can tell you that I do have some residual effects left over of dealing with that. Where I used to feel more confident, I am different now. Not necessarily worse off, but something in me has changed but I do strive to be a better woman for it. Even in how I deal with people has changed a lot from before I got married to my ex.

I think the first step is leaving your abusive marriage. You can do it.
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Old 02-07-2012, 04:52 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: I don't trust/like men much anymore...

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Originally Posted by luckycardinal View Post
Thanks, guys. It's nice to know there are supportive men out there! I am in therapy and it's working, but you're right, COGuy - if I was stronger, I probably still would not be in this relationship. I'm improving every day, though!
I'm very proud of you for that and happy that you are on the right road.

You are strong enough to get through this though, and I hope you can accept the help from those that care enough to see you get through it.

There are people that care about you so much today that they would do anything to help you out of this relationship. Please take that step! It is not fair to yourself to remain being abused. You deserve so much better than that!
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Old 02-07-2012, 05:26 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: I don't trust/like men much anymore...

lucky, like COguy says, there are good, kind, well-meaning true gentlemen out there. One thing is important to realize is that we stereotype all the time and you will see many of the same basic traits in good men as what you have seen in jerks, it is sometimes hard to judge by looks but we all do all the time. What is important is having the insight (which is a learned skill) to see beyond first impressions and outright appearance - some of the meanest looking guys are in fact the most gentle and kind, some of the most timid looking men are the most dangerous, and that cuts both ways meaning sometimes the mean looking guy really is an ahole, and often the nice looking guy really is kind.

And this is more than just appearances but in actions... some abusive man you know may walk a certain way, or have a certain kind of note in his voice or whatever - it is important to distinguish those factors from a persons behavior and intentions, because you may be associating a really good person with someone who hurt you in the past... and that is not only unfair to them for being stereotyped but also to you for isolating yourself.

We tend to find security in isolating ourselves emotionally, that is a basic function, one major problem with abuse is that pattern recognition has been so damaged that when someone does something to earn the abused's trust the abused can have a hard time recognizing it, or conversely reward trust to someone who hasn't deserved it and may abuse it. And so it is so easy for the cycle of loneliness/abuse to continue.

note: I am not a professional or anything, this is just my observations of the people I know who have been abused in one way or another.
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Old 02-07-2012, 07:55 PM   #15 (permalink)
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My first marriage was to a man who was kind, considerate, loving, affectionate, and very giving. He lost his dad 11 days before our marriage and never quite got over it..was thrown into a family business he'd helped his dad run..yet running it on his own was a completely different story and in the changing economy we were experiencing at the time, he lost it. From there he took a nose dive and turned to every type of self medication he could get his hands on. He turned bitter and angry..slept with countless other women..and basically hated himself along with life and everyone around him..and eventually ran his life into the ground.

I could have hated him for all the things he did to me, but more than anything I felt sorry for him and tried to stick it out but he was taking me down with him, was unappreciative, nasty, and just plain unbearable to live with so eventually we ended up in divorce. He didn't seem to care as he'd taken me for everything I had..and moved in with and married a woman he'd met on the internet to be his new "sugar mama".

Again, as angry as I should have been with the whole situation..I was the one that felt like a failure and in the process, lost sight of who I was in the long run.

I got counseling, got myself on meds, and pretty much just stayed at home and hybernated while I tried to find myself again..before even beginning to think about dating again.

Eventually I met who I thought was this really nice funny guy that made me laugh like no tomorrow. We had a lot of great times together and spent a lot of time at home watching movies, making dinners together, and generally having great times.

That was for about three months..until the wrapper came off.

He started being defensive and a braggart. Things were all about him. He could do this better..that better. Started telling me how to dress, how to wear my hair. He wanted me to quit the good job I had and work for myself on some internet thing he thought was so great. When I told him that I loved my job he'd call me stupid.

Then the next day he'd be all nicey nice, tell me he was sorry, and that he was in "depressed mode". Of course I forgave him, but then he started drinking beer after beer at night while he spent all kinds of time on the internet talking to other women. He said it helped him sleep at night. He'd get up at the crack of dawn 3-4 am and start cleaning his house. I could hear him in there complaining because I wasn't up by at least 5 saying, "Yeah..she sleeps in there and I gotta get things done!!"

He wanted me over at his house everynight and said if I wasn't there..he missed cuddling with me. Then one night I showed up and he yelled at me saying, "Why are you always HERE??!! It's like you hover all the time..can't you sleep at your own place once??? I mean, where the heck am I gonna go...don't you trust me??? We've been together six months and you've been here every single night!!!! Just get out of here..you drive me crazy...I don't want you here anymore..it's done..it's over..we're finished....you just don't get it~~~!!!"

This coming from a guy who just a week before had asked me to move in with him and be his wife (um...not!!!)..when I had wanted to sleep in my own place for a few nights..."Just come over honey...I like to lay next to you.."

That was the end of it for me..or so I thought. I few weeks later I ran into an old friend of mine. We decided to hang out..just as friends and before too long he was asking if I wanted to take it to the next level. I wanted to take it a little slower than that and thank God I did as he turned out to be a blazing alcoholic!! Even when we'd go for walks with our dogs he had to bring this big blazing alcoholic drink with him that blew my hair back just from the smell!! We went out to eat a few times and he'd always keep his money in his pocket, expecting me to buy...said he was tired of buying all the time for his ex wife and it was time someone else bought once..being the good friend I was..since he was flat broke from his divorce (yeah right..that and his drinking habits!!)

I was pretty sick and tired of men for a long time after that!! Not only sick and tired of being treated like crap due to the fact that sometimes I'm so nice, it's to a fault..not only by the man I was married to, dating, or even by someone I was just hanging out with as friends. I was angry with their audacity!!! I was angry that just because you hung out with someone..there was nothing wrong with a little "friends with benefits, huh??"

At one point in time, men made me sick the way they wanted me to always be there for them to drop off a movie for them (and if I forgot, "G*******!!!", to do their dishes and put them in all the right places or I'd hear about that too (where did you put my salsa bowl????), to make sure their houses were clean, to make sure I looked all pretty when we went out together (don't you ever wear them boots again...God I hate them boots!!!). I wanted to say, "It's THOSE boots..not THEM!!!"

I'd cook them a turkey dinner so they could take sandwiches for lunch and they'd say, "Oh...I thought you were gonna cook a whole turkey..like in slices...not that messed up stuff in the gravy that gets all over my shirt.."

Or how about, "Why don't you get some of that sexy loungerie (sp)...ya know I like that stuff..." Why..while you walk around in those tightie whities that are practically gray from being washed so much?? While they want us to be all skinny and stuff..and while they pig out on burgers and fries and everything on the closest buffet..burp and f*** while their guts hang out way over the tops of those sexy tighty whities they wear.

I remember being angry with men for a really long time..and in a way..I still am..with some. I was to the point where I'd rather have been single for the rest of my life, and planned on it since I didn't want to ever have to hurt from crap that lousy men handed out ever again.

There are happy endings though..and the happy ending to this very long rant is that I've since met the love of my life and he isn't any of the above. He's kind, understanding, giving, funny, a wonderful father and an even better future husband. We plan to get married this summer.

Sure, he has his faults like we all do, but I just want you all to know that there ARE wonderful men out there and if you can get a laugh from my post..please do as it is kinda funny!!

Hang in their ladies!!
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