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Getting Back into the Dating Scene After a 12-Year Relationship

Why is it so hard?

A relationship can be like a beautiful plate, like the one pictured, but they can be the complete opposite.

I was in a marriage that was a bit of both. Sure, it started out great, but things went wrong down the road, and we have had it bad for the last four years.

Our relationship went from beautiful to stormy almost instantly when I did something stupid that I regretted. I didn't keep quiet about what I did either, I told him what I did, feeling overwhelming guilt. 

But instead of leaving me for what I did, he stayed with me. Sure he was mad, but he handled it. He didn't trust me anymore, always asked where I was going when I went out. It was difficult for me.

Life has been difficult for us since 2013 when he couldn't work anymore due to cognitive disability. I went on disability two years later for mental illness.

I have been stable and unstable mentally, his callous attitude, his ignorance of my health issues didn't help my mental health in any way.

Four surgeries in just over two years didn't help, and he never wanted to help me when I couldn't do things. He would tell me to do things for myself, even when I clearly couldn't.

His attitude when I suffered a permanent disability at the hands of an incompetent surgeon, it was disappointing. He didn't care, said I brought it on myself.

During my third hospitalization for mental health issues, he started becoming verbally abusive towards me. That's when I knew I couldn't be married to him anymore. I was abused in past relationships, and I couldn't handle any more, not from him, not after all I'd been through. 

The divorce should be official in the next week or so, I filed the paperwork in September, and am just waiting for the final divorce order to arrive. But considering the fact that we've been legally separated since last summer, I was free to start dating.

And that's what I'm getting into.

I got online, put up an ad looking for a longterm relationship, and got a ton of responses. I had to weed through some terrible ones, but then I found one that was very nice. 

We are taking it slow, probably far too slow than is necessary. We have known each other since the end of May, have gone out only a few times. We email often, though. He doesn't like to text, so it can be days before he responds to my emails. He's always busy. 

I'm finding it hard to be dating, hadn't dated in over ten years, and it seemed like things had changed. Life in general has changed over the past decade I see.

I'm finding myself second guessing myself, doubting myself, and panicking a lot when it comes to having a boyfriend. I often wonder if he's going to tell me he won't see me anymore. I wonder if I've done something wrong, offended him somehow.

But he's the perfect gentleman with me, very respectful, doesn't see my disability as a game changer, a negative thing, unlike my husband. He was afraid to be seen with me because of the looks I get.

Nope, the good thing as well with my new boyfriend is that he's well-versed and experienced in dating women with a mental illness. He never ran when I told him about mine. That was back in June.

I think he's a keeper.

But why am I so anxious? Why do I feel that something could go wrong? Dating is difficult, that's for sure. It is scary at times. 

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Getting Back into the Dating Scene After a 12-Year Relationship
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