Can you find love after an abusive relationship? You can. But you have to do the work first. You have to know how to be alone. You have to accept that if you are abused at the hands of a narcissist that if they cannot abuse or control you face to face, they will use the law to abuse you and their attorney will be a willing accomplice. Be prepared for that reality when you are moving into happiness. And be completely honest with your new partner. It’s not fair to throw them into the abuse with no warning.
You will know the right man has come along when he tells you that you are not broken. When he lifts you up and wants to see you succeed. You will know then that he recognizes an abused soul. You will know he is the right man when he wants to hold you when you cry and he understands why the tears won’t stop flowing down your cheeks as you come to the realization you are loved by him and it scares the shit out of you because you have not known that kind of love before. That it is overwhelming and amazing at the same time. You will know you have the right man when he knows those tears are cleansing the pain out of your soul to make room for his love.
You will have challenges to face even with happiness right in front of you. The external hurt will be gone and the abuser removed from your everyday life but internally there is a raging storm and it rears its ugly head without warning. Your first argument, a strong sentence or word, sometimes even his kindness can set off fear or tears or insecurity.
I think the most important thing I had to do was forgive myself. Forgive myself for staying, although I did it for my children because I did not trust him alone with them and the pediatrician and counselors all felt I was right about that. Forgive myself for abandoning myself, my true self, to try to make my abuser happy. So many years I could not be me. I have found the right man. He wants me to be me. All of me and I want him to be able to be completely him and comfortable in my care and love.
Probably the hardest thing you will do is let go of the hatred you were subjected to every day by someone who was supposed to love you and accept that you are worthy of the love you are receiving from your new partner. You have to work on letting go of continuously being told by the abuser that you were not worth love or lovable. You have to live that self-love until it becomes second nature.
Then you make the decision, to be honest, open, vulnerable and to love again. You have to set aside all that BS from the past and if you are with the right person, they will know when hugs are needed and will willingly give them. Their love will make you feel safe, secure and loved and the old life will fall away.
Stay humble. That man who is loving you in spite of your abuse is an innocent man. Don’t take him for granted. He deserves all the love you have to give and he doesn’t need to pay for another man’s sins. Love him completely and wholly as you tried to love the abuser. He is deserving of that love and if he is the right one, will accept it with no exceptions.
I found a man whose soul is anchored in mine. Who feels lucky to have me. Who I feel so blessed to have in my life. Who knows how to treat me right. He has already told me that I am an equal. He has already proven that by letting me make decisions that I was never allowed to make in my marriage. This man will not take advantage of my love and I know I will be forever grateful that our friendship blossomed into an amazing love story with many chapters yet to be written.