It may be a hard pill to swallow but here we go. Believe it or not, not all men are dogs/cheaters/abusers. Not all women are gold diggers/nags/prima donnas. In reality, there are many individuals in loving, trusting and solidly good relationships. That is not to say that some of us have not seen the dark side of people in previous relationships, where abuse was the rule and not the exception. Where a narcissist chose to gaslight you on a daily basis to convince you that you could do no better than them. Where a tyrant physically abused you and you were instructed that you should “behave.” What do you do when you get yourself whole enough to date again, attract that right person and you just cannot let go of the abusive behaviors of the person in your past?
Trauma is very real. The painful memories of past abuse can leave you wondering, “Is this person too good to be true?” And when you are faced with that fear constantly, it can cripple you into a lack of trust with your loving partner. It can also lead you to “act out” and self-sabotage (perhaps unknowingly) the relationship with behaviors that challenge the good love trying to be shared with you. You can put a stop to self-sabotage by learning how to be grateful for the love you are receiving.
Does your partner show up when they say they will, despite your previous mate habitually being unfaithful and never being where they said they would be? Say, “I’m grateful that I can count on your word being true to me.” Does your partner give you compliments about how kind and beautiful you are, while the harsh words of being fat still ring in your head? Tell them, “I’m so glad that you see the value in me, inside and out.” Were you physically abused in a previous relationship and your new partner is level-headed, doesn’t raise their voice and will pick up a spider in a tissue and sit it out the door instead of squishing it? Smile while you praise them with, “I am blessed to have such a gentle person in my life.”
One of the most effective ways to quell past traumas and triggers is to stay present. Enjoy the love that you are receiving. Acknowledge that while it may be strange and feel uncomfortable, you are willing to move forward and nurture the newness of real and abiding love. Make the choice to move beyond the past, embrace the goodness of the present and tell your partner how grateful you are that you are sharing the best years of your life with someone as wonderful as they are. You deserve that.