I have trust issues
Q: I have been divorced two years now and I am still having trust issues. The marriage was supposed to last forever and, initially, we were committed to each other. However, my husband cheated on me several times. When I thought he was at work, he was playing around. Whenever he went on a company retreat abroad, he had a girl with him and would not take me. In fact, many persons knew about these relationships - and even some of my good friends - and they said nothing. However, one day, I confronted him and he admitted it.
I feel disrespected. He was not helpful around the house. I was driving an old car, and even when it broke down, he had no time to help and I had to call a girlfriend and her husband. He never supported me as I advanced my education and career. He was always discouraging, saying that I was getting degrees but no promotion. He would also state that I could not cook like his mother. He even had the audacity to compare me with his former girlfriends, claiming that I was not as attentive as they were. And then he turned around and asked for a divorce, which I did not contest. The only good thing is that we have no children.
He has moved on with his life and has re-married. However, the few dates I have been on have been disasters, and it is not the men's fault. I just do not trust them. I cannot appreciate them when they are kind and considerate. I assume they are up to no good. I fear they will also break my heart. I want to marry again, but I have trust issues. What to do?
A: Obviously, you have not healed from the divorce, perhaps because you got a raw deal. He was a scumbag with no class to be comparing you. You are better off without him. However, you are using your husband's faults to judge these new dates. It is natural that you will be more cautious the second time and you have to look out for possible red flags. Since you are more mature, you are in a better position to assess the character of suitors.
You need to understand their sexual values and you must state your sexual expectations in terms of seeing marriage as an exclusive relationship. You should observe how he treats relatives and friends who are close to him. This could be indicative of his attitude towards money and how he will care for you. Since it is important to you that he is helpful around the house, you should ask questions around that issue and tell him your expectations. Naturally, you need to observe as the relationship develops how he maintains his dwelling.
Every relationship is a risk and you will never completely know and understand another person. There will come a time when you have to take a leap of faith based on reasonable conclusions.
Consult a professional counsellor to help you overcome your fears and start enjoying dating again.