• "After an abusive relationship I'm happy and ready to start again. Any advice on the next steps?"


    I am a mature woman who has been married, had children and - after 12 years - am now divorced. My ex was abusive and has now re-married. I have always enjoyed sex and never had a problem having orgasms.

    But I now realise that this had nothing to do with the men involved in my life, it’s because I’ve taken ownership of my body and sex. In the past, I used to fall under their 'spell' as I thought it was them making me feel good.

    The problem is, now I know the truth - that’s it’s me making sex feel good - where do I go from here? I am independent and happy but find when there’s a man in my life, it makes things worse not better. I would eventually like a good relationship.

    Any advice on how to make the next part of my life more successful relationship wise?


    Yes - but let’s first give you a big pat on the back for getting to the point where you feel in control of your life and your own happiness, sexual or otherwise! Well done! Not all women emerge from an abusive relationship feeling strong and I applaud you for this achievement.

    It’s not a problem that you had the sexual epiphany of realizing you are very much in control of your sex drive and orgasms. It’s a plus! You are the one who turns yourself on and know what you need to make yourself orgasm. I wish more women were like you!

    There’s a perception that men ‘give’ orgasms and women ‘take’ them, rather than create the right environment for them to happen and you’re spot on for realizing it’s all in your control. So stop worrying there’s something wrong with you for not ‘needing’ a man.

    The only real issue you need to explore properly is how to make sure your next relationship is a happy one rather than destructive to your life. This means choosing men with your head, not your heart (or other parts).

    Take it very slowly and don’t be shy about asking lots of questions. Try to meet as many friends and family of theirs as possible, quite early on. You can learn a lot about someone by their friends and family. The sort of man who is trustworthy will be loved by people around him because he treats them well.

    Introduce prospective partners to your friends too and listen to their honest opinions. Ask questions about his relationship history and be particularly cautious of men who don’t take responsibility for their part in why past relationships have gone wrong.

    If you see any - and I mean any - hint that you’ve chosen an abusive man again, end the relationship immediately and get yourself in to see a good therapist. You’ll find one at the British Association for Counselling & Therapy (bacp) and Relate.

    Unleash a sexier you

    Comments (2)

    • becks: June 07, 2010 18:29

      So glad you were able to escape your abuser ... it is such an empowering thing to do :)

      As a fellow survivor i would highly recommend the book by Lundy Bancroft called "why does he do that?" ... and patricia evans "Verbal Abuse Survivors Speak Out: On Relationship and Recovery"

      The books have helped lots of survivors i know identify abusive behaviour in potential future relationships ...

      The freedom programe is also a good resource :) http://www.freedomprogramme.co.uk/

      and the website http://www.aphroditewounded.org/sexuality.html by a survivor exploring her own sexual recovery ...

      If you ever need to talk to fellow survivors then the womens aid survivors forum is a godsend http://www.womensaid.org.uk/topics.asp?section=00010001000800210001§ionTitle=Messageboard

      the first three resources above all give warning signs, flags, to look out for in new partners ... the freedom programmes mr right and mr wrong is a very good quick checklist, the others are more in depth ...

      i am now 7 years escaped and two years ago found my partner who has proven to be amazing, full of integrity and genuineness ... sex is amazing because he is just lovely and i and he feel free ro explore ourselves and each other without recrimination, control, abuse getting in the way and taking over ...

      have hope good blokes are out there for us :)


    • Emma Garratt / *Emma*: June 07, 2010 23:58
      Firstly, as mentioned previously well done for becoming the strong, independant woman that you are today, and overcoming your past and looking to the future in a positive way

      The most important point i think when moving on from an abusive relationship is not to judge others by those in the past. Your ex husband may have not treated you correctly but please dont therefore assume that all men will be abusive. Try to trust people or you will live in fear just waiting for a reaccurance of whats happened previously. Every person is unique and although you have had bad experiences before you can still have good ones from now onwards.

      Dont look for love. Although you have stated you want to have a relationship in the future maybe take some time out to enjoy your family and friends and yourself. Love will come to you im certain. It sounds as though you are currently happy as you are so give it time.


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