I used to be on TN, until my ex found out and made me delete it... My back story: at 19 I married my HS sweetheart. I changed religions and turned my back on pretty much all of my friends and family for him and his family. Through our nearly 4 year marriage he was manipulative, angry, verbally and emotionally (and twice, physically) abusive, and very controlling. I pleaded with members of our church and his family to step in and help me, but I was told the same thing time and time again: "He is young- he doesn't know how to be a good husband. Give him time to grow and mature."
I was so unsatisfied with those answers. I was young too! I had never been a wife before! Yet I still worked (three jobs at one point), did all of the cleaning, laundry, and cooking, helped with yard work, and didn't bat an eye when he went out with his friends almost every night. He held me at such a double standard at everything- I couldn't spend my money on things I wanted (a dress, starbucks, a trip to the movies by myself) yet he could hoard every cent we both earned and spend it on whatever he wanted (buying rounds for the guys at the bar, new phones, cars). He constantly told me I lacked good looks, motivation, ambition, creativity- making me feel worthless beyond anything I though possible.
I really tried to be a good wife. Even when he lied to me (for a year) about seeing other women and having an affair with one, I stuck by him and did my very best. Eventually, though, it was too much. I was scared to do anything around him. Even talking on the phone with my mother became a trigger for him to get mad at me. I felt like a shell of a person. Last November, I went to him and told him how I felt; that I didn't feel like he respected me or cared for me. I told him I was thinking about leaving the marriage. He barely seemed to care. I moved into our spare bedroom, until he kicked me out in February (he saw that I has contacted some old middle- and high-school friends via Facebook to catch up).
I was devistated- I wasn't ready to leave yet. I hadn't had enough time to save up for a place of my own. On top of that, I was in a bad car accident in January that cost me to lose my job, and I still hadn't found one. I lived on my mom's couch for two weeks, then on my dad's for three. During that time I found a job and was able to find a small apartment I could afford. In April, I was able to move into my own place with my cat. I was so lonely and depressed- I has isolated my family and friends for such a long time, I was embarrased to go back to them. I had also lost all of my friends at my job.
Eventually a friend from school encouraged me to join Tinder as a confidence boost. She explained the app to me, and I was hesitant- I didn't want to meet random people, I especially didn't want to hook up with anyone. But, to appease her, I joined. I mostly ignored the advances I got, although they were confidence boosting. After a couple weeks, I found myself looking forward to messages from a certain man, J. He was funny and very honest and endearing. When I felt ready (as in, when I felt like I wasn't on the rebound anymore), we met for lunch, and we've been seeing each other ever since.
Anyway, I posted here to tell my starting over story. Not only am I starting over for myself (I've got a great job, and was recently promoted, I can pay all of my bills all by myself, I'm enrolling in school next year as an interior designer, and have started exploring my passion for baking), but I'm also starting over with J. I'm learning that I can be part of a whole thing without being outshined by the other person in the relationship.
I'm proud of how far I've come. I'm still sad and lonely at times, and I will admit that I sometimes wonder what my (soon to be) ex is doing. But I have realized that I am a strong, smart, thoughtful, beautiful, creative person. I deserve all of the best things in life. If anyone out there is in a similar situation to what I was in- I am here for you!