I'm getting out of a long term abusive marriage. I am healing my mind & soul & finally after almost a year, I am able to see a little daybreak. I want to one day remarry, but obviously I'm still a cracked shell. How does one learn to not walk away at the slightest hint of a lie, or a misstatement? What kind of man will handle being made to bleed to convince me he's safe, that he's safe for my kids? When do I let him know the story? 5th date? Is it dishonest to hold back awhile? I'm lost.
Thanks for the Ask. Oh dear, there are a few things here, and as always I will do my best to give you a solid opinion. I know what it’s like to fall in love and I know what it’s like to be the kid with a single mom navigating the world of men, so hopefully, my words come with a little extra weight.
First off: Lying. It would be easy to say if this next new guy lies, kick him to the curb, but back here in the “real world”, the reality is that everyone lies or hides the truth and sometimes it is the right thing to do. For example, if you get on the topic of your previous ex’s at the very beginning of your courting, first of all, the new guy doesn’t deserve to know your private stories yet. He is just a “potential” at that point, and the same goes for you. But technically, you would have hidden stuff from him (i.e. abuse, sexual preference, if you slept with somebody casually, etc.). If there comes a day when it’s apparent you may love each other, you will have a conversation that goes like this: “why didn’t you tell me about X, Y, and Z?”, and you will feel like an ass, but the reality is that it may have been the right thing at the right time, or even if it wasn’t, is this person as good person that you could see a future with and that little conversation should be just seen as something small.
So my point is this on lying: all people lie. Not all people are good people with potential for a healthy future with you so you need to weigh that into your decision making with him as a potential boyfriend. Also, what did he lie about? Something small or something big?
Your question was this: “How does one learn to not walk away at the slightest hint of a lie, or a misstatement?”. Answer: every person we are with, especially unhealthy relationships, does a number on us and it takes time to be normal again. You learn by doing what you are doing (thinking about it and talking about it) and possibly seeing a therapist. My first GF gaslighted the fuck out of me, we broke up all the time, and I had another that offered the silent treatment as a means to punish me for bringing to light a problem that needed to be dealt with; even knowing that, even today I still ask “is everything okay” way too fucking much. We are all damaged to some degree. If you have a good heart and he has a good heart and you love each other – you will find a way to work through it.
Next question: “What kind of man will handle being made to bleed to convince me he’s safe, that he’s safe for my kids?” – Better question – what kind of woman wants a man “to bleed” for them? I think I get your point but the nature of your outlook on the issue is a bit troubling. Try and look at it like this: would you “bleed” to be a part of his life? Kind of an unhealthy way to look at it. When it comes to kids, you have an obligation to protect them, so don’t just let them in your kids’ lives, but also, if they are good men then you are giving your kids something very special.
The man I am today is a product of my mom and my mom’s 2nd boyfriend (of 5 years). He taught me everything. He taught me how to not be a pussy and when life is hard you sack the fuck up and do it again, but better. He taught me how to work hard. He taught me how to “be a guy”, in general. So, don’t live in fear of men forever – some will make your kids better than what you can – and that is the honest truth.
But at the same time, you shouldn’t introduce your kids to every dickhead who wants to take you on a date. From the age 8 until 18, I met 3 guys, and one of them I never should have. He was a dick and it was right after the divorce and he was abusive, but he fucked with the wrong family.
“When do I let him know the story? 5th date? Is it dishonest to hold back a while? I’m lost.” – You will know when it is “right”. It will be before you say I love you but not before you realize you kind of see it happening one day.
If he is just an acquaintance taking you out for a date or two, he doesn’t get to know your intimate details. But there will come a point where you need to be honest with him. I’d be hurt a little if there is a girl that I really, really loved and saw a future with, and then bombshell secrets came out when I had disclosed all of my secrets months ago. There comes a point in a relationship where you have “shared everything you can think of” – if you are still holding out stuff at that point, you are hurting the relationship’s growth potential. Plus, if it were me, I’d personally want to help a person I loved through the pain of the past and restore her faith in men, through my actions. You gotta give him the full story at some point; but when that is, is entirely based on what your actual future potential is with him.
…you could just fuck everyone with a pulse. Either way works. (Sorry, I had to keep my smart ass streak going).