I’m afraid of commitment after ex-wife cheated on me
I’m in a dilemma. I divorced my ex-wife four years ago because she cheated on me on several occasions.
We have three children. We have an arrangement with my ex concerning the children, which has worked out well.
I feel I want to move on, but every time I get to the place of commitment I develop cold feet and quietly jump out of the relationship.
This has happened twice. I later feel bad about it. Is it possible for me to love again?
Thank you for your question. Yes, you can love again? Maybe the question you should be asking yourself is, “Can I trust again?”
They say once beaten, twice shy. The events that preceded the divorce must have left you devastated, broken and fearful of trusting again. You are human and that is expected.
There is nothing wrong with one falling in love again after a divorce. But the past needs to be dealt with.
Unattended to, it has the potential of showing up when there is a trigger and paralysing us causing us to stagnate or prevent us from moving on in our lives. When a person is betrayed, they become fearful.
They guard themselves and develop a coping mechanism, silently vowing to themselves, “I will never be hurt again.”
By so doing, they barricade themselves preventing others from coming close or connecting with them.
This could explain why you quietly jump out of relationships.
It is encouraging that you are socialising again and that you have had two serious relationships.
The question is, how free or open you are with those you are seriously relating with.
Evaluate your life
You might want to carry out an evaluation of your life and ask yourself the following questions?
Am I ready to let go what happened in my past and to face my dragon? Secondly, am I willing to put down my guard and share my life with the person I am seriously relating with?
Am I willing to be vulnerable enough to walk into an authentic relationship where I can be myself?
If your answer to these questions is a ‘No’, then you may need to undergo therapy to heal from the past in order to move forward with your life and relationships.
In order to move forward, you will need to do these two things. One is to bring closure to the past relationship.
How was the divorce? Were you able to or have you been able to deal with what happened to you and to forgive your ex-wife?
Now forgiving her doesn’t necessarily mean restoring your marriage though if that could happen it would be good.
Forgiving and letting go of the hurt helps you in how you perceive people, especially of the opposite sex.
Secondly, you will need to go through a healing process with the help of a therapist. This will help you settle down, deal with your fears and begin to trust again.