Heal My PTSD
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Please Help: New Relationships after Trauma

Was hoping someone might have some tips and insights for me. I've recently met a young widower. He is just 4-5 years older than myself. We seemed to immediately click upon a chance meeting. We understand each other well from the stand point of grieving our marital relationships. I 'lost' my husband to DV and the subsequent lack of repentance on his part facilitated me divorcing him ( we've been separated for 1 year and divorced for 2 years =3) . This new friend and I have had some wonderfully frank discussions. We both want to be good friends and be supportive of each other. Some boundaries are up and he understands I have lots of responsibility to my several children I am raising alone. They come first. He has one young adult college aged son. He's seems to be struggling between grieving and reaching for a future for himself. I feel I am 'almost' over that stage of brooding over the lost one. I've been able recently to make more long term plans and have less daily struggle with intrusive thoughts. OF COURSE it is probably easier for me because I was harmed in my 15 years of marriage and in his there was a beautiful loving relationship. I have a survivor attitude that in the last 6 months has surprisingly emerged, just miraculously. SO I actually can say specific small steps have produced a fairly satisfying level of stability. I've shared most of that so believe I should concentrate on being a good listener. Does that sound right? Any cautions or Kudos? I also should note it is possible he is suffering complicated grief his wife's death was tragic. If you have any exhaustive articles on complicated grief please link me to them.

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Thought I'd add the "end of the story" We learned a lot from our interactions but it did become complicated. He simply concluded that he loved his wife too much to the point that he couldn't keep having interaction with me. He knew it was impossible for us to be a couple and I wouldn't be happy being the person that kept being a cheerleader for his grief and yet got very little from him since his energy was focused on keeping his wife's memory alive in his mind. And he was right. So we were pretty kind to each other and occasionally email but I think that has come to a close as well even this month... I'm thankful to have a friend for a short time that traveled with me in my journey. It was worth the pain that the interactions brought up. I became even more aware of my healing in the process of navigating that relationship.

I learned what my triggers were in the context of getting close to the opposite sex again and where my boundaries need to be as well. I'm slowly learning not to be SOO nondiscerning in my empathy and that pouring myself into some one else to the point that I barely exist myself is not how I want to exist. I also realized that MOST of my experience has been with trying to ease someone else's pain and now I know I can only be responsible for my own!

Too numerous amount of lessons to list them all.


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