I am a 39 year old woman.I was married at the age of 17 and have now been divorced for 4 yeaars.There was much abuse in my marriage:physical and emotional-unfaithfulness on my husbands part. , drugs and acholol abuse constant throughout.I was raised as a christian and was taught that marriage is forever, no matter what. . . I am finishing my bachelors degree at university ths may. I am hoping to settle and meet new friends and a nice man one day.I find it very difficult to trust men and when they ask me about my personal life (have I been married etc). I feel confused as to what if anything I should tell them.No matter how interested they may have seemed, they usually change their behavior once I confide in them.Should I not tell them that I have been married before or been in difficult relationships? I want to move on and not recall these hurtful memories either. YYet I feel I should be honest so as to be trusted as I need to trust. . .
When you say that the men that you date change their behavior when they discover your past, I assume you mean they pull away from you.It sounds like you are following the ‘honesty is the best policy’approach and are leaving no stone unturned when it comes to talking about your past. The result is you are scaring prospective partnres away.Since they don’t know that you’ve grown and changed since your first marriage, they probably assume that you are the same person that you were in the past, and they run.Many people live under the mistaken idea that we must be honest with our partners and say everything that ‘s in our hearts and minds. Nothing could be farther from the truth. In fact, the rule of thumb to follow should be: say what you think will be helpful to build a connection and nothing more.So, in your case, you can say you were married before, but you don’t need to go into any gory details. You yourself said you wanted to put the past behind you, so stay in the present.And, if you are asked why the past relationship didn’t work you can discuss what went wrong without making yourself look too damaged.You can be light and general and say, ‘We were incompatible’. Or, ‘we had different expectations for our marriage’, etc.Good luck on your next dating go around.