Hello All, I am new to this board. I'll try to make a long story short;) I suffered emotional abuse as a child and it has affected my self esteem my whole life. I know I can not blame my past and must stop the internal negative self talk but it has affected my whole life.
I left my home and got married at 20--now I realize it was to escape--not a good idea. My ex h had an affair and fell into drug use. I divorced at 25. At that time I sold all my belongings except for my summer clothes, my bike and my parakeet and moved thousands of miles away to Key West where I had friends from high school. I stayed for over 20 years :) I started painting full time, I'm an artist, I successfully opened galleries with artist friends and bought my own home on the water--sounds great doesn't it? It is truly a paradise!
During my time in Key West I had a relationship with a man who is an alcoholic. Of course, I always took care of him and 'fixed' everything but never expected the same for myself. Yes I know classic co-dependant, I have read all the books. So eventually I kicked him out told him I couldn't take it any more and lived happily single until I was 45 then I met King Turd! (not his actual name of course but a moniker given him by a friend;)
He was wonderful in the beginning--told me he loved me with all his heart and that he was the luckiest man on earth--yadda, yadda, yadda, we dated for a short time and got married. Within two years I discovered he was having online affairs was on dating sites listed as single, meeting women out of town when he was away for work and had ran up my credit cards to astronomical proportions and had taken tens of thousands of dollars from me. Of course, stupid me, I willingly helped him in every way I could before I discovered his nonsense. We separated and divorced 3 years ago. I went from my owning my own home and having a successful business to having to file bankruptcy and live with my sister in another state.
So now I am rebuilding my life. I met a new man 9 months ago and he is pretty wonderful. The total opposite of any other relationship in my life. He has had some health issues this past summer--open heart surgery--for a congenital heart condition. I was with him throughout the whole ordeal. He is much better, has almost totally recovered and feeling great. During this time I didn't work on my artwork totally was by his side. This week my Honey wanted to go to visit his family out of town and I said go, enjoy yourself but I NEED to get some work done. So all this week I have been at home by myself and I realize I don't know how to be in a truly healthy relationship!? When He didn't call me in the evening I kind of freaked! What? I have talked to him every day during the day. So I called him tonight and we had a great conversation.
So how do I not lose myself, again, in this relationship? What is normal behavior in a healthy relationship? Do I expect him to call at certain times? Am I being silly? How do you ask for what you want or need? I have a problem asking for anything! ugg! This week I realized my self esteem is still in the tank. I am so willing to give, give, give and don't feel I DESERVE to receive. Help? any thoughts?