I'm mid-30's, twice D'd and no idea what happened. So you tell me how i'm not to be terrified of it happening again?
There's a simple answer to that -- you get good with you.
Depending how you're raised, what your background is, etc you inform your self-esteem by measuring your life. You have certain assumptions you may not even be aware of about what it means to be valuable. You might assume that if you don't own your own house you're somehow failing in life. You might assume that if you get to age 40 and haven't hit some level of seniority in your career you're somehow failing in life. You might assume that if you don't have a fancy car at some point you're somehow coming up short.
You also might assume that if you don't have a traditional nuclear family by a certain age you're failing, or if you have been divorced you're somehow less valuable, etc.
If you don't feel worthy, you're not going to be attractive, and your relationship isn't going to be healthy, because your insecurities are going to have an ongoing negative impact on it.
I'm not suggesting that it's possible to wake up one day as a "confidence monster" -- its not. What I'm saying has more to do with accepting who you are, strengths and weaknesses, and accepting it. If there are things about you that you cannot accept as "good enough", ask yourself why -- are you making irrational assumptions about where the line should be drawn, or in fact do you have an issue you need to address?
If its the latter, address it, and then get good with who you are. It's the whole notion of self-actualization. If you can achieve acceptance of who you are, and know that you are valid and worthy, then a partner's reaction to you just really isn't that critical, because you know you're living with integrity. Its a "their loss" mindset if things do fall apart.
If you have that mindset, that you're good with you, that you'll be fine no matter what happens, alone or together, then there is absolutely nothing to be terrified about.
Originally Posted by ballast
i (hopefully) have another 35 years on this earth, i don't want to go through the rest of it alone, but then again i surely don't want to go through this yet a 3rd time. And is it me? 1st W went PA/BD, D'd me, married OM and D'd him in less than 3 years. so was I the one with issues/the bad husband?
Reading between the lines in your sitch, I think you have to work on your picker, as your IC has pointed out. A great book to read for you would be "Getting the Love You Want". The thesis there is that all of us have certain childhood hurts. We adapt to these hurts, and learn how to cope with them. Coping with these things feels comfortable to us.
We therefore are attracted to people who "mistreat us" in the same way our parents did. If your parents made you feel not good enough, you'll seek a partner who makes you work hard for their approval. Working hard for approval is your comfort zone. Unfortunately, this exacerbates our worst issues and keeps us stuck in the same dynamic that we struggle with.
By reading the book, you can see why you pick the people you pick, what's driving it, and deal with that. In the example above, you may not value a partner that didn't make you work hard for their approval, but it may be that it would be the best partner for you! Lots of work to do there ballast.
Married 18, Together 20, Now Divorced M: 48, W: 50, D: 18, S: 16, D: 12 Bomb Dropped (EA, D): 7/13/11 Start Reconcile: 8/15/11 Bomb Dropped (EA, D): 5/1/2014 (Divorced) In a New Relationship: 3/2015