In a feature I call “Your Turn,” in which you, the readers, get to answer the question, I’m presenting the following letter without commentary from me:
Almost immediately after we were married he did a complete 180 and went from Jekyll to Hyde in no time flat. While we were dating (and because we were long distance) he was able to hide his mental and emotional instabilities from me extremely well, but it seemed to all come boiling over the edge once he had me “locked-in” so to speak. He had failed to mention to me before we were married that he has severe post-traumatic stress disorder and a traumatic brain injury from his previous deployments. He became extremely possessive and co-dependent, as well as having crazy rants, temper tantrums, and panic attacks for hours on the phone, all while I’m trying to calm him down and beg him to seek professional help. This went on for three months and he refused to seek help, constantly claiming he didn’t need it or saying things like, “I’ll set something up this week” and then never following through. This took a huge emotional and mental toll on me as well, and when I finally reached my breaking point I decided to fly out to see him August of last year and end it face-to-face.
Flash-forward to today and I have been considerably happier and was previously seeing a therapist to help me work through the issues of this relationship. It ended as amicably as it could, seeing as we had no assets together and both just wanted the divorce over as quickly and painlessly as possible. However, there is still a part of me that can’t help dwelling on my past relationship; I feel like I still have all this pent-up animosity towards him because I never really got to confront him on everything he put me through. He deployed about a month after we separated, and we had limited communication up until he came back in May and we were able to finish all the paperwork for our divorce. The few times we did communicate between the separation and finalization, he acted like everything was peachy keen and that he was never in the wrong throughout our marriage. Of course, this irritated me and I wanted to blow up at him several times, but I decided to be the bigger person and act civil so he wouldn’t give me any trouble before things were officially over.
Now that the divorce is final, I don’t know how I can move past these angry feelings and finally feel a full sense of closure so I can move on completely and give new relationships a chance. I have ZERO interest in contacting him and trying to have an adult conversation about it seeing as he obviously does not think he was in the wrong. I feel like I can’t trust my judgment on men anymore seeing as I was completely blindsided in my last relationship. So what would be the best way to approach dating as well as moving on from all the baggage of my marriage? — Baggage Claim