BOY are you lucky you didn't have children! Count that as a blessing.
I am curious about how you came to marry someone who would treat you the way you feel you were treated. One the best things you can do for yourself when you're between relationships is to study yourself, specifically to understand where your tendency to date such people might have come from (of course ACCIDENT can't be ruled out: but you don't want that accident to happen again). I've studied the brain and I'm looking at the possibility that our cerebellum actually lays down patterns of our most significant early love relationships: father, mother and first long-lasting-committed love (or first husband), and these complex patterns act as control-modules that guide our thoughts, feelings and behavior in later love relationships. So was either father or mother in some significant ways a taker-not-giver type of person? Or if father was absent or very dysfunctional, unfortunately his offspring (esp daughters) may have an unconscious belief that they need to take anybody they can get if they seem to be better than what they got at home.
As part of getting ready for a Different kind of person to relate to, I'm suggesting you work with a counselor/psychotherapist who knows how to help you study your significant loves and THEN to build up your conscious awareness of HOW you'll notice whether somebody new is fitting one of your ingrained primary relationship patterns. Highly experienced or researched psychologies differ somewhat on how much you can change these prior guiding patterns. But one thing you can definitely do is to get clear on what your own "old-script" patterns are, so you can notice yourself slipping into the current of one such tendency and then "swim upstream."
With reference to your strong hatred for what you experienced, I'd say some of your glowing anger might be well aimed at one of your parents too, and then that anger can be converted into your own energy for change. While prayer might help you move towards forgiveness, it won't change your unconscious tendencies in relationships. (Like maybe your mother was a great giver who tried to fix your father, and you thought you could do that and have even better success than she did.) Generosity is good, but in intimate relationships Love has to be in balance with Power for a healthy result.
Nobody's perfect, and I'm suggesting that a good solid course in studying yourself would give you knowledge and skills to manage the imperfections we all have. It's an investment in getting the relationship you (consciously) want the next time around.
I agree with you in that sometimes the best way to analyze relationship or even friendship patterns is through analyzing yourself rather than the past relationship.
It could have been that I met my ex-husband too soon after a long term relationship that wasn't exactly good. Also, I was about to turn 30 when I met him, and maybe I just felt like I was gettiing old.
I think what could have been driving my engine to make the marriage work is that the religion I grew up in doesn't advocate divorce, and I really don't believe in divorce myself however in this day in age divorce happens because there are so many variables that can interfere in a marriage that are sometimes beyond a human's control.
It had gotten to the point that it became a one sided marriage because my in-laws did not seem to have the class to know that we were adults and not to interfere. It got to the point that I was getting so physically and emotionally tired of their BS. Also, my ex-husband started cussing me out when they did interfere rather than being my hero and standing up for me and the marriage.
I was raised in a religion where their is pressure to be a perfect person. The religious background did contribute to making me a good person, but I think it also influenced me to always be nice instead of standing up for myself like I should.
WellCustomer you've got a start on understanding your neuronal patterns, and your relationship history is one of them, as is your religious culture. It's actually quite normal to dive into a new relationship right after a long one: because we get strongly attracted to someone who seems to automatically "heal" (more accurately "soothe") our wounds from the broken relationship: generic (companionship, desirable?) and specific ("Am I intelligent? Understanding? Attractive in the right places?") [these are just examples of ways we could be wounded. But after 6months or so the soothing has done its job, and then we may discover that we've been blind to the rest of our "perfect4me new love." This is an area that required relationship history research, not brain research.
If your former ex-BF was your first great love, then how you felt about and dealt with him could be a brain model that will influence your future loves WITH or Without your awareness, so it's better to have the awareness.
You have inquired at a site populated by trained psychologists, so you're going to get the best we have to offer. So far it's "put that behind you" and from me "don't just put it behind you, but use being single again as an impetus to understand what you liked and disliked about ex-BF (before exhusband) and how you learned to feel think & act, and add your earlier love relationships with mom & dad. Besides the evidence from 100+ years of Freud & Jung & deep psych-based systems, I'd summarize research evidence from my 2000 textbook Love & Intimate Relationships regarding parents: men unconsciously look for a woman that feels similar (as good and bad) to their mothers; women look for a man like their fathers, but also UNCONSCIOUSLY expect a lot of the same close relating as they got with their mothers. So women (if they had a mostly "good mother") are more likely to be disappointed with love than men. "Unconscious" means we won't understand what's driving us behind our conscious intentions without pretty careful detective work over months, and thereafter ongoing on our own--with dreams being one of the better keyholes to look thru.
Perhaps you don't believe in "therapy" -- but studying your past loves is very specific, and many counselors trained since deep unconscious training went out of fashion in about 1950-60 don't know how to explore that, and haven't explored what's unconscious in themselves--so naturally They "don't believe in going back to the past." I don't need to persuade you to explore that, but I do believe in pointing towards that much neglected part of the truth about human nature, when it would definitely help you to "swim against the current" of unconscious patterning. I must admit tho, that it's a kind of education (& self-awareness) that most people don't want to have.
I used my own "teachable moments" between relationships to begin studying my own history over 30 yrs ago, and since then I've studied a few thousand written histories--which I can present here more briefly and crisply than I did in my textbook.
I'm in the South myself, newly moved from Florida to Atlanta, where I'm very happy with the warmth of race relations.