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#147295 - 03/27/07 04:16 PM question about intimacy
beccy Offline
Member

Registered: 05/28/06
Posts: 449
Loc: england
I was just wondering about the problem of intimacy and it's chances of improvement. I'm kind of looking for positives to help me be optimistic....don't worry though, i'm prepared for the negative too,


peace
Beccy


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#147303 - 03/27/07 04:56 PM Re: question about intimacy [Re: beccy]
selene Offline
Member

Registered: 11/10/06
Posts: 221
Loc: midwest
.. beccy ... i don't know about chances, i suppose it would depend on alot of things ... i do know that k and i have reclaimed a great deal of intimacy in what seems like a very short time ... and after quite a while of not having much of that ... and also after we've both hurt each other in devastating ways ... so i think maybe if we can reclaim emotional (and physical) intimacy, then just about anyone can \:\)

hugs,
selene

_________________________
"And now here is my secret, a very simple secret; it is only with the heart that one can see rightly, what is essential is invisible to the eye." ~ Antoine de Saint-Exupery from The Little Prince

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#147307 - 03/27/07 05:14 PM Re: question about intimacy [Re: selene]
luvnkp Offline
New Here

Registered: 03/21/07
Posts: 12
Loc: GA
Beccy,

For us the desire for intimacy is always there but sometimes our abilities don't live up to our desires. There are times when my partner feels blocked by his past experiences in ways that prevent us from sharing a physical intimacy. At other times my anger with him prevented me from feeling connected with him as well. Now that I have spent time reading here about CSA just understanding a bit more of how difficult it is for him to let me close to him makes those times more bearable. Also, when I feel neglected I have other friends who support me. Don't forget to take care of you.

blessings,
luvnkp


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#147337 - 03/27/07 09:52 PM Re: question about intimacy [Re: luvnkp]
WalkingSouth Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/30/05
Posts: 16264
Beccy,

I think the questions you ask are excellent. My answer would be that the chances of improved intimacy are dependent entirely on how committed each partner is to the process of regaining it. There are a lot of obstacles to that process, some easily recognized, some not. My best advise would be for both partners to be willing to attend couples counseling sessions on a regular basis both individually and together.

That is the ONLY way my wife and I have been able to begin to put our relationship back together. Make sure you get a relationship counselor and not a divorce facilitator. Major difference between the two! Some counselors who classify themselves as relationship/marriage counselors are nothing more than divorce facilitators.

Having said that, once counseling begins I have found, just as in my recovery, that things have a tendency to get worse before they get better in the relationship. That seems to be the way it is. Talking about these things has a tendency to stir the emotions up a lot, and a lot of anger can result, but if both partners are willing to do the hard work and really LISTEN to each other and HEAR what is being said even if you have to learn to read between the lines, marvelous things can happen.

Lots of love,

John

_________________________
“Life’s journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting ‘Holy ____…! What a ride!’” ~Hunter S. Thompson

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#147338 - 03/27/07 09:55 PM Re: question about intimacy [Re: luvnkp]
Trish4850 Offline
BoD Liaison Emeritus
MaleSurvivor<

Registered: 10/15/05
Posts: 3280
Loc: New Jersey
Beccy,

You're one line question is one of the hardest I've ever tried to answer. I've written 2 and deleted both of them because neither one provided any kind of answer that made any sense whatsoever.

Intimacy is expressed in so many ways, so I'm not sure what you're asking. Are you covering all bases from a welcome home kiss to sex? Are you talking about emotional intimacy?

I've been working all night, so I'm really tired. I'll try again tomorrow. Hopefully someone with more of a brain than I have right now will be able to help.

ROCK ON..........Trish

_________________________
If you fall down 10 times, Stand up 11.

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#147381 - 03/28/07 05:28 AM Re: question about intimacy [Re: Trish4850]
beccy Offline
Member

Registered: 05/28/06
Posts: 449
Loc: england
Thankyou everyone for your replies so far.

Trish, I was talking about sexual intimacy.


peace
Beccy


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#147385 - 03/28/07 06:16 AM Re: question about intimacy [Re: beccy]
beccy Offline
Member

Registered: 05/28/06
Posts: 449
Loc: england
I am presently feeling like i'm losing the will to be intimate with my bf. I couldn't feel that way anyway until recently, since my trust was broken. Also i've been gradually realising how badly he's actually treated me over the years. Don;t get me wrong, i've been no picnic either. But he's lied to me so many times, telling me there was nothing wrong and trying to make out like there was something wrong with me. My own recent memory recall also made it very difficult to trust him, as it kind of put a different slant on a lot of what's happened between us.


Anyway, i came out of my shell a bit, only to be hurt again in the same way as i was for years. I have to add that, it confuses me to the point where i worry i'm not actually attracted to him. I'm wondering how this is supposed to work. It is very hard to believe someone actually does want to be in that space with you when they say such confusing things. And ONLY because of what i know from all the reading i've done, that i can try and hang on to the fact it's most likely not to do with me. But it's like he really doesn't seem to understand what this past year and before that, whole relationship has been like for me. How i'm supposed to get out of my head that he'd rather be with a man/different kind of woman.


He seems incapable of considering my feelings and it leaves me totally confused.


Sorry to vent, but yes, walking south, you are damn right when you say there's a lot of anger there. I feel like a ticking bomb...


I just can't see how intimacy is supposed to work between us and at the moment, i don't even feel like i want to try, which is depressing and isn't going to help anything, because in reality i know i need that back in my life. What we've had all these years has not been intimacy, it's been all about power. I swtiched myself off years ago, as i couldn't share myself with him and it was too painful. I feel such a mixed up mess of emotions about it all,


where do i go from here?


peace
Beccy


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#147571 - 03/29/07 06:58 AM Re: question about intimacy [Re: beccy]
beccy Offline
Member

Registered: 05/28/06
Posts: 449
Loc: england
I just wanted to say that me expressing my feelings honestly over the past week i think is paying off. It's been a pretty awful week and i think the lowest ever in my life to be honest, and really there's been so much angry expression from me.....


.....and i was close to giving up on 'us'. But last night my bf said some reassuring things to me, liek he's not wishing i was a man when we have sex and that what we do is every bit as stimulating/satisfying as the other fantasies. And it's when we're not being sexual that the other fantasies take presidence and he's beginning to realise that that is to do with his general repressed, unrealised, unexpressed anger in other areas of our relationship. His T thinks this too. It's such a relief to hear and i just had to share it here.


The other thing his T said was that we were like babes in the wood, hanging onto eachother, afraid of living! He's not wrong about that either, and it really irritated both of us. My bf moreso. I think it pushed him to take the risk of connecting with me last night. I got to see a bit of who he is!!!!! My heart can hardly comprehend it! He was so much kinder to me than he's ever been and me to him i think also. We've hurt eachother in different ways and there's a lot of work to be done still, but he was with me! I think it will still be a while before i can totally trust he's being honest and not just manipulating me, but the whole experience was profoudnly different. It's quite exciting to think there's more to both of us than we realised.....



I just hope he doesn;t realise 12 years worth of repressed angry feelings and decide he hates me and leave anyway!



peace
Beccy


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#147605 - 03/29/07 11:21 AM Re: question about intimacy [Re: beccy]
stride Offline
Member

Registered: 03/07/03
Posts: 202
Loc: B.C. Canada
Beccy,

That's wonderful news. Here's to more healing doors opening for you both!

Stride

_________________________
In the right formation,
the lifting power of many wings can
achieve twice the distance of any bird flying alone.

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#147656 - 03/29/07 06:22 PM Re: question about intimacy [Re: stride]
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/02/05
Posts: 22045
Loc: Carlisle, PA
Beccy,

It's so good to see you here and still posting. I hope the site is still helping you. You sure hit on a big question this time!

It's one I can't answer, Beccy, and in fact I wonder who could. There could be so many answers based on the unique circumstances of each relationship I guess. What I can offer, perhaps, is some understanding of why a survivor can have such serious intimacy problems and what those problems mean. There are basically two points I want to make.

The first is that a survivor will often have no idea of how his issues are affecting his partner, except that there are arguments and conflicts and probably difficulties with sex. He doesn't "get it" what's just right there in front of his face. He doesn't "see" that for his partner there are questions like whether she is about to be abandoned, whether she is being rejected as undesirable, whether her partner is "turning gay", how all this will affect their children, and so on. He fails to see this not necessarily because he is selfish, but because he is in such an emotional hurricane himself. He may have no idea how to recognize or face his own feelings and fears, and so is hardly in a position to recognize how all this feels and looks to his partner.

My second thought is about what intimacy issues mean, Beccy. I'd like go out on a limb here and say that in the VAST majority of issues, the survivor's dysfunction has nothing to do with his partner at all. The problem is himself.

Suppose, for example, that a boy has been abused for years by a man who told him that he loves the boy and that their sexual contacts show how special the boy is. Then eventually the boy figures out he has been tricked and used; he was never special, never loved. Apart from the colossal burden of grief, confusion and shame, what will that do to his ability to relate to others sexually, and in a healthy way, when he grows up? The harm he will suffer can be catastrophic, and it doesn't go away just because he is 34 instead of 14. Unless he has received careful counselling he may react to every intimate situation with confusion and hesitation. He may love his partner and desire her sexually, but all the alarm bells from childhood are going off, and the little kid inside him will panic and see the situation as one of profound danger. See what I mean with this scenario? The partner has nothing to do with how the survivor reacts. It's all to do with himself and his abuse issues.

You mention briefly something about your partner wishing he had a man underneath him. Believe me, I can really see how that would make you feel! But Beccy, this has NOTHING to do with you or his feelings about you as a woman or as his partner. He might have been forced to perform in this way as a boy; maybe he was endlessly rewarded or praised for this; he may see sex as a source of shame; he may fear failure in sex of any other form. There are lots of possible explanations, but again, can you see how none of them have anything to do with you?

In my own view what's important here is honest communication. It's difficult, because huge issues of self-esteem are involved. But if you two can try to lay down foundations for good communications I think this will help a lot. It will take time, and at first maybe neither of you will be able to open up entirely. There needs to be a lot of confidence and trust in place before that can happen. But the situation isn't hopeless. John recommends counselling both together and separately, and I think that's a great idea. The T is not only a voice of professional competence, but also a kind of arbiter as well. Both partners can come away from the session feeling they have been heard and validated, and in a way that's what healing the relationship is all about.

Much love,
Larry

_________________________
Nobody living can ever stop me
As I go walking my freedom highway.
Nobody living can make me turn back:
This land was made for you and me.
(Woody Guthrie)

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