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#150371 - 04/11/07 06:43 PM Lloydy
Kathryn Offline
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Registered: 02/08/07
Posts: 303


Lloydy,

First let me say that I appreciate your openess. This stuff is so confusing.

So I have a question that I would completely understand if you feel uncomfortable addressing. Really. And I'm a tad embarrased to ask but but could you elaborate on what it's like to fantasize about penises/men while having sex with your wife --what it's like for you emotionally?

Again, if this is too personal I understand.

Thanks,
Katie


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#150383 - 04/11/07 07:21 PM Re: Lloydy [Re: Kathryn]
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
No problem Katie.
30 years ago it was a fantasy, I'm 53 now and it's an intrusion.

It is somewhat confusing to me because I giving bj's is something that I have done to more males than I have had female sexual partners. I had a lot of abusers over 4 years at boarding school and this became my particular talent I guess.

So, having had that much experience of giving bj's, why is it a fantasy?
I know I'm not gay because I don't feel any emotional ties to men like I do to women, I don't find men attractive or want any kind of relationship with another man.
I'm perfectly straight in my sexual orientation, although I did struggle with that until I went through therapy.

My only interest in other men ( other than normal friendships ) is in the act of giving a bj, not really bothered about receiving a bj back or anal sex, which I also experienced a lot of as a boy.

For me this is all to do with regaining power over my abusers by doing this very powerful sex act on my terms, not theirs.
Even though my abusers groomed and beat me into a position where I would ask them for sex, and suggest and ask for particular sex acts, I now realise that I was completely under their control. Nothing was done without them wanting it, they led me on by using loaded questions and leaving me with no alternatives, but it looked as though I was the instigator and the sex mad boy.

The fantasy, as it ended up when I went acting out with other men, became very specific.
I didn't include the actual man in the fantasy, he could have been any colour, age or whatever.
The circumstances of how I came to be giving a bj were also vague to the point of being non existant, it didn't matter. All I fixated on was the bj, and the fact that I was the instigator.

In therapy I came to realise that I was trying to recreate my abuse on my terms, I wanted the power.
And looking back at the acting out it became obvious as well. If another man suggested anything, offered to do something, asked me to do something - even if all he said was "suck me off", which was what I (thought) I wanted, then I'd lost the fantasy and I wanted out instantly. I have ended up fighting with men to get away.
Their suggestions, requests or offers became demands in my mind - and that was my reason for being there. I wanted to be in control, I wanted the power.

So, my fantasy is more about power and control than sex, and the truth is I can't excercise power and control over someone I love through sex, or any other methods for that matter.

When I was younger and I started to use this fantasy I didn't understand it one bit, I just thought it was a bit kinky and odd that I had a fantasy about something I did as a boy - but hey, it worked.
Now I understand it, it won't go away. Andn it sure as hell doesn't work when I'm having sex with my wife.
If I look at gay porn, bj's, it's still not really effective as an aid to masturbation.

But like I said before, the knowledge that fantasies have led me to lose control in the past scares me.
Perhaps that's why the old familiar one still has some marginal appeal?

Dave

_________________________
Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've imagined. As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler.
Henry David Thoreau

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#150400 - 04/11/07 08:14 PM Re: Lloydy [Re: Lloydy]
Kathryn Offline
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Registered: 02/08/07
Posts: 303


Llody,

Not to probe -- and feel free to tell me to back off, I can be rather blunt -- but I understand the whys of the fantasy.

What I really am interested in, for obvious personal reasons, is the effect it has while having sex with your wife. I mean does it get easier to accept the fantasy as fantasy, or does it still cause you to withdraw or feel guilty, etc.... I assume it would feel very awkward if I were to have fantasies of a woman while trying to make love to my husband.

The reason I ask is because in considering my relationship with Rob I really don't know how to deal with his fantasies, mostly because he actually acted on them for a really long time. It would be different if the fantasies hadn't lead to action, it would feel less threatening. But as it is, it feels quite threatening to me. Which probably doesn't help matters in that I'm sure my fealings would only compound Rob's guilt and embarresment over the matter.
But my fealings are what they are.

Take care and thanks so much for responding,
Katie


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#150414 - 04/11/07 09:05 PM Re: Lloydy [Re: Lloydy]
stride Offline
Member

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

It is such a blessing and HUGE source of relief to be able to talk about this stuff with others. Sex and intimacy is such a huge issue for so many of us, yet it's rare to find a safe place where people--especially men, I daresay--are willing to open up in such frank and soulful ways. Sex and intimacy are such deeply individual and personal realms, yet now that I'm in a relationship where these incredibly important things are so troubled, I find that being able to (collectively) examine, share and reflect on them with such candour is both amazingly comforting and instructive. Thank you, as always, for your willingness to be so candid with us.

"In therapy I came to realise that I was trying to recreate my abuse on my terms, I wanted the power.
And looking back at the acting out it became obvious as well. If another man suggested anything, offered to do something, asked me to do something - even if all he said was "suck me off", which was what I (thought) I wanted, then I'd lost the fantasy and I wanted out instantly. I have ended up fighting with men to get away.
Their suggestions, requests or offers became demands in my mind - and that was my reason for being there. I wanted to be in control, I wanted the power.

So, my fantasy is more about power and control than sex, and the truth is I can't excercise power and control over someone I love through sex, or any other methods for that matter."

Interesting. Leaves me wondering if much of B's repulsion/objections to any "suggestions, requests or offers" from me arises from the very same thing. He has always insisted that my suggesting, requesting or offering to do anything related to our sex life (no matter how minor or innocuous a thing it may seem to me) really turns him off and leaves him feeling like I'm trying to "make" him do something, rather than just leaving things up to him. He also says that it makes him NOT want to do anything I've suggested or requested because "it would just make it feel 'contrived' if I did, and not natural..." that I should just let him do what he does, figure it out on his own, and leave it alone if he doesn't.

Hmmm...if sex is really all about power and control for him--which would make sense, given his childhood history--then it makes all-the-more sense to me why having sex with me, someone he deeply loves and whom he knows truly loves him, just doesn't work for him. Ditto for his total aversion to the phrase or concept of "making love."

I'm not sure where all of this leaves me, but I'm going to reread your post several more times and ponder on it a while...

Stride







Edited by stride (04/11/07 09:07 PM)
_________________________
In the right formation,
the lifting power of many wings can
achieve twice the distance of any bird flying alone.

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#150523 - 04/12/07 05:02 PM Re: Lloydy [Re: stride]
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
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Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
Kathryn
Yeah, I wandered off on a bit of a tangent there, sorry.

How do I feel?
I suppose it's a circular pattern of thinking, and a part of it is always with me. I dread the fantasy corrupting our making love, so the easy option is to avoid making love, which I do a lot.
That's the start of of a simple 'circular behaviour' one thought provokes another.

So here I am thinking of excuses before we even get to the action, and that's something I hate doing so I feel guilty.

With some effort and the correct alignment of the planets I sometimes get past that and try to make love with my wife.
And this is when the problems begin.

I worry about getting an erection, the worry distracts me so I don't get an erection. So I try to relax, which is an impossibility - relaxation is a natural thing that can't be forced at will.
Then I decide to risk a bit of fantasy, think of some straight porn I have seen or an erotic scene from a film. Even the woman at work who wanted my body a while back. I didn't want hers though, so it's a non starter as a fantasy.

By this time I'm 'working from a list' and caressing by numbers.
The possibility of failure is now very real, so I go to the old standby fantasy that worked so well for so long. The bj fantasy.

By now I don't give a flying f**k what I fantasise about as long as it works.
But this bj fantasy begins to do my head in, it's so at odds with what I want to do, what I'm actually trying to do.
I also know that my wife knows about my fantasies, and the fact I acted them out as well, so is she wondering what fantasy is running through my head? Probably, and the thought of her thinking that is crushing for me.

Eventually my mind becomes flooded with contradictive thoughts and ideas, guilt comes along and kills the moment and I roll over finished, and silent.

I've been through 3 years of 1 to 1 cognitive behavioural therapy and a few years of group work. I've also partly trained as a counsellor since then, so I have some understanding of what's going on. I certainly understand that I need further therapy, and I will probably try some Transactional Analysis this time as I think the model address' the links between behaviours and actions in a more defined manner.

But to get back to the plot, the circular behaviour can have as many items on it's periphery as it needs, indeed everything should be there. Actually sit down with a paper and pencil, draw a big circle and add things ( in order going one way around ) that have a cause and effect on each other. Mine's a bloody huge circle!
Then see how each thing leads to the next, and on and on until you arrive back at the start, as it inevitably does.
Somewhere there's a weak point, one item that can be worked on and changed, and the circle is broken, or at least made smaller.

I'll admit that I'm no walking advert for this theory, but it is effective I promise. And that's because the negative emotions and feelings can sit on the circle alongside the good ones, we can see them all on one page.
I seem to nibble away at my circle and make it smaller, complete success at breaking the circle still hasn't happened. But it will.

Dave

_________________________
Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've imagined. As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler.
Henry David Thoreau

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#150525 - 04/12/07 05:21 PM Re: Lloydy [Re: stride]
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
Stride
Quote:
Interesting. Leaves me wondering if much of B's repulsion/objections to any "suggestions, requests or offers" from me arises from the very same thing. He has always insisted that my suggesting, requesting or offering to do anything related to our sex life (no matter how minor or innocuous a thing it may seem to me) really turns him off and leaves him feeling like I'm trying to "make" him do something, rather than just leaving things up to him. He also says that it makes him NOT want to do anything I've suggested or requested because "it would just make it feel 'contrived' if I did, and not natural..." that I should just let him do what he does, figure it out on his own, and leave it alone if he doesn't.


Right on the button, that's exactly how I feel - or at least part of it.

And all that makes you feel bad, you end up being cautious to the point of not doing anything that 'might' upset us.
Perhaps we need upsetting a bit more? Seriously, I'm beginning to think that guys like us have so many hang ups that if we get over some a bunch of new ones will come right along! In truth that has happened to me to a certain extent.

I have sometimes wondered how I would react to having sex with the kind of woman who gets hammered in a bar on a Saturday night and considers a good fuck as essential to finish the night off properly! Someone who fucks for the hell of it rather than for love and passion.
It's not my style, I'm 100% faithful so I wouldn't do it. But is there something basic about the kind of fuck that doesn't need all the emotional baggage that is, or could be, very liberating in a way I just can't begin to comprehend?

My acting out didn't give me any of that, maybe there was too much emotion and history involved for me that I didn't understand at the time. Perhaps the men I met were just after basic sex? I don't know.

Making love is complicated, it's a two way thing that requires a level of understanding and love for the partner which in itself is huge, finding that when I can't find my own understanding ( and love ? ) seems to be impossible.

Is it any wonder that my idea of 'making love' is much closer to the base fucking that I described above.
I can see now that I'm actually retreating from the emotions involved, not between me and my wife, but between me and the sex I desire.

Dave

_________________________
Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've imagined. As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler.
Henry David Thoreau

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#150550 - 04/12/07 07:36 PM Re: Lloydy [Re: Lloydy]
stride Offline
Member

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

For the first time EVER I think someone has finally turned the big light on for me: Everything in me (that "inner voice/wisdom") recognizes the "circular behaviour" pattern which you describe so clearly as being exactly what happens for B' if sex is "on the menu" for us at any given time. I don't know if he fantasizes about giving bjs or not, but I'd bet my life's wages that the thought/emotional/physical processes you describe would ring loud and true for him as well--and bang on.

In reading your "circular behaviour" post, all the cards fell into place for me, and I just KNOW they fit perfectly with what's actually going on with him.

A few years back B' started taking Cialis to deal with his ED and now says he accepts this as simply what he has to do (for the rest of his life) to get an erection, though he attributes his problems with ED to his age and nothing else. Still, his Cialis-assisted ability to get erections now hasn't changed things much beyond the initial stages of our sexual encounters. Even Cialis, Viagra or whatever won't work if your head's not into sex at the time or you lose that headspace at some point. And almost invariably he does. If anything, I'd say this has become more of a problem than before, no doubt because of anxieties/expectations that our encounters will still wind up feeling awkward and unfulfilling for both of us anyway, erection or not. In other words, while before he may have attributed a lot of our sexual difficulties to his not being able to maintain his erections, turns out erections are not the panacea he'd hoped they'd be...he couldn't just take a pill and everything would be "happy ever after." This has no doubt only brought the problems of our sex life into sharper relief for him, thus making things that much more uncomfortable, if I don't miss my guess.

And naturally, given years of our deeply troubled sex life I have come to harbour and bring to our bed similar anxieties and expectations, which only exacerbates the situation.

Funny, B' spent the night last night and at one point suddenly suggested that he run home (which is pretty much just across the street) and get/take a Cialis. I froze. For one thing, given that there's been no talk of sex nor any indication of interest in it from him--especially since our recent agreement about this--the suggestion totally surprised me.

But more than that, I quickly became of aware of just how panicked I was at the idea, and so sure, no doubt quite rightly, that if we did give it a go it would end up being yet another disappointment for us both. I'm terrified that that would only reaffirm for him his belief that we're just not compatible as lovers and we'd end up right back where we were a few weeks ago. Things have been feeling really good with us lately and I want to keep building on that for now, but in the moment I couldn't bring myself to say that. I just froze (VERY unlike me!). Fortunately, he started talking about something else almost immediately. He did run home "to get his laptop and contact lens stuff," but as far as I'm aware he didn't take any Cialis while he was there. Perhaps I'll discover otherwise when he wakes up from his nap, but for now I feel "safe."

Isn't it strange (and sad!) how so much has changed all-of-a-sudden? Me, who has always longed for and jumped at any opportunity to be sexual with him, is suddenly afraid of the prospect and feeling relieved that he hasn't pursued his thought of our having sex last night/today!

God, I wish so much that he would read these posts of yours, Dave (and others'). I really think it would help him understand himself and what's going on for him much better, which in turn might enable us to work on something other than strawmen, you know?

For now, my sending him or telling him about these posts would only piss him off or something, and he'd no doubt find some reason to "have to" go home all-of-a-sudden (read, escape from me/this). But at least you've given me something that truly fits, rings true, and makes sense...crystal clear, in fact. And that's a whole lot more concrete insight than I've ever had into this before. I'm not sure yet what, if anything, I can do with it, but somehow the burden seems easier to bear with this new understanding.

For the 1000th, but not the last time, THANK YOU!

Stride





Edited by stride (04/12/07 07:44 PM)
_________________________
In the right formation,
the lifting power of many wings can
achieve twice the distance of any bird flying alone.

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#150556 - 04/12/07 08:13 PM Re: Lloydy [Re: stride]
Kathryn Offline
Guest

Registered: 02/08/07
Posts: 303

Dave,

Firt, ditto everything Stride just said only more eloquently than I could. Really -- thanks.

I don't know if this helps any or not but my feelings about Rob having fantasies of men while having sex with me is pretty darn tough. But for lots of other women I've talked with it's not much of a problem for them. Why it bothers me to the extent it does and not other women probably involves a million different factors, but the ones I've been able to discern are:
1) different family background. Because Rob's acted on these fantasies while in relationships with women it triggers the profound feelings I have about having my physical boundaries violated due to my own physical abuse history. 2) And relatedy, because, like you, Rob's fantasies arose out of his sexual abuse, I don't know how to "play" with these fantasies in the way I might be able to if he were just an average bisexual man with bisexual fantasies. 3) He's been a bit over the top in describing his experiences with not very well-chosen words. What he's provided in honesty has been a bit lacking in diplomacy :). 4) Some women seem to carry their gender differently than I and either are more in touch with or have stronger cross-gendered identifications -- and we all have some.

Anyway, even if your wife does wonder when or if you're having the bj fantasies she may not mind at all. And I know for a fact, due to personal experience, that passing homoerotic fantasies in and of themselves do not disturb me. It's all the rest that does. But your wife seems to have different feelings and personal associations than I do. I imagine she feels relatively comfortable with the situation or she wouldn't be where she is.
Your sentence about feeling crushed really got to me. I'm so sorry about this. I really am. And I imagine that this is one of the most profound ways in which those who abused you have harmed you.

I know that this is one of the really big areas I have to work on if I'm to make things work with Rob. And the thing is Dave, that if I decide I can -- that means really dealing with and accepting it.
Ans so again, I assume your wife has done so to a far greater degree than your fears express.

This situation just really sucks.

Thankyou so much for your oppeness. You've given me much to think about.

Take care,
Katie


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#150612 - 04/13/07 02:38 AM Re: Lloydy [Re: Kathryn]
lostcowboy Offline
Member

Registered: 11/10/04
Posts: 797
Loc: North Texas
Hi guys hope you don't mind me sticking my nose in here.
For Dave and Stride, this sex problem sounds to me to be a, I must preform/be successful/ not FAIL, anxiety type of problem. So far I haven't had it yet, maybe as I haven't had sex with the wife since 1990, and last had sex with a guy in 1994. But that's another story.
Anyway, let me throw a book at you, Male Sexuality by Bernie Zilbergeld, PH.D., it is a old book so look in the used book stores for it. He talks about some techniques that may help. The techniques are designed to take the pressure off, as you don't get to have real sex at first, just foreplay. Then later you take it to the next step.
I admit that I have not read the whole book, only the chapter about touching, but I did skim the rest of the book, a lot of good info in it.

For Dave and Katie This part about the fantasies/acting out, sounds a lot like sexual addiction/drug addiction/other addiction/alcoholism, I have been reading on the subjects of late. They all talk about a shame cycle. That sounds like what you are trying to explain Dave. From the book "Don't call it love by Patrick Carnes,Ph.D, page 105 Figure 3-1 the shame cycle.
The top of the figure is ACTING OUT with a arrow to the right to OUT OF CONTROL, under that you have Compulsive: Eating, Sex, Alcohol/Drugs, Spending, Risk Taking,and Working. At the bottom you have a arrow to the left to, Control. Under control you have Compulsive: Dieting, Sex Avoidance, Alcohol Avoidance, Saving, Risk Avoidance, Religion. As you can see it forms a circle, Acting out to out of control to Acting in to Control, and back to acting out.

In another part of the book he gives the characteristics of addicts and co-addicts, they are amazingly similar.
Dave as some one who is training as a counselor, you will likely be interested in most of the books Patrick Carnes has put out. you can find them http://www.gentlepath.com/showproduct.cfm?product_type=book
I have been having some very good luck finding them in my town, I guess God wants me to read them.
PS: "In the Shadows of the net", talks much more about fantasies and porn, acting out.
Take care,
Clifford

_________________________
"Don't walk in front of me, I may not follow. Don't walk behind me, I may not lead. Just walk beside me and be my friend." - Albert Camus
Pretty much my life as I have posted so far. Triggers!

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#150655 - 04/13/07 11:08 AM Re: Lloydy [Re: lostcowboy]
honey girl Offline
Member

Registered: 10/09/06
Posts: 245
Loc: Midwest US
Hi, everybody.
I haven't logged in for quite some time, but I have been reading very regularly, and feeling very appreciative for the information-sharing that continues on such a high level. Today I am emerging from a very pressured stretch at work, and I also have a suggestion to offer to this particular thread.
I'm a female CSA survivor, as well as the partner of a male CSA survivor, and I coped with PTSD symptoms for a very long time without having any idea what they signaled. One of them was "intrusive thoughts" related to the original abuse incident(s). I am wondering now whether the fantasies associated with particular sorts of sexual activity that are being described here as unpleasant and troubling are not a permutation of the so-called "intrusive thoughts." In some ways, this seems to me like an effort that survivors might make to re-establish a sense of personal control, transforming (or reframing/relabeling) the thoughts that are there without our volition to some extent into ones that we think we can exercise some control over--and perhaps have turn out differently.
Just an idea.
In any case, I do find these recent threads on the impact of CSA on loving sexual activity with partners to be very illuminating, since this is an area that my BF and I continue to have huge, huge difficulty dealing with. I can relate to you, Stride, in yearning...and then reconsidering, because things have so often turned out so painfully. I will see if I can track down the book you recommend, lostcowboy; it sounds helpful. And Lloydy--that's a remarkable level of detail and disclosure you offer, which I suspect might be pretty applicable to my BF too. I appreciate your inspiring message overall. I am going to suggest again to my BF that he read some of these threads, because I think that having this information in common might help us continue to talk through all of this with each other. But for him, too, there are other, more pressing priorities (as odd as that may seem!:)
Thank you, as always, to everyone who posts with such a high level of conscientiousness. I feel a great sense of mutual support and solidarity.
HG

_________________________
I'm just a poor wayfaring stranger, a million miles away from home.

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#150681 - 04/13/07 03:55 PM Re: Lloydy [Re: Lloydy]
stride Offline
Member

Registered: 03/07/03
Posts: 202
Loc: B.C. Canada
Originally Posted By: Lloydy

I also know that my wife knows about my fantasies, and the fact I acted them out as well, so is she wondering what fantasy is running through my head? Probably, and the thought of her thinking that is crushing for me.

Eventually my mind becomes flooded with contradictive thoughts and ideas, guilt comes along and kills the moment and I roll over finished, and silent.


Dave,

Despite the fact that B' adamantly denies EVER fantasizing or thinking about anything when we're in bed together, I know that that's not true. I really don't get why a man his age would even bother denying it, though I assume he's got major shame and guilt issues related to his fantasy life, whatever it entails. Also, his protests of denial that he's ever "thinking about anything" while having sex with me, always leave me with the feeling that I am in the company of a child, and I do not mean this in any demeaning way at all. It certainly makes sense to me that at some level his overall development was arrested way back during the CSA years (from age 6-12), especially when it comes to discussing sex, and in a personal and mature way (read, not chummy yuk-yuks with the guys).

I have tried countless times to tell him that whatever they are, it's perfectly natural and normal to have fantasies AND to have them while having sex with someone...even, on occasion, to be fantasizing about someone other than the person we're with at the time. As far as I know, without sexually arousing thoughts/images in our minds, the mood for sex--with anyone--is going to die pretty quickly, whether you're male or female, and whether an SA survivor or not.

I do not always feel a need to know what his fantasies are, whether he's in bed with me at the time or not, and I certainly don't need to know all of them. I too have fantasies it's unlikely I'd ever divulge to anyone, though with enough trust and confidence in my partner's understanding and acceptance (etc) of me, I might be willing to share them at some point with that person. Sometimes, though not often, I can be having sex with B' and thinking about other men (usually faceless ones) having some kind of involvement, but the underlying theme for me is still US. Regardless, in our case I don't try to share ANY of my fantasies with B' anymore, as this just triggers him in countless ways, no matter what the content. Even the mere hint that I might want to talk about such things is enough to get him severely agitated.

Obviously, I can't speak for your wife, but I can tell you what inevitably comes up for me when B' and I are in bed together...thoughts and awarenesses I try desperately to block out (or override with fantasies of my own).

Often enough, things start out with me feeling like he's at least somewhat "present" with me--something that gets me feeling really, really good and is a real turn-on for me. Within minutes, however, I inevitably get the clear sense that B' has "left the building," at which point I start feeling insecure, anxious, unattractive to him, hurt, frustrated, resentful, abandoned, rejected, etc. This never used to be the case, but given our history, it is certainly true for me now and has been for a long time.

I worry about what's going on for him--how he might be perceiving me (if he's thinking of me at all), what might be turning him off about being with me at the time, who and what he might be turning to/enjoying in his head, etc. Obviously, by this point I'm no longer really "present" either and the whole scenario becomes (no doubt for both of us) one of just trying to get us both off as soon as possible, before the ability to even get that far dissipates entirely. [Possible Triggers here] Usually, getting off is not a problem for me, but under such circumstances I'm basically just masterbating myself with his body, which tends to leave me feeling really alone and empty. Meanwhile, he often has trouble getting off and if/when he does it tends to take a long time, with me basically trying to help get him there (as quickly as possible) when I've long since lost the mood. Still, somehow I usually end up feeling that if I can at least hang in there long enough for him to cum (if he can at all), the experience will leave a better feeling aftertaste/memory for both of us than otherwise. Either way, it's not a recipe for breeding closeness and comfort.

Do I worry that he's probably fantasizing about someone else when we're in bed together? You bet. And it hurts. HUGE. I know he looks at porn. I know, for example, that he meets women on the road who excite him. I know that he's had at least two other lovers since we first began seeing each other. I know that he says at least one of those was someone he found hugely exciting and thoroughly enjoyable (it's worth noting that this was NOT someone he was seriously involved with...she was more like the "woman who gets hammered in a bar" that you describe in one of your posts). And he says he doesn't EVER fantasize about me anymore.

What gets me worrying about what's (who's) going on in his head when we're having sex and what hurts so much is that I feel like it's never about me/us. That I don't "do it" for him. That while I'm getting turned on by the closeness, scent, taste, sight, etc, of him, and the idea of being WITH HIM--of being US and together in such a personal, private and meaningful way--he's likely doing all he can to be somewhere else, thinking about something/someone else entirely, just to keep himself turned on enough to have sex with me at all. It's an excruciatingly painful, lonely, humiliating, negating and upsetting feeling.

Having said all that, it's important to add that (on the basis of my past experience with former lovers) I do not believe that I'd find the idea of him fantasizing about someone else nearly so upsetting and threatening if we had a happy, healthy, active sex life together. In fact, there are, however infrequently, times when I might even be turned on by the idea of him being turned on by someone/something else at the time, IF he was sharing the fantasy with me and I felt able to accomodate or play along with it for him. The very sharing of certain fantasies, even sometimes those involving others, can be a hugely exciting and bonding experience, strengthening rather than weakening my sense of connection and joy with my lover. To feel that something I'm doing is exciting him or heightening his pleasure is a hell-uv-an aphrodisiac.

Hopefully I haven't wandered too far off point here. In our case, it's the secrets (his), the not knowing, the inability to even acknowledge, discuss or explore these things with him, that makes it all feel that much more difficult. And most of all, it's my awareness that he finds sex with me such a trial, and increasingly, an utterly unappealling proposition.

You know, B' stayed the night here again last night. And as we lay cuddling this morning I could feel his body showing signs of arousal from time to time, but neither of us gave any sign of acknowledging this...to do so has become far too "dangerous" feeling somehow. I got up mourning over it all and trying not to show it. I sat in the livingroom trying not to wonder if, now that he had some privacy, he was masterbating in my bed. Whether he was or not, I longed for him to want me in there with him, to want ME. And after he got up to shower I couldn't help, as I made the bed, but look for any sign of his having been masterbating...a fact that I know would really piss him off.

I have become so hypervigilant, so hypersensitive, so...pathetic?...about it all. And yet, I probably would have avoided having sex with him anyway--which is a brand new development for me--because I just don't think I can handle another unhappy sexual experience with him right now. Why? Because in my mind it would only reaffirm for him that the problem is one of incompatibility...that I just don't turn him on and that's that. I don't see things that way, but it hardly matters when he won't consider any other possibility/explanation.

I know that you've been open with your wife about much of this stuff and even if it hasn't changed things much for you two sexually, you're a hell-uv-a-lot farther ahead to be able to do so than not. The secrets and the power they can retain are what, for me, kill the most.

Stride



Edited by stride (04/13/07 04:06 PM)
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#150696 - 04/13/07 04:30 PM Re: Lloydy [Re: honey girl]
stride Offline
Member

Registered: 03/07/03
Posts: 202
Loc: B.C. Canada
P.S. What do I do??? I want so much to send this thread to him, or at least talk with him about this stuff today. Somewhere in F & F this morning I read lostcowboy's post about how he'd hasn't had sex with his wife since 1990. It really upset me. I'm afraid that if I don't/can't talk about this stuff with B', our current relationship as lovers who aren't sexual with each other will either just go on and on and on the way it is, or will end with him leaving me for someone else.

Meanwhile, I'm the one who proposed this "new arrangement" of ours and we're only 12 days into it. I want to talk about this stuff WITH HIM, and in a way that he can hear...in a way that will open up the lines of understanding & communication more...in a way that might draw us closer, rather than push him away.

Dave, you suggested that perhaps you (our partners) need to be "upset" more? Care to elaborate?

WHAT DO I DO?

Stride
P.S. The Zibergeld book is an excellent one. The updated version was recommended to me by a sex therapist a few years back and I've read it many times (B' won't go near it). The book is called: "The New Male Sexuality: The Truth about Men, Sex, and Pleasure," by Bernie Zibergeld, PhD (Bantam Books, 1992). I found it in a used bookstore. Definitely worth reading.




Edited by stride (04/13/07 04:35 PM)
_________________________
In the right formation,
the lifting power of many wings can
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#150701 - 04/13/07 04:48 PM Re: Lloydy [Re: stride]
selene Offline
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Registered: 11/10/06
Posts: 221
Loc: midwest
.



Edited by selene (10/04/07 04:17 AM)
_________________________
"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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#150705 - 04/13/07 04:54 PM Re: Lloydy [Re: stride]
stride Offline
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Registered: 03/07/03
Posts: 202
Loc: B.C. Canada
Sorry, one last thing: Another reason I'm so reluctant to try'n talk about these things with B' now is that I know he loves me and doesn't want to hurt me. I'm sure he worries that his being with me only keeps me from the kind of happiness I (or anyone) deserve. Soooo, in addition to everything else, I'm now afraid that rather than trying to slog through all of this stuff with me, he'd just say he can't help the way he is/feels, it's not working for either of us, so it'd be best that we just not see each other as anything more than friends anymore.

That's all very well and good, save for the immeasurable, very special and clearly abiding love/connection we have--something we've each tried to get past many times before, only to find ourselves, respectively, coming face-to-face with the realization
that there's no one else we want to be with. We BOTH want to be together, the only difference there, it seems to me, being that he's much much better at disconnecting himself from his feelings, which enables him to carry on indefinitely, with or without me, telling himself whatever he needs to to rationalize things.

The fear of abandonment is mine.

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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#150707 - 04/13/07 05:17 PM Re: Lloydy [Re: selene]
stride Offline
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Registered: 03/07/03
Posts: 202
Loc: B.C. Canada
"... ok, perhaps i'm weird or childish, but i have never been able to think of anything more arousing and exciting than what i'm doing at the time and who i'm doing it with ..."

Which are sexually arousing thoughts. I didn't mean to infer that one had to thinking or fantasizing about something other than what/who is happening at the time. And yeh, most the time I'm thinking the kind of things you are.

Selene, I have tried to talk to him about all of these things. Many, MANY times. And yes, I have also told him about times like this morning when I've "wondered." His reaction to my sharing about the latter has ranged from anger to disgust to laughter and denial. It's rarely, if ever, felt productive.

I am also aware of his anxieties about his "equipment," performance, etc--always have been--and have done all I can to help alleviate those worries for him. The only signs in all these years that that's helped at all though, are (1) his having finally become willing to go see a dr about getting the pre>
_________________________
In the right formation,
the lifting power of many wings can
achieve twice the distance of any bird flying alone.

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#150719 - 04/13/07 07:18 PM Re: Lloydy [Re: stride]
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
Stride
"But more than that, I quickly became of aware of just how panicked I was at the idea, and so sure, no doubt quite rightly, that if we did give it a go it would end up being yet another disappointment for us both."

We - both partners - seem to be in a Catch 22 situation that neither side is brave enough, or confident enough, to break out of.
More circular behaviour / thinking perhaps?

Kathryn
"And relatedy, because, like you, Rob's fantasies arose out of his sexual abuse, I don't know how to "play" with these fantasies in the way I might be able to if he were just an average bisexual man with bisexual fantasies."

I think I know what your getting at here, correct me if I'm wrong though.
I know that I'm not gay or bi in the regularly accepted manner, I have no desire for any kind of relationship with a man - sexual or otherwise. The confusion that arose for me came from the bj fantasies before I had therapy, I was confused, but not any more.
But I don't think that's your point.
"If" we as partners were in a relationship that was so open and free that it accomodated one partner being bisexual, then the chances are that the sex within the partnership would be based upon the ability to share EVERYTHING. So there would be no shocks, no guilt, no shame, no wondering "what if", there would be total confidence in being able to communicate - no matter what was being requested or suggested. The answer might be "No, piss off !" but there would be no problem in asking.
People have open sex lives, sex shops prove it. Millions of sex toys and films are sold, people dress up, tie each other up, and act out fantasies.

That's normal stuff, the openess. But as you say, "I don't know how to "play" with these fantasies " because you don't know how your partner will react?
For me, asking my wife to play along with my fantasies is a non starter on two counts at least. I just couldn't ask, and how could it be done? ( Answers on a postcard please ! )
If my fantasy involved nurses then it's easy, buy a sexy nursy uniform from a sex shop!
My fantasy has, over time, been misused to a degree that even I don't want it anymore. It just lurks there waiting to catch me out.

Clifford
I'll get that book, I've been looking for something like that for a while now.
I'm also a huge fan of Dr Carnes and have used his web site for a long time now, the sex addiction stuff is very good. I think the online questionaire is very accurate as well.
I know that I have an addictive personality, and my score on the questionaire is way up high. Perhaps, like so many other addictions, abstinence is the solution? Not the perfect one I know, but an asexual relationship that's stable and loving and strives to find other expressions of love and passion might well be better than one that struggles along trying to fix something broken beyond repair?
So many of us are in relationships that are being torn apart by the pressure to have sex as an important part of that relationship, something the media and society has driven into us for decades. Should we place ourselves under that pressure? Maybe not?
Should we try to consign sex to the "nice to have" pile instead of the "I believe it's essential" pile ?

Honeygirl
"I'm a female CSA survivor, as well as the partner of a male CSA survivor, and I coped with PTSD symptoms for a very long time without having any idea what they signaled. One of them was "intrusive thoughts" related to the original abuse incident(s). I am wondering now whether the fantasies associated with particular sorts of sexual activity that are being described here as unpleasant and troubling are not a permutation of the so-called "intrusive thoughts." In some ways, this seems to me like an effort that survivors might make to re-establish a sense of personal control, transforming (or reframing/relabeling) the thoughts that are there without our volition to some extent into ones that we think we can exercise some control over--and perhaps have turn out differently.
Just an idea."


That is exactly how the flashbacks present themselves, as intrusive thoughts. And they are somewhat under my control now, after years of therapy and hard work, but not completely under my control. Sometimes the triggers are more or less guaranteed to set them off, sexual contact being the biggest trigger.
Over the last few years I have got the level of control to a degree where I can make the effect less damaging, but only 'less' - I can't gain total control over them and make them go away, the truth is that these kinds of intrusive thoughts will always be with us, and that the best we can do is "reframe" them in such a way that we can introduce stronger thoughts ( fantasies ) that will overpower them somehow.
Your idea is the right one, replace the bad thought with good thought. It's the battle to do so that's slow and soul destroying.

Stride
"Despite the fact that B' adamantly denies EVER fantasizing or thinking about anything when we're in bed together, I know that that's not true. I really don't get why a man his age would even bother denying it, though I assume he's got major shame and guilt issues related to his fantasy life, whatever it entails."

Ahh, the guilt and shame! It's what brought me and a whole bunch of other guys here.
Most people agree that a fantasy is something inside our heads, and sharing the fantasy does to a degree kill it off. Obviously not completely or I'd be cured and on my favourite 4x4 forum!
Perhaps he can't find another, more acceptable, fantasy to replace the one he's got?

"Obviously, I can't speak for your wife, but I can tell you what inevitably comes up for me when B' and I are in bed together...thoughts and awarenesses I try desperately to block out (or override with fantasies of my own). "

That's very interesting, it works both ways?

"Often enough, things start out with me feeling like he's at least somewhat "present" with me--something that gets me feeling really, really good and is a real turn-on for me. Within minutes, however, I inevitably get the clear sense that B' has "left the building,"

That's exactly what we ( most likely ) did as kids when being abused. We "left the building" !
But what was happeneing to us as we zoned out was that someone was having sex with us. That's a potent mixture of power, physical pleasure, pain, emotions, and all the other stuff associated with abuse, going into an impressionable young boy.
So, what did we learn? Nothing good, that's a fact!

"What gets me worrying about what's (who's) going on in his head when we're having sex and what hurts so much is that I feel like it's never about me/us. That I don't "do it" for him. That while I'm getting turned on by the closeness, scent, taste, sight, etc, of him, and the idea of being WITH HIM--of being US and together in such a personal, private and meaningful way--he's likely doing all he can to be somewhere else, thinking about something/someone else entirely, just to keep himself turned on enough to have sex with me at all. It's an excruciatingly painful, lonely, humiliating, negating and upsetting feeling."

Conversely, I suspect that my wife is thinking something like this. So I try extra hard to look interested. Making love isn't about "looking interested" - I am interested, I just can't seem to show it!

"And yet, I probably would have avoided having sex with him anyway--"

So, we all end up here..........................

"Dave, you suggested that perhaps you (our partners) need to be "upset" more? Care to elaborate?"

Perhaps we end up not having sex with each other because both partners have become too afraid of upsetting the other one. Well, we're grown ups - aren't we?
I, as a survivor, have shed tears and spent a lot of time getting my act together. With some success as well, I'm both happy and proud of where I am today. But it could be better.
I got here by therapy, love and support, understanding and compassion, and all that stuff from the people I love. I appreciate that completely.
How the fuck do I move on from here? I still have all stuff in place, it's there and working and it's ok with me. But am I becoming complacent and comfortable?

Is it too easy for me to suck it all up and make the best of it? My wife does things to ease my life, she knows my triggers and theb things that upset me so she avoids them. Why?
Because she loves me and wants me to be better is why. I can't complain about that can I ?
But life deals some low blows all the time, people do get upset and have bad experiences - they generally deal with them because they learned to deal with crap in the normal way through childhood - we didn't.
But a lot of us are catching up fast. Therapy and the support of loved ones teaches us these skills, we learn to face the hurt in the therapists chair, we cry on our partners shoulders.
So why shouldn't I cry in the bedroom where I know I have 100% love and support to ease me through the trauma of sex and towards making love?
Would I suffer serious trauma that couldn't be fixed if my wife pushed me a bit? I seriously don't think so. I might get pissed off if she kept on pushing, but a 'controlled' push would be welcome.

Obviously that's something a partner would have to think through VERY carefully, and be prepared for some hard time as well.
But is the degree of likely upset so huge? As a husband I get my arse kicked by my wife on a regular basis, I spend too much time in my workshop, there's oil on the towel, I peed on the toilet seat. So what? I get grief - I get over it. I learned that somewhere, so why not use it? Perhaps Selene has the answer?

"... what do you think would happen if you just asked and told him the things you've said above? ... including wondering if he masturbated once you'd gotten out of bed ...

... being honest especially about sex is no easy task ... especially for a csa survivor ... but it CAN happen ... and it seems to me it's even more necessary than usual in order to develop a decent sex life ... "
( Selene)

"Soooo, in addition to everything else, I'm now afraid that rather than trying to slog through all of this stuff with me, he'd just say he can't help the way he is/feels, it's not working for either of us, so it'd be best that we just not see each other as anything more than friends anymore. "

Is this the perceived danger or the reality? I can't tell, not even after 32 years together. I don't even know if my wife feels this way at all, maybe sometimes she does? In the dark times.
I know how I feel, and it's not like that. I would do everything possible to keep the marriage alive. I have said "I can't help the way I feel" so many times, maybe too many times? Perhaps I've come to believe it?

Perhaps I should add "How can I fix it?"

Wheee, that was a long one!
Dave

_________________________
Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've imagined. As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler.
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#150742 - 04/14/07 12:21 AM Re: Lloydy *DELETED* [Re: Lloydy]
selene Offline
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Registered: 11/10/06
Posts: 221
Loc: midwest
Post deleted by 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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#150743 - 04/14/07 12:23 AM Re: Lloydy [Re: selene]
selene Offline
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Registered: 11/10/06
Posts: 221
Loc: midwest
.



Edited by selene (10/04/07 04:12 AM)
_________________________
"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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#150766 - 04/14/07 05:35 AM Re: Lloydy [Re: selene]
stride Offline
Member

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

True enough. And believe me, I've tried--many, many times--but he's generally not been open to that. He will want for us to cuddle quietly and go to sleep, or he will want to get up and eat, or to get up and shower (by himself), or he'll get up suddenly needing to get on with his day doing other things (run errands, go home to practice, make phone calls, do laundry, whatever), giving me a quick kiss goodbye once he's dressed and be gone, with an "I'll call you later" to me on his way out.

At best, any attempts by me to "invite him back in"--subtly or not so subtly--are met with a gentle "hushing" and deflection of any efforts on my part to resume things. Often he seems quite okay at these times with cuddling or having me scratch his back, or sometimes just being silly and playful, but these are almost never segues back into sex. It's as if once the moment's gone for him, it's gone for quite a while (hours at best, but more likely days or weeks). And the last thing I want to do is to be perceived or experienced in any way by him as trying to persuade (which likely equates at some level with "coerce" in his mind/body) or "maneuver" him into doing something sexual that he doesn't already feel like doing. I am NOT his perp but attempts to rekindle the mood when he doesn't show any real sign of wanting to be seduced can leave me feeling like one. Now there's a HORRIBLE feeling.

The sad truth is, we are not talking about someone who is, when it comes down to it, comfortable with his own sexuality, nevermind mine. Consequently, many things that I would feel perfectly safe and free to do with someone else (read, someone without all of his CSA-born issues) have simply proven themselves, repeatedly, to be really bad ideas with him. For now, I'd be thrilled if I could even just get him feeling really turned on by and wanting me (sexually) again for more than a rare and fleeting moment (read, a minute or two) here n' there.

Stride



Edited by stride (04/14/07 05:51 AM)
_________________________
In the right formation,
the lifting power of many wings can
achieve twice the distance of any bird flying alone.

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#150771 - 04/14/07 06:51 AM Re: Lloydy [Re: selene]
stride Offline
Member

Registered: 03/07/03
Posts: 202
Loc: B.C. Canada
Quote:
...i think maybe the way to fight "fantasies" you no longer wish to have is with something different ... like reality ... that's about all i can think of that is more powerful that fantasy ... maybe you can find that reality in the curve of your wife's neck or the way she looks at you that makes you certain that she loves you or kissing her, crying and shaking if you have to, until you *know* it's not the same as your abuse ...

.. i think reality, feeling more rather then feeling less, may be a way to connect with your wife again, dave ... it's done wonders for us ...



Selene,

I couldn't agree with you more. Perhaps Dave, you are ready for this with your wife?

I have suggested exactly these kinds of things to B'...tried to convey to him that other realities and experiences beyond the ones he perceives or is familiar with are very possible--and not just *possible* but pleasurable, freeing, rewarding, affirming...all that good stuff. Still, he insists that *I* should "get real," that sex is a physical act having little to nothing to do with emotional feelings and connection. In his mind "good" sex is dependent (for him) upon "buff," young looking and attractive bodies, rock hard erections, tight pussies, and nonverbal interactions where the goal is penetrate and then ensure that his lover achieves orgasm (and preferably more than one) before he does, and all without taking too long. To hear him tell it, sex is about f*king and physical release, plain and simple. The term "making love" is just some icky, flaky notion made up by people like me who want to try to make sex out to be something more than it is and perhaps even ruin it all by wanting to dress it up that way.

B' does not seem to get how the curve of my neck, hip or back, the sides of my breasts, or the silkiness of my hair in his fingers can be a turn-on. He does not understand how I can get so turned on just stroking his belly--especially if he's gained a couple of pounds or lost any muscle tone there--how I can get so turned on just by looking at him even when he's covered in sawdust, sweat or what-have-you...Likewise, he doesn't understand, for example, how I could possibly hope that he'd find me very exciting if I've gained a few pounds or am not very toned at the time. For him, physical attraction is dependent upon what kind of shape one's in and how one looks. I'm a slim, good-looking woman who looks younger than I am, but I don't have the body of a pin-up and as far as I'm concerned, that's not "it." He's in excellent shape, but he's also grey-haired and thinning, and I love to kiss that balding spot at the back of his head. He doesn't get that at all. So, to try to suggest the kinda stuff you're talking about here Selene is definitely a "no-go" with him thus far.

The point is that for him emotions, *feelings* and experiencing each other in sensory ways beyond things like direct genital stimulation seem to play only a very minor role at best when it comes to what makes sex exciting, desirable or good....At worst, they can seem a definite turn-off for him. He can tell me that he loves me outside of the bedroom, but never in bed. He can tell me that I look good or even "hot," but never in bed. He can look at me with appreciation when I'm dressed up in something he likes, but not in the bedroom.

B' thinks that I'm "crazy" to be able to be so turned by and into him just because he's who he is, young or old, buff or not, 6-pack abs or round belly, tanned or white-skinned, broke or doing well. Likewise, he believes it entirely unrealistic of me to expect that he could be turned on by me just because I'm me.

I have no argument with what you suggest at all, Selene. The challenge in my case is to find a way to open him up to the possibilities and joys of which you speak. But for so long as his mind remains closed to other possibilities, they're just not going to work for him...

Dave, it does seem to me that you may be ready for the things Selene suggests, though only you can say for sure. If so, I think you'll find that a whole new, incredibly beautiful and magical world awaits both you and your wife.

Stride
P.S. Selene--I am SO happy for you! May this new path you and your husband are on continue. It's certainly inspiring to hear about how far you've journeyed together and where you are with each other now.




Edited by stride (04/14/07 07:50 AM)
_________________________
In the right formation,
the lifting power of many wings can
achieve twice the distance of any bird flying alone.

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#150826 - 04/14/07 06:48 PM Re: Lloydy [Re: stride]
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
Selene
I first read the replies about 2 hours ago, and now I have composed myself enough to reply.
The truth is your reply shook me rigid! EVERYTHING you wrote in the first part makes sense to me, I know what you say makes sense.
So why don't I just do it?
I'm scared I guess, scared of getting it wrong, scared of my hopes and expectations not being fulfilled, loads of stuff like that. None of it logical.
Thanks for reinforcing it though, it might be the arse kicking I need?

Quote:
... how do you fix it? ... i don't think it's broken ... i think maybe you just need to let go ... let go of your fear and expectations and memories and the good and the bad and just be there with your wife


Is it that simple? perhaps it is?

Quote:
Quote:
the truth is that these kinds of intrusive thoughts will always be with us, and that the best we can do is "reframe" them in such a way that we can introduce stronger thoughts ( fantasies ) that will overpower them somehow.


... i don't believe this is a truth at all, dave ... i don't believe those thoughts are destined to be with you always ... and i don't think you can fight one fantasy with another fantasy ... the original fantasy has the power of abuse behind it so it will always win out, always be stronger ... i think maybe the way to fight "fantasies" you no longer wish to have is with something different ... like reality ... that's about all i can think of that is more powerful that fantasy ... maybe you can find that reality in the curve of your wife's neck or the way she looks at you that makes you certain that she loves you or kissing her, crying and shaking if you have to, until you *know* it's not the same as your abuse ...

.. i think reality, feeling more rather then feeling less, may be a way to connect with your wife again, dave ... it's done wonders for us ...


The memories will always remain, of that I'm pretty sure. But the memories are something that I have already dealt with and can continue to so. The problem is that the fantasies and the memories are inextricably linked, and I can't see any way to separate them.
But I like the idea of fighting the fantasy with reality, it's actually the common sense thing that 'we' as partners should do I suppose. When I get triggered / start fantasizing I should call time out while I get grounded again - bring some reality back to the situation instead of internalizing it and then suffering the meltdown as I fight the conflicts!
Drag me back into the building - please

Stride
Quote:
And the last thing I want to do is to be perceived or experienced in any way by him as trying to persuade (which likely equates at some level with "coerce" in his mind/body) or "maneuver" him into doing something sexual that he doesn't already feel like doing. I am NOT his perp


Is this always going to be our problem?
Possibly, if BOTH partners let it.
I know that my wife feels this is a problem for her, so it goes right against the suggestion I made earlier about the partner pushing us a bit and dealing with the upset as it happens in the hope that eventually the upset gets dealt with, either between the couple or through therapy.
Catch 22 again, you're damned if you do and damned if you don't!
Somewhere there's a balance, there's got to be. But do both parties stick too rigidly to that magic spot where we believe the balance lies? Do we need more flexability in where it lies and the margin of 'upset' each side? I think we do.

How closed have our minds become as we battle through our healing? Do we blindly accept the 'truths' of healing such as "all survivors feel xxxxxx and yyyyy if ab and c happened to them"?
I know there are 'truths' as well as anyone here, it's uncanny how similar we are as survivors sometimes.
But just because it's a common trait, and we can see the cause and effect, our therapists lead us along these familiar tracks and confirm their validity, should we just sit back and ACCEPT that as gospel and then do fuck all about it?

Perhaps I'm being a bit harsh here, I know we 'do something' about it, but it seems as though there's a second stage that we need to get to grips with. We've found out the basics, we've controlled the worst of our behaviours and overcome the worst of
our problems.
What about the fine tuning?

The basics have made us stronger people, that's something we read everyday here at MS and other survivor sites. We're stronger from the instant we make a decision to seek help.
So, are we afraid of using that new found strength? I think we probably are, because we don't know what to do with it or how to use it to our best advantage. It's yet another thing we didn't learn in the regular way of growing up.

While I was quiet on MS I wasn't sitting around ignoring the subject of survivors issues, far from it, I was involved but somewhere else.
I am also in contact via email with a survivor in the US who if left alone in a room with a therapist would probably shoot him!
This guy is a bit crazy to say the least, but we get on just fine.
He's also of the "kick their fucking arses and tell them to deal with it!" school of healing, not a politically correct, or medically recognised, method of treatment. So you can imagine the 'interesting' discussions we have!
But he does make some sense, and 'arse kicking' is something I'd like to include in a model of counseling and therapy alongside the recognised models. Obviously it's something that wouldn't be done at the start and would have to be done according to the clients resilience to getting upset. It's a fine line between a wake up call and alienating the client.

I wouldn't dare to do it as an inexperienced counsellor, but I know a few survivors personally and closely enough to recognise those of us that would respond to an arse kicking.
Where it comes from probably makes not much difference, although a partner has much more to loose if it all goes pear shaped.

So, instead of saying "sorry" when you initiate sex and he backs off, should you be saying "Listen to me and listen good, I'm NOT your fucking abuser!"

Perhaps I'm barking up the wrong tree here? I don't know....
But I do know that I take notice when my wife 'TELLS' me something!

Dave

_________________________
Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've imagined. As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler.
Henry David Thoreau

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