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#151203 - 04/16/07 08:44 PM Just Checking In
sweet-n-sour Offline
Member

Registered: 10/03/06
Posts: 409
Loc: chicago
Hello, I know I haven't posted in a while. Husband has asked that I step back from the issues between us for a bit, so I've done just that. I believe I was to the point where I just wanted to dive right in, sort everything out, then I was hoping to get on with life. (Sort of in a express drive thru sort of style.) The poor darling was overwhelmed...he has asked me to be patient and I'm wokring on just that.
No one said any of this was easy.
Best Wishes,
Sweet-n-Sour

_________________________
"As long as he continues to try, I will meet him in that determination and commitment."

cm 2007

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#151216 - 04/16/07 09:21 PM Re: Just Checking In [Re: sweet-n-sour]
WalkingSouth Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/30/05
Posts: 16264
Hi s-n-s,

I read your post with interest and I'm impressed that you and your husband have come to this agreement. I hope it works out for you guys. I understand it can be a very delicate balance between being of support and being a problem to a spouse. I feel for the family members here who are putting up with us through all this.

From our viewpoint it can be quite intimidating, frustrating, and even angering when our S/O's get their feet planted square in the middle of our recovery. No offense intended with that statement. It's just that sometimes my wife is in there trying to manage my recovery, and I've heard some of the other guys say the same thing. They often seem to think if they can get in there and orchestrate things they can get us all straightened out on their schedule and in 3.5 months we'll be all fixed and they can have us back again. I wish it were that simple.

I have to say that all things considered, my wife's been really great. We've had some real whopper disagreements, but we stay engaged in dialog, and it works out. She's a survivor also who is in the process of working through some of those issues so it can get pretty harry at times.

Anyhow, I tell you this so you can hear it from another survivor besides your husband. We need a wife, lover, companion, confidant, listener, sweetheart, etc. We love you to death and appreciate your willingness to listen, love and support, as well as your patience while we do it our way. We realize it's not the way you'd do it, but it's our recovery. We need it to be ours. This was all caused by someone taking by force what was ours and should have remained ours, and we are in the process of trying to take back what was taken from us.

I hope I haven't stepped on any toes here, because that is not the intent of this post at all! Sometimes what I mean is not what comes out and I'm hoping this is not one of those times.

Lots of love,

John





Edited by walkingsouth (04/17/07 01:08 AM)
_________________________
“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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#151224 - 04/16/07 09:56 PM Re: Just Checking In [Re: WalkingSouth]
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/02/05
Posts: 22045
Loc: Carlisle, PA
S-n-S,

I think your attitude is so healthy for the both of you. As John says, it's sometimes difficult for us to cope with the role of someone we desperately need and want in our lives, but who has needs and concerns of her own that may not harmonize with ours so easily.

It just goes to show how important honest communication is. You two seem to have that, and I am sure that will serve you very well as you continue on your journey.

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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#151259 - 04/17/07 12:54 AM Re: Just Checking In [Re: roadrunner]
stride Offline
Member

Registered: 03/07/03
Posts: 202
Loc: B.C. Canada
S-N-S, Walkin and Roadrunner,

Thank you all for the timely reminder. I know that I'm too often guilty of "trying to orchestrate things," though I am getting better at staying out of both of our way!

John: I certainly recognize myself and B' in the dynamics you describe. You've not stepped on any toes at all! Indeed your reflections and wisdom couldn't have come at a better time for me. I thank you and, without his even knowing it, B' thanks you too! <grin>

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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#151260 - 04/17/07 01:12 AM Re: Just Checking In [Re: stride]
WalkingSouth Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/30/05
Posts: 16264
\:\) Thanks.

I've tried to put that into words for a very long time and it never happened, so thanks also to s-n-s for sparking my thinker. It helps so much to be able to express those thoughts that are in there and yet have no words attached.

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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#151264 - 04/17/07 04:19 AM Re: Just Checking In [Re: WalkingSouth]
sweet-n-sour Offline
Member

Registered: 10/03/06
Posts: 409
Loc: chicago
Dear John:
You have certainly not stepped on any toes here! I appreciate your insight and wisdom from experience.
I think however in our case, it was not so much that I was trying to take over my husband's recovery, but more so I finally realized how much the csa had effected us.
We had evolved into a mode to where I no longer confronted my husband face to face if there was something I didn't agree with. It became a pattern that he'd get angry, flex some temper and then I'd back off...almost to the point where his anger was allowing him free reign over our relationship.
That's where this becomes interesting...when we became computer owners, I resorted to email in order to voice my feelings. Somehow, any sort of emotion falls flat in an electronic letter. (Although the positive is that most words are well thought out with specific consideration.)
Now, after some work in couples therapy, I realized that I am not afraid of my husband's temper. Needless to say, all of a sudden I was speaking out face to face, voicing many years worth of bottled up feelings.
I truly can understand how overwhelming this must have been to him. It was probably a lot like turning up the volume from zero to full blast on the stereo. No one would appreciate that!
Although he described our relationship as chaotic, my de>
_________________________
"As long as he continues to try, I will meet him in that determination and commitment."

cm 2007

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#151265 - 04/17/07 04:52 AM Re: Just Checking In [Re: sweet-n-sour]
sweet-n-sour Offline
Member

Registered: 10/03/06
Posts: 409
Loc: chicago
Dear Larry:
Hello, and if I did not officially welcome you back to MS, I'd like to take this opportunity to mention how much you had been missed!
To be honest, supporting a spouse is often a bit of a challenge. Without any sort of specific guidelines to follow, it is often difficult to know when to speak up and when to remain silent.
If a decision husband makes effects me directly, should I voice my concerns or go along with him regardless if I agree or not?
I'd really appreciate some input on this. Like I mentioned above, much of this is not easy.
Best wishes,
Sweet-N-Sour

_________________________
"As long as he continues to try, I will meet him in that determination and commitment."

cm 2007

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#151266 - 04/17/07 05:01 AM Re: Just Checking In [Re: sweet-n-sour]
sweet-n-sour Offline
Member

Registered: 10/03/06
Posts: 409
Loc: chicago
Dear Stride:
Hello. Finding the proper balance is sure a challenge. Support without taking over the recovery, knowing when to speak up or to be silent...regretting not saying anything, regretting that we did...all very complicated.
I believe it is very important to share things as we figure them out especially here. I believe we all want the same thing...a positive future with the survivor we love.
Best wishes,
Sweet-n-Sour

_________________________
"As long as he continues to try, I will meet him in that determination and commitment."

cm 2007

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#151274 - 04/17/07 07:56 AM Re: Just Checking In [Re: sweet-n-sour]
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/02/05
Posts: 22045
Loc: Carlisle, PA
Sweet-n-Sour,

Originally Posted By: sweet-n-sour
If a decision husband makes effects me directly, should I voice my concerns or go along with him regardless if I agree or not?


I think you should definitely voice your concerns, especially if something he has in mind is going to affect you. The operative idea here is that in a healthy relationship there is honest communication; both partners express their ideas and concerns openly and without fear of being judged.

The ideal isn't always easy to achieve, of course, but do remember that your feelings and concerns aren't cancelled by the fact that he's a survivor of sexual abuse. And many times your husband will benefit enormously from your example if he sees you displaying strength and confidence. After all, your commitment to him is tied up in all this. Which is better: for him to see your commitment as part of your strength or part of your weakness?

It's so difficult to express in words the inner turmoil of recovery from abuse. I feel I have come a long way, for example, but I can look back now and see how completely my sense of boundaries and value had been destroyed by five years of childhood abuse. Having swept away so much of the old crap that I used to believe about myself, I now find that I often don't know what to replace it with, or what to do with my new sense of freedom and value.

For example, abuse taught me that I was worthless and that I deserved what was happening to me. Now I know and believe and trust in the fact that all that was just not true. I AM a decent worthy man with a lot to offer. I can be ME and that's okay. That's a wonderful fulfilling feeling, but what does it mean? How do I translate that into action? Where is the dividing line between standing up for yourself and being difficult, for example? Where does asking for your needs to be met turn into selfishness? And so on.

If my wife is strong for herself first, that not only gives me some guidelines as to where the boundaries are, but also gives me a kind of beacon to home in on. In a wild and wacky (but wonderful) way, her own sense of self-confidence and self-esteem gives me a solid reference point for rebuilding my own.

In a very real sense it comes down to a choice: are we going to grow and progress together, or just drift and suffer together? And if it's the latter, how long can that last before everything just collapses in frustration and despair?

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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#151291 - 04/17/07 11:21 AM Re: Just Checking In [Re: roadrunner]
sweet-n-sour Offline
Member

Registered: 10/03/06
Posts: 409
Loc: chicago
Dear Larry:
Thanks for that thought provoking response to my question. I agree wholeheartedly that honest communication without fear is all part of a healthy relationship. Things between husband and I had gotten derailed somewhere along the way in this regard. My biggest challenge right now is in pacing myself as to not go at everything all at once or in a burst of relief. I have been hurt quite a bit throughout the years but the hurt is minor in comparison to the love I feel for my husband. I know it is going to take plenty of time, a lot of listening/communicating on both of our parts...in addition to patience.

I appreciate your account of what the abuse did to your sense of self. I am moved by the strength in all of the survivors that I've met; to step forward and reclaim what was taken away so many years ago.

I have been working on personal growth and establishing personal boudaries not just with my husband but with my relation (brothers, sisters, parents) as well. I think somehow I fell into the old family dynamics at being the youngest of seven children. Instead of asserting myself to have my needs met all along, the pattern in growing up was to just adapt to what was presented to me. Needless to say, I carried this pattern well into my marriage. IN this I became a people pleaser and never truly looked within myself to determine what it was I wanted exactly. Times are changing though...I am growing and what just months ago I believed was a negative thing to go through turns out to be the most profound life changing opportunity that I have ever experienced thus far. I believe the secret is to look within first for improvement then everything else will fall into place.

Thanks so much for your insight!

Best wishes to you,
Sweet-n-Sour

_________________________
"As long as he continues to try, I will meet him in that determination and commitment."

cm 2007

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#151292 - 04/17/07 11:45 AM Re: Just Checking In [Re: sweet-n-sour]
Brokenhearted Offline
Member

Registered: 08/07/06
Posts: 644
Loc: TX
SNS,

Congratulations on coming to an agreement with your husband about the pace of his recovery. I will just add that we have similar situations; I have been married 14 yrs and just now understand the face also, of the ghost that has haunted our relationship all along.

My personal current hard thing is to not excuse any bad behavior of his simply b/c he is a wounded soul, as my empathy for him is off the charts and I have been so heartbroken in learning about csa and what it does to people. Also he is quiet so much of the time and I don't know whether he is able to even voice his needs, so I never know whether I should try to hug him or leave him alone or what.

I am like you also in that I've always just wanted everyone to be happy and just wanted "peace" so I would subjugate myself to my family and my husband many times over the yrs. Even now it is often hard to know what *I* need or even want. I have been so busy trying to intuit what others need and want.

_________________________
Brokenhearted

It were better for him that a millstone were hanged around his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones.
Luke 17:2

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#151299 - 04/17/07 12:48 PM Re: Just Checking In [Re: Brokenhearted]
sweet-n-sour Offline
Member

Registered: 10/03/06
Posts: 409
Loc: chicago
Dear Brokenhearted:

Hello! It is all so very complicated, yes? I believe what the key is to striving for better is open communication. It's finding the balance however, that is quite the challenge.
As you mentioned in your post regarding your husband being quiet so much of the time, this silence often feeds our anxiety. Without saying, "hey, I'm working on some issues right now, please give me some space," how are we to guess what is going on?

I think Brokenhearted that once you begin to establish some boundaries (even something as simple as telling your family "no" once in a while) it will all become aparent what your true needs are exactly.

I reached a personal turning point when I realized I was allowing my relation/husband's relation to dictate what we did all the time. I have recently established in both phone conversation and now with email that my husband and children are number one in my life...that although I love my brothers, sisters, parents that they have been reclassified as "relation." Family is within our own household only. It was such a lifting to feel as if I finally had some say in what we did...in many ways I was just doing what everyone always expected me to do...to go where I was expected to go. The fact is, we spent Easter weekend here at home this year. You can't imagine how liberating it was to finally stake claim to our own lives!

Times are changing and all for the better!

It was nice to hear from you again Brokenhearted.

Best wishes,

Sweet-n-Sour

_________________________
"As long as he continues to try, I will meet him in that determination and commitment."

cm 2007

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#151352 - 04/17/07 07:35 PM Re: Just Checking In [Re: sweet-n-sour]
Trish4850 Offline
BoD Liaison Emeritus
MaleSurvivor<

Registered: 10/15/05
Posts: 3280
Loc: New Jersey
SnS & John,

You two put things very much in perspective and I thank you. I'm trying very hard to accomplish this task, and I'm afraid I'm not doing a very good job. It's not that I open the day or close the evening saying that we've got to "talk." Far from it actually, but I know I definately don't handle things exactly the way I should sometimes.

It's a problem that we both recognize and have talked about, but both of us are floudering around trying to find a balance. I've been invited back to see his T again tomorrow night and we agreed that this exact subject will be part if not all of our conversation.

Luckily, we are keeping the lines of communication open and we both recognize we're making mistakes and stepping in each other's way. Hopefully, the T will be able to give us some insight as to how to work our way out of the muck.

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

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

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#151355 - 04/17/07 07:57 PM Re: Just Checking In [Re: sweet-n-sour]
WalkingSouth Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/30/05
Posts: 16264
Hi again S-N-S,

It's interesting isn't it how we all view the world, relationships, events, and filter it all through the lens of our own experiences? I misunderstood exactly what it was you were saying because, well, because! ^ ;\) And that's OK because I finally was able to put into words something within me that heretofore had none attached.

The wife and I have been where you and your hubby are in the past. I usually end up retreating because I can't take the barrage directed my way. I've found it works much better to stay engaged in the dialog long enough to be able to communicate to her that my ability to assimilate what she's dumping on me is pretty limited and we're going to have to agree on another format. 30 years of habit die off with some degree of difficulty, but we're seeing a good deal of progress. There's still some degree of raised voices and frustration, but even through that we are able to communicate what we need the other to understand. It feels really GOOD!

Thanks for sharing your journey with us. It helps.

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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#151382 - 04/17/07 10:04 PM Re: Just Checking In [Re: WalkingSouth]
Brokenhearted Offline
Member

Registered: 08/07/06
Posts: 644
Loc: TX
Y'all keep talking about keeping the lines of communication open. Maybe the lines open after recovery begins? My H doesn't talk much and if I try to ask what he's thinking or anything like that, he won't tell me anyway. I wish for open, honest communication, hiding nothing. We've probably never had that in our 14 yrs so far.

At dinner or anytime we're together, I'M still the one to try to get a conversation going, about anything, how was your day, how's your steak, etc., and keep it going myself too. It's like pulling teeth to get him to talk much at all.

I've read that many survivors are/were like this also...and that some changed to where now they talk and talk and talk. I wonder what happened.

I know, patience....

_________________________
Brokenhearted

It were better for him that a millstone were hanged around his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones.
Luke 17:2

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#151410 - 04/18/07 04:49 AM Re: Just Checking In [Re: Brokenhearted]
sweet-n-sour Offline
Member

Registered: 10/03/06
Posts: 409
Loc: chicago
Dear John:
I was glad to touch on something that helped you put into words what you had been feeling. As a hobby, I write stories. There was one story that was sort of a study I did. I took an event and retold it from four different perspectives. What I realized in doing this is that we all take away something different from the same view! This is excellent because perspective is everything and that is what is so wonderful about this forum!

I am feeling very good at three in the morning here. My insomnia is just insomnia...no worry or fear involved. I truly believe that everything will be okay with husband and I. We had a couples therapy session last evening and there have been some very positive strides between us.

Thank you for sharing.

Best Wishes,
Sweet-n-Sour

_________________________
"As long as he continues to try, I will meet him in that determination and commitment."

cm 2007

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#151411 - 04/18/07 05:03 AM Re: Just Checking In [Re: sweet-n-sour]
sweet-n-sour Offline
Member

Registered: 10/03/06
Posts: 409
Loc: chicago
Dear Brokenhearted:
I see your point regarding communication. If someone refuses to open up, then what?

Are you currently in couples therapy in addition to your husband attending counseling on his own? I can attest that it does help tremendously to have someone on the outside point us in the right direction.

I understand your frustration with your husband and if I will say, you are one of the most patient women that I've ever happened across. I truly admire you for that remarkable quality.

I wish there were simple answers in all of this. I believe we are all just trying to figure everything out as we go along.

Take care,
Sweet-n-Sour

_________________________
"As long as he continues to try, I will meet him in that determination and commitment."

cm 2007

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#151412 - 04/18/07 05:09 AM Re: Just Checking In [Re: sweet-n-sour]
sweet-n-sour Offline
Member

Registered: 10/03/06
Posts: 409
Loc: chicago
Dear Trish:

Finding the right balance of communication is such a challenge! It sounds as if you are on the right track with the help of therapy in this.

When you said: "Luckily, we are keeping the lines of communication open and we both recognize we're making mistakes and stepping in each other's way. Hopefully, the T will be able to give us some insight as to how to work our way out of the muck." I believe a large part of the challenge is recognizing what works and what doesn't work in addition to maintaining the consideration for one another. You seem to have this!

Best wishes,
Sweet-n-Sour

_________________________
"As long as he continues to try, I will meet him in that determination and commitment."

cm 2007

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#151524 - 04/18/07 04:47 PM Re: Just Checking In [Re: sweet-n-sour]
fantagrl Offline
Guest

Registered: 04/18/07
Posts: 48
s-n-s:

I just wanted to thank you again for lending me your ear earlier today in chat. I am so thankful you were on today and reached out to me like you did. And I'm greatful there is a site like this where people can help eachother, there aren't a lot of resources out there for this. THANK YOU SO MUCH.


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#151587 - 04/18/07 08:44 PM Re: Just Checking In [Re: fantagrl]
sweet-n-sour Offline
Member

Registered: 10/03/06
Posts: 409
Loc: chicago
Dear Fantagrl:
I was glad to lend my ear to you. I see you have gotten some wonderful guidance from the male survivors on this site and I hope the weight of what you are feeling seems less in just knowing that you are not alone here.
Your bf is a lucky man to have someone so caring and concerned on his side.
Anytime you need to vent, we are all here for one another.
All my best to you,
Sweet-n-Sour

_________________________
"As long as he continues to try, I will meet him in that determination and commitment."

cm 2007

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#151602 - 04/18/07 09:16 PM Re: Just Checking In [Re: sweet-n-sour]
Brokenhearted Offline
Member

Registered: 08/07/06
Posts: 644
Loc: TX
SNS, no, not in couple's therapy yet. H keeps saying he's "not ready," why, I don't know....unless he wants separate counseling for himself now, which is fine w/ me, or maybe he's afraid I'll bring more of the important issues to the forefront for us to deal w/, such as his painful past that is affecting us left and right.

Thanks for your kind comments. It's hard at times....I guess that is why I take an anti-depressant/anti-anxiety pill. It keeps me stable while dealing w/ all the rollercoaster.

And yes, when our survivors are silent....we aren't sure if we need to worry or what. LIke we don't want them to shut us out again, right?

_________________________
Brokenhearted

It were better for him that a millstone were hanged around his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones.
Luke 17:2

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#151682 - 04/19/07 09:31 AM Re: Just Checking In [Re: Brokenhearted]
sweet-n-sour Offline
Member

Registered: 10/03/06
Posts: 409
Loc: chicago
Dear Brokenhearted:

Maybe your husband's therapist will eventually recommend couples therapy and he will agree. My husband was very fortunate to find a therapist that had experience with sexual abuse issues in addition to being a couples therapist. I believe he was able to sense how much my husband and I truly would like to make it through this together so he was able to help us work through some of the issues that were hovering over our heads.

I hope that you will be given the opportunity with your husband to have an unbiased opinion. Without knowing what is going on, without your husband confiding in you, it all must be feeding into your anxiety about it. I truly feel for you! This is all so difficult to begin with and yet, without being offered any sort of information it must be particularly difficult to cope with.

Keep your chin up Brokenhearted! Remember you are not alone here...we all understand because we are all facing similar circumstances everyday.

Best wishes,
Sweet-n-Sour

_________________________
"As long as he continues to try, I will meet him in that determination and commitment."

cm 2007

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#151827 - 04/20/07 04:11 AM Re: Just Checking In [Re: sweet-n-sour]
beccy Offline
Member

Registered: 05/28/06
Posts: 449
Loc: england
SNS/Brokenhearted,


i just wanted to say my bf is also very distant and very quiet very often. I find it really really hard to deal with and totally get anxious about what's going on for him. Last night he was very distant and said he noticed i was different than usual and he said how nice that was. Actually for quite a long time time i haven't been really much bothering him when he goes distant. More like giving him space and me getting on with my own thing. Perhaps last night i was warmer towards him within that? Really though, it seems to me alot to ask of someone, that they are warm and loving, even though they're partner hardly speaks, or reassures about what's going on for them. I mean in the context of what's happened over the past year. Just a thought. I suppose that probably means i shouldn't do that again, as i'll only end up resentful? It gets hard to keep being the nice person you know you are..........



peace
Beccy


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