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#177255 - 08/30/07 06:47 PM A survivor looking for a partner
mogigo Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 04/24/07
Posts: 1331
Loc: Colorado
Where do I start? Do I bring it up, do I wait until later to broach this subject. I can't imagine bringing a partner into my life considering what I've read here. Yea, come on in and enjoy my disfunction. What would you have said to the problems your facing now if you had known before what you were getting into. Not bloody likely eh.

Is it possible for me to find love, when I started dealing with everything this was my goal, to not be alone anymore. But after the post's here it seems like I'm dooming any partner to misory. Is it worth it? I just don't know if it's fair to another. Am I doomed to be alone, I'd rather be alone than drag someone into this.

What would you have said if you'd have known this was the way it was going to be.

Good luck on trying to be nice ladies. The truth is all I want.

Stay Strong
Mike

_________________________
Thriving

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#177260 - 08/30/07 06:59 PM Re: A survivor looking for a partner [Re: mogigo]
healingpartner Offline
Guest

Registered: 04/04/07
Posts: 407
Interesting question.

Would I be with my husband if I knew before...probably not. But I was 22 when we started dating and rob will testify as naive as they come. I had an extremely sheltered controlled childhood. My parents may be considered by some to be fundamentalists. I was so naive I was down right dangerous to my own safey. Some here will vouch that I still can be a bit naive at 38.

He waited 14.5 years of marriage to tell me. After I had asked him directly if he had been abused, we saw a sex therapist who asked, marriage counselors, and he denied it. That is hard. Because I took on all of the dysfunction in our sex life as mine. I was very naive. He is the only one I have been with. I thought I must really suck at this if he doesn't want it. And began self loathing and contempt.

My point in telling you this is if you are asked, don't deny. Doesn't mean everything needs to be told in detail, but don't make her think it is her problem. That is what hurts more than anything. Knowing he watched my pain and let me think it was me.
It also makes it hard to believe some the answers to some other tough questions

Be honest. Now, looking back, would I be here? Honestly, depends on the day. But I have 2 great kids.

I'd be happy to pm more if you like.
Lorie



Edited by healingpartner (08/30/07 07:01 PM)

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#177264 - 08/30/07 07:17 PM Re: A survivor looking for a partner [Re: healingpartner]
Kathryn Offline
Guest

Registered: 02/08/07
Posts: 303


I have to agree with Lorie. The problem isn't so much the problems -- it's how they're dealt with. Simply being honest and owning one's own emotions/problems is key and is what allows life to move forward.

The pain you see on the part of the partners is largely the result of people not owning their own stuff and giving it to someone else -- like Lorie taking on the emotions of the sexual stuff.

The pain has little to do with the facts, even the difficult facts like sexual dysfunction. The pain is how it's dealt with and given away for the partner to experience so the survivor doesn't have to.

But it seems to me that your concern will serve you well in not setting up this very toxic dynamic.

Take care,
Katie


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#177266 - 08/30/07 07:28 PM Re: A survivor looking for a partner [Re: healingpartner]
mogigo Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 04/24/07
Posts: 1331
Loc: Colorado
Hey HP, thank you. I wanted to hear something like "oh yea, love conquers all" lol. Just kidding. I think I did the same thing, I've only ever been with one partner except of course my assaulter and she did take on my disfunction as her own. Still have much guilt over this but I've since disclosed to her only so I could let her know it wasn't her. Hard shit, but I felt she deserved to know.

Thank you HP, honesty is so refreshing.

Stay Strong
Mike

_________________________
Thriving

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#177268 - 08/30/07 07:32 PM Re: A survivor looking for a partner [Re: mogigo]
mogigo Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 04/24/07
Posts: 1331
Loc: Colorado
Tx Katie

love ya

Mike

_________________________
Thriving

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#177285 - 08/30/07 08:38 PM Re: A survivor looking for a partner [Re: mogigo]
Kathryn Offline
Guest

Registered: 02/08/07
Posts: 303


I was just puruising old posts and ran across a really great thread about the value some have found in this group. And it's the thing that is so simple, yet rarely had: simply speaking from the heart.

It's that simple Mike. And that difficult. But don't confuse the distinction between the two.

Ultimatley, it's what we all want, more than anything, even sex or the "right" sex.

Not honesty as in "Honesty is very important to me, I always tell the truth".

It's more than that, or maybe less than that. It's simply expressing what's in one's heart.

Women fall all over the place for that.

Everything else is icing on the cake, and we can make of that whatever we will: chocolate, vanilla, swirls.... It's just play.

K.


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#177292 - 08/30/07 08:53 PM Re: A survivor looking for a partner [Re: Kathryn]
dannym Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/24/07
Posts: 543
Loc: Boulder, Colorado
I agree it is a very intersting question, so I put it to my wife.

She said, yes, but she wish she had known, because then she would have had a choice. She said she thinks the choice would have been to marry me, but it would have been nice to be able to make that choice.

But the question got me thinking. If those of us who are married knew a lot of the difficulties that arise with relationships, would we have gotten into them? If my wife knew I would be come a terrible alcoholic, would she have married me? If I had known she would be stricken with a terrible disease that has limited so much of what she can do - and has added an enormous amount of responsibility to me, would I have said "I do?". If I had known that raising children could bring such challenges, would I have wanted to have them? If I knew that friendships can be difficult sometimes, would i have made friends? I thinks on most counts, I . would say "Yes, absolutely". The joy and contentment I get from all those relationships make my life enjoyable.. they make the pain I feel much more bearable.

I think honesty is the best way to go. People come with baggage... all people, not just survivors, and if we can be upfront about that, all the better. But life has no guarantees. Partners get old, sick, drunk, cheat, die - a lot of baggage gets added on in life, and if you can love each other, communicate, negotiate and compromise, you can get around an amazing amount of obstacles.

Would any of us do half of the things we've attempted in our lives if we knew they would be so difficult? Probably depends on the person. But I have few regrets with the people that mean the most to me - my wife, my kids, my friends, my family - they accept me with all my issues and I accept them with theirs.

Just my two cents. Hope it was ok
Dan

_________________________
"You should listen to your heart, and not the voices in your head."

Marge Simpson

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#177293 - 08/30/07 09:00 PM Re: A survivor looking for a partner [Re: dannym]
dannym Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/24/07
Posts: 543
Loc: Boulder, Colorado
Oh, forgot to add... my wife closed our discussion by saying, "If you knew I'd interit my mother's butt, would you have married me?"

Hmmmmm - good questions \:\)
Dan

_________________________
"You should listen to your heart, and not the voices in your head."

Marge Simpson

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#177321 - 08/30/07 11:18 PM Re: A survivor looking for a partner [Re: dannym]
savemyfam Offline
Guest

Registered: 07/17/07
Posts: 144
Loc: Chicago
Hi Mike!

I agree with all that Lorie, Katie and Dan said - I especially love what Dan's wife said about her mothers butt!!!!!

I'm going to give you perspective from a wife whose husband is in denial and is not honest and has not owned his issues. It sucks!!!!

He spent many years balling up his self loathing, insecurities and shame and hurled it all at me. He needed me to be worse of a person then he felt he was. Only problem is I never believed any of it. I knew about his CSA early in our relationship but he minimized it and I believed him when he said it was no big deal.

We are no longer together, and he has fully embraced numbing himself out with booze and pot. He is in a really bad place in his life.

Would I have married him having known what hell he was going to put me through?????? My answer is yes (with reservations)he was a good man and we had a good marriage at one time. He was a good father and we have 2 wonderful sons. I guess the difference is that we would still be together if he had faced his issues - regardless of where he was in his recovery. If he had been honest with himself and taken even a small step towards recovery, I would still be with him. But him not owning his problems after all these years, I had no hope and was not willing to sacrifice myself or my sons for someone who was so paralized with fear that he would be willing to live out the rest of his life in misery.

Now for your situation, the great news is that you are facing your issues and that is huge. Us women are very wise and insightful and we can love a man with problems and issues as long as he recognizes and works on his problems and issues - even in small steps.

As everyone said, be honest and continue to work on yourself. You deserve to have a wonderful, loving, healthy relationship and that is possible.

_________________________
God has a plan for me, I trust in God's plan.

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#206310 - 02/20/08 02:09 AM Re: A survivor looking for a partner [Re: mogigo]
Chagrin Offline
New Here

Registered: 02/18/08
Posts: 17
Loc: BC Canada
Hi there!

I am new here... I've spent a couple days just reading and reading... and reading! I told myself I wasn't going to do any posting as I am quite a tentative individual, but after stumbling on this post from ages ago and not finding any replies that I really related to I felt somewhat compelled to say something to you Mike (and anyone else who may read!) from my own perspective.

My husband and I became exceptionally good friends and pretty much fell in love when we were 18 years old. He disclosed his abuse to me long before we ever married and, though I was slightly uncertain about how things would be when he asked me to marry him, I have no regrets. He is still absolutely my very best friend and though this isn't entirely enough at times to keep things really happy and hopeful in our relationship it IS enough to keep us together and focused on trying to maintain what we DO have.

There are MAJOR ups and downs and MAJOR highs and lows, especially now that he is going through some extensive recovery work, but I try really hard every day to remind myself that he is the man I love and can't imagine what things would be like without him!

So, even though you posted this forever ago, I just wanted to say, don't close yourself off to love because you feel somewhat "dysfunctional"! Lord knows, we all carry around emotional baggage of some sort that creeps it's way into some of the strongest relationships! You deserve to find someone to "grow old with" just as much as anyone else. You just have to find the right person!

~ Chagrin \:\)


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#206323 - 02/20/08 08:26 AM Re: A survivor looking for a partner [Re: Chagrin]
Lou Offline
Guest

Registered: 11/10/07
Posts: 100
Mike,

I would like to commend you in your 2nd post above for disclosing to her and letting her know it was not her fault.

Per others on this post...I agree that the most important thing is to be honest and to speak from your heart.

If you feel that you are at a good point in your recovery where you feel you are healthy enough to pursue a partner...then I would say go for it. And the mere fact that you posted here and even have the where with to ask tells me that perhaps that is where you are...any of us only want someone we can love and spend the rest of our lives with.

As for me, I only wish that I would have been told prior to our becoming a couple so that I could have at least had the option of deciding if this is what I wanted to take on. Would I have taken it on had I been told....as hard as this is.....I can honestly say that I do not know. This is tough!

It is interesting that some of the ladies post that they blamed themselves all along for their sex lives not being what they thought it should be. For us...it has been quite the opposite...prior to my knowledge of his CSA....we had the best loving, fulfilling sex life that either of us have ever had...since all of this came to light....our sex life has not been good and now I find myself asking if it is me?

This CSA is a crazy thing!

Best of luck to you Mike.

Lou


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#206341 - 02/20/08 09:42 AM Re: A survivor looking for a partner [Re: healingpartner]
JustScott Offline
Greeter Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/27/08
Posts: 2589
Originally Posted By: healingpartner
Interesting question.

Would I be with my husband if I knew before...probably not. But I was 22 when we started dating and rob will testify as naive as they come. I had an extremely sheltered controlled childhood. My parents may be considered by some to be fundamentalists. I was so naive I was down right dangerous to my own safey. Some here will vouch that I still can be a bit naive at 38.

He waited 14.5 years of marriage to tell me. After I had asked him directly if he had been abused, we saw a sex therapist who asked, marriage counselors, and he denied it. That is hard. Because I took on all of the dysfunction in our sex life as mine. I was very naive. He is the only one I have been with. I thought I must really suck at this if he doesn't want it. And began self loathing and contempt.

My point in telling you this is if you are asked, don't deny. Doesn't mean everything needs to be told in detail, but don't make her think it is her problem. That is what hurts more than anything. Knowing he watched my pain and let me think it was me.
It also makes it hard to believe some the answers to some other tough questions

Be honest. Now, looking back, would I be here? Honestly, depends on the day. But I have 2 great kids.

I'd be happy to pm more if you like.
Lorie


Ok, when I got married, if my wife had asked me if I had been abused, I would have said no. Not because I was denying, but seriously, at that point, I didn't think I was. Of course she didn't ask, as everything seemed normal. After about 5 years of marriage I started to realize things, remember things. I told her about those things. It was hard. Very Very hard! But even at that point, if you asked me if I had been abused, I would have said no. I still had not gotten to the point where I understood it as abuse. Perhaps I was in denial. It wasn't until a short month or so ago that that denial and other various barriers etc started falling apart on me and I found myself a complete and utter mess that the realization set it. Then of course more memories followed.

My poor wife, even though she knows, still says things like "If I were only a good enough wife." or "If only I were woman enough for you..." So she knows but still in some part is blaming herself. I've tried to tell her over and over that it is not her fault, but I really don't know how to get that through to her.


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#206405 - 02/20/08 05:29 PM Re: A survivor looking for a partner [Re: JustScott]
LJA Offline
Guest

Registered: 02/05/08
Posts: 35
Hi Mike,

I really hope you decide to pursue a relationship. Everyone deserves love and support in their lives. I'm very sure you have qualities you are discounting if you doubt this.
For example, according to the book "if the man you love was abused", male abuse survivors are often self-reliant, flexible, protective/excellent guardians, reserved, tender, kind and go-getters. From what I've seen, there is a lot of truth to this.
Everyone has good and bad qualities. At least you know about your bad ones and can work on them. Don't forget the good ones.

It is very difficult for me to know how I'd answer your question. If I'm allowed to give the cheeky answer, I'd say "absolutely! since its a do-over I KNOW about the CSA this time and things will go differently. " But that's not what you are asking is it? You're asking if I'd do it again if it had to be the same way. I don't know. If things work out between my H and I, then yes, if not, I really dont know, but probably. (of course, that equation doesn't factor my kids in... I wouldn't trade them
for anything).

If the answer were 'no', it wouldn't be because of the hard work or the patience I've had to show. I dont think it would even be because of life's landmarks, many of which for me have a painful memory assoc. where there's 'supposed' to be a happy one. The deal breaker for me would be the deep scars I have now as a result of my H's CSA.
I know this example has been used before, but its my best one. Sex. My H and I had amazing sex until he realized he loved me. We then had horrible robot sex until I complained. He refused to discuss it and cut me off for 15 years. I absolutely 100% believed for most of those 15 years that we weren't having sex because I was so hideous, even though he has never said anything but good about how I look. I guess that was my demons jumping into the mix. We do have sex now and I have known for a long time that our lack of sex had nothing to do with me. But this scar is so deep that it hasn't healed yet.
When I think of the scars I now have, I am very sure they could have all been greatly minimized or avoided altogether had I known what was going on. If I had known that the CSA occurred, and had also educated myself somewhat about the recovery process things would have gone very differently.

The thing is, when I got married I was young and completely oblivious to the horrors of the world. When you enter into a relationship you and your partner wont be in the same place my husband and I were. You are aware and informed and you have support. None of that was true for us. It seems you might be in a similar situation to my cheeky answer.. the do-over where the partner knows... where my answer is 'absolutely!' (and believe me, I've been through the ringer!).

Hope that helps,
I'd love to know how you're feeling about this since you posted,

LJA


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#206600 - 02/21/08 02:26 PM Re: A survivor looking for a partner [Re: LJA]
mogigo Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 04/24/07
Posts: 1331
Loc: Colorado
Well due to unprecidented demand I'm here to update \:\) Just kidding.

Let's see, still no partner but definately a different point of view after almost a year and a half of dealing with everything. I definately have a better outlook on the situation, I guess more than anything what changed was actually seeing I have some value. It's still a tough call on looking for a partner, I feel like it's possible and I guess I would feel comfortable doing that but I'd like to wait just a little bit more. Sex is the biggest issue, don't want my first date to end up with me saying "I like long walks, movies, golf, and oh yea, I hate sex \:\) lol" I'm working on the issue but not quite there yet. I guess to sum it up is I think I might be able to make someone very happy on everything except the intimacy issue, so I'll wait a little longer. Maybe trying to wait until I can be "everything" to someone but after 17 years without I can wait a little longer. The great part is I think I'll get there.

Thanks to everyone who answered, "Is healing possible?" YES, "can things change?" YES.

Don't give up on you're guys ladies, if they want to it's more than likely you'll be way better off than you ever thought possible. Most guys will never be able to look at themselves the way your guy's are. I think the end result may be everything you ever wished your man would be. It's just a hard ride getting there.

Stay Strong, thanks for understanding.
Mike

_________________________
Thriving

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#206654 - 02/21/08 09:13 PM Re: A survivor looking for a partner [Re: mogigo]
Lou Offline
Guest

Registered: 11/10/07
Posts: 100
Originally Posted By: mogigo



Most guys will never be able to look at themselves the way your guy's are.



Mike, boy is that ever a true statement. I think everyone of you men on this Male Survivor site deserves the biggest pat on the back ever.....it is nice to see men who are dealing even though I know all of you wish that you were not having to.

Best of luck to you.


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