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#1832 - 04/27/04 11:44 AM partner frustration
Brayton Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/21/03
Posts: 696
Loc: Minneapolis
I'm sure a lot of guys have experienced this and so I want your support.

He says that what he hears from me (as I explain my feelings) does not fit what he sees. He says that I do not explain enough of it to him, that I do not talk to him enough about it.

I think that I do tell him a lot about it. I have told him everything that I remember about the s'xual abuse and all about the physical and emotional abuse.

I've told him about the feelings that are triggered from time to time. I have told him about the child-part of myself that still hurts very deeply.

I have told him about my work with my T, how she is helping me to "acknowlege the pain" that I felt as a child.

I have told him about coping mechanisms that I have and do use. I have told him how I use a veneer of calm to avoid seeming crazy to everyone and cope with the feelings that are going on inside. Why can't he understand that this core of pain that I feel is always there and why it is always there?

I have told him how emotionally isolated I feel sometimes and that it has nothing to do with him, that it has everything to do with what I experienced. I have told him that I struggle with that deeply but am working on improving it.

I have told him why it is not possible to be physically intimate and why, often, it is not even possible for me to share a bed with him.

I have told him how this has nothing to do with him but rather to do with what I experienced, the symptoms of that, how I feel inside.

I have told him that his (offensive) idea that I would be able to be intimate with anyone and want to be intimate with someone else. (Offensive, because he is, in effect, accusing me of desiring to practice infidelity.)

I have given him things to read about abuse and its symptoms. I don't think he reads it thoroughly. He is an intelligent person and so I can't believe is unable to comprehend what it says.

I have told him about the medications I take the purpose for each one but that the medications are not the solution, only something to help make the feelings more manageable while I work in therapy.

I have told him all about this site and how I use it and the support I get here. I have had to tell him that a lot of the guys if not most are straight (not g'y) and that most of the few guys I PM with (3 out of 4) are straight and that the fellow survivor that I sometimes get together with is straight. I have to talk about that survivor's wife and children and how long he has been happily married.

I have had to do this to avoid his assuming that I am arranging s'xual liasons via this site.

I have encouraged him to visit this site and to use the family and friends forum to no avail.


For 19 years he has observed, experienced with me my emotional ups and downs (some very down), my repeated efforts with therapy, my confusion, frustration and pain.

I have told him that the difference now is chiefly I understand more about where the feelings come from, how they are triggered and why they are triggered.

It, he says, is unlike anything he ever experienced and so he cannot or has great touble understanding what I have and do experience. If that is such an obstacle, how can I ever explain things to him adequately?

He tells me things like--people change and often find that they can no longer can be together. He says that that is about me changing but might it just as well be him talking about himself, about how he is tired of being around me and my "emotionality" and my lack of intimacy?

How long is it fair to ask for (require, I suppose) patience and forebearance? Should I accept and prepare for what seems like, for the time being, his desire to be apart from me?

_________________________
Sometimes, things just won't work the way we want them to.

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#1833 - 04/27/04 12:20 PM Re: partner frustration
hdan Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/06/03
Posts: 43
Loc: Texas
Thanks for the posting. I understand your situation as I am in the same position with my spouse. The lack of intimacy, the emotional ups and downs...I feel the desperation in your voice.

If he says that he cannot relate to what you are going through, he is probably telling you the truth. My wife has said the same thing. There was a point in our relationship where I thought that she would leave, and I can't really say that I would have blamed her at the time. For some reason, however, she has stuck in there with me.

It's been VERY hard, especially when I see her crying due to my current inability to be intimate with her. As you know, it's not that I don't want to be intimate with her, it's that I just am not able to be intimate with her as I work through the sexual abuse in my past.

One thing that has helped us it that we went to counseling together with another T so that she could discuss how my recovery affects her. She also sees this other T on her own sometimes. I do not know if this would be an option for you. Maybe your partner would give it a try.

As far as the future goes with your partner, I wish I could just say that it will all work out well for you. And I hope that it does, but your relationship's success is dependent both on your recovery and his willingness to stay in there and support you no matter what. He needs to work through his feelings about your abuse and its effect on him as much as you need to deal with your past abuse. I would encourage him to get a T to help him do this. The more honest that he is with himself, the better it will be for the both of you.

Having been with your partner so long, I would assume that you have made it through many difficulties together. This should provide hope for the future.

Heath


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#1834 - 04/27/04 02:23 PM Re: partner frustration
theo Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 09/28/03
Posts: 1122
brett,
you have done everything possible, my friend. couples counseling is a good idea because it introduces a second, objective opinion and mediation influence in the relationship dynamic. i don't know how are partners deal with the confusion when our own confusion is greater, but overall, they do, somehow. lady theo and i are working through some recent changes and understandings i have just now worked through myself. it takes time, but more importantly, it takes two to make this work. sounds like he is dealing with something that has nothing to do with your disclosure and recovery from the abuse. it sounds as though that he has some issues that are not related to your recovery, though the relationship is impacted by it. in other words, you have done everything you could, this is something about him, not what you said or did not say. your recovery is a convieniant vehicle for him to discuss this, unknowingly on his part i believe. he has something he needs to work through, and the two of you need to work on the impact of both to the relationship as you are trying to do. take care.

_________________________
journey well,
theo dewolfe

- It is gift, and gift will find its way
- I inherit through my choice. I build through my affirmation. It is through my freedom that I nurture, or fade into autonomy
- I was not given to serve life, but to embrace it

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#1835 - 04/27/04 04:21 PM Re: partner frustration
survive75 Offline
Member

Registered: 09/27/03
Posts: 304
Loc: Massachusetts
Brett... as always, I am with you in your pain. I, like you, talked with my g/f (now ex) extensively about my symptoms of abuse and it was still not enough to make her understand that the reason I could not be intimate had nothing to do with her. It wasn't enough.

And that, my friend, is a very painful part of the healing process. Feeling that you were not enough, or that you tried and still failed. At least those are very important themes in my recovery. So, yeah... the fact that I had flashbacks during sex, that she went through my suicide attempt with me after such a flashback, and watched me struggle many times with the sexual issues... it really pisses me off.

I'm here for you... PM if you need to. Believe me... I can truly relate.

-Sean

_________________________
-Sean

"Even though I know/I donít want to know/Yeah I guess I know/I just hate how it sounds"

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#1836 - 05/01/04 08:26 PM Re: partner frustration
Leosha Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 06/18/03
Posts: 3614
Loc: Right here
Even with intelligent people, there is sometime 'ignorance by choice'. Sometime I think that people will avoid understanding, because then they can maintain some denial of reality. Perhaps that is part of what happens when he reads through what you give him, but does not fully 'get' it.

I have heard, and my therapist has told me, that there will be times and people who will be reistant to us getting better. As we work more through issues, we rediscover that we are strong. Perhaps he is worried that if you are stronger, you will not need him at all, or will need him less. Perhaps he worries that as you begin to see things more clearly, you will see less positive in him? I am not at all sure those are valid points, it is just suggestions.

To assume you seek out sexual relations here, well, that is strange to me, but I am not in those ways of thinking, and also, I am heterosexual, so there would be less 'opportunity'. But, it just seems rather odd to me, to even think or suggest that. Because this is not a 'social' style setting. Yes, there is the 'off topic' section, there is chat, and such things. But this is a site that draws men together for a specific thing, which is to heal from what has been done to us. It is intense, and there is great support, but I would certainly not think it some 'turn on'. Has he been here at all? Perhaps he could see it for himself, and realize this place is not like he thinks.

I hope that things are working better between you now. Please take care of yourself.

leosha

_________________________
Avatar photo in memory of my younger brother Makar.

"Human salvation lies in the hands of the creatively maladjusted."~~~Martin Luther King Jr., 1963

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