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#185348 - 10/06/07 09:26 PM help from survivors for confused partner
mmac Offline
Guest

Registered: 09/21/07
Posts: 107
Loc: PA
I need your opinions, please.

when a survivor (my BF) states he needs some space or back off awhile, what does that mean??? i know a very broad question, but a sincere one. how can i honor boundaries when i do not know what his are right now??? ( i have asked)

please do not suggest i use this time to help myself...already in therapy to do that and i will continue reguardless of our outcome....(thanks) , but i do not want to lose this wonderful man from my life.... he is my best friend....but i want to respect his need for space...

as a survivor, what would or was right for you??
My T suggests emailing him once a week to tell him I am here and I love you, but no more..... i have done that with no response from him at all.
any and all opinions welcome...
and thanks.
M:)

_________________________
"Insanity is doing the same thing over and over, and expecting different results."

I cannot take your steps, but I can walk beside you, if you'll let me.

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#185457 - 10/07/07 11:51 AM Re: help from survivors for confused partner [Re: mmac]
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

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

Originally Posted By: mmac
how can i honor boundaries when i do not know what his are right now??? ( i have asked)


Right there's the problem. I hesitate to say this, since I don't know the details of your situation, but when your T says that you should email him once a week to say you love him, but otherwise have no contact, what kind of message is that? To me it sounds like you're saying you are willing to wait around until whenever, and the peril there is that this probably can't last indefinitely. At some point you would come to see that the relationship is all about his needs and nothing about yours; meanwhile, your willingness to wait like this encourages him to delay making any of the hard decisions. I have been there, so I can sympathize with how he feels, but still...

I guess I just dislike this idea of "respecting my need for space". It's too ambiguous, it leaves too much temptation for the survivor to just avoid the issues; meanwhile, the partner is just let hanging doing exactly what you are doing - wondering what's going on.

Part of my reaction to this probably has to do with the fact that when it came to this sort of thing my wife was having no part of it. She wanted to know where she stood and what I felt and how I say things working out. She didn't demand perfection, but she did expect an honest effort. Her strength helped me to see that I really could do what needed to be done; she gave me a clear playing field to consider and encouraged me to struggle against this terrible feeling of being so helpless, confused and emotionally dysfunctional.

I wonder if this is too much of a personal reaction, but there you are. I would say at the very least go back to your T and ask the kinds of questions that focus on what YOU need and what YOUR concerns are.

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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#185475 - 10/07/07 01:24 PM Re: help from survivors for confused partner [Re: roadrunner]
Agape Girl Offline
Guest

Registered: 07/25/07
Posts: 120
Loc: New Jersey, USA
MMac;

Hey there! This week I've experienced the same situation.....knowing where my partner is in healing. We are new here although when I say we, it's just me. 4 months in therapy now and this past week I have no clue where he is. I asked a few friends here about a couples session, if they thought it was an appropriate time. I too see my own T seperate from my bf's. I hope I'm not loosing you here. We had a couples session 3 1/2 months ago, and at that point my bf had only disclosed to me, his T hadn't known yet.

I've been hesitant on asking any questions to my bf about how he's doing and so on. I don't know where his boundaries are and to tell you the truth he doesn't know "what" they are really just yet. We have set up one boundary though one he understands. Tapping on top of the head means, enough I don't want to talk about it or hear it anymore.

Now, regarding questions this is my plan for this week. I've asked my bf if he would think about having me in on a session. Maybe before for a little bit or after. Maybe just by myself, or maybe he'd like to keep Dr. Bob for himself in which case we could seek another counselor outside (I threw that in for safety). Leave it up to him and don't corner him with demands. Here is the email I sent to him.

I was wondering if you'd consider having me in a session with you. If the thought of that makes you cringe, I understand. But, maybe we can figure out some options that would benefit and help me/us, still. I could possibly sit in for a few minutes in the beginning of the session or likewise at the end. Maybe you'd rather me go alone. Maybe you'd rather keep Dr. Bob separate from you and I, in which case maybe we see someone outside all together. I want to do this because I truly love you and I want to know what you need. Without getting to into all my questions know that I do have some and need a little direction in how to find the answers. Maybe, in return you'll know what I need too.



In responds to him he replied yes and that he would talk to Dr. Bob this week about having me in session (that's good I'm thinking that he's trusting Dr. Bob (he's safe) and he values his opion). I also, volunteered to give him a list of questions that I would like to have answered or help finding the answers. He loved this idea and I'm currently putting together a list of quesitons for him and Dr. Bob to review for a possible meeting with the 3 of us the following week. I realize that some questions are tooo much right now and to tell you the truth it's not those I need answered. It's the one's that go more like

1. Where am I in your recovery?
2 Is it acceptable as a couple to read 1 or 2 chapters or whatever a week and talk about it?
3. What kinds of things have you been thinking about? Let me say I don't think this is appropriate but it has been suggested to me and I'm still filtering though the REALLY important ones.
4. Have I or do I push you? if so what have I done?

But I also wanted him to know how I feel too. So I've slipped in a few about me like

1. Know I'm just as scared as you. I am! I'm out there 110% for you to see and know. That alone is pretty much terrifying to me but, if what I'm told about honesty is true, you need this from me and I want you to have it.

I have MY T appt. tomorrow I have called her and she hopefully can help me with safe questions to ask. I'll in turn give him my questions for thursday's meeting with Dr. Bob and hope he approves me to sit in on a session.

Sorry for the length of this post but I wanted you to know I'm standing out in the fog too. If anyone has any other ideas on questions that are appropriate for me to ask a 4 month healer, I definately welcome it.

be well,
Kelly

_________________________
AGAPE'
means selfless love of one person for another
without sexual implications
(especially love that is spiritual in nature)

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#185514 - 10/07/07 04:52 PM Re: help from survivors for confused partner [Re: Agape Girl]
WalkingSouth Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

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

I'm in agreement with Larry on this one. How long are you willing to wait around for him? A month? A year? 10 years? I'm not saying that to be mean but to try and point out that there comes a time when it's got to be up for him. You deserve a life with a man who will cherish, honor, love, enjoy, and have fun with you, not one where you're waiting for him to decide it's time to do something about recovery.

There comes a time when the only purpose served by waiting is that you are handing control of your life over to him. That can be a mighty attractive temptation for him to continue to do nothing. The biggest thing he has to loose is you. It's not his fears of facing his issues, it's losing you. I can only look at my own past and the one constant thing that kept me "playing" till I was strong enough to begin to face issues what my wife's determined drawing of boundaries. I knew she meant business and I also knew she was right and within her rights to insist on those boundaries.

If he is so beyond hope that the fear of losing you does not move him off dead center, then he is probably not the man for you.

I know this sounds harsh, but I honestly believe in it's truth. Draw that line, Friend. He needs it just as I did.

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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#185521 - 10/07/07 05:47 PM Re: help from survivors for confused partner [Re: WalkingSouth]
mmac Offline
Guest

Registered: 09/21/07
Posts: 107
Loc: PA
Thank you to the brave souls that responded to this very broad question.....

i know what is in my best interest and i will not nor have not just waited for him to come around. I have and will continue to invest in my own life. I did not leave our home because i wanted to jolt him into doing something about his own life, i did it cause it was way past time to do something about my own.

I wish for a time when it could be an honest trusting for both of us (even though i know that a wish is not anything more than my desires) this is because this man who was hurt by no fault of his own IS WORTH FIGHTING FOR!I also know that my believing in him does not mean he believes in himself.
I am frustrated that by the actions of another 3rd party, this choice in my life has been taken away.

Wait forever, hell no!! and yes, i do deserve all of the love and respect someone has to offer.
I just am wishing that someone was him and if there was a way that i could pursue that dream, i would. But certainly not at the cost of my own life. That is my boundary.

Thanks so much to all of you; as this is something i know in my heart and head, but to have it reaffirmed by someone who is on "the other side" makes me feel that by saving myself, i did not make a selfish choice.
i wish you peace,
M

_________________________
"Insanity is doing the same thing over and over, and expecting different results."

I cannot take your steps, but I can walk beside you, if you'll let me.

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