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#188831 - 10/26/07 12:49 PM Blame game
Mathijs Offline
New Here

Registered: 09/17/07
Posts: 2
Loc: The Netherlands
I don't know exactly how to start this, my intention is not to write down a whole bunch of reproaches, but I have a big problem. My wife tends to reproach me for the problems we have with our sex life. I was abused at age 7. My wife and I have been together for 13 years now, and have a 2 year old son. I told her about my abuse early on in our relationship during a time the memories were really overwhelming me creating a hughe crisis. I/we survived that crisis and many more. I've had some very good therapists over the past years, and managed to get some control back over my life (quit my alcohol addiction among other things). But I find sexuality problematic... I still struggle with a lot of shame, and feel very vulnerable. I don't seem to be able to act maturely, like an 'adult' sex partner. This gives me additional shame and feelings of inadequacy. I guess we are both frustrated, and we have fights about the problems with intimacy. I get reproached a lot, and she literally tells me at times how much she hates the fact that I still struggle with these abuse symptoms. It is very painful to hear, and at times I get very angry, barely able to control my behaviour... I;ve learned that in the end it is better to feel the sadness than to act on the anger, and I'm getting better at it. (mind you: I used to punch holes in doors and stuff like that when the pain became too much).
I don't know what it means, but I can't really take it any more. I guess I have to accept the situation. In the end I feel so fucking lonely, still beating myself up over sexual feelings I have... It's become one big ugly complex knot consisting of my own memories and feelings, our mutual frustration, her anger, my shame...
pretty desperate, I don't know what to do. I feel lost.


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#188836 - 10/26/07 01:53 PM Re: Blame game [Re: Mathijs]
dgoods Offline
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Registered: 10/15/07
Posts: 622
Loc: Richmond area
I was also first abused at 7, so i know how far-reaching th effects can be. I also struggled w/ controlling my temper in the past. It sounds like she is just extremely frustrated; she may have thought that her support and patience would be enough to "fix everything" after a certain amount of time. I've had relationships where my g/f knew i had depression, anger and sexual issues, but couldn't truly wrap her head around how deep-seated they were (she wasn't aware of the abuse, but my behaviors and struggles were discussed often). Just as it so easy for us to feel responsible for things which we may realize aren't under our control, so too it is w/ our partners- she may inwardly be, or have been, struggling with feelings of failure or inadequacy. In the case of my g/f, at the time it went steadily downhill, her expressions of frustration or anger drove worsening teary, trembling pleading for forgiveness. It ended w/ her calling me "spineless" in disgust and leaving me. You may want to consider how you might be feeding into a similar pattern, since we often feel forever doomed to fail, and it's often 2nd nature to act in ways that reinforce and accelerate the negatives in any relationship. We often don't realize what we're doing is choosing the safety of the familiar (shame,guilt, self-loathing) over the fear of intimacy. Success is something i have to force myself to acknowledge as being genuine; my "gut feeling" is that whatever the success may be, it is false and doomed to collapse, or will reveal me as a fraud. Maybe you two could try simply listing positives, two lists each; 10 things about your mate, followed by 10 things about yourself. Every interaction w/ your wife shouldn't need be filled w/ negatives; however long you've been married, there must have been at least a few undeniably positive moments. Your current lack of forward progress doesn't invalidate the positives. Give each other a chance, perhaps if both parties consider their own bias instead of each other's, a chance to apologize and reconcile may present itself. Your marriage will either improve, or worsen, depending on how wide a gulf exists between you. It doesn't sound like maintaining the status quo is possible, or useful; but is it an impasse, or a temporary setback? Only the two of you can truly answer that. Hope this was helpful.

_________________________
Give sorrow words: the grief that does not speak
Whispers the o'er-fraught heart and bids it break.

-William Shakespeare, Macbeth, Act IV, Sc. III

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#189241 - 10/30/07 01:47 PM Re: Blame game [Re: dgoods]
Mathijs Offline
New Here

Registered: 09/17/07
Posts: 2
Loc: The Netherlands
Hey dgoods,
thanks for your wise words. It is not easy, but I certainly dig what you say about falling back into familiar patterns. More self-reflection to do for me...
I recognize what you say about success and failure. I wish it was otherwise, but there is nothing to do but do the work itself. Starting to believe that I could actually deserve good things coming my way has to be a very conscious process...
feels like a lot of work still, but I feel less lost.
cheers


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