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#206664 - 02/21/08 10:44 PM Triggers from my wife
Freedom49 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/30/07
Posts: 2723
Loc: Washington State
I am posting this here also for wives of survivors in case they can relate.

There is something that has bothered me my whole marriage. Actually both my marriages but I just figured it out tonight at the MS group meeting here in town. Whenever my wife would make some comment indicating she was "in the mood" or something like that I would freeze right up. It had always bothered me but I never gave it much thought. I just assumed it was because... Well never mind that.
Anyway in talking with the guys in group tonight one of the guys said he had been dating but unsuccessuflly because if the girl was agressive ot made some move on him he would just freeze up because when he was 11 he was raped and knife point by an older guy. It just hit me all of a sudden. My dad was always the initiator. I was always helpless in bed and he was always coming to me and would just start doing stuff.
I freeze up because of the forwardness of that approach triggering me. I don't like someone coming onto me that way it takes me back to when I was helpless in the dark to the advances of my dad. I really do hope I can get over this cause having to fight through that feeling in order to be intimate with my wife is very uncomfortable


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#206793 - 02/22/08 06:21 PM Re: Triggers from my wife [Re: Freedom49]
Trish4850 Offline
BoD Liaison Emeritus
MaleSurvivor<

Registered: 10/15/05
Posts: 3280
Loc: New Jersey
Roger,

That is such a hard thing to deal with and I hope you can get past it too, but given the circumstances, I can try to understand. Have you told this to your wife? If you haven't there's problem #1. She can't possibly work with you if she doesn't know what she's facing. Problem #2 is that your wife obviously loves you and wants to express that love intimately - either partner should be able to express their need or desire for the other, but it brings me back to problem #1; if she doesn't know, she can't change it.

I'll wait for your answer before going any further.

ROCK ON........Trish

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

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#206832 - 02/22/08 09:22 PM Re: Triggers from my wife [Re: Freedom49]
Liv2124 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/02/06
Posts: 159
Loc: New Jersey
I feel compelled to answer this. I don't know if it will help but it may. There was a point in our relationship where we had been apart awhile and he actually had made the first move with a kiss. It did progress somewhat and led to several interruptions where he left the room and went into the bathroom. He also had said at one point "This is as far as we're gonna go tonight" to which I said was fine. I didn't push the issue. I think it's important to note that at this particular time, he'd not yet disclosed the csa.
To be honest, I'd forgotten about it. Until about 10 years later, after which he'd disclosed the csa and had started therapy. He came home one night and was talking about how he'd told the therapist about "the time we almost had sex". I said, "When was that?"
I don't know why your post struck such a nerve in me. I don't know why I never pushed the issue of sex with him. I guess for some reason, "No" meant "No" to me.
I think it's most important to convey to your wife that it's NOT about her. For a long time, I felt that it was me. I wasn't pretty enough, wasn't sexy enough, etc.
Being intimate, (and I'm generous in using the word "intimate"
with a survivor), you aren't always aware that what you're doing is a "trigger". And I could give you countless examples of things that were okay one minute and not okay the next. It's hard to keep up. I remember one time he had a rash under his arm and I asked to see it. (I'm a nurse) He said, "But I'll have to take my shirt off." And I'm looking at him and saying "And?" Ultimately, he took his shirt off, I looked at the rash, and gave him something to clear it up. When I asked to see it, he saw it as some sort of sexual advance, I didn't.
I set boundaries and can respect boundaries, but I have to pay for the people in his past that could not.
It sucks. There's no better way to say it.
I think you should share with your wife what the triggers actually are for you. Between the two of you, you can come up with a way around them. Communication is the best thing here.

My thoughts are with you.

Liv


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#206843 - 02/22/08 09:57 PM Re: Triggers from my wife [Re: Liv2124]
mogigo Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 04/24/07
Posts: 1331
Loc: Colorado
I keep seeing over and over again in the friends and family forum the word "communication" Not that I don't agree with this in any way, but I know for me a big issue was "She" won't understand if I do communicate my feeling's. There was just alot of doubt, that communicating "from the heart" was going to chase you/her away.

Do you ladies think that this would be the norm with telling a woman the way we are. I just still have this feeing that the ladies I see here are not "the norm". It just doesn't seem like I could expect the same reaction from most. It seems like you're what the ideal would be, hey that's a pretty good compliment ladies isn't it, but what do you think. Could we expect that if we told the majority of women that they would be happy we "communicated from the heart".

Stay strong
Mike

_________________________
Thriving

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#206845 - 02/22/08 10:17 PM Re: Triggers from my wife [Re: mogigo]
Trish4850 Offline
BoD Liaison Emeritus
MaleSurvivor<

Registered: 10/15/05
Posts: 3280
Loc: New Jersey
Mike,

It all depends on the woman and your relationship with her. I wouldn't suggest spilling your guts on the first date! You wouldn't tell her what your salary is would you? That to me is very personal, you need to know someone, what their motives and ideas for the relationship are before you start providing truly personal information. And even once you think you know where things are going, you wait a little longer. Maybe you just mention that things in your childhood aren't what you would have wanted. See what her reaction is. Is she sympathetic? Is she willing to listen to what you want to tell her? Is she willing to back off when you don't want to tell her anymore or is she a pushy broad? There are just so many variables it's impossible for me to imagine them all.

One thing I do believe very strongly is that there has to be a vested interest between both parties in a relationship before a disclosure is even considered. Believe it or not, it's probably as hard a thing for us to hear as it is for you to say. Even with perfection in place, we might say the wrong things because we just don't know what the right thing is. I know for me, this was the most foreign awful knowledge that has ever come in to my life. I had to learn and I had to learn quickly. Even then and continuing to this day, I make mistakes. But because I have that vested interest, my love for my b/f, I keep on learning and I keep on loving. He's doing the work, I'm just hanging around 'till the job is done.

Thanks for the compliment - it's about time someone figured out I'm anything but the norm!

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

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#206848 - 02/22/08 10:27 PM Re: Triggers from my wife [Re: mogigo]
Liv2124 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/02/06
Posts: 159
Loc: New Jersey
Mogigo,
I think we are "the norm". I can tell you, I wish he had told me from the beginning what this all was about. I wish he could've talked. This is coming from someone who's been connected to the same man for a long period of time. I believe it would have saved our relationship, (and still could) if I knew "where" he actually was with this.
I can tell you that as the SO of a survivor, when they shut you out, when you don't really know "where" they are or what they're feeling, it's isolating. And fortunately, for me, having been with him so long, I know that he's not always aware of that fact.
I know what you're saying, "what the ideal would be..." but think for a second that your wife, g/f, SO is posting something similar, and another survivor is viewing HER as what the "ideal would be". This is "US". This is who we are. We're human, just like everyone else.
If my SO came to this site, he'd probably think the same as you. If he read my own posts, he'd never see ME in them.
If you love someone, you'd be surprised at what you can work out, given the chance.

Liv


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#206851 - 02/22/08 10:42 PM Re: Triggers from my wife [Re: Trish4850]
mogigo Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 04/24/07
Posts: 1331
Loc: Colorado
Quote:
Thanks for the compliment - it's about time someone figured out I'm anything but the norm!


Well that's it Trish. Being a mod and all, I guess you're stuck being a girlfriend for all of us \:\) ;\)

Hope you have lots of time, but imagine the roses you'll get

Mike

_________________________
Thriving

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#206852 - 02/22/08 10:48 PM Re: Triggers from my wife [Re: mogigo]
mogigo Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 04/24/07
Posts: 1331
Loc: Colorado
Thanks Liv, you give me hope for me, love that word, "love". Something about that word can make me smile all day.

Conquer's all, right?

\:\) Love ya
Mike

_________________________
Thriving

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#206853 - 02/22/08 10:49 PM Re: Triggers from my wife [Re: Liv2124]
GateKPR4 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/28/07
Posts: 955
Loc: North Carolina, USA
For me I didn't really discover my whole life was being controlled by my abuse until I was 43. I wish I did because it would have changed my life dramatically a long time ago. Communication had been an issue with my last relationship but it was on both our part. When I disclosed the csa, we talked quite a bit and I thought it went well considering there were no harsh words or feelings. Then about 2 weeks after I got an email to find someone else. It all boils down to communication and honesty. If both parties cant achieve these things than it probably wont work very well. Humans don't read minds very well. This has been my experience.

_________________________
I'm a normal person dealing with abnormal experiences.
The greatest discoveries we will find within ourselves.
Ricky
__m_τΏτ_m__
|| || || || || || |

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#206857 - 02/22/08 10:54 PM Re: Triggers from my wife [Re: mogigo]
Trish4850 Offline
BoD Liaison Emeritus
MaleSurvivor<

Registered: 10/15/05
Posts: 3280
Loc: New Jersey
Ack! no pressure \:o

BTW, yellow roses are my favorite \:\)

'nite all......Trish

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

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#206859 - 02/22/08 11:03 PM Re: Triggers from my wife [Re: GateKPR4]
Freedom49 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/30/07
Posts: 2723
Loc: Washington State
Trish,
Yes, as soon as I figured out what was going on I told her. We do have very good communication and I am getting better at it as I move through recovery.
Side note to Mike,Liv and Ricky. One of the symptoms of CSA is isolating and the feeling that if someone really knew what was in side you they would reject you. Case in point, Ricky's post. There is a huge self esteme issue about opening up and letting people in when you believe that what is really you is so inferior and bad and worthless. See my post on Deeply held beliefs in male survivors.
My wife and I are working on this. I am trying to PUSH through my triggers for her sake and let her know that I really do want sex and appreciate that she wants it with me. I am not sure if that is good for my recovery or not but as long as it is good for her I will continue to do it.
Thanks for your posts I appreciate it.


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#206866 - 02/22/08 11:23 PM Re: Triggers from my wife [Re: GateKPR4]
Liv2124 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/02/06
Posts: 159
Loc: New Jersey
I'm sorry you had a bad experience with "communication", but I can understand what you mean when you say it was "on both our part". There is alot to be said about what's actually meant to be. I don't read minds very well, if at all. I learned to read "feelings" after being with him and having countless experiences where what I felt and what was happening or what he was saying just didn't add up. I was actually (and I don't want this to sound derogatory in any way, because it's not how I mean it) I was actually relieved when he disclosed. It explained so much. I actually felt guilty for a long time that I never saw it. In my line of work, I know what the signs are. I missed it. I was too close to him. All the signs were there, and I missed it. And once I knew, I had to deal with his explanations as to how this was HIS fault, and all his rationalizations that never could add up.
When I think of all the hatred I felt towards his abuser(s), and how many times I nudged him towards professional help.
Even when we're in our blackouts, as we are right now, I don't believe he regrets disclosing to me. He disappears, but he always comes back. I want him to get help, yes. But what happened was NOT his fault. I don't know if this makes any sense, but what I think is that while he hasn't given himself over to the belief that it isn't, he DOES believe that I believe it isn't. Does that make any sense to anyone?
Communication is the most important thing, no matter the outcome.

Liv


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#206881 - 02/23/08 12:59 AM Re: Triggers from my wife [Re: Liv2124]
Freedom49 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/30/07
Posts: 2723
Loc: Washington State
It makes sense to me Liv. I am reading Mike Lew's book and it explains it all so well. I see my self on many pages. Keep nudging and leave books lying around even print out some posts and leave them where he can find them so he knows he is not alone.


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#206913 - 02/23/08 08:43 AM Re: Triggers from my wife [Re: Freedom49]
Trish4850 Offline
BoD Liaison Emeritus
MaleSurvivor<

Registered: 10/15/05
Posts: 3280
Loc: New Jersey
Good morning,

Roger, it's great that you told your wife of this latest discovery and that the two of you can talk. Despite what you think though, if she knows your "pushing through a trigger" and she is the trigger, it's not good for her. This little tidbit will be in the back of her mind; each time you make love, she'll be struggling with whether or not you're really OK.

Could you and you wife make the initiation of sex a game just between the two of you? Perhaps come up with a goofy word or phrase, a silly two step, swap the lamps on the end tables, wear socks on your hands, put half a lemon in your mouth and try to talk, I don't know......Make up a whole bunch of stuff, any one of which done by either one of you would signal that you want to be close. The thing is, the first step would be something that would make you both laugh, which automatically raises endorphins and calms nerves. One of the most wonderful things between my b/f and I is that we do have alot of fun, and sex is not excluded, we laugh so hard sometimes that, well....we just do.

I don't know if something like this will work or not, but it's worth a shot if it removes the any perceived threat involved in an act that should be a beautiful expression between those who love.

And all the while that you try to find answers on your own, of course keep working with your T and group. It will work out, you're working too hard on it for it to be otherwise.

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

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

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#206931 - 02/23/08 10:10 AM Re: Triggers from my wife [Re: Trish4850]
Freedom49 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/30/07
Posts: 2723
Loc: Washington State
I never thougtht about that Trish. I will talk to her and see what we can do. I don't want her to think loving her is a chore. That would not be good. She is a terrific gal and deserves better than to think that. Thanks for the tip. I so appreciate your perspectives. That is why I come here.


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#206950 - 02/23/08 01:11 PM Re: Triggers from my wife [Re: Liv2124]
GateKPR4 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/28/07
Posts: 955
Loc: North Carolina, USA
Makes sense to me Liv. I'm not sorry I disclosed its just the way it is. If I had known what it was I would have done it sooner. Don't beat yourself up about missing IT,
We are very good at hiding it and putting our loved ones mind at ease that there is something else thats bothering us. I was always a master at changing the subject or minimize what was really going on. Of course I blamed my depression for everything but I never let anyone help me with it. My ex only knew part of the story and was relieved to finally find out what the heck happened to the man she fell in love with. Now it was time to move on. I'm OK with that, it can be sad but also good.
She is in the middle stages of Multiple Sclerosis and we both know there is no cure. This makes any relationship tough without the csa issue.

I understood her when she told me "If you find someone else go for it". I think we are both saddened the way it turned out but glad we both know the truth now and now accept that we have separate lives. We could never have what we did
and will never be the same. We both have our issues and that is just way too much to bring to each other after being apart for years.

We had loved and lost, I am glad that I had the experience, we were together for four years, three were good. The last was when the communications totally broke down.

_________________________
I'm a normal person dealing with abnormal experiences.
The greatest discoveries we will find within ourselves.
Ricky
__m_τΏτ_m__
|| || || || || || |

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#208243 - 03/01/08 01:43 PM Re: Triggers from my wife [Re: Trish4850]
dangal Offline
New Here

Registered: 02/09/08
Posts: 222
Loc: seattle area
Yes, I feel any woman who loves a man would want to know what is going on, how you feel and what we can do. If the one you loved was hurting, how could you not want to know? My husband just recently said he felt guilty for not telling me because he didn't give me the chance to understand what I was getting into and decide not to be with him....I was floored. I wish I had known so we wouldn't have wasted so much time not connecting, not really loving and not healing.....Now saying I was floored does not mean I reacted badly or felt bad, I was taken aback that he would think I wouldn't want him because he had been hurt. At least for me when I love someone, I love all them. Look at my kids! Good, bad or ugly those kids are all mine! \:\) I know this is an older post, but I am just getting around to exploring this place!

_________________________
~Jen~
Life is to short to blend in

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#208246 - 03/01/08 01:57 PM Re: Triggers from my wife [Re: dangal]
Freedom49 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/30/07
Posts: 2723
Loc: Washington State
I don't know how to do the quote thingy but dangal wrote:

At least for me when I love someone, I love all them. Look at my kids! Good, bad or ugly those kids are all mine! \:\) I know this is an older post, but I am just getting around to exploring this place!


Wow that is a powerful statement and one loving attitude. I was not familiar with that kind of love from another human being till I was married to my current wife. It has saved my life I think on several occasions. That is a rare thing nowadays. That kind of love. Most of what I see is I will love if you fulfill my needs. If not I am outta here. Your guy is so lucky to have you dangal.


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#208283 - 03/01/08 04:54 PM Re: Triggers from my wife [Re: Freedom49]
dangal Offline
New Here

Registered: 02/09/08
Posts: 222
Loc: seattle area
Why thank you Roger! I'll remind him right away heehee. If more people loved unconditionally things would be so much better. It's not always easy. There were more then one time that I thought I had hit my wall with that man. I'm more free these days understanding why he's been so anger. It's not me! AND my anger for him is gone, just gone, and I can't believe how much easier it is to be more patient and loving without the anger. Since you are in Washington, do you have any idea of groups in the area??

_________________________
~Jen~
Life is to short to blend in

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#208288 - 03/01/08 05:00 PM Re: Triggers from my wife [Re: dangal]
Freedom49 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/30/07
Posts: 2723
Loc: Washington State
Yeah I am attending a Male Survivor group in Kennewick and there are others around from what I understand. I was shocked but feel very fortunate to find this one.


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#208296 - 03/01/08 05:18 PM Re: Triggers from my wife [Re: Freedom49]
dangal Offline
New Here

Registered: 02/09/08
Posts: 222
Loc: seattle area
How did you go about finding one, I've done the google thing...

_________________________
~Jen~
Life is to short to blend in

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#208297 - 03/01/08 05:19 PM Re: Triggers from my wife [Re: dangal]
Freedom49 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/30/07
Posts: 2723
Loc: Washington State
Try the sexual assult respone centers. SARC


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