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#204793 - 02/11/08 10:42 PM Question - can survivors learn to bond with others
Brokenhearted Offline
Member

Registered: 08/07/06
Posts: 644
Loc: TX
All right. I think this is probably my most pressing concern of all, being married to a survivor. The only thing he will admit to, through our old therapist, is being sexually addicted. Now, whether this is the same as "sexually compulsive" or not....anyway, it may just all be the same thing: sexually acting out due, if we look hard enough, to csa.

Now, what I have read about "sexual addiction" is that a study has been done that shows that 95% of sexual addicts are "unable to bond" with others. Soooo.......does that mean, ever? Can they learn to? Is it just a defect in the core development that is too late to adjust? I am talking of course about emotionally bonding.

I wonder, because I don't want to just be an object to my H of 15 yrs. I am a person of depth, as anyone, and it would be a huge waste if none of me was known or appreciated.

I hope this question isn't impossible to answer. You have told me before it is largely a matter of trust, even trusting one's own spouse and family at times. But if the survivor (or addict) can learn to trust that person, will bonding then follow? Or even, can it?

Thanks for anything,

_________________________
Brokenhearted

It were better for him that a millstone were hanged around his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones.
Luke 17:2

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#204802 - 02/12/08 12:33 AM Re: Question - can survivors learn to bond with others [Re: Brokenhearted]
Freedom49 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/30/07
Posts: 2723
Loc: Washington State
Broken,
I think that there is a real possibility for healing and for bonding to occur. The problem is when a child is betrayed like that on that scale it is very difficult I might say improbable that he will be able to do it on his own. Children feel things a lot deeper than adults do. I mentioned in another post they are like clay or wet cement. When damage is stamped into them duing that soft time and not repaired or addressed it dries, hardens and is going to take lot of work to sand blast away. Even then I think if you are close to him and can look at the right angle you will still see the ghostly impression of that damage.

He first must acknowlege that the problem exists. That he was hurt, betrayed, and robbed of his childhood innocence. Without knowing he probably has told himself in so many words "I will never let anyone hurt me that way again".
Second he must then seek help. There are many good therapist, counselors who are experienced with this kind of damage. He must have help. Whether he can accept his need and seek help is up to him. Each according to his gift as they say. Possible yes. Difficult definately. But in the end it is up to him.
My thoughts and prayers are with you.


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#204909 - 02/12/08 06:18 PM Re: Question - can survivors learn to bond with others [Re: Freedom49]
Brokenhearted Offline
Member

Registered: 08/07/06
Posts: 644
Loc: TX
Freedom,

Thanks so much for the reply. As much as I want to keep loving him and stay together I just have to keep reminding myself it's up to him to take the initiative to seek help with this whole bonding thing alone. That's the hard part. If it were my decision we'd already have it made. So time will tell.

Thanks again Freedom.

_________________________
Brokenhearted

It were better for him that a millstone were hanged around his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones.
Luke 17:2

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#205052 - 02/13/08 08:37 PM Re: Question - can survivors learn to bond with others [Re: Brokenhearted]
WalkingSouth Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/30/05
Posts: 16265
Brokenhearted,

As our Moderator Emeritus, Brian says in his sigline, "Recovery is Possible". Yes, a person can overcome the addictions and live a functional life with healthy and intimate relationships. The question then becomes does he want to? Is he willing to take the steps to healing? Only he can answer those questions. Remember to take care of yourself and the children.

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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#205056 - 02/13/08 08:51 PM Re: Question - can survivors learn to bond with ot [Re: Brokenhearted]
lostcowboy Offline
Member

Registered: 11/10/04
Posts: 797
Loc: North Texas
Originally Posted By: Brokenhearted
All right. I think this is probably my most pressing concern of all, being married to a survivor. The only thing he will admit to, through our old therapist, is being sexually addicted. Now, whether this is the same as "sexually compulsive" or not....anyway, it may just all be the same thing: sexually acting out due, if we look hard enough, to csa.

Now, what I have read about "sexual addiction" is that a study has been done that shows that 95% of sexual addicts are "unable to bond" with others. Soooo.......does that mean, ever? Can they learn to? Is it just a defect in the core development that is too late to adjust? I am talking of course about emotionally bonding.

I wonder, because I don't want to just be an object to my H of 15 yrs. I am a person of depth, as anyone, and it would be a huge waste if none of me was known or appreciated.

If this study is on the internet, a link would be appreciated, hard to say anything about it with out reading it.
Emotionally bonding, even normal couples have problems with this, that's why so many self help books are written each year. Your husband probably thinks he is doing things that show you how much he cares for you. The problem is, it is not what you need from him, and he may not know or understand how important they are to you. Also you may not know what he needs.
I suggest reading "Men are from Mar's and Women are from Venus". Also Shaunti and Jeff Feldhahn have written two books "for men only, and for women only" These books tend to agree with "Men are from Mar's and Women are from Venus" but they did surveys and statistics, which may help him to understand.
I would buy the books and read them with two different colored highlighters, I would highlight the parts that you want him to know are important to you that you feel he is not doing, or is doing wrong. Also use the other color to highlight the information that relates to how guy's think and need, that you did not know about. When you get done, explain to him what you did, and ask him to read the books. This way you two can talk about it. I think you said that you and he were going to couple therapy, what you and he can't agree about, or he can't see, should be talked about in couple therapy.
About whether he is a sexual addict, and/or sexually acting out due to the CSA, I don't think he can make that determination, I feel that only a therapist who is trained in those areas can determine that.

Quote:
As much as I want to keep loving him and stay together I just have to keep reminding myself it's up to him to take the initiative to seek help with this whole bonding thing alone.

I disagree, this whole bonding thing, or lack of it, is a dynamic thing that is happening between both of you. It will take both of you to solve it, and it may take couple therapy to find the way to a solution. Being that he is not disturbed by the lack of bonding, but you are disturbed by it, you must take the initiative to bring it up, and to seek help if necessary. I think there must have been love/bonding in your relationship when you got married, or why get married? But sometime in the 15 yrs it was loss, but surely it is not lost for good, you guys just need to learn how to express it again with out being afraid of rejection.
Stay strong,
Clifford

_________________________
"Don't walk in front of me, I may not follow. Don't walk behind me, I may not lead. Just walk beside me and be my friend." - Albert Camus
Pretty much my life as I have posted so far. Triggers!

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#205355 - 02/15/08 05:04 PM Re: Question - can survivors learn to bond with ot [Re: lostcowboy]
menspeakout Offline
New Here

Registered: 02/05/08
Posts: 36
Remember also that your partner is more than a diagnosis. Take the problem into account for what it really is and how it affects your relationship. He has to be willing to have active communication with you about it and you have to be honest and upfront with him about your concerns.

This is an issue that has affected me personally. But I see it for what it is and I talk actively with my spouse about it.

BTW, as a college minor in statistics, I find that there are alot of studies that make many conclusions that just don't add up. That 95% sounds a bit dubious if you ask me. Was this a first report finding or just something posted in the media?



Edited by menspeakout (02/15/08 05:05 PM)
_________________________
Break The Silence
http://www.menspeakoutnow.com
http://www.womenspeakoutnow.com

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#205470 - 02/16/08 11:23 AM Re: Question - can survivors learn to bond with ot [Re: menspeakout]
Lou Offline
Guest

Registered: 11/10/07
Posts: 100
Originally Posted By: menspeakout
Remember also that your partner is more than a diagnosis. Take the problem into account for what it really is and how it affects your relationship. He has to be willing to have active communication with you about it and you have to be honest and upfront with him about your concerns.



Thanks menspeakout, this makes perfect sense to me.


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#205491 - 02/16/08 01:57 PM Re: Question - can survivors learn to bond with ot [Re: Lou]
Ken Singer, LCSW Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/24/00
Posts: 5780
Loc: Lambertville, NJ USA
Broken:
"Sexual addiction" is not a diagnosis. I think the 95% figure is an opinion of someone and I wouldn't put much credence in it.

Compulsive behaviors, whether to porn, alcohol, handwashing, or chocolate, are learned behaviors and can be unlearned. The trick is that you have to WANT to change.

Take a look at this (and hopefully he will as well):

http://www.malesurvivor.org/ArchivedPages/singer2.html

Ken


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#206790 - 02/22/08 06:14 PM Re: Question - can survivors learn to bond with ot [Re: Ken Singer, LCSW]
Trish4850 Offline
BoD Liaison Emeritus
MaleSurvivor<

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

I agree with Ken that the 95% thing is overkill; nothing in this life is that certain. As for "bonding" that such a tough thing to quantify. As adults, do we really bond with another? I don't think so. I believe we can rely on one another, love one another, empathize, love, trust, need, etc., etc. But as adults, the "bonds" for lack of a better word, have to be fluid so that we can live as individual people. To be inextricably tied to another adult is unhealthy.

Yes, I do believe a person can learn love, empathy, trust, etc. Most of us learn them in childhood, but for our partners whose childhood's were wrecked, they are forced to learn it later when to do otherwise isn't an option anymore.

I've told you before my b/f has many of the same issues as your husband in that he says he doesn't "feel." Well, we've gotten to the point of him admitting that maybe he does, but he's not sure of what it is. As for love, he never experienced it. I express it pretty freely so he thinks that because he doesn't, he isn't feeling it or he's not feeling it as he should. I just tell him he's feeling it and showing it just fine - because he is. He doesn't quite believe me yet, but he's working on it.

ROCK ON........Trish

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

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#208308 - 03/01/08 06:27 PM Re: Question - can survivors learn to bond with ot [Re: Trish4850]
BMF Offline


Registered: 01/27/07
Posts: 60
Loc: Toronto
Brokenhearted,

My experience as a survivor has been that I thought I was absolutely incapable of experiencing love. My father repeatedly sexually abused me as a very small child, and killed part of my soul. After decades of my wife's tenacious and intense loving I've been able to grow some of what I was missing. After years of hard work I've given myself pegs upon which to hang new experiences, where pegs never existed before. I agree with what Trish said. A person CAN learn love, empathy, and trust. It isn't easy, though. Sometimes I just don't "get it", when I know that I should. I've also had some setbacks where I've tried to self-destruct, which has been extremely hard on my wife, LJA (feel free to PM her). I hope you can find the patience within to persist.

BMF

_________________________
If a man's character is to be abused, say what you will, there's nobody like a relation to do the business.
- William Makepeace Thackery

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