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#225638 - 05/21/08 09:08 PM Re: is therapy working for anyone out there [Re: Marissa]
Trish4850 Offline
BoD Liaison Emeritus
MaleSurvivor<

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

Despite some of the negative regarding my b/f's therapy, I do believe it helps. It may only be in small things, but small things count, especially when you talking about csa which is a gargantuan monster. Taking on all of it at once is impossible.

Safety is huge for survivors. My b/f sometimes doesn't feel safe in his own house and yes, at times, he doesn't feel safe with me. Thankfully those times are few and far between. As a general rule, I am the only person he does feel safe with. Considering that up until me, he had no one at all to let his guard down with, I'd say that's pretty big and I'll take it.

Creating that safety was hard. I needed to learn that my reactions to things he said or did were critical to how he felt and how he reacted. That's not to say that I needed to become a different person, it simply meant that I needed to learn that how I said something was even more important that what I said. My b/f's responsiveness was directly tied to whether I was agitated, crying, angry or calmly having a discussion. If I was too emotional, he completely lost the words and concentrated on the action, always watching to see what he might have to defend himself against. In his world, emotions, especially extreme ones, are not to be trusted, therefore, it's easier to shut his down and guard against mine. Does that make sense?

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

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

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#225644 - 05/21/08 09:17 PM Re: is therapy working for anyone out there [Re: mara]
Liv2124 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/02/06
Posts: 159
Loc: New Jersey
Mara,
I think the only concrete answer to your question is that therapy will work when he's ready for it to work, when he's ready to commit himself to making the changes he needs to make, and it can take a long time for that to happen.
I totally get it when you say sometimes you feel as though he sees you as "the enemy". I frequently will remind my SO that we are actually on "the same side." Most of the time, this becomes important when he asks me a question and gets an answer he doesn't particularly like.
Unfortunately, no amount of pushing is going to get him to move. Patience is a huge thing. There aren't any miracle cures. And, hard as it is on you, you can't make this go away.
If he brings up therapy with you, maybe you'll have an opportunity to explore with him why he feels the need to hold back on alot of the things. It's always better to have a calm, rational conversation versus the , "How the hell do you expect this to work if you don't tell him/her anything?!" approach. That wouldn't work for anyone and he'll likely stop telling you anything as well.
This is a real relationship, challenged, but real. He's the same guy you fell in love with, the same guy you married. My SO is against going back to therapy at the moment but we have some really great times together still. We work around alot of the issues that we both know are there. He lies to other people and I would never sell him out, he doesn't lie to me.
As hard as it is, I don't know that you can rest your entire relationship on whether or not he stays in therapy. It may be more useful for you both to discuss what you can do to improve your relationship in the here and now.
I wish you both the best in this,
Always,
Liv


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#225749 - 05/22/08 10:31 AM Re: is therapy working for anyone out there [Re: Liv2124]
mara Offline
New Here

Registered: 04/01/08
Posts: 18
Trish: you are a human being and therefore you have the right to be agitated, cry, be angry. You also have the right to expect support through your difficult emotions from your bf.
We women sense that the price of keeping the relationship is to censor ourselves, to put our emotions on hold year in and year out and we do this, hoping one day our turn will come. Does it ever? Do we just keep bending ourselves into impossible shapes and only speaking to our men when we can be calm? What kind of women are we that accept this?


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#225770 - 05/22/08 11:56 AM Re: is therapy working for anyone out there [Re: mara]
Marissa Offline


Registered: 05/06/08
Posts: 67
mara,

Do you need to give yourself permission to leave this relationship?

Hugs,
Marisa


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#225790 - 05/22/08 12:59 PM Re: is therapy working for anyone out there [Re: Marissa]
Trish4850 Offline
BoD Liaison Emeritus
MaleSurvivor<

Registered: 10/15/05
Posts: 3280
Loc: New Jersey
Believe me mara, all of those things do happen, but I tend to think about whether it's really necessary for me to blurt out anything that comes to my head or to react in a way that solves nothing. I'd much prefer to talk; it's much more productive in the end. That being said, I do have meltdowns, they can't be helped sometimes and when it happens, my b/f tries his best to console me. I don't think I'm shutting me down, just opening him up.

It's all perspective.

ROCK ON........Trish

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

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#226171 - 05/23/08 09:32 PM Re: is therapy working for anyone out there [Re: Trish4850]
Liv2124 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/02/06
Posts: 159
Loc: New Jersey
Trish,
You are right on with "...how I said something was even more important than what I said." Having been in this situation more than a few times has made me realize that my SO is more "tuned in" to what he percieves as disapproval on my part, (as evidenced by my bad mood, crying agitation) and will take it on and get defensive because he readily sees himself as the cause of it. Now, to be honest, sometimes he is, in a round-about way. But it's not so much HIM as it is this entire situation. But alot of the time, it's simply that I've had a bad day at work and can't accommodate one more additional thing. Period. And this means not one more additional thing from him, the kids, the ex, my father, friends, etc.
Sometimes, depending on his mood, he will sometimes "prompt a fight" to accommodate how he's feeling at the time and you can imagine, or have experienced, what follows that.
Also, he disappears alot. Sometimes I'll text him for days and he won't respond and then he'll suddenly text back as though no time has past. Not seeing him doesn't bother me as much as a complete break in contact. Most of the time I'll text with a simple "Are you okay?". Sometimes he'll respond with "yes" and sometimes he won't answer at all. This has gone on for awhile, and in the past, the times he hasn't answered have always been followed by his re-appearing at a later time with a significant issue at play. I don't have to tell anyone that it's easier to address an issue when it first presents itself. When you come in during the "last quarter" it's much harder.
I also understand the safety issue. He's lucky to have you and there isn't a doubt in my mind about why he feels safe with you. And letting his guard down with you is a VERY BIG thing. The other night, when I came here to post about what happened when I took my SO to a work function, I was thinking to myself how few people in my "everyday circle" could appreciate what had happened. No one outside of this situation would ever have noticed it.
I have learned to curb my initial reactions to things too. Fortunately, in my line of work, this is critical also. I have to keep my cool for the sake of everybody else, so it makes it alittle easier. I can play out my initial reactions and responses in my head before they come out my mouth. It helps.
I would say that being with him hasn't made me become a different person, but it has made me become a better person overall, in alot of ways.
Always,
Liv


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#226610 - 05/25/08 04:07 PM Re: is therapy working for anyone out there [Re: Liv2124]
mara Offline
New Here

Registered: 04/01/08
Posts: 18
marissa

very good question. Thanks for asking it


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#226683 - 05/25/08 11:00 PM Re: is therapy working for anyone out there [Re: WalkingSouth]
terpprm Offline
Guest

Registered: 06/15/07
Posts: 312
Loc: Elyria, Ohio
therapy has worked for me. but i must add. i don't see your everyday therapist. my pastor originally had a degree in psychology before he became a pastor. so i see him every monday. and i have shot up in improvement. my advice is, make sure you choose your therapist carefully. and if you are religious at all, try and find a clergyman to counsel you. sometimes it's easier to confide in. but, i also realize, that for some, religion or religious men, are just out of the question. so with that, i say, just choose wisely.

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