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#224243 - 05/14/08 05:15 PM is therapy working for anyone out there
mara Offline
New Here

Registered: 04/01/08
Posts: 18
I think chrty's comments on her H's attitude towards therapists has got me thinking. I have seen my H is floods of tears pick up the phone and in a chipper voice deal with whoever is there as Mr. Happy, hang up and go right back to crying. He has admitted to me that he has told his T and his support group very little about himself and how he is feeling. He has painted this very positive picture to them all and they all think he is a rock. He has even said he wants to discontinue therapy because it's going nowhere. I said she can't help you unless you give them more to work with. So many on this site have made the same decision, to discontinue therapy. We keep reading that we and our men must get help and I also keep reading that we and our men quit therapy over and over.
I have recently read the book Sybil and she also was determined to hide the truth about herself from her therapist even though she was reaching out for help. Chrty's H obviously feels the T's are gullible and incompetent and that he can deceive them.

Is therapy working for anyone? Are we just fooling ourselves that help is available? Is going to therapy just going through the motions?


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#224244 - 05/14/08 05:24 PM Re: is therapy working for anyone out there [Re: mara]
Freedom49 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/30/07
Posts: 2723
Loc: Washington State
Mara,
Therapy has worked for me and has been huge in my recovery. However therapy is like a computer. Garbage in, garbage out. If you are not honest with your T. Then he has nothing to work with but guesses. What can you expect. I have learned to be painfully honest with my T. That has helped me see truth and deal with issues in an honest and helpful way. It is not magic. The formula is simple. Tell it all, sort it out, make the adjustments requested, recover and heal. Good luck.

Remember I said simple, not easy, it is painful and anything but easy. That is why we avoid it.



Edited by Freedom49 (05/14/08 06:18 PM)

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#224245 - 05/14/08 05:53 PM Re: is therapy working for anyone out there [Re: Freedom49]
Marissa Offline


Registered: 05/06/08
Posts: 67
Therapy only works if your SO is willing to be vulnerable to the feelings that come with exposing ones' self - which is my dh's greatest fear.

We have been in therapy for a year - we are making SLOW progress - but progress. It is hard for DH to see that having sex/not having sex does not = progress or lack thereof, respectively.

For my Dh, and I would assume many men, they are socialized to ignore their feelings and truly don't know how to "access" them, so to speak. I think a lot of our time has been spent with dh learning what feelings *are* to begin with - bad feelings, that is. he could tell you when he's happy and having fun - but cannot identify with sad, hurt, scared. He's right with you on angry tho. ;O)

When T asked dh how he *felt* during the CSA he said, "like I wanted to leave.". T said, "Yes, that is the ACTION you wanted to take. But how did you FEEL?". Dh was unable to come up with powerless, helpless, terrified, overwhelmed - anything of that nature - he went along with "scared" when it was offered to him as a possibility. But again - unable to come up with any uncomfortable feelings on his own.

I love our T and think she is great. I have high hopes for DH and dammit, he's going to have them too eventually if I have anything to say about it. :O) LOL

Don't give up.

Marissa


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#224249 - 05/14/08 06:45 PM Re: is therapy working for anyone out there [Re: Marissa]
dark empathy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 1866
Loc: durham, north england
Funny, I'm coming to this after a long and tearful phone conversation with one of my close friends. He's wonderful for times when i just need reassurence and support or quite literally to cry, but he's not my Therapist, neither are the other two friends I talk to for this reason, neither is my parents.

for me, the most important thing my t does is be there, let me explore my feelings, ---- often with questions (I quite often ask her to ask me questions), and I don't have to be at all concerned about her feelings or reactions.

It's a really awful thing to say, but when I started seeing my T in march, I said to myself that sinse this was being paid for, I really didn't have to worry about her feelings.

I don't have to worry about upsetting her with details about my abuse, about how she will react if I get immotional, ---- and that doesn't always mean crying, sometimes I've actually been angry.

this is really helpful for me. I've just been really upset on the phone to my friend, ----- then spent a hole while appologising to him, then worrying that I'm beeing a parasite, then appologising some more.

with my T there's no need for this, which feels very liberating to me.

One other thing I'm only just realizing thoughabout my t, ---- which may or may not apply to others, is that not only can I disregard her feelings, but if she says something about me that doesn't fit, or even feels wrong or upsetting, it's actually a valuable use of both of our time for me to say so.

If I hadn't realized this though, i think i might have given up therapy myself. there was a point a few weeks ago where I felt my T wasn't saying anything much that was of use to me, and wasn't being any more help than talking to my friends or posting here was. I realized though that sinse this therapy was bieng paid for by my parents, it was up to me to get the most out of it, which meant letting my T know what was being said wasn't helpful.

sinse then we've got on better I think.

I'll admit I've been rather lucky in terms of getting opinions about therapy, sinse my dad is a retired psychiatric nurse, and I have a close friends who's got an ma in counceling, ---- and both of them recommended I get counceling myself over my problem, and sinse i trust their opinions, ---- despite the fact I didn't particularly like the idea of having therapy, I in the end decided to.

I think though, there is also a personality thing with a T as well. The first one I tried, ----- despite supposedly being an expert on male Sa (his books in the bibbleogrphy I think), was bloody useless in person, and my dad and I both agreed seeing him wouldn't be a good idea, where as the lady I see each week I get on with much better. i've heard other people say the same thing as well, and I'd imagine if it's a couple going for therapy things are more complicated sinse the t has to click with both people not just the one.

I'm really sorry for the wrant.


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#224262 - 05/14/08 08:48 PM Re: is therapy working for anyone out there [Re: dark empathy]
Trish4850 Offline
BoD Liaison Emeritus
MaleSurvivor<

Registered: 10/15/05
Posts: 3280
Loc: New Jersey
Mara and Marissa - I do understand where you're coming from. My b/f goes to see his T religiously once a week, for a while it was every other week, but then they started getting into some heavy stuff and stepped it back up again. Here's the thing, he tells her almost everything. He goes there and gets torn to pieces, comes home to recuperate for a day or two and then it's back to life as it's always been. This has been going on for better than 2 years and it is the second time (the first was maybe 15 years ago) with the same T. Speaking with him about his T sessions is taboo with us as well and for the most part, I'm OK with that, although like you, I'd like a little more info because I don't think she is helping him much anymore. The few times we've talked about it and I've broached the subject that maybe this T isn't right for him, he's gotten very sullen and a little defensive so I backed off. He trusts her and I don't want to mess that up.

Like your husband Marissa, my b/f doesn't know what feelings are, except sadness. He can be overcome with it at the most unexpected times. It's rare to see him work up a really good, totally uninhibited laugh, but when he does, everyone around him notices because it's such a joy to watch. If anyone draws his attention to it though, he denies it. I find that very sad. Anger is practically non-existent.

DE, I only wish my b/f could feel the same about his T, unfortunately I think he cares as much about her as she does about him. I think that's a big part of the problem I have with her. I do like her, I do think she's a good T, but I don't think she is helping him much. The first time he saw her was, at first, for marriage counseling. She picked up on things with him and they started individual therapy. Unfortunately, he and his now ex-wife as well as the T and her husband became social friends. He learned alot about her life, which broke down the necessary distance there should be between a T and a patient.

So, does therapy help? I believe it absolutely does, but like Roger said, "garbage in, garbage out." And there is no way to control whether our guys will give the T, just the disguarded paper goods or the really stinky stuff.

ROCK ON.......Trish

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

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#224279 - 05/14/08 11:25 PM Re: is therapy working for anyone out there [Re: mara]
thecoopstah Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/19/04
Posts: 589
Loc: massachusetts
Is going to therapy just going through the motions?




I am convinced i'd be dead today or would killed someone if i did not sought out therapy and this was over 5 years ago.

Therapy is an amazing healing yet it can be painful,extremely painful but well worth the hurt,anger,sadness,lonliness,being so afraid all the time,....etc etc etc

dont give up on him......he's probably so filled with fear that quitting is easoer to do....however terminating T only causes more pain and the vicious cycle with no help as a result of the abuse is intensified X 100.

GIVE HIM A CHANCE AND GIVE YOURSELF A CHANCE AFTERALL IT"S SOMETHING BOTH OF YOU NEED....GOD BLESS AND GOOD LUCK

Coop

_________________________
" You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have "

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#224312 - 05/15/08 02:04 AM Re: is therapy working for anyone out there [Re: thecoopstah]
dark empathy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 1866
Loc: durham, north england
trish, I'm really sorry that happened with your T. It reminds me of a quite frightening experience I had recently with a friend of mine. I'd known her for several years and we exchange phone conversations every few weeks. Either because of her ma, ---- or just her personality, she's very easy to talk to, and we've discussed a lot of stuff. Even though I had no intention of telling her about my abuse, I ended up doing it, and it's been the only time of telling someone which was relatively easy.

Though we've discussed a lot of things though, --- such as the difference betwene friendship and counceling, synaesthesia, science and the existance of God, she's always very firmly said "I don't want to be your therapist" for a long while I couldn't understand this.

Here was someone who was incredibly experienced, someone I felt comfortable with, someone who had the skills, ---- she's even quite a lot older than me, ---- why couldn't she be my therapist. i even once offered to send her some cash, sinse I felt talking to her had been so helpful.

a few weeks ago though, something quite frightening happened. We were discussing my feelings about physical affection and my abuse, and I was trying to describe my abusers and how I felt. Very suddenly, I started to actually lose touch with reality. suddenly I wasn't talking to my friend, reality had literallly fragmented, and I actually started to feel the way I felt during my abuse, ---- I felt the same disconnection, the same coldness. My friend wasn't even prsent anymore.

We both at that point had to literally say, ---- no, this stops here, because I'm absolutely certain if we went on not only would something quite bad have probably happened with me, but we couldn't have been friends anymore, sinse I'd start to feel afraid while talking to her, afraid of falling down the slippery slope and ending up (as she put it), in a very dark place.

Now, we have a no go rule, and that's how we've stayed friends.

with my T though, I walk in expecting to go to those sorts of places, ---- several times I've literally psyked myself up to go and speak to her and walked in to see her totally tripped out on adrenaline.

I'm not saying this is a good thing, and i know quite often I'm down right rude to my T, and say things to her I'd never considder saying to a friend. back in March when i started seeing her I felt quite guilty about some of this, but I remember my friend the counceler saying "she's tough, she can take it, she really won't mind"

And surprisingly, she doesn't.

It really helps me to cry and agonize on here or to my friends, but to explore the really bad places and the worst feelings, ---- which actually do need exploring sometimes, ---- I need someone distant, and that's what I'd say my T does for me.

the main thing I feel though sometimes about my T ---- and something which I know causes problems for my friends and my parents is impatience, and lack of faith in counceling. So what if I've identified something, ---- what can I actually do! about it, and what about the things that I actually can't talk about, such as my fear of anything S related, and I'm stil not sure what to do about this. I can talk about it until the cows come home, but I'm not sure how much good it does, and all my T says is "give it time, it's a slow process" which isn't precisely helpful.


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#224337 - 05/15/08 08:38 AM Re: is therapy working for anyone out there [Re: dark empathy]
mara Offline
New Here

Registered: 04/01/08
Posts: 18
ok, so I'm not that far off the mark. Other than Freedom49, who recognizes that it is only by complete and total honesty that therapy can hope to work, and who has got proper help, the rest of the responses are pretty mixed: yes and no, maybe maybe not. This is how I feel too. This was my question: does this process work? Or is it just window-dressing?
Trish's answer scares me most of all: a therapist who is also a personal friend with him and his ex-wife? I think this shows poor judgment on the therapist's part. It also shows how much we spouses have to suppress our own discomfort with various aspects of our man's recovery.
Sorry for the negativity, but I really want to understand this. I want to believe in it.


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#224370 - 05/15/08 11:07 AM Re: is therapy working for anyone out there [Re: mara]
Marissa Offline


Registered: 05/06/08
Posts: 67
Mara -

I'm sorry if I gave the impression that I am mixed on this topic - I am not. I firmly believe that therapy helps.

I think the bottom line is that therapy works if you want it to and are willing to change how you think about things. That is a really hard conccept for my dh to grasp, but he's getting it slowly but surely.

Therapy is not a quick fix - it takes time and patience and you and your dh may not be in the same place at the same time.

The most important thing is to take care of yourself. Physically and mentally.

Your Dh has to learn to care for himself as well.


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#224521 - 05/16/08 01:35 AM Re: is therapy working for anyone out there [Re: mara]
WalkingSouth Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/30/05
Posts: 16263
Yes, therapy is working for me. I started this journey nearly 5 years ago now, and I'd probably be dead or on the streets if I'd tried to go on as I was without it.

Many times our wives think it should simply be a matter of deciding in our mind that things are different now and we should be able to just magically be recovered. A few sessions at the T and we're done. Fixed. All better.

Some of us have felt that way at times as well. I did and discovered it doesn't work that way. I will be on the recovery path for the rest of my life. Sure, I think I've got the major hurdles out of the way, but I'll be learning, growing, recovering from the damage done to me for the rest of my life and I consider that to be a positive thing. I've discontinued weekly visits to the therapist now, but I can tell you one thing, I needed them for a very long time and I still make the occasional appointment so that I can go in for a "redirect" once in a while.

One should tell the T everything there is to tell when one is able to tell. That's what You're paying them for. This thing of keeping it back is a crock. Be open and honest with your T. How the heck else do we expect them to help us out?

Anyhow, that's my story and I'm stickin' to it!

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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#224532 - 05/16/08 08:29 AM Re: is therapy working for anyone out there [Re: WalkingSouth]
Marissa Offline


Registered: 05/06/08
Posts: 67
Mara -


Your H's behavior in T - ie "giving them the impresion he i a rtock" may very well be a coping mechanism. If he said what was really on his mind, he would then be accountable for doing something about it, so to speak, and that can be really scary.

I know I hear from my dh - "I don't think I can handle it" quite a bit. There seems to be this lack of confidence in him that he has the inner strength to feel the pain and fear and still survive it. I think that is the mark of someone who has *never* allowed themselves to feel any deep pain or fear - as those of us that *have* KNOW that we can and will survive even if it is uncomfortable for awhile.

I know your frustration, Mara. I imagine all of the significant others do. All we can do is offer each other empathy and support and hope for the best.

hugs,
Marissa



Edited by Marissa (05/16/08 08:33 AM)

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#224557 - 05/16/08 10:57 AM Re: is therapy working for anyone out there [Re: mara]
chrty Offline
New Here

Registered: 04/12/08
Posts: 27
Loc: new york
I wanted to comment to what Mara said. My husband is very bright he fooled me for along time. But, going back to therapy for the five years. Alot of people should have caught on. I started to tell the truth in the 3rd yr because I wanted help for my family.
After awhile we found a female t something happened right away. He refused to talk to me and stated it was none of my business. Ok that went on for 6mths. I called the T to say he was alienating me and that if I knew there was a an end. wether later than sooner than ,ok . She was some how putting a larger rift between us and something else. My gut told me there was something else playing here. He stopped seeing her. I felt better.
The last one was also a female. She let us know immediatedly she knew three other people that my husband knew from work were also seeing her. Guess what? I am fair I wouldn't have gone back either.
MY husband can manipulate many people. Though he is a victim he has manged to size up people quickly. Something he does much better than most people. I beleve its from the rape.
My dilema is this . He is going to try to fool his next t(if there is a next T). How do I get a good t that REALLY knows a rape victim and is the problems that TRULY comes with them. Well I can't do anything about him being honest.
My husband will GET OVER if he can. That might in his mind be considered CONTROL.

_________________________
if i had to do it all again i wouldn't

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#224558 - 05/16/08 11:08 AM Re: is therapy working for anyone out there [Re: chrty]
Trish4850 Offline
BoD Liaison Emeritus
MaleSurvivor<

Registered: 10/15/05
Posts: 3280
Loc: New Jersey
You could find the greatest T in the world, but if your husband won't be straight with him/her, it won't do him or you any good. It's frustrating, I know. You think that because you get your husband in the door, all will be well. I think many of us have found out the hard way that it simply isn't true.

I do believe therapy is necessary; I do believe that anything taken away from it can be helpful. However, the old saying - you can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink is dead on point here. If the person in therapy doesn't want to or can't open up and expose himself to the harships in order to do the work, then therapy will fall flat. By the same token, even if he spills his guts at every session, like my b/f does, but still can't seem to get it through his thick skull that his way of thinking about himself is skewed and needs to change, well, then that's a pile of crap too.

*sigh* I don't know where I am today.

ROCK ON........Trish

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

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#224564 - 05/16/08 11:37 AM Re: is therapy working for anyone out there [Re: chrty]
LandOfShadow Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 684
Loc: Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
Quote:
Unfortunately, he and his now ex-wife as well as the T and her husband became social friends. He learned alot about her life, which broke down the necessary distance there should be between a T and a patient.


Wow. I've never heard such an unethical situation before. I don't believe therapy can work or be safe in this situation and I'd certainly look into it.

I'd like to comment about the "just be honest and it works" theme. While this is true, I have lots of defenses against it. Powerful-as-a-freight-train defenses that saved my life I suppose as a child. I -- no one-- can just turn them off each session. They long ago became transparent and automatic to me. But in two years I've made a lot of progress breaking them down and my therapist is able to help some with that but I think it's a rare talent that can see through well honed defenses at all quickly.

_________________________
Et par le pouvoir d’un mot Je recommence ma vie, Je suis né pour te connaître, Pour te nommer
Liberté

And by the power of a single word I can begin my life again, I was born to know you, to name you
Freedom

Paul Eluard

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#224579 - 05/16/08 01:21 PM Re: is therapy working for anyone out there [Re: LandOfShadow]
WalkingSouth Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/30/05
Posts: 16263
Originally Posted By: LandOfShadow
I have lots of defenses against it. Powerful-as-a-freight-train defenses that saved my life I suppose as a child. I -- no one-- can just turn them off each session. They long ago became transparent and automatic to me.


Excellent point.

It certainly doesn't happen for many of us all at once. It's a job of working on trust, faith, confidence, self worth, and so many other things, and as that work progresses we are able or should be able to give up those things we've been hanging onto in self defense, tell the T about them so that he/she can guide us through the pitfalls we've been stumbling into for so many years.

_________________________
“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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#225110 - 05/19/08 03:20 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 agree it's difficult when the man you're with is a different person to everyone else. For years I've watched this happen and wondered if he ever got exhausted keeping it up. I never let on to anyone, after all, I love the man, not his charade. But we have alot of mutual friends.
I believe in therapy, I think it's really his only way out of this, his only way of getting to where he can fully understand this dynamic he's caught up in. Currently, he's against it, but I haven't given up hope.
I think it's pretty normal to believe that someone else will never be able to see through us, to see what we're hiding, unless we let them. Even when I started with my T years ago, I didn't spew my entire life story first visit. I was depressed, but I didn't mention it. (Although, Joe Public could've diagnosed the depression then, I was like every depression commercial you've ever seen!) I think it's a control thing, and we've all been guilty of it at one time or another.
The difference is the trust issue. And going in, this is a stranger. It took him YEARS to tell me, I would've been surprised if he dumped it out in front of a stranger. He's not wired that way. I had to psyche him up and convince him for hours that there was no way the guy would tell him it was his fault because it wasn't.
I used to wonder why he couldn't just "say" how he was feeling until we had a discussion once and he admitted that alot of the time he's not sure what he's feeling or that he's sure he feels nothing. He also assumes he knows what others are thinking/feeling, including me. This is always "fun". I told him he should give up the exercise entirely. Besides, believe it or not,(hehehe) I'm pretty good at putting out there EXACTLY what I'm thinking and feeling at any given moment. When it comes to me, he can give his imagination a rest.
I think therapy is well worth the investment and sticking it out may lead to actual discovery. There are points in any of our lives where we "go through the motions" but it can lead to something better eventually.
Always,
Liv


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#225143 - 05/19/08 05:15 PM Re: is therapy working for anyone out there [Re: Liv2124]
TimeToLive Offline


Registered: 05/19/08
Posts: 4
Therapy works well for me, but, I've found that I can't stay in therapy for extended periods of time and have it continue to be useful. I need to take nice long breaks(sometimes multiple years) and I also find it helpful to seek out therapists from different schools of thought in order to gain different insights.

For example, my first therapist used rapid eye movement therapy and traditional cognitive therapy. My second was a pastoral counselor with a good track record of helping abuse survivors with guided prayer and>
_________________________
"I can't sleep and I can't think, life has poured me a glass that I can't drink. The rim is jagged like a razor's blade and has left a scar that will never fade." - Bride 'Time'

"Surviving is not enough and yet, for now, it must be."

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#225145 - 05/19/08 05:34 PM Re: is therapy working for anyone out there [Re: mara]
GateKPR4 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/28/07
Posts: 955
Loc: North Carolina, USA
when I was a teen and in my early 20's I looked down on the therapists and psychiatrists because they were so easy to fool.

Now I am 44 and have been in therapy for 3 years and it has done wonders for my life quality.

Its easy to not tell the therapist anything but in return they can't help with what they don't know or help someone who is not being honest.
I had to be honest with myself first and accept that what happened did happen and affected my life on all levels.
Then I had to tell my T what was really going on in my head. It was scary to go against what my mind told me not to do but I did and it was the best thing that ever happened.

I still go every 2 weeks and it does help, but I have to be honest for this to work I have to let them know what is going on with me.

The T's and Psychiatrists are not mind readers and can be fooled just like anyone else. It's my choice weather I want to do something about my pain or not.
For years I had no choice or at least believed I did not, now I know the truth and it is that I do have a choice and I can take control of my life and my pain and how much it controls me.

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

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#225541 - 05/21/08 09:54 AM Re: is therapy working for anyone out there [Re: WalkingSouth]
mara Offline
New Here

Registered: 04/01/08
Posts: 18
Thanks to all for giving me different perspectives on this one. The problem I still have though, is not understanding WHY he withholds info and hides the truth from his therapist, I totally get the connection to the abuse. That's why I want to know whether it ever works, does this profound resistance ever get overcome? Some of you have said yes and that is encouraging. I get that the defenses were formed long ago and LandofShadow says they became 'transparent and automatic' for him. I think this is a great de>

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#225543 - 05/21/08 10:00 AM Re: is therapy working for anyone out there [Re: mara]
Marissa Offline


Registered: 05/06/08
Posts: 67
Mara -

Are you looking for actual statistics? Have you tried searching the internet?

You seem to be really grasping - in need of some hope that things will work out in the end.

DO you have things in your life that bring you joy and fulfillment outside your marriage?

take care of you, mara.

Hugs,
Marissa


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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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