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#255039 - 10/14/08 12:47 AM Re: Toughest part(s) for a survivor's spouse/partner? [Re: loc]
cinaflower Offline


Registered: 10/13/08
Posts: 14
I've been married 21 years to my survivor. I do want to make it work, it's been difficult. He's been distant and cold, wierd and defensive. He makes excuses constantly and tries to make me feel like his not being there for me is somehow my fault because my expectations for life are too high. He acts like he doesn't want me, doesn't see me when I'm right in front of him. When I'm hurting and need him he's not there for me- he tries sometimes when he can and he's a kind and gentle man but he just doesn't get it- he doesn't see how he goes away and that it's all he can do to just make it through the day- let alone try to act compassionate or interested in me. He's never really wanted much sex, I've felt rejected our whole marriage. And then there's the times he tries and it takes so long and he's not there with me in spirit and he give up or loses interest- or the times when only kinky stuff works. And then there's the many many weeks and days when he'd just rather go to sleep than fool with me or try to find the energy to have sex. All the years I knew that something wasn't right with him, I knew he was struggling- I didn't trust him because I knew he wasn't being honest with me or himself- that he couldn't enjoy his life, couldn't stand up for himself, couldn't make his life what he wanted- he let it all just happen to him- and every time he got taken advantage of, more shame developed- whether it's some lady at the mall trying to sell him lotion, some guy working on our house, a homeless man asking for money, his dad who won't give him a raise or treat him with respect at work- the things he thinks he let happen to him- it keeps telling him that he's not good enough. I try so hard to pump him up but I never was a cheerleader type.
I just put it all together. The abuse and the way he is. He mentioned it many years ago like it was no big deal, something wierd that happened. I didn't realize how devastating it is- he told me it wasn't a big deal and I believed him- but I read something and it opened my eyes and I know this is the reason he can't let himself be really happy, why he can't spend any of his energy working on our marriage when he can barely function as it is. I understand now. I feel so bad for that little boy- but I'm tired of being married to a child and having one more person to take care of. I need him to deal with this and grow up- I need him to have hope that he deserves to be happy. I will be here to help him but I need him to face it.


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#255119 - 10/14/08 03:08 PM Re: Toughest part(s) for a survivor's spouse/partner? [Re: cinaflower]
sweet-n-sour Offline
Member

Registered: 10/03/06
Posts: 409
Loc: chicago
I'm really hesitant to not put a "whammy" on how far my husband and I have come. I believe the toughest part was in the very beginning, when my husband first disclosed. He had carried this huge secret for the twenty years that I knew him and it just all felt as if as much as I believed we were connected, I really didn't know him at all. Once we worked through some very difficult issues pertaining to our relationship, we seem to be in a much more stable place present day. After peeling back the layers of confusion, he still is the man that I chose to spend my life with so many years ago, he is still my Mr. Wonderful.
The thing that I learned was that it took letting go of what was wrong and to place more focus on what was right with him and with us...and there was/is a lot that is really good. I realized that positive grows positive and negative only keeps a person focused on the unfavorable.
With that said, are there still issues he needs to address? Probably, but his healing process is his alone and it is not my place to go there. I also believe that no matter who a person is with there are going to be quirks and I know that I have my share of such quirks that he has been kind enough to overlook as well. Hey, maybe my H and I are a perfect match after all. smile
S-n-S

_________________________
"As long as he continues to try, I will meet him in that determination and commitment."

cm 2007

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#255154 - 10/14/08 04:58 PM Re: Toughest part(s) for a survivor's spouse/partner? [Re: sweet-n-sour]
NY Daisy Offline
New Here

Registered: 02/29/08
Posts: 183
Dear Cinaflower,

You must tread very lightly. If your H is not ready to deal, your pushing him will only alienate him. Of course this is not easy. now that you have put 2 & 2 together, you want to work it all out and move foward as a couple, it just will not happen until he is ready. Even then it might not have the results you are hoping for. He is very lucky to have your support, love and understanding, just know he may not always appreciate it.

This is a hard, hard road. You will take many steps foward, and then twice as many back. I have known for 14 years, my H says he is completely over everything, and no longer wants to discuss it. He has been to therapy a couple of times, we have been to therapy together, and just when I think we are back on track, he throws another curve ball, and I am left dazed and confused, because I never see it coming until it has hit me right smack in the head.

Good luck with it all, we are here for you.

Warmly, NYDAISY


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#255160 - 10/14/08 05:07 PM Re: Toughest part(s) for a survivor's spouse/partner? [Re: NY Daisy]
NY Daisy Offline
New Here

Registered: 02/29/08
Posts: 183
SNS,

I am so happy for you. you were very kind to me when I first came here, and it is nice to see that things are going well for you.

I wish you continued progress, and much happiness, NYDAISY


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#255170 - 10/14/08 05:49 PM Re: Toughest part(s) for a survivor's spouse/partner? [Re: NY Daisy]
cinaflower Offline


Registered: 10/13/08
Posts: 14
Thanks for your advice. I'm really at a loss right now. I feel crazy- and I haven't even talked to him yet. It really just all hit me in the head the last two or three days- how much this has affected our lives and everything I couldn't forgive in him- his distance, his weakness, his exhaustion, his disinterest, his not wanting me, all the excuses and things we couldn't resolve- the way he is with our kids and his family and other people. He victimizes himself continually by being a doormat to everyone but me. But it has a reason now- I understand now and I feel closer to him and more compassionate and understanding than I ever have- and I see how I inadvertantly made him feel worse about himself when I said I needed better for myself. I will be gentle, I will be patient, I will help him and be there for him. I made an appointment with a therapist finally. If he won't go, I will. I'm not sure I can afford it- but I don't know if I'll be sane without it.


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#255232 - 10/14/08 09:01 PM Re: Toughest part(s) for a survivor's spouse/partner? [Re: NY Daisy]
kolisha54 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/02/03
Posts: 475
Loc: Brooklyn, NY
Originally Posted By: NY Daisy


just when I think we are back on track, he throws another curve ball, and I am left dazed and confused, because I never see it coming until it has hit me right smack in the head.


Thanks so much for the insight! I am going through this right now & it really helps to know I am not alone! My Survivor has also made great amazing breathtaking progress - so every time things get better, my soft & willing heart wills me to believe we have broken the spiral.... well, not exactly. And it always does feel like a smack in the head.

_________________________
If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am only for myself, what am I? If not now... when? --Hillel

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#255417 - 10/15/08 02:27 PM Re: Toughest part(s) for a survivor's spouse/partner? [Re: LittleMiss]
Olive Offline
New Here

Registered: 01/01/08
Posts: 16
Loc: New Jersey

The hardest part for me is having the knowledge of how the abuse affects a survivor, recognizing why he is saying what he is saying and why he is behaving or reacting the way he is, and knowing what steps need to be taken to begin the process of healing.....

and he has no clue.


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#255456 - 10/15/08 05:30 PM Re: Toughest part(s) for a survivor's spouse/partner? [Re: Olive]
NY Daisy Offline
New Here

Registered: 02/29/08
Posts: 183
Kolisha,
It really does help to know that we are not alone. Before I found this sight, I really started to question my sanity, I started thinking that maybe it was me. Friends and family saw what I saw, but HE SAW WHAT HE SAW, everyone else was nuts, He had many convincing arguments, and I felt either I was nuts or that I was being gaslighted.

Olive,
my H still does not think this affects anyone, but him. He, even after several rounds of therapy, is still clueless.

Warmly, NYDAISY


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#255499 - 10/15/08 08:07 PM Re: Toughest part(s) for a survivor's spouse/partner? [Re: NY Daisy]
kolisha54 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/02/03
Posts: 475
Loc: Brooklyn, NY
Oh my goodness! I was just thinking about the gaslighting technique! It's uncanny that you should bring it up!

I don't want to hijack this thread, so please let me know if I should start another one... I'd like to get everyone's thoughts about how to respond when we believe we are being provoked.
Don't know about the rest of you, but I have discovered that I don't make a very good victim - even a secondary victim once removed. But NOT to respond to his silent treatment gets me so frustrated. On the other hand, if I just let it go, I feel like I'm condoning it.

Any thoughts? How can I communicate this lovingly to him?

_________________________
If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am only for myself, what am I? If not now... when? --Hillel

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#255619 - 10/16/08 01:28 PM Re: Toughest part(s) for a survivor's spouse/partner? [Re: kolisha54]
NY Daisy Offline
New Here

Registered: 02/29/08
Posts: 183
ESP, girl, ESP. LOL.

How can you communicate this lovingly to him, hmmmmmm........ is that even possible? I can put mt thought on an icecream sundae with whip cream, nuts and a cherry, and if it is not what he wants to hear, well then I am just a condesending witch.

For the most part, with therapy, I have learned not to take the bait. I do not feed into it. I do not think it is condoning the bad behavior if you do not react to it. Alot of times I will just explain to him, how I did not appreciate his behavior, if he cannot except that oh well!

Of course this does not always work. I find that sometimes he will say something, purposely to hurt me, something that he has used before, and it triggers me, and then I feel all the pain he has caused me come rushing back, and it is scary. I think I have PTSD now. I am going to discuss it with my T. Is this even possible? We can be going along great, and then BAM!!!!!

Boy, this is so darn hard.

Did I even help you? I think now I hijacked the thread.


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