Newest Members
RodrigoBR, MJ545, Marant, BeingFound, journey4two
12332 Registered Users
Today's Birthdays
blueelectron9 (48), Grunty1967b (2014), highflight (42), jocks44 (54), kitm1 (47), Porrick (44)
Who's Online
0 registered (), 23 Guests and 4 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Forum Stats
12332 Members
74 Forums
63413 Topics
443357 Posts

Max Online: 418 @ 07/02/12 07:29 AM
Twitter
Page 1 of 4 1 2 3 4 >
Topic Options
#237805 - 07/13/08 01:48 AM Toughest part(s) for a survivor's spouse/partner?
heismyworld Offline
New Here

Registered: 07/31/07
Posts: 25
I just wondered if anyone would want to share what is a/are some tough part(s) for a survivor's spouse/partner? 'Just whatever comes to your heart and mind when you read my question, what do you think?

Here are some thoughts I have--I think it's tough . . .

to know how tragic the abuse was and is for my spouse.

to know what he had to do to survive at the time of the abuse and to this day. And how it can make me feel about the past and future too--his and ours together.

to look back before disclosure and see how abuse affected our relationship and feeling so helpless.

to know in thinking about disclosure how scared he was to tell me for fear of losing me.

to sometimes feel mad/hurt because there were pieces to the "puzzle" that he could have given me--if he just could have.

to know "it" could be bigger then our relationship and our family.

Take care, and God bless--


Top
#237808 - 07/13/08 02:03 AM Re: Toughest part(s) for a survivor's spouse/partner? [Re: heismyworld]
dangal Offline
New Here

Registered: 02/09/08
Posts: 222
Loc: seattle area
For me it's all the lost time. I can honestly say that my hubby and I are better today then we've ever been. That does not mean it's all rosy and wonderful but I before he told me thought he hated me, he was around only for the kids, and part of me couldn't stand him either. He was abusive and cold, closed off and I was lonely. We were up and down and never in the same place for more then short spurts. I don't feel any of that anymore. Since he's opened up and we've started therapy he's a different man. He said he feels supported for the first time in his life, not my fault he would have had it years ago, but nice to know he's feeling it now.

Also the gap between his needs and my needs is rough. I'm a very touchy person. I'm social, I'm very much a people person. He has looked at that as needy and clingy...getting better but it's there. I love the intimacy part of a relationship, he's a once every few weeks kinda guy and it's very routine I would have to say. I would love more, love a little excitment but he down right gets turned off by anything that is not in his idea of norm.

I now know why, it made me feel so unwanted and so unsexy before he let me in. I would have liked to not have felt like that for so dang long. Knowing it has nothing to do with me is life altering.

Also, I wonder where the bottom is. I have no idea if there is more he still needs to tell me. I know he's not given me much detail and I know that he may never be able to but at the same time my mind invents what I think the details might be and sometimes I feel that might be worse. I just have no clue with how well he kept this to himself for years and years if he's going to drop something else on me such as an affair or whatnot. So trust is now an issue to a degree because I now know how well he can keep secrets.

It's all ok, it's going to be ok, we have the truth and love and the desire to make this work now, both of us at the same time and that is a plus.

It's amazing how emotional it all is. Thanks for the question. Nice to refect on things.

Take care dear

_________________________
~Jen~
Life is to short to blend in

Top
#237826 - 07/13/08 09:20 AM Re: Toughest part(s) for a survivor's spouse/partner? [Re: dangal]
Trish4850 Offline
BoD Liaison Emeritus
MaleSurvivor<

Registered: 10/15/05
Posts: 3280
Loc: New Jersey
The hardest thing for me was starting over. By that I mean that I had to deal with and put away what happened before the disclosure and live in the now. My b/f and I lived through a bad, bad time because of his acting out. My head was ready to blow off my shoulders. The destruction of ME was huge. For as much as I "hated" him for what he had done, I hated me just as much, thinking that I wasn't enough of a woman to hold on to the man I loved. I thought of myself as the biggest loser on the face of the earth.

Finding me again was hard. Trusting myself and my judgments was harder. When I first found out the whole story, I was devastated for him and was in grave danger of just wiping the slate clean and focusing all my energy on him and his problems. I did do that for a while, suffering the whole time because I wasn't healing my own wounds. The men and women on this site helped me see that what I really needed was to concentrate on Trish and then concentrate on Trish & ****.

I'm still doing that. Yes, a great deal of my time is spent here, still learning and discovering. A great deal of my time is spent teaching my b/f things he should have learned as a child. It took me quite some time to figure out that telling him those things doesn't do much good, he has to see it and in order for him to see it, I have to be able to live it. So, I take my alone time, I take time with my friends, my daughter, my family. We go on vacations and have fun. We - I - am entitled to a life and I insist on having it. Lucky for me, he's willing to tag along. Sometimes, he does nothing more than observe, other times, he's right there with me having fun.

This is all still hard, the taking care of me part, but I do it because otherwise, the ship will sink. There's no doubt in my mind about that. Is it selfish? Sometimes yes, but it's not unhealthy.

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

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

Top
#238292 - 07/15/08 10:41 AM Re: Toughest part(s) for a survivor's spouse/partner? [Re: Trish4850]
Junefriday Offline


Registered: 06/05/08
Posts: 113
Loc: Canada
For me the toughest part is knowing that there is very little I can do. To watch him change so rapidly makes me feel as though the abuse has won.

Further to that, when I think about his behaviour toward me, I feel as though I have been abused too. I've read a lot about survivors becoming abusers...I never thought my husband would be one of them. But, I was only thinking of abuse in the way that he was abused. I never thought about emotional abuse. The degrading comments, making me feel as though everything I do is wrong, picking away at my self-esteem until there was very little left...that is abuse. And it breaks my heart to realize that is what my wonderful, caring, loving and sweet husband has become.

_________________________
"Love comes to those who still hope even though they've been disappointed, to those who still believe even though they've been betrayed, to those who still love even though they've been hurt before.

Top
#238518 - 07/16/08 01:06 PM Re: Toughest part(s) for a survivor's spouse/partner? [Re: Junefriday]
riviera Offline
Member

Registered: 06/01/05
Posts: 59
Loc: Spain
For me, seeing him unable to acknowledge, enjoy and finally "free" the wonderful man within.

Plus, the times when my boyf started to face the trauma and was unable to come home for hours after work, wandering in parks scared. At times he would stay speechless for hours (physically incapable of talking),absent like mentally gone, he would have severe depressions, anxiety, he could not stand presents or being credited for sth, he could not stand friends showing affection to him. He would dissociate, collapse, have panic attacks, crying jags, I caught him many times trying to self-mutilate.. the list goes on and on...

The good news is that he got over all that.

Now he is in a different stage of the recovery process.

Good luck to you all.

H




Edited by riviera (07/16/08 01:09 PM)

Top
#238547 - 07/16/08 06:15 PM Re: Toughest part(s) for a survivor's spouse/partner? [Re: Trish4850]
LittleMiss Offline


Registered: 07/02/08
Posts: 66
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: Trish4850
I hated me just as much, thinking that I wasn't enough of a woman to hold on to the man I loved. I thought of myself as the biggest loser on the face of the earth.


That's the hardest part for me. I'm just not enough. I feel like I have failed him somehow. Some small thing that I did or didn't do, has lead to this major meltdown. 7 years we trudged along, then boom. ONE miss step - that I can't even pinpoint - and everything fell apart. He told me that he had thought in the beginning that maybe I could 'make it better', but now after all these years, he has finally realized I can't. But in the same breath he'll say - I can't fix you / You can't fix me.

The hardest thing for me is just watching him and knowing that he won't let me touch him, won't let me love him, won't change his mind. The hardest thing is that his childhood was ruined beyond his control - and now his adulthood is being ruined too - but he is doing it to himself. He won't seek help.

_________________________
LittleMiss

The woods are lovely, dark and deep. But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep, And miles to go before I sleep.

Top
#238597 - 07/16/08 11:14 PM Re: Toughest part(s) for a survivor's spouse/partner? [Re: LittleMiss]
NY Daisy Offline
New Here

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

THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH YOU. Your H is transfering all of his feelings about himself onto you. He is having trouble dealing with all the emotions he is having, and is taking it out on the closest person to him, YOU. Now is that fair? NO. Do his words hurt? YES,BIG TIME. He is not letting you help him so there is not much you can do at this time. YOU DID NOT FAIL HIM. When things get to much my H turns on me. I always forgave him because I knew he didn't really mean it. This time out, I'm like, "ENOUGH" I will no longer tolerate this behavior. I told him there are better ways to deal with this, than hurting me in the process. His reply," how did I hurt you?" I told him he was being emotionally abusive to me, he laughed at me, mocked me, told me I had no idea what it was like to be abused. He could not see past his own pain to see anyone else's. I sense maybe your H can't either right now. This break might be what is best right now, without you there, he will see what he is losing,and maybe that is just what he needs to encourage him to get help. I too, am forever hopeful.

JUST REMEMBER,YOU ARE AWESOME,IT'S NOT YOU. NYDAISY


Top
#238613 - 07/17/08 01:18 AM Re: Toughest part(s) for a survivor's spouse/partner? [Re: NY Daisy]
Brokenhearted Offline
Member

Registered: 08/07/06
Posts: 644
Loc: TX
If I may chime in, dangal, what do you think caused your survivor to finally "open up" to you? I'm still waiting for my H of 15 yrs to do just that; 2 yrs ago he changed ovenight into a cold, unreachable, distant person who admitted to having many affairs throughout our marriage. I was devastated to say the very least. Lost lots of weight, then gained too much, went on anti-depressant/anti-anxiety med Lexapro b/c of panic attacks I began having...

I've read everything I can get my hands on and posted on this site endlessly, learned a lot, but still even though I have loved him unconditionally and reached out to him, he remains closed off to me. I feel repulsive. But I know I'm not. In fact as soon as I learned that I AM an attractive woman and "enough", that this coldness was not about me, I have blossomed in my self-esteem in that area, bought new clothes, and feel pretty enough to wear them for the first time since I don't know when.

But how can I help him see that it's ok and even beneficial to "open up" to me? What was it like for you? Did he just all of a sudden tell you his story and let you in, be emotional in front of you, feel close to you? Mine says he is sorry, but that he just does not "feel close" to me. It hurts a lot.

And he won't seek help either, even though he has admitted to me that he's thought of suicide now and then! I've told him he needs to take care of himself, that he can be treated so he won't hurt so much, etc. He won't talk about his abuse, just says he's depressed and then he starts looking for something external to "make it better," like buying something or a new this or that, or a different this or that, on and on. "Maybe I should work out more," you name it. We recently relocated for his new job. He thought what he needed was a new job and new different city to live in. It didn't change anything.

The hardest thing for me is just being shut out for so long, 2+ yrs now. Some things have improved, we're still together, he'll give me a little hug now and then, but still, he tells me he just does not feel close to me. I didn't change, I've been forever understanding and kind and forgiving of his affairs, anything I can do to help him and keep our marriage. But I'm paying a very big price.

Like Trish though, I am taking care of myself. I'm going back to school starting in the fall - hey, majoring in what else - psychology. I'm also doing things for my health I didn't used to do, get eye exams (first one in 15 yrs) and glasses, work out when I get a chance, buy new makeup and perfume and stuff to make me feel pretty. I'm trying to live my life regardless of what happens with us.

Lately he loves to say we're "good friends." He knows it gets to me. I tell him no, we're married, so we're supposed to date now and then. One day last wk he asked me a serious question. He said, "If you had to pick one, which would you rather be: a wife or a good friend that one can talk about anything w/?" I said, "Well, I shouldn't have to pick because we're supposed to be able to be both...." and I didn't choose one. How can I? I am a woman married to him! Yes I want him to confide in me and let me in, but also I want to remain his wife, not have him going to some "other woman" for sex or whatever. Good grief. I told him he's not supposed to separate the two out, I even said that he did that himself, separated his sexual self from the rest of himself. I told him it needs to be integrated, that no one is just one or the other.

Anyway, sorry this is so long. I feel everyone else's pain, ladies! Take care of yourselves, and decide how much you can take, but also - to the ones whose survivors are in an advanced stage of recovery - please throw the rest of us a lifeline and tell us how it happened for you and yours, how we can help our survivor to open up to us so that recovery can advance and be possible for us also.

_________________________
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

Top
#238618 - 07/17/08 02:45 AM Re: Toughest part(s) for a survivor's spouse/partner? [Re: Brokenhearted]
dangal Offline
New Here

Registered: 02/09/08
Posts: 222
Loc: seattle area
Brokenhearted:
I'm so sorry this is all going on, for you and all of the gals on here. Hard to know so much unnecessary pain is going on.

Honestly what happened was his step brother told me that my husband had been abused. Now I've always had my suspicions but hubby always denied and got downright angry if I brought the abuser up at all (he's a friend of his family) fell into a real good deep denial.

I found this out after months of therapy, anger management classes, meds, and whatever else for my husband anger issues. Most of which he blamed on me being a horrible wife, lousy person, everything my fault, I made him mad, I was the reason he was nuts, he didn't feel like this towards anyone else....
I had one foot out the door and told his step brother I was probably leaving. That is when he told me.

I told my husband what I had been told, he flipped, no no no, never happened. When really crazy. I dropped it for a few days, brought it back up, flipped out again. This went on for weeks. The final time I tried to talk to him I remember having to be down the stairs while he was up the stairs because he was soooo enraged at me for bringing it up. I had to talk to him up the stairs...

When he finally calmed down I sat by him and stopped expecting him to "admit" anything. I just told him how sorry I was. How horrible I felt and how much I wanted to take all that pain away. I told him I wished I had known and I was trying to figure out why he had kept this from me...he said in a quiet little voice "maybe I didn't know how"

We went back to therapy, this time with the knowledge of what was really causing his anger. We had a rough rough few months, I was angry at him for keeping this from me, yet I was trying to be as loving and supportive as possible and he would get angry at me for making him deal with it and for wanting him to keep moving forward with getting help.

We've had long talks about feelings but he's not really gotten mad or sad yet, scares me because I know it's in there and it's got to come out for him to heal...he's not giving details, which is fine, but I do know he's got to talk to someone about these things sometime. He's ashamed more then anything.

Now the angry I think between us has really deflated. He's not perfect, nor am I but we are working together. Therapy is the key. Having someone to tell each of us what we might be doing that is not helping the situation is critical.

I just asked hubby what it was that made him really get with the program so to speak and he said that number one I knew now and there was no going back, and secondly he was tired of living that way, he wanted to be more positive and to have a better life.....have your hubby read some of this, if he's able without getting upset.

Good luck dear! Chin up. I'm proud of you and all the work you are doing for YOU...it's important. You are important.

_________________________
~Jen~
Life is to short to blend in

Top
#238632 - 07/17/08 08:07 AM Re: Toughest part(s) for a survivor's spouse/partner? [Re: Brokenhearted]
LittleMiss Offline


Registered: 07/02/08
Posts: 66
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: Brokenhearted
And he won't seek help either, even though he has admitted to me that he's thought of suicide now and then! I've told him he needs to take care of himself, that he can be treated so he won't hurt so much, etc. He won't talk about his abuse, just says he's depressed and then he starts looking for something external to "make it better," like buying something or a new this or that, or a different this or that, on and on. "Maybe I should work out more," you name it. We recently relocated for his new job. He thought what he needed was a new job and new different city to live in. It didn't change anything.


I understand that exactly. We've lived in 8 different places in 7 years. Sometimes we just move within the city we live in. He works out like a mad man. etc etc. Suicidal thoughts, depression, and, of course, he won't seek help.

Thanks for the support NYDaisy. I need it. I appreciate it.

Maybe the hardest part was thinking all this time, that I was alone in this insanity. I thought - geez, there is no one, NO ONE, out there that is in this situation, that walks this tight rope, that smiles anyway - because if she doesn't - HIS world falls apart. I just felt so alone. Our life was a mess, and the whole world thought we were perfect - it was a lot of pressure.

I don't want to leave. He is making me. But he keeps saying "I love you", he keeps saying "we don't know how this will work out". Maybe the hardest part is that this will never NEVER be over for me. Family thinks that if we get a divorce, then it is OVER. For me its not. For me I keep HOPING. They don't have a clue.

And ya'know what else? There is this teeny tiny little flicker inside me that is kinda looking forward to living in my own place and taking care of me. Most of the time, I feel overwhelming anxiety and sadness that this is 'ending', but there is the smallest part that doesn't. MAYBE that is the hardest part.



Edited by LittleMiss (07/17/08 08:08 AM)
_________________________
LittleMiss

The woods are lovely, dark and deep. But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep, And miles to go before I sleep.

Top
Page 1 of 4 1 2 3 4 >


Moderator:  ModTeam, peroperic2009 

I agree that my access and use of the MaleSurvivor discussion forums and chat room is subject to the terms of this Agreement. AND the sole discretion of MaleSurvivor.
I agree that my use of MaleSurvivor resources are AT-WILL, and that my posting privileges may be terminated at any time, and for any reason by MaleSurvivor.