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#242284 - 08/04/08 01:53 PM Curious what you all think
dangal Offline
New Here

Registered: 02/09/08
Posts: 222
Loc: seattle area
Hey all, I hope both men and woman answer this one.

My H has been in therapy now since about October. He didn't confirm the SA till early Feb. Since that time he has not wanted to go to therapy alone. The few times he has, he won't talk to her. He sits and looks at the ground, answers yes and no questions but basically a waste of time. (T words not mine) When I'm in the room he will talk. I go alone when he's working or things are crazy but when he goes I go. It's been good for working on our marriage, it's been great about helping each of us see what this situation has done to the other one.

I have a few reservations about the whole thing however. Please comment if you have thoughts.

First, my H has spent years telling me controlling I am. I don't believe this anymore, as I've never, ever told the man what to do. I'll tell him how what he's doing makes me feel, or I've asked him to change things that hurt me but I've never demanded anything from him. I feel he's been the controlling one in the relationship. I've just finally started really understanding that I'm a good wife, and it's not all my fault.

I'm also now starting to feel like me being there all the time might reinforce these feelings that he has that I'm controlling. He's asked me to be there, told the T he wants me there, but I wonder when it's going to become me running the show. Does he want to feel like I'm in charge? Does it make he feel safer, or allow him to stay the victim? Am I thinking to hard on this?

Secondly, as connected with the above statement I'm sure is that it's now become my responsibity to make therapy work. I make the appointments, I find the babysitter, I call and move appointments around, if the T has to change the appointment she calls me.....not that I mind, but I feel like again like it could be looked at wrong in H's mind if he so chooses. Plus it's become my burden and I'm not sure it should be.

Lastly, although I love our T, she's an amazing woman who cares about us, I'm not sure she's the right one for this situation. I know H will not like the idea of starting over with someone new, god knows how hard it was to get him to open up to her as it sits. I know she means well, but from some of the things she's said it makes me think she's not got a real clear handle on CSA. Maybe I'm wrong, which is why the post today. I've read Lew's book "Victim no longer" and I've read it a few times, I've also read books for spouses, and I've been on here for over 7 months and I think I've got it down pretty well that he needs to talk, talk about it, say it outloud and not hide anymore in order to move on. I don't believe he has to tell me, I don't believe it has to be done quickly or rashly, but I do believe he's got to voice it somewhere, sometime. When I brought this up the therapist said, and I'm quoting, "Talk about the detials with someone?...Ohhh no, that would only revictimize him"

Am I crazy? Am I missing something? If I am please tell me. Again, I'm not expecting a mountain to be overcome overnight but that statement to me just shut the door for him to make progress he needs to make. I keep encouraging him to finish Mike Lew's book because it does go into this later in the book but he's just not pushed forward in his reading.

OK, long vent/questions.

Whatcha think?

_________________________
~Jen~
Life is to short to blend in

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#242297 - 08/04/08 03:10 PM Re: Curious what you all think [Re: dangal]
1islandboy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 06/23/08
Posts: 858
Loc: washington
Dangal,

One of the effects of your H having his boundaries violated is that (I believe), he has developed coping (survival) type boundaries. I believe this is the root of your controlling issue and, let's maybe add,you don't understand me in the mix. This is plainly (I believe), his lack of comfort and fear manifesting themselves.

I am not qualified to give advice and feel these issuse should be brought up your T. I believe at some point he needs to, "take charge", of his life.

I am a wrestler, it is a sport of angles. I use these same thought processes, as I recover from my abuse. I am hesitant to suggest or even state the books that I have read. (angles), as he has not even finished Victims no longer.

That being said, I have found, Speaking our truth(by Neal King), Abused Boys(by Mic Hunter)and Beyond Betrayal(by Richard B. Gartner Ph. D.) to all be excellent reads (in my case).

Given the fact that our boundaries have been violated, I believe all survivors need (boundary work) at some point. I read, Boundaries: Where You end and I begin(by Anne Katharine, M.A.)to be most helpfull. (Available through hazelden.org)


Life is to short. And, the best revenge is living a good life. Easy to say and I know it's a struggle.

You are NOT alone!

island

_________________________
Rise above the storm and you will find the sunshine ~ M.F. Fernandez

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#242299 - 08/04/08 03:17 PM Re: Curious what you all think [Re: 1islandboy]
Trish4850 Offline
BoD Liaison Emeritus
MaleSurvivor<

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

This therapist doesn't sound like she's the one for your husband to deal with the csa, but if she's working in the marriage counseling department, I wouldn't cut her loose just yet.

It's a busy day at work, but I'll post more later.

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

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

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#242302 - 08/04/08 03:37 PM Re: Curious what you all think [Re: Trish4850]
dangal Offline
New Here

Registered: 02/09/08
Posts: 222
Loc: seattle area
I'm going to clarify, when I brought this up to the T it was while H and I were both there and he was and has been saying he feels like he should be doing something. He's less then halfway through that book, in 7 months. She says, keep reading. He says ok, it's still not enough he feels. She says write. He says he'll try. He says he feels stuck. I brought up this site, and maybe a support group, that I think he needs to just talk to someone about things...that is when she said what she said. Just so you know the situation...I didn't just go in and say "hey, he needs to spill his guts" \:\)

_________________________
~Jen~
Life is to short to blend in

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#242328 - 08/04/08 05:28 PM Re: Curious what you all think [Re: dangal]
NY Daisy Offline
New Here

Registered: 02/29/08
Posts: 183
dangal I think your instincts are dead on. always trust your own judgement, and go with your gut.eventually he will need to talk to someone, he needs to let it out. does he have to go over every last detail. NO, but this has been eating away at him for so long, he won't fully heal without acknowledging how it all made him feel, how it affected his life, and what can he do to not let it anymore. This will all take time, lots,and lots of time.

If he does not feel comfortable talking to your T about this, maybe he needs to find one just for himself, or like you said, a group or here.

As for the control issues, I here you girl. My H did the same thing. you have to know that it has nothing really to do with you.Do not take it personal.

By him putting you in charge of everything,it relieves him of any responsibility if it fails, it reinforces "your control issues" in his eye, and keeps him the victim. You are the fall guy, and it sets you up to fail if all doesn't go the way he wants. My H did that to me. You are damned if you do,and damned if you don't.

To make this all work, the 2 of you have to be equals,and you can't be if you are taking on the majority of the situation. He needs to participate 100% and so do you. push him to do more for himself.

You are not crazy. As I always explain to my H, and everyone else, if you are feeling something, having thoughts or doubts, whatever, any emotion, then it should be acknowledged and validated. If it is important enough to be brought up, whether you agree or not,just listen, acknowledge, validate, in the end it makes everyone feel better.

Warmly, NYDAISY





Edited by NY Daisy (08/04/08 05:38 PM)

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#242372 - 08/04/08 09:01 PM Re: Curious what you all think [Re: NY Daisy]
BJK Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/02/07
Posts: 1526
I can't add much on the relationship front because I'm just not that experienced as far as that goes. However, I will say that Victims No Longer is probably not the best book for a survivor to start on. It's probably the best book on the market for male SA survivors, but there is a such of a thing as "too soon". Lew's book triggered me heavily, and it took me about seven months to get through it. I recommend starting with one of the books that Island recommended instead... Abused Boys by Mic Hunter is the one I started with.

No, as far as the details go, a lot of people have doubts when professionals come right out and say that the details aren't important. Believe it or not, they aren't. What is important is how those details make us, as survivors, feel. When we are young and have to endure abuse, we learn coping strategies to deal with feelings that we may have felt for the first time during our abuse...shame, anger, pain, stress, even sexual arousal. That's a big part of what a trigger is, and in order to recover, we have to reprogram our brains to learn that there are healthier ways of dealing with these feelings in our day to day lives than what kept us going as kids.

Right now, it appears as if your husband's coping strategy is to just shut it all out and hope it will all go away, and I'm suspecting that is reinforced by the fact that he doesn't see most of the effects his past has on his day to day life. I've seen that particular trait in a lot of the guys on this site, and let me just say that there is hope. However, I also think that the option of a new T should be explored. I think your husband should really be seeing someone by himself. It's okay if you take him and wait in the lobby while he's there, and I actually suggest that. I also suggest occasionally seeing someone together, and I most certainly wouldn't advise against seeing someone yourself, but I think those are secondary compared to what really needs to be done.

At some point, he has to take control of his recovery. I don't think he'll ever be able to do that as long as you are sitting in his therapy sessions with him ESPECIALLY since you stated that he mentioned that you might be controlling.

Just my two cents.

Bryan



Edited by BJK (08/04/08 09:04 PM)
_________________________
Revenge is nothing more than another way of perpetuating abuse.

What the world needs now
Is some new words of wisdom
Like la la la la la la la la la.
-David Lowery

Having a friend who will keep a secret for you is worthless compared to a friend who won't keep a secret from you.

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#242382 - 08/04/08 09:33 PM Re: Curious what you all think [Re: BJK]
dangal Offline
New Here

Registered: 02/09/08
Posts: 222
Loc: seattle area
Thanks everyone for the insight. Taking it all in. \:\)

_________________________
~Jen~
Life is to short to blend in

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#242397 - 08/04/08 10:24 PM Re: Curious what you all think [Re: dangal]
Trish4850 Offline
BoD Liaison Emeritus
MaleSurvivor<

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

I do believe that the control thing is huge. He doesn't want to be in control of the relationship or any aspect of it. Control is critical for most survivors, but when another person is involved in everyday stuff, especially relationship stuff, I can see how it would be a struggle. The potential to disappoint is great. I see that on a regular basis. My b/f is the most decisive guy out there, but if we're together, it's chore if I don't have anything in mind for dinner and tell him it's his choice. The man struggles mightily to make ANY decision that involves anyone other than him, especially me. I've said something a few times and all he does is get defensive, so I've learned different tactics to force him, for lack of a better word, to make a decision. He then gets praised for it by my enjoyment of whatever his decision was. It's working, but oh so slowly.

His perception of you being controlling may be a direct result of him being unable to control any given situation. He leaves it up to you and then feels badly on himself that he didn't/couldn't do it, whatever it may be and then in defense of himself, he turns it on you. I see it as a self esteem issue for him that's taking a huge toll on your own.

Is there something that you do now that you'd prefer not to do that he could/would do? It doesn't have to be huge, but not minor either. Maybe giving the kids their nighttime bath. Plead a bad back for a few days and ask him to handle it for you. He'll do it because you can't and it'll have the added benefit of letting him spend some extra time with the kids without you. Your undying gratitude and praise of your squeaky clean children would give him a boost. You could even suggest that since he did such a great job, he could take over that chore.

As for the T, in your conversations alone with her, have you asked her if she really believes your husband should keep the csa to himself and not talk it out? It seems weird to me that any T would really think this. The whole idea of therapy is to talk for crying out loud. If that's true for 1 issue, why not all? I can understand if she isn't qualified to deal with it and would not judge her one bit for saying so, but to shut your husband down is wrong.

I'd like to know what Ken Singer thinks your approach to both the T and your husband should be on this.

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

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

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#242425 - 08/05/08 03:15 AM Re: Curious what you all think [Re: Trish4850]
dangal Offline
New Here

Registered: 02/09/08
Posts: 222
Loc: seattle area
What I would like him to do for himself would be make his own therapy appointments and for me to not always be there. The last time I suggested he go alone, I ended up going alone. Pissed him off so bad and he wouldn't even go with me. He needs to be there, but it's overwhelming for me. I feel like I'm hostage to it sometimes, either I go or he drowns.

If he needs an appointment made, doctors or otherwise he calls me to do it. Things that he should be doing, I do. Sometimes I actually break down and get mad and cry at him, because I can't always be the one to do everything. THEN I get the, I work all day, I do this, I do that. Mentally and emotionally I have to be "on" all the time. Sometimes he even gets upset with me if I have not taken care of all the legistics to everything he thinks I should. I tell him in the amount of time you have spent calling me, you could have had it done.

To me, this is him controlling me. I have to do what he wants me to do or it's not a pleasant time. The biggest fight we have be in the past year was him asking me to take his clothes to the dry cleaners. The last minute, has to be done now, need it tomorrow, go do it....I told him no, I have so much to do, you knew you needed this and I'm busy. I was then labeled selfish, mean, ungrateful to all the things he does for me. I sobbed all the way to the stupid dry cleaners.

So, as he proclaims I'm controlling, I am making his appointments, moving mountains to do what he needs and some of the time it's stuff I really don't want to be dealing with.

I feel he's on the edge so I keep juggling.

He's come so far, he's not mean towards me as of late, he's working more as a team with me, bending more. It's much better but as I said this therapy issue is starting to make me very leary. I don't want to have to be there, to have to make his appointments, and to have to make it all work for everyone, but I'm terrified if I don't he'll quit and everything we've achieved will go to pot. As someone here today told me privatly he has to be in control of his own recovery. I want that for him. I want only the best for him, I want him happy, I love this man with my entire being. I want to only do what he needs, without losing all of me in the process anymore.

I am very grateful to you all. Ty

_________________________
~Jen~
Life is to short to blend in

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#242426 - 08/05/08 03:19 AM Re: Curious what you all think [Re: dangal]
dangal Offline
New Here

Registered: 02/09/08
Posts: 222
Loc: seattle area
P.s. Now that I've vented Trish, yes I will find ways, I'll think on it, to have him feel sucessful in doing some things on his own. It's not the day to day kid stuff, it's anything that has any mental planning. Anything that would require him to talk to someone. I'll keep thinking and coming here. It will fall into place, nothing happens very fast with this process.

_________________________
~Jen~
Life is to short to blend in

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