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#243309 - 08/08/08 09:37 PM Re: He thinks love is a feeling [Re: Junefriday]
BJK Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/02/07
Posts: 1526
Originally Posted By: Junefriday
If a survivor doesn't really know what love is, how is that so many survivors seem to have found great partners? We aren't stupid people nor are we desperate. We are with our survivors because AT SOME POINT, they did understand what love was and in fact, returned it. Why has that changed?


A few survivors are lucky enough to have found great partners, but rest assured that they are in the minority. If you are a partner of a male survivor and find yourself on this site, you have one essential quality that goes into making a great partner.

When I look at most of my survivor friends, both on this site and off, I find that most of them are in unhealthy relationships. I'm not placing any blame here, but I am saying that a vast majority of the time, survivors unintentionally find themselves in situations that perpetuate their abuse time and time again.

I know it's hard to look at a relationship and thing, "Gosh...did he ever really love me?" But it must be accepted that a survivor's perception of love is vastly different than a non-survivor's perception of love, and I know from experience that a victim can become very good at faking love for ulterior motives. When a victim becomes capable of feeling love instead of faking it, he is progressing on down the road from victim to survivor.

Bryan

_________________________
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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#243311 - 08/08/08 09:40 PM Re: He thinks love is a feeling [Re: Trish4850]
NY Daisy Offline
New Here

Registered: 02/29/08
Posts: 183
I think we all make valid points, and I don't think that Trish disagrees, she did say it is a survival mechanism, she just doesn't like the word cop out because it indicates conscious decision, which is what I agreed with at the time.

Thinking about it more and reading June's post, which I think we should start a new thread from-- IF YOU DON"T KNOW WHAT LOVE IS, HOW DID YOU WIND UP WITH GREAT PARTNERS. Good June. Anyway, why do we assume that it was an unconscious statement? How do we know he is not just trying to take the easy way out, so that he doesn't have to deal with his emotions. Are we not still making excuses for their bad behavior?

Lastly if June's H was not abused, and she told us that her H wanted out of the marriage and he said, "You deserve better, it's not you, it's me." would we make allowances for him then or would we think he was a selfish ass?

I would tell her to dump the jerk, and that he is right, YOU DO DESERVE BETTER.

I am glad my H is working hard to be the person he and I both know he can be, and I support the process, but alot of times, he is an ass, SA or not. The biggest thing here is it is ok, I love him anyway, and expect him to love me when I'm the ass.(Which if you can believe it, does happen. LOL)

Warmly, NYDAISY


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#243312 - 08/08/08 09:42 PM Re: He thinks love is a feeling [Re: Trish4850]
Junefriday Offline


Registered: 06/05/08
Posts: 113
Loc: Canada
I think your answer was "I've come to larn that he, and probably many survivors, are perfect mimics."

Your story, at least the initial part, is just like mine. I don't fall easily and though I WAS looking for someone, I didn't expect it to hit me as hard and as fast as it did. But my husband was truly everything that I was looking for. I saw it and so did everyone that met him. I guess he figured out a way to fake it for a while, only to have the real him show up later. I know it isn't really him, just the demons taking over. But I thought he was stronger than he is proving to be.

I do like what you said though, "I do deserve better, not a better man". That is a good way to put it - you're not looking for a different man, just for him to sometimes act differently.

_________________________
"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.

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#243321 - 08/08/08 10:18 PM Re: He thinks love is a feeling [Re: Junefriday]
Brokenhearted Offline
Member

Registered: 08/07/06
Posts: 644
Loc: TX
I know that love is often accompanied by a feeling, and there are different kinds, beginning w/ infatuation, puppy love, and then the strongest is mature love. Think too about how so many teenagers act in unloveable ways. If their parents decided they didn't love their teenage kids anymore because the feeling's gone, what would happen to families? There is commitment and tough love and other things involved in mature love, even when the feelings come and go.

BJK, thank you for your insight. I am sure CSA messes with one's mind as to what "love" means. No, I don't think my H has ever felt it before, which IS sad.

June Friday, Thanks, I WILL ask him what HE wants, instead of him rationalizing that divorce should occur because *I* deserve better, blah, blah, blah. Good point.

Mike, I appreciate you letting me inside your head. I am sure it is true...becuase a lot of times when I try to snuggle up to him or just say 'I love you', he will so often say, "What do you want?" Heck, I don't want anything! Just want to tell him how I feel, that's all.

BJK, Wow, when you say you have felt, "I don't deserve to have anyone love me", gee, I probably need to ask my H if that is what he thinks for himself too. Thanks for the idea.

NY Daisy, I know it is so tough to hang in there. Wow. I really hope for your sake that one day he can realize how much you care for him. And hmmm, it does make me wonder if 'you deserve better' is a cop-out.

Trish, I think you have a lot of reason to stay with your bf at this point , since he is actively trying to get better in T. I just wish I had half that in my situation w/ H.

BJK, "When a victim becomes capable of feeling love instead of faking it, he is progressing on down the road from victim to survivor." -- when or how does this happen, if ever?

NY Daisy - "Lastly if June's H was not abused, and she told us that her H wanted out of the marriage and he said, "You deserve better, it's not you, it's me." would we make allowances for him then or would we think he was a selfish ass?" This is the hardest part for me. My H WAS abused. But he is extremely cold/selfish/ass at times. Is it because of his abuse, or is it because he's just a jerk? Hard to know for sure. My heart wants to believe it is only b/c he was abused and that it has nothing to do w/ his real self. My head sometimes wonders. At any rate his selfish jerk-ness hurts a LOT.

I like that too : "I deserve better, not a different man."

Thanks everyone, y'all gave me a lot to take notes from for whenever I can talk to him again. He's working so much again that I hardly ever see him.

_________________________
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

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#243323 - 08/08/08 10:28 PM Re: He thinks love is a feeling [Re: NY Daisy]
NY Daisy Offline
New Here

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

Very good points you have made. It takes 2 people to make any relationship work, and 2 to make it fail. However, many of us entered into this union absolutely clueless to who the man they married even was. We woman spent years totally confused by the sudden change in the man they loved. They spent years being blamed for things that (1)- they knew nothing about, and (2)- had nothing to do with us. We have been emotionally, verbally, and sometimes even physically abused by the men who "LOVE" us. some of us have had to deal with our H's cheating on us, withdrawing physically,and sexually from us, no affection at all. This all before we even know the reasons behind it. After, alot of us have lost all our self-esteem, have been broken, and mentally we have now shut down, NOW he wants to share what has been going on inside him.

Our men tell us their stories, and you know what, a funny thing happens. We forgive them. We had one foot out the door, the day before, and then poof, we are recommitted to making it work. We want to be their for you. We support you in your efforts. We marvel at your progress and hold you when you regress. We listen without judgement. You are harder on yourself than we would ever be. We do this BECAUSE WE LOVE YOU. We do all this knowing that to move on we must put aside our hurt feelings, and convince ourselves you didn't even mean it. It wasn't you,it was your pain. Some of us are the only one you told. So we now carry the secret, and pain around, with you. We don't have anyone to share with.some of us have to deal with sexual identity issues as well.

After all this, we woman still have to live with what June, and many others here are going through now, the end of their marriage. Is it unhealthy, yes. however maybe it is this way for many survivors, not because they picked the wrong partner, but because they cannot appreciate the wonderful person, that chose to love them even in spite of their flaws. That these men cannot see past their own pain long enough to see the good that they do have in their life.

All of us would be alot better off, if we took the time to stop and appreciate the good, instead of always focusing on the bad. Some men leave their wives believing that they are doing it for the good of the spouse, without any consideration to what the spouse wants. They think leaving will make it easier to deal with the pain, when all it does is it leaves them alone, and in pain. They now have no one to connect with, and it won't get easier, the pattern will just keep repeating if the don't get the help they need. I am so sad for these men.

So if SA survivors are in unhealthy relationships, I think they need to think about what they have done to make it that way, and stop blaming the spouse.

BJk, you seem to have a good understanding of relationships. I think when you find the right partner, you will have enough tools to make it work, through the good times and the bad. Have faith in yourself. You deserve much happiness, all you men do.

I tell my H all the time that he is his own worst enemy. I think this is true for many of you. My heart is with you all, NYDAISY


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#243325 - 08/08/08 10:54 PM Re: He thinks love is a feeling [Re: NY Daisy]
Brokenhearted Offline
Member

Registered: 08/07/06
Posts: 644
Loc: TX
I guess another way to look at this is something I read recently in a Christian article about how 'love is a decision' as well as a feeling. The gist was, if a person find themselves in a relationship that despite that person's best efforts leaves them emotionally or verbally or otherwise abused, then that person must make the decision to LOVE THEMSELVES and get out of the relationship. So maybe that's how I'll decide to look at this if all else fails. There might be something to it, since I've endured so much pain and grief in trying to keep us together. So maybe at the 'end' - if he forces the end of it - I'll make the decision to LOVE MYSELF and be glad to get away from him.

We all have to mentally get our heads around our situations as best we can.

_________________________
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

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#243326 - 08/08/08 10:56 PM Re: He thinks love is a feeling [Re: Brokenhearted]
BJK Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/02/07
Posts: 1526
Originally Posted By: Brokenhearted
BJK, "When a victim becomes capable of feeling love instead of faking it, he is progressing on down the road from victim to survivor." -- when or how does this happen, if ever?


At some point, a potential survivor has to take responsibility for his recovery. I have seen too many partners of survivors enduring bitter ends to not acknowledge that the transition from victim to survivor does not happen overnight. One of the sayings I use a lot is that the conscious decision for a victim to not perpetuate his or her abuse, whether intentional or not, is what separates the victims from the survivors. A lot of the partners who post in this forum are being abused to varying degrees in their own marriages, and that is truly unfortunate. However, what I have also noticed is that partnerships that rely on mutual respect rather than co-dependency seem to have the ability to move past that stage of "searching for bounaries" into something wonderful. After all, abuse really is nothing more than the continual violation of personal boundaries.

How does it happen? Well, for me it happened because I witnessed the love that some children, my sister's kids, had for me. I barely knew them, and yet they thought I was the world. I didn't understand how that was possible especially so soon after the emotional breakdown that I had upon realizing that my childhood was all a lie. If these four kids could love me just because I was their Uncle Bryan, and I didn't even have to do anything to earn that love, well...that clicked on a switch inside of me that opened the floodgates of emotion that didn't stop for well over six months. My perception of what love was before was that I had to do something to earn it. I've come to realize that all love really needs is respect, and my discovery of that was a life changing and life shattering experience all at the same time.

Love hurts to someone who has never felt it before, but its a pain that can continually be fed until it grows into something wonderful.

Bryan

_________________________
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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#243328 - 08/08/08 11:04 PM Re: He thinks love is a feeling [Re: NY Daisy]
BJK Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/02/07
Posts: 1526
Daisy,

I agree that there is no coincidence that so many survivors find themselves in abusive or incompatible relationships. It's a result of their abuse, and I think "blame" is the wrong word to use as far as why this happens. A lot of these relationships are abusive both ways, but I will acknowledge that abuse begets more abuse. When someone is the victim of abuse and does not take the initiative to stop that abuse from perpetuating, he or she falls into the trap of living the>
_________________________
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.

Top
#243330 - 08/08/08 11:46 PM Re: He thinks love is a feeling [Re: BJK]
NY Daisy Offline
New Here

Registered: 02/29/08
Posts: 183
Brokenhearted and BJK,

first- broken hearted you should love yourself NOW and always, do not wait till you see where your marriage ends up. I agree with BJK. Read his last paragraph.

BJK- I used the word blame because it is the word used by many here and alot of the Sa survivors "BLAME" their spouse for alot, which is why the women use the word alot.

I agree with what you said, this process does take a long time. I have learned that the hard way. My H told me 13yrs ago. He changed about 2yrs before that. WE FOUGHT ALL THE TIME. After he told we went to therapy together, and he stayed in his own.( he was going without my knowledge for a yr before I knew) We after a yr decided things were better and we ended therapy.

Things were good. We had a "normal" marriage. I never really even thought about the abuse, and he never brought it up.

5yrs later, it starts again. We go back to T. He goes back to his. We work on it again.

Things are ok, again. Our marriage is "normal" again. Same as before. AHHHH,life is good. OR IS IT?

Now here I am again. This time I know that my marriage will never be "normal". It is not a bad thing. We are getting along much better these days, and He and I are both committed to make it work. My mistake in this was believing that it could all be processed in a yr or so ,and all would be well. He definitely wanted me to believe it, when he had already known that it was not true.

I choose to trust his word, but I know that at anytime this could all blow up in my face,and I will have to deal with that day if it ever comes. The best thing for me is to focus on myself, and not just him.

He says he loves me, and that is a good thing.

Warmly, NYDAISY


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#243342 - 08/09/08 01:04 AM Re: He thinks love is a feeling [Re: NY Daisy]
Trish4850 Offline
BoD Liaison Emeritus
MaleSurvivor<

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

Daisy took the words right off my computer screen. Love yourself and take care of yourself NOW. No life should be so tied to another that we can't stand alone. It's not preferable, far from it, but if it happens, we have to be able to depend on ourselves.

I understand better from your post above what you mean about love being a decision rather than a feeling, but I think a distinction has to be made. Love is a feeling; it's what draws us to another person and makes us want to be with them, through thick and thin. The decision is just how thick or thin does it get before love alone isn't enough to hold it together. Mature love, as you put it, is comprised of everything that happens in our lives. Two people who started with love have built on that feeling as a foundation for enjoying all the good and withstanding the bad. When one side the equation gets stunted and can't fathom that ANY bad can happen if they love, there is a huge problem.

That's where survivors get caught up and have no idea what to make of things. My b/f, like your husband, says he doesn't feel. He doesn't understand the concept of love. He wants to and hopefully he's learning through me what it is, but it's completely foreign. All a survivor has to understand what love is, is the hell he went through by an abuser who may have told him he loved him and then hurt him or some fairy tale love they see told in movies. Neither one is real but both things are something he can see. It's all or nothing, anything in the middle doesn't fit.

Bryan, you're right. Most survivors wind up in destructive relationships. Before I met my b/f and when he cheated on me that's what he sought out. The women he felt comfortable with were as damaged as he was. He knew how to deal with that because he expected nothing better. His marriage of 11 years was a continuation of his abuse at home. The women after were vessels. Some were looking for a savior, which he appeared to be because no matter their lot in life, he treated them well but he ran like the wind from any sign of commitment.

ROCK ON........Trish

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

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