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#24750 - 11/27/02 11:15 AM need advice *trigger?*
zadok1 Offline
Member

Registered: 11/05/02
Posts: 188
Loc: Ohio
An update on my wife and I

Things are improving, not sexually, but emotionally. A few days back, after realizing my part in the wall that is growing between us, I began working very hard on talking and paying attention to her. Affection and intimacy are the foundations for sex, and I know that I must do my part if we are to heal things. I allowed resentment to build in me, and drive a wedge between us. Only days ago, we each clung to our side of the bed, staying as far apart as we could. She would bury her head, and pile up blankets and pillows between us. Naturally I did my part, pretending to be fast asleep when she came to bed. I felt so alone and distant, I believe that I could have walked out on her by then.

I took a step back the other day, and asked myself what was really important in life. Clearly my wife and kids have to rank first, even above my own needs and ambitions. Was I willing to let this resentment and selfishness claim my marriage? No, I donít think so.

Love, closeness and marriage are something that you must work very hard at. There are no such things as perfect relationships, or perfect people. For my part, my father was very abusive. He would throw these loud fits, yelling and calling me names. I did two things to cope. First I learned to put my thoughts aside, and simply do what he wanted. I let him control me this way until well into my twenties. This is largely where my relationship problems are coming from. My addiction takes a back seat to my lack of assertiveness. I let my strong wife walk all over me, not that she knows she is doing it. How could she? I never tell her what I want or need. Instead I go with the flow, and then allow resentment and anger to build up inside. I hate myself for being weak, and it keeps coming out in unhealthy ways such as addiction and closing myself off from the world.

The second way I dealt with my father was by turning to sex for escape. Yet, sexual addiction is actually a symptom of a larger problem. The root cause of everything is my fatherís abuse. Even being molested when I was six isnít the root of things. I could have dealt with that, it only introduced the vehicle I would use to escape. It wouldnít have become addiction if I didnít need a coping mechanism to begin with.

So what do I do? Do I walk around pissed off at my father for the rest of my life? Clearly, as a Christian, feeling ill toward him makes me feel ashamed and sinful. I need to be pissed at him, but canít because I goes against what I believe is right. It is far easier to be depressed and upset with myself for failing to set things right than to feel what I know I want to.

At some point, I had to rise above the endless circles of pain, anger and distress. I refuse from this point on to wallow there. I will forgive myself, and work very hard on correcting to worst symptom of my abuse, passiveness. Being passive causes me more problems than my addiction ever did. If I were assertive enough to say when my needs werenít being met, then I wouldnít suffer for months before working on it.

I want to know, how would you feel if your mate told you that his/her needs werenít being met? Would it make you mad, and feel like he/she was being selfish? Also, how would you like to hear it? I mean is bluntly saying it best, or is there a caring way you would like such news? I want to strike up a conversation about it, but want to do it in a positive, open way. I donít want to kill the emerging closeness we have begun, and drive her back away. Yet, I feel that if I cannot become more assertive, I will never be proud of myself, nor get over hating myself.

_________________________
The world is a dangerous place, not because of those that are evil, but because of those who do nothing about them- Albert Einstein

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#24751 - 11/27/02 12:54 PM Re: need advice *trigger?*
New to this Offline
Member

Registered: 09/16/02
Posts: 138
Loc: Mississippi
Have you been reading my diary? Except for an abusive father, this could be my post(maybe not as well written).

My wife is a control freak, so gaining a sense of control is an issue for me. I've not said that any need was not being met, but I do use the phrase "you know what I need?". I was blunt about one thing. It wasn't a pleasant sight & I do not recommend it.

After 10 years of marriage it is not easy to up and change the roles that we have established.

I've taken some pride in knowing that I could force things to be done the way I want them done, but I let her do things her way out of love for her. Her need to control is a big deal. I've learned to balance my needs with her needs.

The real danger is in reaching the point where she says "Ok, you be in charge", that's not sumbission--its a dare. She knows that you have never been in charge and that you can't handle it, and she will get to say "I told you so", and cut off your balls and make 'em into her favorite pair of earings.

Proceed with extreme caution.

Devon

_________________________
"Knowledge itself is power" Francis Bacon

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#24752 - 11/27/02 04:33 PM Re: need advice *trigger?*
Wuamei Offline
Member

Registered: 08/19/02
Posts: 2700
Loc: The left turn I should have ta...
Zadok:

I'm glad to hear things are improving. Build on that momentum. Being assertive is not a bad thing, nor is being honest enuf to say what you need & what you don't need, what hurts you.

My wife is no control freak, but replace father with mother and our stories are quite similar.

Just last night I was feeling depressed, been in kind of a funk lately becuz of the holidays (which I've never liked much) and my fibromyalgia flaring.

Instead of isolating like I usually do, I went to my wife & crying told her I felt we were too distant & wanted to be more intimate in every way. Of course in my case this is just what my wife has been longing to hear, bless her heart. We talked & hugged awhile until our daughter got here--both are gonna be home for Thanksgiving.

I'm sure you'll be able to tell your wife you want to increase the closeness you've been having. If for her that means more control, or if you feel you can't tell her that until you deal with her control issues & your lack of assertiveness, bring it up gently in the context of that's what it'll take to build your intimacy.

If she wants intimacy she'll respond accordingly if not immediately. If she wants control then you can hopefully begin to exercise tough love & say no that's not what intimacy, love & marriage are all about. Let's work together.

Thats just my thots for what they're worth.

I wish you & your wife well. Take care Zakok.

Wuame

_________________________
"I can't stand pain. It hurts me."
--Daffy Duck

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#24753 - 11/29/02 08:24 AM Re: need advice *trigger?*
zadok1 Offline
Member

Registered: 11/05/02
Posts: 188
Loc: Ohio
thank you guys for taking time to reply. i feel that i have made real progress over the past couple of years. there was a time where i couldnt have told her what my needs were. at least i can admit that i need her, and need intimacy, support and validation from her. i can even explain what she can do to help me feel that way.

we all want to think we are NORMAL, and admitting that i needed help and advice was hard. i didnt want to admit that i was sick or weak. then it came to me that needing help was NORMAL. everyone faces trouble in thier life, and abnormal would be someone who had no problems. when i dropped the sex addict and surivor labels, and felt normal in my search for healing and help, i made real strides toward healing.

what continues to surprise me is just how much of my life that abuse has made inroads in. it made me into a liar. it started with small lies to cover my sexual activities, but the more i lied the easier it was. by the time my wife confronted me, i was lying about all sorts of stupid things.

then it closed me off from the world. i lived a dual life, the abused and addicted one that i let no one see, and the one i held out to the world. to let someone inside became impossible, and believe me, learning to share such things with my wife has been hard.

i also learned to give in all the time, so that there wouldnt be a confrontation. i learned to push my thoughts and needs aside to avoid fights. i didnt want to give my father a reason to throw and tantrum, so i simply caved in. i tried to do what he wanted, and never allowed myself to feel anything.

i have decided that i am going to be angry with him for a time. i have spent my life feeling the way everyone wanted me to. now i want to feel whatever i feel. i am angry with my father. though i wont deny i had a part in what happened, his abuse was the reason for my sexual addiction, my closed off emotions, and my inability to have a happy life. he brow-beat me into feeling less than human, and drove me to hate my life so bad that i could have ended it.

i feel i am rambling, but thanks again, and God bless.

jeff

_________________________
The world is a dangerous place, not because of those that are evil, but because of those who do nothing about them- Albert Einstein

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#24754 - 11/29/02 09:41 AM Re: need advice *trigger?*
New to this Offline
Member

Registered: 09/16/02
Posts: 138
Loc: Mississippi
Jeff,

You have some really good insight. Recognizing which problems came from the abuse helped me to deal with my own.
I'm amazed at how similar your thoughts are to my own. Your posts have helped me to evaluate my own progress.
Thanks for posting. Keep working on becoming the man you want to be--you'll get there.
Devon

_________________________
"Knowledge itself is power" Francis Bacon

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#24755 - 11/29/02 09:59 AM Re: need advice *trigger?*
guy43 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/17/02
Posts: 450
Loc: Minnesota
Jeff,
Thank you for sharing your update. I was touched by it. I've run smack into my abuse and addiction issues every time I've been in a relationship. Bravo to you for standing up for yourself, with your wife and symbolicly toward your father! I wish you the best with your wife and find new ways to meet each others needs in a loving, tender way.

Quote:
I took a step back the other day, and asked myself what was really important in life. Clearly my wife and kids have to rank first, even above my own needs and ambitions.
Yes, to put your family and perhaps spiritual life as your first priority is the most important thing we as men can do when raising a family.

I believe, but can hardly put into practise yet, that I need to put getting my needs (and wants maybe) first. If I don't, I end up feeling used, that I don't count; it's my way of building resentments and falling back into old dysfunctional coping patterns that lead to my breaking up. If I learn how to nuture myself, only then can I nuture others. Finding the balance between my needs and others... ha, now thats the trick for me.

Quote:
The second way I dealt with my father was by turning to sex for escape. Yet, sexual addiction is actually a symptom of a larger problem. The root cause of everything is my fatherís abuse. Even being molested when I was six isnít the root of things. I could have dealt with that, it only introduced the vehicle I would use to escape. It wouldnít have become addiction if I didnít need a coping mechanism to begin with.
This says it all for me, written far more clearly than I could. I can't heal the whole tree (me) if the roots (my deepest issues) are ignored.

From your second post
Quote:
what continues to surprise me is just how much of my life that abuse has made inroads in...

...then it closed me off from the world. i lived a dual life, the abused and addicted one that i let no one see, and the one i held out to the world. to let someone inside became impossible, and believe me, learning to share such things with my wife has been hard.
My journey may be hard, but it's not impossible!!! My dark side strives to destroy me, facing my truths is where I can now really begin my journey toward a life I want to live.

Seeing other men here facing their issues and dark sides helps me see I can do it too.

Go for it Jeff, be angry at your father. Feeling those feelings we've buried for so long is the only way to get past them and heal the old wounds.

Jer


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#24756 - 11/29/02 11:45 AM Re: need advice *trigger?*
arghilles Offline
Member

Registered: 07/26/02
Posts: 45
Loc: Stockholm, Sweden
Hi Jeff!

It just makes me mad when I read " I won't deny I had a part in what happened".
I feel and have been feeling the way you feel now all my life. Being the liar, not asserting my needs, closing up, zooming out, not thinking myself cause all my energy has been directed towards handling my dad's abusiveness.
It takes so much time to learn just to think and be present and not zoom out. I am working on that part now and I realize that we are able to change. I can change and so can you. We need not be victims.
You were NOT part of what happened. You were not there, not present. Not present enough to be able to say anything and being yourself. How could you have been part of it??
HE was in charge and you had no part, did you get to choose your part?, cause you had no will on your own, no matter how you felt then. You were his victim and he manipulated you.

I am sorry, I get carried away. I have also thought that I was there, but I wasn't, not the real me. I had escaped and I still do to this day, but I am fighting my way back to the living.

take care,

Erik

_________________________
Erik

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#24757 - 11/29/02 01:05 PM Re: need advice *trigger?*
zadok1 Offline
Member

Registered: 11/05/02
Posts: 188
Loc: Ohio
by my part, i want to own my place in things. for me, i dont want to simply use more excuses. if i lay the blame totally at my father's feet, that makes him a valid excuse for everything i have done. i am through making excuses. i chose to follow an older boy into the bushes where he molested me. my innner voice was telling me better, and i knew it was wrong, but i went any way. no, i didnt fully understand, but i still played a part in it. same with my father. i chose to use sex to escape him. i was powerless to stop him, but the power of how to deal with it was mine. i made a unhealthy choice. it is fine to say something contributed to what happened along the way, but i have run from my responsibility for far too long. i am ultimately responsible for where my life went. i didnt have to escape into sex. i didnt have to go with that boy. i didnt have to seduce all those women. i didnt have to cheat on my wife. those are all my fault. i promised that i would stop lying to myself, and i am trying to call it the way i see it from now on. i was abused and addicted to sex, but today i am not. i made bad choices, but not today. i own what i did, and it keeps me grounded so i dont do it again. that is just how i cope. it may not work for everyone, but it does for me.

_________________________
The world is a dangerous place, not because of those that are evil, but because of those who do nothing about them- Albert Einstein

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#24758 - 11/29/02 03:20 PM Re: need advice *trigger?*
New to this Offline
Member

Registered: 09/16/02
Posts: 138
Loc: Mississippi
Hey guys,

There are some awesome words and thoughts here. I think we all need to take ownership.
Blaming all of my problems on my abuse has been my mechanism to cope. I've felt my recovery had stalled, and maybe this is why. I've accepted what happened--but blamed my actions on the abuse.
I guess it's time for me to take ownership.

Thanks for sharing.

Devon

_________________________
"Knowledge itself is power" Francis Bacon

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#24759 - 11/29/02 06:49 PM Re: need advice *trigger?*
Wuamei Offline
Member

Registered: 08/19/02
Posts: 2700
Loc: The left turn I should have ta...
What I'm trying to do, and I think succeeding to some degree, is move from using "I was abused" as an excuse, to using "I was abused" as a factual explanation that helps me, and if need be others, to understand what lies behind my acting out, dysfunctional behavior, whatever. Knowing the root helps dig it out & thus kill the evil fruits. At least that's how it seems to be working for me.

Wuame

_________________________
"I can't stand pain. It hurts me."
--Daffy Duck

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