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#25162 - 03/25/02 01:18 PM Telling partners
fenics Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/25/02
Posts: 25
Loc: Midlands UK
I was abused between the ages of 17 and 27 by someone who entered my life as an authority figure (both maths and bible teacher). It did not involve rape but was a lot more than mere touching. I am now 39 and married with 2 kids. I have been going through therapy for a while now to deal with self-hatred, self-harm and an inability to receive affection. The abuse, which I had thought was over and had been dealt with in my own mind to my own satisfaction, has shown itself as a key factor in all of this.

Anyway, one of the possible ways of helping myself may be to talk it over with my wife. She has no idea of what happened and I have always felt that I would never tell her (or anyone) because of my age at the time. I could have said no but I didn't. Not only was I an adult during most of the period I was married for the last couple of years - how will my wife not feel betrayed? Surely she will question my sexuality?

I would love to hear from anyone who has experience of telling people in a situation like this. Has it helped? How did you go about it? How did your partner react?

Thanks for your time.


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#25163 - 03/25/02 07:18 PM Re: Telling partners
Ken Followell Offline
President
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 12/30/01
Posts: 990
Loc: Bradenton, FL
Fenics,

My abuse was younger than yours and I blocked out memory of it for a long time. When I started having glimpses of memory, I denied it to myself for a while, until I could no lnger do so. By the time I finally told my wife, she knew something was going on and talking about it with her helped her understand some things about me that worried her.

I can't speak abut the over lapping time period, but your wife probably already has some questions and this abuse very well may be easier to accext than what she is imagining. I would suggest trusting her love for you. It was worth doing so for me.

Ken

_________________________
Ken Followell

Everything works out right in the end. If things are not working right, it isn't the end yet. Don't let it bother you, relax and keep on goin
- Michael C. Muhammad

"I get up. I walk. I fall down. Meanwhile, I keep dancing."
� Rabbi Hillel

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#25164 - 03/26/02 03:32 AM Re: Telling partners
fenics Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/25/02
Posts: 25
Loc: Midlands UK
Ken

Thanks for the message. I that's the textbook answer and I am sure that it is often (or even usually) true. I think part of the problem is the fact that I colluded as an adult. The reality of my abuse was at a much lower level than it could have been (he had free access to my body but there was never any penetration, and I never touched him - you see I said no to that but I didn't say no to the rest because he would have killed himself otherwise, or such was the strongly implied threat) and somehow the relative triviality of it makes it much harder to talk about. I even feel bad talking about it here. After all, most of you guys know what real abuse is - mine was just paddling in the shallows.

I know, I know, all abuse is a betrayal of trust and the effects are there. Just as talking to someone with cancer doesn't make your own case of flu any better - but it sure as hell makes you less willing to go on about it. So, sorry everyone, and thanks for your patience.

fenics


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#25165 - 04/01/02 09:19 PM Re: Telling partners
SoCalJohn Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor


Registered: 05/18/01
Posts: 510
Loc: Los Angeles, California
fenics,

I told my wife long before we were married, and she knows my entire history,, she has been very supportive most of the time and it sure answered a lot of questions she had in the beginning of our relationship. We dated off and on for 8 years before we got married and we were best of friends for most of those years, we were married for 12 years and now we are divorced, and back to being good friends, well, most of the time.

So much of abuse has to do with power and control, i cant help but think the guy you were with was exerting a lot of power and control over you and that you did your best through it all, the fact he was implying suicide to control you says a lot,, but dude, give yourself some credit for getting away from him eventually, that is a big deal, and while we are at the big deals, the impact of what you went through had to be a huge deal, whether your realize it or not.

The question of what and when and how to tell your wife, if ever, is one you really have to come to on your own, the possible reactions to it are limitless, if your feeling inclined to tell her that sounds to me like something that would be worth about six months of therapy discussing it before you made your final decision,, its a very important matter.
on a final note, please dont trivialize what happened to you,, or compare it to anyone elses story,, it is a big deal, perhaps the biggest deal of your life..

My heart goes out to you,, hugs,,

Love,

John

_________________________
I asked him about this law he spoke of, he said,,, *watch* he then asked the others to share about their lives,,, the others talked of how things were for them, how things worked in their lives,,, and as they believed, it was so.

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#25166 - 04/02/02 03:41 AM Re: Telling partners
fenics Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/25/02
Posts: 25
Loc: Midlands UK
John

Thanks for your message.

I keep reading things that say that male survivors often trivialize their abuse and blame themselves for much of what happened to them. But I keep coming back to the thought that "in my case, it's true, I am responsible for much of it". Perhaps one day I will stop trying to work out who is to blame and concentrate on the healing.

Anyway, thanks for your recommendation to keep talking for 6 months before opening up to my wife. Now that the first real crisis has passed I think I can carry on without telling her until I have talked through all of the potential ramifications and also worked out if I can trust her.

And thanks for the hug - even electronically it means a lot.

fenics


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#25167 - 04/03/02 09:48 AM Re: Telling partners
abcd Offline
Member

Registered: 10/20/00
Posts: 189
Loc: GA
Fenics,

I have not been here in a while, but your post is one of the things I fear the most about the abuse. Let me give you a brief synopsis so you know where I am coming from. Essentially, I was abused at least before the age of 10 (my original post was incorrect, I think I said age 10, but I am only now starting to get the story straight). I can remmber at least one point of abuse from a baby sitter of sorts (oral sex)...it was not forceful, but it was a trick beyone a shadow of a doubt. Other things happened since then...many things and I can not even place them on the timeline...some of which were just random things perhaps as "homosexual" acts that happen sometimes during adolescents during their teenage years, but I think they did certainly have to do with abuse (and many times, the people that were involved were always at least a year older and more "powerful" to a certain degree). Now, I know the first was definitely abuse...the others I am not 100% sure about. Now I am 23 yo, and I have been dealing with the ramifications bit by bit. It has been tough, but I have endured. No one except a long time ex-girlfriend throughout college knows about the abuse and only then because of some confusion. I have not really talked about it with anyone else and am still dealing with it. Of late, I have even done things that maybe I regret. I too am worried that I am spiralling down out-of-control, but as a religious man, I am hanging in there (the abuse was actually one of the things that helped me find my faith and faith has been the only that has really sustained me throughout this ordeal).

The point is that it does not matter so much what label you put on it "abuse" or not "abuse". The thing is that it has greatly affected you and you're hurting from it and need help dealing with it. I am dealing with it my on my own right now because I know this is what I have to do. I have no confidant (as a wife) like you right now, so I have to wait. While I am scared about telling my future wife about the abuse, I know I will I have to do it and it will be one of the few things that start my final healing. Thus far, I am a survivor, but right now I am survivor hiding behind masks--the only people I even constantly tell about this stuff are you guys. I think you know it is necessary for you to eventually open up to your wife...you can't possibly live the next 50 years of your life without having her know.

The question I think you have is how to really go about doing it...that, unfortunately, I can not give you much advice advice on. For one, I am not married and two, I hardly know you. What I do know, however, is that I think we are on similar paths right now and have a similar goal--that is, people in our lives have to know at some point (for me, ANYONE will be good--especially my family). It's just a matter of when and how. At this point, I still do not know, but I have resolved to myself to write (within the next couple weeks) everything I might say in a letter to my family--maybe that too will help you. At the very least, it allows you to clear you head and think coherently about your "abuse" or whatever you want to call it. The point is do not hesitate to move forward, but do not feel like you have to move in leaps and bounds--one step at a time sometimes is for the best. Anyway, that's just my point of view...take it for what it's worth. Good luck and God Bless : )

\:\) \:\) \:\) \:\)


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#25168 - 04/05/02 03:30 PM Re: Telling partners
inferiornevada Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/08/02
Posts: 12
Loc: lyme connecticut & nyc
my abuse occurred at drasticalll ealry age between the yars of 4 and 7 yrs. tody i seem unphased by the reality of my situation yet i am wholely aware of the after effects of my abuse. ive had a single relationship, one that had last 3.5 yrs. long over, and now still young at the age of 22, i never consider to ever be involved with anyone again. when i read this thread i wondered about how i would approach such a situation should it ever arise again. but i dont fret over these things cause of how i am now, i cant see myself in a relationship, i dont desire, yet again i stil feel somethng missing...


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#25169 - 04/17/02 07:36 PM Re: Telling partners
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
I told my wife, the first person I ever told, a few days before our 25th wedding anniversary, some present eh ?
And boy was it hard, I hadn't got a bloody clue what her reaction was likely to be.
But I was lucky, she knew something was wrong but didn't know what, finding out was actually a relief to her.
From then on she's been my main support and has listened patiently to all the details, no matter how hard, and tried - and succeeded - in understanding my up and down days.
It's down to trust I guess, but until I told her my story I didn't know - even after 25 years- how much we trusted each other. I know now, it's total.
I sensed our relationship was bad and figured out my behaviour was to blame, and then I figured out that my behaviour could trace it's heritage right back to my childhood abuse, although I didn't call it abuse then. So I guess I had more to gain than lose and luckily I gained. Not that I knew any of this at the time of course, my memory of telling her is one of blind panic and confusion !!
But it's got to done.

_________________________
Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've imagined. As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler.
Henry David Thoreau

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#25170 - 04/17/02 07:45 PM Re: Telling partners
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
PS.
Fenics- abuse is abuse, there are NO degrees of abuse, there is no super league.
If the perpetrator had some form of power or influence over you they are an abuser.
Stay strong.
Lloydy

_________________________
Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've imagined. As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler.
Henry David Thoreau

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#25171 - 04/18/02 03:31 AM Re: Telling partners
fenics Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/25/02
Posts: 25
Loc: Midlands UK
Thanks mate


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