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#267888 - 12/19/08 07:16 AM please, could use some coaching/opinions...guys?
riz Offline


Registered: 10/07/08
Posts: 123
Hello all,

I have been coming to this board for several months, since my husband left after disclosing his abuse. Although I haven't posted much, I have found it very helpful.

My husband says the relationship is over, that he is meant to be alone, that he could never risk hurting me anymore, that when there is something in his life he loves too much, he must cut that thing from his life.

I understood from reading posts here that these are common thoughts of a CSA survivor and that running away or acting out are common actions after disclosure.

I have been doing my best to give my husband space, to be non-judgemental, to support him when he calls. And he does call...every day at first because he told me he was leaving only till her got things sorted out.

Then once he decided that he would not be returning to the relationship, he has been trying not to call. But he does call. He has called me upset and crying. He has called me asking me to visit him. He has called telling me visiting is not a good idea. He has called to chat, formally, as if with an old acquaintance, as if we were never married. He has called to speak to me about intimate details of his life.

To me, he is clearly in a relationship with me but he denies that and with that denial, denies me to participate as one half of the relationship that has feelings and needs respect. His version of respecting me is to tell me that he will never be with me again so as not to hurt me.

He seems to be steeling himself against wanting to communicate with me, but sometimes just really needs to talk and has no one else to turn to. So it isn't really working because some of the conversations really cut me...but because we are "not in a realtionship" I have no right to give my opinion or ask too many questions.

I have been willing to let him steer all communication because it seems to me that people who have just disclosed are extremely vulnerable and I haven't wanted to alienate him. I wanted to make sure he didn't stop contacting me at all.

So I have two questions:

First, when you guys have asked for "space" and thinking you are not deserving of love, would it make you happy when a loved one tried to break through your wall a little? called to see how you are doing? to make inquiries regarding your progress? let you know that they were still there? Or does that just seem invasive if you've said you want space.

If it is ok to try to get in, how much is too much? A phone call to say hi? Asking if you found a therapist? Sharing ideas from this website? Are inquiries like that too much?

Second, when is it "safe" for me to make demands on the relationship. If he has decided that he does not want to be married to me, I can accept that. However, he has told me that I am not his wife, not his friend, only a very important person in his life that he never wants to hurt.

But it hurts me to be cut off from him and to wonder how he's doing. It hurts me to hear him address me so formally, like an old office buddy. I tried to bring this up a little bit...a little, little bit, and I feel like he pulled away. I finally called him and he was polite but there was a wall. I think he is trying to steel himself more so he never has to communicate with me again.

You see, I am caught between "he's lucky to have you" and "why do you stay with him". I think I'm trying to be supportive in part of a process, but maybe the process is just an ivention inside my head?

Thank you for listening. Any thoughts are greatly appreciated. I asked for response from the guys for insight into how his thought process might be, but if women have advice, too, I'm happy to hear.

Riz


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#267890 - 12/19/08 07:53 AM Re: please, could use some coaching/opinions...guys? [Re: riz]
Still Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/16/07
Posts: 6453
Loc: Right Behind You!
IMO: "Space" can mean ANY (and an always shifting) combination of the following: Physical distance, emotional distance and/or time.

Right now (and for the past year) I have not wanted ANY space. I desperately need closeness and close support.
___________________

Quote:
Second, when is it "safe" for me to make demands on the relationship. If he has decided that he does not want to be married to me, I can accept that. However, he has told me that I am not his wife, not his friend, only a very important person in his life that he never wants to hurt.


Does any of this (stuff he's saying) even sound like the guy you married? I'm guessing not.

He's very possibly feeling disgust, shame, confusion....just a TON of pain. There were times I did not even want my wife to look at me because I felt like a hideous freak.

In these instances (and still) I feel toxic to people, hideous and fully convinced I ought never be around real humans.

Quote:
You see, I am caught between "he's lucky to have you" and "why do you stay with him".


I'm gonna be blunt here: Yes, he's lucky to have you!
Why do you stay with him? He's not a stranger you just met on the street. He's not a story you see on the news one night. You know what he is to you. If he's not all that much to you, act accordingly. Act according to what he is to you.

_________________________
Keep the others in your life happy - Comply Comply Comply

The Aftermath Video

My Absolute Hero!

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#267891 - 12/19/08 07:53 AM Re: please, could use some coaching/opinions...guys? [Re: riz]
Sans Logos Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/31/03
Posts: 5791
Loc: in my own world in pittsburgh,...
riz, sorry you are experiencing this now at this time when normal life is confused by all the hustle and bustle of the frenetic holiday season.

a couple of things come to mind in your question:
Quote:
So I have two questions:
First, when you guys have asked for "space" ...would it make you happy when a loved one tried to break through your wall a little?


emphatic "NO". my experience [ mind you, i am one useless human when it comes to one on one relationships, and i am single so i don't have to bother dealing with a real situation like this ] but, pursuing me in such situations equals more victimization. it's like being chased down by the perp. because all i see in such a situation is that they want only that one thing from me: to possess me and objectify me for their own desires. and see if i were your partner, i would see your attempt to pursue me as being stalked in the same way. nothing personal at all, and that's what hurts i guess the most, is that it seems, after all you had shared up to this point, so impersonal. that's gotta hurt really badly. it's not meant to be personal for him, but it is for you.

the only thing i see that you can do, is not try to control or manipulate the situation.....yes, sorry, that means letting him go, and allow him to deal with it on his terms. the banal ron wants to insert that worn out pithy platitude: 'if you love something, let it go, if it comes back to you ..... call security!'

i know you speak about his denial, but i think you have already turned the corner and entered the closing chapter of your relationship, and looks to me like it might be you who is in denial now.

you have to let him have it his way this time. cut your losses and move on; take down the misletoe and place it on the grave. meet someone who is more ready.

that's not meant to be 'sage advice', but if i were you, that's what i would to.

maybe someone else has a better 'trick' up their sleeve, but again, sorry to say, in your partner's current state of mind regarding the relationship, he may merely perceive any attempt to cajole, demand, inquire, inspire, unite, enlighten would be seen through his perception filter of attack and restraint.

you already know all this though, i'm just verifying it for you.

all i can suggest is prayer at this point, but not that either side gets what they want out of the other person, but rather for whatever is meant to be, and that both of you are able to move on to the next leg of your life with the least amount of baggage and connection to the past as is uberhumanly possible.

you crossed paths with a survivor, and now you have a brand new perspective on the inner world of the wounded male. you have a new flashlight to carry into the next chapter. that has got to a bittersweet cause for celebration, i hope.

good luck dear heart,

ron

_________________________
  1. the past
  2. ReClaiming Now
  3. advocacy


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#267898 - 12/19/08 09:23 AM Re: please, could use some coaching/opinions...guys? [Re: Sans Logos]
Still Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/16/07
Posts: 6453
Loc: Right Behind You!
K...Time for one of my sound-bite rebuttals:

If he were diagnosed with an organic mental disorder; say, sizophrenia (sp). Then what?

Let's not forget; He's your husband and he is still alive. OR, he's not dead.

From my position I have to ask you Riz, why this unwilling victim of abuse ought to have a severed marriage contract?

Is it the nature of the injury? Is it the nature of the post-trauma healing?

I'm not intending to be judgemental here. I just know you ought to explore these avenues as well.

_________________________
Keep the others in your life happy - Comply Comply Comply

The Aftermath Video

My Absolute Hero!

Top
#267900 - 12/19/08 09:43 AM Re: please, could use some coaching/opinions...guys? [Re: Sans Logos]
ttoon Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 06/19/07
Posts: 977
riz,


If your husband came home and told you he had just returned from the doctor's office where the doctor had told him he was diabetic, it would certainly change both of your lives forever.

If that were true, what would his responsibility be and, what would yours be?

It would, certainly, be life altering. There would be a huge amount of loss to contend with. Consider that loss and everything it implies. The denial, the anger, the bargaining one might do. The sadness and, ultimately, hopefully, the acceptance as we transition from who we were before the diagnosis to who we are now after processing it.

But, you may say, he has known all along. And, that might very well be true...but, in isolation we rarely challenge the misinformation, like laundry left at the bottom of the hamper, that damp washcloth that you got from Aunt Gertie twenty years ago as a wedding gift, buried at the bottom of a forgotten clothes hamper for any real length of time, is not going to be the same.

He's told you, thrown this huge boulder into the relationship and it is, of course, without a doubt, going to produce some massive ripples. And, he now has to work through it all...you know now...it is real. It isn't something safely tucked away...it is out in the open. And, with it, comes that loss again, your relationships is changed forever. You will never be able to go back to what it once was.

The important thing to consider, might be, that everything he is doing, everything...makes sense in the context of what has happened and is happening. Everything that you are feeling, too...makes sense, in the context of what is going on.

So, he comes home...tells you he is diabetic. What happens next? He might feel like isolating because this is a huge change, he might feel like it is a burden to you, he might be unwilling or unable to see the larger picture right away. But, ultimately, he has to make a decision and, he has to be responsible for the changes that are now involved. You can not follow him around each day, every minute, making sure he takes his medication and eats properly. You have to make a decision, too and, you have to be responsible, also.

You are not his therapist and even if you had all the information available on this subject, it would still not be your responsibility to heal your husband. And, no amount of work, on your part, is going to get the relationship you did have...back.

This is not a do it yourself project. I cannot imagine any relationship surviving it without outside help. If he is not willing or able to seek help, you still can. You can process the grief and grieve...you can still live regardless of what he decides to do.


I wish you well, truly...


:-)


Dave

_________________________
checkin out for a few weeks... whistle
02/07/09

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#267927 - 12/19/08 12:36 PM Re: please, could use some coaching/opinions...guys? [Re: ttoon]
michael banks Offline


Registered: 06/12/08
Posts: 1755
Loc: Mojave Desert, Ca
Riz,

There is alot of words of wisdom being shared from the guys who posted above.
But what I have read from your post he is the one who choose to leave and he is the one that said that the marriage is over.
He has stated that he needs his space but at the same time he is not allowing you to have yours. Everything is being done on his terms which in fact is extremely hurtful and damaging to you.
You need to set some boundaries with him in order to take care of yourself. You have allow him to have his space but at the same time you need set some healthy distance from him for yourself.
It would be healthier for you to tell him how you feel about him. What you want and expect in terms of your marriage and relationship with him. To not call you until he wants to work on your marriage and your relationship as equals.
During this time and space that you are giving him, to seek the help he needs but that you can not provide it for him.
If you contiue to allow him trample over your boundaries everytime he feels lonely. He will never seek the help he needs.
And that is not healthy for either of you.
Your feelings and needs are important too don't ever forget that.
You need to take care of yourself and your needs so that if sometime in the future. When and if he gets help you will be in a place personally to ensure that you two can have a healthier and happier marriage.
If you take care of yourself it may give him the incentive to address his problems. If you choose to grow and heal he will have no other choice but to follow suit or be left behind. From what you have shared he does still love you and that love or the loss of, maybe the motivator for him to seek help.
It maybe help for you to read some books on co-dependency and the book "Victims No Longer" and read the chapter-For(And About)Partners,Family,And Friends.

I know that this will be extremely diffcult to do but well worth it for both yourself and your husband.

Wish you the best in "YOUR RECOVERY".

Mike

_________________________
To own one's shadow is the highest moral act of a human.
-Robert Johnson-

"IT ought never be forgotten that the past is the parent of the future" John C. Calhoun

WOR Alumni Sequoia 2009

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#267999 - 12/19/08 08:04 PM Re: please, could use some coaching/opinions...guys? [Re: riz]
lostcowboy Offline
Member

Registered: 11/10/04
Posts: 797
Loc: North Texas
Originally Posted By: riz
Hello all,

I have been coming to this board for several months, since my husband left after disclosing his abuse. Although I haven't posted much, I have found it very helpful.

My husband says the relationship is over, that he is meant to be alone, that he could never risk hurting me anymore, that when there is something in his life he loves too much, he must cut that thing from his life.

I understood from reading posts here that these are common thoughts of a CSA survivor and that running away or acting out are common actions after disclosure.

I have been doing my best to give my husband space, to be non-judgemental, to support him when he calls. And he does call...every day at first because he told me he was leaving only till her got things sorted out.

Then once he decided that he would not be returning to the relationship, he has been trying not to call. But he does call. He has called me upset and crying. He has called me asking me to visit him. He has called telling me visiting is not a good idea. He has called to chat, formally, as if with an old acquaintance, as if we were never married. He has called to speak to me about intimate details of his life.

To me, he is clearly in a relationship with me but he denies that and with that denial, denies me to participate as one half of the relationship that has feelings and needs respect. His version of respecting me is to tell me that he will never be with me again so as not to hurt me.

He seems to be steeling himself against wanting to communicate with me, but sometimes just really needs to talk and has no one else to turn to. So it isn't really working because some of the conversations really cut me...but because we are "not in a realtionship" I have no right to give my opinion or ask too many questions.

I have been willing to let him steer all communication because it seems to me that people who have just disclosed are extremely vulnerable and I haven't wanted to alienate him. I wanted to make sure he didn't stop contacting me at all.

So I have two questions:

First, when you guys have asked for "space" and thinking you are not deserving of love, would it make you happy when a loved one tried to break through your wall a little? called to see how you are doing? to make inquiries regarding your progress? let you know that they were still there? Or does that just seem invasive if you've said you want space.

If it is ok to try to get in, how much is too much? A phone call to say hi? Asking if you found a therapist? Sharing ideas from this website? Are inquiries like that too much?

Second, when is it "safe" for me to make demands on the relationship. If he has decided that he does not want to be married to me, I can accept that. However, he has told me that I am not his wife, not his friend, only a very important person in his life that he never wants to hurt.

But it hurts me to be cut off from him and to wonder how he's doing. It hurts me to hear him address me so formally, like an old office buddy. I tried to bring this up a little bit...a little, little bit, and I feel like he pulled away. I finally called him and he was polite but there was a wall. I think he is trying to steel himself more so he never has to communicate with me again.

You see, I am caught between "he's lucky to have you" and "why do you stay with him". I think I'm trying to be supportive in part of a process, but maybe the process is just an ivention inside my head?

Thank you for listening. Any thoughts are greatly appreciated. I asked for response from the guys for insight into how his thought process might be, but if women have advice, too, I'm happy to hear.

Riz

Hi Riz,if you have not read it yet you need to read "Victims No Longer: by Mike Lew", if you get it through the web site bookstore, it helps the site out. A lot of CSA happens in the family, that is also called incest that is what that book is about.The book will be a big eye opener for you and your husband to read.

If you can, you need to get your husband to start reading the site here,it will help to learn that he is not alone.
All his life he has grown up thinking that he is the only one this is happening to. Also from your other post, his family knew it was happening, did nothing to stop it, and blamed him for it.HE ABSOLUTELY KNOWS THAT IT IS ALL HIS FAULT, and anyone he tells will also BELIEVE THAT IT IS HIS FAULT! He has just told you, therefor you are also disgusted with him. It is likely that he left because he is thinking like this. These are the kinds of thoughts that people on this site have, very negative thoughts about themselves.

Right now your husband is bouncing of the walls, emotionally that is. He needs a therapist, but it is likely that he will not willingly go and get one. In our society it is a sign of weakness for a man to need a therapist, a man has to be strong. If you ask you will find that a lot of the wives on here had to threaten their men with divorce to get them to see a therapist. In our society women are allowed to show weakness, it's ok for you to be seeing a therapist, but not him. It's a catch22 in our society. Drag him to a therapist who is a specialist in male CSA. Also let your therapist know about this as it is likely to bring up any old abuse that you yourself have lived through.

Take care,
Clifford

_________________________
"Don't walk in front of me, I may not follow. Don't walk behind me, I may not lead. Just walk beside me and be my friend." - Albert Camus
Pretty much my life as I have posted so far. Triggers!

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#268029 - 12/19/08 11:58 PM Re: please, could use some coaching/opinions...guys? [Re: lostcowboy]
riz Offline


Registered: 10/07/08
Posts: 123
Hi,

Thank you all for your kind and thoughtful replies. I see by your answers that really, as I guess I knew, there is no clear cut answer. But hearing all the viewpoints helps me piece together what might work for my situation. Of course your responses generated more questions :-)

Robbie: Thank you for helping me understand better the need for space and no, I don't think he deserves a "severed marriage contract". I am wondering if there is any way to NOT sever it, even though he tells me that it is already severed.

Ron: Your explanation of how my "helping" can seem like trying to manipulate is very helpful. Thanks. Let me ask you this, are you saying that calling and asking for support is NOT being in a relationship? That's what I based my statement on when I said "He is clearly in a relationship with me." What else could it be called? I'm not being smug. I'm wondering if, to him, there could be a different definition of relationship.

Dave: That's just it. I am NOT following him around demanding he take his medicine. But sometimes I wonder if I should...at least now and then...to show him I am still here and care what happens to him. I don't call him because I think he doesn't want me to. But I worry that by not calling, it may send him the message that he was correct in thinking I don't want him in my life or that he doesn't deserve me in his life. How do I find the balance?

Mike: I understand your point about not letting myself be trampled. What I don't know how to do is find the right time to be more firm. I think that remembering traumatic repressed memories and then disclosing to me is quite a crisis. How can he work on the marriage if he can barely handle himself? By saying that I don't mean to place him in the role of a victim, but wouldn't he be quite vulnerable still?

If it is an effort to get up in the morning and get dressed and go to work, can a person really be expected to negotiate life with a partner? Is it really appropriate for me to threaten to withdraw? Now? Wouldn't that make it seem like he made a mistake in trusting me? I don't mean to argue. I am seriously seeking these answers.

Clifford: Thanks for pointing out that I can get the book through the MS website. I haven't read it but plan to do so. I have read "If the Man You Love Was Abused."

I have to ask you, is it really a good idea to threaten him with divorce? I mean, HE has already left ME. I have read over and over again that nothing I can do will make him go to therapy if he doesn't want to. Also, he interprets my suggestions as demands and he doesn't want me demanding that he do anything. I would love it if I could convince him to go but...I don't know.

I really appreciate that you looked back to get some insights into his situation. I think the world of him and it helps me when someone reminds me that his view of himself is likely quite different.

Thanks again to all of you.

Riz


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#268037 - 12/20/08 02:09 AM Re: please, could use some coaching/opinions...guys? [Re: riz]
michael banks Offline


Registered: 06/12/08
Posts: 1755
Loc: Mojave Desert, Ca
Riz,

We can only help those are willing to accept our help.
Sometimes all we can do to help those we love is to let go and take care of ourselves. And allow them to find there own way.
We cannot protect people from themselves or should we.
He needs to find his own way thur his sexual abuse issues and as hard as that is for you. You cannot really help him in any other way but to love him by taking care of yourself by setting healthy boundaries for the both of you. Because us survivors have no clue what a boundary is due to the fact we were denied these by our abuser(s).
For the most of us we will not seek help until we have hit our bottoms.
Have you ever heard the saying "that when the cat is alway the mice shall play".
When do you need to be firm the next time he calls.

Mike

_________________________
To own one's shadow is the highest moral act of a human.
-Robert Johnson-

"IT ought never be forgotten that the past is the parent of the future" John C. Calhoun

WOR Alumni Sequoia 2009

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#268040 - 12/20/08 02:42 AM Re: please, could use some coaching/opinions...guys? [Re: riz]
Julia Offline


Registered: 11/05/08
Posts: 59
Deleted.


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