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#269283 - 12/30/08 12:38 AM He says he's not gay
bax05 Offline


Registered: 12/30/08
Posts: 4
This is my first time here. Thank you for being available! Ignorance is not always bliss, I wish I'd pushed for my husband to see a counselor sooner, but I had no idea the magnitude of the issues that would come of his sexual abuse. He's actually been two times now. We've been married 4 years, and he actually told me about his male cousins from the get go. The few times it had come up, he's always blamed himself. I told him it wasn't his fault. Of course, he didn't believe that. It happened 26 years ago, and he's always blamed himself. I knew that was wrong. I just didn't realize what behaviors to blame on what.

Anger, drug abuse, alcohol abuse, irrational thinking. I figured it all stemmed from how he was raised. How hard his Dad was on him to be perfect and the drug abuse that most of his family has done. Well, now I don't know what to do. Or if I want to do anything. A month ago, I busted him looking for a man online. Says he's not gay, swears he didn't do anything. He started seeing a counselor for this and for his drinking. The drinking didn't slow down and I found out a couple weeks later that he did do something physically. We haven't done anything for months, so I promise to stand by him (with an STD Test and his promise to not do it again). Two days after that, I find that he's placed another ad online looking for another man. He still claims he's not gay, that he feels really confused.

I don't know what I'm looking for here. I've been looking online trying to find any other women that have had their husband cheat on them with a man and not be gay. He says that this all stems from his sexual abuse and that he is really confused, but that he is not gay. I don't know if I want reassurance from a man who's done this, saying that it will eventually get better, now that he is seeking help. Or if I'm looking for a woman who's been through this to say, I stayed, it took a long time, but it worked. Any thoughts? Advice? Or am I just a complete moron?


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#269287 - 12/30/08 01:02 AM Re: He says he's not gay [Re: bax05]
pufferfish Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/26/08
Posts: 6867
Loc: USA
bax05

We really don't have a whole lot to go on here. We don't know the age at which he was abused and how long it went on. We don't know what the abuser was like and how he operated.

However, there are certain similarities between the problems you mention and others I have read about here and in my own experience.

He more than likely has some sort of dissociative disorder and possibly depression. These are typical symptoms. Abuse of a boy plants in his heart some homosexual emotions. Sometimes the abuse goes on for years, leaving deep scars in the boy. Sometimes the boy will hate these and fight against them but they are pretty hard to ignore completely. These emotions can be dealt with by a good counselor (whom we call a T here). The emotions will decrease gradually if they are not acted out.

It will make it harder for him if you insist on abstaining from intimacy. It will force him to look elsewhere. If possible, I would recommend that you forgive him and try to continue intimate relationships. Use protection if you feel you have to.

At times he may show anger. He may try to argue. You may have to be the one who exercises restraint in these times. Just try to love him.

Allen

pufferfish whistle


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#269307 - 12/30/08 06:05 AM Re: He says he's not gay [Re: bax05]
Morning Star Offline
Member

Registered: 12/21/04
Posts: 1124
Loc: Home
Now that the secret is out, the healing can begin so that broken trusts can be healed again, especially at your end.

Now first things first, he might be gay or not, but for now let's respect what he states - he is confused. And therapy would help me clear up those issues, as it happens in many men, as you'd find in this forum, have had to deal with similar issues...stay put, and yes may you get all the patience you can muster humanly.

Also in future, I'd suggest you too meeting a therapist, probably his own, or a different one, depending upon your husbands comfort level right now, to sort out your own fall outs, after this crisis, as you need to heal as well!

Take care!

MS

_________________________
~ It's over!...Let go of Thy Past, Remember Thy Self ~

Why Don't People Heal, by Caroline Myss; 30 days to clean up your vibrations - Abraham-Hicks

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#269315 - 12/30/08 06:49 AM Re: He says he's not gay [Re: Morning Star]
riz Offline


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

Allen is right. You don't have much information. It seems like you two have reached a crisis-like point...lots of emotion and confusion. You are both probably feeling very hurt and not knowing what to do. It is hard to think clearly during those times. Glad you found your way here as a first step to trying to make some sense of it.

As you read more and more on this website, you will see the extent to which a person can be conflicted about sexuality and still "not be gay". Morning Star is right. Therapy is the way to get that sorted out.

You also need your own therapist. Some therapists see both members of a couple, together and separately. Others only see one or the other. I'm no expert, but it seems you need support for your own issues, as does your husband. Then maybe you can work on things together.

As you will also see by reading more on this website, there are women who stick it out and make it through to the other side. A therapist will help you decide if you are willing to do that, and if you decide to do it, will support you in the process.

My best to both of you,

Riz


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#269338 - 12/30/08 09:43 AM Re: He says he's not gay [Re: riz]
bax05 Offline


Registered: 12/30/08
Posts: 4
Thank you all for answering. From bits and pieces that he's told me, it started when he was 6 and ended around the age of 9. And it was during the summer breaks from school, because it's where he stayed for daycare(his grandma's). It was an older male cousin at first, then the cousin's younger brother. He's blamed heavy drinking during that time of the year on what happened. As for details, I don't know what they did to him. But, I do know that he wasn't the only one. His older sister and some cousins later in the years. He's been convicted since then, but the damage to all these children had already been done. My husband also blames himself for not telling. He says that if he'd only been strong enough, it wouldn't have kept happening. I don't understand why he doesn't see that he was only a helpless child, and that his cousins were pure evil.

When we were first married, I wanted to have sex all the time. He usually wasn't too interested, but would get interested quickly. Now, we have a daughter and I'll admit my sex drive is way down in the dumps. He has been mentioning wanting it more, but not really trying. And now this. That's my problem now. It's still so new (what he's done), and I'm having a hard time getting past it. I really hope he's not gay and we can get past this, but he's broken our marriage vows. I don't know if I'll be able to forgive.

He's got his third appointment with his "T" tomorrow. Is it possible to see the same T? There are HIPAA laws for privacy and protection, so how could she help us sort out our issues, if she can't talk about what she already knows about him? I just hope that he's really talking to her and believing that he can get better. I will either call her office myself and find out, or have him ask tomorrow. Otherwise, I have EAP at work to look for someone for me. I've begged him before to go see a T several times in the past. He's finally scared himself enough to do it.

Thank You So Much! This especially helps, because I can't talk to anyone I know about it. My family would freak out and get mad if I didn't leave. And it's not my place to tell his that he's slept with another man.


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#269344 - 12/30/08 11:21 AM Re: He says he's not gay [Re: bax05]
Juni Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor


Registered: 12/10/08
Posts: 502
Loc: Florida, WPB
The affects of infidelity can be devastating and you are a wonderful and loving human being and wife for proceeding with love the way you have. The decision to stay or go, forgive or not are your and no one can take that away from you.

The psychological trauma from abuse can reek havoc on a person and their relationships. There is confusion, quilt, impulses, depression, pain, and other things that come as a result that few others can understand. Many do not make it and commit suicide or self destruct in other ways before they discover that recovery is possible. A person in need of recovery may not know what they need when their world begins to cave-in on them. For some it means hitting rock bottom, others are able to find help before getting to that point, as I did. Rock bottom is when you have no shoulder to lean-on when you crash. It looks as though he is close.

This is your world and his together, a relationship. Life is about relationships (love) and not about anything else. Clarity of mind and sole will prevail and I wish that for you.

We are here for you,

Juni

_________________________
Today I'm O.K.
One day at a time I make the journey.

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#269372 - 12/30/08 01:37 PM Re: He says he's not gay [Re: Juni]
Ken Singer, LCSW Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/24/00
Posts: 5779
Loc: Lambertville, NJ USA
Although Allen may be right, I'd be careful about labels and diagnoses at this point. The sexual interest a straight man can have towards penises is not the same as homosexuality or bisexuality. This may be helpful:

Am I Gay If I Think about Penises a Lot?

Not necessarily. If boy experiences powerful sexual feelings while stimulating the abuser’s penis, or from having his own penis stimulated, he may make a similar connection. In addition, as teenagers discovering masturbation, we reinforce the pleasurable feelings with the sight and feel of our own penises. So, with a “normal” (that is, non-abusive) sexual history, we will have a neutral to good association with penises. Our penis can make us feel good, give us a sense of power, and can alleviate boredom.

For the gay survivor, the association of the abuser with the arousal and attraction of the male body, a source of otherwise healthy homosexual pleasure may be tainted. The gay survivor may have ambivalent feelings towards penises as a result.

When the sexual feelings are forced, unwanted, confusing and even painful, the association with the penis can be contaminated. You may hate your penis because it “betrayed” you by becoming erect in an abusive situation. Because the male abuser, particularly when there are negative feelings towards him, involves his penis in the acts, the result can be that some survivors may associate the penis with the hurt, betrayal, pain, humiliation, shame and guilt from the abuse. Think of the confusion you might feel from having these negative emotions about the abuse or abuser, and at the same time trying to feel good about your sexuality, and about a part of your body that is so central to your sexuality as your penis.

Many survivors report a desire or temptation to look at the groins of other men, or at their exposed penises in situations like a changing room in school, gym, or at a swimming pool. It is natural for boys and men to be curious about the penises of other guys, and no amount of reassurance that size doesn’t matter seems to lessen this curiosity. Though some heterosexual men may find it difficult to admit, there is probably not a man around who has never sneaked a peek at another man’s penis at a line of urinals or in a locker room.

For survivors, however, the penis may also be a symbol of the harm they have suffered. You may think, for example, that your penis is what “attracted” the abuser; this is often why some survivors, both teens and adults, report feelings of wishing they were not boys, or of wishing they didn’t have a penis.

The sexual parts of other males can also arouse feelings of discomfort and threat in you: that is, you are looking at other men not because you desire them, but because you are on alert for signs of possible arousal, which for you would be a danger signal. But notice once again how, when you experience these feelings, you are in fact also re-experiencing the control that the abuser had over you. The abuser’s penis was a powerful source and symbol of so much of what was happening to you as a boy. Now, even though the abuse has ended and you no longer need fear harm from the abuser, these old defense mechanisms are still active. What the abuser did years ago still has the power to influence how you think and behave.

One important consideration if you are sexual with other men when you identify as heterosexual is to look at why you desire to act sexually with them. If the acts are reenactments of your abuse, it may be because the trauma is still unresolved and the sex is a way of returning to the trauma, perhaps hoping – on an unconscious level – that this time you will not be the helpless victim.

One example of this is familiar with those who know or work with abused women. How many women in abusive relationships end their relationship, but then go back to the abusing partner or wind up with another man who turns out to be abusive as well? On some unconscious level these women may be hoping that “this time it will be different”. This way of thinking leaves them in a situation where they find themselves in a repeating cycle of bad or abusive relationships.

It may also be that you have been taught or conditioned that behaving in this way would bring closeness, acceptance or some other emotional need that you may not have had in your life at that time. Or you may have learned that by giving in, you would not be beaten or hurt more.

Again, look at all these situations and you can see the continuing control of the abuser. The abuse is over, and perhaps the abuser is gone as well, but the emotional responses you learned as an abused boy are likely still with you.


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#269376 - 12/30/08 02:03 PM Re: He says he's not gay [Re: Ken Singer, LCSW]
king tut Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/13/08
Posts: 2466
Loc: UK
i agree with Ken, if you are a survivor it doesn't mean you are gay if penises are for whatever reason something that you sometimes think about because like Ken said the emotional responses you learned as an abused boy are likely still with you

so if he is acting out then it doesn't mean he is gay he is just still trying to resolve these things in his mind, but clearly acting out in that way is a problem since he is married

so he has to resolve these things in his mind, find a different way to resolve them rather than acting out

_________________________
"...until lambs become lions"

I love you, little lewis, and i will never leave you. We are the same. You brighten my day, and i will make sure that i brighten yours. Hugs and kisses.


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#269377 - 12/30/08 02:08 PM Re: He says he's not gay [Re: Juni]
wes-b Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/17/07
Posts: 438
Loc: Western, Canada

Sister Bax.

First of all congratualations for coming onto MS and posting.

The top of my list of resources is Joe Kort's Straightguise website http://www.straightguise.com/default.asp?id=1272 Joe is a therapist who has done some really good work in this realm. -- I was incredibly blessed when our T pointed me to an article of his and this site--. I spent over 30 years of my life questioning my sexuality and blaming myself for the brutal incestuous acts perpetrated against me when I was 10 by my 17 year old cousin. I now know that none of the abuse was my fault and I have come to peaceful terms with my sexuality. In addition to this Mic Hunter's "abused boys" is an excellent resource, it may be hard sledding at this point... I understand that Stephanie Carnes's "Mending a Shattered Heart" is a good resource for partners (my wife has a copy) and Joe Kort has a chapter in it.

My Cousin's abuse of me was the only incest/cas memory I had at the begining of my healing and recovery... more has come up over the past 2 years, some of which is in my story and other posts to MS, my point being that your husband may have other memories that surface as time goes on... the more plugged in I am to my supports "T's", groups, 12-steps; the better I do when new stuff surfaces.

My 2 cents on looking for the whys of "it all" starts with my sharing that I spent a lot of time trying to get to all of the whys and wherefores... primarily to my own frustration! I am coming to accept that a lot of the crap that came my way was irrational and that explaining the irrational is simply an untenable exercise.

My prayer for you and your husband is healing and recovery; You will be served well by finding a qualified couples T for you and your husband -- IMHO someone who is well versed in CSA and sexual addiction issues/healing/recovery --

from my heart with Love,

your brother Wes

_________________________
Happy to be a recovering survivor. :-)

Continuing to meet more of my fellows as I "Trudge the Road of Happy Destiny".

My Story, 1st pass

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#269381 - 12/30/08 02:32 PM Re: He says he's not gay [Re: bax05]
wifetryingtoheal Offline


Registered: 12/30/08
Posts: 12
bax05,

I am new to this site and am very thankful for this. One year ago my families world went into a tailspin when I found out about what I thought was one affair that my husband had had but eventually realized that there were multiple women, that my husband had been raped by an older teenage boy when he was 11, then a few years later molested by a woman more than twice his age. In amonst this were other traumas such as family abuse and his brother was killed in a car accident. My husband had repressed all of these memories except his brother being killed he remembered. In my quest to understand his affairs we came to realize they were not about feelings but about reenacting his earlier abuses and feeling further degraded. He had affairs with promiscuous women who were obviously injured themselves for whatever reason, but he chose them as he had tormenting thoughts of sex with men and even boys. He has come out with this and is working through it in counseling as well as he has begun speaking publicly to groups for awareness and his own healing. He realizes now that he was thinking the thoughts of sex and rape with men and boys because of his own repressed memories and confusion around how a male could have raped him and his shame of wondering why he couldn't stop it. He was attracted to girls before he was raped, has always been attracted to women, felt repulsed by the thought of ever having sexual contact with a man and thus compulsively began acting out with willing women as he thought he would act out with a man or a boy if he didn't "get it out of his system" with women. He felt a mental pain that he said was somehow relieved by reenacting his sexual abuse with women which he felt was acceptable. He felt like amonster for having the thoughts, for acting out with women he found disgusting because of the bar types and ways they were and for the sexually degrading things they did with him, and because he felt he couldn't stop the thoughts and the need to act out because of them. He has then wondered if that meant he was gay, bisexual, or what until he remembered his abuse and has been in counseling for the past year. He describes first being very confused and not wanting to act out anymore, to feeling strongly that he no longer wanted to act out with a man or a boy due to his understanding but his mind seemed to be searching for those same awful thoughts but they were no longer there, to today where he finds it so painful to know what was done to him and the things he did with so many women as a reaction that he never wants to experience that shame again. He too has always insisted he is not gay, came close to acting out with a man because he thought that was the only way to get rid of the thoughts but he didn't due to the circumstances, contemplated suicide due to his depression and confusion, and all the while felt love, attraction, and continued commitment to our marriage and never wanted to lose me as his wife or our marriage. It is very hard to work through and understand. I don't agree with anyone telling you to continue sex with him so he doesn't seek it elsewhere. That is your personal choice and you need to do what feels right and safe for you. We entered into marital counseling right away, he is working with a therapist who specialized in sexual abuse, and I work with an individual counselor of my own as well as our 13 year old just began counseling with her own counselor who is great with younger kids like her for her to work through her feelings of what our family is going through. There is much more to it and I certainly have my own struggles and questions that would like to bring to this forum, but I saw yours and wanted to respond to your pain and confusion also. Hope this helps. The question of sexuality is such a tough one for men which I had no clue before this happened to our family. As others have said, he may or may not be gay, that is a very individual thing, but sexual abuse to a male by a male certainly creates great confusion around sexual orientation. I wish you well.


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