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#277868 - 03/01/09 10:15 PM Before recovery: Men treating their women badly
rainbow Offline


Registered: 12/16/08
Posts: 28
Hello everyone,

I'm reticent to post because I fully understand people's sensitivities around women trying to push men into recovery. I truly don't want to do that.

My man is both devoted to me and puts me through hell. He tells me he has never loved someone this much. We broke up a few months ago and he cried for the second time in his life since he was 14 years old. We have broken up yet again because it is becoming impossible for me to set healthy boundaries with him.

I have a question for those men who acted out (as in treated their women badly) before they were ready to deal with recovery. Is there anything I can say or do for my boyfriend so he at least realizes that his bad behavior is destructing our relationship? I don't want to make him face up to anything, I fully understand he has to be ready for that, I just want him to take responsibility for his unfair treatment of me but he won't. He just blames me all the time. He admits he doesn't trust me and on some level he understands that is unreasonable.

I don't want to sound like a martyr. He's a good man. We love each other immensely. I know he is damaged and he struggles with trust and love issues. I just don't know how to break through his wall of blaming me. So I just wondered, in the men's experiences here, did your wives or girlfriends manage to do or say something that finally broke through your denial (not about recovery but about treating your woman badly)?

Thank you. Please forgive me if this question sounds wrong. I know my man does not want to lose me and I don't want to lose him. But I'm just lost because he just doesn't seem to see his role in what's going on between us, he just blames me.

Peace and love to all,
Rainbow


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#277873 - 03/01/09 10:43 PM Re: Before recovery: Men treating their women badly [Re: rainbow]
MichaeldR Offline


Registered: 12/02/08
Posts: 36
Loc: South Carolina
Hi, Rainbow:

It's not always what you say, it's how you say it. One of the first things I learned when I joined a 12-step group was to approach others with "I" statements. I'm not trying to manipulate the other person, simply express myself for my own sanity.

ex: "I felt really demoralized when you blamed me for your bad feelings."

Obviously this is just a beginning, but it certainly helped me. Couples counceling also might be suggested, or barring that some therapy for yourself maybe.

Just a suggestion,

_________________________
Mike

My mantras:

Easy Does I - - - - - - Là où il y a la vie il y a l'espoir.
One Day At A Time - - - Là où il y a l'espoir: la vie.
First Things First- - - Where there's life there's hope.
LIVE and Let Live - - - Where there is hope: life.

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#277903 - 03/02/09 06:28 AM Re: Before recovery: Men treating their women badly [Re: MichaeldR]
nathan555 Offline


Registered: 01/06/09
Posts: 230
Loc: Australia
Rainbow
your man needs a man to speak
man to man into his life

you are entitled to set boundaries

you can make councelling a condition of your relationship
because the consequences of him not entering into recovery impact on you

You can't change him
but you can say "change yourself or its over"
then its his choice


Nathan


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#277905 - 03/02/09 06:41 AM Re: Before recovery: Men treating their women badly [Re: MichaeldR]
joelRT Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor


Registered: 09/11/08
Posts: 1357
Loc: Québec, Canada
Rainbow,

There is the sentiment of love and then there is the commitment to love.

The commitment to love is always based on/in trust - no trust, no genuine love.

The sentiment of love can and often is very deep and very strong, but in order for that sentiment to be binding it requires the commitment of trust.

_________________________
My Story 1
My Story 2
The longest journey we take is to self-discovery

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#277910 - 03/02/09 09:00 AM Re: Before recovery: Men treating their women badly [Re: joelRT]
WalkingSouth Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/30/05
Posts: 16265
Rainbow,

You said you don't want to make him face up to anything but you have to make him face up to at least one thing. That is the fact that there is a boundary you won't let him cross and still be able to keep you in his life. You deserve to be treated with respect, not treated badly. It would seem if he cannot, or is unwilling to afford you that basic need it would seem to me you need to provide it for yourself and set that boundary.

Many times the prospect of losing the things they hold dear will be the catalyst in bringing about a new outlook for the victim/survivor. If you fail to set that boundary and keep going back to him without it you're simply enabling his bad behavior.

_________________________
“Life’s journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting ‘Holy ____…! What a ride!’” ~Hunter S. Thompson

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#277920 - 03/02/09 11:58 AM Re: Before recovery: Men treating their women badly [Re: WalkingSouth]
DESPERATELY TYIN Offline


Registered: 02/15/09
Posts: 7
Walking south
I was advised by a therapist not to engage in what my husband would see as ultimatums or he would leave.I think like you I have the right to certain expectations-respect,faithfulness and above all honesty after 27 yrs of secrets.Who is right??? It seems no matter what I do I am wrong.He is at home where his therapist told him he shouldn't go because it could be disasterous for him.The pull of his dysfunctional family and most of all his "mother"( emotional incest perpetrator to all her sons) trumps me, her and our kids.
Today he is taking our oldest daughter to see her "grandmother" the one who missed birthdays, Christmases,Graduations, phone calls etc,etc,etc.I want to kill her and him too.I feel very bitter about my husband's life with her and hate that he is dragging our daughter through this.Tried to make him face these things and all I did was make him withdraw and escalate the fighting between us.He is there,I am here and nothing is good between us.How do we know which is the best way to go. No choice seems right and I'm still confused and frustrated.Please help with how to resolve some of this.
Still "Desperately Trying" but not having much success.Thanks


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#277922 - 03/02/09 12:29 PM Re: Before recovery: Men treating their women badly [Re: DESPERATELY TYIN]
fromtoday Offline


Registered: 10/04/08
Posts: 74
Loc: UK
Hi Rainbow,
This is an issue which I find difficult to work out who's right/ who's wrong.
In my own experience I have certainly pushed/encouraged my husband into therapy, I've tried with little success over 15 years until 2 years ago when he hit a new bottom and was ready to accept help.
These are the points that I mull over:-
* If I hadn't "pushed" him would he have sought help sooner, it might be interesting to know that his opinion is that if I hadn't pushed he would never have sought help - who know if this is true.
* Many many times I was a trigger for my husband often plumeting him further into his despair, this is hard for me to deal with, we both have resentment and anger towards each other directly related to the after effects of each others childhoods.
* Ultimately I believe in setting boundaries, however I suspect that if I set boundaries before we had children he would have left.
Good Luck

_________________________
Is this the real life?
Is this just fantasy?
Caught in a landslide,
No escape from reality
Open your eyes, Look up to the skies and see.....
_________________________________________________
Queen, Bohemian Rhapsody

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#277928 - 03/02/09 02:50 PM Re: Before recovery: Men treating their women badly [Re: DESPERATELY TYIN]
WalkingSouth Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/30/05
Posts: 16265
Originally Posted By: DESPERATELY TYIN
Walking south
I was advised by a therapist not to engage in what my husband would see as ultimatums or he would leave.I think like you I have the right to certain expectations-respect,faithfulness and above all honesty after 27 yrs of secrets.Who is right??? It seems no matter what I do I am wrong.

Yes, that is the conundrum isn't it? I can only speak from personal experience. Early in our marriage when I exhibited certain behaviors that were in some way or another disrespecting of my marriage or my wife she set come boundaries that I knew I could not violate and keep our relationship in tact. She didn't go so far as to set any kind of ultimatum. She simply conveyed to me the concept that was so eloquently uttered by Gandalf to the balrog in "The Fellowship of the Ring":

"You shall not pass!"

It wasn't uttered in an angry way. She didn't list the consequences. She just quietly drew a line in the sand and left it for me to figure out the rest. I don't know if she really understood the wisdom of her actions or if she did it out of instinct, but whatever the case, it was effective.

John

_________________________
“Life’s journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting ‘Holy ____…! What a ride!’” ~Hunter S. Thompson

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#278215 - 03/04/09 05:11 PM Re: Before recovery: Men treating their women badly [Re: rainbow]
rainbow Offline


Registered: 12/16/08
Posts: 28
Thank you very much for your replies and wisdom.

I have realized that the only way change my happen is if I set the ultimate boundary by refusing to be in a relationship with him. He was borderline abusive of me, although I fully understood his triggers - a complete lack of trust and a belief that I only wanted to hurt him. I am his longest, most committed relationship that he's managed to maintain, and not to be conceited but I am a very loving and trustworthy person, so I think that's why he was actually able to stay with me. Sadly though he is still completely self-destructive. If only he could have faced a modicum of ownership for his intense over-reactions we may have made progress.

I wish you all peace and strength and love in your personal stories.

Rainbow
x


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#285226 - 04/24/09 03:31 PM Re: Before recovery: Men treating their women badly [Re: rainbow]
rainbow Offline


Registered: 12/16/08
Posts: 28
Just an update and a question. My guy had taken ownership for his abusive behavior towards me, and was reading around the issue. Also, although he has never talked to me about his CSA, it came up in a round about way, and he just physically clung onto me for ages, unable to speak. I waited for him, waited for him to start therapy, or to speak to me, or something. And then I caught him trying to cheat on me. I understand, I love him, I know his pain, but it's over for me. He is not ready to face things, and I cannot put myself through it anymore. It was traumatic letting him go, just holding his hand, telling him I just could not do it anymore, he was very upset (he wants to marry me!). And that is it.

I have one final question. I want to write him a letter. There is so much unsaid between us but I know what happened to him as a child. And he has told me enough about himself that I know he has self-hatred. And for him, he doesn't know why I would want to be with him (his words)... But maybe I should just let go and never try to manipulate his recovery through a letter... Is that what it would be? :-( Should I just wait then, maybe this break up will be a catalyst for his change. I'm just being selfish though, wanting him to be 'all fixed'... so we can have a trusting, loving relationship...

Peace to all. It has been an incredibly painful experience and I just want to care for my man because he's been through so much pain but I have to look after myself so that is it.

Rainbow





Edited by rainbow (04/24/09 03:32 PM)

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#285273 - 04/24/09 09:08 PM Re: Before recovery: Men treating their women badly [Re: rainbow]
kolisha54 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/02/03
Posts: 475
Loc: Brooklyn, NY
Hi RB -

Please prepare yourself... you will continue to have questions about this relationship for the rest of your life! We partners can't simply "will" our men out of our hearts & souls - it just won't happen! That doesn't mean we should remain in an abusive relationship - but please be careful not to blame yourself it the Love still remains after the relationship is over....

Meanwhile.

You might want to take a look at the work of Laura Davis - she has written extensively about the topic of "estrangement" and "reconciliation." She has a website - you can google it.

And.

One of the things I have been thinking about recently is that even when the "healing process" is in its most disruptive stages, for the relationship to survive, there need to be common passions outside it. There has to be a way for us to continue to respect, admire, and honor our men - outside of how proud we are when they begin to really heal. If not, then we are really engaging in a parent-child or therapist-patient relationship and it isn't healthy for us any more than it is healthy for our men. On some level, there has to remain something about our man that has NOTHING TO DO WITH US or our relationship that makes our pulse race and our heart beat faster, something extraordinary about him and the way he looks at his life - even when he is enduring the recovery process, especially when he is enduring the recovery process.... If we can't find those things, then maybe the relationship just isn't meant to be.

Hope this answers your question somewhat....

_________________________
If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am only for myself, what am I? If not now... when? --Hillel

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#286411 - 05/05/09 09:14 PM Re: Before recovery: Men treating their women badly [Re: kolisha54]
rainbow Offline


Registered: 12/16/08
Posts: 28
Thank you all for your replies and wise advice. In answer to kolisha54, there are a slew of things I admire about my man and we were very compatible. However, I was not prepared to accept emotional and verbal abuse, and then prospectively being cheated on. If he was actively in recovery, I may have tried to make it work with him on some level, but he's not at all. He's still very much in denial. And I suspect he's had a sexual encounter with a man. So there was even more difficulty thrown into the mix.

I have not sent him a letter, nor will I, he has to be ready and able to deal with things in his own time. I can't save him. But my heart breaks for him. He is no longer part of my life anymore at all. It's not even safe for me to be friends with him. I tried to love him and help him heal. I stayed with him for two years and put up with so much mistreatment because I knew it wasn't about me, it was his pain. But I had to leave him because in the end I was just an enabler. Not a healthy situation for me or him.

Peace and love,
Rainbow




Edited by rainbow (11/05/09 07:48 PM)

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#286437 - 05/06/09 02:11 AM Re: Before recovery: Men treating their women badly [Re: rainbow]
MissMyra Offline


Registered: 09/24/08
Posts: 19
Loc: UK
The best piece of advice I can give you is to take care of yourself.

I agree very much with what has been said before. There's this romantic idea that you stick with the person that you love through thick and thin. And in many ways I believe that, still.

However, when your partner is abusive towards you, there simply is no excuse. I know some of the survivors here might not agree with me, but CSA (or anything for that matter) is NO excuse or justification for being abusive towards someone else. In my case, it was his excuse for absolutely everything.

Did I love him? Truly, with all my heart. I still do in a way, as it's very true that you never really stop caring. He is a great person in some ways, very clever and funny and creative. But at the same time, his behaviour towards me was simply NOT ok, and I wouldn't put up with stuff like that from anyone. So I'm glad I left him, even if it does also feel as though I abandoned someone in need - which is something I'd never want to do.

You have the right and responsibility to look after yourself. And there's no good reason to stay in an abusive relationship. You probably wouldn't even contemplate it if you hadn't heard his "excuses". And in a way that just shows what a big hearted and caring person you are for wanting to help him and being supportive.

But there comes a point - certain I've been there - where staying with him means deserting yourself. And you're doing the right thing by looking out for yourself. =)


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#286452 - 05/06/09 06:19 AM Re: Before recovery: Men treating their women badly [Re: MissMyra]
kolisha54 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/02/03
Posts: 475
Loc: Brooklyn, NY
Ah yes, Ms. M... That Romantic Idea...

When I catch myself getting all caught up in it, I force myself to recognize that no one is sticking with ME through thick & thin!

If I could add something to your insightful post... CSA is not an excuse for Neglect, either....

Rainbow - I sooooo understand your feeling about being an "enabler!" I don't want to cause more pain, so I keep my boxing gloves stored safely away. But this man probably needs a good knock-out punch to come to his senses. The only thing that might do that is if I rejected him once & for all - but I don't seem to be able to do that just yet.

_________________________
If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am only for myself, what am I? If not now... when? --Hillel

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#286463 - 05/06/09 09:11 AM Re: Before recovery: Men treating their women badly [Re: kolisha54]
WalkingSouth Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/30/05
Posts: 16265
Originally Posted By: kolisha54
If I could add something to your insightful post... CSA is not an excuse for Neglect, either....

Rainbow - I sooooo understand your feeling about being an "enabler!" I don't want to cause more pain, so I keep my boxing gloves stored safely away. But this man probably needs a good knock-out punch to come to his senses. The only thing that might do that is if I rejected him once & for all...

Well said on both counts although I probably wouldn't use the term reject. I'd replace the phrase with "if I were to stop the enabling once and for all." He's either going to figure it out or remain oblivious.

_________________________
“Life’s journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting ‘Holy ____…! What a ride!’” ~Hunter S. Thompson

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#286549 - 05/07/09 06:04 AM Re: Before recovery: Men treating their women badly [Re: WalkingSouth]
soapy bubbles Offline
Member

Registered: 09/05/06
Posts: 332
Loc: london
.



Edited by soapy bubbles (09/01/09 10:46 AM)
Edit Reason: deleted for personal reasons

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#287240 - 05/12/09 07:01 PM Re: Before recovery: Men treating their women badly [Re: soapy bubbles]
rainbow Offline


Registered: 12/16/08
Posts: 28
Again, thank you everyone for your words of support. I may appear to be strong by making such a decision but I am really suffering through it. And if my guy had been in any form of active recovery (which he is not) then I likely would have tried to stick by him for longer. So I appreciate the dilemma of many partners here.

I am so confused right now about whether he ever really loved me or not. He always claimed he did, and said he had never felt so connected to someone, and so on. But he was so abusive of me at times. He displays most, if not all, of the narcissistic behaviors. But I guess there's pathological narcissism and then a type of narcissism that develops in childhood as an extreme coping mechanism in response to abuse and neglect.

I have met with him one more time. He accused me over and over of not loving him because I had ended the relationship. I told him I loved him but could not allow myself to be mistreated by him. Then he kept calling himself an a**hole over and over for loving me but mistreating me and losing me. It was incredibly sad. He had his head down the whole time, and just before he left he glanced up at me, and as our eyes met I could see all his hurt and pain. I have to protect myself though. He has been highly abusive of me at times. I have been called the worse names in my life, I have been abandoned on trips, I have been raged at and emotionally abused by him countless times. I can barely believe I endured it. But I did because I truly understood it wasn't about me but it is impossible to live that way, my spirit was being eroded away.

I have not contacted him since that last meeting, and I will not because I need to protect myself against his anger and blame. He has not tried to contact me either, which really hurts because it's even more confusing given he said he loved me so much. And then he's been seeking both a new girlfriend and sexual encounters with women online. That hurts, too. I just feel utterly dispensable.

He always claimed I never knew him. But I did, more than he realizes. He presents a false self to the world and to himself, but I saw there was a true self. A frightened, vulnerable, very damaged true self, who doesn't believe anyone could love him for who he really is. I did but he never believed me, instead he abused me mercifully when I 'challenged' his false self. He rarely let me in. I just wonder if he even realizes this, or whether he's just sunk further into denial.

Thank you for listening.

Love and peace,
Rainbow






Edited by rainbow (05/12/09 07:03 PM)

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#287312 - 05/13/09 06:33 AM Re: Before recovery: Men treating their women badly [Re: rainbow]
riz Offline


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

Thank you for posting this. I could have written almost every word myself. Your talking about your pain makes mine more bearable because it convinces me again that what I just went through really did happen. Because it happened to you, and to others. It is real...isn't it?

Just yesterday I was thinking to myself that I was crazy for having been involved in this website, going to therapy, learning about csa. That I was crazy and neurotic and needy...and just making a big drama out of the fact that well, he just wasn't that into me.

Thanks and my best wishes for your healing and happiness.

Riz


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#287330 - 05/13/09 10:09 AM Re: Before recovery: Men treating their women badly [Re: riz]
ChuckT Offline


Registered: 04/08/09
Posts: 8
Loc: New England
I apologize for having to ask but my search turned up empty.

What does CSA stand for??

_________________________
ChuckT

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#287335 - 05/13/09 10:47 AM Re: Before recovery: Men treating their women badly [Re: ChuckT]
joelRT Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor


Registered: 09/11/08
Posts: 1357
Loc: Québec, Canada
Chuck

CSA - childhood sexual abuse. A lot of guys will refer to SA - sexual abuse, as a way to distinguish that their abuse took place after childhood.

_________________________
My Story 1
My Story 2
The longest journey we take is to self-discovery

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#287440 - 05/14/09 05:47 AM Re: Before recovery: Men treating their women badly [Re: joelRT]
kolisha54 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/02/03
Posts: 475
Loc: Brooklyn, NY
Riz - I know exactly what you mean! Sometimes I catch myself thinking that I have been delusional, that I've made the whole thing up. But that's what it means to be a "co-survivor." The Abuse reaches up to injure US, too.

Rainbow - how well I know about that "fake self!" But he is more comfortable "being" the person he pretends to be rather than risking being Real with me. And, on some level, he resents and blames me for troubling his conscience. After all - he gets "applause" for being the fake self. All he gets for being Real is.... Love. He doesn't see very much value in Love, although his Fake Self talks a real good game about it.

_________________________
If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am only for myself, what am I? If not now... when? --Hillel

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