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#289719 - 05/31/09 10:24 PM Re: How do other wives of survivor's deal? [Re: LowSky]
Anna1988 Offline


Registered: 05/29/09
Posts: 30
Not that I'm married yet, but my partner and I do have problems with the sex issue. He says he likes to hear my input and do things to make me feel good, which I do believe he does actually want. However, it doesn't always work that way. He may have a great time and not me, or worse, I have a good time and he's miserable at the end because he started thinking about the abuse. The latter always makes me feel like I'm an abuser and should quit at the physical side of the relationship.

As far as fantasies and foreplay, there is plenty of the first and almost none of the second. I can understand the lack of foreplay, but it's helpful when its there and disappointing when it's not. The fantasies are bizzarre and they are not things I necissarily want to do. It is difficult and I would like to find a balance in this area. Unfortunately I think couples therapy is the only way we would be able to work it out; since we're both seeing seperate therapists as it is the time is not always there.

Anyways. You said the fantasies made you feel inadequate. I tend to feel that way to, though my parter tells me he thinks I'm beautiful etc all the time. He may be using the fantasies for other reasons than you think. Perhaps it's that he feels he's inadequate and a different situation makes him feel more validated(?). Often women see things differently than men and that pertains to sex especially. Having a frank discussion with your husband, not in the bedroom but a normal sit down at the table conversation, might be helpful. And couples therapy may be good if you're both up for it.

Good luck.


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#289882 - 06/01/09 10:37 PM Re: How do other wives of survivor's deal? [Re: Anna1988]
wifeofsurvivor Offline


Registered: 05/16/09
Posts: 9
Anna, you definately sound like you deal with much of the same as myself. I feel the fanstasies are inappropriate and would never do them. I do not ever have "a good time" as ever occurance tends to have some sort of fantasy. I love dirty talk, or thought I did. But, now, I am completely turned off. I don't move during sex becuase if I do it breaks his concentration and he is upset. Previously, I was a wildly sexual being, and now I have turned into the opposite because of my fear of his reactions. I sincerely love him and would like to have a sexual relationsihp that is benefitial for us both. Unlike you, I get no comments that I am beautiful unless I force him to give them to me and I am tired of that. I am not unattractive but throw me a bone every now and then.

I have tried to sit down and discuss with him these things. He feels very bad that I don't like his innappropriate fantasies and promises to "make love to me" the next time. But, weeks go by and he forgets and the next time is just like the last. So, the talking doesnt' seem to work.

I have even tried bi@$%ing. But that just makes us both mad. Couples therapy would probably be best, but I don't want to discuss with a therapist what his fanstasies are.

Thank you for sharing. With this board, for the first time, I don't feel like I am the only person going thru this.


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#289916 - 06/02/09 06:28 AM Re: How do other wives of survivor's deal? [Re: wifeofsurvivor]
expom Offline


Registered: 01/06/09
Posts: 124
Loc: Australia
Ladies - with your permission - may I share a few things from one male's perspective?
My wife and I have been married for 27 years now. for the majority of that time our sex life has been boring. My wife claims never to have faked an orgasm yet we have been remarkably unremarkable in what we have done or not done. I have even bought some sex toys down the years - including chocolate body paint; only to have it go out of date or not otherwise get used.

It wasn't until about 5 years ago that I realised that I needed to get assistance with processing the long term effects of 3 years of sexual abuse from aged 9 to 12.

For many years before then, i didn't enjoy sex - I knew that deep down it was linked to something that I didn't like. Don't get me wrong, I had vivid memories of a lot of what was done to me but the return of the full on memories of being butt-raped didn't happen until about 4 years ago.

About 10 years of our married life we had sex only once a year! Mostly for 2 reasons: 1, if I didn't ask for it then I couldn't be refused and turned down. 2, If I didn't feel like I was being appreciated outside of the sheets then I wasn't going to perform inside the sheets.

After entering active therapy with a highly experienced CSA counsellor, I was able to see the difficulties associated with trying to enjoy experiences that were so closely linked to ones that were so traumatic. This, the more so, because of certain physical responses that the male body goes through when being handles etc (to be explicit, it is entirely normal to get an erection when someone plays with your penis or stimulates your prostate even if you do not feel mentally aroused). So any form of arousal is closely linked to the feelings experienced whilst being abused.

It is for this reason that some men adopt "strange" coping methods. Often this goes the way described by Anna others: the male survivor adopts fantasies where one of two scenarios are played out; 1, Way out, off the wall, fantasies that have absolutely no bearing on anything even close to when the abuse was happening - providing a safe mental barrier between the feelings and the memories. and 2, Scenarios that are remarkable similar to the ones in which the abuse took place. As the male is now an adult, he now feels that he has the ability to take charge, to call the shots and to receive a successful outcome in the groundhog day replay of the abuse situation (often this is called acting out).

For many years i felt that it was my wife that called the shots, therfore, all sex encounters with her felt abusive. I did not demand that she meet my needs or that she played a certain role. I adopted a different tack. I had been told by a psychologist many years before that the person with the lower libido controlled the relationship, so I resolved to not approach my wife for sex until she was willing to deal with the matter as equals, being mutually respective. Remember at this time I had not entered CSA counselling and my wife knew nothing of the abuse I suffered as a kid. She was working completely in the dark making all sorts of second guesses.

It was 3 1/2 years before my wife asked if we were ever going to have sex again. I said that it all depends on whether or not she was willing to get the help that we needed for us to continue being married. I had my issues that I was by then receiving appropriate counselling for. My wife had her issues and we had our issues. I said that I needed to see my wife getting the help that she needed so that we could then go on and get the help that we needed for our joint issues. In a last ditch attempt at saving our marriage my wife went to see a counsellor and a few weeks later we went to see a counsellor together. We have made steady progress together and separately since then. I still insist that my CSA issues are mine and that they are mine to overcome - they are not there for my wife to try and fix.

I am still having difficulties with traumatic memories invading my reality when we are in intimate situations but we have reached a state of openness that is really good. There have been times when I have had to ask my wife to stop what she is doing for a minute or so because it is so close to what "he" used to do to me. After a minute or two we resume and I get my wife to be more gentle, faster, slower etc so that we go away from the danger zone but we do it in a way where we say in effect that this is now, this is not 1969.

There are times when I can get a stiffy but there's no way that I can reach a climax - but my wife can. I have learnt that I don't need to reach the summit of the mountain in order to enjoy the view. There are times when I don't even want to get out of the carpark at the base of the hill. Sometimes my wife asks for me to give her an orgasm even if my body won't let me get a stiffy - and that's ok too; most times.

This is our story. It is getting better. We are getting better. There are no quick fixes but I do feel that each in the relationship has the responsibility to deal with their own issues and to support the other to deal with theirs but not to try and take over or to fix the other person.

As to fantasies. My view is to keep them just that: fantasies. For me, I don't see how I am affirmed, supported, encouraged, loved or appreciated if the person opposite me is making love to superman, Clarke Gable, Antonio Banderas, the TV repair man or a manwhore. I think it perfectly reasonable to say "sorry darling, this is my bedroom too and this bed is for you and me both and nobody else. I hope that you can respect me by staying with me whilst we both enjoy sexual intimacy. If not, then I hope that you will understand that I respect myself so much that I am no longer in a position to pretend to be someone else. If that means that we need to wait awhile for you to get the help you need in order to enjoy sex with the real me again then that's ok but you will have to understand and accept that I will no longer be giving in to any requests for anything other than you and me in a wholesome, normal, natural relationship".

Like I said, these are the musings of just one male adult survivor of childhood sexual abuse. It has taken me a long time to get where I am today. I do not guarantee that all men will process things this way but I do try and offer you some HOPE that Healing Of Past Experiences is possible.

One thing that my wife and I have realised recently is that "as isolated as adult male survivors of childhood sexual assault are, our partners are even more isolated".

Because of this, we have jointly approached my CSA counsellor with a proposal to run a daylong workshop for couples where the survivor is male. Every thing is in place and the first invitations were sent out today. We will have up to 25 couples together with plenty of time allocated for the supporters to network and swap phone numbers if they'd like. Sessions planned where the couples are together and sessions where the suvivor and partner are in separate groups. One of the things that we wanted is an opportunity for the partners to be able to vent their anger at how the abuse has adversely affected the relationship. The day is planned for August and will be held here is Melbourne,Australia. We will write about how the day goes. We have tried, in vain, to find any others who have run similar allday workshops despite looking worldwide - so we feel as if we have had to make it up as we go along. At least this way, I suppose, we get what we want.

I hope some of this gives a bit of encouragement.

ADen

_________________________
I endured all my yesterdays. I prevail in all of my todays. I exercise my right to be able to enjoy my tomorrows. I choose not to do it alone.

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#291477 - 06/13/09 09:00 PM Re: How do other wives of survivor's deal? [Re: LowSky]
wifeofsurvivor Offline


Registered: 05/16/09
Posts: 9
"As to fantasies. My view is to keep them just that: fantasies. For me, I don't see how I am affirmed, supported, encouraged, loved or appreciated if the person opposite me is making love to superman, Clarke Gable, Antonio Banderas, the TV repair man or a manwhore. I think it perfectly reasonable to say "sorry darling, this is my bedroom too and this bed is for you and me both and nobody else. I hope that you can respect me by staying with me whilst we both enjoy sexual intimacy. If not, then I hope that you will understand that I respect myself so much that I am no longer in a position to pretend to be someone else. If that means that we need to wait awhile for you to get the help you need in order to enjoy sex with the real me again then that's ok but you will have to understand and accept that I will no longer be giving in to any requests for anything other than you and me in a wholesome, normal, natural relationship".



Thank you.


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#299631 - 08/17/09 10:33 AM Re: How do other wives of survivor's deal? [Re: wifeofsurvivor]
MPackard Offline


Registered: 12/09/08
Posts: 43
Loc: MS
expom....thank you for your entire post here. I am going to print it and take a while to digest it in parts.
I wonder if you've had your day of healing yet and how that went. I'd love to have something here like that. It's truly amazing how isolated we are...
Thanks again.


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#299669 - 08/17/09 02:21 PM Re: How do other wives of survivor's deal? [Re: MPackard]
sugarbaby Offline


Registered: 08/17/08
Posts: 375
"Previously, I was a wildly sexual being, and now I have turned into the opposite "

Me too. I have wondered a lot why he would marry me with his issues in that arena. That just seems like him asking for trouble.

My story is a bit different:
A bit after our last child was born he started freaking out and drinking a lot. I became a "hole" as someone else mentioned (that is exactly how I'd describe it too) so we really haven't had any type of sexual relationship since.

Prior to that it was lively and fun, intimate. I see now though that things I did made him uncomfortable. I just didn't know it.

Now that he has been sober a while and has handled a lot of what he hid for so long......I just have no interest. The whole experience has just turned that off and I haven't yet found my way back to being who I was.


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#300208 - 08/22/09 02:37 PM Re: How do other wives of survivor's deal? [Re: sugarbaby]
divadjt Offline


Registered: 06/15/09
Posts: 20
Loc: ohio
I feel that my partner always wants to be acted upon during sex. Very rarely, or only with a lot of encouragement will he act upon me. I'm wondering if this has to do with repeating the experience of his having been fondled as a young boy. We have discussed other options for sex, but they usually remain at the discussion level.

_________________________
123456789

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#300281 - 08/23/09 10:22 AM Re: How do other wives of survivor's deal? [Re: divadjt]
roxanne Offline
New Here

Registered: 03/22/08
Posts: 16
Wifeofsurvivor

Just because we know why someone does what they do does not make it ok to do it.

You have a right to be hurt.

Any woman would feel the same.

Roxanne


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#300653 - 08/27/09 04:09 AM Re: How do other wives of survivor's deal? [Re: NY Daisy]
Mike79 Offline


Registered: 08/24/09
Posts: 16
I'm a little out of my element here. But from a man's perspective, I am not happy if my wife is not happy. I am perfectly willing to lay off and do whatever she wants. It makes me crazy when she is leading the way. Slow and steady is amazing. Really extends the feelings. But both people MUST be present. If either of you is feeling in the past or in fantasy than the real sex doesn't happen. It takes time and lots of practice, but both people must be present. It usually comes through honesty. If you are not honest with eachother about REAL life, you will not be honest in the bedroom.

That's just one Male Survivors perspective,
Mike


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#301016 - 08/31/09 01:29 AM Re: How do other wives of survivor's deal? [Re: roxanne]
Mike79 Offline


Registered: 08/24/09
Posts: 16
Amen.


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