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#356824 - 03/17/11 12:21 AM Re: Feedback from wives? [Re: Jim1961]
Jim1961 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/10/09
Posts: 1138
Loc: Pa, but likely traveling...
Originally Posted By: Jim1961
I'm 48, been married to my wife for 17 years. We have 2 kids (15 yo boy, 11 yo girl). I started working on recovery about 4 months ago. I've had issues with cybersex addiction and am seeing a T and in a 12-step. Have had only one slip in the last 50+ days.

My family went to "community day" last weekend. It's held at a local park. Local businesses/groups set up booths and have fun things for the kids to do and businesses promote their stuff.

I had taken my daughter and her friend around the park as my wife worked one of the volunteer booths. I had a great time with them and enjoyed the fun.

Later I'm walking by a booth with my wife. I had never heard of this company (something like "love connection", thought it was a dating service or something). The lady hands me a flier, and I glance at it and its counseling services.

My wife asks "what do they do?" And I quickly answer "counseling services." She rolls her eyes and says "They must know just by looking at you that you need that. She didn't hand that to me." I gave her a little whap and say "hey, c'mon now". And drop it.

When I disclosed I was seeing a T a few weeks ago, she said "whatever" and made a comment like "counseling is for those that can;t cope..."

So I am triggered. She's shaming me for seeing a Therapist? I immediately feel the anger/pain/rage thing in my chest. What was a fun day, now feels awful.

The only thing she knows about my past is a) I had a rough childhood, b) I'm seeing a T for anxiety and c) I saw a T in the past.

I'm conflicted. The more I share, the more shame ammo she will have to hurl my way. I have this huge fear that she'll leave me and take the kids. That fear has kept me silent and also built a wall between us.

Disclosing (or not) is a huge dilemma for me.

Thanks,
Jim


Well... fast forward nearly 2 years...

I've made a ton of progress in therapy... but hit a "wall." Decided to try EMDR and had my preliminary session Monday.

While I was traveling this week, the center called our home phone and left a MESSAGE about my next appointment. Its the "Integrated Medicine" center, so not obvious what it was about.

I looked at her with a puzzled face and said, I'll have to check into it... She then asked, are you ok??? Like I have a heart condition or something.

But I know she is worried. So tomorrow, I have to tell her something. I just HATE having to lie to her. But I still can feel the pain of her criticism from two years ago. I just never mention that I am seeing a counselor. I don't bring it up because she shamed me pretty bad for it.

The reality is though that she is in a much better place than she was 2 years ago. Maybe... I can trust her? Let her know about the abuse./neglect from age 10 to 15?? That would change our relationship forever. And I can just see her thinking, "Jim has a mental problem, so I better make the decisions on x"

On the other hand, I am tired of secrets. But am I strong enough? Crap, I'm dissing just thinking about this. Time to pray....

_________________________
Loneliness is a power that we possess to give or take away forever. -Yes, Starship Trooper

My Story

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#356977 - 03/18/11 08:16 AM Re: Feedback from wives? [Re: Jim1961]
Jim1961 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/10/09
Posts: 1138
Loc: Pa, but likely traveling...
Well, she didn't bring up the call from the hospital. And I couldn't muster the courage to tell her. So... status quo.

If she brings it up or maybe Monday asks where I am going, maybe I'll tell her.

Do any wives post here anymore? I thought I'd get some kind of response.

Jim

_________________________
Loneliness is a power that we possess to give or take away forever. -Yes, Starship Trooper

My Story

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#356979 - 03/18/11 08:33 AM Re: Feedback from wives? [Re: WalkingSouth]
mac80 Offline


Registered: 03/15/11
Posts: 38
Hey, buddy, are you talkin' about my girlfirend? smile She's perfect just the way she is thank you very much.

Originally Posted By: WalkingSouth
Originally Posted By: MPackard
Unfortunately I, too, used to think that T was for sissies
But then my whacked out coping skills failed me. I have a lot of FOO issues myself and used to think that if I could get through my childhood "unscathed" then so can anyone. I really thought that!!!! I'm SO NOT UNSCATHED!!!! At any rate, I'm now in T myself. I know now that it was a coping skill that made me feel that way. Perhaps that is what's going on with your wife?


See, that is the defining statement of this discussion, in my mind anyhow. It doesn't matter what sex we are or what trauma issues contribute to the brokenness in which we find ourselves. Broken people choose broken people to enter into relationship with AND every person has within themselves some degree of brokenness.

The wise person, when brought face to face with their own brokenness will seek a positive way forward through it.



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#356981 - 03/18/11 08:48 AM Re: Feedback from wives? [Re: Jim1961]
mac80 Offline


Registered: 03/15/11
Posts: 38
Not a wife, but have one and know her well.

I kind of like not having my gf (we're not technically married) on this site, but if you really need to talk to a woman, I could figure out a way.

1) EMDR works. Always make sure you trust you therapist.

2) I don't know you, but I support you and you can talk to me anyime. My girlfriend and I have pretty good communication so if you want to know how we do it, I can tell you.

3) You can't keep going like this forever not talking to her. Have you talked to a therapist who specializes is marriage and family therapy? I'm very lucky that my EMDR therapist is also a marriage and family therapist. Maybe you could find such a person.

4) Good luck. You clearly have an amazing ability to sail in rough waters


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#357043 - 03/18/11 08:27 PM Re: Feedback from wives? [Re: mac80]
hopeandtry Offline


Registered: 07/28/10
Posts: 476
I'm not a wife, but an ex-girlfriend and honestly I'd be thrilled if my ex got some help so he could heal. I'm DYING for that to happen. I hate seeing him miserable.


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#357057 - 03/19/11 12:23 AM Re: Feedback from wives? [Re: hopeandtry]
Jim1961 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/10/09
Posts: 1138
Loc: Pa, but likely traveling...
Thanks Mac and Hope. I appreciate your comments.

_________________________
Loneliness is a power that we possess to give or take away forever. -Yes, Starship Trooper

My Story

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#357099 - 03/19/11 09:36 PM Re: Feedback from wives? [Re: Jim1961]
eyesforward Offline


Registered: 03/13/11
Posts: 92
Loc: Ontario
Not a wife, but will a 2-year live-in female fiancee/partner suffice until one appears?

I don't know the full extent of my man's abuse. I'm willing to hear about it if and when he's ready to tell me. When he told me that something had occurred in his boyhood, it explained much about his behavior -- withdrawing, crushing self-doubt and anxiety, and his cruel self-judgements. These things were puzzles to me. They didn't fit with the kind, loving, smart man that I saw. What I mean by that is that these are habitual thoughts and reactions that are part of what he does, but they aren't really who he IS, if you know what I mean.

... so therapy:
I'm really sorry that your wife's reaction was callous, cavalier and hurtful when you told her that you were seeing a therapist. Good for you for fighting for yourself by continuing to see the therapist despite your wife's unsupportive opinion. That has to be tough.

I have dealt with the therapy from both sides: person engaged in therapy/treatment with loved ones concerned about me and person loving someone engaged in therapy/treatment. Here's my observation and conclusion: It's tricky for loved ones to find a balance between wanting to "be there" and not intruding into a person's personal work.

You know your wife and you say she's in a much better place than she was 2 years ago. I imagine that she has more than a little regret about her reaction 2 years ago to your disclosure of seeing a therapist. [small voice]I kinda sorta do hope she does regret it only because you deserve to be married to a decent human being who's willing to confront her pettiness and discomfort in exchange for the privilege and joy of loving you[/small voice]

If she's not too damaged from her own childhood, disclosing to her what happened to you, or as much of it as you can bear to tell, is likely to transform you, her and your relationship in a positive way. As you know, it's unfortunately not guaranteed. What does your T say about this? Jim, I really hope that whatever you choose goes well for YOU.


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#357364 - 03/22/11 05:54 PM Re: Feedback from wives? [Re: eyesforward]
PIXEL Offline


Registered: 03/22/11
Posts: 3
hi Jim,

I am brand spanking new here, and your post caught my attention.
Why because, it makes me sad that you find it necessary to keep such a big secret from your wife when you are working so hard on your recovery.
It also makes me sad her response to your first attempt at opening up. Do I dare ask her thoughts/feelings on couples counseling?

You asked for input from a wife, and although every situation and experience is unique to the individual, I would like to believe that if your wife knew the whole story she would be supportive. If I read your post correctly, her response was based on knowing a portion of the story. I can't imagine 17 well 19 years of marriage and there not be love, trust, and collaboration on many issues. Not every, but many.

Your recovery, your journey through recovery might just be that next frontier. I would suspect she knows something is not quite right. We women sometimes pick up on external ques that men don't tend to pick up on. If you choose to be vulnerable with your wife, I would suggest preferencing the conversation with words of encouragement, and set clearly your expectations. Help her to see how IMPORTANT this is to you. That is what would help me.

In a nut shell my story is, my husband was abused and shared this with me after years on sexual intimacy issues. It has and still is quite the struggle.

Anyway, hopefully this post is helpful in some way, apologies if it is simply a repeat of things others have shared over the past 2 years. I did not read all of the post.

All the best on your wonderful road to healing and recovery.


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#357414 - 03/23/11 06:56 AM Re: Feedback from wives? [Re: PIXEL]
mac80 Offline


Registered: 03/15/11
Posts: 38
I agree with Jim, if a relationship has a chance of rewarding success, honesty must be a part of it. But I warn you from personal experience, it may be wise to tell the whole story honestly, representing it truthfully, but leaving out the more graphic, possibly triggering details. I know my story brought up a lot of triggers for my girlfriend that she wasn't quite ready to face and in retrospect, I could've smoothed it out a bit. Know your audience smile I mean, if your wife took it that hard the first time, she definitely has her own issues.
P.S. not to beat it to death, but Marriage counseling is good. It's a scary thing for a person to set foot in that room for the first time--it can feel like admitting that there is something wrong with you and your relationship (I'm talking about your wife here) but once your in there and if you trust your therapist, it can be a safe place where you can let things out that you won't let out at home where you have to deal with life.

The following may sound like a rhetorical question, but it's not, I'm genuinely curious: What do you feel you might lose by asking her to go to counselling with you?


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