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#295566 - 07/16/09 03:49 PM Fear of Marriage Commitment Stems from CSA?
tupelo Offline


Registered: 07/16/09
Posts: 15
My boyfriend of a few years has just recently started working with a therapist and is working towards confronting his CSA and recovery. He sought out the therapist several months ago for another reason: to figure out why he was unable to pull the trigger and propose marriage.

He says he is going through recovery for himself and for us, but needs some space while he handles the first few steps. The distancing is hard for me to handle right now. Anyone have any more insight as to the link between CSA and commitment issues?


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#295570 - 07/16/09 04:08 PM Re: Fear of Marriage Commitment Stems from CSA? [Re: tupelo]
honey girl Offline
Member

Registered: 10/09/06
Posts: 245
Loc: Midwest US
Dear Tupelo,

I'm sorry if what I say is painful to hear, but if someone is hesitant, then there's a good reason for it. If you surf some of the old threads you'll see a lot of discussion of this topic from those who are all too familiar with this issue.

Peace,
HG

_________________________
I'm just a poor wayfaring stranger, a million miles away from home.

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#295571 - 07/16/09 04:16 PM Re: Fear of Marriage Commitment Stems from CSA? [Re: honey girl]
tupelo Offline


Registered: 07/16/09
Posts: 15
Thank you HG. I appreciate your response. This is all very new to me. I realize there is a good reason that he is hesitant, but I am wondering if there is a link between CSA and high-anxiety surrounding get married? Is this a common by-product of CSA? In the meantime, I'll look through old posts.


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#295573 - 07/16/09 04:40 PM Re: Fear of Marriage Commitment Stems from CSA? [Re: tupelo]
DJsport Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/20/08
Posts: 1742
Hi, Honey Girl.

Yes, there is a HUGE link between CSA and anxiety around getting married and for several reasons.

In general, the recovery from the affects of the CSA can take awhile.

Sexuality is an issue.

There are no black and white answers to be given. Take time to disgest the vast amounts of information on this website. I hesitate to add words that you could use in your search because they may not be an issue for you.

Peace,
DJ

_________________________
Live to your fullest potential

Never make someone a priority if your only an option

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#295580 - 07/16/09 06:06 PM Re: Fear of Marriage Commitment Stems from CSA? [Re: DJsport]
WalkingSouth Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/30/05
Posts: 16264
There can definitely be a link, Friend. A link between the abuse and commitment to friendships in social AND intimate relationships.

It stands to reason. We were wounded in relationship is it any wonder that relationship is problematic for so many of us? What the wounded heart many times fails to realize is that we were wounded in relationship and ONLY in relationship can we begin to find healing from the total impact the abuse had.

_________________________
“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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#295589 - 07/16/09 09:00 PM Re: Fear of Marriage Commitment Stems from CSA? [Re: WalkingSouth]
cstjude Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 09/04/08
Posts: 302
Loc: Canada
Dear Tupelo,

Trust, the basis for a strong marriage, is a HUGE issue for CSA survivors. Being vulnerable in a relationship is as well. It will feel very much like rejection when he says he needs space, retreats from you and others, vascillates between advances in emotional intimacy and beating a hasty retreat. It can be a little crazy-making but you might even find that the times when you are becoming closer emotional intimates is the most difficult time for him. Try not to take it personally. The good news I take from your post...and it is very good news... is that your loved one has already 1) disclosed to you about his abuse, 2) sought help, 3) is communicating and being honest about his needs. Those count a lot towards his chances of recovery and you both being able to build a meaningful, loving marriage (if that is what you both ultimately want).

Your self-esteem, and your sense of self will need to be strong in order to support his recovery and your own emotional well-being. So ask yourself the tough questions and build yourself a strong support network too.

There is hope. Recovery is possible. There will be set backs and tears, but keep communicating, keep coming back here, keep educating yourself about CSA. Keep reassuring him that you love him and will help while accepting that this is his journey to manage and pursue his way. And... I can't stress this enough... do NOT listen to those on the outside looking in who don't have a grasp of male survivor issues. There are a lot of misconceptions and myths out there. Get the goods for yourself. The men here are enourmously generous with their honesty, candor, and insights.

Sometimes books help. One that keeps resonating with several of us in this forum is Victims No Longer by Mike Lew (it has a section for Family and Friends). Another is If the Man You Love Was Abused by Browne and Browne.


C.

_________________________
C.
Female, Friends & Family Forum Fan

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#295601 - 07/16/09 11:17 PM Re: Fear of Marriage Commitment Stems from CSA? [Re: cstjude]
DJsport Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/20/08
Posts: 1742
Hi, Tupelo.

CST is good to see you again.

I (men here) will give you perspective for from our own perspective but as cst says get the "goods" from within yourself.

You can pm anytime.

Another resources is Mic Hunters book "Abused boys".

The one perspective I think is appropriate at this time. I have included it in another post of mine is: The monster invaded my body, mind and spirit for his own use. As a csa survivor, I assume this is what us men here are trying to let go of.

Peace,
DJ

_________________________
Live to your fullest potential

Never make someone a priority if your only an option

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#296098 - 07/20/09 02:07 PM Re: Fear of Marriage Commitment Stems from CSA? [Re: DJsport]
Junefriday Offline


Registered: 06/05/08
Posts: 113
Loc: Canada
Hi Tupelo,

I echo a lot of what cstjude has said. Please read through the many posts on this website as there is a ton of information that you will find helpful. However, I want to give you a heads up that much of what you might find will be discouraging as many of us have not had happy endings. Just remember that each story is unique despite the similarities. Your boyfriend's issues didn't develop overnight so it will take just a long for him to address them. He is taking the right steps and you should be proud and feel encouraged by that. Marriage requires two people to BE IN IT at all times so use that as your gauge from time to time.

Good luck!

JF

_________________________
"Love comes to those who still hope even though they've been disappointed, to those who still believe even though they've been betrayed, to those who still love even though they've been hurt before.”

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#296228 - 07/21/09 10:08 AM Re: Fear of Marriage Commitment Stems from CSA? [Re: Junefriday]
tupelo Offline


Registered: 07/16/09
Posts: 15
Thank you to everyone for responding. I appreciate your support very much. Last week, I read the Browne and Browne book. I order the Hunter book and the Lew book and they should be arriving shortly.

I am completely at a loss right now. What CST described is exactly what is happening right now...needing space, retreating from me and others, vacillating between growing closer and running away...

He recently has taken some pretty serious and proactive steps towards initiating the recovery process. He reached out to me and my family, asking for support. We were all happy to oblige. At his request, I have been giving him space for the past few weeks to sort it out on his own. At the suggestion of his therapist, he took big step towards confronting the CSA a few days ago. Before he left, he told me that he feels this is the thing that has been holding us back and that he is going through this for himself and for our relationship.

Now, apparently, he is not happy with the immediate results. He thought he would start sleeping better right away, etc etc. Based on the little communication I have received from him in the past few days, he now wonders if confronting the CSA was a big mistake...he doesn't feel any better...and now he tells me he is starting to have serious concerns about us. He doesn't want to be intimate with anyone on multiple levels and is pushing everyone away. He said he doesn't know if the space is helping or hurting, but plans to talk about it with his therapist.

I am just confused. I accepted that there would be a period of reduced emotional and physical intimacy...that there would be periods of contact & withdrawal, contact & withdrawal...I have accepted that and was OK knowing that this would help him. he acknowledges that things will probably get worse before they get better, but how do I salvage my relationship with someone that keeps pushing me away? We really don't fight...we have a wonderful time together...have so much in common...shared values etc etc. I have never pushed marriage, children, etc. He has always been the one to initiate those talks. Then, when he perceives that we are at crossroads in our relationship, he has a complete panic attack and shuts down. Then tells me he doesn't know if he can "do it" i.e. marriage etc.

I told him I would hold this hand through this, and he doesn't want it. I can continue to cry and coddle him, write him letters of support, etc but it is not helping him.

So, I just stopped contacting him. Maybe some tough love in the form of distance...or even a "break"...will make him feel better.

Sorry for the long message...it's just really hurting me right now. I keep swinging from being angry to being upset.

Thanks.


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#296239 - 07/21/09 10:54 AM Re: Fear of Marriage Commitment Stems from CSA? [Re: tupelo]
tupelo Offline


Registered: 07/16/09
Posts: 15
Also (side note) there are no issues with monogamy, substance abuses, self destructive behavior etc etc. I think, along with everything else, he carries a big dose of guilt because he fears that starting a family with me means abandoning his own family. He is the only one in his family in a relationship. The only one in his family that has ever been in a real relationship since his parents divorce 25 years ago.


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