Newest Members
dspwilson, Won'tGiveUp, sillyputty, Pytbull, manipulated
12384 Registered Users
Today's Birthdays
4gettingthepast4 (32), DougL (53), Jeff38 (48), lfp (27), pats121 (75), Texan (57), zer0sleep (35)
Who's Online
1 registered (crabbott), 26 Guests and 5 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Forum Stats
12384 Members
74 Forums
63653 Topics
444536 Posts

Max Online: 418 @ 07/02/12 07:29 AM
Twitter
Page 2 of 3 < 1 2 3 >
Topic Options
#296240 - 07/21/09 11:10 AM Re: Fear of Marriage Commitment Stems from CSA? [Re: tupelo]
riz Offline


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

You don't have to be sorry for the long message. You need a place to get everything off your chest and this website is one place to do that. We are hear to listen.

Forgive me if I am mistaken, but it seems like both you and your boyfriend thought this would go away fairly quickly if once he began to address some issues. This is a process that takes much longer than a couple of weeks to unfold. How much are you willing and able to give to that process? Many significant others go to therapy to help deal with this type of question.

Unfortunately, it isn't as simple as holding his hand, crying, and coddling...and other forms of support that we are used to providing. Sometimes those types of support can actually be viewed as threatening. Or he may pull back so he doesn't have to see you upset. Or he may feel responsible for upsetting you. Or too much of your support may be of the "coddling" manner and this may make him feel weak, inadequate, damaged, re-victimized...any number of responses that you wouldn't expect.

Or sometimes it is exactly what he may need. It's very confusing and very important to never feel like we know what the other person needs. Have you asked him what he needs from you?

I hope I say this gently enough, but it sometimes doesn't matter what you do. Yes, perhaps in the moment, knowing that you are there may make him feel better. Or your giving him space may be what he needs. In the long run, though, your choice of action is not what will make him feel better or not. His healing will come from his own actions, and no one can really "help" him.

The first stage of healing can be extremely painful, scary, and confusing for him. It is possibly very difficult for him to see anything outside himself. This may sound harsh, but maybe you could think more about what you need to do for you. If you need a break from the pushing/pulling, then you take a break. It will probably make him feel better right now if he knows you are taking care of yourself, and that he isn't responsible for making you feel better or worse. This is one of the lessons that virtually everyone here comes away with, that we all need to take responsibility for our own well-being.

My heart goes out to you during this difficult time.

Best,
Riz


Top
#296244 - 07/21/09 11:41 AM Re: Fear of Marriage Commitment Stems from CSA? [Re: riz]
tupelo Offline


Registered: 07/16/09
Posts: 15
Thank you so much Riz. I have my first appointment with a therapist tomorrow.

You just described perfectly the reaction that I am getting -- he is feeling threatened. He says that it rips him apart that the ones closest to him (his family and I) are the most upset while the abuser is living his life without consequence or pain. He says the more he has involved his family and I, the worse he feels.

I realized that this is not going to be an instant fix, but I think he thought it would be. And, because the confrontation wasn't an easy fix, I think he now believes the problem must lie with our relationship.

He keeps telling me to go out, be happy, etc during this time because he doesn't want me to be miserable too. Maybe doing just that will make him feel more comfortable. But, for now, since he sent me that note about "having serious concerns about us...it will get worse before getting better...he wants to pull us back into some normalcy...but isn't sure if he can handle everything etc" I haven't responded or contacted him.

I wonder if he is just trying to break up with me? We are both in our 30s, we have been together for awhile, have been serious and exclusive..the whole works. I am just having trouble wrapping my head around it all. Last week, he told me family and I that he was doing this "for us" and that all good things take time and to hang in there....


Top
#296246 - 07/21/09 12:19 PM Re: Fear of Marriage Commitment Stems from CSA? [Re: tupelo]
cstjude Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

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

I am so sorry that you are hurting. One of the most difficult things to accept when a loved one undertakes CSA recovery is the lost ability to predict outcomes with any certainty. We don't realize how much our peace of mind depends on being able to form reasonable expectations of our partner's behaviour, values, and attitudes until it's gone. He is going through a profound period of readjustment and so are you. All of a sudden, all bets are off and he is re-evaluating his choices, patterns, relationships, personal history, memories, - the whole works. He's in the midst of what I call the "realization of exploding consequences." He's freaked about having involved his family, he's feeling exposed and vulnerable. And he is dealing with fundamental confusion and disorientation. And so are you as a consequence.

Riz, as usual, is perfectly right to point out that recovery is a process rather than an event. He is taking a very proactive stance, but this process can take a long time to gain traction and take hold.

My guess is that he is not trying to break up with you. But he is re-examining everything in his life including all his relationships.

My only advice for tomorrow is that you don't hold back anything from your own therapist. Let them see all that this is doing to you and help you get to the root of your own reactions, needs, fears, and strengths.

Try to stay in the moment and accept whatever his personal truth is that day. It is very hard not to cast ourselves into the future based on the advancing and retreating our loved ones do, but it can be the only way to stay sane during the initial stages of recovery.

My mother often quotes Matt 6:34: Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient to the day is the evil thereof.


C.

_________________________
C.
Female, Friends & Family Forum Fan

Top
#296350 - 07/22/09 07:00 AM Re: Fear of Marriage Commitment Stems from CSA? [Re: cstjude]
riz Offline


Registered: 10/07/08
Posts: 123
Hey Tupelo,

Go back and read C.'s first paragraph (above), starting with the sentence that begins with "He is going through...". She is right.

Read your own quote on what your boyfriend said, "having serious concerns...etc." I don't hear anything that sounds like he was wanting to break up with you and "oh, great, CSA...now I have an excuse to get rid of her" I know that's an oversimplification, but is that what you are thinking?

There was a thread awhile back by Julia "He's Just Not That into You." Lots of people responded. Many of us have been deeply hurt by men who pushed us away because of THEIR pain. Some days it feels like being rejected, plain and simple. We know the feelings you are having.

I think you should believe what your boyfriend is telling you. I think you are lucky he is telling you, he is willing and able to tell you exactly what is going on with him. It is ripping him apart thinking he is hurting you. That is a very self aware statement. Do what you can to show him you are taking care of yourself. As things progress do not make your relationship all about CSA (although right now it is hard to do anything else, I know). He is living it every second, and if he says he doesn't want to talk about it, believe him. Go to the movies, or bowling or whatever you do and let him forget it for a few hours.

While you are thinking he may want out of the relationship, you can be pretty sure he is believing he doesn't deserve you...or something along those lines. I can certainly understand your anger and confusion and not wanting to contact him. If you do want to say something, but don't know what...maybe a non-complicated email to let him know you are there?

I notice I am giving a lot of "instructions" ...maybe because when I was in your position, I needed concrete information on what was happening. So forgive me if what I say doesn't apply. THE MOST IMPORTANT THING is to do what is in your heart every minute. Every minute do what's right for YOU, not matter what I or anyone else says.

Let us know how it went with your therapist...if you want.

Riz


Top
#296389 - 07/22/09 12:51 PM Re: Fear of Marriage Commitment Stems from CSA? [Re: riz]
tupelo Offline


Registered: 07/16/09
Posts: 15
Thank you so much. I appreciate all of this information. The material I am reading about commitment-phobia encourages me to be "less available" to him. The material I am reading about CSA encourages me to be more "available" to him ??

So, I am not sure what to do because my first approach was to send non-complicated emails, cards, etc telling him how much I love him and to call if he needs anything...that I will always be in his corner...etc etc.

Then, when he got back from his confrontation last week, I took him to get something to eat, went to the movies, etc. just to get his mind off of it. I wanted to keep things as light and fun as possible, not ask questions, etc. It was that next day that I got the note that said he is having serious concerns about us.

So, the emotional and sympathetic approach didn't work. The "trying to keep things fun" approach didn't work. So, I am just not really pursuing him. He sent me a note yesterday asking to get together and I said "no because I had a work function." What choice to have when he keeps saying he wants space and doesn't want to confide in me...but then calls and wants to spend some time together when he is having a good day?

I accepted that fact there is going to be periods of contract & withdrawal, etc and was perfectly OK with it. The note about having "serious concerns about us" really angered me because I feel like he is searching for a concrete cause for his ambivalence and if it wasn't the abuser, it must be "us".

I had a good experience with the therapist today, but we talked mostly about me. He did say that I shouldn't view the "we should get married" then the "we shouldn't get married" back-and-forth talk as lies. He said he probably means them when he says it. It just hits a point when it becomes more real and his anxiety skyrockets, which the therapist said could be commitmentphobia -- could be CSA -- or both.


Top
#296410 - 07/22/09 02:57 PM Re: Fear of Marriage Commitment Stems from CSA? [Re: tupelo]
1islandboy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 06/23/08
Posts: 861
Loc: washington
Tupelo,

For me, my initially needing space was a hard/bizzare endeavor indeed! Like being next to a fire in a frozen tundra. I had to be close enough and yet not to close (in order to survive). This ever changing distance having always shifting number of variables...

Switching gears, I believe love is like a wheel (cyclical)...sometimes I am really close and other times I act as if...

Through my process, I have had times where I have called my sponsor and informed him I could not be alone. I have had other times when I was alone with the pain (I was alone when it happened) and it is really hard to descibe how bad it felt/sucked to be alone with the pain...but I believe this to be a vital part of my healing journey.

I have gotten to the point where we (my girlfried and I) where we have a regularly planned exercise, where she simply holds me. (min. 10 min.) This helps me with my feelings of brokeness and strengthens my bond to/with her (gets me out of that push/pull feeling behavior).

Two of my favorite books not already mentioned are, "Beyond Betrayal" and "Speaking our Truth".


You're All I Need (White Lion)

island

_________________________
Rise above the storm and you will find the sunshine ~ M.F. Fernandez

Top
#296450 - 07/22/09 09:07 PM Re: Fear of Marriage Commitment Stems from CSA? [Re: 1islandboy]
cstjude Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

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

You're a victim of conflicting advice and I feel for the frustration I read in your last post.

You wrote: "He sent me a note yesterday asking to get together and I said "no because I had a work function." What choice to have when he keeps saying he wants space and doesn't want to confide in me...but then calls and wants to spend some time together when he is having a good day?"

My only kindly meant advice to you in this circumstance (and it is not a judgment of any kind) is not to give into the temptation to get your own back by making up excuses not to see him when he asks. The satisfaction (and there is satisfaction) that you might feel in the short term is self-defeating ultimately and does nothing to advance either intimacy or recovery. It will confuse and dismay you both. Tell him what you tell us. It's ok not to want to be instantly avaialable on his terms, but you'll feel better about having said so in so many words and he won't have to interpret (possibly wrongly) your pulling away. He won't see it as setting boundaries, he'll just be hurt.

Sometimes when we're involved with a survivor we're asked to accept that he gets to call the shots regarding contact and needing space. He has to. He's all about finding safety in the face of overwhelming confusion right now. He's playing by a different emotional rule book right now. And that sucks.

But, in my experience, I gained much more peace of mind when I decided that him being in the driver's seat was the way it had to be in the short term. And that was a bitter pill to swallow because I am so not the passive, wallflower type!

Be good to yourself. We're here for you.

C.

_________________________
C.
Female, Friends & Family Forum Fan

Top
#296479 - 07/22/09 11:56 PM Re: Fear of Marriage Commitment Stems from CSA? [Re: tupelo]
Pisces Offline


Registered: 07/06/09
Posts: 25
Loc: California
Hi Tupelo,

I am sorry I am unable to offer any encouraging words of advise. I am posting to let you know when I read your most recent thread on this matter I felt like you were me. We are leading almost exact parrell lives. So I guess it is thank you for reminding me I am not alone in my feelings and what I am experiencing.

I will think of you often and wish for peace and answers for you.

Thank you for sharing....it helps us all.

Hugs,

Pisces


Top
#296505 - 07/23/09 07:20 AM Re: Fear of Marriage Commitment Stems from CSA? [Re: Pisces]
riz Offline


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

You said, "The emotional-sympathetic approach didn't work. The trying to keep things fun approach didn't work."

What do you mean when you say "didn't work"? What are you trying to accomplish?

Riz


Top
#296506 - 07/23/09 07:30 AM Re: Fear of Marriage Commitment Stems from CSA? [Re: riz]
tupelo Offline


Registered: 07/16/09
Posts: 15
Thank you everyone. I am sorry, I realize I have been very angry and frustrated this week and it is really coming through on my posts. I don't know how to act. I feel resentful and hurt that he doesn't want to be around me. I miss him so much, and the only thing I want to accomplish is making him feel better and I just want him back. I know it sounds selfish, I miss him.

He is supposed to get together with friends this weekend that he hasn't seen in years, so I sent him a nice quick email this morning wishing him a good weekend, etc.


Top
Page 2 of 3 < 1 2 3 >


Moderator:  ModTeam, peroperic2009 

I agree that my access and use of the MaleSurvivor discussion forums and chat room is subject to the terms of this Agreement. AND the sole discretion of MaleSurvivor.
I agree that my use of MaleSurvivor resources are AT-WILL, and that my posting privileges may be terminated at any time, and for any reason by MaleSurvivor.