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#301366 - 09/02/09 07:12 PM What do I do?
wnt2bsupportive Offline


Registered: 09/02/09
Posts: 15
A brief overview of my situation. I have been dating my boyfriend for a year now. We currently live together and I am a single mother to a 6 year old child.

Shortly after my boyfriend moved in with me he confessed to me one evening while drinking that he was molested by an older boy that lived down the road from him when he was a child. He asked that I not bring it up and said he should have never told me.

Well six months later I found e mails on his computer where he had been soliciting men for sexual pleasures on Craigslist. At first I didn't want to believe it and tried to ignore it. However; one evening he started to pick a fight with me over something so petty (as he does on occasion when he is stressed or feeling down) and accused me of looking for another man. I explained to him that I would never do that blah blah blah.

As the evening progressed and the fight got worse I confronted him about the e mails (keep in mind I had forgotten about our conversation about his sexual abuse). He of course denied them and said that someone must have hacked his account. I continued to push him to tell me the truth. He refused. He would go out and drink and then come home and pass out and would have nothing to do with me or my daughter.

One night I asked him to talk to me and explained that I would not judge him or be mad and that in my mind there was nothing we couldn't get through if we were honest with one another. I told him if he loved me he would be honest.

He admitted that he had been sending the e mails. He began to tell me how embarrassed he was and how he could not stand to look me in my face. I told him that I would support him no matter if it was as his girlfriend or his friend.

I don't judge or "blame" him for his actions. I truly believe that it is a result of the trauma from what he experienced that he is doing this. He stated that he had never met with any of the men that he was just curious. He told me that this was not the way he wanted his life to be and that he wanted to get past it and would do anything to keep our relationship together.

I asked him to get help but he refuses. He says he is too embarrassed. It has been about a month and we have talked about it some but not a lot. He has been pushing marriage and kids a lot lately as well.

I just found out yesterday that he is still soliciting men. I also found out that he has actually met with some of these men. The problem is he is not the one telling me. He is leaving traces on his computer and that is how I have found out.

He now is telling me that he has to leave and that he can't be with me anymore. He is too embarrassed and has to run.

I have tried talking to him and explaining that it is not his fault.

I want to support him. I want him to get the help he needs but he wont listen. He thinks he deserves to suffer for the rest of his life.

What do I do?

Am I going about this all wrong? I love him and don't want to lose him but I know we will never survive if he doesn't get help and stops the lies.


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#301373 - 09/02/09 08:23 PM Re: What do I do? [Re: wnt2bsupportive]
MadDad Offline


Registered: 09/02/09
Posts: 4
Loc: Midwest
Wnt2,
I'm new here but have much experience with such issues.

Childhood sexual abuse often manifests as hypersexuality or gender identity issues. It sounds like you've done all the right things though being supportive often seems like it is as difficult as the abuse itself.

Continue to be as supportive as you can but do not lose your own identity in the issue. This is one of the big dangers in loving an abused person who who refuses to make the next step. Firm but gentle is the best route but your boyfriend must acknowlege the needs of yourself and your daughter as well as his own.

You have chosen a long road indeed by loving one with such a background, but it can and does get better if BOTH parties are willing to make it so. I have been married to my wife for 14 years and the abuse issues will wax and wane over time.

Just be strong without losing yourself.
MadDad


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#301379 - 09/02/09 08:29 PM Re: What do I do? [Re: MadDad]
Ken Singer, LCSW Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/24/00
Posts: 5778
Loc: Lambertville, NJ USA
wnt2:
As you can see, I've been here a pretty long time and I can tell you that I have heard the exact same issues from many partners of survivors. You will find this to be true if you do a little searching of the archives around here.

Some of the key words may be "same sex attractions" or "ssa", "sexual acting out" and other variations of the theme. It is very common for survivors, particularly as they try to have a "normal" life to fall back into old positions stemming from their abuse. There is a chapter in my book which is coming out in the next couple of months that addresses these issues. If you'd like, I'll send you the chapter.

Ken


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#301396 - 09/02/09 10:23 PM Re: What do I do? [Re: Ken Singer, LCSW]
Bewlayb1 Offline
Guest

Registered: 08/03/07
Posts: 241
Loc: NYC
Wnt2:

It made me incredibly sad to read your post. I think everyone here empathizes with your boyfriend. We are a lot less judgemental than most would be. It's admirable that you sound as rational as you do in this situation. Obviously, the abuse has made a wreck of his sexuality. He understands that he's hurting you and he must feel humiliated and disgusted with himself.

All this doesn't change the fact that his behavior is unacceptable. While I sympathize with your boyfriend, and, in fact, see him as a kind of brother, he's being selfish, reckless and self-destructive. No woman is a saint. If you moved on, it would be understandable. You should feel no guilt. You have yourself and your six year old daughter to think about. He needs to stop. He's an adult. Regardless of the trauma he suffered as a boy, he must take responsibility for his actions.

Yes, the abuse is to blame. If he was an alcoholic, or drug addict, or abusive, it would probably be because of the abuse too. But he has free will. He's not a puppet on a string guided by the hand of a long gone pedophile. He's capable of fighting these bad impulses. To overcome this, he can't use excuses. As unfair as it is, to achieve happiness, he needs to be much stronger than the average person is.

The choice is entirely yours whether you want to invest yourself in trying to save him. He might very well get past this disturbing conduct. Your best bet at that is therapy. It's not my place, or anyone else's, to tell you how to proceed. You sound like a rare, selfless, compassionate woman. I'm sure he'd be devasated to lose you. I hope he realizes that and does what is necessary to keep you in his life. I wish you and your boyfriend the best.


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#301411 - 09/03/09 12:17 AM Re: What do I do? [Re: Bewlayb1]
DJsport Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/20/08
Posts: 1742
Originally Posted By: Bewlayb1
Wnt2: But he has free will. He's not a puppet on a string guided by the hand of a long gone pedophile.


Hi, All.

While I agree with most that is said in this post I totally disagree with the above statement.

Unless you have walked in our shoes, making judgemental statements like the above is uncalled for.

I believe you have free will to not accept whatever the bf is saying but to make a statement about someone elses desires do not work well.

I know others here will share their own stories (Ken Singer has given referrence to other topics to search for) about how they struggle with the "puppet on a string" syndrome as you put it.

Hopefully I have misunderstood what you are saying.

DJ



Edited by DJsport (09/03/09 12:19 AM)
_________________________
Live to your fullest potential

Never make someone a priority if your only an option

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#301425 - 09/03/09 07:35 AM Re: What do I do? [Re: DJsport]
wnt2bsupportive Offline


Registered: 09/02/09
Posts: 15
Thanks to each of you for taking the time to reply.

At this point I am still in a state of shock and honestly disbelief.

It's weird b/c I can get so mad and upset at him for some of the stupid things he does or doesn't do. However; this one I just can't be angry about. I think it's what he wants though. I think he would rather that I be angry and push him away then to tell him how much I love him and support him.

I know I am not alone in this. I have tried to explain to him that he isn't either. That he isn't the only one that has ever gone through this. He just doesn't believe me. He came home last night after going out drinking. He didn't want to be there but he did. He slept on the couch. Honestly, I didn't care where he slept as long as it was in our house where I knew he was safe. I was so scared of him doing something stupid.

He says he doesn't care and he has nothing to live for. I know I will never in a million years understand how he feels or what it feels like to be in his shoes. I just wish I could make him see that he is worth it and that he deserves to be happy. I want the pain and torment to stop for him.

I am really glad that I found this site. I truly believe it will be a great source of comfort and support for me and hopefully something I can eventually pass on to him.

Thank you to everyone!


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#301436 - 09/03/09 08:46 AM Re: What do I do? [Re: wnt2bsupportive]
Bewlayb1 Offline
Guest

Registered: 08/03/07
Posts: 241
Loc: NYC
Hello DJ Sport. I did not mean to offend anyone with that statement. I have been in your shoes. I am a male survivor. I was raped and molested for 2 years, or so, by a teacher from eight to ten. Sometimes I do feel like a puppet on a string, as if everything I do originates back to the abuse. Maybe that’s why it came off as harsh. We’re hardest on the problems we see in ourselves.

But if I have no control over my actions at all, if my whole life I would be ruled by the evil this monster did to me, what would be the point in living, or fighting? The survivor in this posted acted wrong. He has to accept that. We could give up and admit that we’ve lost our souls to a psychopath, or we can believe that we can surmount the daunting obstacles against us. I don’t know if you misunderstood, but that’s what I meant.



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#301440 - 09/03/09 09:36 AM Re: What do I do? [Re: Bewlayb1]
sugarbaby Offline


Registered: 08/17/08
Posts: 329
"I just wish I could make him see that he is worth it and that he deserves to be happy. I want the pain and torment to stop for him."

He has to find that on his own and in his own time, in my opinion.


"But he has free will. He's not a puppet on a string guided by the hand of a long gone pedophile."

I totally get that statement. My husband was just like that.


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#301447 - 09/03/09 11:04 AM Re: What do I do? [Re: sugarbaby]
DJsport Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/20/08
Posts: 1742
Bewlay1

I totally misunderstood you. Your profile says nothing about yourself so I was not sure if you were speaking as a survivor (as a survivor it is clear you know the struggles) or as a non-survivor.

My apologies to you for misunderstanding where you are coming from. I am a survivor who is single. I understand honesty but, I also understand the "pull" from which the csa created.

I empathize with my fellow survivors here. I have struggled with "acting out behaviors". And to be honest the acting out was sexual and recreating the abuse.

Anyway not to hijack this post.

Peace,
DJ

_________________________
Live to your fullest potential

Never make someone a priority if your only an option

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#301448 - 09/03/09 11:15 AM Re: What do I do? [Re: DJsport]
wnt2bsupportive Offline


Registered: 09/02/09
Posts: 15
I do not by any means feel that you are "hijacking" my post.

I appreciate and welcome any insight that can be offered.

I have learned so much just in the last day since joining. So many things in our relationship makes more sense now.

My eyes have been opened to things I never knew or thought I would know.

I cannot express how much all of your responses mean to me right now. I think they are truly helping me stay sane, not blame myself, and definitely helping me cope. I know I am not the "victim" here, but I do feel because of what some horrible person did to the person I love that I am paying a price so to speak.

DJSport, I absolutely love your quote I have heard it before but today it makes so much more sense.

__________________________________________

"The stupid neither forgive nor forget; the naïve forgive and forget; the wise forgive but do not forget."


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#301451 - 09/03/09 11:35 AM Re: What do I do? [Re: wnt2bsupportive]
DJsport Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/20/08
Posts: 1742
Hello.

I dont know if this is what your loved one is going through But - the statement about being NOT being a puppet on a string is hitting me HARD.

I am not good at expressing what I am feeling at times.

I have been out of control with lots of things believing I was ok. I was not aware of the csa until 3 years ago. I realize as the csa is being uncovered - the affects of the csa and it is the affects of the csa that I am connecting with the statement "puppet on a string"

Maybe he is struggling with same things or not. I left my ex-wife and kids 20 years ago for what I thought was ssa but now I know a different story.

Yes, we have a free will and sometimes that will gets nurtured by a terrible source. Until we recognise the source and the affects of the source we may not act in our own and others best interest.

Just offering my own insight.

Peace,
DJ

_________________________
Live to your fullest potential

Never make someone a priority if your only an option

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#301457 - 09/03/09 12:14 PM Re: What do I do? [Re: DJsport]
MPackard Offline


Registered: 12/09/08
Posts: 43
Loc: MS
Want2be....I'd just like to send you a hug.
My H and I are about a year into therapy and we've been through a lot. He was molested at about the age of 9 and 10 by a neighborhood teen.
Things that have come out are sometimes hard to take. His acting out is bad (gay porn etc...) but his self loathing is the worst thing that I deal with. He feels dirty, embarassed, like a freak, self destructive and unworthy.
I have learned so much from this website and it has been a source of undertanding for me that you cant find IRL.
I was finally able to talk my H into looking here, it took a long time. He lurks but wont post but he's learning a lot, too.


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#301459 - 09/03/09 12:17 PM Re: What do I do? [Re: MPackard]
MPackard Offline


Registered: 12/09/08
Posts: 43
Loc: MS
And DJ, my H is just understanding that what happened to him years ago has effected his entire life. He's beginning to mourn the loss of his innocence and carefree childhood. He's also beginning to resent that his perp has, in fact, been controlling him for 40 years. I think that this knowledge is helping him to chart his own course.



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#301464 - 09/03/09 12:36 PM Re: What do I do? [Re: MPackard]
wnt2bsupportive Offline


Registered: 09/02/09
Posts: 15
I am hoping to convince him to read some information that a wonderful person sent me today. I know asking him to talk to anyone or even come to this site would be too much. I am hoping that he will read the information as I think it would at the minimum open his eyes and make him realize he is not alone.

I appreciate you sharing your information. My BF feels like he is scum and doesn't deserve to be around me or my daughter. I in no way worry about him with her. I know that he would NEVER hurt her or me for that matter.

I have so many times told him that he didn't make me a priority in his life and pushed him to step up more. I know realize that I was a priority or he wouldn't have been with me with all that he was going through. He is just not able to express it at this time the way I wanted him to.

I hope he realizes that at this point I'm not running, abandoning, or judging him. I am the only one that knows of his abuse and further more of what he has been doing. He says it kills him that it was me that found out. I can understand that. I think I found out for a purpose. I think I am supposed to know. I believe that we can get through this.

MPackard - How did you cope when you found out about his "acting out"? Or better yet....have you found a way to trust your husband again?


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#301484 - 09/03/09 02:13 PM Re: What do I do? [Re: wnt2bsupportive]
MPackard Offline


Registered: 12/09/08
Posts: 43
Loc: MS
Ha, not very well sometimes, I'm afraid. If you look at some of my older posts you'll see that I freaked out and acted a fool a lot of the time. It's hard.
I will say to you, though, we are working on trust. He has been able to actually tell me when he's having dreams that embarass him or flashbacks and even when he's having the urge to look at the porn again. I've found that when I quit lashing out and let him talk and he learned that I'm in it for the long haul and willing and ready to work through it with him he's a lot better. You can email or post to me anytime.


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#301494 - 09/03/09 03:19 PM Re: What do I do? [Re: MPackard]
GentleSoul Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/05/07
Posts: 236
Loc: Manhattan
Hi wnt2bsupportive,

I applaud your efforts in helping your boyfriend. One thing I'd like to point, from experience, is that you be careful that you're not enabling him to continue what he's doing. I'm a survivor and my partner unfortunately has to put up with my crap. He used to be the classic enabler where he would acknowledge my acting out and yet does nothing to stop or help me. It seems to me you've been so caught up with your boyfriend's needs that maybe you're neglecting your own, and perish the thought - your daughter's too. I hope this isn't the case. I know you want to help the person you love but there's a wise old sage that goes, "You can't help someone unless they are willing to help themselves." Willingness is the key to recovery and unfortunately you can lead a horse to the water but you can't make him drink. Although there is some validity in the statement, "Before you can love someone else, you have to first learn to love yourself", I probably would be alone to this day if my partner weren't so clueless. Or maybe I'm lucky he's a codependent like me.
If you truly love this man, would you make the ultimate sacrifice to make him happy? What do you suppose would make him most happy? If he doesn't want any help, there's only so much you can do to persuade him. But ultimately he has to be willing to get help. There's also an old saying, "If you love someone, let them go; if they come back, it was meant to be. If not, then (maybe) it wasn't meant to be." I know it's a famous line and people think it's so wise and romantic. Personally, I think it's something only hopeless romantic co-dependents live by... But I digest. Hopefully your boyfriend will come around and get the help and support he needs. In the meantime, please make sure you are taking care of yourself and your daughter. Hmmmmmm... I wonder what it would be like to be in your daughter's shoes right now? I'm sure all this fighting and chaos must be stressful for her. Forgive me if I've come across as overbearing. I'm just humbly offering some perspectives and insights that you might not have considered. Good luck and may you find happiness and peace.

Best wishes,
Jay

_________________________
I can finally admit I pretend to say and do nice things so people will think I'm a standout guy.

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#301505 - 09/03/09 04:41 PM Re: What do I do? [Re: wnt2bsupportive]
MadDad Offline


Registered: 09/02/09
Posts: 4
Loc: Midwest
Wnt2
As long as you stand by him, you too will be a victim of his abuse but in a much different fashion. It is the nature of the beast and he will carry it with him throughout his life. As long as you choose to remain in his life, you will shoulder a part of that burden.

As his supporter, you must help him to integrate his experiences into his life because they will never "go away". Be there to guide him when he goes back to the bad place and be a hand for him to grab hold of when he is ready to climb out of the emotional hole he will inevitably fall into.
MD


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#301506 - 09/03/09 04:42 PM Re: What do I do? [Re: GentleSoul]
wnt2bsupportive Offline


Registered: 09/02/09
Posts: 15
Gentle Soul ~ Thank you for your insight. I welcome all sides not just the positive rah rah you can do it.

Since what is going on is so "new" I don't have answers to your questions at this time. They are definitely food for thought though.

As far as my daughter is concerned....she has ALWAYS come first and will ALWAYS come first. I have raised her on my own since she was born with the love and support of friends and family of course.

We do not fight in front of her and while we are only human really try not to let her know when something is going on. I know that children know so much more than we often think they do. I do of course have her best interest at heart and will do anything to protect her even if that means leaving him.

Thanks again!


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#301508 - 09/03/09 04:46 PM Re: What do I do? [Re: wnt2bsupportive]
WalkingSouth Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/30/05
Posts: 16264
Two books are a must read:

Victims No Longer by Mike Lew
Abused Boys by Mic Hunter

they can be ordered from Amazon through our bookstore portal on the MaleSurvivor home page.

_________________________
“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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#301540 - 09/03/09 09:16 PM Re: What do I do? [Re: WalkingSouth]
wnt2bsupportive Offline


Registered: 09/02/09
Posts: 15
This site is a true blessing. It has given (helped me find) patience and understanding I never thought I had in me. My boyfriend came home after work and we had a conversation. He opened up to me (as much as he can for now) about how he is feeling. He told me when the "acting out" started and how. He doesn't know exactly what triggered it but I know that will take time.

He also shared more of his past sexual experiences with girls (many many)and his lifestyle.

He still is not ready to talk to anyone. But the fact that he is talking to me about it means so much.

Thank you so much to everyone. I can't say it enough. I will continue to post and do further research here so that I can continue to grow and move forward.

Hope everyone has a wonderful evening!


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#301543 - 09/03/09 09:26 PM Re: What do I do? [Re: wnt2bsupportive]
Sans Logos Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/31/03
Posts: 5791
Loc: in my own world in pittsburgh,...
Quote:
It has given (helped me find) patience and understanding I never thought I had in me


that is so very very very beautiful!

all the best,

ron

_________________________
  1. the past
  2. ReClaiming Now
  3. advocacy


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#301935 - 09/06/09 02:21 PM Re: What do I do? [Re: Sans Logos]
honey girl Offline
Member

Registered: 10/09/06
Posts: 245
Loc: Midwest US
Dear wnt2b,

I am sorry that you are going through all of this. It is a difficult history to cope with, both for survivors and for people who care about them.

If you are interested, you will find many relevant threads on this particular forum. I encourage you to read as much as you can tolerate at any one go. The information and the disclosures are often very painful to read--even though there are some threads with positive and encouraging reports. Unfortunately, the balance is much more toward the side of struggle than the side of triumph. It is a challenging, very long-term project, this task of recovery.

I speak from my own experience as the partner (first girlfriend, then housemate, now fiancee) of a CSA survivor. Whatever I say please take as being my own opinion, not anything "authoritative."

I remember in the early days of disclosure, when my F and I were about 18 months into the relationship, feeling honored and flattered that he trusted me as much as he did to confide in me about his abuse.

Today, after many more years of real-life interactions, my understanding of that is much more complex. It's an honor, perhaps, but in some ways also a burden. It appealed to what I now see as my "rescuer" tendencies--traits in my character which are not solely positive.

I suspect this is why so many people replying to you are saying:
--make sure you take care of you first
--make sure you take care of your daughter first
--make sure you are aware of how complicated this can get.

I am going to sound cynical if not bitter, but from what I have experienced (and read here), I would guess that there is a lot more to the story that you do not yet know, and that you may never know.

You must protect yourself. If your BF is having sex (unprotected or not) with anyone else, then he may pick up STIs, including HIV. It is imperative that he and you be tested.

I also recommend that you investigate S-Anon, the 12-step program for people affected by their relationships with someone who has a sexual addiction. It has been a lifeline to me. Whether you are ready to apply that label to your BF or not, there is no harm in checking things out there for yourself and seeing whether it has relevance for your life.

Good luck to you, your daughter and your BF.

Peace,
HG

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

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#301940 - 09/06/09 02:52 PM Re: What do I do? [Re: honey girl]
cstjude Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 09/04/08
Posts: 302
Loc: Canada
Dear Wnt2b,

HG is absolutely right. As hard as this is to admit, if he is not willing to seek help and he is engaging in self-destructive behaviours, your safety and that of your daughter has to come first.

This won't get better on its own, you can't "love him" out of it. Although, I read in your posts a loving, caring, and patient person, it won't be enough to get him to help if he is unwilling. He needs a professional therapist experienced in male survivor issues and treatment.

My heart goes out to you both...you're right...he is suffering. But he must be the one to initiate treatment.

C.

_________________________
C.
Female, Friends & Family Forum Fan

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