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#302990 - 09/16/09 02:57 PM Need advice and insight
ConfusedGF Offline


Registered: 09/16/09
Posts: 12
First off want to say high to everyone. This is my fist time here and I'm not sure where to start. I am the girlfriend of a survivor. He was molested by an older women when he was young, a relatives neighbor. I just found out about all this last night and I am not sure what to do. Not because of his past experiance but because of how I found out. You see I found that he had been looking at child porn on his computer so I confronted him. We have been together 6 years (we are both 26) I thought I was going to spend the rest of my life with him. Now he was destroying all that I feel like I can never raise a family with him, I would never trust him. I told him all this and more. Then he started to open up to me about what had happened to him and how it all started. Here is the thing a I am a very synical person and I am finding it very hard to belies anything he says is true or justified. He tells me what had happened and that the child porn thing started when he was younger he thinks he was trying to replace the images of this older women with one his age 13ish. That was just how he delt with it, he never told anyone and got help. He said when he met me things got so much better he thought he would be fine. But obviously I couldn't fix this, it was something he needed to work out (I told him this). I know people can over come these things and be fine but is this normal? Can he come back from this with help? Do I have a future? We have a great relationship on all levels. I just don't know why this is happening to me or him. What am I suppose to do. He says he would never act out those things but I can't trust that, can I? He needs some therapy or something but I don't know where to start or if I should even be trying to work through this. My life is at a cross roads and I have no idea where to turn. Any help or insight into this situation or where I can go for help would be appreciated beyond words. Bythe way sorry for the sloppy writting I am doing this on a phone.


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#302993 - 09/16/09 03:18 PM Re: [Re: ConfusedGF]
Freedom49 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/30/07
Posts: 2723
Loc: Washington State
.




Edited by Freedom49 (05/22/10 02:15 AM)

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#302998 - 09/16/09 04:03 PM Re: Need advice and insight [Re: Freedom49]
ConfusedGF Offline


Registered: 09/16/09
Posts: 12
To answer your question I love him more then anything. Which is why this is so hard. Part of me wants to run away and the other wants to help. He is an amazing person. Smart, loving, affectionate, everything I ever wanted. We have a great sex life, if that makes a difference. I don't know I'm probably grasping at straws. I am very releaved to here that his theory is not too far fetched.
I know about all the legalities and to tell you the turth the part of me that is afraid for my unborn children wishes the cops would bust in and tak him away, or that he would kill himself so that I could be absolved of all this. Now don't get me wrong about this it's not th fact that he was molested that
makes me feel this way. I want him to be able to come to terms with that in a positive constructive way. It's just very hard for me o come to terms with the way he has delt with it so far. It's hard for me to believe that this can be fixed, you know I have herd all the stories of the repeat offenders who were suppose to be cured or the guy next store who just seemed like any other person. I think I am going to need some therapy to.


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#303003 - 09/16/09 05:16 PM Re: Need advice and insight [Re: ConfusedGF]
ConfusedGF Offline


Registered: 09/16/09
Posts: 12
So one of the things I told him last night was that I wanted him to get help for this and that though I was willing to be supportive and talk to him about anything I did not think that just talking to me was going to fix things. He doesn't seem to keen on actually talking to a therapist, prefering to find help online and through books. Is this ok for now? Should I be pushing for therapy? I just wish I could understand all of this better so that I could help him. I am so confused right now, allowing him this chance makes me feel like I am betraying myself and any little girl I might have. If he can get help and can get better do you think I will ever feel safe having a family with him? If anyone has had any experiance with something like this I would love to hear your thoughts. I am feeling a bit more positive knowing that it is a common response to act out the way he has. Still very hard to get passed it though.


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#303004 - 09/16/09 05:29 PM Re: Need advice and insight [Re: ConfusedGF]
wifetryingtoheal Offline


Registered: 12/30/08
Posts: 12
Dear ConfusedGF,

I am really sorry to hear of the crossroads you are at. I am in a similar situation for what it is worth for you. I was married to my husband for 7 years and found out about multiple affairs that eventually appeared to be about nothing but degrading sex. Over two years and continued individual and marital counseling and my husband telling more truths little by little...this is very much what he finally relayed to me. I had no idea he had been raped at 11 by a male and a few years later molested by a much older woman along with other life traumas as a child. He struggled with having thoughts or what we think now was flashbacks or triggers not sure but he would see a boy who reminded him of the boy who raped him or a boy who maybe reminded him of himself or a woman that seemed very promiscuous and drank alot and reminded him of the woman that molested him and he would feel a strong compulsion to act out sexually with that type of woman over and over. He describes it now as he was worried that he might act out with a man, or he might act out on a boy, or that he might feel the compulsion to rape a woman. He was very confused but he describes acting out sexually with woman over and over who seemed to want the degrading sex just as he did as the safest way to deal with his compulsive feelings. Seemed like a way to further degrade himself due to his low self esteem, a way to prove he was not gay, and a way to reenact what happened to him in a compulsive way as well as he describes some sort of relief feeling building up to acting out and then feeling like crap afterwards. He had looked at different porn such as boys being raped and women and so forth. It seems to make sense that he was very hurt and confused at a time in his life that he was a curious heterosexual boy beginning to deal with boy/girl issues and hormones and then lots of trauma that confused him. I understand your pain and confusion. I would describe my husband all these years as the best husband a woman could ask for who seemed to me to be the most loving and committed and our sex life too was nothing strange or bad or lacking. We had very loving, fun, and passionate sex. I have talked with the women to verify some things but yes I understand your huge question mark in your head. All I can say is I'm trying to give myself time to come to terms with everything as it has been a trauma for me too and is all very painful for everyone all the way around. Today he insists he knows he is heterosexual and seems to try very hard to understand all his confusing feelings. The main thing presently he is dealing with is anger that he doesn't know what to do with. I hope this helps and I would like to continue to stay in touch as I have yet to find anyone that I can talk to that has any clue what I am feeling as male survivors have limited resources in the way of support and I think their wives and partners and family have even less. My thoughts are with you.


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#303007 - 09/16/09 06:05 PM Re: Need advice and insight [Re: ConfusedGF]
etat Offline


Registered: 09/10/09
Posts: 15
I can only imagine that you are feeling very shocked right now, however, you may want to take a step back, evaluate your own feelings, and talking to a therapist could be very beneficial, as you mentioned for yourself. He's confided in you he's been through something, getting help is priority for him. When you indicate you wish the cops would just take him away or 'worse' to absolve you of all of this please think about what you are saying. This board is full of good men and families who work through CSA after-effects day in and day out for years to come. Some may have very well faced survival decisions, I for one wouldn't want a single precious one of them to make a choice like that because someone took advantage of their childhood.


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#303008 - 09/16/09 06:09 PM Re: Need advice and insight [Re: wifetryingtoheal]
ConfusedGF Offline


Registered: 09/16/09
Posts: 12
Thank you so much for your understanding and sharing. Most of what you said though different sounds exactly like what I am going through and what our partners are going through. One thing in particular about letting it build up acting on it then feeling like crap afterwards hits home pretty hard. You see these warning signs but you never know it because of lack of experiance. Once we fought over him looking at porn (normal porn haha weird to say) while I wasn't around, wasn't a big deal I just felt a little left out. Anyway he ended up telling me that he always felt really guilty and bad after he took care of himself. I thought it was odd told him their wasn't anything wrong with it and to get over it. I never would of thought their was a deep seeded reason behind him not be comfortable with self satisfaction. I wish I could of known more back then to try to get him some help.
How did you go about finding a therapist? I am afraid of bringing up these issues in person with someone. I fear they will pass judgement and think he is a monster (much like a part of me has) when I know in my heart he is a good person, or atleast I am really good at convincing myself of that half the time.
Why do things that seem so perfect have to be so flawed.


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#303009 - 09/16/09 06:22 PM Re: Need advice and insight [Re: ConfusedGF]
ConfusedGF Offline


Registered: 09/16/09
Posts: 12
Etat
I totally didn't mean he should kill himself because he was abused. It because of what I saw last night what he was looking at. It was horrible to see and I can't help it if I feel like peole who take pleasure in that should not be around. Trust me I am trying very hard to look at this differently, if I wasn't I wouldn't even be here. I deffinetly wouldnt still be with him. I don't want to offend anyone but I am feeling very overwhelmed and emotional and disgusted because of what I saw and they way my life is turning out. I don't want to offend or hurt feelings but I think peolpe should be open to how I feel about this.


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#303011 - 09/16/09 06:39 PM Re: Need advice and insight [Re: ConfusedGF]
wifetryingtoheal Offline


Registered: 12/30/08
Posts: 12
Prior to all of this coming out, he had shared with me a long time ago that he had never masturbated and just never felt right about it. Sex was great, very loving, romantic, and passionate with no hang ups that I felt so I didn't think much of that. Signs like that I wish I had paid more attention to.
Therapy has been a real trick. We live in a rural area which really limits the level of expertise with male survivor issues etc. We've tried driving long distances to meet some and we've had to change therapists for those that are a better fit although not fully experienced in male survivor issues. We did see a link to one from this website that is within a couple hours of us which we are seeing next week and we finally have a sense of someone that has a real clue. I have taken what I could from the couple different ones we've seen in the way of support and guidance towards growth and insight. It has been very frustrating though. There is nothing either my husband or I both would really like than to have a group in our area for both of us but that just isn't available. Another thing I had tried was calling the state counseling listings for those with this expertise. We have slowly felt comfortable bringing up these very issues and it was hard. A therapist that has expertise is someone that you might feel safer with as we've had some advice from counselors that we know just doesnt feel right. One with expertise will for sure understand that he is not a monster...and by the way that is what my husband referred to how he felt about himself for his thoughts and always had an intense fear of anyone reading his mind and somehow just "knowing" he was that person. We had a sense of how we felt and trusted a counselor before opening up to them.
One thing I've done for myself is I don't hide my feelings much like it sounds you don't either from my husband in that if I'm doubting him I honestly share this with him in a respectful way(most of the time as sometimes I have a lot of anger with everything). I doubt him because of the amount of lies he has told and how he has drug out not telling the truth about so many painful things over the years. I don't know how to make it any more safe for him to do so, but today the lies feel more traumatizing in many ways than even his acting out with several women or thoughts of men. He has admitted some very difficult things, such as having kissed a man and planning on acting out with him but not being able to go through with it. Anymore I don't know what to believe as on the one hand I understand why he might have had a hard time and it took so much time for him to tell what he is saying is the complete truth...but just like the boy that cried wolf...I no longer know what to believe with him. I'm at that crossroads of just biding my time to see if something changes with my feelings because on the one hand just like you...I feel he is such a good man and I have great empathy for what he has been through and can even understand shame among other things driving his fears, lies, and compulsions. I feel if he is truthful he is the same good man that I fell in love with and think so highly of. But there has been so much hurt that clouds my knowing anything for certain...such as so many lies and lies about lies trying to cover up all of his acting out. Its hard to know. It was so painful trying to come to terms with my husband not being who I thought he was and felt I loved and trusted. I used to yearn for that innocent feeling of being in love with him then, now I just feel a little numb being at this crossroad and feeling uncertain with what to do.


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#303023 - 09/16/09 09:02 PM Re: Need advice and insight [Re: wifetryingtoheal]
Ken Singer, LCSW Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/24/00
Posts: 5778
Loc: Lambertville, NJ USA
Confused:
As a therapist who works with abusers (including men convicted of possession of child pornography), as well as male survivors, I can tell you that it's not a slap on the wrist for a wake up call if he is caught with these images.

The law, particularly the Feds, regards possession as a very serious crime and Federal law requires a mandatory 5-8 YEAR sentence in federal prison. They have to make a justification for terms less than that but these guys, particularly if caught by the Feds will serve 85% of the time.

If he thinks he can use programs to wipe the hard drive clean, the Feds have (and many state cops have as well) serious programs to recover data that is supposedly "guaranteed" to wipe out the illegal stuff. It dosen't work.

In any event, his past abuse is no excuse for these images (most in the field now refer to "kiddie porn" or child porn as "images of child sexual abuse" because that's what they are-- images of children being sexually abused.

He needs to get professional help to overcome this desire. It is not a do-it-yourself job. He can find a therapist to work on the underlying causes (his own sexual abuse that creates a desire to look at other children being abused) by checking in the Therapist Directory located from the home page. If there is no one near him that can help, he can call StopItNow (1 888 PREVENT) to find someone nearby who has experience in this area.

It sounds like there are other issues you can get help with from this forum but he will need to get rid of his hard drive rather than try to clean it up in case the authorities are on to him. Some of the suppliers of the porn are monitored and will sweep up the producers as well as the customers of this stuff.


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#303030 - 09/16/09 10:06 PM Re: Need advice and insight [Re: Ken Singer, LCSW]
Pisces Offline


Registered: 07/06/09
Posts: 25
Loc: California
I have been following this thread all day and have wanted to post something but was timid due to being too harsh during your time of shock, sorrow, anger etc Confused GF. I am sorry for what you (and your BF) are going through and yes, as others mirror you will find support and stregnth here.

However, there are several issues you illustrate and sadly none that can be solved overnight. But, I must follow behind Ken's lead and remind you that possession and distribution of child pornography is a serious crime. These are children who are not of the legal age to consent to sex, let alone it being filmed and streamed to adults. Often many are forced into child prostitution/pornography through being run aways, drugs, irresponsible caregivers or human trafficking.

I am not minimizing your BFs past or his trauma and I am empathetic to what he has endured in life. However, this abuse does not excuse his possesion, viewing etc of child pornography. Those children are victims too.


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#303036 - 09/16/09 10:37 PM Re: Need advice and insight [Re: Ken Singer, LCSW]
ConfusedGF Offline


Registered: 09/16/09
Posts: 12
Well I am feeling much more positive about this now. After getting home from work and talking with each other I think we can work on this. And just to let you know Ken nothing is stored on his hard drive, not that I am even worried about that. Really the extent of it is pretty limited. Anyway back to the progress we've made. We both talked about how our day went and what we have both learned about this. He and I have both learned alot. And he is very willing to get help and get to the bottom of this. He actually happened across this forum just as I have. Anyway we will see how things go. First things first need to find a good therapist.


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#303038 - 09/16/09 10:48 PM Re: Need advice and insight [Re: ConfusedGF]
ConfusedGF Offline


Registered: 09/16/09
Posts: 12
Oh geez you guys think I don't realize how horrible this is of course I do. I spent all of last night screaming at him some if those exact words Pisces. What I am trying to figure out and understand is if it can be helped. This Is not something he was doing on a regular basis or trafficiing in anyway so I am not afraid of reprocussions by the law unless I turn him in. Which of course I have considered. I don't think I have in any way shown myself as someone who was not farmiliar with th seriousness of this issue so thanks for trying to help but that's not really what I needed. Anyway wish us luck with finding a therapist. I am really scared to even give him this chance but from what I have learned so far it might work out.


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#303053 - 09/17/09 12:56 AM Re: Need advice and insight [Re: ConfusedGF]
Pisces Offline


Registered: 07/06/09
Posts: 25
Loc: California
Glad to hear that you guys had a good talk and were able to communicate. I wish you both the best of luck. MS has been a great source of comfort, education and "normalizing" for me. Stay around and Im sure youll find the same.


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#303087 - 09/17/09 11:23 AM Re: Need advice and insight [Re: Pisces]
ConfusedGF Offline


Registered: 09/16/09
Posts: 12
Yes "normalizing" has been an amazing tool through this website, knowing that their are other people going through similar situations gives me hope yet not finding someone in this same situation is scary. Makes me wonder if it can be helped at all.
So If course I broke down again last night after finding hope. Just can't help but think about how horrible it is and that maybe their is no hope. Told him I hated him and loved him and was confused and scared. Then of course because he really is a good person he reassures me. He told me "I really believe I can get better. And if I ever feel like I can't I promise I will tell you". Which of course made me feel better but then I start thinking wouldn't he do the exact same thing if he wern't sencere, to protect himself. And this is how it is with me I can never take things at face value always have to question. And he know this because he knows me and I know him and he tells me he knows how hard this is for me which I believe he does. He told me I have already helped him so much just in making him look back at his past and starting to confront what happened to him. So I feel good again then not. This is a very hard place to be, confused all the time and having your only outlet be a message board. But atleast I have this for now, it has helped out alot. Just being able to rant and vent a little makes it better and the help that those of you have offered is amazing. Never thought I would feel so accepted.
Another thing he was telling me last night was about a relationship he had in high school that hurt him pretty bad. My first response was geez who cares dumb high school drama. But then I realized it was a much bigger deal to him because of his past. Prior to it I guess he would tell people and himself that he had a girlfriend out in X state ( back where he was molested) so he was trying to convince himslef that what happened to him was ok because that was his gf. Then he meets a real girl in high school is is like wow this is real not fake anymore,then of course it ended badly and he was really hurt. I feel like I am to insensitive like I just don't get it I just don't see why he couldn't just get over it. I guess I have alot to learn about what the victims of these things go through.


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#303098 - 09/17/09 03:34 PM Re: Need advice and insight [Re: Ken Singer, LCSW]
Zinnia Offline


Registered: 06/02/09
Posts: 8
Loc: USA
Dear ConfusedGF,

First I am very sorry that you are going through this. I can relate to what you are feeling right now, though my situation with my boyfriend was different - I found his emails with prostitutes.

My advice to you is to stop, slow down for a minute and breathe. This happened yesterday. You are in shock. I know how that feels. You have no idea what to think or where to turn. Everything you thought you could count on is upside down. All of you hopes, dreams, plans - and everything you thought you knew about your boyfriend is in question. You have spent 6 years loving this person and you thought you knew him better than this.

Before you think about supporting your boyfriend, you need to think about your own well being. I know that sounds harsh - but you must take care of yourself first. I commend you for reaching the conclusion so quickly that you should find a therapist. I cannot tell you how grateful I am to my own therapist and the support she has given me in helping me sort out my own feelings and thoughts. I trust her, she is on my side and I can share the ugly truth with her without feeling ashamed - her job is to support and help me. In the next days, weeks and months you are going to go through a lot of emotions and confusion and you will need someone to count on, someone to help you sort things out. Please make an appointment to speak with someone as soon as you can.

What I write next is going to sound very harsh - but you owe it to yourself to put everything you think you know in context.
Despite everything that you are confused about - the first thing that you know is that your boyfriend has been lying to you and concealing a very ugly truth from you for 6 years. No matter what he tells you now - you already know that is true beyond any shadow of doubt. Please take a minute to think about that.

Your boyfriend has every incentive to continue to lie - to minimize what he is doing and what he has done, to make excuses and to give justifications. He is desperate. What incentive does he have to tell you the truth? He has been lying for a long time, it is a deeply ingrained part of his interaction with you. His primary motivation is self-preservation - he does not want to lose you, he never wanted you to find out about his use of child porn, he does not want to be arrested.

Take a hard look at what you want to believe and why. You love him and you don't want to lose him. You don't want to lose the life you have built and the dreams you have. You want to believe that he has only done this a few times, that this is not something he obsesses about or fantasizes about or does regularly or has considered doing directly to a little girl. Do you want to believe that the truth is worse? I can't imagine that you do. Yesterday he wanted you to believe that he could stop with the use of books or online tools - and you really wanted to believe that. If it were that easy and he wanted to stop, he would have already - or at least he would already be seeing a therapist.

If this were happening to someone else - your sister, your mother or best friend and she was telling you this - would you be so easy to believe that she knew everything now just because she caught him once? Right now your rational mind will do anything and everything to try to help you minimize this, to try to make the shock less. This is completely normal - but don't give in to the need to lessen this. Please accept the fact that no matter how desperately you want to cling to this hope, you do not yet know the complete truth.

You have posted that you know he does not have any images stored somewhere. Please ask yourself how you know this. Because he told you this? Because you want to believe this? Would you really be surprised to learn that he was hiding images from you? He has proven that he is capable of hiding pretty big secrets. If he had these images saved he would tell you now? How would that help him? I am not saying that your boyfriend is lying about this specifically. I am only urging you not to be so eager to believe that he is telling you the truth.

I would also urge you not to be involved in giving him advice on how to protect himself from the law or destroy images. You found him looking at child porn - that is a federal crime. There is a reason that the mandatory sentence is 6-8 years in prison. Many people would argue that sentence is not long enough for destroying the lives of children. There are countless men who have posted their stories here whose abusers photographed them. You do not have to read many stories to feel the pain that they have endured and continue to face every day. Do not involve yourself in protecting him from possible consequences - you become an accessory and could face criminal consequences. Not to mention the fact that you might have to live with your own feelings of guilt for being involved in protecting someone who was part of harming a child.

You have already said that you were horrified and disgusted at the images. Every image is a moment in a child's life that cannot be taken back. People who abuse children and document the abuse with film or video and then disseminate these images do so because there is demand for them. Those children were abused because there are people like your boyfriend who are interested in watching. Perhaps your boyfriend does not pay for his images - but there is a very real possibility that he does. Please ask yourself how you are so sure that he doesn't? Because the man you love wouldn't do that? He has already crossed lines that you could never imagine that the man you love and trust would cross. I've been there. That is an ugly truth that I deal with every day.

If you discovered that the person molesting these girls was him or herself molested, would that make you feel any less disgusted about their actions? Would that make the damage to these girls any less? Your boyfriend has said that he was abused. That is horrible - he did not deserve to be abused. But abuse that happened to him as a child - when he was not at fault - is no excuse or justification for his adult actions.

I also urge you to think about the girls in the images you saw. Each one is somebody's daughter, somebody's sister. You have no way of knowing who is molesting them - if they are being coerced or held captive. They do not deserve what is happening to them. You have no way of knowing if what you saw is going on right now as I type this. There have been documented cases where law enforcement has taken images and pulled out details that have allowed them to rescue children from abusive situations and bring their perpetrators to justice. I am not telling you to go to the police - but I do urge you to think about all of the consequences of your actions or inactions.

There are more victims here than just your boyfriend. Do you think that he has ever thought about them and what they are going through? - he says he has experienced his own abuse too - but he doesn't seem to empathize with them - he enjoys watching their abuse happen. That is a very ugly truth.

You have caught your boyfriend and now some of his truth is out. It is very possible that this is a turning point in his life, that he will now seek help, that he will now try to change. I sincerely hope that is the case - for you as much as for him. You can't make him seek help and you can't make him change. It is equally possible that he will not change. You love him and you desperately hope. I know how that feels too and my heart breaks for you.

The turmoil you are feeling must feel overwhelming. I'm sorry if much of what I have posted seems harsh. This is a nightmare that you didn't ask for and you didn't cause. Please find a therapist to help you focus on your needs. It does get better and you will get through this.

Be well,
Zinnia


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#303101 - 09/17/09 04:13 PM Re: Need advice and insight [Re: Zinnia]
ConfusedGF Offline


Registered: 09/16/09
Posts: 12
Thankypu Zinnia I really needed to hear alot of that, not that I wasn't already thinking it but it helps you know to be reassured about how I feel. And don't worry about me getting involved with what's on his computer or what he's doing with it now because I am not and will not have anything to do with it.
With the help of your post I have come to another decossion that I really should of come to before I can't force him to get help. The ball is in his court now. But what do I do during this transition period. Before he finds a therapist should I stay with him? Should we keep talking about it and work on things together while he's looking for someone to talk to? Blah I hate this I hate my life it's all ruined.


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#303102 - 09/17/09 04:18 PM Re: Need advice and insight [Re: ConfusedGF]
ConfusedGF Offline


Registered: 09/16/09
Posts: 12
Should I be asking him questions about this? Should I be digging deeper to find put how involved he is in this. I haven't thought about how much he could be lying to me until now so what should I do? I am pretty good with computers so I just figured I would know. He just happened to have visited a website didn't log out and I looked back in the Internet history and found what he had looked at. I think I would of ran into something previously if their was more. But I could be wrong, it wouldn't be supprising if I were.


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#303103 - 09/17/09 04:27 PM Re: Need advice and insight [Re: ConfusedGF]
Blueskiesman Offline


Registered: 09/17/09
Posts: 2
I can relate to what happened to your bf totally. I was molested, often violently, from the ages of 10 - 14 on a very regular basis by my brother who was 4 years older than me. 39 years later I am still dealing with this issue because I never told anyone nor accepted the fact that I was a victim. I haven't read any of the other responses but I was arrested for doing just what your bf did and now am getting the therapy and assistance I needed so desperately, but never thought I needed. It is helping me to understand how horribly the molestation effected my life and how I viewed sex. It has made such a difference in how I feel about myself. Direct him towards professional help and make sure it is someone who is trained in this area. He is not a bad person; he is a victim who needs help.


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#303104 - 09/17/09 04:48 PM Re: Need advice and insight [Re: Blueskiesman]
ConfusedGF Offline


Registered: 09/16/09
Posts: 12
How do I know if the person is trained in this? Blueskies do you really think that you are getting help and things are being resolved? Everything is so back and forth right now, it's hard to believe it's only been less then 48hrs. I have never been in this much confusion in such a short amount of time. I wish I could just go crazy or something and be done with it. Is that even how crazy works? I would probably just be constant turmoil crazy and it wouldn't be any better. Sorry I am just trying to m


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#303106 - 09/17/09 05:02 PM Re: Need advice and insight [Re: ConfusedGF]
Zinnia Offline


Registered: 06/02/09
Posts: 8
Loc: USA
Dear ConfusedGF,

I can't tell you what is best to do except to say that you should do what you are comfortable with. I'm not exactly an unbiased adviser. Should you keep talking to him? Should you cut off contact with him? I don't know what would be best for you - but talking to a therapist will help you sort that out. I truly believe that you need someone who is completely outside the situation and is paid to help you determine your best interest. Please find someone for yourself and then worry about him. Please do not put your desire to help your boyfriend ahead of your need to take care of yourself.

For what it is worth, I left my boyfriend but I did not stop talking to him. I listened and I listened and he lied and lied. He lied even when I told him I knew he was lying - he told me I was paranoid or imagining things or blowing things out of proportion. I pushed back and I insisted that I knew he was lying and I dug deeper and I learned things on my own and I waited for him to tell me what I already knew. I did research on the internet and learned far more than I ever wanted to know about some of the disgusting things that some men do online and specifically what he had been doing. I was very afraid of what I might find when I started digging. My boyfriend did things that I could have never imagined him capable of.

Finally he broke and admitted the lies and started telling me things I did not know, things that made him look worse, things that were not in his benefit to tell me. He started seeing a therapist. He attends a 12 step group for sex addicts. He continues to tell me ugly things that I would not otherwise have known. I spy and I snoop and I doubt and I accuse. He tries to show me that he is committed to making changes. I am judging him now on his actions - not his words - because I cannot trust his words. It will be a long time - maybe never - before I trust him again. I am always going to be suspicious of anything he says that sounds like something I might want to hear. I continue to ask myself whether I'm being true to myself in staying with him.

What exactly are you working on together right now? Please don't deceive yourself. The relationship that you thought you had does not exist anymore - it never existed in the way you understood it to exist. There is no way that after one day you are in any place to decide what kind of relationship with this man you actually want going forward or to judge exactly what kind of relationship you actually have. I really know how much you desperately want to help and understand him. I have been there - and really in many ways I'm still there in my situation. I just have a little more time since I've found out. I am so angry at the person who abused my boyfriend but that does not take away any of the anger I have at what he has done.

I don't know what browser your boyfriend was using but both Safari and Firefox have "private browsing" options that allow users to surf without leaving history. It is also easy to delete entries out of history in every browser. Have you considered how easy is it to hide a usb drive? You had no reason to suspect him before, why would anyone ever suspect someone they love of something like this? Now you have no real reason to trust him. You are not capable of what his is capable of and so you are having a hard time getting your head around what he has done and the deceit he has shown.

Your life is not ruined. It seems that way now and it sure feels that way - but trust me because I have felt the same way - it does get better. You are not the first woman to be in this situation. You are a thoughtful and intelligent person and you will get through this. Please resist the urge to focus on his needs - and concentrate on you. Once you are in a better place emotionally you can decide if you are willing and able to help him. And you will be able to honestly decide if this is a man you want to continue a relationship with. Nobody is going to be able to tell you what is best for you - only you can make that determination.


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#303112 - 09/17/09 05:49 PM Re: Need advice and insight [Re: ConfusedGF]
Ken Singer, LCSW Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/24/00
Posts: 5778
Loc: Lambertville, NJ USA
Confused:
If you are looking for a referral for your bf who is experienced in working with sexual offenses, you can pm me with your location (nearest medium city/state) and I can locate an abuser treatment person. Many, though not most, are also experienced in working with victimization issues.

You can also call StopItNow! (www.stopitnow.org 1 888 PREVENT) and talk confidentially with a counselor who may be able to refer you to someone also experienced in this area.


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#303117 - 09/17/09 07:23 PM Re: Need advice and insight [Re: Ken Singer, LCSW]
Lou Offline
Guest

Registered: 11/10/07
Posts: 100
Dear ConfusedGF,

I have been following this thread and my heart goes out to you.

Please know that you are not alone. There are so many of us women who have gone thru the same feelings of betrayal and lack of trust that you are currently experiencing. I hope it does give you some peace of mind to know that it does get a whole lot better!

I concur with Zinnia's response and really encourage you to seek professional help as quickly as possible. Do remember that he has been lying to you all along, and sorry, but this is not normal.

As for me, once the trust was broken and the ugly truth revealed, it was impossible to go back to what I thought we had. I came to realize that what I thought we had was also based on nothing but more lies and deceit. It does take time to wrap one's head around this kind of behavior when we don't act in this manner ourselves. But with professional help and also the help of my pastors, I have been able to do just that.

This is a VERY serious issue. I would not make the assumption that there is nothing stored on his hard drive either. I am not a computer genius by any stretch of the imagination, but I can tell you that even though people delete history, someone with a lot of computer savvy can find files that you would never guess are still there! I would be very concerned and would want to make sure that there is absolutely no way that I would ever be associated in any way, shape or form with this kind of behavior. If the law gets involved, they will have the means to find what they are looking for if indeed it is there. Regardless of a person's past, there is no excuse.

Again, I am sorry you are going thru this....you deserve so much more!


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#303121 - 09/17/09 08:10 PM Re: Need advice and insight [Re: Lou]
wifetryingtoheal Offline


Registered: 12/30/08
Posts: 12
I am more confused than ever, partly because I came here to seek support for very difficult feelings, partly because what counselors have told me in our individual and marital counseling seems to contradict what I hear here, and partly because I am trying to rationally understand what my husband as a male survivor has experienced and either I'm misunderstanding what is said here or something else. I read ConfusedGF's post and felt I could relate as my husband had many confusing thoughts, feelings, and acting out behaviors and it clearly is a result of his own abuse. Over the course of several months he began sharing many painful truths. I ahd a real hard time with him not just unloading all the painful stuff at once to which now I don't know how to trust him other than to give it time to either learn to trust him again or not and it is irreparable. Our counselors have almost unanimously stated that his lies are very common due to shame. He has declared whole heartedly that to tell me that he had an affair with several women was difficult, then to tell me he fantasized rape with both genders was very difficult, thinking of young boys he describes as very difficult and several other things he had hid. It makes sense to me that it would be very difficult as well as he states he lied to cover up and to feel better about himself. I am in NO WAY condoning viewing child pornography. I have children, I have worked with children who have been sexually abused as an SA advocate and in other capacities. I would have no tolerance for any reason of anyone hurting children in any way. My husband relayed to me that years ago he had viewed images online and that it had sickened him to the point of feeling panicky and he remembers acting out with a woman that night. He has been very open in trying to sort through his confusing feelings around sex,males, females and he describes when he would look at a boy that was his age when he was raped and having any sexual thoughts he said he was always wondering what does anyone see in doing that with a young boy. He feared ever acting on his curiousity and could not understand why on earth he would have these thoughts and said he chose compulsively acting out with women over and over and each time he hoped that whatever he was doing this for would stop if he did it with the right woman or if they acted out the role play just right, or he even had thoughts of having several women lined up in one day as he thought that might erase his confusing thoughts somehow. We have worked through a lot in counseling, in our own discussions, in our own arguments, readings, private thoughts, etc. Maybe I'm misunderstanding something here but are we saying that men who have confusion around their own abuse and sexuality in a way that involves children are more of a "lost cause" than a man who fantasizes about a prostitute, or a man who masturbates to adult images on the computer, or a man who fantasizes about sex with a man and then masturbates or acts out with an adult man? I fully understand that the potential for them acting out a fantasy on a child is very serious and not the same as acting out with a consenting adult or viewing an adult image that is legal. Got that. I also get the fact that a man may lie because it is too shameful. My husband may still be hiding something and ConfusedGF's may be also. But what they have shared is that they viewed images either recently or in the past as my husband has shared and appear very shamed by this but declare they are valiantly wanting our support to help them sort through this and also never want to actually act it out. With my husband, I tend to believe that he has not acted out with boys or even men other than when he has kissed a man as it doesn't seem to me that he would so compulsively act out with woman after woman and the same type time after time if he wasn't using that as his compulsion. So I am more confused than ever, are we saying that lying is abnormal for people filled with shame and confusion? Are we saying that our husbands are so different from any other man discussed on this website because I am feeling even more isolated and alone in all this now than I did before I logged on. I posted my feelings in the main section yesterday and no one has responded and I feel like are our issues so repulsive that no one replies to them. I am very confused at this point. I come on here looking for support and further insight and feel very isolated from other male survivor issues and then I go to counseling and have counselors trying to help me understand his acting out behaviors. I'm really confused.


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#303130 - 09/17/09 08:42 PM Re: Need advice and insight [Re: wifetryingtoheal]
ConfusedGF Offline


Registered: 09/16/09
Posts: 12
I am just as confused and I am sorry that this has brought you confussion. After reading one post I feel like their is hope and that what he has done though horrible is forgivable and can be helped. Then I read another and feel like I should just give up on everything and not even bother trying because he is pretty much a lost cause. Is it so different acting out in this way? I agree that their is a difference between child and adult and I think that's why I am having such a hard time with it but just clynically speaking isn't this the same don't I have the same hope that I believe wifetryingtoheal has?


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#303138 - 09/17/09 09:38 PM Re: Need advice and insight [Re: ConfusedGF]
etat Offline


Registered: 09/10/09
Posts: 15
ConfusedGF and wifetryingtoheal- I support both of you in your efforts to try to understand what you are going through and pray you find answers. Each persons situation is unique and only you, your significant other and counselors can help you sort what is right for you and how you might move forward. Perhaps the confusing difference in this thread is a crossing of the boundary of what constitutes abuse Vs adult acting out with consent, thus different degrees of seriousness. Wife...a moderator suggested to me to break post into parAgraphs to make it easier for people to read and reply, that may help your post. I'd say don't try to make immediate determinations if your situations can heal, work thru it day by day with the help of professional guidance and insight and give yourself a chance for some perspective. I personally tend to have a lot of faith in people, but you've also got to have a head on your shoulders and not be naive. Best to you


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#303147 - 09/17/09 10:19 PM Re: Need advice and insight [Re: ConfusedGF]
Blueskiesman Offline


Registered: 09/17/09
Posts: 2
It sure is helping. I feel like a new person moving forward. Try this link.

http://www.childmolestationprevention.org/pages/states.html

My therapist is on here and you can find someone just as qualified in your state too. Good luck.


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#303194 - 09/18/09 11:18 AM Re: Need advice and insight [Re: Blueskiesman]
Zinnia Offline


Registered: 06/02/09
Posts: 8
Loc: USA
Dear ConfusedGF,

I wish that I could give you a hug. I can really relate to your pain, anxiety, confusion. I have re-read all of the posts here and not a single one says that you "should give up on everything and not even bother trying because he is pretty much a lost cause."

Every single situation is unique. Every relationship is unique. Lou and her husband needed to end their relationship. My boyfriend and I are still together. Wifetyringtoheal is in therapy with her husband and from what she writes he seems to be trying to share his secrets with her now and break the pattern of lying - from my perspective that seems very positive - even if what he is sharing still gives her anxiety. Only you will know if and when the time comes for you to end your relationship.

Nobody here is in any position to tell you what to do with your relationship. However, all of the partners here, no matter what specific things our Survivors have done or the present status of our relationships, can relate to what you are going through and specifically to the confusion and pain that you feel.

When you read the Survivor's posts you will see that many of them have something in common - specifically among the Survivors who reach out to help and support other Survivors here. Those who have committed themselves to getting help have made a huge difference in their lives and the lives of their spouses and partners. Getting help has given them a perspective they didn't have and an ability to help others. Blueskiesman is very courageous to post here and share his perspective - he is in therapy too.

You cannot control your boyfriend. You cannot make him stop having urges. You cannot monitor him 24-7. You cannot make him get help. You cannot heal the pain he feels from his abuse. Can you encourage him? Can you support him? Yes absolutely - but ultimately he is responsible for himself and the only person you can control is you.

I feel how much you love him and want to support him. The best thing you can do for him is get help for yourself. All of us loved our partners - all of us wanted desperately for them to get help. Ask everyone here - the best thing that many of us did was get a therapist to help us come to terms with what has happened so that we can move forward.

Think of it like the safety demonstration they give on an airplane - when the oxygen mask decends you are supposed to put your mask on first - before you try to help anyone else with theirs. It is really that simple.

Please know that it does get better. You have reached out here. Take the next step and reach out to a therapist for yourself and encourage your boyfriend to do the same.

Also - a note to wifetryingtoheal - I'm sorry for the pain that you are going through and I'm sorry that you have not felt the response and support here that you need. In the context of this thread, others have probably not commented directly on your posts because the general rule of thumb is to try to stay on track with the original post - and to comment directly on another poster's comment directly is sometimes like hijacking the thread. I second etat's suggestion to go back and edit your other post to make paragraphs to make it easier for people to read and comment on. From what you have written it does seem like your husband is working through his issues in therapy. It says a lot that he can communicate his ugly truths to you. I give you so much credit for doing your best to support him and for seeking therapy for yourself. I wish you peace and healing.

Zinnia


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#303913 - 09/23/09 10:24 PM Re: Need advice and insight [Re: Zinnia]
wifetryingtoheal Offline


Registered: 12/30/08
Posts: 12
Zinnia,

Thank you for your response and thoughts. Just to clarify, I did not mean that I wanted a response to my posts here on this thread. I completely understand this is another members thread relating to their concern and we are all responding to that and would not want to "hijack" that. I had been referring to my post on the front page as it was about similar concerns such as what ConfusedGF was mentioning. I did get very good feedback and food for thought from a couple folks and I'm very appreciative of that.


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#303996 - 09/24/09 02:53 PM Re: Need advice and insight [Re: wifetryingtoheal]
dangal Offline
New Here

Registered: 02/09/08
Posts: 222
Loc: seattle area
Confused:
It's been a few days since your discovery. I don't know how you are doing, I hope you are better. I hope your fellow has found a therapist and you need one as well. I don't think you should have a computer in your home. That is the only way you can make sure that the internet is not an issue. Work with a therapist and go from there. Personally I wouldn't stay in this situation. If you choose to stay I wouldn't dare own a computer. I wouldn't take that risk. You have heard some harsh truths and I'm going to agree, men with secrets are great liars.

I have a man that a year ago his nick name was steady eddy. I told people he was the perfect husband. He didn't lie, cheat or hurt me in any way. If he said he was going to be home at 5 by golly he was home by 5. His eyes never even glanced at another woman. He told me he didn't look around, didn't care what other woman looked like and I was the only girl for him. He didn't party with the boys at the office, didn't do anything like other men. He came home and was with the family always. He was perfect. I was sooo lucky. He went out of his way to hammer into me that he was honest and decent. He was not like other men. He would never hurt me.

When I found out about the abuse from another family member and he lied about it I was confused, my husband didn't lie...well, ok, this was a hard one for him....I mean he had to protect himself so this was ok...when I found him on the computer doing not good things and he LIED about it, wow, this is crazy. He promised it was around the abuse and would never happen again. When he was using our phones to get his fix and then lied his butt off and went as low as blaming his coworkers for stealing his phone I was done thinking my husband was a superman and incapable of lying. It's hard to fall that far to reality when you have such love and trust for someone and for me it was for almost 2 decades.

My point, just because he says it does not make it so. Just because you love him and think he's a wonderful person does not mean it's real. The man that you fell in love with is not real. It's who he had to be to survive, to get you. You have not found all of the truth. For every rat you see there are a hundred you can't. (dr phil) Don't allow yourself to be drug down into something you can't dig yourself out of. This is bad stuff. This is jail time. I wouldn't feel safe if it were me, you are helping cover up something that is a huge deal. I hope that there is some help in place and soon. You need to have a therapist on your side helping you out.

Having said all of that, I know this is hard and that you love him and that he's hurting. I know he needs help. I am concerned for the kids that are being abused to feed his pain. I wish you all the hope in the world and I am praying for you and this situation. I want YOU to take care of YOU first and foremost. I'm not trying to be mean and it took me days to respond because this is so upsetting. I have 3 little boys so maybe it's harder as a mama and a wife of an abused man all combined but it's hard to hear it, and as a woman I don't want to see you go down for something you had nothing to do with.

You also said something that bothered me. Your life is not over. You have a great life ahead of you if you choose to move forward and find someone else. You have a lot to offer, look at your compassion and strength. Don't sell yourself short. Yes, you can and will grieve for what could have been but your life is not over!

_________________________
~Jen~
Life is to short to blend in

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