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#306793 - 10/17/09 10:30 AM I'm back...4 years later
weepywife Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/22/06
Posts: 57
Hi!
I was on this board about 4 years ago...when my husband first told me there was something wrong. I got a lot of help and advise at that time and now I need some more.
4 years ago my husband shut off intimately. He finally told me that something happen when he was a child but didn't go into specifics. I believe it was some kind of sexual abuse. He started going to a therapist and I kept hoping that things in the intimacy department would get better. I kept dreaming that we would get better and get back on course for our "perfect life" ie. family intimacy etc. Well, things haven't really changed. He goes to therapy pretty regularly but really doesn't "keep me in the loop" at all.
Lately, I've been really depressed. I am losing hope that things will ever get better. I'm 32 and want to start a family. My husband says he can't handle/think about a family at this time. My husband and I get along great. We are best friends so I keep dreaming that things will get better....because I want them to so badly.
I feel like I deserve to know what happened to him. He says if he tells me he will never be able to look me in the face again. At first, I didn't want to know, but now I feel that if this "thing" is destroying my marriage I deserve to at least know what it is that I'm fighting.
Also, he has social anxiety disorder. I think he needs to go on an antidepressant. He hasn't this whole time. I think he needs it to have a shot at getting better. He is refusing. This angers me. Shouldn't he be doing everything possible to get better? He doesn't want to take a pill that messes with the chemicals in his brain. Too bad! I need some hope that things will get better.
I guess the big question is...am I enabling him by staying with him and not making him do the above things? I live him so much but I am spiraling downward. I hate to give ultimatums but I feel like I have to do something. I feel like this crap is ruining my life. I used to be happy and have hopes and dreams for the future. Now I don't even want to see my family and friends because I am stuck under the cover of this terrible secret. I feel like I am living a lie. The whole world thinks I have everything but inside I am a mess. I'm a strong person but I don't know how much more of this living a fake life I can handle.
If you read this far....thanks. I would appreciate any advise....and yes I have gone to therapy and read all the books smile


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#306803 - 10/17/09 12:10 PM Re: I'm back...4 years later [Re: weepywife]
myboyhoodfears Offline


Registered: 03/13/09
Posts: 457
clearly the reason he isn't telling you what happened, is he's deeply ashamed, and is afraid of what you will think of him...its often extremely difficult for a male CSA victim to disclose, especially if he feels complicit. often they believe they are to blame, or they feel that because they may have liked some of what happened, or even initiated things, that makes them damaged, guilty and or sick,.....you have to understand that part of the male psychology is very wrapped up in his self perceptions and ego, being sexually victimized completely messes with all of that...no doubt you've heard this before.

he may never feel comfortable disclosing to you...you will have to come to terms with that possibility...if you are prepared to end your relationship over whether he discloses to you or not, thats your right to do so, i suppose...but choices are going to have to be made...

if you have not done this already, you might try and make him understand that there is nothing about what happened to him that will change how you feel about him...and not press him to tell you something that is very deeply disturbing and troubling for him....perhaps if you tell him that you understand that some kids blame themselves, and feel they were complicit, then you might explain that you understand that while he may think he was willing or participated that its not his fault, and that he doesn't have to live in fear that you are going to judge him for being a kid who was not in control of the circumstances...hes not responsible for what happened to him.

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#306806 - 10/17/09 12:48 PM Re: I'm back...4 years later [Re: myboyhoodfears]
weepywife Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/22/06
Posts: 57
Thanks for your response.

Since my husband very rarely shares his feelings with me it is good to be reminded of his side.

I never wanted or needed to know what happened four years ago. But now that it has been 4 years with little progress I feel like I have the right to know. I feel like I need to know what is screwing us up. I also feel like him telling me would be a break through. Maybe he needs to tell me to heal? Like I said before, I am sick of all the secrets. I would never tell his secret to our family and friends, but I am sick of faking like we are completely happy to everyone. I feel like I am living a lie. If my family asks how I'm doing I can't tell them how I am really doing....what is really bothering me.....I can't tell them that every time they ask me when my husband and I are going to start a family it breaks my heart.

Don't get me wrong. He is trying but the things that I need I'm not getting.


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#306837 - 10/17/09 04:33 PM Re: I'm back...4 years later [Re: weepywife]
myboyhoodfears Offline


Registered: 03/13/09
Posts: 457
sure, disclosure to your loved ones can be very healing if they are supportive...but there is a lot of fear there...fear that his disclosure to you will destroy things...maybe he's willing to accept the currant situation because the alternative for him is unacceptable...his statement to you seems to indicate his thinking...

although I'm speculating, but i would gather he's terrified that you will not think him to be the same man you fell in love with,(or even a man at all) once you know what happened....you need to comfort him and reassure him that things can only get better and you can help him heal once you know...you can share his anguish and help him get through it...hes obviously afraid you wont be able to do that...he would rather keep his secret than shame himself in front of you by telling you the awful things that happened...

i understand your need to know what it is thats ruining things...and i agree,...but you really have to look at it through his eyes,...and that will give you the insight you need in getting him to open up to you...he needs to feel safe, that you are not going to freak out or change how you see him.

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#306855 - 10/17/09 06:13 PM Re: I'm back...4 years later [Re: myboyhoodfears]
weepywife Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/22/06
Posts: 57

I'm sure you are right.


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#306924 - 10/18/09 01:20 PM Re: I'm back...4 years later [Re: weepywife]
cstjude Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

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

I share your pain and confusion. I understand not wanting to let go of the life with your husband that you once hoped for. Loving a survivor means that you catch glimpses of a remarkable person, someone amazing with such potential and that gives us hope that if recovery takes hold all will be well. But the sad reality is that isn't always the case.

In this case, and forgive me for being rather blunt, (I don't mean to be insensitive or rude), but you don't have "rights" you have "choices". His path towards recovery is his alone no matter how long it takes, no matter whether it is successful or not. His choices are to seek recovery or not, disclose or not, medicate or not. No one else has any power over those decisions. Your choices are to seek therapy for yourself or not, seek out what you need or not, educate yourself on his issues or not. And finally, to say or not. The only power available to those of us who love survivors is to manage our own reactions. We all come to a place where we have to decide what we can live with.

Everything your husband was taught about love and trust and intimacy was a lie perpetrated by the abuser. Love is pain, trust is threat, intimacy is victimization. But he has to make the full committment to recovery. Truthfully, it doesn't sound like he's ready to let go of the illusion that he's in control and can manage this himself. He's likely terrified of the rage and shame inside him and scared letting it out will destroy him.

There are fundamental human needs you are expressing in your post: intimacy, honesty, a family of your own. Those are powerful needs. Be honest with yourself about whether this relationship will help you meet those needs. Ending your marriage doesn't mean abandoning your survior. There are a million ways to love and support someone without sacrificing your entire life to the CSA. Seek some guidance on these reactions from an objective counsellor.

You can't love him enough to bring about his recovery. It's his to own, his to deal with. And that sucks, because it has so much collateral damage. But that's the way it is.

We're here for you. Be gentle with yourself.

C.



Edited by cstjude (10/18/09 01:22 PM)
Edit Reason: spelling
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C.
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#306958 - 10/18/09 05:54 PM Re: I'm back...4 years later [Re: cstjude]
weepywife Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/22/06
Posts: 57
The recovery process is in his hands. However, when I get really upset it does seem to motivate him. For example, I got really upset and then he started to go to therapy. I hate ultimatums but I feel like I am almost to that point. Although even if I gave an ultimatum...I'm not sure if I could go through with it.
It sucks. I told him that I needed some hope that things would get better. He can't give that to me..... Where am I supposed to get my hope from?


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#306991 - 10/18/09 09:20 PM Re: I'm back...4 years later [Re: weepywife]
An Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/24/04
Posts: 151
Loc: usa
I'M GOING TO TAKE A CHANCE HERE AND SHARE A SURVIVOR'S POST TO THIS BOARD FROM MANY YEARS AGO- it meant a lot to me and so I've had it pasted on my hard drive ever since- maybe it'll help you or someone else the way it did me and though I haven't seen Bobby around the boards in a long time since, I think he'd be ok with the "repost" I know my partner at the time said it was "spooky' it said so exactly what he felt too- Here's what Bobby wrote on the F & F board-

" I will try to express how I feel. I have done nothing else since I started writing here. I seem to understand better how I feel when I see it actually written down.

I like several others who have written feel very badly about how I relate to my wife concerning my CA. We grew up together and have been married for 37 years. She knows all of the people involved in my CA and has had close relationships with all of them. It would seem to be the perfect relationship for sharing.

Still there is a part of this that drives me inside. She asks questions and I try to give honest answers. I want her to know how I feel and what is going on inside. I want to relate to her openly and honestly. But there is a part of this that is so deeply personal.... The damage and the recovery are inside. The perpetrator did something to me from the outside, but he caused me to retreat/flee inside for survival. I am injured and hiding. To come out, I have to descend inside to find myself and try to pull that part of me out into the sun and back into life.

That's no excuse for the way I treat you. You are there, and you are anxious to help and I make you feel as though you were an outsider looking in. I also make you very fearful that the things I am thinking will eventually exclude you to the point that we will no longer be together, so you fight to stay a part of what is going on.

I make you walk a mental tightrope. I need you to be close. I need to know you are there for me. Yet I push you away at those moments when I most need someone to comfort me. I don't know why I do that. I don't want to do that. It's just that, when I am having my most difficult times and need to be held the most, those are the times when I simply cannot tolerate being held. Arms around me cause me to pull away. I don't understand that. I am not rejecting you. I am simply reacting on a level that I cannot explain to you.

Do not confuse my reactions with my love. They are not the same. When I am reacting to my CA, I am in a different place. I still love you. I still respect you. I don't resent you. I always appreciate you. I never want you to go away. I never want to hurt you. I never want to be selfish and only think of me. But I am injured. If I was cut or bruised and you could see my wound, you would understand that, if you touched it, I would pull away because of the pain. This may be the same thing....I don't know. Perhaps when you touch my wound out of love and caring, it hurts so badly that I must pull away from you in pain. I never mean to hurt you...ever.

I would understand completely if you left. I almost expect you to. I almost want you to to protect yourself from this thing that consumes me. It is an approach avoidance thing. To suffer alone is almost more than I can stand, but to watch you suffer because of who I am is just as, if not more painful. I hurt myself and you at the same time and right now I can stop neither.

I can make no promises. I don't know who I am right now. Discovering my CA has destroyed my concept of who I was, and I have no idea who I will be when I have dealt with all of this and have been "healed". I have no guarantees. I can only tell you that I love you and that, if I hurt you, I will hurt myself as well.

I have been talking to my wife to try to help you perhaps understand where I'm coming from. I know that we are all very different and that your boyfriend, husband, etc., is probably very different from me. We are all individuals. We didn't start out as the same person and we have been affected by this thing in different ways. We do have similarities, however. In fact the similarities are sometimes shocking to me.

All I am trying to say I think is. I appreciate her so very much. I love her so very much. I can't possibly understand what she must be going through. I can make no guarantees. What I would wish is that, when this thing gets better, we are still side by side. I know I will always love her. But I hope beyond all else that she takes care of herself and that, if things get too difficult to stay with me, she will not sacrifice herself, but will do what is necessary for her own well being. The last thing I want is for two lives to be completely destroyed by this thing, although it may be too late.

Finally, it's not my place to thank anyone else but my wife for riding out this thing with me, but I do feel that I want to tell all of you who are going through this how much what you are doing is appreciated by all of us. Sometimes, when we want to tell you that the most, we just can't say it out loud. Bobby


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#307335 - 10/20/09 05:36 PM Re: I'm back...4 years later [Re: weepywife]
Piglet Offline


Registered: 04/29/09
Posts: 17
Weepywife, from the perspective of almost 30 years of marriage and two kids with him, and now realizing that the wooden puppet is never going to become a Real Boy - I would encourage you to let him go. I would strongly advise a friend in your situation to let go of the dream of having a life with him.


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#307347 - 10/20/09 07:23 PM Re: I'm back...4 years later [Re: Piglet]
weepywife Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/22/06
Posts: 57
Wow Piglet! Your post kind of threw me. Although, I do appreciate your honesty. Sometimes, I too, think if I knew anyone in my situation I would tell them to leave their partner. I would tell them how hard it is. How the odds are so stacked against you. How there would be times you felt so lonely and sad it was unbearable.
The funny thing is, if I would have read this post 24 hours ago I would of said thanks for the confirmation. I agree with you. I'm going to pack my bags.

But as life would have it, I was logging on to report that I think my husband may have had his biggest breakthrough ever. I know that he is not cured and we still have a long road ahead but I have hope again. Am I foolish to have hope? Do we have any chance?


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