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#345778 - 11/19/10 02:45 PM New on MS - Reaching out to partners of Survivors
SeekingStrength Offline


Registered: 11/18/10
Posts: 16
Hi,

(Dont know yet what constitutes a trigger, so I wont be graphic).

I have been reading some of the content for a while, finally decided it's time to join.

My fiance disclosed his CSA to me a few months ago, after I confronted him with emails I found of his, to a variety of escorts.

I am new to the country, after having moved to the States to be together a few months ago. I dont think I handled the situation very well - even though my heart broke for him and what he had been through, I had no clue about CSA or the impact it has on people's lives. I was in shock at our "perfect life" being shattered with infidelity, and couldn't fathom how CSA could have anything to do with the emails I had found. It just didn't make sense. A secondary factor was that 2 of the escorts were pre-op transsexuals. That totally threw me.

I have been reading up the past few months about CSA and acting out, so now understand I was being a real cow at not "getting it". (I am ashamed to admit that my own pain and hurt clouded my judgment; I failed to make a connection, and sometimes wondered if he was trying to use that as an excuse for messing me around. Don't hate me for that! I know better now). I can only imagine the pain and trauma he has been through over the years. I just want him to know what it feels like to be happy, whatever that means for us as a couple.

I love him very much, and I want to support him in every way. It's not an easy road, especially since this journey is his, Im the passenger - there whenever he needs me, but not to interfere.

Something I read on a different thread really spoke to me - that as family and partners, we also need to look after ourselves. I think that's why I joined - I have realised that this is taking a toll on me too, and I dont have a support system in place of my own yet.

Our relationship has been through the grinder and back. Its an emotional roller coaster.

He recently acknowledged that he has a lot of anger, self hatred, low self esteem and that it is affecting his life more than he has wanted to admit. I gave him the link for this site, and am leaving it in his hands. I did see him peeking at it the other night...Im really hoping he finds something he is comfortable with enough to start taking the first steps towards recovery.:-)

I hoped to hear from anyone that has/had a similar experience. How do you as the partner of a survivor, keep perspective each and every day, and not get lost in the angry words...the outburts..the distance between you growing....when you are not in control of any progress or the healing process?

How do you go about finding peace for yourself too, in order to be a better, more understanding and patient partner?

Finally - What can we expect once he starts going down the path of healing? Will he need the support of a therapist?

Oh my! This is long, sorry! I look forward to hearing from others.

_________________________
"God grant me the serenity to accept the things I can not change, the strength to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference".

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#345787 - 11/19/10 04:34 PM Re: New on MS - Reaching out to partners of Survivors [Re: SeekingStrength]
InsideTheWall Offline


Registered: 01/10/09
Posts: 282
Originally Posted By: SeekingStrength
Hi,

(Dont know yet what constitutes a trigger, so I wont be graphic).

I have been reading some of the content for a while, finally decided it's time to join.
The saying goes, we're sorry you have to be here, but glad you made it.

Originally Posted By: SeekingStrength
My fiance disclosed his CSA to me a few months ago, after I confronted him with emails I found of his, to a variety of escorts.
This is a common way to find out about CSA. You're not unique.

Originally Posted By: SeekingStrength
I am new to the country, after having moved to the States to be together a few months ago.

Welcome to America.

Originally Posted By: SeekingStrength
I dont think I handled the situation very well - even though my heart broke for him and what he had been through, I had no clue about CSA or the impact it has on people's lives. I was in shock at our "perfect life" being shattered with infidelity, and couldn't fathom how CSA could have anything to do with the emails I had found.

It always sounds kind of strange to me too. It made me more asexual, but I know it has the opposite affect on some others.

Originally Posted By: SeekingStrength
It just didn't make sense. A secondary factor was that 2 of the escorts were pre-op transsexuals. That totally threw me.
Many survivors act out with men. Its thought to be a way of recreating the abuse in a setting they can safely control.

Originally Posted By: SeekingStrength
I have been reading up the past few months about CSA and acting out, so now understand I was being a real cow at not "getting it".(I am ashamed to admit that my own pain and hurt clouded my judgment; I failed to make a connection, and sometimes wondered if he was trying to use that as an excuse for messing me around. Don't hate me for that! I know better now).
I don't think anyone gets it at first because the connection isn't obvious to the uninitiated. Don't feel too bad.

Originally Posted By: SeekingStrength
I can only imagine the pain and trauma he has been through over the years. I just want him to know what it feels like to be happy, whatever that means for us as a couple.
A supportive woman can make a big difference...

Originally Posted By: SeekingStrength
I love him very much, and I want to support him in every way. It's not an easy road, especially since this journey is his, Im the passenger - there whenever he needs me, but not to interfere.
Its good that you realize this.

Originally Posted By: SeekingStrength
Something I read on a different thread really spoke to me - that as family and partners, we also need to look after ourselves. I think that's why I joined - I have realised that this is taking a toll on me too, and I dont have a support system in place of my own yet.
This is an excellent place to meet other women in similar situations. You can ask men too if you need help figuring out whats going on inside his head.

Originally Posted By: SeekingStrength
Our relationship has been through the grinder and back. Its an emotional roller coaster.

He recently acknowledged that he has a lot of anger, self hatred, low self esteem and that it is affecting his life more than he has wanted to admit.
All normal.

Originally Posted By: SeekingStrength
I gave him the link for this site, and am leaving it in his hands. I did see him peeking at it the other night...Im really hoping he finds something he is comfortable with enough to start taking the first steps towards recovery.:-)
Lurking is definitely the first step. Eventually, he'll find a conversation he wants to join.

Originally Posted By: SeekingStrength
I hoped to hear from anyone that has/had a similar experience. How do you as the partner of a survivor, keep perspective each and every day, and not get lost in the angry words...the outburts..the distance between you growing....when you are not in control of any progress or the healing process? How do you go about finding peace for yourself too, in order to be a better, more understanding and patient partner?
Ladies?

Originally Posted By: SeekingStrength
Finally - What can we expect once he starts going down the path of healing? Will he need the support of a therapist?
Yes, and a very specialized one. You want a T that focuses on men who were molested.

Originally Posted By: SeekingStrength
Oh my! This is long, sorry! I look forward to hearing from others.
Welcome aboard.


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#345876 - 11/20/10 09:39 PM Re: New on MS - Reaching out to partners of Survivors [Re: InsideTheWall]
SeekingStrength Offline


Registered: 11/18/10
Posts: 16
Greetings, InsideTheWall,

Thanks very much for sharing your thoughts - I appreciate it.

My fiance did mention that the internet trawling was not a sexual thing, even though it may have seemed it. He doesnt quite understand it, but it gives him a feeling of him being the one with the power to accept or reject people..and not the other way around. I think I understand....most days at least:-)

We have decided to set some boundaries with each other in what behavior is acceptable and what isn't. Other than that, I have told him that I want him to know I am here for him, whenever he needs me. Should this be where my involvement stops altogether? He has mentioned twice in the last 6 months that he wants to start seeing a therapist, but I know he wants to find the right one. Its also pretty expensive, and we are on a budget right for the next few months:-)

Do I ask how it's going, or should I totally back off, in case I am seen as "pushing"?

_________________________
"God grant me the serenity to accept the things I can not change, the strength to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference".

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#345914 - 11/21/10 08:00 AM Re: New on MS - Reaching out to partners of Survivors [Re: SeekingStrength]
DeadEnd Offline


Registered: 10/22/10
Posts: 10
Hello Seeking-

I only found out about my husband's csa about a month ago. And like you it was by finding things online. The things I found were ads posted on craigslist, emails and pictures. All were to and from men.

I have been finding these things throughout our marriage and each time he said it was some sick fantasy, he had never been with a man and that he would stop. It became almost like an obsession for me. Always searching to see if he was still doing it. I was convinced he was gay.

The last time, I found phone #'s on the cell bill that matched the ads on craigslist, and when I confronted him, he tried to lie, but there was more than one #, so he really couldn't. It was then he told me of the csa. And that he would seek help to learn to deal with it. He has only been to the therepist a few times, but it seems to be helping him. I think he is actually glad to be going.

Encourage your SO to go to a therepist, if this is something he wants to do. Hopefully he too will find relief in talking to someone.

I am sorry you have to be here, but glad you found the site.


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#345939 - 11/21/10 03:28 PM Re: New on MS - Reaching out to partners of Survivors [Re: SeekingStrength]
InsideTheWall Offline


Registered: 01/10/09
Posts: 282
Originally Posted By: SeekingStrength
Greetings, InsideTheWall,

Thanks very much for sharing your thoughts - I appreciate it.
Sure. Thats why we're here.

Originally Posted By: SeekingStrength
My fiance did mention that the internet trawling was not a sexual thing, even though it may have seemed it. He doesnt quite understand it, but it gives him a feeling of him being the one with the power to accept or reject people..and not the other way around. I think I understand....most days at least:-)
I can somewhat see that, but I would still be leery. To the best of your knowledge, has he actually cheated?

Originally Posted By: SeekingStrength
We have decided to set some boundaries with each other in what behavior is acceptable and what isn't.
Other than staying off craigslist and similar sites, can you be more specific? Or is there anything you would like to add?

Originally Posted By: SeekingStrength
Other than that, I have told him that I want him to know I am here for him, whenever he needs me. Should this be where my involvement stops altogether?
No, you're always going to be involved in this when you're married to him. You're his primary supporter. But you're right to respect his boundaries in this area.

Originally Posted By: SeekingStrength
He has mentioned twice in the last 6 months that he wants to start seeing a therapist, but I know he wants to find the right one. Its also pretty expensive, and we are on a budget right for the next few months:-)
Wedding expenses can be nasty. When people are trying to deal with this kind of thing via limited means, I recommend calling the local university. They'll set you up with graduate students studying to become therapists for free or extremely cheap. The trade off is that the conversations are recorded for instructors to review. Another thing that can help is Incest Abuse Survivors Anonymous.

Originally Posted By: SeekingStrength
Do I ask how it's going, or should I totally back off, in case I am seen as "pushing"?
How long has it been since the idea came up?



Edited by InsideTheWall (11/21/10 03:35 PM)

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#345966 - 11/21/10 10:51 PM Re: New on MS - Reaching out to partners of Survivors [Re: InsideTheWall]
SeekingStrength Offline


Registered: 11/18/10
Posts: 16
Hi Deadend, InsidetheWall

Ill try to answer both of you in one go:-)

Thanks for your replies, I appreciate it. I feel a bit better knowing I'm not alone in this experience.

My fiance has said he wants to find a therapist a few times over the past few months; the first time he said he will find one was 6 months ago. It hasn't happened yet. I have been upset about this, but everywhere I read people say I should not push him. I can only continue to hope. In the meantime, our relationship is deteriorating badly. He keeps finding reasons why he hasnt done it yet. I have told him there are cheaper options tonight, thank you.

When I found out about the emails, I put off the wedding indefinitely. We have had so much crap since, that I dont even know if we are going to make it as a couple, never mind get married now.

No, I dont have conclusive proof that he actually hooked up with anyone. He denied even the emails as first, until I showed them to him. Even then, he lied about them for a few days, initially saying they were just random girls he saw on the internet. 2 were craigslists addresses, and the others I googled. I found out that they were escorts. He says he never met up with them, but how will I ever know? There is no way of conclusively proving anything if someone is adamantly denying. In fact, the only way you can prove anything is if you catch someone in the act.


He admitted he went through a stage in his life where he was confused about his sexuality - not because he was attracted to men, but because he felt different and unaccepted his whole life. He felt he failed in relationships, and he wasnt confident enough to approach women. He was abused by a male relative, and I think part of the guilt that he lives with is that he did feel sexual stimulation.

He said he has never been with a man. He said he went to a gay bar once and ended up talking to a guy, and the guy helped him find answers to his questions - that he is not actually attracted to men.

I know he always felt more comfortable approaching people online - in fact, him and I met on a silly Facebook application 3 years ago. I just dont yet understand how he started having a TS fetish, and he says its not sexual.

InsideTheWall, to answer your question - we need to put in some boundaries from a relationship perspective, about how we treat each other, and what we say to each other when angry. So much has happened over 6 months, so many fights, so many new commitments only to land up fighting over the same things..and nothing is being done to fix these issues. I have not given him boundaries about not going onto Craiglist, etc. There is not much trust from my side, but he gets so upset if he feels like he is being "controlled" or given "rules" that its just not worth it. Even just asking who called is an issue between us.

He is the type of person that holds everything in - he very rarely talks about issues or things that bug him. I do know part of this of because of his CSA. He dislikes anything that could lead to a confrontation; when it does he loses control of his anger. I am so frustrated lately. Our issues at the moment are not even about the trust and what I found anymore. We are stuck in a pattern of fighting that we cant seem to get out of.

Sometimes I wonder if this is what I am in for. He can be such a wonderful, giving, loving man, but then something happens and he loses his temper - turning into someone I dont recognise. The trend has been for this to happen when he drinks. I know he went through stage in his life when he abused alcohol. He does seem to get more confident when he drinks.

We had a really bad fight 2 weeks ago, and I called our neighbor for help. I think that was what finally opened his eyes to what he has been denying about himself and his deep seated anger. He went to his first AA meeting yesterday.

At the same time, I dont know if he really truly feels he needs help, or if its just the guilt speaking for a week or two.

Anyway.....Im here because Im at my wits end with what I can handle. I need my own support and to find some peace and hopefully even some wisdom!

Thanks again for your input.



Edited by SeekingStrength (12/13/10 03:37 PM)
_________________________
"God grant me the serenity to accept the things I can not change, the strength to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference".

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#345968 - 11/21/10 11:06 PM Re: New on MS - Reaching out to partners of Survivors [Re: SeekingStrength]
SeekingStrength Offline


Registered: 11/18/10
Posts: 16
Oh, one thing I forgot to mention was that, during a conversation a while ago about why he is not going for therapy, he mentioned that he feels because of the fact that he has not acted out in the past 7 months (which is how long I have lived with him for in the States) - he feels he is in control of it.

He also says its a cycle that happens - he starts getting depressed, starts seeing himself as a loser, a failure etc etc..then he drinks..and ends up going online...which ends up with him looking for escorts. He says he does this because reading about the things they do makes him feel better about himself. I dont quite get the next bit though - why he emails them. He says its because he has the power to accept or reject them if they reply. This makes him feel better.

Should I worry that he feels he is in control of his acting out? He knows he cant promise me that it wont happen again; yet he says he needs to believe in himself, and that thinking otherwise is not good for his self esteem.

Hope that Makes sense? I think the biggest issue right now is that - I dont know if therapy will help him understand, then stop the acting out, but Im hopeful. There is a lot we both need to fix in our relationship, and I dont think him and I have the skills to do this on our own.

_________________________
"God grant me the serenity to accept the things I can not change, the strength to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference".

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#345972 - 11/21/10 11:49 PM Re: New on MS - Reaching out to partners of Survivors [Re: SeekingStrength]
Wardpoet Offline


Registered: 10/22/10
Posts: 43
Loc: Maryland
Boundaries can be very hard for me.CSA has had a life long effect causing me to have to relearn appropriate ways to respond to lifes happenings. Getting raped as a child caused me to learn copping skills appropriate for then for my survival like dissasociting from my feelings (they were overwhelming). No longer apropriate now that I am grown up somewhat and growing up is a work in progress for me.I learned not to trust men, no longer apropriate now either I fixed that one.Sexuality issues can manifest themselves in different ways I am not gay but had sex with a man as a child seemed like as a child I was confused by this.Was unable to express displeasure there was so much piled up rage against him and me and anyone who even seemed to violate my boundaries/Trust.Hard to trust after trusting him then he did that and...As an adult I have learn it is ok to trust sometimes and dissagree without too much emotion. Part of the difficulty with changing ourselves is tied up in being able to trust ourselves after blaming ourselves usually for years. I hope this helps to relieve your frustrations and understand him better.I am 50 now took me 38 years to get here and I am not done still working on self confidence and being closer to my wife of 13 years to be able to love we have to trust both of us.This all leads to none of the stuff is your fault or his either the perp is at fault. For many of us the memories themselves are so painfull we can't deal with them and repress them for survival.Yet to keep them suppressed we can cause ourselves to self destruct from reacting and blaming/shaming urselves.


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#345986 - 11/22/10 07:04 AM Re: New on MS - Reaching out to partners of Survivors [Re: SeekingStrength]
InsideTheWall Offline


Registered: 01/10/09
Posts: 282
Originally Posted By: SeekingStrength
Hi Deadend, InsidetheWall

Ill try to answer both of you in one go:-)

Thanks for your replies, I appreciate it. I feel a bit better knowing I'm not alone in this experience.
You'll find quite a few people here who have been there.

Originally Posted By: SeekingStrength
My fiance has said he wants to find a therapist a few times over the past few months; the first time he said he will find one was 6 months ago. It hasn't happened yet. I have been upset about this, but everywhere I read people say I should not push him. I can only continue to hope. In the meantime, our relationship is deteriorating badly. He keeps finding reasons why he hasnt done it yet.
Normally, giving him space and boundaries are a good idea, but in this case things sound dire. That rule shouldn't apply at this particular time because he knows he needs help but isn't getting it. It's not like his memories are repressed or anything.

Originally Posted By: SeekingStrength
I have told him there are cheaper options tonight, thank you.
Hopefully he'll start taking advantage. I would look into Incest Survivors Anonymous first if I was him.

Originally Posted By: SeekingStrength
When I found out about the emails, I put off the wedding indefinitely. We have had so much crap since, that I dont even know if we are going to make it as a couple, never mind get married now.
I don't blame you for that, you just sounded more cheerful in your last message. I didn't realize things were so bad.

Originally Posted By: SeekingStrength
No, I dont have conclusive proof that he actually hooked up with anyone. He denied even the emails as first, until I showed them to him. Even then, he lied about them for a few days, initially saying they were just random girls he saw on the internet. 2 were craigslists addresses, and the others I googled. I found out that they were escorts. He says he never met up with them, but how will I ever know? There is no way of conclusively proving anything if someone is adamantly denying. In fact, the only way you can prove anything is if you catch someone in the act.
I would be very suspicious in your place. Even if he allegedly hasn't acted out in 7 months, he has a history I wouldn't take lightly. You need to tell him to stay off the Internet, and if he doesn't like it, tough. You have a right and honestly, a need to set some boundaries with him on this.

Originally Posted By: SeekingStrength
I ended up emailing the one TS in desperation, to find out if he had actually met up with her/him. She cant recall and was very afraid of talking to me..so..
More reason to be leery. And I don't blame you for emailing this person.

Originally Posted By: SeekingStrength
After this came out, I started digging in his things, since I felt like he was holding back on me. I found TS porn, and a video he took of himself during MB..well...lets just say that what was on the tape was not typical MB, he was using a dildo.He has lied about a few other things too, but I dont really want to go into all the detail.
I don't think specific details of that are needed here.

Originally Posted By: SeekingStrength

He admitted he went through a stage in his life where he was confused about his sexuality - not because he was attracted to men, but because he felt different and unaccepted his whole life.
This is probably some variant of whats called homosexual imprinting. Dr Joe Kort talks about it below.

http://www.malesurvivor.org/board/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showthreaded&Number=341555#Post341555

Originally Posted By: SeekingStrength
He felt he failed in relationships, and he wasnt confident enough to approach women. He was abused as an 8 year old by a male relative, I think for 4 years, and I think part of the guilt that he lives with is that he did feel sexual stimulation. I guess its only normal for someone to wonder if that means they are gay, or why they dont feel the same as everyone else their whole life.
The lack of confidence and sexual confusion are both normal.

Originally Posted By: SeekingStrength
He said he has never been with a man. He said he went to a gay bar once and ended up talking to a guy, and the guy helped him find answers to his questions - that he is not actually attracted to men.
Looks like he met someone decent, who helped him instead of trying to take advantage. Be grateful that guy, whoever he was.

Originally Posted By: SeekingStrength
I know he always felt more comfortable approaching people online - in fact, him and I met on a silly Facebook application 3 years ago. I just dont yet understand how he started having a TS fetish, and he says its not sexual.
The TS thing sounds a little odd to me too, but may be lingering confusion.

Originally Posted By: SeekingStrength
InsideTheWall, to answer your question - we need to put in some boundaries from a relationship perspective, about how we treat each other, and what we say to each other when angry. So much has happened over 6 months, so many fights, so many new commitments only to land up fighting over the same things..and nothing is being done to fix these issues. I have not given him boundaries about not going onto Craiglist, etc. There is not much trust from my side, but he gets so upset if he feels like he is being "controlled" or given "rules" that its just not worth it. Even just asking who called is an issue between us.
If he can't accept you, his girlfriend, setting some boundaries under these circumstances, he shouldn't be in this relationship. If he won't comply with your demands, dump him.

Originally Posted By: SeekingStrength
He is the type of person that holds everything in - he very rarely talks about issues or things that bug him. I do know part of this of because of his CSA. He dislikes anything that could lead to a confrontation; when it does he loses control of his anger. I am so frustrated lately. Our issues at the moment are not even about the trust and what I found anymore. We are stuck in a pattern of fighting that we cant seem to get out of.
I don't see this pattern ending until you become more assertive about your expectations of him. No woman is going to put up with this kind of situation forever and he needs to adjust to that reality.

Originally Posted By: SeekingStrength
Sometimes I wonder if this is what I am in for.
Not every woman can deal with the effects of CSA on a man. I can tell you though, if he actually does seek help, things will get better over time.

Originally Posted By: SeekingStrength
He can be such a wonderful, giving, loving man, but then something happens and he loses his temper - turning into someone I dont recognise.
You sound intimidated enough by him that I must ask: Does he become violent to you?

Originally Posted By: SeekingStrength
The trend has been for this to happen when he drinks. I know he went through stage in his life when he abused alcohol. He does seem to get more confident when he drinks.
Alcohol abuse is a common part of CSA. I have my own struggles with this.

Originally Posted By: SeekingStrength
We had a really bad fight 2 weeks ago, and I called our neighbor for help. I think that was what finally opened his eyes to what he has been denying about himself and his deep seated anger.
Was it physical?

Originally Posted By: SeekingStrength
He went to his first AA meeting yesterday.
AA has helped many people, but I think SIA would be better to address the underlying cause of both his anger and drinking. Frankly, I think therapists are pretty useless when it comes to dealing with the anger this causes. If you tell them the truth about how perps need to be dealt with, they'll lock you up.

Originally Posted By: SeekingStrength
At the same time, I dont know if he really truly feels he needs help, or if its just the guilt speaking for a week or two.
Time will tell.

Originally Posted By: SeekingStrength
Anyway.....Im here because Im at my wits end with what I can handle. I need my own support and to find some peace and hopefully even some wisdom!

Thanks again for your input.
I hope something in all this helps. I really think assertiveness is the key.



Edited by InsideTheWall (11/23/10 07:47 AM)

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#346121 - 11/24/10 02:05 AM Re: New on MS - Reaching out to partners of Survivors [Re: InsideTheWall]
lostcowboy Offline
Member

Registered: 11/10/04
Posts: 797
Loc: North Texas
Hello, you may want to read,"Don't call it love,Recovery from sexual addiction by Patrick Carnes,Ph.D.. He also has several other books.

Also in my signature you will find a link to my most important posts on here. I suggest reading, A strange way to masturbate.

It may seem strange but after making that post, I lost the desire to masturbate that way. I came to realize that a big part of the reason that I did it was to punish myself. I decided that I had punished myself enough!

_________________________
"Don't walk in front of me, I may not follow. Don't walk behind me, I may not lead. Just walk beside me and be my friend." - Albert Camus
Pretty much my life as I have posted so far. Triggers!

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