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#347366 - 12/07/10 08:13 AM Re: New on MS - Reaching out to partners of Survivors [Re: SeekingStrength]
InsideTheWall Offline


Registered: 01/10/09
Posts: 280
@SeekingStrength

I hate to say it because this guy sounds like my mirror image, but he's obviously not moving forward. I spent many, many years in a similar state of mind and can tell you right now he won't budge until he's good and ready. Don't expect anything but token efforts designed to keep pushing things into the future. You gave him your ultimatum, and he still hasn't changed. It's too bad really, I have a feeling we would be friends if he came here.

But it's time to carry out your ultimatum, or at least start maneuvering to a position where you can. Are you financially dependent on your boyfriend? Who pays the rent/mortgage? Are you in a position to throw him out? If not, do you have any friends you might be able to move in with? What's your transportation situation? At the least, you can strengthen your bargaining position by becoming as financially independent of him as possible.



Edited by InsideTheWall (12/07/10 09:38 AM)

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#347378 - 12/07/10 12:02 PM Re: New on MS - Reaching out to partners of Survivors [Re: InsideTheWall]
SeekingStrength Offline


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

You are right, he is not moving forward. And again, you are right...he is probably not going to budge. I know this is hard on him too..I try to put myself in his shoes to understand where he is coming from, but I also think it's tough for someone who had never experienced CSA to ever really understand the trauma fully.


Unfortunately I am not in a very good position at all. I pretty much left my life in another country - senior management position, friends, family, sold my belongings, everything.......to be with my fiance here in the States. We had been doing the long distance thing for a couple of years back and forth and decided it was time for one of us to relocate. We decided it would be me who would make the move, and here we are......I flew out in March this year. The original plan was for us to get married after 3 months, then I would start working here too, etc.

I was here for only 1 month, when I found the evidence of his acting out and confronted him. It was such a shock; I was in a state. I booked myself into a hotel room and had tickets booked to fly back home. After a weekend of crying, his admission of CSA, and his attempts at trying to explain what I had found, admission of his depression, his previous sexuality confusion, etc....I just felt that I couldnt walk away from him. Marriage is not supposed to be something you walk away from over one bad thing that happens...he said he never met up with the TS's or escorts, and even though I wasnt sure what to believe at the time, I decided to stay and work things out.But I did want to postpone our wedding indefinitely, so we could try figure this out first.

That was 8 months ago. I think I was naive back when I decided to stay to work things out. I had no idea what we were in for as a couple. I honestly believed we would find a T, and once he/we started treatment, things could kind of "go back to normal". I was wrong. I There has been a lot that has happened since then. It hasn't been ALL bad, dont get me wrong. If we didn't love each other and still have hope for our future together, we wouldn't still be together.

Thing is, we have a lot of dynamics in our relationship that have caused immense pressure, over and above the CSA. Since we decided to postpone our wedding indefinitely, we didn't have a backup plan for this when I decided to move out here. I came out on a Travel VISA, which is now expired.......so technically, I am now here illegally. I cannot work....not even open up my own company (which was the initial plan) because of work permit issues. We both relocated across the States 7 months ago, since he got a new job offer out here. So neither of us know anyone here, we are new to Town, and we live in a very isolated area. I cannot drive anywhere since I cant apply for a US drivers license until I am a resident, I cant open a bank account...my hands are pretty much tied. I have always been extremely independent and proud of being able to support myself, so for me to be dependent on him now, under the circumstances that we find ourselves in as a couple....is excruciating for me.

I am at home during the day, so am finding it really hard to put myself in places where I can meet people to socialise with. I have recently had neighbors move in that speak English and have made friends with them, which helps me greatly.

Some days I am strong, a lot of days I struggle. I do feel very alone, my friends and family back home are hours ahead of us, so when I wake up, they are typically winding down for the night. Not easy to have immediate contact when I want or need to talk to someone.

So...ultimately, if I decide to end this...it means me getting on a plane and going back home. It just seems like such a waste, an admittance of defeat. 90% of the time I am ready to fight for us, ready to face whatever we need to as a couple so we can experience the joys that a happy life has to offer us....but 10% of the time I feel like I am the only one willing and ready. I cant do this by myself though.

I wish there was a magic wand I could wave to take away all his pain and all his bad experiences. Even more so, I wish there was a big stick that I could knock him on the head with so he would start finding help!!! (Just kidding,...well, maybe:-)

I am really glad I found MS. You are helping me focus on the things that are most important.

I know we all have our baggage and pain to work though, every one of us are here for that reason...so I thank you all for reaching back to me and being unselfish.

Maybe I can start helping others too





Edited by SeekingStrength (12/13/10 03:48 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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#347383 - 12/07/10 12:21 PM Re: New on MS - Reaching out to partners of Survivors [Re: SeekingStrength]
SeekingStrength Offline


Registered: 11/18/10
Posts: 16
I forgot to mention...things came to a head in October...he had a work function where he promised me he would not go overboard and gt drunk, nor would he be out all night.....and he ended up doing exactly that....talking to me like crap in front of his colleagues when I called him to find out where he was..putting the phone down on me, getting home drunk and proceeding to insult me for an hour in a drunken state until he fell asleep on the couch...

I gave up that night. I had him book me a ticket back to my country 2 days later....got in touch with everyone back home to help me make plans to get my life back on track, I was going to move in with my brother until I found a job again and had my own place to stay.

I flew all the way to New York and ended up blaming myself for everything that happened during the flight. I started thinking it was me that was not tolerant enough, that I had expected too much too soon from him while he was looking for help, that I have anger issues and I caused most of the fights because I dont trust him...and I took it all upon myself. I had a total change of mind and felt like we were making the worst mistake of our lives. I spent the night in New York on the phone with him, I made all sorts of new commitments, told him why I blamed myself for everything, told him I was wrong to not trust him, that I had maybe placed too much emphasis on the CSA as being a cause for a lot of our fights...etc etc etc.

I flew back (Im sure by now both our families think we are incredibly crazy and dont think things through, but they have no idea what we are going through, he doesnt want to tell anyone the truth).....and within ONE WEEK...we were back to where we are.

Anyway...now you have it all:-)



Edited by SeekingStrength (12/13/10 03:45 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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#347385 - 12/07/10 12:30 PM Re: New on MS - Reaching out to partners of Survivors [Re: SeekingStrength]
DesertRose Offline


Registered: 12/01/10
Posts: 5
Loc: UK
Hi SeekingStrength,

...I just really wanted to say 'Hang in there'.
What you are going through sounds very tough.

I am new here too smile I have suffred csa myself and have recently found that my partner of 8 years has been unfaithful and suffers with PTSD and has also suffered as a result of male csa. These recent revelations resulted in a miscrriage. We have both suffered tremendously.

But, i am convinced that there is a way through this darkness. When there is nothing there is still hope. I think that having a good therapist will be crucial to recovery. We are both attending weekly individual therapy and it has helped enormously. I think the more you are willing to give of yourself to the therapeutic relationship the more you will gain. It seems that your partner is still (at least) partly in denial re: the ongoing effects of csa. I acknowledge this is probably one of the biggest, and most difficult, steps because it makes everything you want desperately to not be true into reality. Then you are forced to face it. And that is extremely painful. With the miscarriage this step was sort of taking out of my partners hand.
Although I have worked through my own csa issues. My partners issues have raised lots of new concerns for me. I wonder whether you might find it useful to see a therapist on your own.

I know, being a partner of someone who has suffered the effects of male csa, that you also have needs that sometimes will become overshadowed by his issues. For me, I have had to acknowledge the loss of a potential child and the loss of what i thought would be our future. I think you may really benefit from getting support for yourself even if he is still reluctant to.

I hope you are able to find some peace. I have only been on MS for one week but it is really helping me, especially when i get a bit down after being surrounded by millions of cheery people in festive-mode!

smile

_________________________
'One word frees us of all the weight and pain of life: That word is love' - Sophocles

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#347386 - 12/07/10 12:55 PM Re: New on MS - Reaching out to partners of Survivors [Re: DesertRose]
DesertRose Offline


Registered: 12/01/10
Posts: 5
Loc: UK
...HI, again smile

Just read the extra part you wrote about what happened in october. I really feel for you (((hugs)))

I think it's really important (for you) that you set a few very definite boundaries that are not going to be compromised by either one of you. I think you need to try and be a little more assertive because these types of episodes could be really damaging to you in the long-term. So you need to show him that you are willing to protect yourself from that by not allowing it to happen. This should also show him a good example of someone not willing to compromise themselves and showing a sense of selfworth. Show him that there is a difference between healthy and unhealthy sacrifice.

I did this with my partner (almost 2 weeks ago) and once he was able to take on board that the boundaries didn't equal rejection or that it didn't mean i was walking away the effects have been massive. Although it is still very early days so i am very cautious.

Best wishes X

(p.s. i am not a qualified therapist or anything like that but it is sensible to try and build some truly solid foundations for your relationship if you both really want to aim longterm. You are otherwise using alot of energy and emotion to build your castle on quicksand...and the repeated disappointments eventually get too much for anybody to bear.)

_________________________
'One word frees us of all the weight and pain of life: That word is love' - Sophocles

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#347464 - 12/08/10 10:55 AM Re: New on MS - Reaching out to partners of Survivors [Re: DesertRose]
InsideTheWall Offline


Registered: 01/10/09
Posts: 280
@SeekingStrength

Wow, what a tough place to be in. I had no idea your status was so troublesome. Frankly, this whole situation is making me mad. You gave up everything to be with him, your family, a nice job, friends, and possessions, and he didn't even have the common decency to tell you about his CSA when you were just months away from getting married! Thats outrageous, and you had every right to fly back to South Africa and end the relationship over that.

While I can respect your dedication to the idea of marriage, he had an obligation to let you know about his CSA before the relationship progressed to this point. You probably only found out at all because he was caught acting out. He kept you in the dark about a very important part of him, and thats just not how a healthy marriage works. He should have been the one making commitments that night in NY, not you. You gambled very heavily on this man and it blew up in your face. I'm so sorry.

Your immigration status is seriously compounding the problem, as it keeps you from establishing the independence from him thats needed. It makes it impossible for you to get any leverage, which leaves him free to basically treat you however he likes. I'm sorry to say it SeekingStrength, but this is really playing into my early fears of a possibly abusive relationship. Your immigration status is an abusers dream because its so extremely isolating for you. On on top of that, you seem be living in semi-rural area with very few people around.

There's a certain kind of cognitive bias I think you should be aware of called an escalating commitment. It basically means someone has committed so many resources to a project that they refuse to cut their losses and move on, and continue blinding themselves that things will work out. I'm not saying you've fallen into that bias, but there's definitely potential from the situation you describe. I'm really afraid this could go from bad to worse.


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#347565 - 12/08/10 08:39 PM Re: New on MS - Reaching out to partners of Survivors [Re: InsideTheWall]
SeekingStrength Offline


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

Thanks very much for the hug - needed it yesterday! I appreciate your advice, and I agree wholeheartedly with you. We have both been setting boundaries over the past few months, but when the emotions are high, we tend to break them - both of us, not just him. If you dont mind me asking - what kind of boundaries did you set with your partner? I hope it goes well for the both of you too.

InsideTheWall,

Thanks for your concern, but before I carry on, maybe I should backtrack a little. I dont want to give you the wrong impression about my partner at all, and I think I may have. It's impossible to give a full picture of our circumstances in an online forum - there are too many nuances and details, and a lot of personal information which I dont want to compromise.

He is not going to abuse me, although I will say he does have anger issues. My personal opinion is that he avoids conflict in general because he is fully aware of how the anger in him flares as an overreaction to things. When he does show anger, I normally do feel its an overreaction. At the same time, I am not innocent myself. I have also overreacted at things and allowed my emotions and fears to dominate at times, especially after I found out about the acting out. I have not always handled things with finesse or understanding. I have been a total monster at times - freaking out over things, then withdrawing too.

Yes, he should have ALSO been making commitments.....not just me. Yes, I also feel he should have disclosed the CSA to me before I left my country...or at the very least....disclose some of the challenges we needed to face as a couple due to the affects of CSA (his depression, financial issues, etc). Yet, if it were me, I think I may also have a fear of letting someone know about me.. I mean we all know the difference between right and wrong, but that doesnt mean we do it.

I totally understand where you are coming from though - and I get your point. I have spent months agonising over the same issues you have raised, and ended up getting depressed myself.

I am actually in a city, its just that the specific area I live in doesnt have many people living near me that I can interact with - its more like an enclosed "mini suburb" - people are just not around during the day for me to interact with. I have had 2 neighbors move in right next door though who are home during the day, so have been spending a lot more time with them...which is great.

You have amazing insight, Ill give you that! Im surprised at just how quickly you have grasped all the different angles of this situation without me even having to explain! Yes, I am aware of escalating commitment bias....and yes......this has been one of my own demons that I am struggling with. I try not to let it affect my judgement, but ..Im only human!

At the end of the day....I know if I had to give up and make the decision to go back to my home country.....I have everything I need there to start again. I have friends, my family, my culture, a few things in storage..and it shouldnt be too difficult to get a new job again.

I just cant wait too long........

Thanks so much for all your support, everyone.

The GOOD NEWS....my fiance finally got in touch with a few therapists yesterday evening to interview them. He really like the one chap, but the T said he is currently not taking any new clients - too full. He has referred my fiance to someone else he highly recommends....things are looking up.

I will keep you posted - take care everyone, and thanks



Edited by SeekingStrength (12/13/10 03:44 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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#348703 - 12/21/10 07:42 AM Re: New on MS - Reaching out to partners of Survivors [Re: SeekingStrength]
misscrespo Offline


Registered: 12/15/10
Posts: 45
Hello,

First of all, I am not an expert by far. I am just writing this, as the partner of a survivor myself.

I have been reading your posts, and Iím sorry to hear about your problems.My circumstances are very different but from what I gather, I have been through similar situations with my partner.

I am glad to hear he finally went to a therapist. I have been with my boyfriend for 5 years now and it is only in the last year that he decided to go to therapy. I honestly, to this date, have no idea what made him want to go then, and not before (I had been telling him he needed it for a while already) I think he just needed to be ready for the hard work. He had been to therapy before, but he said it did nothing for him; he felt like the therapist was a bit judgemental (I donít really know if this was true, or his perception of him was that)
We are now, going to therapy together as well as him going on his own, and he is in the waiting list for group therapyÖ, which I am a bit nervous about.

My partner also used to be very angry. We had horrible fights. I think the situation was similar. He is aware of his anger issues so he tried to avoid any confrontation at all times, but once he was angry (and it could have been for something as silly as not finding the keys) he would explode in a gigantic ball of fury. He would scream at me and insult me and break things around the flat. Thank goodness all that has changed now. The therapist has been trying to teach him that it is ok to get angry and annoyed at the little things that could bother anyone, what is not acceptable is holding the anger in and then realising it with someone who doesnít deserve it. He needs to learn to control in a healthy way.

I believe my partner has an alcohol issue, but I am not sure. I donít think he is an alcoholic, because he doesnít get drunk very often, but he does drink everyday. He doesnít drink much, just a pint or two or one double whisky and coke. He says he needs that to relax after work (he surely has a very high pressured job, so I can more or less understand it) His therapist told him that it is best to lay off the booze for a while though, but he hasnít done it. So Iím not sure what to make of itÖHow is your partner with regards to the alcohol doing?

Also you mentioned he said he felt like he was in a cycle: depression, drinking, and acting out. My boyfriend has never acted out (or at least as far as I am aware of, but I think I would have known by now, if it had happened) but he also said he felt trapped in a cycle. He gets really depressed, and then he picks himself up, and gets on with life only to get depressed again. The only way this cycle has been broken is with therapy and medication for his depression.

I believe you mentioned you thought you were going bananas at some point? I think this is ďnormalĒ I have felt like that in the past too. Sometimes I still do. I also wondered if I was just being stubborn for keep going at the relationship, try after try. I also stopped looking after myself and my health a bit and became a bit depressed (though I have struggled with this in the past too.)
I also went through a phase where I thought I had to think everything I was about to say twice because I didnít want to upset him or make him feel like I was controlling or anything like that (he used to accuse me of this all the time.) But it got to a point in the relationship, where I felt like if I was to have to watch out all the time, in case I upset him, then it is not much of a relationship. In the end I was honest with him all the time, and he has been thankful to me for showing him when I truly feel angry or upset for something he has done. He said he wanted to change and the only way to change his thought pattern was to really know what I thought (does this make any sense?)

I am not sure if I should get into the whole subject of him telling you about his past abuse, because I can imagine you must have been shattered by all this so close to the wedding. I canít even begin to imagine what you must have gone through. I was lucky (if thatís the right word?) that my partner disclosed his past to me within few months in the relationship. What I will say is that you should never feel bad if he doesnít want to share something with you. I really think sometimes they donít want to tell us (their partners, that is) for fear of rejection, or that we may change our minds about them. So just have the patience of a saint and accept that he might not want to tell you everything. I have been with my partner for a while now, and I am still finding things out, sometimes I wonder if Iíll ever know of all the things that happened to him back then.

I guess what I am trying to say is that I believe you can only have a better relationship, once he understands his behaviour isnít healthy and decides to go to therapy. It seems he has finally come to this conclusion, so that is great news for both of you.
I will say though, that the therapy seems to me, is only the start of a long journey of the healing process. It can be a bit of rough journey but it is so worth it. I wouldnít change it for the world. My partner and I are a much stronger couple than we ever were before. Of course we have still many ups and downs, but every relationship has them. The important thing, in my opinion, is, love, patience, and then some more love and patience.

Sorry for the long message, I hope I helped a little, thatís all!

Take care


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#349141 - 12/27/10 05:30 PM Re: New on MS - Reaching out to partners of Survivors [Re: misscrespo]
SeekingStrength Offline


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

Firstly, Merry Belated Xmas, to you, and everyone on MS. I trust you had a peaceful holiday. Thank you for your comments and for sharing your thoughts.

I am sorry to hear that your partner and you are/have also had some challenging times, but I'm glad you have both found helpful T's and the MS board.

My partner went to his first therapy session last week, and he felt very comfortable with the T, so I'm relieved. Its still early days, so Im holding thumbs that he continues to feel this particular T is approachable and kind.

Im looking for my own T at the moment too, hoping to find one that is covered by our Medical Insurance.

Why are you concerned about the Group therapy that your partner is going to attend? How does he feel about it? I must admit that the therapeutic process is one I am not yet familiar with, so I cant really comment on it.

Im glad that your partner seems to have found healthier ways to express his anger. I can only imagine that the anger we as partners are witness to, comes from years and years of pent up anger, confusion, frustration, keeping a "secret"...One of the things I am committing to personally, is not to take my partners' reactions so personally, while he is learning too express himself more openly and honestly (instead of keeping things to himself.)I guess I need to be a little thick skinned in the coming weeks/months, and to not allow things to get to me the way they have been. I have to learn what is OK to stress about, and what to just "let go".

It doesn't sound like your partner has issues with alcohol, although I am no expert on the subject. I suppose for me, its not about how much alcohol or how often a person drinks, its about how alcohol makes that person behave. With my partner, he finds it difficult to just stop at one or two drinks. He doesnt drink often, but when he does, he overdoes it. He doesn't get aggressive every time he drinks, but the few times he has gotten angry and aggressive, it got ugly. I dont know if that means he is an alcoholic, but we agree its something we need to watch out for. We have reached a compromise. I wont ask him not to drink, if we do go out and watch football etc....but he will drink at MY pace. One for one!:-) He orders a soda with his alcoholic beverage, and so far, its worked pretty well for both of us.

I think most therapists recommend their patients lay off alcohol, drugs, sometimes even sex, etc, at least as they initially go into therapy. I dont know for sure though if its OK for someone to continue drinking tho - ANYONE ELSE THAT CAN OFFER AN OPINION ON THIS? Thanks!

Thank you for saying you also feel like you are going banana's sometimes! LOL! I was struggling to find anyone I could relate to on MS initially, from a partner-of-a-survivors' perspective..that had experienced something similar to what my partner and I are/were going through.
It definitely sounds as if your partner and you have made some solid progress together - that's fantastic, for both of you.

You mentioned "My partner and I are a much stronger couple than we ever were before."......That is what my fiance and I have decided to focus on together - we both want to grow and learn from this, and become a much stronger, closer, better couple.

Thank you for showing that this is possible - the dark days are starting to become fewer, and further between, so I am more positive than I have been in ages.

Thanks you for sharing once again! *hugs*

_________________________
"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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#349759 - 01/04/11 01:19 PM Re: New on MS - Reaching out to partners of Survivors [Re: SeekingStrength]
DesertRose Offline


Registered: 12/01/10
Posts: 5
Loc: UK
Hi,

I have had some experience of alcohol and csa that i can share. Over the last 2 years my partner had been steadily drinking more and more. Initially i was very concerned about alcoholism.

Now, that we have both acknowledged the csa things have changed. As soon as my partner started to acknowledge there was a csa problem he stopped drinking. And since that day (4 months ago) he has only had 3 or 4 drinks only.
Talking to my partner, what i understand is that he was drinking more and more to try and forget the memories/effects of the csa because he was not ready to acknowledge what had happened to him. He said it made him 'numb' and it made things less painful. He needed more and more alcohol to get the same level of 'numbness'. Also a very big part for him is the csa has caused him to feel alot of shame/blame and in particular self-hate and he said that part of him knew what he was doing but he carried on because he wanted to destroy himself.
Now that things are more in the open he is starting to see that the csa was not his fault, so the shame is not his...hopefully this will, in time and with regular T sessions, take away the self hatred feelings.

I don't believe he is alcoholic or has ever been. I now see the drinking like a cry for help.

On a positive note...my partner was with T help able to identify the feelings above and stop drinking. Once the csa is unmasked and addressed the problems with alcohol will be much easier to deal with.

Best wishes to all X

_________________________
'One word frees us of all the weight and pain of life: That word is love' - Sophocles

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