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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: 279
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: 279
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: 279
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: 795
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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#346130 - 11/24/10 08:45 AM Re: New on MS - Reaching out to partners of Survivors [Re: lostcowboy]
Mountainous Buck Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/15/09
Posts: 1626
Loc: Minnesota
I was the kind of man your SO is-my wife trusted her gut and confronted me and i stopped lying that day-8 1/2 years ago-I had spent years acting out and several years early Inour relationship NOT acting out also. I was trapped seeking sexual relief in ways that mirrored my abuse:'anonymous one night hook ups with other men that made me feel in control on the hunt and powerful. No amount of success in career, family ,'money made a difference to my fundamental issues.

I was also in AA but dishonest isolated and trusted no one. I joined a sex addiction twelve step program and followed their experience and program-instead of just being a spectator.



My wife and I separated. Given my infidelity and putting her at risk-the relationship as it existed was over. I didn't need her support-I needed her anger and honesty. Her wish for me was that I pursue recovery like my life depended on it-cuz without recovery and hring for my stuff, I was not suitable for any relationship.

I got help. I got honest. I stopped pursuing sex so I could sort out my life and sexuality. After I got so time sober and clean and had men in my life to support me, we began therapy and were willing to work on things.

If your SO is not willing to change-walk away and create a life where you have a chance for joy and happiness. I am grateful my wife confronted me and knew how to get support from her groups and friends and practice a healthy appproach to her painful situation. The principles of Al-Anon 12 step groups are the best IMHO to deal with family who are lost in acting out their pain and abuse.

There is hope-but only on the path of truth and honesty. Keep reaching out for answers and plain old support-you have good intuition from my view reading your posts-trust it and don't be afraid to ask for what you truly need. Avoid controlling and investigating unless you check it out with someone first who has been there.

Feel free to read my posts under my profile for more of my story. Tell your SO that there is help out there-IF he asks for it and takes action.



Edited by Mountainous Buck (11/24/10 08:49 AM)
_________________________
We have to take responsibility for what we're not responsible for.

ďIt doesn't matter where you've come from,
It matters where you go" Frank Turner

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#346131 - 11/24/10 08:52 AM Re: New on MS - Reaching out to partners of Survivors [Re: Mountainous Buck]
Mountainous Buck Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/15/09
Posts: 1626
Loc: Minnesota
Just so you know-we did get back together and she's worked on her pain and abuse issues too-I don't isolate or shut down anymore as a regular event. She used to laugh that aliens replaced the man she used to know with the new me-that is the vision I hold for mysf on my road.

_________________________
We have to take responsibility for what we're not responsible for.

ďIt doesn't matter where you've come from,
It matters where you go" Frank Turner

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#346338 - 11/27/10 08:36 AM Re: New on MS - Reaching out to partners of Survivors [Re: lostcowboy]
SeekingStrength Offline


Registered: 11/18/10
Posts: 16
Hi all, thanks for the replies. I will reply ASAP. My fiancť and I are spending Thanksgiving with his family so Ill get back to everyone early next week. Thank you for your support!

_________________________
"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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#346670 - 11/30/10 12:59 PM Re: New on MS - Reaching out to partners of Survivors [Re: lostcowboy]
SeekingStrength Offline


Registered: 11/18/10
Posts: 16
Dear Wardpoet,

Thank you for your insight. I think it's so important to understand that this is neither my fault or his fault - this is the perp's fault. I think that is a healthy way of looking at it. Another thing you mentioned was that you found it hard to disagree without too much emotion. Can you tell me a little more about that, if you dont mind? How about people disagreeing with you? How did you react to that?


Hi Lostcowboy,

Thank you too, for sharing your thoughts. I did read the post that you suggested, and it did shed a little light, although it also lead me to start wondering things that I dont have answers to...I want to believe my fiance has been honest with me about whats been going on during our relationship, and if he has been with other people during that time or not. At the same time that I am researching and learning, a lot of what I am reading creates fear in me that maybe he hasn't been honest about the extent of his acting out and his ability to "control it" in future. I will certainly look up more info on the book you recommended, thank you. I think I need to slow things down a bit for myself; first try make peace with what I already do understand, then see if I still the same questions I do now.

Hi InsidetheWall,

Thank you for your insight and for your understanding. It really helps me put things into perspective.

In answer to your questions - I think he has the ability to get physical, if things continue to escalate the way they are. I know that we have had undue pressure as a couple even without the events that led to me finding the emails.

I know if he had to read your post about me being more assertive, he would laugh! In my opinion, and in his, I am pretty assertive. I think that is one of his issues with me though - he sees my attempts at assertiveness over what I expect, as a means to "control" him. He refuses to be given "rules" or ultimatums - even if he knows deep down it is only to help him and its the right thing to do.


Anyway, the conversation lead to me asking about his search for a therapist, and he has committed to having one by this Friday..lets see. I guess I am at the point that I am only prepared to go down this long road with him, IF he reaches out to find someone/people that can assist him on his journey. Its been 8 months now, and nothing is changing, we are just going in the same circles, and I'm getting more and more convinced I may not be strong enough to deal with everything anymore.

I also mentioned I want us to look at software that would prevent him from going onto the sites he trolled to find escorts, at least until he is more enlightened about why he acts out, and what it means.

He lost it. He said no - he will not be controlled that way. We ended up getting back into the same old stupid argument. He says there is nothing to hide. I said great, then he doesnt have anything to worry about, but this is for my peace of mind -0 and if he has nothing to hide, then he doesnt need to freak out about it. He refused.

I pretty much told him that if he doesnt want to accept that boundary from me, his fiance, under the circumstances we are in, then he is not ready to be in this relationship, and I will dump him. I told him its not for me to check every day, I just want to know he wont be able to go onto those sites anymore. He was initially angry and said "fine, then dump me, Im not going to be controlled".

I explained it to him the way you did to me...and he then agreed. It was a bitter victory - I don't feel good about it at all. I dont want to be controlling but I guess that is the way he sees me anyway.

Well, he is great with computers, so probably will find a way to get around any installed software....I dont even know if I see the point to be honest. He has this thing about being "controlled". Surely if I insist we install this software, it's just going to lead to him rebelling against it??

I guess I just dont know what the right thing to do is anymore. I just want him to start seeing how the CSA is affecting the way he filters things, and interprets things. I guess the way he is, is because of survival techniques he learned to get through it all. It must be tough to shed the things that have served you throughout your life, when they no longer serve you.

Half of me wants to be the one to tell him what my insight on all this is, but I also know its not my place to shine the light for him. I am too close to this situation to give an opinion that's construed as neutral. Its also possible I actually dont have the right understanding anyway!:-)


He probably isnt going to go back to AA since their principles are very religious, and he just isnt comfortable with that. I will send him the link to SIA, thanks.

Thanks for your wisdom - it definitely helps mature my perception of our circumstances. I feel better than last week already! Sometimes when things seem beyond hope, it helps just to think "I dont need to do anything about this today. Live with this just one more day/week, then see how I feel about it then"

~Nothing stays the same forever - change is the only constant~





Edited by SeekingStrength (12/13/10 03:39 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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#346675 - 11/30/10 01:11 PM Re: New on MS - Reaching out to partners of Survivors [Re: SeekingStrength]
SeekingStrength Offline


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

Oops, dont know how, but I missed your post until now.

Thank you very much for sharing. Thank you for saying I should trust my intuition. I'm sure other partners of survivors will agree when I say that sometimes we start thinking we are crazy, maybe imagining some of the things we notice.

When you say you didnt need her understanding, you needed her anger and honesty...can you explain that in more detail for me please?

I guess I will share my biggest fear with you. I am afraid my fiance is still hiding a huge part of himself from me, because he is ashamed of his "urges", or acting out. I am worried he has not been honest about meeting up with other men/TS's, and that I am going to be put at risk by this, physically and emotionally.

Even since my confrontation 6 months ago, he continues to be secretive, and lies about things if he feels it may lead to a confrontation. He is always saying he is being more open and honest, yet I keep finding out (when his stories keep changing) that he is lying. About ridiculous things that dont even matter!

Anyway, I am going to an OB-GYN on Thursday for a check-up, and going to ask for STD tests too. Even more than "what is the truth" is that I am not putting my own health at risk. I know it sounds crazy that I feel the need to do this, while I am with someone I love and should trust.....I guess I dont want to put my own life at risk.

Dont know why I feel so guilty though.....

_________________________
"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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#346677 - 11/30/10 01:45 PM Re: New on MS - Reaching out to partners of Survivors [Re: SeekingStrength]
Sobernow Offline


Registered: 05/17/10
Posts: 256
Loc: Oklahoma
It would be good for him to get STD testing also.

In my case --- the teenagers on the sofa together would trigger strong emotions also ---- "normal" for me.

Perhaps there might be a way to get him into some type of 12-step recovery group -- for sexual addictions.

The internet filtering is actually a good idea for everyone in the household. safeeyes bsafe covenanteyes

You might want to go to counseling also.

These are all things I have done myself -- along with my wife.


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#346699 - 11/30/10 07:51 PM Re: New on MS - Reaching out to partners of Survivors [Re: SeekingStrength]
InsideTheWall Offline


Registered: 01/10/09
Posts: 279
Originally Posted By: SeekingStrength


Hi InsidetheWall,

Thank you for your insight and for your understanding. It really helps me put things into perspective.
Thanks, I think the people on this thread have alot to offer in terms of experience.

Originally Posted By: SeekingStrength
In answer to your questions - I think he has the ability to get physical, if things continue to escalate the way they are. I know that we have had undue pressure as a couple even without the events that led to me finding the emails.

It sounds like you two have a rather volatile relationship. If you he ever hits you, leave and don't go back.

Originally Posted By: SeekingStrength
I know if he had to read your post about me being more assertive, he would laugh! In my opinion, and in his, I am pretty assertive. I think that is one of his issues with me though - he sees my attempts at assertiveness over what I expect, as a means to "control" him. He refuses to be given "rules" or ultimatums - even if he knows deep down it is only to help him and its the right thing to do.
He resents being controlled, and frankly so do I. I think its a side affect of being so horribly controlled before. Still, he needs to learn to cede some control over if you're to be married.

Originally Posted By: SeekingStrength
We had a bit of an incident over Thanksgiving. He has a 14 year old Niece and a 13 year old Nephew. They are obviously very close, teasing each other, hugging now and then, sitting on the same couch in front of the family, etc. He came to me at one stage to say he thinks there is something going on between the two of them, something sexual. I was dubious, but spent the next day paying more attention. I honestly just saw 2 kids being teenagers, nothing sexual between them. He gave me a funny look at one stage, and I looked over to them. The niece was sitting next to the nephew on the couch and had one leg raised and rested on his. They were both watching TV in front of everyone else, relaxed, not looking unusual at all. I mean, she is very affectionate - she does the same things to my fiance too, and its not sexual. Its just a girl being a girl. We ended up getting into a disagreement over what we were seeing, and maybe I shouldnt have mentioned it, but I asked him if its not a possibility that his own CSA may be triggered by seeing kids cuddling etc.
It quite possibly is. I know being around that kind of thing would make me a tad nervous and hyper vigilant.

Originally Posted By: SeekingStrength
He said its possible, but he didnt see that it could affect the way he acts towards them if he is thinking that way. I probably dont understand it enough to know what to make of it.
He may have bought into the myth of victims becoming perpetrators. The majority of victims don't offend, but I can't help but sense a Freudian slip. The fear is much more common than the reality.

Originally Posted By: SeekingStrength
Anyway, the conversation lead to me asking about his search for a therapist, and he has committed to having one by this Friday..lets see.
That we will. Finding a therapist for this sort of thing isn't fast or easy even when he's sincerely looking. How long has he been looking? I take it he wasn't interested in SIA?

Originally Posted By: SeekingStrength
I guess I am at the point that I am only prepared to go down this long road with him, IF he reaches out to find someone/people that can assist him on his journey.
A good therapist is hard to find. Thats why sometimes groups are better.

Originally Posted By: SeekingStrength
Its been 6 months now, and nothing is changing, we are just going in the same circles, and I'm getting more and more convinced I may not be strong enough to deal with everything anymore.
Has he allegedly been seeking treatment of some kind that long?

Originally Posted By: SeekingStrength
I also mentioned I want us to look at software that would prevent him from going onto the sites he trolled to find escorts, at least until he is more enlightened about why he acts out, and what it means.

He lost it. He said no - he will not be controlled that way. We ended up getting back into the same old stupid argument. He says there is nothing to hide. I said great, then he doesnt have anything to worry about, but this is for my peace of mind -0 and if he has nothing to hide, then he doesnt need to freak out about it. He refused.

I pretty much told him that if he doesnt want to accept that boundary from me, his fiance, under the circumstances we are in, then he is not ready to be in this relationship, and I will dump him. I told him its not for me to check every day, I just want to know he wont be able to go onto those sites anymore. He was initially angry and said "fine, then dump me, Im not going to be controlled".

I explained it to him the way you did to me...and he then agreed. It was a bitter victory - I don't feel good about it at all. I dont want to be controlling but I guess that is the way he sees me anyway.
You shouldn't feel good about it, but it was needed. Sometimes his submission, even grudging submission, can be a win for you. If things turn out well over time, he'll eventually find a way to rationalize it. If not, you haven't lost anything anyway by winning this particular argument. Its not exactly a Pyrrhic victory.

Originally Posted By: SeekingStrength
Well, he is an IT developer, so probably will find a way to get around any installed software....
As another IT guy, I can tell you ways to make it harder for him, but they're essentially road bumps. Windows passwords are quite crackable if you know how or can follow instructions on Google. Besides, he can boot directly into Linux from a burned cd. When he restarts the computer and removes the cd, all evidence will be gone.

If he's an IT guy, he likely knows all this. A much more foolproof approach is to deny him physical access to the computer. That he will never find a way to hack around.

Originally Posted By: SeekingStrength
I dont even know if I see the point to be honest. He has this thing about being "controlled". Surely if I insist we install this software, it's just going to lead to him rebelling against it??
Just don't allow him access to the computer. Seriously, he'll get around anything else if he's determined. If you're worried, lock the computer in your trunk and visit here from the library.

Originally Posted By: SeekingStrength
I guess I just dont know what the right thing to do is anymore. I just want him to start seeing how the CSA is affecting the way he filters things, and interprets things. I guess the way he is, is because of survival techniques he learned to get through it all. It must be tough to shed the things that have served you throughout your life, when they no longer serve you.
You're right. Once learned, these lessons are very hard to unlearn and he'll always have remnants of them within him. You have to understand, he was essentially tortured as a child/adolescent and he's always going to be a bit different because of it. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is common in these cases.

Originally Posted By: SeekingStrength
Half of me wants to be the one to tell him what my insight on all this is, but I also know its not my place to shine the light for him. I am too close to this situation to give an opinion that's construed as neutral. Its also possible I actually dont have the right understanding anyway!:-)
You're allowed to shine light, but its best to wait until he asks. If he never asks, thats not good.

Originally Posted By: SeekingStrength
He probably isnt going to go back to AA since their principles are very religious, and he just isnt comfortable with that.
I'm the same way about AA to be honest. A pity really, I hate to be so hard on him. It sounds like he and I might get along in alot of ways. We're both CSA victims, IT guys, and a little skeptical about religion and AA. I was very resistant to getting help for a long time too.

Originally Posted By: SeekingStrength
I will send him the link to SIA, thanks.
He might want to know that SIA is a 12 step thing too, but at least my local chapter I think is a little more flexible on the god stuff. This is specifically addressed within the literature he'll receive at his first meeting, and there will also be many insightful questions included for him. IMO, those questions are worth the trip alone.

Originally Posted By: SeekingStrength
Thanks for your wisdom - it definitely helps mature my perception of our circumstances. I feel better than last week already! Sometimes when things seem beyond hope, it helps just to think "I dont need to do anything about this today. Live with this just one more day/week, then see how I feel about it then"
Just keep going a day at a time, and if it becomes too much, look out for yourself. I'm glad MS has been helpful to you.

Originally Posted By: SeekingStrength
~Nothing stays the same forever - change is the only constant~

I think thats actually a Buddhist teaching. Or maybe Hindu.



Edited by InsideTheWall (11/30/10 11:11 PM)

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#346705 - 11/30/10 10:02 PM Re: New on MS - Reaching out to partners of Survivors [Re: InsideTheWall]
SunnyGirl Offline


Registered: 07/13/10
Posts: 79
SeekingStrength,
To reiterate what InsideTheWall said, finding a good T is hard to do. If you are helping your fiance in his search or if you are searching for your own T, you might try expanding your search from just Ts that are experienced in SA to those that specialize in "trauma" or "PTSD" -- that's how my T explained his experience and he's fantastic. I am a supporter, but found that other Ts I had been to were judgmental (e.g., "the abuse sounds like an excuse") and they were not understanding of SA issues, but this one gets it.

Often times Ts offer a free phone consultation or at least email -- that's a great thing to take them up on. Let your fiance call or email a few and see if he gets a good vibe from them and suggest that he ask plenty of questions.

One thing to ask about is their approach. My T takes a "relationship" approach and is intentionally non-judgmental. He's not there to tell me what to do or tell me "the right answer," but he is there to help guide me and help me set goals and boundaries, while also being empathetic and sharing things about himself that show me that he understands how I'm feeling. I don't know if that approach is common, but it's what works well for me. That might work well for your fiance. Another thing to consider is the T's religious beliefs or his/her experience working with gay clients. I am not implying your fiance is gay. I just bring this up because, if, for example, a T has very conservative views that are not in line with your fiance's, that difference in their beliefs might make it difficult for your fiance to open up and trust a particular T. Another thing to ask about is whether the T allows emails or text messages at any time that additional support is needed. My T provides those "extras" for free and I've found it so helpful if I find myself overwhelmed. Those are a few things I can think of to ask about to see if a particular T is a good match for your fiance.

I hope your fiance does find someone that's helpful to him, but don't be surprised if for some reason he needs to switch to another one. From my own experience and other people's experiences here, it sounds like it's uncommon to find the perfect T on the first try.

SunnyGirl

_________________________
"When one door of happiness closes, another opens, but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one that has been opened for us." - H. Keller

"Change & growth take place when a person has risked himself & dares to become involved w/ experimenting w/ his own life." - H. Otto

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#346813 - 12/01/10 09:46 PM Re: New on MS - Reaching out to partners of Survivors [Re: SeekingStrength]
Mountainous Buck Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/15/09
Posts: 1626
Loc: Minnesota
Hi SeekingStrength:

Funny you should mention "crazy" because that was a theme our first several months when I was finally actively in recovery for my sex addiction: "crazy making"-that meant my input into the relationship didn't make sense, it was crazy, I was crazy because my internal logic was all wound up around acting out and untreated addiction.

"It is what it is" right now. If he is not getting help, he will continue to act in odd ways, and act out, and your gut will be a guide to the truth.

You asked me:

"you needed her anger and honesty...can you explain that in more detail for me please?"

I need to know she was serious about having a healthy relationship and that she communicate her anger, fear, and feelings without shading. This helped me out of the denial that was so powerful in my life.

As for understanding, I knew she loved me regardless, but she could not provide the understanding and support of other men in my 12-step groups who had a more realistic perspective of my issues and were not attached emotionally like my wife was.

Thanks for sharing your biggest fear - know your truth!

It is rational to be afraid and not trust: that is a sane reaction to what has been going on. Trust has to be earned-it took me several months of hard work to get to that point with my wife where she could start to trust me.

From the start, my wife knew I had been unfaithful (i.e. sexual outside our marriage-so when I told her she needed to get tested for STD's that wasn't a huge bombshell from out of the blue, as devastating as that was.

Sobernow had some great advice: get help, get tested, trust your gut: IMHO six months is enough for him to start getting his act together, I'd start pulling back and taking care of myself 100% and see if he shows up for life or continues to hide.

AA is not religious, has he gone to at least six meetings and talked to different people? The people in AA are staying sober, if he wants sobriety, he'll make a stronger attempt.

That's the universal question: "Does he want to stop this behavior enough to work at it like his future depends on it?"

_________________________
We have to take responsibility for what we're not responsible for.

ďIt doesn't matter where you've come from,
It matters where you go" Frank Turner

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#347317 - 12/06/10 04:43 PM Re: New on MS - Reaching out to partners of Survivors [Re: Mountainous Buck]
SeekingStrength Offline


Registered: 11/18/10
Posts: 16
THANKS ALL, for your input! In reply:

Sobernow:

I sent my fiance the link to a 12 step sex addict site as well as a book recommended by someone on here.......no feedback from him to date. I have sent him links to this site too, but I think he feels threatened, because I told him I was a member on the site. I did mention there are threads which are for men only, and he would be assured his privacy...I dont think he is keen:-(

I like the idea of finding myself a T, I am about to pull my hair out from frustration at my fiance still not doing much to seek help, ANY type of help...

InsideTheWall,

Thanks again - I really value your insight and input, more than you know! I mentioned to my fiance that there is someone awesome on MS that I have been chatting to, that may have a few cool things in common with him. He still has not joined, nor checked out the various links I sent him to the 12 step sex addict program, books, other sites...he promised 2 weeks ago to have made an initial appointment with a T by last Friday. He has been promising since my confrontation with him in April this year - its been 8 months and all I get are excuses. I didnt even ask on Friday. He just mentioned to me very quickly in the evening, that he found 2 T's, tried to call...voicemail. I suggested he email, or at least set up a call where he can "interview" them to see if he likes them. He just nods, and the weekend went on.

This is how its been going for months now. I have done everything I can think of, even giving him an ultimatum (which I didnt want to, but after reading everyone's advice on here about him stalling, I did)...and it just doesnt seem to be working.

He is a very intelligent, head strong man...I know him well enough to know that he feels he can "beat this" own his own, without help. He agrees to go for help when things get out of hand between us, but then the cycle of "rationalising" his behavior to himself starts again. He ends up underplaying what happened, and makes it into a non-issue. He has always been aware of his CSA, but I also think he has made it this far in life without help, and having a great job etc, he probably thinks he doesnt need help.

He does notice his overreactions, and admits his acting out with the escorts/other random's online was wrong, and has been wrong. Yet he has obviously spent years soul searching on his own to find answers to his depression, sexuality confusion, thoughts of self hatred, feeling different to everyone. I think he feels he has it under control.....and possibly just because he hasnt acted out since my confrontation with him (7 months ago).

This is just going in circles. He is extremely resistant about talking about this at all, even just me asking how the search for a T is going. He clams up, tries to get out the convo ASAP without committing.

When things are good, he commits but doesn't do anything. When things are bad, or we argue, he tells me its ME that needs help, and that Im crazy for not trusting him, and its me overreacting, not him.

Sometimes I wonder if its true...but I know I am not imagining the fall-out of how CSA is ruining our relationship, especially when he is in denial, and my hands are tied. I know one thing - I cant continue down this path much longer or I will lose my sanity.

As for the laptops, and me refusing him access....we have 2 laptops in the house, he has 2 work laptops at work, and an Iphone. I cannot possibly refuse him access to all. He rarely uses his home laptop, and when he does, I am here. I dont think it would be a regular day that I would need to worry about - its more if we were to have a fight, or he had to go out drinking etc....thats when his acting out cycles apparently have always begun. Its hard for him to do with me around, and Im nearly always around..so ...guess that will do for now.

Dear SunnyGirl and Mountainous Buck

Thanks for your input too. SG, I think you saying he may have a fear of a T taking advantage of him hits the nail on the head. Or at least giving him the wrong advice, or leading him down the wrong road. I know he has had sexuality confusion in the past, and he has mentioned to me he doesnt want a T who wont understand the link with CSA and who tells him "You are actually gay". Its a realistic fear....I have also read about how many uneducated T's there are out there that do so much more damage than good. I just wish my fiance would start SOMEWHERE....anywhere, even if it means he switches a few times, or has to interview a few telephonically first. Yet he is still dragging his feet. Its in his hands now though - I have done all I can for the time being.

MountainessB.....your words brought tears to my eyes. :-( Only because you are right.....


"""Sobernow had some great advice: get help, get tested, trust your gut: IMHO six months is enough for him to start getting his act together, I'd start pulling back and taking care of myself 100% and see if he shows up for life or continues to hide.""""


For me, leaving here not only admits defeat over the affects of CSA on our relationship, but means letting go of our dreams, and going back to my country, and having to start all over from scratch again.


It breaks my heart to think of how happy we used to be, BEFORE I found proof of his acting out. Sometimes I wish I never followed my gut, and looked through his emails. But....I would then also be living in denial along with him.


OK, Im getting sad....going for a little bit. Be back ASAP.

Keep well all, and thanks for all your help. I feel selfish now because Im wallowing in self pity today.....but maybe I just need my moment too.

_________________________
"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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#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: 279
@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: 279
@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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#350532 - 01/12/11 06:43 PM Re: New on MS - Reaching out to partners of Survivors [Re: DesertRose]
Shawushka Offline


Registered: 01/05/11
Posts: 128
Loc: VA
It's so unbelievable how much of my own story I can recognize in this one. And all the time I thought the problem was unique to my partner but I see pattern over pattern.
I've recently gone on a holiday by myself and I'll also do more activities by myself and will visit the few friends I have to get away every now and then.
Personally, I need a break and the time away to recharge my batteries so I can be there for my partner. We are only at the very beginning of the healing process, and every few weeks I think this is it, I'll have to pack my bags and go back home.
But I only found out, after the 3 month period and we had gotten married so that at least I could stay here legally. And as I also have given up everything, on top of having to deal with a partner who denies his csa there is the feeling of being trapped.
I mean, it was hard enough already but now it's more of a nightmare and that's not what I said 'yes' to when we got married.


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#350729 - 01/14/11 01:27 PM Re: New on MS - Reaching out to partners of Survivors [Re: lostcowboy]
iwanttocry Offline


Registered: 01/13/11
Posts: 23
InsidetheWall has some excellent points in his last response. Being a wife of a survivor for 12 years now, I can tell you it is really, really tough. The only way I've been able to stay and support him is because throughout the last 12 years, he has been willing to grow himself a little bit at a time. Before we got married, he did tell me about his CSA and other abusives. It broke my heart but looking back, I don't think I fully understood how deep it affects a survivor. I definitely would have seeked support and help for myself sooner if I had to do it again. I interpreted so many things incorrectly throughout the years and it has affected our marriage. ITW is correct that he has to accept your bounderies as a girlfriend. Sometimes as the "passenger", we feel guilty if we push our feelings infront of the survivors. But from experience, you both need to survivor in your relationship, you can not sacrifice all of you for him. He does need to stand on his own in some ways and realize he needs to seek therapy. I don't feel that a marriage can work if the survivor stays in denial the whole time. Remember, you don't have to be strong enough right not, you just have to find the right support to help you get stronger.


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