Question:

Quote:
I am a female companion of a man who was physically, mentally and sexually abused by his father for years. His mother was there and aware but did nothing. We were high school sweethearts he left the country. 35 years later he came back into my life. He had been married twice has one daughter 2 grandchildren that he adores. He left the west coast to be reunited with me. Once he arrived in our hometown a flood of memories haunted him. Some of his abuse by his father involved me. Do this or I'll tell her.... He basically shut himself off to me. At first we lived together he couldn't or wouldn't talk about the abuse much. We had "sex" not making love about 5 times the first two months after that nothing. We did go to a councilor. He is very depressed, won't work, has shut off family, friends and now we are not together. Now at first for me anyway all this seems crazy like why get into a relationship with so many issues. I do love him and care very much about his well being. I know he loves me and did look for me over the years. My question is how can I help him when he has shut me out? Is it best to leave him and let him find help? which I don't think will happen he has spent a life time running from the pain. He is a strong man, was military and did very well in the service. He is very kind, gentle and loving towards me but at the same time intimately he is very distant. He has now moved into a room at a friendís house, he is having online sex with men. I am trying to learn all I can about the symptoms but I still find myself very confused about how to be supportive of him when he doesn't want help and keeping myself sane. Any advise would be appreciated. Also do you know of any sights that would help with my support?
Thank you


Answer:

My response would be to leave him alone and let him come to his own decision about his recovery. As painful as that sounds and is it is the only solution here that I can see for you both. He is telling you he doesnít want help. It reminds me of people with addictions, even though you can see they need help and they see it as well, it takes the addict themselves to decide that they want treatment.

It isnít crazy to me that you were in relationship with this man. I see the romantic part of what you must be experiencing in that you were high school sweethearts over many years he sought you out and found you. You must remember you were separated because of his unresolved abuse. It seems to me like it is a replay of that same theme now in that the unresolved trauma is rearing its head and you are separated once again by his lack of working on the real issue.

The only thing you can do is what you have already done and that is go to therapy with him and offer him your love and support and help when he is ready. In the meantime I suggest you read some codependency books as I suspect you might have a codependent streak in you that attaches to people who have difficulty taking care of themselves and then their needs supersede yours and that is unhealthy as I am sure you know. I donít know of any sites dedicated to partners of sex abuse survivors however I am sure you can find some on google.

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