Newest Members
Anony_mous, Drew6991x, Miro, jj843, The Abyss
12364 Registered Users
Today's Birthdays
Bear (42), BoyNoMore (56), Daniel_05 (40), James Landrith (44), john kay (41)
Who's Online
5 registered (finallyhere, 4 invisible), 19 Guests and 4 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Forum Stats
12364 Members
74 Forums
63543 Topics
443970 Posts

Max Online: 418 @ 07/02/12 07:29 AM
Twitter
Page 1 of 2 1 2 >
Topic Options
#35143 - 01/14/03 10:45 AM How much do you tell?
al Offline
Member

Registered: 01/08/03
Posts: 143
Loc: canada
How much do you tell your mate about the abuse you have suffered? On a scale of 0 to 100%, about how much do you tell him/her? How comfortable are you in the telling? Do you ever regret having said what you have?

Thanks in advance for any and all input.

Alan

_________________________
Those who dance appear insane to those who cannot hear the music. Mark Kleiman

Kites rise highest against the wind, not with it. Winston Churchill

Top
#35144 - 01/14/03 11:40 AM Re: How much do you tell?
zadok1 Offline
Member

Registered: 11/05/02
Posts: 188
Loc: Ohio
i am anxious to see what everyone thinks. with my wife, she didnt think the details were important. she left it up to me, and i sometimes regret that i havent shared more with her. she knows that i was sexually complusive, and that i had issues with abuse. she said that the actual acts werent all that important, and that she didnt care if i wanted to keep them to myself. i regret leaving it so vague, because i feel like there are still secretes between us. i guess i need to tell her more, but i hate burdening her further. this all gets very confusing sometimes.

_________________________
The world is a dangerous place, not because of those that are evil, but because of those who do nothing about them- Albert Einstein

Top
#35145 - 01/14/03 12:48 PM Re: How much do you tell?
andrew-almost52 Offline
Member

Registered: 10/31/02
Posts: 243
Loc: canada
Hi Al, good question. I think it depends on the mate and your relationship with her/him. Some people will be able to handle the whole truth, details and all. Others are best left with only the barest of essential details. It will also depend on the survivor's comfort zone. How comfortable are you with tell the details? Will being explicit help your recovery? I'm not sure there is any one answer to this question Al. Maybe going with what feels right is the best answer. Peace, Andrew


Top
#35146 - 01/14/03 02:56 PM Re: How much do you tell?
Muldoon Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/30/02
Posts: 1428
Loc: St Paul MN
Al We are all different because our SA was so different. I went along for 20 years with never telling my wife a thing about my SA. That silence almost end my marrage because 10 years ago I was having a major melt down over SA issues and was tring to fix it myself.
My wife hated the person I was and just wanted OUT< OUT < OUT. I was able to burry the SA issue but I never realy did deal with it. Wife and I stayed together for the last 10 years but when the BOSTON stuff started to come out last Jan. it was time to tell.
Al I came to this web site for 4 months before I got the nerve to tell my wife. I told her all the details about the one day Father Ryan abused and tortured me because it anserwed so many ?? about me Like why we couldn,'t have kids and why my right testicle was that of a 11 year old boy. It took me 3 months of work with my T before I was able to tell her about Perp # 2 and then I only gave her the basic details . I still have issues with perp 2 that only my T knows about.
Al I feel that talking about your inner emontion as you go through healing is very imporant. It lets your mate know whats going on within. My mate and I talk every week about my T and how things went. Sometimes the wife will bring things up that she thinks i should talk about at T. Tell your mate just what is imporant and the rest will come out over time. Best of luck on your road to HEALING. Muldoon

_________________________
Teach the Children to Never Hide in the Silence

Top
#35147 - 01/14/03 03:09 PM Re: How much do you tell?
hdan Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/06/03
Posts: 43
Loc: Texas
I agree with Muldoon that each of our situations is different and therefor must be handled differently. But I believe that if one is in a committed relationship with a partner that he/she will have to eventually share some aspects of the abuse in order to heal completely. That partner is part of our emotional life, and in many ways our emotional stability, and the abuse affects the relationship whether we know it or not (as described in the posts above). Be thoughtful of your partner when you choose to tell him/her. Be sensitive about the level of details and take as much time as you need. It may seem painful in the short run but will be well worth it in the long run.

In my case, I was unaware of my abuse until just 4 months ago. The first time I really touched on the abuse with my T I freaked. I acted out sexually but did not initially tell my partner. I decided that I wanted to tell my partner. It was hard, and I deeply hurt my partner. It wasn't until a month later that I began to remember my abuse that provided some understanding for my acting out. I shared this information about my abuse with my partner, and we even began couples sessions to help deal with it and my acting out.

Talking about hard, it was horrible at first telling my partner about the acting out and the abuse. But my parnter understood, and over time, has been able to provide much needed support.

We're all different, but I think the intimacy with our partners will eventually lead us to sharing our abuse with them.

Hdan


Top
#35148 - 01/14/03 03:23 PM Re: How much do you tell?
RJD Offline
Member

Registered: 02/18/01
Posts: 326
Loc: jefferson City, Mo,usa
How much do I need to tell my wife? I need to tell enough so that I don’t still hide proof of how unloveable I am. I think I need to consider how much she can handle at a particular moment in time. I need to consider how much I can handle at aparticular moment in time. I told my wife in a therapists office at his urging, after several attempts at suicide. It was in the days before managed care and I spent 2 months in a hospital psych unit. I remember “ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO’S NEST” came out at that time. One of the characters committed or attempted suicide over his issues with some at least covert incest with his mother. My wife wasn’t getting it. Rape could only happened to women. The mask of normalcy like I had no problems was too much for me to maintain. We were three years into the marriage and we had one daughter, another daughter was now coming. Real intimacy was still very stunted. She was impatient with the years of therapy, and basically wondered when I was going to get over this “thing.” I could feel her tapping her foot and impatiently looking at her watch. It was a very rough time. I ended therapy after seven years. Did two more years in a group with all women survivors. During this time the topic was on the table for women and the devastation was talked about. She was more patient by this time. Several years later the movie,THE BOYS OF ST VINCENT was available on video. As she watched it the tears began to roll off her cheeks. She finally got it. After this point was when I let her read pieces of my journaling. What I would write would oftened frightened and confused her. Because of this I was more apt to only share details with men from my support groups.Thirty three years after our marriage she is still in my corner for the most part. Though she recently told me she could not deal with me expressing my anger toward women in my art work. I guess she means like what dekooning did in his work. I guess the little girl in her is still afraid of men. I don’t know. I resent her limiting what I might say in my artwork. If the dekooning in me came out I guess she would have to deal with it. The struggle is ongoing as you can see.

In this day and age I would urge disclosure before marriage. It offers both a chance to decide wether the relationship is real. The effects of the devastation on intimacy are just too profound to pretend otherwise. Could I do it today if were just now meeting my wife? I do not know. I do know it is really the only way to do it right.

My wife knew who was involved in my family when I told her in the therapists office. She really did not want to know any more. As the identified patient I was the dysfunctional ineffectual male that she had come to expect from men. Her father is an alchoholic. I could hardly function for several years. We were repeating her parents relationship pattern in many ways. I can see here that I ‘m slipping into another story.


Top
#35149 - 01/14/03 04:49 PM Re: How much do you tell?
Wuamei Offline
Member

Registered: 08/19/02
Posts: 2700
Loc: The left turn I should have ta...
Al, as I have remembered different incidences of abuse, who did them & when, I share those with my wife, along with very generally what kind of abuse it was--incest, rape, whatever it was. But no details, and she doesn't ask for or want any.

My wife just wants to know who did "it" & when.
That way she knows the relationships & timing involved, how this shaped me, how it affects things now. Details aren't likely to add anything good or helpful to that.

It's gotten less difficult each time I've had to share another memory. Now hopefully there are no more incidents or details that need sharing. So far I've said nothing I've wished I'd kept to myself, and shared what it seemed we were both ready for at the time--as much as that is possible, of course. We've done a lot of crying together, we've also gotten closer together.

As many have said, what & how much can be shared when depends on the survivor, the SO, and their relationship, as well as the circumstances of the abuse. Whether any of the perps or family members are still around can make a difference to.

Lots of factors. This matter is probably about as individual as we are. But we can learn from each others experiences, and that's good.

Wishing you well, Alan, as you share what you both need at the right time in the way that's best for you. Take care.

Victor

_________________________
"I can't stand pain. It hurts me."
--Daffy Duck

Top
#35150 - 01/14/03 07:54 PM Re: How much do you tell?
Wifey1 Offline
Member

Registered: 12/03/02
Posts: 380
as a wifey and a survivor, for my own point of view the more and more hubby2 shares with me the more I understand. We both shared early in our marriage about being sex abuse survivors, but i was aggressive in seeking T at the time -- I support hubby2 in how ever how much he chooses to share at the time. Only cuz I know its about him for him at the time.
sometimes we trigger the shit out of each other -- but then again we have each other to hold and hug so safely when we need it the most --
I feel very blessed by having his understanding and hope that he feels the deep love I have for him and his little self when he needs me the most.
I can only reiterate the sentiments of others, everyone is a little different, and can only handle what they can handle --
Even tho hubby2 has heard my stories repeatedly and I have heard some of his repeatedly I dont think I will ever mind listening -- if he feels the need to tell again, then I will listen again -- he has done the same for me. I feel like it brings us closer...
but then again we may change again tommorrow we keep that right for ourselves -- shit there is stuff I haveent told this therapist, and may never.. its about giving myself and my hubby2 permission to keep and deal on the level we need at the time.
BTW -- a GREAT question! and have asked myself and hubby2 this in the past before ...
Best of Peace ~ Wifey1


Top
#35151 - 01/14/03 08:22 PM Re: How much do you tell?
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
There is so little my wife does not know, just a few details - mainly the actual sexual content. And that's something I've done to spare her, although I've told her so much she can fill in the blanks I'm sure.
Although she does know that my acting out was giving strangers BJ's - that was a hard discussion for sure!

I kept silent for over 30 years, then told her slowly what I was experiencing at the time, and the detail that went with it to a degree.
As time went on and trust was gained I told more and more.
I've told her my fantasies in detail, my past in most of the detail.
There is no one episode that I have hidden though, and that's important to me.

She's dealt with it all, never questioned my past behaviours and only ever encouraged me to change my new ones.

It was as slow as the process of rebuilding our trust, the two were linked totally.

Dave

_________________________
Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've imagined. As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler.
Henry David Thoreau

Top
#35152 - 01/14/03 08:40 PM Re: How much do you tell?
Wifey1 Offline
Member

Registered: 12/03/02
Posts: 380
hope you dont mind me butting in again here, but i just remembered something i shared with my GF yesterday -- when hubby2 came clean about the sex addiction stuff, the more he has shared with me the less my mind has gone off into those horrible toilet bowl spins of "I wonder"... i always had that sneaking feeling he wasnt telling all of the truth about something (we battled porn argument a long time) after he shared details of stuff -- it calmed ME down. I began to trust him again.
We are still real new at this * Sunday he just got his 60 day chip for sobriety YEHAW HUBBY2! * but when I realized I was actually getting answers no matter how awful the info was, it (the info) was never as bad as what my wild imaagination was doing all on its own.
the info shared gave me something "tangible" to deal with rather than intangible....
Peaceable Hugs ~ Wifey1


Top
#35153 - 01/15/03 03:21 AM Re: How much do you tell?
Stephen_5 Offline
BoD Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 09/12/00
Posts: 667
Loc: Northern California Foothills
Alan,

I told my wife that I was abused on our 28th wedding anniversary after I had been seeing a therapist for 2 months. I had told no one about the abuse for 38 years, no one. I answered her questions, told her as much as she wanted to hear. She was very supportive.

It took a few years before she learned of my other problems; pornography, sexual addiction, acting out. I told her about that in a moment of anger. It almost tore our lives apart. We're still together but it's been a lot of work to rebuild her trust in me. I would like to think that if I had been more forthcoming when I first told her about the abuse and how it had affected my life things would have been different. I was afraid of how she would react and I was ashamed of my behaviours. I understand now why I did the things I had done and she does too to some extent. She knows that I didn't tell her the whole truth right from the start and now she knows why. We're still dealing with it but we're still together and we still love each other.

Steve

_________________________
I want to stay as close to the edge as I can without going over. Out on the edge you see all kinds of things you can't see from the center.
Kurt Vonnegut (1922-2007)

Top
#35154 - 01/15/03 12:31 PM Re: How much do you tell?
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
Wifey 1

Quote:
the info shared gave me something "tangible" to deal with rather than intangible....
Have you been talking to my Wifey ??

Dave ;\)

_________________________
Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've imagined. As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler.
Henry David Thoreau

Top
#35155 - 01/16/03 12:14 PM Re: How much do you tell?
al Offline
Member

Registered: 01/08/03
Posts: 143
Loc: canada
Thanks allot guys for your input, it all helps. It's like you know there are others out there that have been through what you have, but that doesn't give you any insight into their daily, short-term and long-term coping mechanisms and how their spouses affect or are affected by those matters. I'm having a hard time finding words today so you'll have to bear with me \:\(

I feel guilty sucking up all the info here without sharing much of myself. So let me try to explain why I was asking this.

Marc and I have been together two years which to me is an entire lifetime. He has taught me how to live, love and laugh. Before Marc, these things did not exist. Nor did I in any real sense.

Marc knows more about my past than I have ever told him. He can tell by the ways I can't be touched, by the things I don't respond to, how the sound of a slamming door or a churchkey on a bottlecap or even a quick hand movement towards me can send me into an anxious panic attack that can last anywhere from an hour to a day or two. He sees the physical results of dream states, he knows when and how to wake me from the nightmares. He says sometimes I cry in my sleep. He knows how I will panic when the lights go out in a storm if we don't get the lamps lit quickly. I do not know how he knows all this stuff or how he knows what to do. He just does.

He tries to get me to talk, to tell him how I "feel". He tells me to try and let a little of the anger out. The problem is I spent so many years keeping the feelings turned off just so I wouldn't go completely insane. I really don't know how I feel. I just want it all to go away. I'm far from denying that the abuse took place....I would just like a little escape from it somtimes is all. I also have pyschotic episodes so sometimes I can't tell what's real and what's not, whether I'm dreaming or whether I'm awake. I have a notebook beside the bed now but I haven't written anything in it yet....my thoughts aren't always as liquid as words.

I told Marc last night that I feel guilty talking to you guys and not to him. First he laughed (he says I take things too seriously sometimes) then he suggested letting him read these posts which might open up communication between him and me. So fair warning guys, I might be confusing and I might be a pain in the eyes, but holy hell, I'm going to try to talk :rolleyes:

That said, it's time for my nap \:D

Alan

_________________________
Those who dance appear insane to those who cannot hear the music. Mark Kleiman

Kites rise highest against the wind, not with it. Winston Churchill

Top
#35156 - 01/16/03 02:03 PM Re: How much do you tell?
andrew-almost52 Offline
Member

Registered: 10/31/02
Posts: 243
Loc: canada
Dear Al, you are a very fortunate man to have found a guy like Marc. And I suspect he is lucky as well. Great name Marc .... same name & spelling as my son. Salute to you both. Peace, Andrew


Top
#35157 - 01/18/03 03:33 PM Re: How much do you tell?
Mark S Offline
Member

Registered: 08/25/02
Posts: 130
Loc: England
Hi Al.

I was slightly backed into a corner, re telling my partner of my abuse. I'm physically disabled and was abused/raped by a nurse whilst in hospital.

I was having an affair, with my Physio. When I had another (minor) head injury, understandably she wanted and was pushing for me to have a scan etc. Obviously I panicked. I started having flash backs and nightmares which she also found distressing. She wasn't stupid, she was well aware something was wrong. Though hadn't realised the extent of my abuse. I was in total crises and one evening when we were alone I told her.

Over the next few months I told her all but one aspect of my abuse and that wasn't truelly my abuse it was a coping mechanism. I was pleased I told her, I still am. (I honestly don't think I would be here today, had I not had her to guide me through the early stages of my recovery). When we made love she let me dictate what happened and at what pace. I had been so concerned at loosing control during sex and her understanding as to why allowed me to enjoy our relationship. Sadly we have now split up. I still don't regret telling her. I trusted her with my inner secrets then and I still do now. I would do the same again. She was the only person apart from my T who knew the details.

As for friends and family I have over the last two years told them all I was abused. Some I have told more than others but on the whole very few details have become knowledge. I try to answer questions when they arise but they just don't seem to arise. Helen seemed to want to know the details. I think she was aware of the fact I needed to tell someone, (it took a while for me to get into counselling and I was loosing it big time). Also with her working in hospitals I think she wanted to know what to watch out for.

I suppose at the end of the day it all comes down to trust and need to know. Not just trust in the person you are telling but also trust in yourself to judge who to tell.

One other thing. Initially I wanted someone to blame me and tell me I was disgusting. I suppose I felt both, (though now know I was neither). I was so disapointed when everyone accepted me and understood how I was feeling. It also explained a lot about the previous 15 years.

Sorry for rambling. Best of luck. ;\)

Mark


Top
#35158 - 01/19/03 09:59 PM Re: How much do you tell?
hlc Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/11/03
Posts: 2
I'm sorry that this post is so long.
I'm a 20-year-old woman. Over the past year and a half I've become really good friends with this man that I work with. Five months ago we realized that our feelings ran deeper than that. At that time I had moved to New York, so even though we talked for hours every night on the phone, our relationship was never physical.

When I came home for Christmas, even though over the phone he had talked to me about how much he wanted to see me and needed to hold me, the first day that I was there, he got really tense and avoided touching me. He told me he needed to be alone. That I didn't understand, he couldn't be touched, he couldn't be around anyone.

The rest of the visit was good. I would sit next to him on the couch while we watched movies, and once he lay down and put his head in my lap and just had me hold him. And we did consummate our relationship.

But when I went back to New York, he got really distant, and one night he lashed out and told me he didn't care anymore, he wasn't in love with me, and he didn't want to be in a relationship. The next night he was really tender and tried to explain that he was dealing with this "Problem" that he has. He said I couldn't understand it, but that he wasn't well and that was why he couldn't deal with a relationship. That was why he'd been alone for the past three years.

He's 30, and he has never talked to anyone about this. He has never told anyone what the problem is. He said he couldn't tell me. He needed to deal with it alone. He said I couldn't understand what he's gone through and how fucked up his mind is because of this.

From things that he's said before and the way that he reacts to things, I've suspected for a long time that he was sexually abused as a child by his stepfather. He told me that he's been dealing with the Problem since he was seven, which is the same age he was when his stepfather came into his life. He has nightmares about his stepfather. He's told me his stepfather beat him, but he also said he "did things to me" that no one knows about. And one time when we were watching a tv show about a girl who killed her father and got off because he had abused her as a child, he told me that he could kill his stepfather and get away with it because of what he had done to him. He doesn't sleep at night.

When he left home at 17, he was in a string of relationships that were, as he's told me, just about fucking. He told me sometimes he would sleep with four different girls in one day. When I stayed with him at Christmas, he said he felt that I was pressuring him to have sex, but that the relationship was about more than sex to him. It was like he didn't understand that we could make love and still have a relationship that was about more than just "fucking."

He doesn't trust anyone. But he trusted me. He told me that I was his trust and that I couldn't understand how much it meant that he could trust me and relax around me. But now he's pulling away. He's told me he's afraid of becoming his stepfather -he thinks he is like his stepfather. He doesn't see the loving, courageous man that I see. He would often ask me why I was with him, he was just a pile of shit somebody had left by the side of the road. He would ruin my life. When we were talking about sex, he said he was used goods.

I love this man with all of my heart and I want him to be well and to be happy. Is there anything that I can do to help him? He told me yesterday that I can't understand and he doesn't want me to understand. I know that I can never know the pain and the fear that he suffers. I can never know for myself what happened and how that affected him, but I know him. He thinks I love him because I don't know any better, and that if I knew what had happened to him, I wouldn't love and respect him the way I do. But the thing is, I love the man that he is, not in spite of what he's gone through, but because of it.

He let me in; he let me get really close. I don't want him to shut himself away again and keep himself from letting people in because it's painful and because he's afraid of hurting the people he loves. Is there anything that I can do to help him?


Top
#35159 - 01/20/03 04:06 PM Re: How much do you tell?
Mark S Offline
Member

Registered: 08/25/02
Posts: 130
Loc: England
Hi hlc.

Your situation sounds very similar to the one I found myself in re: the post above yours. Helen, my ex was the first person I had trusted with the knowledge of my abuse. Much of what you wrote bought back some sad feelings for me. I was convinced she shouldn't love me, that I didn't deserve this beautifull womans love and when I told her of my abuse I was convinced whe would leave me. When things didn't work out, I was convinced (still am occassionally) that she was ashamed of me for not stopping it. Even though she has told me she is proud of me, I don't believe her.

The only advice I can give you is, give him time, be patient, let him explain things to you when he is ready too, be honest with him, if you are finding his story difficult and you need someone to talk to discuss it with him, (that one can be difficult but it is important to keep yourself safe. You can't be of any help to him if you are coping yourself). Maybe try to encourage him to see a therapist. And most of all hold him when he needs/wants to be held.

I wish you both well. ;\)

Mark


Top
#35160 - 01/20/03 09:23 PM Re: How much do you tell?
hlc Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/11/03
Posts: 2
Mark
Thank you for your advice. What you shared in the previous post reminded me of my friend. You wrote that you were expecting someone to blame you and to be disgusted, and he feels the same way. I know I have to be patient. It's hard though, when all I want to do is to hold him and erase all of his pain. He's such a big, strong man, so in control and formidable, but I feel how afraid he is inside. He's breaking up inside.

Anyhow, it's been very helpful to read everyone's testimonies and to gain more insights on what he's going through. It also gives me hope that he can overcome this, too. I know he can.
Thank you


Top
#35161 - 01/21/03 07:57 PM Re: How much do you tell?
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
hlc

Quote:
It also gives me hope that he can overcome this, too. I know he can.
With support like your's it's going to be a whole lot easier.

Dave \:D

_________________________
Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've imagined. As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler.
Henry David Thoreau

Top
Page 1 of 2 1 2 >


Moderator:  ModTeam, TJ jeff 

I agree that my access and use of the MaleSurvivor discussion forums and chat room is subject to the terms of this Agreement. AND the sole discretion of MaleSurvivor.
I agree that my use of MaleSurvivor resources are AT-WILL, and that my posting privileges may be terminated at any time, and for any reason by MaleSurvivor.