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#353222 - 02/09/11 06:47 PM Angry and need information
NM Offline


Registered: 02/09/11
Posts: 3
I am an ex-wife of an 'survivor' that never could face what happened to him. After 20 years of a no-conncection/little-intimacy marriage- he finally admitted the abuse-- but refused counseling/marriage therapy, etc.
My counselor said there was chance he would choose to keep the secret than face it-- and he did. I am 3 years post divorce and angry. I dont want to keep his secret. No one really understands why we broke up-- (do they care ?) and I dont offer the real reason. My two kids dont know. His family doesnt have a clue.

I feel very alone and angry harboring this tale.


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#353223 - 02/09/11 06:59 PM Re: Angry and need information [Re: NM]
itrahan Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/02/10
Posts: 96
Loc: Louisiana, Gulf Coast
NM, my heart breaks for you...I love my wife but we are in a similar situation, we have seperated twice, have not divorced. It will be our 21st anniversary on the 18th. I hate what this has done to her, I do love her but conversation concerning this issue is nearly impossible. I am guilty of shutting her out & she strikes out of anger & frustration, intimate connection nearly impossible, feel very disconnected. A vicious circle that neither of us elected or bargained for. I wish I had the "quick fix" answer. I am willing to be a sounding board or act as a proxy for your ex if you need to vent. May do me good to get a grip or understand her perspective better. I wish you well.



Edited by itrahan (02/09/11 09:08 PM)

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#353238 - 02/09/11 08:38 PM Re: Angry and need information [Re: itrahan]
SamV Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/13/09
Posts: 5942
Loc: Talladega, Alabama, USA
NM, my heart goes out to you,

It is frustrating for a spouse to finally be told that the reason for the dysfunction in the marriage is because of sexual abuse.
Sexual abuse is a traumatic event in a human's life, a criminal act that is rarely prosecuted, where the victim is forced to relabel his feelings and thoughts, his personality and his behavior in increasingly forceful mental exercises until there is no other choice but to act out and destroy himself and what is good around him.

He is a victim, and now you and your marriage are a victim, of an attack that left you both fearful, ashamed, hurt and powerless.

Until a male abuse victim wants to recover, he is a sufferer of and internalizes the abuse. He deserves it, he wants it, he may be thinking this way. Inside him, NM, he still suffers from daily abuse. Until he wants to be a survivor, he is fragmented, he is alive and dead.
He certainly should have sought counseling, he should have stuck with you in the marriage, he should survive and heal, but he did not.

The divorce happened three years ago, why is this still a source of stress in your life? May I ask? Closure is about accepting that a situation is untenable, impossible to maintain and is no longer able to be sustained. This is close to impossible, NM. I am empathizing with your situation.

If "they" are continuing to bring up the divorce to you, "they" need to find something else in their lives to rescue, not in your backyard.

You may need to find a counselor that can guide you to self affirmation, to self conviction. Finding that we can be our own rescuers and salvation is a good feeling.

It is of interest to me that the things your post is struggling with, failed marriage, secrets, containing feelings of anger, not finding local support, not reaching out, and lonely, is the exact same reasons why men come here to recover.

You are my sister, NM, you supported a fellow sufferer of sexual abuse for 20 years, thank you. You come here for you and your children, that makes you special.

Find you,
Sam

_________________________
MaleSurvivor Moderator Emeritus 2012 - 2014

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#353239 - 02/09/11 08:58 PM Re: Angry and need information [Re: NM]
SunnyGirl Offline


Registered: 07/13/10
Posts: 79
NM,
I can identify with what you are saying. I am the ex of a survivor, too.

It is hard to deal with the aftermath of a breakup and still harboring his secret. The feelings I have for him didn't just disappear and I know I need to grieve the loss of my relationship as long as I need to. It's hard to deal with friends who don't understand and who say useless phrases like, "It wasn't meant to be" or "There has to be someone else for you." Their pat phrases are not helpful to me and provide me no comfort. I am a mixed bag of emotions: sad, lost, angry, hurt, numb.

I've talked to some friends about issues like depression and grieving the loss of a loved one. It was interesting that just venturing into those topics made them feel uncomfortable, causing them to tell me I was getting too deep and heavy for them and they didn't know if they could continue talking about those topics. It reminded me that we all have different barometers. Those of us who deal with problems like CSA and ASA have a different threshold than those who have the luxury of not thinking about it on a daily basis. It is quite possible that whomever you tell may not be able to understand or deal with the truth anyway. How much more misunderstood and alone might you feel if you told someone only to have them brush it off?

My ex chooses to keep his abuse a secret and I should respect that wish. I need outlets to share my anger, pain and hurt, but it is best for me to share them in safe environments where I know I will be understood. As a result, I've come to learn that sharing on MS and going to therapy are the safest and best outlets for me.

Your feelings are very legitimate. Don't hide from them. Keep sharing here and talking to your T.

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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#353240 - 02/09/11 09:17 PM Re: Angry and need information [Re: SamV]
SunnyGirl Offline


Registered: 07/13/10
Posts: 79
I often feel hurt and rejected by others who think it is easy to "move on" after a relationship has ended or think there is a timeline by which one must be done grieving the loss of that relationship. As my T reminds me, there is no timeline by which one should be "healed." If the pure passage of time were a cure to all that ails us, there would not be any need for MS, as all survivors would be magically cured by time. We all know that not to be true. There is nothing wrong with still feeling hurt three years after your husband decided he needed to leave the relationship.

I told my T that I don't think I will ever accept that my ex did the right thing by walking away rather than choosing to lean on me and seek professional help. My T said that is reasonable and that people who think pain goes away with time don't really understand what it means to feel loss. He said that it doesn't go away, it just starts to feel different. I know that to be true, as I lost a parent at a young age. That pain is still with me, but it is different than it was when the loss was fresh. It's not to say that I haven't dealt with that loss, but when it is a genuine loss, a scar always remains. I am not a survivor, but I imagine the same is true for them -- through professional help, a survivor can "heal" but will always carry the scars of the abuse. I think it is the same when a relationship ends because of CSA or ASA. It is hard for someone who has not been left for that reason to know what that feels like, but the loss of a meaningful relationship is not a wound that heals scar-free.

The path toward healing is not straight forward for survivors and neither is the path toward healing for supporters.

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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#353242 - 02/09/11 09:24 PM Re: Angry and need information [Re: SunnyGirl]
hopeandtry Offline


Registered: 07/28/10
Posts: 476
I agree that it is hard to have friends and family judge the situation and you cannot explain to them the "whys." However, it is not our place to disclose the abuse to anyone (trust me...I made that mistake and regret it). I recommend confiding in a good T and to people here on MS. Also, as others have said, it is your right to tell people that there are details about your life that are not their business. Hard to do, I know, which is why MS and therapy are such lifesavers. PM me anytime.

-Hope


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#353577 - 02/13/11 06:57 PM Re: Angry and need information [Re: itrahan]
NM Offline


Registered: 02/09/11
Posts: 3
Thank you for your response. I am truly grateful for the insight and thoughtful replies. I feel very alone most of the time concerning this topic.

I hope you can trust your wife enough to let her in and become a healing partner. I wanted to be that for my ex- but he was too afraid or not trusting enough. If she has stuck with you this long-- she sees something in your worthwhile. Believe in her and trust her. She knows you better than you think. Good Luck, and breaking up doesnt make it better-- divorce is soooo hard.


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#353578 - 02/13/11 07:02 PM Re: Angry and need information [Re: SunnyGirl]
NM Offline


Registered: 02/09/11
Posts: 3
Thank you for replying- it is very comforting to know other people are in this boat. The rejection is huge-- and just knowing it was something I was willing to address and heal, but he wasnt makes it hard to feel the break up was really necessary.

I am still hurt and youre right; its a personal decision when we heal and think we can 'forgive'. Forgiveness isnt in the cards-- and so many people stand up say to forgive-- I just can't now and don't know if I ever will. I contain my anger and dont let it run my life, but its still there. Thank you for opening up and offering empathy. That makes this more tolerable.


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#353582 - 02/13/11 08:26 PM Re: Angry and need information [Re: NM]
Still Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/16/07
Posts: 6374
Loc: 2.5 NATO Nations
His story is not for you to tell anyone...you read me?

If you need illustration, change the genders and roles (female rape). If you want things ended, than be happy with your breach of the marriage vows and call it a day.

My ex decided to tell my entire town and the kids school admins and teachers. That is actually a civilly actionable offence. YOU are just seeking pure-old revenge.

Actually, the title of your post ought not be "Angry and Seeking INformation"...rather, is should be "Angry and Seeking Justification for Revenge."



Edited by Robbie Brown (02/13/11 08:45 PM)
_________________________
Jesus Loves The Hell Outta Me!

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#353583 - 02/13/11 08:46 PM Re: Angry and need information [Re: Still]
RecoveryReady1 Offline


Registered: 12/05/10
Posts: 433
I think Robbie put in the right context.
Would you go spreading it around if your daughter had been raped as a child?
Having said that, I know that I was so angry when I realized that my mother was a survivor of incest....and she always kept the secret...what pissed me off was the fact that she continued to idolize her brother abuser. Her brothers were everything...we her sons were nothing....I was angry and felt I wanted my siblings to know......
I can imagine you have a similar kind of rage having put in 20yrs. but you were an adult....you had a choice weather or not to stay in a a no-conncection/little-intimacy marriage. I think the bigger question is why you would put up with that .....I can only imagine that if you were capable of real intimacy that would have been intolerable. If two people stay in a difficult marriage for 20yrs...you can't just blame one of them.....


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