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#354519 - 02/22/11 10:15 PM New - and need advice
desertmouse Offline


Registered: 02/09/11
Posts: 9
Hello,
First, I want to thank you for this forum and the website! My husband of almost 17 years just told me about 2 weeks ago that he was sexually abused as a teen. It came as a total shock to me, but now that I started reading a little bit about CSA, his past behavior makes sense. As I try to tell myself, it doesn't excuse his behavior but it explains it. I was literally on the verge of leaving him, but now things have changed. Right now I'm at a loss, as to what to do: I'm very angry at the person who did that to him. I'm not sure if "angry" would be the right word, but I'm kind of upset that my husband didn't tell me earlier. I feel like we've been cheated out of 17 years of our marriage that could have been good, but weren't and I/we won't get back. I'm not trying to come across as selfish, I guess I'm just confused as to how to approach this.
Thanks!


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#354520 - 02/22/11 10:32 PM Re: New - and need advice [Re: desertmouse]
timetoheal Offline


Registered: 02/13/11
Posts: 27
Loc: USA
Hello and welcome desertmouse,

I can relate with you. I met my husband 33 years ago and have been married 22 years. He disclosed his CSA about 3 weeks ago. I always knew his upbringing was emotionally abusive and that they are a bunch of weirdos! We don't have anything to do with them. But it is a train wreck for a marriage. Our relationship has been anything but normal. I feel angrier every day at those poor excuse of humans who abused him! All I can say is I understand your pain/anger/confusion/resentment...pretty much every emotion, I have it and feel it and now I am on the Yo-Yo train of emotions, since he has come out of denial about his CSA. I am as supportive as I can be with him, but it has oh so many difficult times and more to come, but the really great thing is he is starting to feel and deal with this devastating issue that has impacted all of our lives so much!

Good luck, and be strong.

timetoheal smile


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#354521 - 02/22/11 10:37 PM Re: New - and need advice [Re: desertmouse]
InsideTheWall Offline


Registered: 01/10/09
Posts: 279
Originally Posted By: desertmouse
Hello,
First, I want to thank you for this forum and the website! My husband of almost 17 years just told me about 2 weeks ago that he was sexually abused as a teen.
He might very well have repressed the memories. I did for many years. If thats the case, he honestly didn't know even if the signs were present in his behavior.

Originally Posted By: desertmouse
It came as a total shock to me, but now that I started reading a little bit about CSA, his past behavior makes sense. As I try to tell myself, it doesn't excuse his behavior but it explains it. I was literally on the verge of leaving him, but now things have changed.

Was he "acting out" with men or whores? That's an almost textbook symptom of the effects of CSA.

Originally Posted By: desertmouse
Right now I'm at a loss, as to what to do: I'm very angry at the person who did that to him. I'm not sure if "angry" would be the right word,
Genocidal maybe? Understandable.

Originally Posted By: desertmouse
but I'm kind of upset that my husband didn't tell me earlier.
Again, its quite possible he didn't know. The memories may only be surfacing now.

Originally Posted By: desertmouse
I feel like we've been cheated out of 17 years of our marriage that could have been good, but weren't and I/we won't get back. I'm not trying to come across as selfish, I guess I'm just confused as to how to approach this.
Thanks!
A good first step would be to bring him to MS.



Edited by InsideTheWall (02/22/11 10:49 PM)

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#354541 - 02/23/11 01:48 AM Re: New - and need advice [Re: InsideTheWall]
Shawushka Offline


Registered: 01/05/11
Posts: 128
Loc: VA
A big hug and welcome here. The forum is indeed great. My partner told me about 3 months ago and I'm still trying to deal with it. I'm seeing a therapist once a week and that's been helpful, to have a place to vent and talk about my feelings.
I could only recommend doing that.

btw. you're not coming across selfish, it's normal that we are affected, too.


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#354547 - 02/23/11 04:28 AM Re: New - and need advice [Re: Shawushka]
worldscentre Offline


Registered: 02/09/11
Posts: 36
Loc: Ireland
Hi,
My bf told me about the abuse early in our relationship so I cant fully relate to your situation. But if he told you maybe thats a step to wanting to heal and not do the things that so nearly made you walk. I'm no expert but coming here and reading posts really helps and I dont feel so alone.
Never feel bad for feeling selfish or angry, its your right but try not to let it consume you. As difficult as it is I suppose you have to decide if you will move forward with him, and try not to mourn the last 17 years. But he needs to move forward too, whether thats T or whatever.
I get so angry with my bf's abuser, for what happened my boyf and for the effect on our relationship and it took me a while to see that its ok to feel like that. As many will say here, you are affected by this as well.
I hope things work out for you, keep checking in.


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#354554 - 02/23/11 08:08 AM Re: New - and need advice [Re: worldscentre]
SunnyGirl Offline


Registered: 07/13/10
Posts: 79
I would recommend that you order several books first (or go to a local library if that's not an option). The more you read, the more you'll understand his behaviors and how to react. I wish I had done this earlier. CSA is about control. Telling him he must get help or he must talk about it or must anything else is going to feel like you're controlling him. His issues affect you, but ultimately, his recovery is up to him and you cannot force it. Several books I would recommend are: Victims No Longer, Beyond Betrayal and Allies in Healing. I do NOT recommend When a Man You Love Was Abused (it has a ton of non-helpful information like the origins of words and other stuff that is distracting and irritating).

I would also reiterate the suggestion to find a therapist for YOU. Regardless of whether he decides to get help for himself, YOU need someone safe and non-judgmental to talk to about what you are feeling. I would recommend finding someone who specializes in trauma, PTSD or abuse. Ask a lot of questions beforehand (the T's philosophy, availability outside of your appointment to call or text, his/her religious beliefs, experience with male survivors, etc). There are plenty of stories here on MS about insensitive therapists who despite their education don't understand the lasting impacts of abuse. You need someone who won't label his sexual abuse as an "excuse" and knows this situation is not going to be resolved easily. It can be overwhelming, but it helps to have someone to talk to about it.

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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#359757 - 04/15/11 10:23 AM Re: New - and need advice [Re: SunnyGirl]
desertmouse Offline


Registered: 02/09/11
Posts: 9
Thank you all so much for your advice and support. It's been a roller coaster alright! We both started to read "Victims no longer", which has been very helpful for me. Especially the part about "control". It makes sense: He didn't have control over what happened to him and now he wants to control every situation and make sure that things go the way he wants them to go, or he falls into the "all-or-nothing" thinking. Case in point: About 3 weeks ago, my windshield was damaged by falling tree bark at work. The tree doesn't belong to my employer, so they're not responsible for it. The property owner says they're not responsible for it, either. To make a long story short: DH is trying to control this situation to the point where he takes out his frustration/feeling of loss of control over this issue on me like yelling at me for forgetting to ask the property owner for their insurance info, being rude and hurtful to me when I try to explain things. Since he told me about CSA, I've had the viewpoint that "his CSA explains a lot but it is no excuse for his behavior toward me." Sometimes it feels like he thinks I'm his enemy, the way he treats me. Sorry for the long post and venting, but I'm very upset right now.


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#359769 - 04/15/11 11:34 AM Re: New - and need advice [Re: desertmouse]
SoniaDx Offline


Registered: 02/18/11
Posts: 21
Welcome Desertmouse,

I'm really glad you found this place. My husband disclosed that he was abused as a teenager to me about 6 weeks ago. We've only been married since December. So while I can't say I can relate 100 percent I do know the feeling of shock and disbelief. It sounds like you're already off to a good start researching abuse and it's side effects. Both of us have been to marriage counseling because of my husbands family issues and emotional abuse and have recently started therapy seperately as well.

It may be helpful for you to speak to a therapist or journal your experiences. You don't want to internalize your feelings and become resentful or stressed out. And above all you have to get to a point where you don't take his behavior personally. It's hard to do. But now that i understand why he's acting this way I feel a lot better.

I've found that Im not always able to identify with certain articles/books about abuse because my husband was older when it happened. He also still has moments of blaming himself because a teenager is "supposed" to self relient. But pain is pain. And even if the stories are different the effects are generally the same. Welcome again


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#361131 - 04/30/11 07:39 PM Re: New - and need advice [Re: SoniaDx]
desertmouse Offline


Registered: 02/09/11
Posts: 9
To everybody that has been dealing with being the wife/girlfriend/partner of a CSA man, I have this dilemma: I've read that I'm not supposed to "push" him about going to a therapist, or talking about it. But I feel like I'm reading more about CSA and being more involved with it than he is. It seems that I'm taking more of an interest in it than he is. Granted, I don't bring it up in discussion with him because, frankly, I don't know how. He told me about 3 months ago, but since then we haven't really talked about it. What am I "allowed" to ask, and how? The "Victim no longer" is a good read, but I don't seem to get much out of it for myself. I just wish he'd open up and talk about it voluntarily - I don't want to be prying.....


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#361153 - 05/01/11 03:20 AM Re: New - and need advice [Re: desertmouse]
Still Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/16/07
Posts: 6361
Loc: 2 NATO Nations
I'd like to hop-in with a survivor's perspective about it:

We've been told to "get over it, be a man and move-on with life." THAT is all society has afforded us till recent times. "Failure" for some of us would be not putting up an adequate front/mask to keep on going with life...hiding this shame, living with the nerve-fraying memories and ghosts of our past. We PRAY that YOU never know the horror of being _______ .

The following is a post from a former user whom I think the world of. I've pulled it from our archives:
_______________________________________________________________
The Greatest Act of LOVE

I know that many of you feel that we where dishonest by not telling you about the abuse before we got married. Most of us didn't think there was anything important to tell. Shit the SA had no effect on our live so far and it wasn't going to effect our lifes together with you. What was there to tell.

We have been told all our lives to

Just Get Over IT - MOVE ON - PUT IT BEHIND YOU

Little did we know how it was all going to come back and rip our lives apart years later.


I just want to let you gals know that telling is the hardest thing in the world for us to do. But there was no choice, we love you and the family we created together.


Telling you truly was the Greatest Act of LOVE, EVER

- Muldoon


_____________________________________________________________________

I, myself, never, in a million years, ever expected to fall apart in such a manner as to have to deal with this after so many years. I thought of it as an innocuous history that I can paint a pretty picture over the filth and move-on with life. After decades of seemingly successful practices of that method, after decades of prosperity, after marriage and children, it all fell apart...and it took my wife and children with "it." Something else to have to live with.

I'm NOT trying to diminish your pain and your perspective in the slightest. This aspect of CSA is espeecially hard for us, as it super-glues huge blame and guilt on us.

Desertmouse: I think you are dealing with this in a great way. You were not equipped for this and now you've got it dumped in your lap. You've gone the exra and excellent step of reading "Victims No Longer." This show's that you care and are trying. Prodding him to deal with it in a more direct manner, simply is not likely to work. He's got to be ready to take this internal nuclear-war on.

Ever sorry for pain caused to anyone,

Robbie. [the Little Lion Man]

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