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#364572 - 06/19/11 04:50 PM Re: A big frustrated sigh. [Re: aloved1]
lovingBen Offline

Registered: 06/19/11
Posts: 38
Hey there-

i am new to this site...just today actually. reading some of these posts rips my heart out, but is already bringing me immediate comfort in knowing that so many of us are dealing with the exact same things.

by way of background, i'm a gay man in a relationship of sorts with a male survivor. we met two years ago and our emotional intimacy was near immediate. it took 6 or 7 months before we first hooked-up though, and after that, he checked out for two months...then he returned more emotionally connected then ever, and quite honestly more so than i have experienced really with anyone else before. we remain inseparable, and seem like emotional spouses, but have not been physical in about about a year, after only a few encounters prior.

he seems unable to identify what his emotional feelings really are, lover-love vs. best friends, etc., despite his open obvious lover kind of behavior toward me both privately and in public most of the time...but he is forever flipping back and forth between acting like my partner and then proclaiming he is straight, and then back again.

i've read all the books and online articles, etc. i have self-educated myself to death. that helps a lot, so if you haven't yet, i really encourage you to get laura davis' "allies in healing" every time i get scared or confused, or immeasureably sad by the hurtfull stuff ben says and does, there's a helpful section of her book that gets me through.

for me, my own emotional rollercoaster as he seemingly goes in and out of love with me, sexual orientation confusion (pronouncing straightness at the height of being emotionally intimate with me), total black out, etc is sometimes best addressed by simply going with it.

there's a great passge in her book i recently embraced. when we can handle the pain they inflict on us to get us to back off, treat it like a dance that he's leading. we can let him lead and turn whichever way he needs us to go with him, or...when we can't take it, we can simply time-out....we are not trapped or forced to be wherever they are at every moment...we need and deserve breaks and control over when we take them too.

for so long i viewed and felt it like a rollercoaster i was trapped into, forced to go wherever he went in radical and extreme loss of control felt unfair and caused resentment and sadness when he was low, and then uber happiness and optimism when he was up, and loving, and expressive.

for what it's worth, the hardest part for me has been facing my own exhaustion and let downs every time things feel like they're improving, and then abruptly crash.

i hope this helps...

#364638 - 06/20/11 12:10 PM Re: A big frustrated sigh. [Re: lovingBen]
aloved1 Offline

Registered: 02/22/11
Posts: 65
Loc: Texas

I apologize for the delay in my response. Things have been so hectic lately and I've barely had time to read some of the postings as of late. I do hope things have gotten better for you. Please feel free to PM me as well...I would really like to know how you are doing. And yes, it is crucial that we take good care of ourselves. I can honestly say that I have gotten much better at this. I used to be so consumed with the rough spots to the point of remaining cooped up in the house for much of the day. This is no longer the case. The major rules I have learned in all of this is care of ourselves, giving him space, and never taking anything personally. This along with communication, goals, boundaries, progress should make for a still difficult, yet worthwhile journey.

lovingBen, welcome to this site and I am glad that it brings you the same comfort that it does me. You are not alone! And yes I do have a copy of Allies in Healing and what a lifesaver it has been. It's funny you made the comment "treat it like a dance that he's leading..." as I have commented myself how in being with a survivor, we must learn the "song and dance." I believe that when we do, along with progress (even if it's baby steps) on their end, the partner and survivor can endure this journey. It's also about acceptance. I have accepted that things will likely never be 100%, but what relationship is??? From what I've read of your message, it seems you have a good grasp on things on your end. The breaks, the space, the care for ourselves. I do hope things get better for you and your partner. It is not an easy journey, and I am so grateful for MS to help me realize that I am not crazy for standing by him. We do what we can for those that we love, as long as we do not lose ourselves in the process. He is blessed to have you and I hope he realizes that. Good luck and keep in touch!

#364786 - 06/23/11 09:39 AM Re: A big frustrated sigh. [Re: aloved1]
worldscentre Offline

Registered: 02/09/11
Posts: 36
Loc: Ireland
I'm not challanging you but merely asking questions, for anyone out there. You say 'we do what we can for those we love as long as we do not loose ourselves in the process', but I wonder are we a bit lost. 'treat it like a dance he's leading..' but by doing this is there not part of us lost, as we watch for the changes in behaviour, the signs that there may be a bad patch. Are we, unawares to ourselves, lost in watching for that pattern? As I said its not a challange just a question/observation.
It was only when I was completely removed that I saw my life revolved around the 'pattern', delighted for the good days and constantly hoping the bad would stay away. I know every relationship has its ups and downs but in this situation it can be more severe and sometimes completely out of our control, whereas in relationships without these issues, generally, the bad times are something both partners can work on together. Its difficult to explain but I hope you understand.

#364787 - 06/23/11 09:44 AM Re: A big frustrated sigh. [Re: aloved1]
lovingBen Offline

Registered: 06/19/11
Posts: 38
hi there!

thanx so much for your message.finding MS has been a godsend...having no one but my T to talk about this is very isolating, and the 2 people i have confided in about this don't "really" get we all have experienced...if they haven't lived through this, they're just kinda not plugged in with how we feel.

everyone on here has been so nice and open, and have given me new strength to stay and help insultae myself from the the things that are so so hard not to take personally.

i wish he oould snap out of this orientation confusion stage though...i know that's selfish of me, as it is a necessary's just so painful to experience his deep emotional lover-love toward me, but be barred from any sex, and have him call it friendship and proclaim his straightness wwhenever te emotional bond gets too close fr him.

it seems pretty obvious to everyone that we'll end up together, and i am the partner in his life, whether he calls it that exactlt or not...but on the other hand, there's that sick feeling that maybe his journey to explore that will take him to a straight life...

like the ret of us...hold on and cope, or jump ship...i"m still holding on...

how are you doing?

#364860 - 06/24/11 03:12 PM Re: A big frustrated sigh. [Re: lovingBen]
aloved1 Offline

Registered: 02/22/11
Posts: 65
Loc: Texas

I don't feel challenged in the least by your post. All I can say is that being with a survivor is not for everyone. I think there is a difference between acceptance albeit with boundaries and losing ourselves in the process. You say that it was when you completely removed yourself that you saw some things. I see these things now, as I am with him. I am aware, which is a big part of being with a survivor. I will not take away from your statement..."whereas in relationships without these issues, generally, the bad times are something both partners can work on together." Of course this is true. Without "these issues" means both partners have not had such horrible things happen nor years and years of defense mechanisms, nor PTSD, nor anything of the sort. Wouldn't everyone love such an ideal relationship? But the fact of the matter is, challenges in life come in all forms. Being here as helped me tremendously to see that I am not alone in such challenges. This, along with education, being good to myself, and HOPE for continued progress makes for a worthwhile journey =)

lovingBen, when you say you wish he could "snap out of" this tells me he is in a rough patch at this time. What you can do is simply let him know you are there for him and provide him his space to sort out his thoughts. Other survivors, including mine, have told me that even during the tough times when it seems they are oblivious to our feelings, there is reflection on their part. Give him time to reflect. Then, at the right time, you and he can talk and make sure you both have the same goals for the relationship.

I am well, thank you for asking. Keep in touch =)

#364913 - 06/25/11 04:10 PM Re: A big frustrated sigh. [Re: aloved1]
lovingBen Offline

Registered: 06/19/11
Posts: 38
hi aloved1...

thank you soooo much for your reply. hearing from others that are going through all the same stuff gives me strength.

in my head, i know that giving love, support, and room while he explores with others is the right thing. hopefully doing that will get easier as the summer proceeds. right now i feel cast aside, and forced into best-buds land.

i suppose i should get that "co-dependency no more book" but i'm a little afraid to hear what it says. overall, i love him with all my heart, and so am having a hard time being open to date other people while he does this. so sometimes i feel trapped...can't live him, can't live out him...ya know?

sometimes i feel like if i hold on, eventually he will figure himself out and his path will lead him back to me...other times, i feel like i am silly to sit here like this because maybe his proclamations about being straight are right and i was confusion experiment...who knows.

as you can see, it has been a hard few days and i am selfishly feeling sorry for myself. again, your replies have helped a lot, so thank you!

like you, i have learned a lot through all this, so whenever you need a shoulder, please reach out...i am happy to chat and walk through whatever you're feeling too smile

bye for now smile

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