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#371734 - 10/05/11 11:52 AM My side of recovery...
Irisheyes Offline


Registered: 04/11/11
Posts: 10
I feel like I am at a bad place right now. My fiance is starting to make a lot of progress and seeing a new therapist and getting a lot out of this site and I couldn't be happier that he is here and recovering.

But I need to be honest with myself, I feel like he informed me of his CSA 5 months ago and we have been together for 10 years, although I now understand a lot of his behaviors are due to this I feel like I can't excuse ALL of them, this isn't a get out of jail free card. For a few months I have been feeling myself falling into a depression, I informed him I need him more than ever, we are at a huge turning point in our lives and after years of being with someone who is not emotionally or even physically always there I just am broken. I feel like I give and give and give and even before admitting to his abuse I was always putting him first and he never seemed to do the same for me.

This sounds stupid but I feel selfish even on here for being upset, I feel like a horrible person because I feel this way but on this site especially I feel like we are "lucky" if that is possible! He was never unfaithful, never used drugs or abused alcohol. He has never been violent. Yet I somehow feel like emotionally I have been abused for years by him, and I know it's not intentional, he doesn't have the tools I suppose but God it gets so hard and I feel so alone sometimes. It's a heavy burden to carry the emotional weight and lives of two people. I feel like the further he gets into recovery he has been even more withdrawn from me. I have tried to be his rock, I went with him to a therapist I listen without judging, I don't press issues, I don't talk about it to anyone else since he doesn't besides his therapist and me. I sit with his abuser on holidays and birthdays and plaster on a smile...I don't know what more I can do. I love him unconditionally, and yet I feel like it's not enough.

I don't know if this even makes sense I guess I just had to write it out. I feel like I support him and always have, and he has a safe place with me and always will...but I don't have that support and backing form him and it's so hard. This is a journey that will take time and I'm not looking for a quick "recovery" what I am looking for is the support from my partner, to have a relationship where my feelings are taken into account, where he is outside of his head a little bit, where I can feel I have a safe place to turn to and open up and be built up when needed. I just don't know if this is normal or if I am just not being as supportive as I could.

_________________________
Women are like teabags. We don't know our true strength until we are in hot water!
-- Eleanor Roosevelt

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#371735 - 10/05/11 12:10 PM Re: My side of recovery... [Re: Irisheyes]
GoodHope Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/05/11
Posts: 425
All I can do is validate your feelings. You have needs. His CSA does not negate or change your needs. What I don't know is how to manage what is sure to be a long term process for him w your needs. I decided to stop looking to my husband for all of my needs at this time. I am focusing on how to get what I need while still honoring and supporting him. I've rearranged our family life around what works for me-so kids do activities that I can manage without him. I'm making my work as important as his (because it is to my well being). It feels selfish and it is counterintuitive but it's working for me. I let him do therapy alone. If he wants to talk about it, great, I listen, but it is his work, not mine. I am happier than I've been and nothing in my circumstances has changed, just my approach.

My therapist was vital to me arriving at this place. She gave me permission to be pissed and instructions on how to progress if I wanted to try to salvage the relationship.

_________________________
Wife of a survivor

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#371737 - 10/05/11 01:22 PM Re: My side of recovery... [Re: Irisheyes]
lucylives Offline


Registered: 04/07/11
Posts: 367
Hi Irisheyes,

I hear ya! I feel your pain and I am there quite often. I feel like I give comfort and support and don't get much back in return. I think the reason he doesn't give it is that he CAN'T, at least todaay. He is dealing with so much shit of hhis own he has nothing to give and I believe he doesn't know how!!

These have been very trying times, that is for sure, for us. It has been a year since disclosure of CSA and dsicovery of sex addiction. I have been reeling. CSA is no excuse for these behaviours but it is an explanation for the f&*(ed up behaviours. I don't even want to tell you of the depths of my pain because I don't want to trigger myself (I have enough triggers in daily life, no reason to put more on myself)

i have found such comfort in my "sisters" who are there with me. I go to COSA, a 12 step group for wives and partners of sex addicts. Theere is not a woman in there whose significant other has not had CSA so they understand it all. I can't share most of this with friends and family as some of it is too shocking to tell and the CSA certainly isn't my story to tell but my husband and I have an agreement. I don't share that stuff with my friends and family but I share all with my group. These women have been invaluable to me. I feel blessed and lucky to know them. I have shared my innermost feelings and fears. I get my support from them. No other person could give that kind of support, in my opinion. I thank God for them everyday. Only these women who have been to the depths of the pain and despair we have been through could understand.

As for hubby, I think he does the best he can. Instead of focussing on what I don't get from, I try to focus on what I do get from him. Kind of a mini gratitude list. You must get something good from your SO or you wouldn't still be there. I tell myself "It sucks that he can't do xyz but he does do such and such for me" This helps me stay in a better place, emotionally. Then I call one of my "sister's" to get the emotinal support I need. Does this make sense? I can be super pissed about what I don't get from him and have it ruin my whole day (week, month, year or life)or I can focus on something he does do well. I am hoping soomeday we can get there emotionally where he is able to meet my needs but for today, we are not. It has forced me to cultivate new relationships. I think it would be really unhealthy for me to try to get all my needs met from one person, anyway.

I also think for survivors (and men in general) they don't always know how to give the support we need. I have to be very specific when I ask for what I need. I absolutely have no chance of getting it unless I do as he is so absorbed in his own shit. How can I expect him to nurture me and comfort me when he has absolutely no idea how to do it for himself?

We have a silly game we play when I am feeling really shitty and what ssome special kindness from him. Other times I ask him for exxactly what I want him to do...ie hold me and stroke my hair.

Hope this helps. Many of us are right where u are which is why we have tthe women in our lives.


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#371738 - 10/05/11 01:31 PM Re: My side of recovery... [Re: lucylives]
Irisheyes Offline


Registered: 04/11/11
Posts: 10
Thanks eldee and lucy!

I know what you mean lucy in the sense that he can't give that to me right now, and I know I should focus on the good, but some days are just harder than others to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Eldee I think you are on a good path of letting this be his "work" in that he handles it in his way, and be there when he needs.

I guess it's all a process and at first I was so sad and hurt for him and then mad at the abuser and now frustrated with him, not even mad...maybe disappointed?! I just think that even with the CSA more effort could be made, and I know that sounds selfish, but I can't control that feeling. I feel like I need to be included in his balancing of life and recovery-which makes me sound like an ass. I guess today is just a mad day...day by day though right?!

_________________________
Women are like teabags. We don't know our true strength until we are in hot water!
-- Eleanor Roosevelt

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#371741 - 10/05/11 01:43 PM Re: My side of recovery... [Re: Irisheyes]
lucylives Offline


Registered: 04/07/11
Posts: 367
I defintely have many bad days but they seem to be getting less and less. I sometimes get so pissed with the wall up around him emotionally that I really want to jump up and down and scream at the top of my lungs and maybe hit him over the head with a frying pan. heehee. Thankfully, I am blessed to have people to share with. It makes all the difference and they talk me down from the ledge.

I agree with Eldee on it letting it be his work but at the same time, that makes me crazy because our relationship is dependent upon him finding some healing from the CSA as there is a direct correlation with the sex addiction acting out, the alcholism and the abuse he suffered. I am not generalizing about all CSA victyims, just my husband. This makes it really hard not to butt in. I pray for a miracle. There is so much at stake.

FYI, u don't sound like an ass at all. I get it. We have needs too and there is nothing wrong with having needs. It is human. I just try to find other ways to get my needs met FOR TODAY! tomoorwo, I don't know about. Just trying to get though today. PM me anytime, if you want. You too, Eldee.


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#371743 - 10/05/11 02:18 PM Re: My side of recovery... [Re: lucylives]
Castle Offline


Registered: 10/03/09
Posts: 758
This is certanly not easy, but things will get better. No excuses, but as he heals, I think you will notice some good changes.

I agree he may need to learn some skills and you may want to consider being specific in what your needs are.

Try to be gentle on each other, and dont forget to breathe, its really important.

H

_________________________
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#371750 - 10/05/11 04:29 PM Re: My side of recovery... [Re: Castle]
GoodHope Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/05/11
Posts: 425
It IS a process. I worked on getting to this point every single day for months. It was not instant. I cried, I prayed, I talked to my therapist, I posted on this board. The one thing I never did is let feeling bad about what I feel, stop me from processing what is really difficult. I was angry. I was betrayed. I did hurt. I did want a partner who could address those hurts. Instead, I have built a life with a man who would lie to me, put my life in danger for STDs, etc. Whatever that feeling is (selfish, needy, etc.) I owned it for that period of time and did not apologize for it. Acting on the feeling is completely different. With varying degrees of success, I acted better than I felt (it depended on how hard a day I was having). Stating what you need is not problematic either. If he can give it, great, if not, you gotta find another way.

I prayed that my husband and I wouldn't be broken down on the same day. One of us needed to be functioning, and that worked. On the days when I couldn't stop the snot and tears, he managed to pull himself together and vice versa. CSA is a particularly crappy situation for all involved. But if you want to make it work, you have a lot of work to do.

I don't know the ending to our story yet. I'm praying for the best, but while it wasn't my intention when I started focusing on me, the side benefit is that if we do have to split, I'm reasonably healthy and whole. Furthermore, as he needs me, because he probably will as his therapy gets more intense, I'll be more stable so that whatever he is dealing with doesn't topple us both over.

_________________________
Wife of a survivor

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#371752 - 10/05/11 04:37 PM Re: My side of recovery... [Re: GoodHope]
Irisheyes Offline


Registered: 04/11/11
Posts: 10
Thanks eldee! I think that's what I am learning to OWN the feelings, it's there and nothing is going to change that, I guess it's just helpful to know I'm not alone in these feelings! It took me by surprise how much this would effect me, but you're so right that one of us needs to be functioning on any given day, and we both deserve to have our break down days, it sure is work but it's worth the work!

I hope your story is a happy ending for you-and staying whole is key!!

_________________________
Women are like teabags. We don't know our true strength until we are in hot water!
-- Eleanor Roosevelt

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#371807 - 10/06/11 08:48 AM Re: My side of recovery... [Re: Irisheyes]
kb8715 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/16/10
Posts: 808
Irish there are reasons why you loved him years ago, reasons why you do now. Same goes for his love of you. CSA changes nothing in that regard in my opinion.

This is a place to dump your emotions and we all can do it one sided.

In the private intentions of our hearts remind yourselves when your spouse where there when you did need them. My bet is that is a long list for us all too.

Its is so easy for any spouse to find a shortcoming in the other. Take some time and list out their strengths too.

And if any of us come up with a list where the - outweigh the +'s, move the hell on. Life is too damn short.

I can say that easily because I know what I have in life with my wife. But you know what, she knows what she has in me too.....

Good luck to you all.

_________________________
"You can get far in life by pushing except through a door marked PULL...." Profile quote in my oldest son's senior year HS Yearbook.

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#372464 - 10/15/11 03:20 PM Re: My side of recovery... [Re: kb8715]
lovingBen Offline


Registered: 06/19/11
Posts: 38
what an amazing string here.

so much of this has been happening for me lately, and despite all of the research and learning i have been doing, i only just now seem to be grasping what is really going on between us and the real things i need to be thinking about as to whether i can or should keep going with him.

i was struck by the comment about the frustration and hurt about being excluded from his journey.

i feel so betrayed about that...i am doing all the loving and support work, while someone else gets the fun side of him behind back and doesn't know a thing about any of what's going on...

how can i be the most trusted and loved human in his life, and at the same time, be the one he lies to, manipulates, and deceives the most???

how can i walk through life worrying that at any moment some other lie will surface that makes the last month of happiness and connection with him feel like a total sham...

leave?...and lose the man i have loved and been the most emotionally connected to in my life...or stay???...and potentially lose the next ten years of what could be a happier life without him...unless if i stay, i help him get through it all and a wonderful life together is found???????


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