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#382942 - 01/20/12 01:38 PM Is it better to stay single?
jls Offline


Registered: 03/06/09
Posts: 1142
Is it better to stay single while in recovery from CSA, at least during the beginning and middle stages? I have been single since I started on the path of healing, which is my choice. A large part of the decision to be on my own is so that I don't burden a new relationship. On the other hand I'm not sure if being all alone with this stuff is healthy either. I just don't know.

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#382946 - 01/20/12 01:46 PM Re: Is it better to stay single? [Re: jls]
westchesterguy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/13/09
Posts: 421
Loc: Westchester County NY
jls do you mean "dating" while going through the recovery process?

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#382948 - 01/20/12 01:50 PM Re: Is it better to stay single? [Re: jls]
Still Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/16/07
Posts: 6367
Loc: 2 NATO Nations
Yer opening a can of worms with this topic. I highly advise you read tons of material in F&F.

My life was shredded by the loss of my dream. I clearly shredded her life and those of my kids as well by not disclosing sooner, or having the poor character to marry a healthy, or not being strong enough, or...or...or...

I can tell you this though. I would not be in the black-tar-pit I'm in right now had it not been for the nuclear-war divorce.

There are plenty of good stories in F&F too though. I wish I could say its a function of this or that factor. But its a function of thousands of factors in reality.

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#382949 - 01/20/12 01:50 PM Re: Is it better to stay single? [Re: westchesterguy]
Magellan Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/31/10
Posts: 1390
Loc: California
My person take:

Yes, I think it is better. I suspect that many of us (including myself) have such a burning need for connection and love, that if we did stumble across something that looked an felt like it, that we would latch onto that, and our recovery would stall. We would be so sharply focused on the OTHER person, that we would revert to ignoring our own needs in the process. This wouldn't be a good thing.

And, as most relationships end, how horrible and traumatic would it be to find yourself suddenly "abandoned" and all alone? How much pain would you be enduring? Would that put you (or anyone) in a spot of considering suicide, because it would be more "proof" of how worthless one might think themselves to be?

I hope this made sense. It makes sense to me, at least. I've been starving for romance in my life for a very long time. But now that I'm working through CSA issues, I can see that any romantic entanglement that I might get myself into would simply stall my recovery, because I would be all too thrilled to use the relationship as a drug to squelch the pain away that I'd really rather not have to deal with.

D

Edited to add: Robbie just posted and made my point! Sorry you had to experience that, Robbie.



Edited by Magellan (01/20/12 01:51 PM)
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#382979 - 01/20/12 08:30 PM Re: Is it better to stay single? [Re: Magellan]
Edward Wong Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/25/11
Posts: 40
I don't know where I would be without my wife. Who else would hold me when I wake up screaming after a nightmare? Who else would hold gently nudge me to work through my remaining issues?

I know I'm lucky for having a wife who supports me. I told her about my CSA after the first date. I knew there was a risk that she would reject me, but I didn't want to burden her with it later.


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#382995 - 01/20/12 11:42 PM Re: Is it better to stay single? [Re: Still]
whome Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/07/11
Posts: 1734
Loc: Johannesburg South Africa
Hi JLS

I would say a resounding yes.
I have been married for nearly 20 years, and I got to the point where I needed to move out because partners get what we call Supporter Fatigue. They get so tired of us 'healing' that they start to get abusive in order to save themselves. It is a very rough time, so if you are single, I would opt for a couple of good friends, perhaps even ladies as they can be more empathetic, and a support group.

Don't go looking for a relationship right now, wait a short while, but also not to long.
You will know when it is right.

Heal well
Martin

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#383014 - 01/21/12 07:15 AM Re: Is it better to stay single? [Re: whome]
westchesterguy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/13/09
Posts: 421
Loc: Westchester County NY
jls i just hit your intro posts to get a better understanding of where perhaps you are coming from.

i hear what the others are saying. i'm also not sold that the same exact experiences fit. so many nuances, too many different levels of maturity and awareness come into play.

on one hand i agree that someone going through a process of change could either attract the wrong personality type and/or could doom to fail a potential relationship.

on the other hand i think it depends... greatly on both parties.

for example: if i met a guy going through the recovery process right now, and he and i did fall in love, there is nothing to make be think the relationship would fail. hmmm, well perhaps infidelity, but even that just depends on a number of circumstances since "i get it" and "i've been there." in other words i would have much greater leniency with a survivor going through shit than i would with a guy who has never walked in our shoes.

but that is where i am coming from...fully aware of the risks, the challenges, the setbacks, the successes, the evolution, and finally the new and improved "him." if you find a guy or a girl with this same approach -- well then, why not go for it?


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#383023 - 01/21/12 12:24 PM Re: Is it better to stay single? [Re: jls]
timetested Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/26/11
Posts: 30
This is a difficult question for me to answer. It is not a question of better or worse, but just the way it is. I've never been able to to trust someone enough to have a meaningful (or non-meaningful, for that matter) relationship with them.


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#383056 - 01/21/12 09:51 PM Re: Is it better to stay single? [Re: jls]
phoenix321 Offline


Registered: 09/26/11
Posts: 912
Loc: USA, FL
Who seems to recover overall?

Men with supportive wives (or supportive boyfriends).

I have yet to see any survivor (have yet to see 1) say, "I got through this because of my favorite person, my shrink or my intelligence."

No, they give credit to their awesomely supportive wife (or awesome boyfriend) then everyone else.

People that make it through have support. It may be family but overall it is a spouse or future spouse (gay included).

Everyone needs someone. It is absolutely ridiculous to think otherwise. We are social creatures. There is no way around it.

Shrinks can care and say they do but they still are paid to be there. If Shrinks cured everyone, anyone wealthy or with great psych insurance would be recovered.

Why does AA and NA succeed? People that have done it and mentor others on the program. But, 99% have someone supporting them. (In fact, the biggest thing MS does not have is the "how".)

No matter what program it is, it requires support. Everyone I see that really recovered (not just exist) always credits the spouse. Women survivors do the same to supportive and understanding husbands/boyfriends/girlfriends.

The ingredient that makes all this stuff work is a partner. If someone gets through this with a shrink and a support group, it undeniably takes twice as long or longer if it really does happen.

Recovery isn't that it is gone. Recovery is control of it.

If you have a chance at a relationship and are honest about your past, I say take the chance. Putting your thoughts somewhere else is way better as long as you still have time for recovery (whatever the hell that is).

Why does it work?

It gives survivors something new to learn that you don't learn in books or with a shrink or at a support group. The missing ingredient is the genuine love for another person. That's the stuff we lost when we were raped at whenever we were.

Otherwise, recovery really doesn't mean a thing if you're not a part of the human race.



Edited by phoenix321 (01/21/12 09:57 PM)
Edit Reason: add/typo
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Phoenix

A guy opens the front door and sees a snail on his doorstep. He picks up the snail and throws it across the street in a neighbor's yard. A year later, the guy opens the front door and the same snail is on his doorstep. The snail says, "What the f*ck was that about?"

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#383057 - 01/21/12 10:10 PM Re: Is it better to stay single? [Re: phoenix321]
mcl1982 Offline


Registered: 01/09/12
Posts: 44
Loc: IL
Well said phoenix. Also, made me think of my ex. frown I wish she were with me through this.


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#383058 - 01/21/12 10:13 PM Re: Is it better to stay single? [Re: phoenix321]
Avery46 Offline


Registered: 09/23/10
Posts: 1243
Loc: USA
I am currently single. I have some great support, though.

I hope to be in a relationship, someday but, I need to heal no matter if in a relationship or single.

I say find out what is comfortable for you today.

Peace,
Avery

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#383077 - 01/22/12 02:34 AM Re: Is it better to stay single? [Re: Avery46]
phoenix321 Offline


Registered: 09/26/11
Posts: 912
Loc: USA, FL
Originally Posted By: Avery46
I am currently single. I have some great support, though.

I hope to be in a relationship, someday but, I need to heal no matter if in a relationship or single.

I say find out what is comfortable for you today.

Peace,
Avery


Avery, from the posts of yours I've read, the relationship with a partner is the last part of your recovery.



Edited by phoenix321 (01/22/12 02:34 AM)
_________________________
Phoenix

A guy opens the front door and sees a snail on his doorstep. He picks up the snail and throws it across the street in a neighbor's yard. A year later, the guy opens the front door and the same snail is on his doorstep. The snail says, "What the f*ck was that about?"

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#383079 - 01/22/12 07:22 AM Re: Is it better to stay single? [Re: phoenix321]
Mountainous Buck Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/15/09
Posts: 1626
Loc: Minnesota
I had to develop an honest relationship with myself before I was capable of being in a healthy, sustaining, and affirming partnership/relationship with anyone else.

Showing up broken and unable to face myself honestly undermined my marriage and my hopes for getting better.

I have to reject the idea that someone else, something else "out there" - money, jobs, sex, fame, etc. - would fix me. It never did work. It distracted me from my underlying problems for a while, but never resolved them.

When it all fell apart for me, I found positive examples of other men facing their issues and changing in powerful ways-this support showed me that starting from within change is possible and the way out. Having mentors, T's, and group support has helped me become a much better partner and man.

Developing self-intimacy, spiritual intimacy, and safe emotional intimacy with others in recovery strengthened me to reach out and build deep intimacy with the woman I share my life with today.

She and I reunited after being separated at one point and had individual and couples counseling to work thru the problems we had in our relationship and to restore trust and intimacy.

The fact that I showed up for this as a changed man was critical.

It starts with me.

(This may be a roundabout way of that old question: "How can you love someone when you don't love yourself?" If I'm willing to try to love myself I will strive to find healing for my wounds-and in so doing I will be able to show up for my relationships.)







Edited by Mountainous Buck (01/22/12 07:26 AM)
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#383082 - 01/22/12 09:22 AM Re: Is it better to stay single? [Re: Mountainous Buck]
warbear52 Offline


Registered: 01/22/12
Posts: 3
Loc: Logan, UT
I agree with Mountainous Buck.

I mean, honestly, loneliness will be a great motivator to get you into a relationship when you're ready, but don't push yourself too hard.

You are worthwhile as a single individual, and you'll be worthwhile in a relationship.
Hope will always be your greatest asset, and you should arm yourself accordingly by believing that peace, and happiness, will become a part of your life. You might just have to learn some necessary, but less than desirable lessons along the way.

Never EVER believe that you can't or shouldn't do something. Especially if your instincts are telling you differently. If you have the desire, you have the will. When you have the will, nothing will stop you.


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#383099 - 01/22/12 12:36 PM Re: Is it better to stay single? [Re: phoenix321]
westchesterguy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/13/09
Posts: 421
Loc: Westchester County NY
Originally Posted By: phoenix321
.....The missing ingredient is the genuine love for another person. That's the stuff we lost when we were raped at whenever we were.


interesting comments, phoenix.

not to make this a discussion about adding up points one way or another for jls, but i agree with everything you said.

_________________________
Jeff

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#383103 - 01/22/12 12:48 PM Re: Is it better to stay single? [Re: Mountainous Buck]
Magellan Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/31/10
Posts: 1390
Loc: California
BINGO!!

I waited for DECADES for someone to come and rescue me (to fall in love with, etc etc). In actuality, a few wonderful, kind hearted men, came into my life, and DID try to rescue me. I wound up emotionally manipulating and abusing them. I didn't know any better. I have great remorse for my actions, and have apologized for my behavior. Thankfully, 2 of them have returned to my life, but we have boundaries now. It's not their responsibility to save me.

This past year, I finally got the message I'd been hearing for years. I have to learn how to love myself. Yes, it was my parents responsibility to teach me, and they failed miserably. Since they didn't give it to me, and I could not expect some hero to come in and rescue me, it was on MY shoulders to learn to love myself unconditionally.

When I made that choice in July of last year, my life started taking an amazing new turn. And amazingly, in a very short period of time, miraculously, dare I say?... I'm starting to find things that I really REALLY admire about myself. And I have passages of time that I like myself, my values, who I am, and who I want to be.

I would be lying if I denied my desire for romance, intimacy, and that deep profound love that I assume everyone else on this planet has experienced. I envy them. I get triggered over it. But apparently my path is that I must learn to love myself - that is my responsibility. And so, I take it on. And I already know that I will see amazing benefits from it. I already have.

There are no heroes that will come and rescue us. This is the sad and hard truth. But we can become our own hero.

D

Originally Posted By: Mountainous Buck
I had to develop an honest relationship with myself before I was capable of being in a healthy, sustaining, and affirming partnership/relationship with anyone else.

Showing up broken and unable to face myself honestly undermined my marriage and my hopes for getting better.

I have to reject the idea that someone else, something else "out there" - money, jobs, sex, fame, etc. - would fix me. It never did work. It distracted me from my underlying problems for a while, but never resolved them.

When it all fell apart for me, I found positive examples of other men facing their issues and changing in powerful ways-this support showed me that starting from within change is possible and the way out. Having mentors, T's, and group support has helped me become a much better partner and man.

Developing self-intimacy, spiritual intimacy, and safe emotional intimacy with others in recovery strengthened me to reach out and build deep intimacy with the woman I share my life with today.

She and I reunited after being separated at one point and had individual and couples counseling to work thru the problems we had in our relationship and to restore trust and intimacy.

The fact that I showed up for this as a changed man was critical.

It starts with me.

(This may be a roundabout way of that old question: "How can you love someone when you don't love yourself?" If I'm willing to try to love myself I will strive to find healing for my wounds-and in so doing I will be able to show up for my relationships.)





_________________________
It's a heroes journey, and you are the hero.

Loving Kindness Meditation will dramatically improve your spirits; give it a try for just 3 days: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sz7cpV7ERsM

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#383110 - 01/22/12 03:10 PM Re: Is it better to stay single? [Re: Magellan]
westchesterguy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/13/09
Posts: 421
Loc: Westchester County NY
Originally Posted By: Magellan
....I wound up emotionally manipulating and abusing them. I didn't know any better.


magellan, i agree with the saving bit. but lets put that aside, because i personally don't think its fair to assume jls posted this question "to be saved."

so, doesn't coming into someone's life go both ways? you typed that you didn't know any better.

did they know any better?

were they not able to differentiate that you were going through "x-stage(s)" of recovery and simply knew that by supporting that process, as well as understanding / recognizing the signs of retreat, that the relationship therefore could remain healthy and mutually fulfilling for both if confronted head on?

another question. :-) today, would you recognize the signs of someone manipulating you and thus say "stop, we need to sort this out or part ways" ?

_________________________
Jeff

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#383112 - 01/22/12 03:51 PM Re: Is it better to stay single? [Re: westchesterguy]
Magellan Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/31/10
Posts: 1390
Loc: California
Westerchester - I was responding (and adding to) Bucks' reply. And sharing my personal experience.

And to answer your astute questions - no, I suspect they didn't know any better either. They were doing what they thought they knew how to do, and they certainly didn't know what they were getting into (with me).

And absolutely, yes, I have much better boundaries now - if someone attempts to manipulate me, I either correct the course of the relationship. or I withdraw entirely. I'm more prone to withdrawing because I don't yet have the tools to make corrections.

Thanks for asking your awesome questions. Gives me more insight!

D

_________________________
It's a heroes journey, and you are the hero.

Loving Kindness Meditation will dramatically improve your spirits; give it a try for just 3 days: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sz7cpV7ERsM

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#383113 - 01/22/12 03:54 PM Re: Is it better to stay single? [Re: westchesterguy]
blindpet Offline


Registered: 11/12/11
Posts: 57
Loc: DK and UK, Europe
I'm about 4 months into recovery and have to agree with the loving yourself thing. I miss my ex a lot because she gave me love and cared about me unconditionally. But she was fulfilling my inner-child's needs of affection, we did not have an adult loving relationship because she has her daddy issue and i have my mommy issues. I am a firm believer that if we do not resolve our childhood issues we end up seeking adults to fulfill our unfulfilled childhood needs - hence so many dysfunctional relationships in the world.

I plan on staying single for at least a year on focusing on myself completely. I will find new friends and stuff but I know I'm definitely not ready for a relationship until I love myself and can give 100% of myself to a woman because right now I can't. I'm still too damaged with trust and intimacy issues and can't drag anyone into that right now, it wouldn't be right.

I'm sure it is different for everyone but that's how I feel about it. Once we have taken care of our inner-child and grown up we can have healthy adult relationships.

_________________________
I didn't fuck it up, but I will unfuck it up. All MS members: Let's all unfuck it up!
It does get better because I will make it better, together we can make it better.

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#383118 - 01/22/12 04:12 PM Re: Is it better to stay single? [Re: blindpet]
westchesterguy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/13/09
Posts: 421
Loc: Westchester County NY

well, guys, i wish jls would come back to his post. lol.

so, just to be clear: i could be very wrong, but i am reading his question in a different way.

i think (assume) we here all do understand and recognize the caveats and pitfalls of being in a relationship to be "saved" and or "doing it to escape" and or being in a relationship with "someone who has unresolved issues himself."

what if jls has met a great guy or girl, which is why he is asking, and that person's kindness, tenderness, (eventual love?) intelligence, understanding of sexual abuse issues -- is exactly what helps him?

i mean, not everyone is a pessimist is he??? being sarcastic. smile there are good and strong people out there, right? i am not convinced that any one here would be worse off for having been in a relationship with that sort of honest, gentle, healthy, all-together person.

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Jeff

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#383120 - 01/22/12 04:17 PM Re: Is it better to stay single? [Re: westchesterguy]
Magellan Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/31/10
Posts: 1390
Loc: California
Chesterguy,

You make a valid point, and I counter with this point - if we are CSA survivors (with bad boundaries, low self esteem, etc etc), then how are we to know that the person we desire to be in relationship with is healthy for us in the first place?

Which is why, I think, many of us are saying "cool your jets and learn to love yourself first". IMHO, having a healthy sense of self would help us identify which people would be good for us, and which would not be good for us.

D

Originally Posted By: westchesterguy

well, guys, i wish jls would come back to his post. lol.

so, just to be clear: i could be very wrong, but i am reading his question in a different way.

i think (assume) we here all do understand and recognize the caveats and pitfalls of being in a relationship to be "saved" and or "doing it to escape" and or being in a relationship with "someone who has unresolved issues himself."

what if jls has met a great guy or girl, which is why he is asking, and that person's kindness, tenderness, (eventual love?) intelligence, understanding of sexual abuse issues -- is exactly what helps him?

i mean, not everyone is a pessimist is he??? being sarcastic. smile there are good and strong people out there, right? i am not convinced that any one here would be worse off for having been in a relationship with that sort of honest, gentle, healthy, all-together person.


_________________________
It's a heroes journey, and you are the hero.

Loving Kindness Meditation will dramatically improve your spirits; give it a try for just 3 days: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sz7cpV7ERsM

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#383127 - 01/22/12 04:50 PM Re: Is it better to stay single? [Re: Magellan]
westchesterguy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/13/09
Posts: 421
Loc: Westchester County NY
Originally Posted By: Magellan
..."cool your jets and learn to love yourself first".


right magellan, i only browsed through some of his earlier posts to get an idea, but had the impression he was there. smile hard to do this on msg board, i agree, but that is the assumption i went with in answering him.

_________________________
Jeff

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#383280 - 01/23/12 09:24 PM Re: Is it better to stay single? [Re: westchesterguy]
phoenix321 Offline


Registered: 09/26/11
Posts: 912
Loc: USA, FL
I agree with some of you to a point but if you don't try, I don't see how you do it. What's the point of recovery at all if it doesn't lead to that or make the one you already have truly special? Loving yourself comes first or does it? Some many of us never had love at all (or couldn't receive it because we didn't understand it and the why do they care? I didn't but some did) so really how do we love ourselves if we don't have a point of reference? Now, if you an alcoholic or a drug addict and your single, they say wait 2 years from when you started beating addiction before any romance. That's what people in AA/NA told me is the general rule and those were addicts/alcoholics that had 10-15-20-25 years of being clean and sober. Have to say those two programs really are something in people's lives because I saw people do it.

I kinda wish there was a CSA Anonymous because AA/NA really did change people's lives and continues. They go through hell getting clean and sober but have yet to see someone who worked it say, "AA didn't work for me."

The elderly is the fastest growing group for alcoholism. Because so many are alone. Family dumped them or no relatives or spouses. Here again is another example that people do need mates regardless of age and a support system that isn't a paid one.

No person (man or woman) is an island.



Edited by phoenix321 (01/23/12 09:28 PM)
Edit Reason: typo/add
_________________________
Phoenix

A guy opens the front door and sees a snail on his doorstep. He picks up the snail and throws it across the street in a neighbor's yard. A year later, the guy opens the front door and the same snail is on his doorstep. The snail says, "What the f*ck was that about?"

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#383306 - 01/23/12 11:19 PM Re: Is it better to stay single? [Re: jls]
nltsaved Offline


Registered: 08/26/08
Posts: 838
Loc: Kc,Mo
2 whole people make a whole

If you are only half of what you should be it will never work . If they are half of what they should be it will never work.
Must be equally yoked you both need to be healthy otherwise one will be pulling to big of the load
This is pretty strait forward and simple it will come back to haunt one or the other

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#383308 - 01/23/12 11:30 PM Re: Is it better to stay single? [Re: mcl1982]
Avery46 Offline


Registered: 09/23/10
Posts: 1243
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: mcl1982
Well said phoenix. Also, made me think of my ex. frown I wish she were with me through this.


Me too frown

_________________________
aka DJsport

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#383315 - 01/23/12 11:39 PM Re: Is it better to stay single? [Re: Avery46]
phoenix321 Offline


Registered: 09/26/11
Posts: 912
Loc: USA, FL
Originally Posted By: Avery46
Originally Posted By: mcl1982
Well said phoenix. Also, made me think of my ex. frown I wish she were with me through this.


Me too frown


I'm sorry about your ex, Avery. Thank you for the compliment.

_________________________
Phoenix

A guy opens the front door and sees a snail on his doorstep. He picks up the snail and throws it across the street in a neighbor's yard. A year later, the guy opens the front door and the same snail is on his doorstep. The snail says, "What the f*ck was that about?"

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#383321 - 01/23/12 11:59 PM Re: Is it better to stay single? [Re: phoenix321]
Daniel_forgotten Offline


Registered: 02/07/09
Posts: 479
i think so, yes.

well it depends actually.. if you are too messed up, stay single. if you have hope, then share it with someone.


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