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#383364 - 01/24/12 03:11 PM Mid Life Crisis
Gretta Offline


Registered: 09/17/11
Posts: 239
Its seems that in my small group of Survivor wives with the exception of one our husbands acted out right around the 40 year old mark. Why? Does the mid life bring out the CSA? Is it typical to cheat at mid life and does CSA handicap them?

I am just curious why typically csa comes out around that time frame. My husband hadn't even remembered that he was abused until the last couple years.


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#383366 - 01/24/12 03:29 PM Re: Mid Life Crisis [Re: Gretta]
Airmid Offline


Registered: 12/02/11
Posts: 95
Loc: South
I'm sure survivors can answer this best, but in one of my good guy friends and in my husband, it seems to be the time they re-assess life goals, realize they aren't reaching those goals, and then (in our case) a few years later, it clicks that the coping skills just aren't working any more. For Hubs, the memories resurfaced after that.

Survivors? What was your experience?


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#383377 - 01/24/12 05:46 PM Re: Mid Life Crisis [Re: Gretta]
ALIVE 3n1 Offline


Registered: 12/24/11
Posts: 76
Loc: Throne Room of God
Wow, how to answer this one.

Not that I am admitting any lower level in testosterone, but that might have something to do with it.

The realization that I could not continue to self-medicate myself into thinking that I was a healthy, well balanced, individual. I knew I had a problem, I chose not to recognize it.

When you recognize the problem in your mind, the battle is half over. You have now identified your enemy. Now how are you going to defeat this enemy? This is where the rubber meets the road. When a male identifies a problem, he likes fixing the problem. It turns into a game. Sure there are losses, but there are also wins. Progress on the front is how we measure success. There might be alot of blood spilled for one inch, but that inch will never be given up to the enemy again.


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#383387 - 01/24/12 07:10 PM Re: Mid Life Crisis [Re: ALIVE 3n1]
traveler Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/07/06
Posts: 3420
Loc: somewhere in Africa
Gretta -
I've heard & read that this is very common around that age. One reason seems to be that many of the issues that preoccupy us earlier have been more or less settled. Most are already married or settled into whatever life-style they have established by choice or default. Education and career decisions are usually not as immediate. If there are children, they have become more independent and don't need the constant all-consuming attention. You start to let down your level of conscious need for control or constant vigilance. And then - BOOM! It hits you while your defenses are down. seems to happen a lot a decade or so later, too. Or some other crisis can trigger it.

For me it was a combination of factors - a recent move to a new area where we had no friends or support system, unemployment, realization that I had been majorly scammed and felt like a fool and a failure, reassessment of faith issues, death of a family member... All of these weakened my "normal" coping mechanisms and knocked me out. And - yes - it did happen at that age/stage of my life.

So - may be lots of reasons - but the important thing is that - like ALIVE3in1 said, when the need is identified, you get the support and knowledge that can help with understanding and healing.

Regards,
Lee



Edited by traveler (01/24/12 09:48 PM)
_________________________
As my life goes on I believe somehow something's changed
Something deep inside...
I've been searchin so long to find an answer
Now I know my life has meaning
Now I see myself as I am, feeling very free...
When my tears have come to an end I will understand
What I left behind: a part of me. Chicago


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#383399 - 01/24/12 10:49 PM Re: Mid Life Crisis [Re: traveler]
phoenix321 Offline


Registered: 09/26/11
Posts: 912
Loc: USA, FL
The "mid-life crisis" is just an excuse to act like a kid, which doesn't mean it's all bad. Men may reassess their choices and see if it what they want for themselves. However, it is not an excuse to go out and have affairs, not be a husband, etc. Not all men do that. Survivors may start dealing with the past because they can no longer hide from it. I think you see that in both men and women. CSA is not an excuse for any bad behavior whether it is a man or woman survivor.

Perhaps organizations that deal with CSA and Rape should end distinctions between men and women so men don't hide it. Even the psychology community doesn't believe in parity in all corners. Then there are the shrinks who are pedo apologists and other organizations that are pedo apologists. They say, poor pedos just need understanding and therapy. Sounds the Roman Catholic church's excuses for not kicking them out and letting the cops have them. Taxpayers even give pedos disability through Social Security.

Never married myself, no relationships either so my experience is male CSA survivors get treated like crap by society because we are male.

_________________________
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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#383408 - 01/25/12 12:43 AM Re: Mid Life Crisis [Re: phoenix321]
whome Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/07/11
Posts: 1734
Loc: Johannesburg South Africa
Hi Gretta.
My theory is a lot simpler.
I think that the brain gets to a point where it cant take the rot inside and wants to get it out and deal with it. This usually happens at about the 40 mark.
The clever men will deal with it and sort things out, the men with great bravado, (lets not call them silly) will act out, buy sports cars, drink and generally make idiots of themselves.

A quick survey on this site and in the AA rooms netted me an average age of 40, interesting phenomenon right?

Heal well
Martin

_________________________
Matrix Men South Africa
Survivors Supporting Each other
Matrix Men Blog

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#383414 - 01/25/12 01:31 AM Re: Mid Life Crisis [Re: whome]
NewSummer Offline


Registered: 09/01/11
Posts: 59
Loc: Surrey BC
Sorry to say but my mid life crisis probably started when I was about 23...but it was 42 when all hell broke loose.
Basically, I managed to fake it all my life. I ran out of fake at 42...Thank God I ran out of fake and have managed to grow up and deal with a life time of pain...
I am 47 now and started my journey almost 6 years ago. Funny thing is, my T managed to get me to cry yesterday for the first time in a session EVER. What a freakin relief that was!
Cant wait to see him again...

_________________________
life is what happens while you make other plans- John Lennon

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#383418 - 01/25/12 07:48 AM Re: Mid Life Crisis [Re: NewSummer]
whome Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/07/11
Posts: 1734
Loc: Johannesburg South Africa
Oh the weirdest tears of joy we survivors have. LOL
Glad you managed to wet the cheeks NS, well done..

Heal well
Martin

_________________________
Matrix Men South Africa
Survivors Supporting Each other
Matrix Men Blog

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#383429 - 01/25/12 11:22 AM Re: Mid Life Crisis [Re: whome]
mcl1982 Offline


Registered: 01/09/12
Posts: 44
Loc: IL
@NS I too ran out of fake....I'm 29 now and I started my healing 3 weeks ago. I couldn't take the pain it's caused me and the pain I've caused to others....especially my wonderful gf, now ex. It's sad, but it took losing the love of my life to take a hard look at myself and finally admit it and stop hiding the hurt and pain.


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#383437 - 01/25/12 01:36 PM Re: Mid Life Crisis [Re: mcl1982]
Gretta Offline


Registered: 09/17/11
Posts: 239
mcl I give you credit for finding out well before you turned 40! Just think you don't need to live the next 11 years acting out hurting the people you love:) I have said this 100 times but my minds knows why he did it but my heart is still broken.

I am glad he is on the road to recovery and I tell him everyday how proud I am of the work he is doing. He is happier today then he has been in a long time. This all came out so quickly and together that I didn't get a good chance to deal with the cheating. He fell apart quickly and we had to deal with the CSA. I guess it's time for me to deal with the infidelity. It just hurts so bad, I never thought he would let me down. Most every other man in my life yes... but him Never.


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#383460 - 01/25/12 07:46 PM Re: Mid Life Crisis [Re: Gretta]
herowannabe Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/01/11
Posts: 386
Loc: USA
(((Gretta)))

I'm sorry you have to deal with such pain. God love you for somehow mustering the strength to put aside your own devastation in order to deal with your husband's. (Man has no greater love than to lay down his/her life for another...)

In my search for the "why" my husband commited such atrocities, I read books on every subject I could think of that might have been "it", the golden answer to the "why"! I read about mid-life crises, but my 52-year-old husband didn't completely fit the bill, though he certainly had characteristics.

For him, he'd been anesthesizing with vodka (hidden around our house). After he had the majority of his intestines and rectum removed due to cancer at age 49, he began to deteriorate before my eyes. It was at this time that his typical behavior of being "flirtatious", (now I know that was a lack of boundaries in him) swung into insane infidelity with my grandson's mother and prostitutes.

Due to the surgery, he was left with some erectile dysfunction. So, at mid-life, surviving cancer, adjusting to a "gutted" body, underlying depression, frustrated with the ED (the end of his "manhood") and fueled by vodka (insanity in a bottle), he went nuts.

His CSA only came to light months after I discovered his acting out. We only landed on the subject of CSA while I was reading yet another book, this one on CSA. I saw SO much of him in that book.

By this time we were out of "severe" crisis, and felt commited to saving our marriage. I don't believe it was a coincedence that it was at this point that he began, bit by bit, remembering and telling me about his CSA.

I believe he finally had the vodka dried from his brain, and felt secure enough with my devotion to him that he felt safe to unearth what was at the very core of his psyche: CSA.

So, to answer your question, maybe at mid-life a man finally feels secure enough with his beloved to let down the walls behind which he's hidden so much pain: that which was caused by his abuser, and that which he's inflicted on himself...and you, in the process?

I'm sending you a loving hug and a sincere "you can do this"!

herowannabe

_________________________


For I know the plans I have made for you. Plans to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11


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#383493 - 01/26/12 02:36 AM Re: Mid Life Crisis [Re: Gretta]
NewSummer Offline


Registered: 09/01/11
Posts: 59
Loc: Surrey BC
Gretta
I can understand the pain you, as the partner of a survivor feel. Standing by and supporting your man is a huge act of compassion. I look at my wife and see all she has given me..
I have been blessed with many wonderful friends ( I call them PILLARS, cause they support me ).
You and all others who support us deserve a huge hug, cause without you, the road would be so much tougher..just know we are blessed to have you in our lives..and we are blessed to have everyone here.
Thanks Gretta

_________________________
life is what happens while you make other plans- John Lennon

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#383512 - 01/26/12 08:57 AM Re: Mid Life Crisis [Re: NewSummer]
Gretta Offline


Registered: 09/17/11
Posts: 239
I love being reminded that CSA is no excuse for bad behavior. I think the codependent in me let bad behavior go on for too long. However I know that I am blessed to have my husband he has so many wonderful qualities. We are all human and we make mistakes.

Even though he had a seemingly loving family they are like a movie scene. From the front they look real and as if there is depth but if you look from behind they are nothing but 2x4's hold up a facade. He definitely deserved better.

I have often thought about the older couples at weddings who have been married 40 years +. I bet most of them have hit some major bumps in the road. CSA or not you don't get to that many years of marriage without crisis. I guess at the end of the day you hope it makes you stronger and a better wife, lover and mother. However this is only possible due to his hard work.


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#383578 - 01/26/12 11:09 PM Re: Mid Life Crisis [Re: Gretta]
phoenix321 Offline


Registered: 09/26/11
Posts: 912
Loc: USA, FL
Originally Posted By: Gretta
I love being reminded that CSA is no excuse for bad behavior. I think the codependent in me let bad behavior go on for too long. However I know that I am blessed to have my husband he has so many wonderful qualities. We are all human and we make mistakes.

Even though he had a seemingly loving family they are like a movie scene. From the front they look real and as if there is depth but if you look from behind they are nothing but 2x4's hold up a facade. He definitely deserved better.

I have often thought about the older couples at weddings who have been married 40 years +. I bet most of them have hit some major bumps in the road. CSA or not you don't get to that many years of marriage without crisis. I guess at the end of the day you hope it makes you stronger and a better wife, lover and mother. However this is only possible due to his hard work.


Codependency isn't fun. I think women do that way too much. Especially say things like, "He had CSA (or something else) so excuse him" in their own minds. Definitely a few on MS I've read justify "acting out" and adultery. "CSA made me." Add, I become an alcoholic or druggie because of CSA. If that's true, we just discovered how to cure alcoholism and drug addiction. Some just kick the guy out. Sex addiction (which some shrinks don't believe is really an addiction) is caused a lot of times by CSA. Infidelity is not a cause of CSA. It's a crime against your spouse. Some states you can sue your spouse for "alienation of affection" in divorces. If you cheat, it is you that chose to do so.

I've told women to leave a male survivor in the past because they treated their wife like crap or cheated. I knew how their husbands were. They were wrong. One women I worked with I said that too. She divorced him. He was stupid. I also told her, bad boys are bad for a reason. She was married a year later to a pretty nice guy.

If you marry somebody and they won't work at marriage, hey, wives have a right to leave. Some can't handle it. It's life. If you are truly unhappy in a marriage and nothing works no matter male or female, leaving is probably a good idea. It's especially a good idea if you have kids. I'd have rather had none than my sperm donor.

Plenty of men and women in marriages and they are lonely. If you worked to make it work and it doesn't work, divorce is not a dirty word. Marry till you get right someone said. 50% don't work out anyway.





Edited by phoenix321 (01/26/12 11:12 PM)
_________________________
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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#383591 - 01/27/12 12:35 AM Re: Mid Life Crisis [Re: phoenix321]
herowannabe Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/01/11
Posts: 386
Loc: USA
The last two posts by Gretta and Phoenix are fascinating to me! They each reveal the two different paths wives/SO must choose after the destruction wrought by our CSA spouses' actions against us (those who abuse us/our marriages).

Phoenix is correct: CSA isn't an excuse for acting out. However, because many survivors are left emotionally, mentally, spiritually and physically impaired by the trauma they survivied, they can be left behind, while their non-CSA peers grow into mature, healthy men. They have not developed the skills required to recognize and set proper boundaries. They have not discovered healthy, constructive ways of dealing with day-to-day frustrations.

As a child, he was left to hide, deny and bury his trauma, and did the best he could to help himself- always in protection mode, never having, or never knowing how to get the help he needed.

As an adult who only knows to hide, deny and bury, and can only care for his adult self as he cared for his child self, he will wreak unholy hell in his relationship with himself and others.

So, yes, the CSA isn't the excuse, but it is an explanation for the insane, selfish, self-destructive and oftentimes abusive things our survivors have done.

Phoenix also points out the fact that some of these survivors who reach adulthood will not help themselves, and seemingly can't comprehend the ways they not only hurt others, but themselves.

A supporter is just that: support. We can only support that which is being strengthened to stand on its own firm foundation. Unless the structure is strengthened and gets a good foundation, the support will eventually crumble under the weight. So, yes, sometimes wives/SOs have to give up.

Gretta is correct: Long marriages can't possibly have escaped crises. Wives/SOs DO see the wonderful qualities our spouses possess. Actually, it's nothing short of miraculous to be able to see the good in spite of the plethora of evidence to the contrary. That ability, which is only born of the truest, deepest love, is what allows us to choose the alternative path of staying to support.

But again, support isn't something that can be a permanent structure. If our spouses can not/will not do the hard work of growing into the healthy adult who as a child was crippled by the trauma of their abuse, the supporter will never be able to withstand the inevitable crumbling of the survivor.

Gretta- I am soooo connected to your thought process!

During my first marriage, I'd sit in church and notice the older couples who'd glance at each other with a special smile at something said during the homily (sermon). I'd see the utter love, joy and commitment between them, and would long to have that kind of marriage. I longed to have the "right" person to share my life with. Obviously, that first marriage was doomed.

And then came this marriage, in which I rejoiced at having been blessed with that "right" person, my soulmate. But, ten years into our marriage, I found myself in hell, mourning the "loss" of what I thought was what those older couples had, which I so clearly didn't have after all! Our entire marriage was a sham. A farce. I was dying a slow, agonizing death.

But, just recently, after so much heartache and devistation, followed by much education, patience and work, I found myself smiling with complete understand of something said during the homily at church. I glanced at my husband, who looked back at me with the same smile of understanding; a smile only we understood.

And it hit me! It hit me that somewhere in that church, some young woman may have been looking at us, wishing she had that kind of love with the "right" one, wishing she could have that kind of a marriage. Like I once did, she may be going through her days remembering the way we smiled at each other, not having a CLUE what my beloved and I have been going through- just like I didn't have a CLUE what the older couples I envied had survived.

Yup. These kind of marriages don't just happen. You wind up with a marriage that survives by supporting each other until you find you actually SURVIVED! By supporting each other as we grow, by working to become the best people we can be- in spite of our failures, traumatic starts and inadequacies, and by seeing past the bad in order to focus on the true good that always was contained within that hurt little boy.

I'm rambling...sorry. I hope I've made sense, but even if I haven't, I thank you both for so perfectly illustrating the realities!

herowannabe
P.S. Early on, I told my husband that I love him more than I hate what he did. His work to grow past the damage done to him as a child is what is saving us, and I give him thanks and admiration for developing his own strength and foundation so he can stand on his own. LUD!

_________________________


For I know the plans I have made for you. Plans to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11


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#383595 - 01/27/12 01:35 AM Re: Mid Life Crisis [Re: herowannabe]
phoenix321 Offline


Registered: 09/26/11
Posts: 912
Loc: USA, FL
Hero,

You are a hero.

P.S. - I've seen so many people divorce for so many reasons it's ridiculous. A lot were cheating. 99%. Most can get through with almost anything else (not spousal abuse).

_________________________
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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