Thanks from the bottom of my heart for your posts today. I understand how your disturbing evening last night would sour your original post. Likewise, I hope you understand that the disturbing things flying around in my head soured my post, too!
You've said so many poignant things today, but I'll just comment on those in which I'd like to at least attempt some help/perspective for you.
As time goes on, hopefully, we will grow and these minor things will become less important.
I'm not so sure there is anything that is minor for any of us, survivor or supporter, in the midst of these storms. I think that the triggering event or words may be minor, but the underlying hurt is MAJOR. The lashing out in minor things is evidence that something deeper is begging to be addressed.
I may be completely wrong, but it seems that your wife may be a bit stuck in her hurt/recovery.
In a previous post, you mentioned that like me, your wife views porn as infidelity. Therefore, I couldn't help but be a little alarmed by your sentence:
I still feel evil and sick when I succumb, though I am getting far better at controlling myself.
I may have misunderstood you, but if you are still being sucked into using porn, in your wife's eyes, you are still cheating; you are still being unfaithful to her.
Whether she knows you're watching porn or not, she KNOWS there is deception between you. So long as she feels you are not being honest, she will be increasingly wounded. So long as she feels she's still precariously hovering around another pool of devistation, her anger, resentment and fear will ooze out at you.
Until then, though, I really do hope you understand that some of what we do or donít do has nothing to do with you. Itís not because we donít love or respect you. If there is a lack of either, itís probably ourselves that we neither love nor respect, not you.
I differ with you here.
It would be lovely to not feel being lied to isn't about ME. But the truth is, my husband lied to me because I was ME and he didn't want to lose ME. So, to keep me, he disrespected me with lies and deceit.
That is self-preservation- HIS self-preservation at the expense of my own! Therefore, it has everything to do with me.
I don't know how anyone can feel good about themselves while being mired in a life-long, neverending game of charades. In order to love yourself, you have to do loving things for others. This builds self-esteem and a recognition of your personal values, which is proof of the worth of a human being.
The most loving thing you can do for the most important person in your life- your spouse- is to give the gift of honesty. With the gift of my husband's honesty, I can make good choices for the life God gave ME (God didn't give my husband my life to manipulate!). My husband's love of me and respect for me is proven by his trust in me- trust to share the truth with me. THAT is how I know I am loved and respected; because I am trusted, and my trustworthiness is rewarded with his honesty.
Likewise, if he can't be honest and open with me, I know I am not trusted, and therefore, I am not loved and respected, but am only "needed". That has EVERYTHING to do with ME. And it has everything to do with your wife, too.
If we tell you that we are afraid that you will hate us if we disclose something about our past that we had no control over, just believe it. We are telling the truth. If we say that disclosing something is humiliating, donít look at us like we are from outerspace. It really is a result of something that we endured growing up, or even after reaching adulthood.
I can't speak for all supporters, but I know that many of us felt the OPPOSITE of hate when learning of our survivor's abuse. We aren't heartless bitches! We know no human being- most of all a child/adolescent- can be vilified for having been a victim! We mourn and grieve for that little boy who grew into the man we've yoked our lives to! We want him healed! Desperately. But those of us who have been betrayed are dealing with his ADULT actions, which we lovingly put aside in order to support the CHILD who was damaged.
If we look at you like you're from outerspace, it may be:
* Because it hurts and is mind-blowing to know that your fear is based on lack of trust in US...and we didn't do anything to justify your distrust of us!
* Because you are more ashamed of what happened to you as a child than you are ashamed of what you did and didn't do as an adult spouse. It is beyond confusing for us.
* Because the things you reveal about your CSA sometimes seem like a smokescreen or an excuse for your betrayals. It is hard for us to separate the boy who was hurt from the man who hurt us.
* Because there are such parallels to what you suffered as a child and how you betrayed us as an adult that it is startling and takes some time to digest. Personally, I am FREAKED out at how my husband acted out his abuse. Parts of my chin are still stuck to the floor.
* Because as we listen, we are hearing for the first time something you've known about. Maybe you've just remembered it, but you still knew before us! Some things can't be heard without the enormity of the words being heard taking over the muscles of the human face.
Jim- I've told you before that I think you are one of the greatest guys on this entire board. Your kindness toward all, your encouraging words and your eagerness to help us all are genuine. I so badly don't want to say anything to hurt you!
I will immediately offer a complete and humble apology for anything I'm off-base on. But if I'm even just a little right about anything, I hope my words will help. God knows I send them with love and care and a desire to be of help.
Sending you a big old hug!