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#387019 - 02/24/12 03:12 AM What Now *****May be triggering****
Jim1104 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/16/11
Posts: 407
Loc: Louisiana, USA
I started this in response to another thread, posted it and then deleted it because I didnít want to upset any of our wonderful supporters.
I did, however, want to say something, if only to get off my chest what I have been thinking after reading some posts and some interactions with my wife. It may be triggering or infuriating, especially to supporters, so read with care.

*****************Possible Triggers*******************************

After learning of my online infidelity in 2005, my wife and I had exactly one marriage counseling session. I also gave her full access to ask my therapist any questions she wanted to and she still has that opportunity if she wants. She asked him some very pointed questions and he answered truthfully. She decided he was wrong.

In that one counseling session, I voiced the fear that I would hear about my betrayal forever and it would be said in such a way as if it just happened yesterday. I was correct and I don't hold out any hope that will ever change. Unfortunately, I agreed early on, after that session, that we didn't need to do marriage counseling. I changed my stand on that because we do have issues that extend beyond what I did but my wife still refuses to see anyone because they won't do as good a job as her. She is a therapist, and, I guess like doctors, therapists donít make good patients.

I don't know about anyoneís marriage. I donít know about the state of things before you found out you were being betrayed, nor do I know what anyone is doing to recover now.

If you are a betrayed spouse, I do know that your heart was out, and I am deeply sorry for that. Being the betrayer, just reading some recent posts about the pain I and my brethren have caused has pushed me to the point of despair. The shame is deep. If I could go to sleep tonight and never wake up, that would make me happy, but thatís not whatís going to happen.

I am not an expert in marriage, infidelity, or anything else for that matter, but I know that it takes more than just one person in a relationship to overcome the effects of infidelity and if any betrayed spouseís intent is to just wait and see if they can trust their spouse again, you might as well surrender now.

Forget about the jerk that broke your heart. The first thing you have to do is overcome the messages you got from the infidelity. Itís really bad that you feel humiliated by what someone else did to you and I mean that with all my heart. The fact is, you really have nothing to feel humiliated about. As touching the infidelity, YOU DID NO WRONG. Even if you were an abusive, evil person who beat your husband daily, YOU DID NOT CAUSE HIM TO BE UNFAITHFUL. He did that on his own. I did that on my own.

No, my wife was not and is not an abusive, evil person who beat me daily. (She may want to now, but she doesnít and wouldnít.) She is, just like I presume you all are, a loving and caring person. She does her best to be a blessing to my children, me and everyone. She is giving and thinks of other people constantly. She didnít deserve what I did. Not in a million years. So, it mystified me that she would feel humiliated because of something I had done. She had no reason to feel ashamed of herself for what I did, but I understand now that she did. I now understand how she and any betrayed spouse could feel humiliated and traumatized. And itís so wrong that what I did caused that pain.

Some years later, when she started experiencing fibromyalgia, her explanation was that she held in all the pain of what I did and that was the primary cause of her fibromyalgia. So, her physical pain is my fault. I have accepted that in the past, and I still feel guilty about it, but itís really not my fault. Nor is it your husbandís fault if you hold the pain in and try to bury it.

Many of you are seeing therapists and/or have support groups. Keep it up because you really need to work on overcoming the trauma we caused. By now, I think you may have seen once or twice that we survivors need to work on the trauma caused by our abuse. Itís really no different for you, except, hopefully, you have a perpetrator who really is remorseful for his actions and does want to do everything he can to help you overcome the pain he caused.

If you donít seek to move forward, though, you will likely be stuck in a vicious cycle of remembering and feeling the pain over and over again. Then, when you feel it, you will be suspicious of your husband, even if he has been perfect and you will accuse him unjustly of doing something he has not done. A viscious downward spiral in the relationship will then ensue. That will not help you recover in the least. So, for your sakes, betrayed spouses, work on the effects of the trauma inflicted on you.

From a marriage standpoint, if you aren't planning on working on your marriage actively, it won't get better. You will always be looking for your husband to make you feel better, and even if he is perfect, he can't change your feelings. In my view, God is perfect, but not once in 40 years of prayer has he magically made me feel better. If he can't fix how I feel, how can I magically fix how my wife feels? I can do my best, but I canít change her feelings.

Second, if you are a passive participant in the marital recovery, you will never really understand what is going on with your spouse. You will likely feel that he does whatever he does because he doesn't care about how you feel or, worse, because he wants to hurt you. Whenever he says he is sorry for the pain he caused, you will hear only that he is sorry he got caught. If he acts perfectly in line with your expectations of an honorable and good husband you will be happy. Then, one day he will make a minor error, slip of the tongue or whatever and you will be triggered into despair.

If you donít work on your communication and seeking to understand one another, you will always hear only those things that support your suspicion of us. In the name of ďproving that we can be trustedĒ, you will devise schemes and word games (however unconsciously) to try and trip us up. Assuming we are really trying to work on ourselves and be better people, 99 times out of 100, we will pass the test. Then, on the hundredth test, we will use a word or gesture that makes you think we are lying. It wonít matter if we just made an innocent mistake using the wrong word, you will hear it only as a confirmation that we lied to you and all the other times we passed the test will be forgotten. Trying to prove us trustworthy, you will only succeed in convincing yourself that we are not.

I guess, in the end, this is a venting thread for me, and if you will accept it, some insight into my own experience. Until I was 32, I was convinced I was worthless and the world would be better off without me. Yet, except for being an alcoholic, I wasnít seemingly a bad guy. I went to church, studied the bible, worked extremely hard and did my best to be honest. I had even been sober since age 24.

I didnít realize then how really badly out of wack my ideas on sex were. Then, I met and married my wife. If you would have told me that I would do some of the things to hurt my wife that I eventually did, I would have laughed at you. Porn and acting out, etc. were not on my radar screen. The only time I even came close to doing something with another person was when I was propositioned and I refused. Never have I knowingly and physically been with another person. Online, is another story though and that was my downfall. I had no idea I was capable of doing what I did.

So, from the time I was married up until now, I have had even more reason to be convinced that I am worthless and the world would be better off without me. The only hope I have been able to grasp hold of has come recently when I started remembering about the things done to me. Instead of thinking that I am really just a worthless piece of sh@@, I have a direction in which to go that might actually explain why I did such horrible things. In the end, I still did them and the wrong is mine, but now, I actually may have a path to follow for healing.

It does not help me, my marriage or my wife, however, to be told that the only reason I feel shame is because I got caught or that I am sorry only because I was caught. I felt fear, shame, self-loathing and self-hatred long before I even knew my wife. I felt all those things the very first time I saw a pornographic movie and especially when I watch one with the express purpose of masturbating. When we had stag night during our fraternity party season, I got embarrassed at watching porn and just got drunk to avoid watching it. I felt all those things right up to the time my wife found out, and I felt evil and sick for doing them. I still feel evil and sick when I succumb, though I am getting far better at controlling myself.

If you are reading this, I hope that you can accept that what you are being told is probably true, at least about the whyís when it comes to disclosure about CSA. Although I can tell you that I have no intentions of doing anything about it, there is not a day that goes by that I donít want to be dead. I am working on that and will overcome it, but thatís where I am now.

If you are a supporter, though, and donít plan on taking an active role in your recovery and the recovery of your marriage, perhaps you should consider if you really want to be married to your husband any more. I originally started this because it seems ludicrous to me to say we want things to be better, but then we say that the other person has to make all the changes. If they donít, then we blame them. It seems to me, though, that if that is the battle plan, we wonít succeed and we might as well cut our losses and run.

Sorry if I upset any supporters because you guys are truly great and deserve deep deep admiration.

Ok, Iíll shut up. Donít yell at me too loudly.

_________________________
Jim
Male/USA

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#387037 - 02/24/12 05:50 AM Re: What Now *****May be triggering**** [Re: Jim1104]
Gretta Offline


Registered: 09/17/11
Posts: 239
Dear Jim,

The hardest thing for me to believe is that the infidelity had nothing to do with me. The other women and I have discussed there is a fair amount of ego involved when your husband cheats. It took me a while but I am getting it. My h and I have been in separate therapy for over a year now.

Everything happened so quickly, I found out he was cheating and the CSA came out and he fell apart. There was no time to deal with the cheating my husband was falling to pieces. I would say in the last month or so we have started to address the cheating. It's not easy and my heart is broken.

In my situation I had the opportunity to meet one of the women he cheated on me with and it just showed me how sick he was.

I believe he is sorry and we are working to move forward. He has made MAJOR changes and worked really hard. I can see that and it helps.

I hope your wife can find it in her heart to go to therapy with you, staying where you are now is not healthy for anyone. Trust me I have my moments but I think they are getting better.


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#387040 - 02/24/12 06:16 AM Re: What Now *****May be triggering**** [Re: Jim1104]
Dar Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/15/11
Posts: 170
Loc: Missouri
Jim,
I too have felt you pain and for me the pain I caused my wife still hurts my heart to this day and may always.
But you are so right when you say it takes both spouse's working together (thats what I get from your post) to get past the indiscretions that now stand between them.
I have been one of the lucky one's, who's wife has stood beside them. Don't get me wrong, it took what felt like forever to get to that point but it was well worth the struggle as our marrige is now better than it may have ever been.We still have a lot of work to do but we will do it together.
Is the pain now gone since life is better? NO not really, I fear it will always be there for both of us.
Will it be easier in the future? I truly beleive that YES it will.

Both spouses/families have to heal and isnt an easy road to take but it is one that has to be taken together if trust is ever going to be gained again.

For the spouses who have stayed and are fighting for their marriage. WOW, you are the strong one's in my eye.

Blessings

_________________________
All I ever wanted was a hug.

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#387045 - 02/24/12 08:04 AM Re: What Now *****May be triggering**** [Re: Dar]
Esposa Offline
F&F Greeter
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/19/11
Posts: 636
Loc: NJ
Jim - I really like your post. I really really needed to hear/read this this morning. And while you think I may be upset, you actually have extended me a life line. Reading your thoughts and words have helped me make sense of a part of this whole thing that I did not understand truly.


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#387055 - 02/24/12 09:19 AM Re: What Now *****May be triggering**** [Re: Jim1104]
herowannabe Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/01/11
Posts: 386
Loc: USA
Quote:
I am not an expert in marriage, infidelity, or anything else for that matter, but I know that it takes more than just one person in a relationship to overcome the effects of infidelity and if any betrayed spouseís intent is to just wait and see if they can trust their spouse again, you might as well surrender now.



...but what else can we do but wait and see? You say we should surrender, and that terrifies me. Maybe you are right about this. Maybe a marriage that has suffered the kind of betrayals ours have suffered ARE just doomed???

Speaking only for my own heart, I now know what my husband is capable of. I now know what a skillful, manipulative, selfish, heartless, unthinking person he can be. As it turns out, he was that person a whole lot longer than he's been this new person.

I'm happy with the changes I've seen. Because of what I could see with my eyes (the effort, remorse, changes), I have stayed in the hope that my heart will catch up with my eyes.

However, when it comes to those changes, which I can plainly see with my eyes, deep in my heart, I am unable to wholeheartedly believe that they are real, true and permanent changes. How can I just blindly believe when for over a decade I believed he was someone he most certainly was not? How can I just blindly believe that what I'm seeing now is what I will still see after another decade of my life goes by? Worst of all, HOW CAN I BELIEVE THAT WHAT I'M SEEING IS WHAT'S REALLY THERE WHEN I SO CLEARLY DIDN'T SEE THE REALITY BEFORE? The most devastating effect has not been that I no longer trust HIM, it's that I no longer trust ME. I proved myself to be no match for him. How can I believe differently?

In considering the CSA and logically embracing the retardation of his maturing and coping skills due to that abuse, I am willing to "stay, watch, and see" if the middle-aged man's adolescent brain will fast-forward to age-appropriate maturity. But because of the very tangible damage that has been done to my heart, soul, self-esteem, values, etc., I am no longer CAPABLE of blindly believing. I want to...SO BADLY, because life was so much simpler when I didn't live with this fear and loathing. But I can't. And I don't know if that will ever change.

...So, if I can't answer these concerns about my husband and my marriage, SHOULD I surrender? I swear to God, you have me wondering... I don't want to ever again be an idiot. Maybe I am being an idiot in staying??? Help!

Quote:
Although I can tell you that I have no intentions of doing anything about it, there is not a day that goes by that I donít want to be dead. I am working on that and will overcome it, but thatís where I am now.


Me, too. And I miss the day I didn't feel this. I long for those days again. But I don't know that I'll ever have them back.


Your post is appreciated, Jim.

Wishing us all wisdom and peace-
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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#387063 - 02/24/12 10:37 AM Re: What Now *****May be triggering**** [Re: herowannabe]
Jim1104 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/16/11
Posts: 407
Loc: Louisiana, USA
Correct me if I am wrong Hero, but you are not sitting by and doing nothing. You are on this site, seeking answers for yourself and your husband. I can't remember if you are seeing a T, but if you can afford one or have access otherwise, I hope you are, because you certainly need to heal from the abuse he dealt to you.

My point, and I appreciate that I did not upset you or Esposa with this post, is that I feel that sometimes the betrayed spouse will sit back and not work on healing themselves or their marriage (this presupposes the cheating spouse participates also). They will feel as if the only person who needs to do anything in recovery is their cheating spouse. And that won't work.

To take it to the physical only, imagine a literal knife piercing your heart. I may have put it there, but if it's not pulled out and stiched up, and all the other appropriate medical steps are taken, then you will die. (I don't even know if one can survive that, but since you had a dagger in your heart as a result of the betrayal, it's an apt analogy). You can't sit back and wait for the unfaithful spouse to change and somehow that will magically stop the blood from flowing out of your body.

You are not doing that. You are working toward healing for yourself and your family. You're not hiding you head and pretending you don't need healing yourself. To quote the bible, "and having done all, to stand". You have and are doing all. Once you have done all you can, then of course, the only other thing you can do is wait and see.

My post isn't for those who don't want to work on healing, it's more for those who don't think there is any part for them to play in healing. You recognize, I think, that you need healing yourself. That's the main thing to remember. That and you cannot blindly believe everything he tells you. I don't think even if this never happened that blind trust is a good policy anyway.

I hope this makes sense.

_________________________
Jim
Male/USA

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#387086 - 02/24/12 02:22 PM Re: What Now *****May be triggering**** [Re: Jim1104]
Esposa Offline
F&F Greeter
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/19/11
Posts: 636
Loc: NJ
Jim - I have thought about your email all day now and I actually considered PMing you wink

I have done a tremendous amount of work on myself in the time since I learned of the affair (which continued) and his CSA disclosure. TONS OF WORK - and I am so grateful actually for the impetus.

I also attended weekly marriage therapy sessions with my husband and a phenomenal therapist that we were lucky to have access to. Of course, my husband continued his affair while telling us both that it was over, thereby truly damaging my willingness to show up again for that type of work.

As hero has told me, I got a two for one. He betrayed me, I found out - and then he SWORE it wouldn't happen any more and it continued. So yes, my trust is reeling - and my commitment to the marriage work is a little diminished since I felt like I put everything out there after the first revelation. Maybe you are picking up on that....

That said, I love him. He is WORKING HIS BUTT off on the marriage part now. And all I can think of is what our marriage therapist told me after I found out that my husband had continued his affair throughout.... He needs to do some work on himself so that he can show up to this marriage and work with you to build something better than before.

So while I see exactly what you are saying and am extremely motivated by it, I also think that marriage work requires two people. I know this because I did 6 months of hard time, fully open, fully committed - only to learn that it doesn't work if the other person doesn't show up.


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#387088 - 02/24/12 02:32 PM Re: What Now *****May be triggering**** [Re: Jim1104]
Jim1104 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/16/11
Posts: 407
Loc: Louisiana, USA
I wanted to say a little more to Hero, but then I noticed some other responses.

Look, when I wrote what I did this morning, some things were pretty raw from the night before. And please, please, please, let me say for the record that my wife is incredibly tremendous, strong, beautiful and wonderful. We have our issues, as do all couples. Ours are further compounded by the ďpornĒ that I get into is gay porn. And one of the things that my therapist is convinced of, and that I am convinced of, is that I am not gay. I may be attracted to guys, but I canít get my wife, or anyone else for that matter, to understand that I donít necessarily want to have sex with a guy. I want to be that guy. With few exceptions, I can look at any guy and immediately jump in my mind to where I think he has it all together. I mean, why would I not want to be someone who has it all together?

Forgive me for being graphic, but I also have a difficult time getting excited in bed because, well, because I donít feel loved. If I donít feel loved I cannot get excited. I am, thankfully, able to do things that bring my wife pleasure and I love it when I can do it. But, thatís not really where I want to go with this post. I just wanted to give you guys more background and state up front that my wife is like all the rest of you supporters. You are the best people I know. I know itís not exactly the same, but what I put my wife through, and still do to some extent, has got to be close to me being raped as an adult or as a kid. So, that any of you choose to remain with us is an absolute blessing and miracle.

Ok, first, I gotta say that I fully expected the supporters, those whose hearts were ripped out, to come down on me like a ton of bricks. I expected to hear something on the order of ďhow dare you say something like thatĒ. Thanks for not doing so.

Some of what I wrote last night came from having had a totally bad experience. Hereís what happened. Yesterday, I took my 81 year-old dad in for a test to look at his bladder. He also has dementia. The fear was that he had a tumor. I had already talked to my wife about what steps needed to be taken regarding his treatment should we find anything out and she and I are pretty much on the same page. The only real question at the end of yesterday was whether we should go ahead with a biopsy. So, she asked me what would I do if there really was cancer and what treatment options I would be willing to look at. I talked to my brother and we pretty much agree that the biopsy should be done, but we are not willing to put him through chemo, surgery, etc. that would ruin his quality of life. To be honest, my response to the whole thing is that if he has cancer, I am not going to worry about his diabetes, etc. Iím going to tell his personal care attendants to let him eat what he wants and do whatever makes him happy.

What got me going last night was that we were talking and before I even got out fully what my brother had said, she chimed in and told me that I should do this and do that. I have a major problem being interrupted in mid-sentence. Unfortunately, I talk so slowly and deliberately that sometime people think I am done. Anyway, night before last, in the chat I had recounted an incident with my wifeís father where he kicked me out of the house, basically after I had stood up for my wife. I feel like I got thrown under the bus by my wife, in addition to him and her mom. I am the only one who apologized for doing anything wrong, but there were plenty of apologies due me, not the least of which is that I was pushed. Not badly, but the reality was that I was physically attacked. My wifeís dadís response is to just sayÖitís over, itís in the past and thatís that. No apologies to be given, period. Again, I feel totally betrayed in this instance and itís a wound that will bleed until the day I die.

Because of all that, I started in on my wife, I know I took what she was saying the wrong way, and I got into an old issue. I eventually told her that, just like she gets triggered over what I did, the trauma of that incident will flare up from time to time.

I also had talked to my therapist yesterday. In recounting my thoughts about some things said on MS, I mentioned some of what I said in the first post in this thread. I specifically mentioned that my wife had recently said to me, ďyou just donít know how badly you hurt me.Ē My initial response when she said that was not the wisest and I did apologize later as I could see how she would interpret what I said as discounting her feelings. (I told her I didnít know, but I did know something about being hurt in other ways.) It was stupid what I said.

So Mr. T says, ďWell, has she ever itemized the list of how you hurt her Jim.Ē I canít say that she did, so I did suggest that she do so. I will be surprised if she does.

So, put all that stuff together, and I was in a pretty bad state of mind last night. Worse than usual. Of course, I have not been in a good place for a while and tax season isnít helping that at all. And so, I wrote what I did. I took it out of Esposaís thread because I didnít want to sound like a whiner and that I was somehow justifying what I did. I have never told my wife that she was to blame for the evil I did and sometimes still do. Itís simple. She is not to blame for what I do Ė ever. I may be twelve emotionally, but I am a responsible adult with all that entails. I also wanted Esposaís thread to remain purely directed at what she was asking. Itís an excellent question and those of us who caused such great pain had better be willing to acknowledge our spouseís right to question our truthfulness going forward. It is only right and certainly you who have been betrayed have a right to expect truthfulness from us.

On the other hand, and this is not a justification, I think that sometimes Ė no, I know Ė our spouses get the wrong message in reading us. Thatís where their responsibility lies, in my opinion. Guys, until I recently read a book called Victims no Longer, I had absolutely no idea that I thought differently than people who havenít been sexually assaulted, especially as a kid. Although I wish I did, I donít even trust God himself. I am suspicious of anyone and everyone and I certainly cannot even fathom someone liking me just because I am me. To me, and forgive the wording, I am a sick perverted fuck and I have come to that conclusion even though I have never done anything with or to anyone physically, unless it was done to me in the form of rape or being taken advantage of. The only consensual sex (aside from cybersex) in which I have ever engaged physically was with my wife.

So, when I disclosed stuff to my wife, it was in the form of a letter. I just canít say the words, but I can write them. To me, the shame, the fear of rejection the humiliation that I have lived with over the last 40 years is every bit as real and tangible as what the faithful partner in an affair experiences. I am not saying itís the same, just as real. So, when I wrote stuff about what I remember (I call them snippets) to my wife, in my mind, I was opening myself up to ridicule, anger and disgust from the one person who means everything in my life.

My wife, Kim, tells me itís so sad that I can write what I am now writing to you so easily and let you in on whatís going on with me. When she says that, it makes me feel like an ant. I feel like I have let her and our relationship down. I want to crawl and hide away. What I tell her, and it is true, is that you guys really cannot hurt me. I mean, I am most grateful you are here. If you were not, I would be in grave emotional shape. You are all extremely important to me, so donít get the wrong idea, but I am not looking at you face-to-face. You canít ask me to leave my house. You canít throw plates or cups at me. You canít look at me and destroy my soul with one comment. She can.

Heros and supporters, if I donít say anything else, understand one thing. Right wrong or indifferent, you have more power in your fingertip to utterly destroy us survivors than we really have to destroy you. That may sound a little far-fetched, but hopefully you have grown enough in your lives that a word cannot send you off a cliff. Hopefully, you think enough of yourselves to know that you have worth and value. After what we have done to you, I know that must be difficult for you to believe any of us might think that, but itís true. God, how I am in awe of how my wife can accomplish so much in spite of all the stuff she faces, and there is so much more you donít know about that has nothing to do with what I did or didnít do.

I am an alcoholic, drug addict, and obviously have other addictions. I am taking Ambien from time to time to be able to sleep. I donít take lightly and a couple of weeks ago, I took it long before bed. It has such a sedating effect, that essentially you would swear I was drunk. When she came and got me to go to bed, I was mumbling something about a receptionist. Why I donít know. The next day, we got into a disagreement/discussion and eventually, she made the comment that all I did was come home at night, read my book and take drugs.

I have not used alcohol, except at communion, in 27 years. On March 14, it will be 28 years. When she said that, she might as well have ripped my heart out. As you can tell, itís still on my mind. It was a dagger thrown at me and it had the intended effect. She said that it was not an intentional dagger, and maybe it wasnít, but an accidental bullet to the brain kills just the same as an intentional bullet. I donít say this to complain about my wife, just to use it as illustration of just how important your words and actions can be. Ours are important to you, but yours are important to us, maybe even more so.

As time goes on, hopefully, we will grow and these minor things will become less important. 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. 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.

You have endured something that you should never been faced with and you are champions for hanging in with us. By the same token, we are trying to find our way back and, in a real sense, trying to recapture a soul that was stolen from us long ago.

My wife is really into planning and organization. She is absolutely right in wanting both from me. It seems that I am either going to have to get on the ball and get something going in the area or that may be the reason she seeks a divorce. Recently, I told her she is correct in wanting that, but itís really hard for someone to plan when itís basically all they can do to survive to the next day.

Ok, I am just venting and whining now. I had really started this just to tell Hero that I grieve that she misses the days when she didnít want to just be dead (at least that was how I read it). I am sorry that you experience such pain and I hope that you will be able to move to a place of joy and believe in your husband sooner than later.

As I thought about your statement, and please understand I do not wish to diminish you pain in any way, what comes to my mind is I long for a day when I can know what it is like to wake up and want to face the day. I long for a day when I can go through the entire day and not wonder what it would be like to simply be with God and out of this life. I so long for a day when I can really enjoy the life God has given me. My wife deserves that from me. My children deserve that from me. And I deserve that.

I had a friend tell me one time that life really is good. It really is worth living. I didnít say anything, but I thought to myself, Bullshit. Itís been forty years so far and I am ready to be able to say those words an mean it. Perhaps I will eventually get there.

Sorry for whining. Thatís not what I meant to do with this post, but I get sidetracked a lot. Have a good day, and, again, thanks for not beating me over the head.

_________________________
Jim
Male/USA

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#387091 - 02/24/12 03:58 PM Re: What Now *****May be triggering**** [Re: Jim1104]
GoodHope Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/05/11
Posts: 413
Love this thread, love your honesty, appreciate your pain, want to hug you (and I'm not particularly physical w strangers!). What you described in the very first post is why I thought I should leave my marriage. I did not (some days do not) see how I could get past this enough to have a healthy marriage and I don't want to be in a sick one. Soooo, I have committed to never throwings the cheating or porn in his face (except for the time he wouldn't kill the bug @4am "you cheated on me! The least you could do is kill it! Wake up!" sad but true ;-)

I control what I say but not what I feel and every compliment, every I love you, felt like a dagger. It hurt worse than "I hate you" o a "you are a crappy wife."

Marriage counseling is not a viable answer for us while he is so new to his CSA recovery so it is a ton of agonizing waiting. Waiting to be whole. Waiting to find out if there can even be reconciliation (not forgiveness but a viable partnership). If your wife is open to it a book that helped me is by Cindy Beall. It's her only one and it's trust, forgiveness. I'm not there yet but I'm trying.

Final thing, Always share. Supporters get mad only when we are disparaged, minimized, belittled or purposely provoked. None of that applies to anything you've posted. Very often you guys are the only insight we have to our husbands.

_________________________
Wife of a survivor

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#387092 - 02/24/12 04:15 PM Re: What Now *****May be triggering**** [Re: GoodHope]
Jim1104 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/16/11
Posts: 407
Loc: Louisiana, USA
Thanks GoodHope.

_________________________
Jim
Male/USA

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#387113 - 02/24/12 06:25 PM Re: What Now *****May be triggering**** [Re: Jim1104]
Esposa Offline
F&F Greeter
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/19/11
Posts: 636
Loc: NJ
I am with GH. You have altered my perspective in your posts - you put it all out there and my husband should be writing you a thank you note today smile


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#387116 - 02/24/12 07:09 PM Re: What Now *****May be triggering**** [Re: Jim1104]
herowannabe Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/01/11
Posts: 386
Loc: USA
Hi Jim-

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.

Here goes...

Quote:
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:

Quote:
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.

Quote:
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...not...love!

That...is...not...respect!

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.

Quote:
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!
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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#387120 - 02/24/12 07:16 PM Re: What Now *****May be triggering**** [Re: herowannabe]
herowannabe Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/01/11
Posts: 386
Loc: USA
Jim-

I forgot to tell you that I love your sweet soul! Please know that!!!

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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#387127 - 02/24/12 08:01 PM Re: What Now *****May be triggering**** [Re: herowannabe]
Esposa Offline
F&F Greeter
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/19/11
Posts: 636
Loc: NJ
JIM SAYS: "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."

My husband says the same thing as Jim - he says that his infidelity and lies were a lack of love and respect for himself more than anything else. And I like you Hero struggle with not taking this personally. But I am starting to get it.

NO ONE MAKES SOMEONE ELSE BE FAITHFUL. So his infidelity is not because I failed. And honestly, his infidelity is a reflection of him, not me. So of course it is LOW SELF ESTEEM, because someone with relatively normal self esteem would not enter into a relationship they could not be proud of - a relationship they would want to hide and lie about. THAT IS SELF DISRESPECT - not disrespect of me.

(I am trying out some new thought control... how's it look??)


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#387134 - 02/24/12 09:44 PM Re: What Now *****May be triggering**** [Re: Esposa]
Jim1104 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/16/11
Posts: 407
Loc: Louisiana, USA
Originally Posted By: Esposa
I am with GH. You have altered my perspective in your posts - you put it all out there and my husband should be writing you a thank you note today smile


Oh, wow, thanks for saying that Esposa. That's very kind of you.

_________________________
Jim
Male/USA

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#387136 - 02/24/12 10:43 PM Re: What Now *****May be triggering**** [Re: Jim1104]
Jim1104 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/16/11
Posts: 407
Loc: Louisiana, USA
Hero, you need to change your name to Heroalreadyam instead of Herowannabe.

To the extent that I can, I understand what you are saying and there is a great deal of truth in what you say.

I don't discount anything that you say. I think, in the end, though, that there will be things that I cannot explain fully enough for you to be able to "wrap your head" around. I think that there are things that you will never be able to fully explain to me so I can wrap my head around them.

What conversations like this do is help us both to understand one another's view point a little better. In doing so, hopefully, it helps us relate and serve our spouses and families better. The sad truth is that I just can't tell how I am suppose to react and what I am supposed to believe a lot of the time.

I wonder if my perp thought about what he was doing when he did it. No, I don't. He didn't care.

Anyway, thanks for your response and your kindness. I think the world of you and all the supporters here.

Jim

_________________________
Jim
Male/USA

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#387146 - 02/24/12 11:34 PM Re: What Now *****May be triggering**** [Re: Jim1104]
traveler Offline
Greeter
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/07/06
Posts: 3203
Loc: back in the USA
YES! YES!! YES!!!
Jim - you said it so clearly and I can relate to (nearly) EVERYTHING you said. THANK YOU for speaking up - you are a voice for many.

AND - everyone else who participated in this dialog - THANK YOU ALL for sharing somuch so openly!!! I can understand BOTH sides of the dilemna because of the interaction.

This is absolutely the best explanation I could hope for. I see it as a gift from all of you and a provision from God.

Yesterday my wife and i had a joint therapy session and some of the same trust and forgiveness issues came up on both our parts. I will show her this entire conversation because it may make more sense when it is read instead of heard and when it's others' voices instead of ours.

This is exactly what i hope for and often receive from the forums - understanding and wisdom and insight and resources to build with.

i'll post more later about our specific history, but for now - everyone, PLEASE, keep the fow going....

Very Thankfully,
Lee



Edited by traveler (02/24/12 11:36 PM)
Edit Reason: typos
_________________________
We are often troubled, but not crushed;
sometimes in doubt, but never in despair;
there are many enemies, but we are never without a friend;
and though badly hurt at times, we are not destroyed.
- Paul, II Cor 4:8-9

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#387149 - 02/24/12 11:46 PM Re: What Now *****May be triggering**** [Re: Jim1104]
herowannabe Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/01/11
Posts: 386
Loc: USA
WHEW!!!

Thanks guys. I have been sick all evening in fear that I offended you and other survivors. Thank you for not tearing me apart; thank you for allowing me the freedom to dialog honestly.

I, too, feel this is extremely helpful! Men ARE from Mars, Women from Venus, but by these kind of "to-the-gnat's-ass" conversations, our worlds get closer, and many hurts and perceived hurts are soothed.

I adore you and thank you again!
herowannabe
P.S. heroalreadyam is reserved for survivors like YOU! wink



Edited by herowannabe (02/24/12 11:47 PM)
Edit Reason: Spelling
_________________________


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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#387187 - 02/25/12 08:27 AM Re: What Now *****May be triggering**** [Re: herowannabe]
Jim1104 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/16/11
Posts: 407
Loc: Louisiana, USA
Why woul you be bashed for a good post?

_________________________
Jim
Male/USA

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#387210 - 02/25/12 11:57 AM Re: What Now *****May be triggering**** [Re: Jim1104]
eyesforward Offline


Registered: 03/13/11
Posts: 92
Loc: Ontario
I can't imagine being on either side of this torturous situation, the child whose trust in the world has been betrayed and stolen or the spouse whose trust in her partner's fidelity has been betrayed. Thank you for sharing your discomfort, suffering and hope.

This thread is a gift. This has to be what the visionaries of the "WWW" had in mind -- open, frank, adult conversations about topics of shared interest where differing views are respected.

Jim, Gretta, Dar, Esposa, herowannabe, GoodHope, and Lee: You are models of openness, love, candour and respectfulness.


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#387211 - 02/25/12 12:17 PM Re: What Now *****May be triggering**** [Re: eyesforward]
Dar Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/15/11
Posts: 170
Loc: Missouri
{{{{{EYES}}}}

Thank You! Hope you are doing well.

_________________________
All I ever wanted was a hug.

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#387220 - 02/25/12 01:05 PM Re: What Now *****May be triggering**** [Re: Dar]
Jim1104 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/16/11
Posts: 407
Loc: Louisiana, USA
(((eyes)))

Another one of my heroes. You are right about the folks responding to this thread. Thanks.

How are you

_________________________
Jim
Male/USA

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#387231 - 02/25/12 02:42 PM Re: What Now *****May be triggering**** [Re: Dar]
eyesforward Offline


Registered: 03/13/11
Posts: 92
Loc: Ontario
Dar -- How I'm doing is posted here .


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#387349 - 02/26/12 09:56 AM Re: What Now *****May be triggering**** [Re: Jim1104]
lucylives Offline


Registered: 04/07/11
Posts: 357
Jim,

I, too, love this post. One thing that stands out to me the most is where you say something about when u succumb (to porn I guess). As a spouse, that is acting out and cheating so in my mind, if my husband was still doing that I wouldn't waste my time in marriage counselling either. If you aren't "sober", your mind isn't clear enough for marriage counselling and it would be a huge waste of my time and money.

That is just my opinion. On another note, and again this is just my opinion too, if your wife doesn't get help for herself, your marriage will not survive because of the things mentioned in your post but even worse, she won't survive all this intact.

You mentioned that she is a therapist. Is that why she thinks she doesn't need to go? We all know how many therapists there are who know NOTHING of CSA and the effects. Couple that with the fact thaat she is so personally invested, she is missing out on some much needed help and healing. My heart goes oout to her.

Is it fair that we have to go to therapy and go through all this pain because of what was done to us by our most trusted spouses? No, it isn't fair but it also isn't fair that survivors have to do the same because of someone else's f$%ked up behaviours.

Just my opinion and thanks so much for your post. It gave me alot of good food for thought.


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#387350 - 02/26/12 09:58 AM Re: What Now *****May be triggering**** [Re: Jim1104]
herowannabe Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/01/11
Posts: 386
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: Jim1104
Why woul you be bashed for a good post?



Well... I was afraid that you and other survivors might not actually be survivors yet. Those who are still in victimhood might use me as their punching bag. Why this happens, I'm not quite sure, but I've been a punching bag for others here a time or two.

Maybe those who attack posters with insults and taunts do so because they are personally threatened by the hard topics?

I am learning that one who has transitioned from victim to survivor has given up that defensive stance, is actively and eagerly looking for the "holes" in his stunted emotional/sexual development, and is increasingly able to see and empathize with another's pain.

To me, the survivor responses/participation in this thread are indicitive of SURVIVORHOOD. Until receiving your non-reactive, healthy, mature, thoughful, humble, validating response to a post that was not merely filled with rainbows and unicorns, I kept my gloves up to protect my head.

As it is a healing, productive exercise in conversing with my husband about the hard things these days, it is healing and productive conversing with other survivors here, too. Survivors' posts help me regain a feeling of safety. Survivors' posts, when they mirror words and tell of actions my husband demonstrates, help fill me with hope that I CAN trust that we are on a true path of healing.

Victims' posts/replies can be a "blast from the past"- a trip back down a road so painful, so abusive, so destructive, that I will forever be truly afraid of traversing again.

Your posts identify you as a survivor. I'm not afraid of survivors- by their own healing, survivors help heal others. But I remain terrified of victims. eek

I hope this makes sense???

Hugs-
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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#387378 - 02/26/12 01:14 PM Re: What Now *****May be triggering**** [Re: herowannabe]
Jim1104 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/16/11
Posts: 407
Loc: Louisiana, USA
Makes a lot of sense. Thanks.

_________________________
Jim
Male/USA

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#387409 - 02/26/12 07:18 PM Re: What Now *****May be triggering**** [Re: Jim1104]
Jim1104 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/16/11
Posts: 407
Loc: Louisiana, USA
I am sorry, Hero. That earlier question was kinda screwball. I know I have expected to be pounded by you and others for some of the stuff I said. I appreciate that you haven't, becausse coming from your perspective, you probably have every right to do so. I know my wife has every right to laugh at some of the stuff I have written.

What you said made perfect sense. I really didn't expect such a great answer because, to me, I thought it was self-apparent that no supporter should ever expect to be bashed. Of all people you guys did not sign up for this crap and, honestly, the support and love you guys offer tells me you should never be bashed for anything you say.

Y'all are pretty special.

I thank you for what you have said about me. Please don't take this as being disrespectful of your opiniong, but I just don't see in me what you say of me.

I don't feel like a survivor. I am just a scared little kid who wants very badly to end the life I live and return to Jesus. I guess I say that, but there is still a large part of me that wants to find a way out of this toruture. If I wasn't married with kids, I think I would be far more inclined to not care that much about the living part. But I really don't want my family to feel the pain of me dying. And I do know that they would be sad, even if I do think sometimes they would be better off without me.

If I do sound like a survivor, it's only because I was brought up to believe that it doesn't help to throw crap at other people just to make myself feel good. I might want sometimes to say something hurtful, or in anger, but that's where it stops most of the time. I just want so badly to not hurt anyone, while at the same time being of help to everyone.

Unfortunately, I don't so as well with my wife and family as I do with others.

Anyway, just rambling here. I think I have guessed who your husband is and if I am right, regardless of what he has done to hurt you, I do think you have a pretty special guy there. He has a pretty special woman too.

Anyhow, I appreciate your kindness and everyone elses.

Jim

_________________________
Jim
Male/USA

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#387571 - 02/27/12 11:34 PM Re: What Now *****May be triggering**** [Re: Jim1104]
Jim1104 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/16/11
Posts: 407
Loc: Louisiana, USA
I won't speak for my wife, butshe tells me thatsome of the reason she won't do marriage counseling is because nobody would do it like she does.

Her words, not mine.

_________________________
Jim
Male/USA

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#387595 - 02/28/12 08:10 AM Re: What Now *****May be triggering**** [Re: Jim1104]
lucylives Offline


Registered: 04/07/11
Posts: 357
Jeeeeeeeeeeeeez, that sucks Jim. Is she really that good? That would be hard to live with.


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#387600 - 02/28/12 08:57 AM Re: What Now *****May be triggering**** [Re: lucylives]
Gretta Offline


Registered: 09/17/11
Posts: 239
That sounds like crap to me (sorry) she sounds scared. Maybe she's just way more comfortable being on the other side of things. It's no fun spilling your screwed up guts out on a therapist. It may be an ego thing. I know I had a hard time opening up to the deep dark ugly secrets of my life.

We all work so hard to look normal on the outside.


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#387601 - 02/28/12 09:10 AM Re: What Now *****May be triggering**** [Re: Gretta]
GoodHope Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/05/11
Posts: 413
Could you find a T in a neighboring town? I, too, think it is that she is embarrassed. To go before her colleagues would suck beyond comprehension so I get it. But surely she recognizes you guys need it. Maybe someone who doesn't run in her professional circles.

_________________________
Wife of a survivor

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#387603 - 02/28/12 09:18 AM Re: What Now *****May be triggering**** [Re: Gretta]
Jim1104 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/16/11
Posts: 407
Loc: Louisiana, USA
Changing to do a better job of responding.



Edited by Jim1104 (02/28/12 09:40 AM)
_________________________
Jim
Male/USA

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