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#389843 - 03/19/12 08:19 PM WHYYYYYYYYYYYYYY
Esposa Offline
F&F Greeter
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/19/11
Posts: 636
Loc: NJ
Why why why does it seem that so many of us women are asked to stand in support of our men AFTER they commit a horrible betrayal???

I now hold all of the details of my husband's abuse and I ache for that little boy and I am in awe of my husband's strength.... but then there's that little issue of his infidelity.....

That little issue brings me to my knees. I hurt so much that I often cannot even function - never mind provide him with the type of support that he needs from me. The support I am more than willing to give, if I were operational. If only I were operational....


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#389846 - 03/19/12 08:32 PM Re: WHYYYYYYYYYYYYYY [Re: Esposa]
herowannabe Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/01/11
Posts: 386
Loc: USA
I wish I had something uplifting and inspiring to say, Esposa, but I remain blown away by the selfish, cruel, hateful, egostistical men who have taken their childhood trauma and made US pay for it. I struggle to be loving and supportive and understanding and blah, blah, blah. The truth is that if the tables were turned, and it was you and me who acted out our childhood trauma (which we both have) on our husbands, they'd be LONG gone. So much for support. It's a woman's job to suck it up and give; it's a man's job to take. And take. And take.

Sorry. Feeling extremely jaded right now. I will remove this post, if it's troubling to sensitive minds. Otherwise, welcome to reality, folks.

Sorry, Esposa. I wish I could hold you up so you could rest.

_________________________


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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#389848 - 03/19/12 08:47 PM Re: WHYYYYYYYYYYYYYY [Re: herowannabe]
Esposa Offline
F&F Greeter
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/19/11
Posts: 636
Loc: NJ
Not having a good day today...I see I have company wink


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#389849 - 03/19/12 08:55 PM Re: WHYYYYYYYYYYYYYY [Re: Esposa]
Country Offline


Registered: 02/29/12
Posts: 642
Loc: Alabama
My wife is in the same boat. I feel even worse knowing that I hurt her. She is such a strong and supportive woman. We have issues now don't get me wrong. But we try to put God first now and it seems to be working. I know that the low she shows me in supporting me is a blessing. I have the best wife in the world. I know I don't deserve her and that is what makes me feel bad at times. I pray for her everyday and us. Best of luck and I hope you find the comfort you are searching for. A man in my opinion is not the bestan he can be without a good woman. Stay strong, pray, and all will work out.

_________________________
Ephesians 6:13

Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.

Ephesians 5:25

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her

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#389857 - 03/19/12 10:02 PM Re: WHYYYYYYYYYYYYYY [Re: Esposa]
Sad in the Midwe Offline


Registered: 12/23/09
Posts: 19
I am somewhat comforted by your angst. I feel-and have felt-the way you do. But I don't often see that sentiment expressed here.
I didn't know about the abuse, I didn't cause it. I knew when he was depressed that something was wrong, but I neve EVER could have predicted what he had been doing. It makes me question my own skills in terms of perceiving and inferring. I wish I never knew firsthand about the painfilled world of CSA survivors. I just didn't want this to be my story.
With you.
Stay strong.
Sad


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#389877 - 03/20/12 01:24 AM Re: WHYYYYYYYYYYYYYY [Re: Esposa]
phoenix321 Offline


Registered: 09/26/11
Posts: 912
Loc: USA, FL
Originally Posted By: Esposa
Why why why does it seem that so many of us women are asked to stand in support of our men AFTER they commit a horrible betrayal???

I now hold all of the details of my husband's abuse and I ache for that little boy and I am in awe of my husband's strength.... but then there's that little issue of his infidelity.....

That little issue brings me to my knees. I hurt so much that I often cannot even function - never mind provide him with the type of support that he needs from me. The support I am more than willing to give, if I were operational. If only I were operational....


Sorry. No offense to women here BUT.... I'm somewhat glad I never had anyone for that reason. No woman can say I took anything from them. 4 women took stuff from me including the female pedophile that raped me. I include my mom in that figure since she was raised right in the perfect little childhood on top of it and had parents she could've run to. I lost my childhood because of it. My advice---leave the prick if he doesn't make it right and get help. Don't stay for some warped sense of love like my mom. Your kids will thank you one day. Or, like me, will have hate and resentment for you if you stick around and put him before your kids. Oh, yes, they do think and feel that way. I did. Provoke not your children to wrath is wholeheartedly true.

Now, if you don't have kids that suffer in it, do as you wish. I've seen far too many women put up with all kinds of abuse. Some do have no choice. I get that. I really don't think most kids care about that when they are young though. They just think--that's what life is. Parents are adults. They chose to be where they are for the most part. Kids don't. There are 100% dependent on you. Not daddy, you.

I would love to take all the bad men to a woodshed. I've realized though that there are quite a few women that should go to the same woodshed with them. It may not be easy to leave but I've seen women take their kids and become temporarily homeless just to get away. So, it can be done. There are also tons of resources out there for them too. None for men but tons for women with a kid. I'd say I have had a ton of respect for those women. True heroes like a mama bear protecting her young. Kudos to all like that. And, kudos to the women that have no kids and protect themselves first. Yeah, some can't. Most can. I'm finding I have no respect for the ones that don't but could.

_________________________
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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#389894 - 03/20/12 08:07 AM Re: WHYYYYYYYYYYYYYY [Re: phoenix321]
lucylives Offline


Registered: 04/07/11
Posts: 357
WE ARE THE SECONDARY VICTIMS OF THESE A&*HOLE PERPS!!

This will be unpopular but our husbands were perpetrated on and then they turned around and perp'ed on us.

Is it the same? No but many of us were never given the choices (truth) to make good choices to protect ourselves and our lives. In that way we were taken advantage of.

Now we are in a position that yes, we have such empathy for our husbands and what they have gone through as kids but where is our empathy? Most of the time it isn't from them because to empathize you have to be able to feel the pain you may have caused someone else and that would be WAY too much for our husbands to handle so they try to minimize.

I woke up in a bad place today.


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#389896 - 03/20/12 08:25 AM Re: WHYYYYYYYYYYYYYY [Re: lucylives]
Esposa Offline
F&F Greeter
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/19/11
Posts: 636
Loc: NJ
Phoenix - I have kids and I have contemplated what you have said - many times. And I am in a holding pattern myself... do I stay or do I go? He disregarded me, put me in horrible situations, exposed me to disease, lies and quite frankly, torture. All in front of our children. It was not just an affair, but 14 months of humiliation and degradation.

He is no longer doing that. Do I stay or do I go?


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#389992 - 03/21/12 02:15 AM Re: WHYYYYYYYYYYYYYY [Re: Esposa]
phoenix321 Offline


Registered: 09/26/11
Posts: 912
Loc: USA, FL
Originally Posted By: Esposa
Phoenix - I have kids and I have contemplated what you have said - many times. And I am in a holding pattern myself... do I stay or do I go? He disregarded me, put me in horrible situations, exposed me to disease, lies and quite frankly, torture. All in front of our children. It was not just an affair, but 14 months of humiliation and degradation.

He is no longer doing that. Do I stay or do I go?


Esposa, what is "torture" in your life?

You have to make that decision. What does your mind and your heart say? They can be different voices. Which is best for you and the kids? Sometimes the heart may say one thing and reason says totally the opposite. Perhaps look at the situation as a short-term investment with long-term consequences. The short-term may suck but the long-term is worth it? Only you can say for sure. The only thing I've ever said to a woman about leaving a spouse is if there is physical violence, domestic violence. That should never be tolerated. If there is tons of emotional abuse, it's up to the person to make a smart choice. Marriage is a partnership. Is the partnership worth the short-term investment? Cold way to look at it, but it does make sense. Is it a diminishing returns thing? Many do stay for the kids and that is usually a bad decision. If you can, definitely have both you and the kids get counseling.

Say I'm married and my wife had CSA. Maybe I'd get over an affair. Maybe I wouldn't. Two or more, no, I'd leave more than likely. 90% sure on that. Most would leave after one in my experience over the years. Now, if she abused the kids, I would demand she get help, give her some time then enforce the demand. Depending on the abuse. If the kids would suffer greatly, guess we'd have to go to war over it.

Knowing your situation online vs. in-person is a big difference. Yeah, that sucks.

_________________________
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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#389996 - 03/21/12 03:05 AM Re: WHYYYYYYYYYYYYYY [Re: phoenix321]
Darrick Offline


Registered: 03/11/11
Posts: 27
Loc: So. California
Wow, there is alot of negative energy here on top of something negative and horrific that happened years ago. Dealing with life is a stuggle every day for the survivor, including making good choices. My wife is also a CSA survivor, along with me, and we have both disappointed eachother in our relationship through the years. The one thing I can say is that compassion, understanding, and love helps to fully make sense of all this crap. No one was asked to be violated, and believe me, we don't use this as a crutch.


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#390006 - 03/21/12 08:27 AM Re: WHYYYYYYYYYYYYYY [Re: Darrick]
Esposa Offline
F&F Greeter
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/19/11
Posts: 636
Loc: NJ
No physical violence unless you would include STDs...

Psychological and emotional abuse - to the point where my T thinks I have PTSD.

But when I finally said "this home is no longer your home", he fell apart, seems to have ended the affair and has been completely different since. So I contemplate your analysis...

15 years good, 1 year bad, 1 year HORRIFIC....


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#390012 - 03/21/12 08:45 AM Re: WHYYYYYYYYYYYYYY [Re: Esposa]
mike13 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/02/11
Posts: 419
Loc: California USA
Esposa you truly have a heart of gold. I had to finally end my silence about my CSA to help save my daughters friend who was drowning in a sea of deep depression because of five years of rape by her older sisters boyfriend. I have never cheated with on my wife with another person, but my fantisy world that only exists inside is another story. We both have been afraid to talk about that and the future because the future we invisioned together seems to be in jepordy. Last night we were home alone and we were able to have a nice long talk. Sure we have issues that we are struggling with but we are not as bad off as we both thought we were. I didn't know what stage your relationship is with your husband but I know I caused need less suffering for both my poor wife and myself by avoiding questions about our future together after I disclosed my CSA. I can't erase last year because it is in the past but I can promise myself to try and make each and everyday from now on better that the day before. Just something to think about Mike


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#390013 - 03/21/12 08:54 AM Re: WHYYYYYYYYYYYYYY [Re: herowannabe]
MarkK Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 04/02/07
Posts: 2502
Loc: Denver, CO
Originally Posted By: esposa
I now hold all of the details of my husband's abuse and I ache for that little boy and I am in awe of my husband's strength.... but then there's that little issue of his infidelity.....
I would recommend weighing your love for him in light of those two issues, then go with the one that serves you most. And DON'T blame yourself for your choice.

You will be in my thoughts.
+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +
now ... for another matter
Originally Posted By: herowannabe
... but I remain blown away by the selfish, cruel, hateful, egostistical men who have taken their childhood trauma and made US pay for it. I struggle to be loving and supportive and understanding and blah, blah, blah. The truth is that if the tables were turned, and it was you and me who acted out our childhood trauma (which we both have) on our husbands, they'd be LONG gone. So much for support. It's a woman's job to suck it up and give; it's a man's job to take. And take. And take.
Fortunately not ALL men are that way. My wife is also a survivor, and I have stood by her side since her disclosure, through all her "acting-out" - most of which I haven't even come close to doing.

as for "selfish, cruel, hateful, egostistical men who have taken their childhood trauma and made US pay for it"... well ... I'd personally rather have no support than be "helped" by someone who thought I was any of those things because of lack of any understanding of the type of pain this is, or what it does to our ability to cope. At this point a survivor may need to be "selfish" to restore any self-worth. And as for "cruel" or "hateful" ... might I suggest a mirror?

then last, but certainly not least:
Originally Posted By: herowannabe
I will remove this post, if it's troubling to sensitive minds.
...very understanding. fire a round into the crowd, then after someone is wounded or murdered, offer to take back the bullet.


_________________________
the story
    https://1in6.org/men/bristlecone/mark-krueger/

Kirkridge - October 2008
Alta - September 2012
Alta - September 2013

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#390014 - 03/21/12 08:57 AM Re: WHYYYYYYYYYYYYYY [Re: lucylives]
Still Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/16/07
Posts: 6317
Loc: 2 NATO Nations
Originally Posted By: lucylives
WE ARE THE SECONDARY VICTIMS OF THESE A&*HOLE PERPS!!

This will be unpopular but our husbands were perpetrated on and then they turned around and perp'ed on us.


I suppose its true...what you say here. I did not disclose the presence of the bomb when I should have.

All I would hope is that no one uses the abuse and myths and such as a whipping-stick on the survivor. Sometimes its the attorney who demands leveraging it.

I have no idea how I survived that aspect of the divorce.

_________________________
Jesus Loves The Hell Outta Me!

Still's Globs

New Video

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#390023 - 03/21/12 10:23 AM Re: WHYYYYYYYYYYYYYY [Re: Still]
lucylives Offline


Registered: 04/07/11
Posts: 357
Hi Robbie, not using myths as a whipping stick on the survivor. This has been my experience. No myth here. I wish I just had the myths to contend with.


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#390024 - 03/21/12 10:23 AM Re: WHYYYYYYYYYYYYYY [Re: MarkK]
phoenix321 Offline


Registered: 09/26/11
Posts: 912
Loc: USA, FL
MarkK, would you find that is was maybe easier for your wife and you to handle each other's CSA? Since Esposa didn't have that experience in her past, it could be harder for her to support her husband with CSA.

Esposa, I'm sorry he gave you those things. I can see how an STD would be a major betrayal besides the affair. That's horrible.

Hero, I certainly get what you're going through. My mom did. My sperm donor didn't have CSA as an "excuse" for anything though. He was just worthless and rotten. It sucks.

_________________________
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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#390026 - 03/21/12 10:32 AM Re: WHYYYYYYYYYYYYYY [Re: phoenix321]
lucylives Offline


Registered: 04/07/11
Posts: 357
I'd personally rather have no support than be "helped" by someone who thought I was any of those things because of lack of any understanding of the type of pain this is, or what it does to our ability to cope. At this point a survivor may need to be "selfish" to restore any self-worth. And as for "cruel" or "hateful" ... might I suggest a mirror?


Mark is this a joke? Does a survivors lack of the ability to cope make it ok to put our lives at risk?

Might I suggest a mirror?

Sorry esposa, don't want to hijack your post but this has to be a joke.

CSA is not an excuse and we have been hurt beyond belief by these betrayals. Should we just turn around and say, OH, it is ok, you didn't know how to cope so it is ok to lie , cheat and betray. It is also ok to put my life at risk cause you didn't know how to cope.

Is it fair to group all survivors in this category? Absolutely not but for those that have acted in these ways to us that are incomprehensible, why don't you give us a break. We are supposed to understand and give compassion, where is ours?


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#390034 - 03/21/12 11:45 AM Re: WHYYYYYYYYYYYYYY [Re: lucylives]
Esposa Offline
F&F Greeter
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/19/11
Posts: 636
Loc: NJ
Ahhhhh.... this is the tug of war in my own head.

How could you knowingly and willfully expose me to death? I had the lovely opportunity to beg, on my knees in tears, that he promise promise promise to use condoms with me if I was at risk - and he promised - and did the opposite.

But this is the same man who lovingly held my babies when they came into the world, the same man who was my partner and friend. How can we explain such risk taking and callousness? Above all, how can we explain such SELF HATE if it were not for the CSA?

I know that CSA is not an excuse because not all survivors risk their wives' lives - but when they do, is CSA not a component of the flawed decision making and the unhealthy approaches to sex??


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#390043 - 03/21/12 12:50 PM Re: WHYYYYYYYYYYYYYY [Re: Esposa]
eyesforward Offline


Registered: 03/13/11
Posts: 92
Loc: Ontario
Esposa, I'm having to deal with this question in a very different way than you are (suicide loss vs. infidelity loss), but I am dealing with it nonetheless. One way that helps me think about it:

When I'm scared, can I experience joy or anything other than fear? When I'm angry, am I present to being loving or any other emotion than anger? And along that same line of thinking ...

When a survivor is in pain and living inside brutal self-doubt, can he feel love of or for others?

At times, I saw my survivor in incredible torment. I held him as he wept and his body was wracked with heaving sobs. It didn't matter that he had found things in his life that he loved to do, where he felt more alive than he had almost ever. It didn't matter that everyone he ever met was happy to see him again. It didn't matter that I loved him or that he loved me. None of it mattered; it just didn't. All he could think of was about wanting the pain to end.

People are in various stages of development, acquiring skills and strength to be aware of, cope with, and manage these horrific after-effects of their abuse. Making people wrong when they're hurting has never produced anything useful for me or for them. Believe me I've tried. shocked All I could do as a supporter is assess whether I could live with where my survivor was over a given period of time. If the answer was "No I can't live with this," then it was up to me to communicate responsibly and kindly and take action to meet my needs. Simple but almost never easy.


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#390049 - 03/21/12 01:24 PM Re: WHYYYYYYYYYYYYYY [Re: eyesforward]
lucylives Offline


Registered: 04/07/11
Posts: 357
Eyes, love this line....

When I'm scared, can I experience joy or anything other than fear?

So true. Unfortunately for me the fear is so great. Fear that it will happen again, fear that I will never be able to trust again, fear I will never be able to trust myself again and fear for my life.

Trying to stay present helps and not too much thought of the future or the past. A very hard way to live, though. Keeping a gratitude list helps too but then I am afraid I will live happily while all this is going on around me and not know (like my life pre discovery)

U have had such a rough time, Eyes. i really admire your strength and honesty. you are amazing and I am so glad you have come back.


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#390052 - 03/21/12 01:50 PM Re: WHYYYYYYYYYYYYYY [Re: lucylives]
Esposa Offline
F&F Greeter
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/19/11
Posts: 636
Loc: NJ
Oh eyes...

I have sat here for the last hour contemplating your view of loss and betrayal - breathing it in, letting it sit with me. I am grateful for your post, your insight.


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#390099 - 03/21/12 06:54 PM Re: WHYYYYYYYYYYYYYY [Re: eyesforward]
phoenix321 Offline


Registered: 09/26/11
Posts: 912
Loc: USA, FL
Originally Posted By: eyesforward

When a survivor is in pain and living inside brutal self-doubt, can he feel love of or for others?


Eyes, Oh, boy, you deserve the gold star for that observation. When a person has no self-worth, they have no capacity for love (whatever that is), intimacy, self-love (except addictions to fill needs).

I definitely recommend that self-compassion exercises (and book if you can afford it) I posted over in the men's forum. I posted them below. It has made a big difference in my thoughts. I'm still gonna struggle with self-hate at a basal level, but at least I have a path out. I don't see how it wouldn't help wives in this struggle too. I've read the self-esteem books and it didn't do much for me. Self-compassion turned on the light.

Dr. Kristin Neff
http://selfcompassion.org/

*******
Exercise 1
How self-compassionate are you?

How do you typically react to yourself?
What types of things do you typically judge and criticize yourself for (appearance, career, relationships, parenting, etc.)?
What type of language do you use with yourself when you notice some flaw or make a mistake (do you insult yourself, or do you take a more kind and understanding tone)?
When you are being highly self-critical, how does this make you feel inside?
When you notice something about yourself you don’t like, do you tend to feel cut off from others, or do you feel connected with your fellow humans who are also imperfect?
What are the consequences of being so hard on yourself? Does it make you more motivated and happy, or discouraged and depressed?
How do you think you would feel if you could truly love and accept yourself exactly as you are? Does this possibility scare you, give you hope, or both?

How do you typically react to life difficulties?
How do you treat yourself when you run into challenges in your life? Do you tend to ignore the fact that you’re suffering and focus exclusively on fixing the problem, or do you stop to give yourself care and comfort?
Do you tend to get carried away by the drama of the situation, so that you make a bigger deal out of it than you need to, or do you tend to keep things in balanced perspective?
Do you tend to feel cut off from others when things go wrong, with the irrational feeling that everyone else is having a better time of it then you, or do you get in touch with the fact that all humans experience hardship in their lives?

If you feel that you lack sufficient self-compassion, check in with yourself – are you criticizing yourself for this too? If so, stop right there. Try to feel compassion for how difficult it is to be an imperfect human being in this extremely competitive society of ours. Most of us live in cultures that do not emphasize self-compassion, quite the opposite. We’re told that we’re being lazy and self-indulgent if we don’t harshly criticize ourselves. We’re told that no matter how hard we try, our best just isn’t good enough. It’s time for something different. We can all benefit by learning to be more self-compassionate, and now is the perfect time to start.


Exercise 2
Exploring self-compassion through writing

Part One:
Everybody has something about themselves that they don’t like; something that causes them to feel shame, to feel insecure, or not “good enough.” It is the human condition to be imperfect, and feelings of failure and inadequacy are part of the experience of living a human life. Try writing about an issue you have that tends to make you feel inadequate or bad about yourself (physical appearance, work or relationship issues…) How does this aspect of yourself make you feel inside - scared, sad, depressed, insecure, angry? What emotions come up for you when you think about this aspect of yourself? This is just between you and the paper, so please try to be as emotionally honest as possible and to avoid repressing any feelings, while at the same time not being overly melodramatic. Try to just feel your emotions exactly as they are – no more, no less – and then write about them.

Part Two:
Now think about an imaginary friend who is unconditionally loving, accepting, kind and compassionate. Imagine that this friend can see all your strengths and all your weaknesses, including the aspect of yourself you have just been writing about. Reflect upon what this friend feels towards you, and how you are loved and accepted exactly as you are, with all your very human imperfections. This friend recognizes the limits of human nature, and is kind and forgiving towards you. In his/her great wisdom this friend understands your life history and the millions of things that have happened in your life to create you as you are in this moment. Your particular inadequacy is connected to so many things you didn’t necessarily choose: your genes, your family history, life circumstances – things that were outside of your control.

Write a letter to yourself from the perspective of this imaginary friend – focusing on the perceived inadequacy you tend to judge yourself for. What would this friend say to you about your “flaw” from the perspective of unlimited compassion? How would this friend convey the deep compassion he/she feels for you, especially for the pain you feel when you judge yourself so harshly? What would this friend write in order to remind you that you are only human, that all people have both strengths and weaknesses? And if you think this friend would suggest possible changes you should make, how would these suggestions embody feelings of unconditional understanding and compassion? As you write to yourself from the perspective of this imaginary friend, try to infuse your letter with a strong sense of his/her acceptance, kindness, caring, and desire for your health and happiness.

After writing the letter, put it down for a little while. Then come back and read it again, really letting the words sink in. Feel the compassion as it pours into you, soothing and comforting you like a cool breeze on a hot day. Love, connection and acceptance are your birthright. To claim them you need only look within yourself.

Exercise 3
The criticizer, the criticized, and the compassionate observer

This exercise is modeled on the two-chair dialogue studied by Gestalt therapist Leslie Greenberg. In this exercise, clients sit in different chairs to help get in touch with different, often conflicting parts of their selves, experiencing how each aspect feels in the present moment.
To begin, put out three empty chairs, preferably in a triangular arrangement. Next, think about an issue that often troubles you, and that often elicits harsh self-criticism. Designate one chair as the voice of your inner self-critic, one chair as the voice of the part of you that feels judged and criticized, and one chair as the voice of a wise, compassionate observer. You are going to be role-playing all three parts of yourself - you, you, and you. It may feel a bit silly at first, but you may be surprised at what comes out once you really start letting your feelings flow freely.

1) Think about your “issue,” and then sit in the chair of the self-critic. As you take your seat, express out loud what the self-critical part of you is thinking and feeling. For example “I hate that fact that you’re such a whimp and aren’t self-assertive.” Notice the words and tone of voice the self-critical part of you uses, and also how it is feeling. Worried, angry, self-righteous, exasperated? Note what your body posture is like. Strong, rigid, upright? What emotions are coming up for you right now?

2) Take the chair of the criticized aspect of yourself. Try to get in touch with how you feel being criticized in this manner. Then verbalize how you feel, responding directly to your inner critic. For example, “I feel so hurt by you” or “I feel so unsupported.” Just speak whatever comes into your mind. Again, notice the tone of your voice? Is it sad, discouraged, childlike, scared, helpless? What is your body posture like? Are you slumped, downward facing, frowning?

3) Conduct a dialogue between these two parts of yourself for a while, switching back and forth between the chair of the criticizer and the criticized. Really try to experience each aspect of yourself so each knows how the other feels. Allow each to fully express its views and be heard.

4) Now occupy the chair of the compassionate observer. Call upon your deepest wisdom, the wells of your caring concern, and address both the critic and the criticized. What does your compassionate self say to the critic, what insight does it have? For example, “You sound very much like your mother” or, “I see that you’re really scared, and you’re trying to help me so I don’t mess up.” What does your compassionate self say to the criticized part of yourself? For example, “It must be incredibly difficult to hear such harsh judgment day after day. I see that you’re really hurting” or “All you want is to be accepted for who you are.” Try to relax, letting your heart soften and open. What words of compassion naturally spring forth? What is the tone of your voice? Tender, gentle, warm? What is your body posture like - balanced, centered, relaxed?

5) After the dialogue finishes (stop whenever it feels right), reflect upon what just happened. Do you have any new insights into how you treat yourself, where your patterns come from, new ways of thinking about the situation that are more productive and supportive? As you think about what you have learned, set your intention to relate to yourself in a kinder, healthier way in the future. A truce can be called in your inner war. Peace is possible. Your old habits of self-criticism don’t need to rule you forever. What you need to do is listen to the voice that’s already there, even if a bit hidden - your wise, compassionate self.
Exercise 4
Changing your critical self-talk

This exercise should be done over several weeks, and will eventually form the blueprint for changing how you relate to yourself long-term. Some people find it useful to work on their inner critic by writing in a journal. Others are more comfortable doing it via internal dialogues. If you are someone who likes to write things down and revisit them later, journaling can be an excellent tool for transformation. If you are someone (like me) who never manages to be consistent with a journal, then do whatever works for you. You can speak aloud to yourself, or think silently.

1) The first step towards changing the way to treat yourself is to notice when you are being self-critical. It may be that – like many of us - your self-critical voice is so common for you that you don’t even notice when it is present. Whenever you’re feeling bad about something, think about what you’ve just said to yourself. Try to be as accurate as possible, noting your inner speech verbatim. What words do you actually use when you’re self-critical? Are there key phrases that come up over and over again? What is the tone of your voice – harsh, cold, angry? Does the voice remind you of any one in your past who was critical of you? You want to be able to get to know the inner self-critic very well, and to become aware of when your inner judge is active. For instance, if you’ve just eaten half a box of Oreo’s, does your inner voice say something like “you’re so disgusting,” “you make me sick,” and so on? Really try to get a clear sense of how you talk to yourself.

2) Make an active effort to soften the self-critical voice, but do so with compassion rather than self-judgment (i.e., don’t say “you’re such a bitch” to your inner critic!). Say something like “I know you’re trying to keep me safe, and to point out ways that I need to improve, but your harsh criticism and judgment is not helping at all. Please stop being so critical, you are causing me unnecessary pain.”

3) Reframe the observations made by your inner critic in a friendly, positive way. If you’re having trouble thinking of what words to use, you might want to imagine what a very compassionate friend would say to you in this situation. It might help to use a term of endearment that strengthens expressed feelings of warmth and care (but only if it feels natural rather than schmaltzy.) For instance, you can say something like “Darling, I know you ate that bag of cookies because you’re feeling really sad right now and you thought it would cheer you up. But you feel even worse and are not feeling good in your body. I want you to be happy, so why don’t you take a long walk so you feel better?” While engaging in this supportive self-talk, you might want to try gently stroking your arm, or holding your face tenderly in your hands (as long as no one’s looking). Physical gestures of warmth can tap into the caregiving system even if you’re having trouble calling up emotions of kindness at first, releasing oxytocin that will help change your bio-chemistry. The important thing is that you start acting kindly, and feelings of true warmth and caring will eventually follow.

Exercise 5
Self-compassion journal

Try keeping a daily self-compassion journal for one week (or longer if you like.) Journaling is an effective way to express emotions, and has been found to enhance both mental and physical well-being. At some point during the evening when you have a few quiet moments, review the day’s events. In your journal, write down anything that you felt bad about, anything you judged yourself for, or any difficult experience that caused you pain. (For instance, perhaps you got angry at a waitress at lunch because she took forever to bring the check. You made a rude comment and stormed off without leaving a tip. Afterwards, you felt ashamed and embarrassed.) For each event, use mindfulness, a sense of common humanity, and kindness to process the event in a self-compassionate way.

Mindfulness. This will mainly involve bring awareness to the painful emotions that arose due to your self-judgment or difficult circumstances. Write about how you felt: sad, ashamed, frightened, stressed, and so on. As you write, try to be accepting and non-judgmental of your experience, not belittling it nor making it overly dramatic. (For example, “I was frustrated because she was being so slow. I got angry, over-reacted, and felt foolish afterwards.”)
Common Humanity. Write down the ways in which your experience was connected to the larger human experience. This might include acknowledging that being human means being imperfect, and that all people have these sorts of painful experiences. (“Everyone over-reacts sometimes, it’s only human.”) You might also want to think about the various causes and conditions underlying the painful event. (“My frustration was exacerbated by the fact that I was late for my doctor’s appointment across town and there was a lot of traffic that day. If the circumstances had been different my reaction probably would have been different.”)
Self-Kindness. Write yourself some kind, understanding, words of comfort. Let yourself know that you care about yourself, adopting a gentle, reassuring tone. (It’s okay. You messed up but it wasn’t the end of the world. I understand how frustrated you were and you just lost it. Maybe you can try being extra patient and generous to any wait-staff this week…”)

Practicing the three components of self-compassion with this writing exercise will help organize your thoughts and emotions, while helping to encode them in your memory. If you keep a journal regularly, your self-compassion practice will become even stronger and translate more easily into daily life.

Exercise 6
Identifying what we really want

1) Think about the ways that you use self-criticism as a motivator. Is there any personal trait that you criticize yourself for having (too overweight, too lazy, too impulsive, etc.) because you think being hard on yourself will help you change? If so, first try to get in touch with the emotional pain that your self-criticism causes, giving yourself compassion for the experience of feeling so judged.

2) Next, see if you can think of a kinder, more caring way to motivate yourself to make a change if needed. What language would a wise and nurturing friend, parent, teacher, or mentor use to gently point out how your behavior is unproductive, while simultaneously encouraging you to do something different. What is the most supportive message you can think of that’s in line with your underlying wish to be healthy and happy?

3) Every time you catch yourself being judgmental about your unwanted trait in the future, first notice the pain of your self-judgment and give yourself compassion. Then try to reframe your inner dialogue so that it is more encouraging and supportive. Remember that if you really want to motivate yourself, love is more powerful than fear.

Exercise 7
Taking care of the caregiver

If you work in a care-giving profession (and that certainly includes being a family member!), you’ll need to recharge your batteries so you have enough energy available to give to others. Give yourself permission to meet your own needs, recognizing that this will not only enhance your quality of life, it will also enhance your ability to be there for those that rely on you. Here are some ideas:
Get a massage, a pedicure, or other form of pampering.
Take a nap in the middle of the day.
Go to a comedy club.
Rent a tear-jerker DVD and let it all out.
Listen to relaxing music while lying on the sofa with your eyes closed.
Practice loving-kindness meditation or do yoga for a half-hour.
Lie on the floor, stomach-side down, while a significant other or close friend gently rocks your lower back from side to side. (I call this a “diaper shake” because it’s so relaxing it makes you feel like a baby in diapers.)
Hang out with a friend for an evening.
Go dancing. If you don’t want to go to a club or take formal dance lessons, there are many informal dance groups (often held in yoga studios or similar spaces) where you can express yourself through dance without having to worry about looking cool. Do an internet search on “ecstatic dance,” “five rhythms,” “free-form dance” or “expressive dance” in your area.)
Do the self-compassionate body scan (a guided meditation available at: www.self-compassion.org)
And when you have that oh-so-compassionate glass of red wine, accompany it with a large glass of water to help your body cope with its dehydrating effects. Or, if you find you are drinking too much and it’s starting to harm rather than to enhance your well-being, have some dark red juice (cranberry, pomegranate, or cherry) mixed with sparkling water in a wine glass. Often just the site of dark red liquid in a wine glass will trigger a relaxation response.

_________________________
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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#390113 - 03/21/12 08:26 PM Re: WHYYYYYYYYYYYYYY [Re: phoenix321]
Esposa Offline
F&F Greeter
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/19/11
Posts: 636
Loc: NJ
Thanks for posting this Phoenix.


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#390130 - 03/21/12 10:20 PM Re: WHYYYYYYYYYYYYYY [Re: Esposa]
phoenix321 Offline


Registered: 09/26/11
Posts: 912
Loc: USA, FL
Originally Posted By: Esposa
Thanks for posting this Phoenix.


You're welcome.

_________________________
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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#390143 - 03/21/12 11:18 PM Re: WHYYYYYYYYYYYYYY [Re: Esposa]
Avery46 Offline


Registered: 09/23/10
Posts: 1243
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: Esposa
...support of our men AFTER they commit a horrible betrayal???...


I do not understand how you woman due it. It would hurt me so deeply to be betrayed. The betrayal needs to be put in its place by the survivor - IMHO - not the supporter.

It would take knowing he was getting some help AND a promise to never do it again. If the shoe was on the other foot, the man would run in my belief.

As a survivor, I can say now I would never ever hurt the woman in my future by betrayal.

Be well,
Avery

_________________________
aka DJsport

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#390184 - 03/22/12 08:19 AM Re: WHYYYYYYYYYYYYYY [Re: Avery46]
Esposa Offline
F&F Greeter
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/19/11
Posts: 636
Loc: NJ
Oh Avery... without a doubt in my mind, my husband would be OUT OF HERE in two seconds if I did what he did. I am fully aware of that.


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#390210 - 03/22/12 11:36 AM Re: WHYYYYYYYYYYYYYY [Re: Esposa]
phoenix321 Offline


Registered: 09/26/11
Posts: 912
Loc: USA, FL
Originally Posted By: Esposa
Oh Avery... without a doubt in my mind, my husband would be OUT OF HERE in two seconds if I did what he did. I am fully aware of that.


Men are still "protectors" and "hunters" and women are "nurturers." Not much has changed since a Caveman whacked a Cavewoman over the head and took her home. Or, the Adam and Eve version if you'd like. Adam sinned you know while Eve was deceived.

_________________________
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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#390269 - 03/22/12 09:19 PM Re: WHYYYYYYYYYYYYYY [Re: Avery46]
eyesforward Offline


Registered: 03/13/11
Posts: 92
Loc: Ontario
Originally Posted By: Avery46

I do not understand how you woman do it. It would hurt me so deeply to be betrayed. The betrayal needs to be put in its place by the survivor - IMHO - not the supporter.

It would take knowing he was getting some help AND a promise to never do it again. If the shoe was on the other foot, the man would run in my belief.

Avery, these women are hurting and hurting deeply. The hurt doesn't fully destroy who they are in the same way it would for a survivor.

I suggest that that a survivor sees his lover's infidelity as a complete and TOTAL rejection, possibly an annhilation. (I looked up the definition of "annhiliation" recently, sadly it seems to fit. ) The betrayal of love and trust a survivor has experienced leaves him with in a precarious place to trust and love. I picture it as someone crossing a river on slippery stepping stones. A lover's infidelity would be an unexpected rush of water arriving in mid-step, knocking the survivor off his tiny footing.

A supporter who isn't a survivor him/herself has a broader ledge and stronger legs to stand on, so to speak, in viewing the situation and **may** be able to see through the infidelity to the man they love, a human being damaged **and** worthy of love and support.


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#390321 - 03/23/12 08:07 AM Re: WHYYYYYYYYYYYYYY [Re: eyesforward]
Esposa Offline
F&F Greeter
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/19/11
Posts: 636
Loc: NJ
Eyes - you have just put words to something I have long misunderstood.


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#390324 - 03/23/12 08:17 AM Re: WHYYYYYYYYYYYYYY [Re: Esposa]
KMCINVA Offline
Greeter
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/31/11
Posts: 1432
Eyesforward

I believe you have said it well--a survivor is a human being damaged **and** worthy of love and support. We have trouble believing this because all trust and love was shattered when the perp violated us. Healing is needed to accept these basic human needs which allude most survivors. Thank you


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#390337 - 03/23/12 09:57 AM Re: WHYYYYYYYYYYYYYY [Re: KMCINVA]
Castle Offline


Registered: 10/03/09
Posts: 695
Loc: NJ
@ phoenix Many men are nurturers and that's ok...nothing "un-manly" about being a nurturer...it's not solely a female trait.

_________________________

My posts can self destruct at any time..read them while you can.

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#390342 - 03/23/12 10:26 AM Re: WHYYYYYYYYYYYYYY [Re: Esposa]
herowannabe Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/01/11
Posts: 386
Loc: USA
Quote:
A supporter who isn't a survivor him/herself has a broader ledge and stronger legs to stand on, so to speak, in viewing the situation and **may** be able to see through the infidelity to the man they love, a human being damaged **and** worthy of love and support.


Perfection, Eyes!!!

Supporters who witness even a glimmer of honesty and effort toward recovery/growth in a husband is able to separate the "actions" from the "man".

If our husbands give us a crumb of hope, we squirrel it away and pray for another.

Of course, the whole thing is a process- two steps forward, followed by a slide backwards. Pain can be incapacitating for survivors. Supporters are no less teflon coated!

As always, so eloquent, Eyes! Sending you love and 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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#390373 - 03/23/12 01:51 PM Re: WHYYYYYYYYYYYYYY [Re: KMCINVA]
Jim1104 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/16/11
Posts: 407
Loc: Louisiana, USA
I am so glad you have stayed with us eyes.

_________________________
Jim
Male/USA

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#390537 - 03/24/12 02:07 PM Re: WHYYYYYYYYYYYYYY [Re: eyesforward]
Avery46 Offline


Registered: 09/23/10
Posts: 1243
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: eyesforward
...Avery, these women are hurting and hurting deeply. The hurt doesn't fully destroy who they are in the same way it would for a survivor....


Love to you all. I give you all compassion for what you do in your lives.

For me when I responded, I ment only to give encouragement.

Peace,
Avery

_________________________
aka DJsport

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