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#390498 - 03/24/12 09:48 AM Revenge
Esposa Offline
F&F Greeter
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/19/11
Posts: 728
Loc: NJ
I wonder if survivors could comment on this word. When I say revenge, I don't mean against your abusers. I mean related to other relationships in your lives. If someone has hurt you, failed you, disappointed you, do you ever feel a desire for revenge?


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#390500 - 03/24/12 10:12 AM Re: Revenge [Re: Esposa]
mike13 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/02/11
Posts: 419
Loc: California USA
Esposa you might find this strange but I can truly say that I have forgiven my rapists in the sense that I have turned them over to God to get what ever punishment he has instore for them. The group i still struggle with are the people in my church who called me gay because of my gangrape and made my life a living hell. Their words over time have hurt me much more than my rapists ever did. I now know that forgiving them is my feel challange. I still see myself standing before God and demanding they get a taste of the hell they put me thru. I know that is not very christ like of me and I must do better but here is where I am right now. Hope this helps Mike


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#390503 - 03/24/12 10:25 AM Re: Revenge [Re: mike13]
traveler Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/07/06
Posts: 3517
Loc: somewhere in Africa
i have never felt a need for revenge - either against my abusers or anyone else that i felt had wronged me or hurt me. All i ever wanted was to be liked and accepted - even from those who treated me the worst.
Lee

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


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#390504 - 03/24/12 10:31 AM Re: Revenge [Re: Esposa]
herowannabe Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/01/11
Posts: 386
Loc: USA
Quote:
Their words over time have hurt me much more than my rapists ever did



Wow. I can only imagine. (((Mike)))

Congrats to you for being a more Christ-like person than those hypocrits. Your witness is powerful!

Sorry to jump in, Esposa...I just felt moved to send Mike a 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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#390506 - 03/24/12 10:33 AM Re: Revenge [Re: traveler]
r.m. Offline


Registered: 01/18/11
Posts: 106
I don't know if this is a "trait" of as survivor as much as it is for a revengeful person. We all deal with our trauma differently. We all deal with our recovery differently. Comparing how I handle situations to how someone else handles a situation is terribly dangerous and not helpful to me or anyone else you're comparing me with. I caution you, for the sake of your survivor's recovery well-being, in doing this. I know for myself, I'm always questioning myself and if I knew someone was doing it for me too, it would tell me they have less confidence in me and my ability to recovery properly for myself.


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#390508 - 03/24/12 10:43 AM Re: Revenge [Re: herowannabe]
mike13 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/02/11
Posts: 419
Loc: California USA
Thanks for the hug Hero I sure needed it. Sometimes it is so hard to be a follower of christ especially when we fall so short sometimes Thanks Mike


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#390511 - 03/24/12 11:01 AM Re: Revenge [Re: mike13]
Esposa Offline
F&F Greeter
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/19/11
Posts: 728
Loc: NJ
r.m - never meaned to imply it was a trait.... no way. Actually just looking for insight from people. I think vengeful feelings happen to be human and I was just asking for experience in manifestation only.

As far as comparing....gosh, that's human too no? The desire to find someone in your situation in order to commiserate or seek compassion.

And I am guilty of questioning things because I do have that unfortunate disposition of wanting to understand, wanting to see things from other people's points of view. I am sorry if my post seemed otherwise.


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#390512 - 03/24/12 11:02 AM Re: Revenge [Re: Esposa]
Esposa Offline
F&F Greeter
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/19/11
Posts: 728
Loc: NJ
Lee - I am with you on that sentiment.


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#390516 - 03/24/12 11:36 AM Re: Revenge [Re: Esposa]
r.m. Offline


Registered: 01/18/11
Posts: 106
No worries, and I completely understand your desire to commiserate and share with someone who's "in the same boat".

As a spouse of a survivor and someone who likes to understand "everything", I really understand your desire to see things from other's perspectives. I can't tell you enough how important it is to focus your efforts on your survivor. Find out how he feels about revenge. How does that line up with your view of it? Your survivor needs your support and love. That is very different than needing you to understand everything he is going through. He needs you to hear and listen to him. You will never see things like he does. You bring a history to the table that does not allow you to see things exactly the way he does, because he brings his own history. Unless you grew up as conjoined twins, which is unlikely, you will have had different histories, thus, different responses to stimulus. That's okay. Your perspective is just as valid as his, because it's yours, and his is also valid as yours, because it's his. I don't believe there are any wrong decisions in recovery. There may be bad ones, but it's up to everyone involved to move through it how they know how to, learn from it and tackle the next challenge in their lives.


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#390562 - 03/24/12 05:08 PM Re: Revenge [Re: r.m.]
Esposa Offline
F&F Greeter
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/19/11
Posts: 728
Loc: NJ
r.m. - I like what you are saying and I am very supportive of my husband's journey, kind of in awe of it honestly. Unfortunately for us, we are dealing simultaneously with a loss of trust. I need to be able to trust him (and him me) - and for me, that means understanding his history, his perspective and his responses to stimuli.


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#390566 - 03/24/12 05:53 PM Re: Revenge [Re: Esposa]
r.m. Offline


Registered: 01/18/11
Posts: 106
Sorry for being such a simple mind, but isn't a marriage or a (committed) relationship a commitment? Of course, it's a rhetorical question. So, knowing this committed relationship is a commitment to another person, at any time, we need to be prepared to ask ourselves, "Do I want to spend the rest of my life with this person?" If the answer is anything but, "Absolutely!", there is something missing. It's not the past that's missing. It's not your understanding of his perspective or response to stimuli that's missing. The commitment is lost. There are now conditions on your love for him. You're hung up on why he's not acting this way or what would he do in this situation, instead of focusing on what's really the current issue. Why is there a lack of trust?


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#390567 - 03/24/12 05:59 PM Re: Revenge [Re: r.m.]
Esposa Offline
F&F Greeter
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/19/11
Posts: 728
Loc: NJ
No no... Quite the opposite. He breached my trust. I'm still committed just now we need to restore trust. Total bummer


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#390569 - 03/24/12 06:04 PM Re: Revenge [Re: Esposa]
r.m. Offline


Registered: 01/18/11
Posts: 106
If you're committed, why does all the past stuff matter? Is understanding all that going to change anything?


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#390571 - 03/24/12 06:17 PM Re: Revenge [Re: r.m.]
Esposa Offline
F&F Greeter
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/19/11
Posts: 728
Loc: NJ
Hmmm. I hesitate to go back into this because of recent complaints about the F&F forum topics... I guess I will only say that I would be divorced today if it were not for his disclosure and his recognition of the fact that he made faulty decisions based on what he was exposed to as a young person. Unfortunately, being committed is not always enough although I have seen that my 100% committment to working on this together and my full support of his journey has allowed him to see that he can trust me, if only a little.


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#390573 - 03/24/12 06:46 PM Re: Revenge [Re: Esposa]
r.m. Offline


Registered: 01/18/11
Posts: 106
Okay, well, I hope you're not staying with him for the accolades of being a "great support" to him. I'm interested now, with his disclosure, do you see that as a reason or an excuse?


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#390634 - 03/24/12 11:57 PM Re: Revenge [Re: Esposa]
herowannabe Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/01/11
Posts: 386
Loc: USA
Quote:
Okay, well, I hope you're not staying with him for the accolades of being a "great support" to him.


r.m., Did your survivor act out (sexually) within your marriage? If so, how did you overcome the infidelity while supporting his recovery from his abuse?

_________________________


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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#390647 - 03/25/12 02:25 AM Re: Revenge [Re: herowannabe]
traveler Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/07/06
Posts: 3517
Loc: somewhere in Africa
Sort of a divergence from the direction this thread has veered - but a direct answer or PS to my original answer to the original question about feeling of "revenge" ---

i said before i had none - but further reflection reveals that is not quite true.

1. i wanted the step-father - 1st and longest-duration abuser - to "disappear." i could not conceive of doing anything to him myself, but i could hope...

2. i wanted to get back at GOD for letting bad stuff happen to me - so i did "bad stuff" myself to get even with Him - cuz i'd been told that it made Him sad! nothing i did was illegal or even distantly approached wht was done to me, but still - talk about going straight to the TOP!

vengefully,
Lee

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


Top
#390662 - 03/25/12 09:48 AM Re: Revenge [Re: traveler]
Esposa Offline
F&F Greeter
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/19/11
Posts: 728
Loc: NJ
Can I redirect at this point?

I myself often fantasize of revenge, but I would be incapable of implementing it - too much internal guilt (there is some of my baggage).

Any thoughts on how boundaries (or lack thereof) impact manifestations of natural feelings of vengefulness?


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#390681 - 03/25/12 12:47 PM Re: Revenge [Re: Esposa]
r.m. Offline


Registered: 01/18/11
Posts: 106
My wife is a survivor also. No, she didn't step out of the marriage.

Here's how I see it. Again, maybe I have a very simple mind in this, I don't know. Commitment is what it comes down to. Daily, you ask yourself, do I want to spend the rest of my life with this person with no reservations? If there are reservations, those are unresolved conflicts. You then either work on those conflicts and move past them or you can hold onto anger surrounding the conflict. If they can't be resolved, then you need to decide if it's a deal breaker. If it is, you go separate ways. If it's not a deal breaker, you have to move past it. Look at it this way: you can either love reality or hate it. The fact is that your husband(s) stepped out of your marriage. You can't do anything about that now. It's done. It's over with. You can't change the outcome. That doesn't mean that you shouldn't be angry. I'd be pissed! But, those are the facts. Now you ask yourself, am I able to move past this and not hold it over his head anymore? Do I want to be with this person, who stepped out of our marriage for whatever reason, for the rest of my life with no reservations? That's for you to decide. I will tell you that shaming him and holding it over his head is going to put him back into survival mode because he doesn't feel safe in the environment. We all know what can happen in those situations.

So, how to overcome the infidelity. It's interesting, when I read the word "overcome" it sounds like a battle. Well, I'm sorry to say that it's not a battle. There is no winner or loser. The infidelity is a fact. It happened. It can't be undone. So, you either accept the fact that it happened and it can't be changed or you fight with yourself over your belief of reality. If you move yourself past the unbelief of the infidelity and embrace the reality of it, you'll find that it's much easier to build your trust in others. Until you do that, you will not be able to fully support him nor meet his needs.

Be angry at the reality, that's okay. If you are angry with him and want to hold on to that anger for him, sadly, I'd say your chances of overcoming anything are slim.

This is not unlike many of the other conflicts we see here at MS. Supporters talk about their survivor putting their family into financial ruin; he can't hold a job; whatever it might be that is greatly affecting the family. The thing is, there is a reason we do it. It's clear that destructive behaviors are not healthy. They are characteristics of an unhealthy person. The person needs to feel safe enough to be vulnerable enough to trust someone to help them. That's the key. Again, the answer to the question, "Is it worth it?" has to be either a definitive "yes" or "no". We have to be committed.


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#390685 - 03/25/12 01:03 PM Re: Revenge [Re: r.m.]
Esposa Offline
F&F Greeter
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/19/11
Posts: 728
Loc: NJ
r.m - I think you meant this to be other the other thread.


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#390686 - 03/25/12 01:06 PM Re: Revenge [Re: Esposa]
r.m. Offline


Registered: 01/18/11
Posts: 106
Nope, this one. wink


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#390689 - 03/25/12 01:37 PM Re: Revenge [Re: r.m.]
Esposa Offline
F&F Greeter
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/19/11
Posts: 728
Loc: NJ
I see now - sorry, you were responding to Hero.

Some of this advice is against conventional wisdom on marital reconciliation post affair - where we are advised strongly to get to the root of the causes of the affair in order to heal, reconcile and move forward.


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#390695 - 03/25/12 02:18 PM Re: Revenge [Re: Esposa]
r.m. Offline


Registered: 01/18/11
Posts: 106
Well, I'm will never claim that I'm a marriage counselor, so take my words how ever you want to.

Yes, getting to the "root of the causes of the affair". Well, what do you think the root of the cause is? Do you think he didn't love you? Do you think that he wanted to hurt you? Do you think that he's proud of himself for doing what he did? Now, with those answers in your head, do you believe his reasoning at the time of the affair was rational? Okay, there you go. There's the root of the cause. So, it's not about you and it's not about the sex. It's about a survivor who didn't feel safe for whatever reason and irrationally acted out on bad feelings he had in his head to fill his needs. That's a fact. Does he tell you that he loves you now? Does he tell you that he wants to spend the rest of his life with you? Is he actively working on his issues (that we all know he has)? Whatever he says, take his words at face value. Just like you want him to take your words at face value. You'll find out very quickly where the level of trust is between the two of you. You'll both recognize if the other respects you and is truly interested in healing from this point forward. It's important for the both of you to be healthy, committed and ready to move forward. That might not be right now, but there's much personal work for all involved to really answer the question, "Am I really committed to this person and this relationship?"


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#390698 - 03/25/12 02:36 PM Re: Revenge [Re: r.m.]
Esposa Offline
F&F Greeter
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/19/11
Posts: 728
Loc: NJ
"It's about a survivor who didn't feel safe for whatever reason and irrationally acted out on bad feelings he had in his head to fill his needs."

Exactly. wink

It's the "for whatever reason" that I have been trying to determine, in tandem with working on myself as an individual.


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#390699 - 03/25/12 03:01 PM Re: Revenge [Re: Esposa]
r.m. Offline


Registered: 01/18/11
Posts: 106
Again, Esposa, I understand your desire to determine what it was that sent him away. Don't over complicate it. Chalk it up to both of you being unhealthy at the time. Let today be day zero. You two are working on your "stuff" and you have a baseline for what's healthy and what's not. As you talk through things, you're going to hear the words coming out of his mouth and you're going to determine at that point if his thoughts are healthy thoughts. Just like he will to you. Instead of clouding future discussions with patterns of the past, take them with the knowledge that you have based on a healthy recovery, rather than an unhealthy past. It could get as crazy as, "Well, he ate a turkey sandwich for lunch then, later that night, he cheated on me, so we're getting rid of all sandwich making materials." No, you have to be able to trust each other in day to day situations because you both recognize healthy behavior as healthy and unhealthy behavior as unhealthy. You are growing as an individual. So is he. You will both change. You're relationship will change. Allow that change to come with positive direction rather than negative actions of the past.


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#390700 - 03/25/12 03:09 PM Re: Revenge [Re: r.m.]
Esposa Offline
F&F Greeter
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/19/11
Posts: 728
Loc: NJ
I hear you loud and clear - I do. And boy I want that. It's mind over mind stuff.

I was this way when I first learned of the affair - in fact, I think the first thing I said to him was let's get to work - let's get healthy. But I started that process, and he continued the affair - for six more months. A little setback.... that probably creates the hesitation you feel from me now.


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#390705 - 03/25/12 03:56 PM Re: Revenge [Re: Esposa]
r.m. Offline


Registered: 01/18/11
Posts: 106
Yes. Exactly! wink It's not your decision alone. It's his decision too. If he doesn't want to get healthy, you can't get healthy for him. These are interesting times for you, indeed. You're both jumping in the river at the same time on your own recoveries all the while wanting to be involved and supportive of your counterpart's recovery. It's a balancing act, but it doesn't start until both of you jump for yourselves. smile


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