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#393723 - 04/17/12 06:59 AM Ultimatum time?
Tiff Offline


Registered: 04/17/12
Posts: 11
My 43-year old partner was sexually abused by his teacher for 2 years, from when he was 14 until he was 16. She also encouraged him to take drugs and skip school to see her. Eventually his (divorced) parents found out and all hell broke loose. Unfortunately, he was the one who had to leave the school and move towns (with his Mum & sister) leaving all his friends to avoid a public scandal. Of course, all that happened to her was that she was quietly moved on (it was the mid-eighties). We think she continued to reoffend (was even in Bali at one point).

I've known about this since I met him 20 years ago. We have had several conversations about it since we've been together over the last 8 years and he knows I'm on his side (I've encouraged him to see a lawyer)but I've only really started to consider the massive impact it has had on him. I feel pretty thick - having read your website, it's so obvious: he has had serious problems with drugs & alcohol, over-eating, as well as unstable relationships, anger/rage and even violence. He is frightened of (and at times, extremely hateful, towards women). As a couple, we are very up and down and seem unable to sit down and talk about anything that happens between us without it turning into a massive argument. His moods are so up and down (not helped by drink and drugs) and when I ask him to explain why he feels angry, he simply denies it and tries to claim I'm the one with the problem. I've racked my brains trying to understand what's going on between us and am actually at the point where I think I have to say 'enough', for my own sanity.

He was not only betrayed by this teacher but also his own parents as well as the education department. There could be massive consequences if he decides to pursue legal avenues: much as I would love to see this woman made accountable, I also know he needs to be emotionally robust enough to deal with seeing somthing like that through. I love him so much but I feel like I'm just allowing him to repeatedly take everything out on me. He is charming, funny, generous and loving and has a wide circle of friends but still doesn't seem particularly close to anyone (he tends to focus on how many friends he has, rather than the quality of the relationships). He claims I'm the love of his life but often treats me like complete crap and can't see it - he is rude, sarcastic, hateful, derogatory then tries to say that I'm the one being like that! Obviously I'm responsible for at least some of our fight but he blames me for EVERYTHING that goes wrong between us. As if everything would be perfect if I didn't ever bring up his drinking, drugs use, rage, mood swings etc etc. When I try to talk about anything he accuses me of enjoying starting fights and shuts down.

I love him but can't continue to put myself in the firing line and I'm glad I'm pretty strong minded or I would have gone nuts by now. I'm at the stage where I need to issue an ultimatum - get help or it's over. I'm already moving out and getting my own place this week because I need some space and distance.

Your forums have been just fantastic - so many of these heartbreaking stories sound just like my poor man. He went to one counsellor a few years ago about his anger issues but said she wasn't very helpful so he has refused to go down that path again. I feel like I've let him down terribly - there have been so many signs/hints/conversations and I don't think I've ever really noticed that he was asking for help. How can I help him? CAN I help him? Where do I even start?

Sorry about the length of the post - and that's only HALF the story.

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#393731 - 04/17/12 08:04 AM Re: Ultimatum time? [Re: Tiff]
whome Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/07/11
Posts: 1734
Loc: Johannesburg South Africa
HI TIFF

Welcome to the site, and sorry that you need to be here.
Female on male abuse at that age in that era, was seen as Lucky, and most peers would have applauded him on his ability and conquest. He would have been hailed as a hero amongst his peers.

Unfortunately no one would have foreseen the impact that this would have had on his life. I am sure that he blames himself for the breakup of his family. (If I read correctly, he moved states with his mom and sister) So there is a lot of pain there. He doesn't see what happened to him as sexual abuse, well because he got lucky!!!!

There is a whole forum here on men abused by females, it is not as busy as the male survivor forum, but there is great info there.
So My desire is that you convince him to join MS and read for himself.
The anger issue and the rage and the drinking are all related to the abuse. He just needs to realize it.
I lost my rage after I confronted all my abuse issues, it was the most liberating moment of my life. I wondered why I struggled so much with the abuse for so long.

I truly hope that he confronts his demons, but I also pray that you confront your demons. Having lived with a survivor for so many years you are sure to have a couple of issues.
Please try and encourage your husband to join this site or join a survivor group in your area, and also to find a therapist that specializes in survivors treatment.

Heal well Tiff and welcome
Martin
_________________________
Matrix Men South Africa
Survivors Supporting Each other
Matrix Men Blog

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#393733 - 04/17/12 08:38 AM Re: Ultimatum time? [Re: Tiff]
Tiff Offline


Registered: 04/17/12
Posts: 11
Thanks heaps, Whome, much appreciated.

Just to clarify - his parents divorced when he was 7 so that was long before the abuse happened but when I really think about it, it just sounds like a predatory female teacher preying on a kid already made vulnerable by a horrible divorce. She was obviously aware of his family circumstances and his vulnerability so 'picked' him, which makes it all the more horrific. If I could meet her, I can honestly say i wouldn't be responsible for my actions.

After the 'scandal', his mother was given the option of leaving town to avoid any further drama, which she obviously took (bringing his younger sister). So yes, they left town. His father wasn't much help (alcoholic) but that's another story (and most likely one that contributed to his agony).

I'll look up the forum on men abused by women and am currently searching for a counsellor (we're in Melbourne, Australia). Even if he refusesto see anyone, I recognize that I need to - it's been a pretty rotten time for me as well.

Thanks again, Tiff

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#393759 - 04/17/12 01:00 PM Re: Ultimatum time? [Re: Tiff]
whome Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/07/11
Posts: 1734
Loc: Johannesburg South Africa
HI Tiff

Sorry I didnt see that you were in Aus. There are a bunch of really great survivors in Australia, and I think that some of them are in Melbourne.
If you would like, send me your area and I can ask them if there is a group in that area, or to help you with the nearest one.

You are not alone, Pm me if you would like more assistance.

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

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#393811 - 04/17/12 07:40 PM Re: Ultimatum time? [Re: Tiff]
herowannabe Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

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

Welcome to MS, sweet soul.

As a fellow wife of a survivor who acted out, my input to your question is yes. It is time for an ultimatum.

One can only be pulled from a river if he will grab ahold of a life preserver and work to keep afloat. If he won't do that for himself, he will only take you under with him. Save yourself and in doing so you may give him the motivation to save his own self.

Sorry to be so direct. My gentle/tender button has short circuited today. Hope to have it repaired by tomorrow!

I wish you peace and wisdom-
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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#393842 - 04/17/12 10:14 PM Re: Ultimatum time? [Re: Tiff]
mmfan Offline


Registered: 09/25/11
Posts: 114
I think you're doing the right thing -you know where your boundaries are and you're doing what's necessary to look after yourself -while still caring about him and wanting to help. Its a fine balance! We can't sacrifice ourselves, there's nothing noble in that, and it doesn't help our survivor. At the end of the day, this healing process belongs to him, and he alone can rescue himself. When he becomes impossible to live with and his loved ones can no longer take it, maybe this will jolt him into some kind of crisis that will motivate him. Maybe it won't. Either way you are allowing him to be responsible for himself, and you are protecting your health and well being. You are right to believe that you deserve more.

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#393845 - 04/17/12 10:50 PM Re: Ultimatum time? [Re: Tiff]
Tiff Offline


Registered: 04/17/12
Posts: 11
Thanks so much everyone, you people are LOVELY!

I think I'm making the right decision - direct is exactly what's needed, please don't apologise! I'll see him tonight and talk to him then - I don't want to lose him but if he chooses to continue as he has been, I'm prepared to end things there and then(and follow through).

Martin, I pm'ed you asking about any support groups near me, I'm happy to travel all over town, if necessary. I just think it would really help both him (and me) to know that he isn't the only one. Anything you can suggest would be great.

Thanks again, everyone.

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#393865 - 04/18/12 01:52 AM Re: Ultimatum time? [Re: Tiff]
Anomalous Offline
Greeter Coordinator
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 03/07/10
Posts: 1341
Hi Tiff,

I understand your partners pain.

However, his is not allowed to abuse you becuase he is in pain.

If you have not already done so, you need to get a therapist for yourself. You want someone with experience with trauma and, preferably, sexual abuse. If you can only find a therapist who specializes in trauma, that will be good.

It is good that you are setting limits and boundaries with him. Eventually he will get the message that things are changing, have to change, and they have to change NOW.

He has every right to be angry, depressed, and rageful. But taking it out on you and others is not an option.

I know you said he is reluctant to go back to therapy. Perhaps the therapist started venturing into his pain and he got scared and ran. Perhaps it was the wrong therapist for him. Regardless of the reason he left therapy, it is in his best interest for him to return.

Obviously, you cannot lead a horse to water.

You may want to leave information about this site for him. Sometimes it takes people a long time before they join the site. Some will read without ever joining, and some find what is here to be too triggering.

There are a lot of books written for survivors and for those who love them. You can find a link to the books on the home page. Many here will be more than happy to share the book titles they found to be most helpful.

Whether or not your partner chooses to take positive steps toward healing from his experiences, you need to heal from them, and from him. Hopefully he will choose to grow with you, rather than apart from you. But it has to be his choice.

Dealing with this stuff is not easy, not for the survivor, and certainly not for the person who loves him. But it can and does get better. A lot of energy and committment is required to achieve the desired results.

Your partner is using substances to keep from feeling. That is very common. None of us wants to feel the pain from the memories. His rages and arguments are also defenses against the pain he feels.

The truth is, he survived the worst part of this. And while the memories and feelings may be painful and unpleasant, they are just that -- memories and feelings, and they cannot harm him.

This is not to say they do not hurt, they most certainly do. But numbing himself and trying to suppress everything isn't working. The only way to get the pain to stop is to do the work in therapy.

It will be a rough road for each of you, but the rewards are immeasurable.

One of the things you need to do is self care. You need to eat well, exercise and do things that are not trauma related. You need to have a support system that does not focus on the issues. You also need to have activities that you can do independent of your partner.

You have all of us here. If you have not found it yet, there is also a chat room (aka: the lounge) which includes a room just for friends and family.

The best way to support him is to get yourself help and to be healthy.




Anomalous
_________________________
Acceptance on someone else's terms is worse than rejection.

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#393900 - 04/18/12 09:32 AM Re: Ultimatum time? [Re: Tiff]
Tiff Offline


Registered: 04/17/12
Posts: 11
Thanks anomalous - what I've been thinking about it all seems pretty much in line with the advice I'm getting on this site so I figure I must be vaguely on the right track!

I have an appointment with a promising counsellor next week (she specialises in sexual abuse) so that's a start. As I said, even if he refuses to come, I can at least go for myself. I sometimes think having someone validate your own experience can help to remind you you're not crazy or making mountains out of molehills or whatever. I think I also need to have it reinforced that what happened to him was a huge deal and has had massive effects on his life (he has tried to dismiss or trivialise the whole thing in the past). I think we need to stay with it this time.

Cheers all and thanks so much for the support.

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#393923 - 04/18/12 11:01 AM Re: Ultimatum time? [Re: Tiff]
whome Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/07/11
Posts: 1734
Loc: Johannesburg South Africa
Hi Tiff

Some one will contact you via email, If you don't have it already.
I always let the group contact the person rather than send you his email, I know that he can help you and your man, He has been a great help to me even over the great divide of the Indian Ocean.

Keep me posted
Heal well
MArtin
_________________________
Matrix Men South Africa
Survivors Supporting Each other
Matrix Men Blog

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