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#399667 - 06/07/12 11:27 AM Almost at the end of my rope
patientlywaiting Offline


Registered: 06/07/12
Posts: 16
Loc: New York
I'm hoping that some one here has had a similar experience and can give me advice, or a survivor has a different way of looking at the situation and can explain it to me.

I've been with my partner a little over 4 years. When we were about 2 1/2 years into our relationship, I brought up the topic of marriage. I expressed my desire to want to marry him and he started having anxiety issues and lashing out at me whenever I brought up the topic. He would go into these uncontrollable fits of anger, during which he would express feelings of worthlessness. I couldn't understand it and asked that he see someone about anger management. This led to more stress since he is without health insurance.

6 months after this, he went to the local health clinic for help with anxiety. He started seeing a social worker, and that's when he decided to reveal that to her that he a CSA survivor. He was 25 when he revealed this and it happened when he was around 7 or 8 at the hands of a college-aged male neighbor. The social worker was the first person he had ever told, followed by me. He went through 6 weeks of therapy (including EMDR) with her, and that's when his "allotted" time was up. Now he can deal with the memories without the amount of anxiety and emotions that it once brought about.

Now he's going to a local non-profit that helps helps survivors of rape, incest, and CSA. I'm hoping that this will help him out, but I'm starting to grow weary of hearing him tell me that he loves me, but he's not ready to commit to marriage until he's "right with himself." I want what's best for me, and for him, but I worry that he's never going to want to get married. I gave him my boundaries, which were that I will not stay in a relationship that has no promise of a resulting marriage. I also told him that I want him to seriously think about us getting married and we'll talk about it at the end of the summer. I feel strongly about holding my bottom line, but I worry about his well being if I do so. Will he be ok if the only person he's trusted enough to tell about the CSA leaves him? I'm so confused...

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#399674 - 06/07/12 12:39 PM Re: Almost at the end of my rope [Re: patientlywaiting]
GoodHope Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/05/11
Posts: 415
I'm biased, but I LIKE that he doesn't want to mArry until he can manage the fallout from his childhood. If he says and behaves committed, why the urgency for the marriage. Do you feel societal pressure? Is there an internal clock you have that you want him to adhere to? I ask because I felt that way w my husband. I did not know of his abuse until 7 years into our marriage. I wish for him the luxury of concentrating primarily on his healing. As a married man w three children, it is hell on him. Examine why getting married soon is so important to you. If you fear your future husband is not committed--commitment is not found on the paper it's found in the heart.
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Wife of a survivor

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#399683 - 06/07/12 04:00 PM Re: Almost at the end of my rope [Re: patientlywaiting]
patientlywaiting Offline


Registered: 06/07/12
Posts: 16
Loc: New York
No societal pressure, and he does act committed. Until I met my partner, I did not believe in marriage. I come from a home with a happy, successful marriage (as does he), but I simply did not understand the desire to want to "settle down" and spend your life with one person. I now understand the desire to want to do this when you've found the right person. It's trying for me because he's said that he's pretty certain that he wants to marry me someday, but won't give me a timeline. It seems like when I ask him about it, he either digs his heels in and doesn't want to discuss or consider it and we end up backtracking instead of moving forward with our relationship.

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#399691 - 06/07/12 06:27 PM Re: Almost at the end of my rope [Re: patientlywaiting]
GoodHope Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/05/11
Posts: 415
Listen to him. Listen to me. Let it ride for now. He's not ready. It doesn't matter the reason. If he is "the one" he will be a year from now. He says he is committed. You say he acts cOmitted. That's all he can give. If he is using the the time to work on his healing, back off and let him do it. It's a gift for both of you. It gives you a much better shot at a healthy, long marriage. If you come to the place where you aren't willing to wait on him any longer, tread lightly when you leave. I didn't know it then because my husband seems to have it together and seems self confident, but I triggered a fear of abandonment when I broke up w him. I was not trying to manipulate him but it wasn't working for me without the legal commitment so I walked. If I knew then that he was a survivor and what that entailed I would have handled it more delicately. He's giving you a gift so precious you can't see it. He wants to be whole for you! Marriage is so much harder when one or both are not whole. Take the time to work on you, enjoy you, pursue you. If its right, it will be ok in the end.
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Wife of a survivor

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#399693 - 06/07/12 07:03 PM Re: Almost at the end of my rope [Re: patientlywaiting]
Esposa Offline
F&F Greeter
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/19/11
Posts: 682
Loc: NJ
Listen to me too.... CSA aside, don't marry someone who isn't ready to be married for whatever reason. Why do women marry men they need to push to the alter?

Now add back the CSA, this man is handing you a gift that most of us wives WISH we had been given.

I agree with GH, do YOU. Figure yourself out. Read GETTING THE LOVE YOU WANT and know EXACTLY why you are drawn to this man and what your own goals will be within the relationship. You need only read our posts to see the misery you have escaped by having someone who revealed his issues and knows that he needs to be stable in order to offer you the commitment you deserve.

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#399773 - 06/08/12 09:00 AM Re: Almost at the end of my rope [Re: patientlywaiting]
herowannabe Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/01/11
Posts: 386
Loc: USA
I concur! The only one you can control is you. If your boundaries are being bent too much, then move on. If you two are meant to be, it'll be, and it will be healthy for you both! You aren't wrong to feel as you do; you have rights, too! Moving on doesn't have to mean you abandon him! You can still support him with out feeling that you are being strung along and compromised
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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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#399861 - 06/09/12 01:21 AM Re: Almost at the end of my rope [Re: patientlywaiting]
Anomalous Offline
Greeter Coordinator
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 03/07/10
Posts: 1344
Hi PatientlyWaiting,

I think the advice you have been given is very good and sound advice.

What is the rush?

Why do you have an arbitrary timeline?

If the love you have for each other is as true and as strong as you say it is, the love will always be there. A quick trip to the alter and a piece of paper isn't going to make the relationship.

It is what is in your hearts that matters.

The man you love is dealing with a lot of trauma and turmoil right now. As the others have said, he is giving you a gift by having revealed to you, and trusted you, with the most terrible secret and pain he has had in his life.

Out of love and respect he told you that which he has never told another.

Respect his decision to want to heal before he marries you.

Whether you are married or in a committed relationship, his healing journey is going to impact you; it is just the reality of the situation. It is advisable for you to get your own therapist, preferably one who specializes in trauma and / or sexual abuse.

You neither want, nor need, a therapist who specializes in relationships/ marriage!! That is the wrong kind of therapist for you to see.

For help in finding a therapist please read the Consumers Guide to Therapist Shopping. Psychology Today has listings for all states and counties. You can choose the type of therapist you are seeking as well as the area(s) to which you are willng to travel.

Also, there are many books written for the partners of abused males. I am certian others will share titles they have found useful. You can find these titles, and others here at the bookstore.

Digging in your heals and demanding an answer in a few months will be to the detriment of your relationship.

Rather than being angry because he cannot "give you the date" yet, take this time to go to therapy and to learn about trauma and sexual abuse.

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.

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.





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

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#399896 - 06/09/12 11:20 AM Re: Almost at the end of my rope [Re: patientlywaiting]
patientlywaiting Offline


Registered: 06/07/12
Posts: 16
Loc: New York
Thank you all for your advice. I have read books, specifically, Aliies in Healing and When a Man You Love was Abused. These both have helped me to understand a bit of what he's dealing with. I didn't think it was an arbitrary time, more like if he's not ready after 4 1/2 years of being together, then he'll never be ready. I feel like it's been all about him for the past 1 1/2 years since he's started dealing with the fact that he is a survivor of CSA. When will it be about US?
I do have a therapists for just myself, which has helped some, but I guess it's a slower process than I anticipated.
I'm angry at the shithead that did this to him and that now I'm the only one who's helping him figure all this out. I didn't do anything to deserve this, and now I'm right in the middle of it with all my hopes and dreams on hold. Oh yeah, and I get to deal with him gearing his anger and insecurities toward me when he's having a hard time dealing with everything, any small conflict turns into a huge fight because he feels the need to vent in the form of an argument. Does it ever get better?

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#399899 - 06/09/12 12:41 PM Re: Almost at the end of my rope [Re: patientlywaiting]
Obi Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/28/09
Posts: 1314
Loc: kansas
it does get better....

you do have to protect yourself as well, but it does get better.

there is no time table as to how long a person, who has been abused, takes to get through his recovery.

i know that can be frustrating to hear, but it's the truth...

we all process things in a way that is comfortable for us at a pace that is comfortable for us...

this i do know, if there was some magic elixer believe me when i say that all of us who have been abused would be in line to take it asap if it meant that our issues would be completely gone and we wouldn't be affected by it anymore...

sadly, no such magic elixer exists....

i've been in recovery since '06.... still going through it. i know that i still got a long ways to go.... but i'm getting better...

the start of this year i decided that i needed to start putting me first. i need to take care of me and my issues instead of always putting me on the back-burner and help everyone else out with their stuff...

i did this because i finally realized that, while i may be helping others to some degree, i wasn't taking care of me... that i still was suffering with my issues..

the last relationship i was in also was a HUGE sign to me that i really wasn't ready for that yet. i had too many issues that i know would make any relationship i had with a woman difficult and pretty much always end up in the same spot of NOT working out. my last gf knew of my abuse because i told her early on. i know she meant well, but she thought that buying me a book would instantly "cure" me... well... sorry... doesn't work that way... she kept asking if i read the book. i would say yes.. she then would say well, why are you still having these issues... i tried to explain to her that the book she gave me wasn't dealing with sexual abuse issues and that also by reading one book wasn't going to instantly fix me... it doesn't work that way.. she didn't understand.... i finally told her that i had to end the relationship because she was wanting an instant husband, which we only had dated for a few months, and that i had too many issues to deal with that i wasn't ready for marriage yet and that i didn't feel it was fair for me to make her wait for who knows how long it would take me to work through my issues.

after many tears, i think she finally somewhat understood that these issues that come from abuse run deep and cling to us tightly... they are not easily taken care of.. that it takes time..

i don't know if this helped you or not.... i'm not saying you should dump him and move on. i'm also not saying you should stay with him either... i am saying that is perhaps you can think about what your needs are.. not your wants.. your needs.... there is a difference between a want and a need...


Edited by Obi (06/09/12 12:43 PM)
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#399907 - 06/09/12 01:36 PM Re: Almost at the end of my rope [Re: patientlywaiting]
GoodHope Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/05/11
Posts: 415
Originally Posted By: patientlywaiting
I didn't think it was an arbitrary time, more like if he's not ready after 4 1/2 years of being together, then he'll never be ready. I feel like it's been all about him for the past 1 1/2 years since he's started dealing with the fact that he is a survivor of CSA. When will it be about US?
I do have a therapists for just myself, which has helped some, but I guess it's a slower process than I anticipated.
I'm angry at the shithead that did this to him and that now I'm the only one who's helping him figure all this out. I didn't do anything to deserve this, and now I'm right in the middle of it with all my hopes and dreams on hold. Oh yeah, and I get to deal with him gearing his anger and insecurities toward me when he's having a hard time dealing with everything, any small conflict turns into a huge fight because he feels the need to vent in the form of an argument. Does it ever get better?


And marriage changes any of those circumstances how? If you having a difficult time adjusting now, you will find it just as difficult as a Mrs. (maybe moreso because you thought marriage would change those circumstances). If you ran to the JP tomorrow and got married, if he wasn't ready, he still wouldn't be ready (just married and not ready). If he is self centered at this time due to his recovery (which I don't object to, NOW, with no wife, no kids, etc is the time to be that way) he will be with you as his wife. This advice transcends CSA. It's good to remember for anyone entering a marriage. If you feel like you invested 4.5 years and now you need a "return" rethink it. Those 4.5 years are gone. GONE. Jumping into something that has so many different levels of concern is no way to redeem those 4.5 years. And know that no matter how this turns out, they weren't wasted. Hopefully you learned, you grew, you understand what it takes to make a healthy partnership and if it's meant to be, you get to share that with you current guy. And if it isn't, you'll be all the better for whomever comes after him. Best wishes.
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Wife of a survivor

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