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#402882 - 07/08/12 03:47 PM Can i ask an honest question?
KL24 Offline


Registered: 02/10/12
Posts: 21
i am beyond tired and don't know if i can fluff this post up so please know before reading, i am truly speaking to partners of survivors and do not want to hurt any current survivors at all- i do not have any partner of survivors friends so this is my only place to find some advice from those who have lived this....

i have been involved with my friend/boyfriend (it changes) since september, it has been a long and challenging road- it has been tiring and lonely.... sad... depressing and frustrating. it has also been deep, intimate, fun, exciting, passionate... the highs are high the lows are low. i have learned so much!! and cried a lot... in a very low point now and when i read all these posts i want to know...

if you knew then what you knew now.... would you have continued and married your partner? would you recommend to a young girl in a relationship with someone who has cheated and made her feel so alone, would you tell her to stick it out or try for love elsewhere. would you want what you have for your own son or daughteR? is this relationship ideal or just survival? i am so tired of feeling unimportant and all my resources encourage supporting the survivor which i want to do, but i just wonder... i am not married to this person, is this really something that other married partners would chose for themselves if they could do it all over again??

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#402883 - 07/08/12 03:58 PM Re: Can i ask an honest question? [Re: KL24]
Valkyrie Offline


Registered: 04/27/12
Posts: 167
I have been together with my husband for 12 years. And honestly? Knowing what I know know, and after all that has happened, I wouldn't have married him.

But I can't change the 12 years we have been together, and I am fighting, tooth and nail, to keep our marriage together, but if I were at the beginning of a relationship, like you, I would back out, stay friends, remain supportive, but let him recover without inflicting further damage upon me.

Sorry, at a low point too. PM me any time you want to talk.

Best,

Valyrie

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#402886 - 07/08/12 04:05 PM Re: Can i ask an honest question? [Re: Valkyrie]
KL24 Offline


Registered: 02/10/12
Posts: 21
thank you for being vulnerable and honest with me. I really appreciate it,

i will prob PM you i could use advice and friendship on the matter.

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#402893 - 07/08/12 05:22 PM Re: Can i ask an honest question? [Re: KL24]
Lavinia Offline


Registered: 12/02/09
Posts: 61
I can totally relate to the emotional ups and downs my relationship has gone through, and maybe my perspective is somewhat different since I'm also a survivor of child sexual abuse, but I wouldn't trade my partner for anyone else in the universe. At his worst, he is sarcastic, moody, temperamental, and withdraws a lot; at his best, he is sweet, funny, kind, romantic and nurturing. Things aren't always easy for us, but we are committed to one another and love isn't about perfection, it's about finding someone who understands you and loves you despite your human imperfections.

That being said, it's a tough, long, sometimes lonely road to recovery and when a survivor shuts loved ones out, it can hurt like crazy and confuse them. I guess the question you need to ask yourself is, "Is this relationship worth the struggles?" It's all right to go your separate ways, but my therapist often tells me not to make any big decisions when I'm either "too high" or "too low" so the same applies here. I'd wait until you're in a better place emotionally before deciding whether to stay or leave. Make sure you communicate your feelings to him as much as possible without dumping everything onto him. I know it's difficult not to vent - my partner often frustrates me to the point that I want to explode - but be open and honest and also speak from your heart and he'll feel better about where you two stand in your relationship.

Feel free to message me anytime, and best wishes to you. Now I have to go practice what I've been preaching and have a long, heart-to-heart talk with my partner Zack, who has been driving me nuts lately....

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#402906 - 07/08/12 07:12 PM Re: Can i ask an honest question? [Re: KL24]
Valkyrie Offline


Registered: 04/27/12
Posts: 167
Isn't all just a big effen b****???

I love this man, I HATE what he does to me, I have no idea who he is sometimes, and I really have no idea what I will wake up to from day to day.

I AM FREAKIN EXHAUSTED!!!

!@#$%$##!@#$%$##!@

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#402907 - 07/08/12 07:33 PM Re: Can i ask an honest question? [Re: Lavinia]
KL24 Offline


Registered: 02/10/12
Posts: 21
do you think there is a difference because you guys are committed? my partner says he can't tell what he feels for me. He is confused and needs us to be friends, (but in reality i am putting in all the work of a relationship, time and energy but not physical interaction and no relational commitment) and i was working with this and then when i went out of town as "friends" he slept with two other girls. its terrifying to recommit as deep friends, knowing there is no commitment- i am so lonely even as his friend. i am lonely with him and lonely without him.

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#402908 - 07/08/12 07:34 PM Re: Can i ask an honest question? [Re: KL24]
KL24 Offline


Registered: 02/10/12
Posts: 21
i do not mean to slight or down play his feelings- he is learning the difference between sexual and emotional connection. so taking us out of the sexual dating and placing us as friends has been the decision we have made in order to bring clarity but it turned out pretty rotten on my end.

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#402910 - 07/08/12 07:38 PM Re: Can i ask an honest question? [Re: KL24]
TimHorton Offline


Registered: 05/09/12
Posts: 44
Such a hard question to answer.

I do not know where I would be in my life without my husband. I honestly cannot imagine life without him - the wonderful parts of him...even some of the not so wonderful parts of him.

When I said I do and took those vows I meant every word. For better or for worse. Had I known that he would turn his back on me - I probably wouldn't have said "I do". It pains me deeply to say that. I could have never imagined that things would turn out the way they have. I trusted him and his honor. I trusted his word when he said, "I do".

Now he is leaving me and I am a broken person. I still have hope it will work out but if we were not married it would save me the heartache of divorce. It would save me the embarrassment and questions from people about why my name changed back to my maiden name. It would save me the pity from others...The legal matters which are bound to rip my heart out...because I do not want this marriage to end.

Would I have started this relationship? Would I have stayed with him for all these years? Yes. Of course. I love him.

Would I have married him? Probably not. It hurts so badly to say.

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#402911 - 07/08/12 07:44 PM Re: Can i ask an honest question? [Re: KL24]
Sad in the Midwe Offline


Registered: 12/23/09
Posts: 19
I would leave.
All relationships take work, but being married (we've made 21 years) to a SAS is farrrrr more work, more lonely, more difficult than most relationships. It's hard to find kindred spirits-so few people know about the addictions/acting out/depression(s) behaviours that are part and parcel of being sexually abused.

It's hard for you-and if you have children-you're signing them up for a father who has-at least in my experience-severe limitations. It's not fair to them. (Again, more anxiety, depression, acting out, therapy, backwards sliding, etc.)
Please be careful....

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#402912 - 07/08/12 08:00 PM Re: Can i ask an honest question? [Re: KL24]
KL24 Offline


Registered: 02/10/12
Posts: 21
it means so much to have some advice. it is hard because i love him but i can't explain to anyone around me whats going on because from the outside it doesn't make sense to people. I feel so alone. and i keep trying but it feels like everything i try is wrong for him...( yes i have read allies in healing, victims no longer, and others...) but it hurts when i feel like nothing i do is right and then expressing that feeling just adds fuel to the fire... frown i am so sad. and feel so lonely

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#402913 - 07/08/12 08:01 PM Re: Can i ask an honest question? [Re: KL24]
KL24 Offline


Registered: 02/10/12
Posts: 21
you guys are so brave and so great. i really appreciate this forum and all of you for opening up to me

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#402914 - 07/08/12 08:25 PM Re: Can i ask an honest question? [Re: KL24]
Haps Offline


Registered: 07/06/12
Posts: 89
Loc: Ohio
What a wonderful question. Today I am staying. Yesterday I was ready for divorce during an argument. Tomorrow I'm cautiously optimistic.

I do know that until I started doing my own work I would have been destined to find someone who was emotionally perplexing. I've got enough wreckage in my own wake to prove it, too.

It wasn't until my guy pulled away so completely that I got my butt into a place where I needed to do the work. I couldn't leave. I had to find a way to stay.

I'm not in a position to take children's needs into consideration. My family thinks I'm nuts. Then again, I think THeY should have ended their relationships, so that cancels each other out, doesn't it??:) A good lesson there is the pattern of unhealthy relationships that has been in my family history.

That said, this is a very personal decision. I'm just starting to make my "deal breaker" list. It's much different now that I'm learning better self care than it would have been a year ago for sure, tho.

Key is to make sure you stay healthy. Understanding is one thing, but subjecting ourselves over and over to unhealthy behavior is another. Being treated badly can still hurt. Plus, if you step back, you give them time and space to be better themselves.

So much to say on this, and I'll probably be back to say some more, but hopefully that gives you some additional insight.

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#402916 - 07/08/12 08:31 PM Re: Can i ask an honest question? [Re: KL24]
KL24 Offline


Registered: 02/10/12
Posts: 21
thank you haps!
do you ever feel like your work is not enough though? i am in therapy and reading too and i get scared that i am slaving away to change who i am in order to fit someones needs...

i think i am afraid, i am afraid to work through all this again and have it all fall apart again.. i get so tired of the "break up" feeling, like "its over this time" and it hurrts then we work it out... and then it happens all over again... i know i have issues with fear, anxiety but this relationship seems to heighten all of them without any release...

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#402917 - 07/08/12 08:40 PM Re: Can i ask an honest question? [Re: KL24]
Valkyrie Offline


Registered: 04/27/12
Posts: 167
You haven't been together even a year yet and already he slept with two other girls? I understand how that is complicated by the abuse, but had my husband done that to me that early on (we were 5 years in when it did happen), I would have been out the door, abuse or no abuse.

Stay friends with him but save yourself. You are trying to build a relationship with a man who is trying to rebuild himself, which means you are not getting all of him because he cannot give it to you.

Maybe down the road he will be in a place to have the relationship you want, but it could be years. In the meantime, you are signing up for a heck of a lot of heartache and loneliness.

I understand the desire to see it through, I really do, but you are not that far invested to put it on hold, remain friends, and put your own life back together.

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#402919 - 07/08/12 08:54 PM Re: Can i ask an honest question? [Re: KL24]
KL24 Offline


Registered: 02/10/12
Posts: 21
how do i stay friends when i like him? it seems so complicated- it seems like my options are seeing it through or losing contact... being friends with an ex is difficult being friends with an ex who you have walked through CSA with is even harder to do....

you are right i am definitely trying to be with someone who is trying to put their own life back together...then i feel bad though, i feel like i am being judgemental... maybe i have boundary issues too

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#402920 - 07/08/12 08:54 PM Re: Can i ask an honest question? [Re: KL24]
KL24 Offline


Registered: 02/10/12
Posts: 21
like...is the wrong word i do love him.

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#402923 - 07/08/12 08:58 PM Re: Can i ask an honest question? [Re: KL24]
Haps Offline


Registered: 07/06/12
Posts: 89
Loc: Ohio
Oh, all the darn time!! Anxiety is my middle name. Your post rings something in me that I was so afraid to deal with myself -- What's going on with me that I don't feel like I can live without this guy?

Well, a 12-step program (Al-Anon), accupuncture, and EMDR later, I've realized I don't know what it's like to live for me. I've attached every bit of my being to this guy. Started out fun! Drunk, but fun. Cuddling, close, together... Everything I needed to set me up for a trigger later on. AWOL? Hello "freaking the hell out!" my life had become something Lifetime movies are made of - not real life.

So, if someone would have told me something I would have listened to with what I know now --- Be friends. Focus on you. Take inspiration from the work we see being done on these boards and do your own work. Grab Codependent No More. Read it 3x and DO the exercises. Find a group and sponsor who won't let you off the hook but loves you unconditionally. (I asked my Sponsor today "Dont u get sick of hearing my same story?" She said "Are you sick of living it yet?") Learn what unconditional love is. We have put "strings" on our love to them, and that's hard to untangle right now. I've literally only had this light bulb turned on in my brain in the past 72 hours at most, but there's certainly something here.

Sorry if that's harsh. It's very much "mine" for the ownership in terms of giving myself a hard look at me, but hopefully something works for ya.

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#402925 - 07/08/12 09:06 PM Re: Can i ask an honest question? [Re: KL24]
Valkyrie Offline


Registered: 04/27/12
Posts: 167
No one is questioning your love. But you cannot stay in this guy's life and expect to have a safe, functioning, emotional, loving, and healthy relationship right now.

His needs comes first. He has to put his life back together. Romance needs to go on the back burner. And your needs will always be secondary. DO NOT BECOME CO-DEPENDENT.

Be his friend. Love him as a friend. Maybe in time, that relationship could be more. Then again, maybe not. Ever.

All relationships are a gamble. But you have to accept the reality of now. Who he is now. Who you are now. You and he are not in the same place right now.

It's awful. It really is, this rollercoaster ride we partners are on. Like Haps, I'm here today. Yesterday, I was looking for rooms to rent and wondering how we could ever afford a divorce. Tomorrow? Who the hell knows.

You really want to sign up for that after being with him for less than a year and with two incidents of him cheating on you?

You are not being judgmental. You are being realistic. And maybe you do have boundary issues. Get to a therapist and figure your own stuff out before you commit to this any further. You could save yourself a lot of gut-wrenching, soul-crushing chaos.

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#402935 - 07/08/12 09:55 PM Re: Can i ask an honest question? [Re: KL24]
GoodHope Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/05/11
Posts: 417
You asked 2 different questions. I'll answer the easy one first. What would I tell a young woman pursuing a relationship? It would be "don't." I would not advise continuing in a relationship w someone who has DEMONSTRATED untrustworthiness. I remember catching my then boyfriend now husband in a small lie. I freaked because I believed (knew?) if you'll lie about small things you'll lie about big things. I called him on it, he fessed up, assured me it wouldn't happen again (but that too, was a lie). If you want to remain friends and see how progresses, that would be fine but don't waste your youth waiting on him. If he worked a recovery program and he DEMONSTRATES healing, and you happen to be free and so is he, well, different conversation!

If i had it to do over again Would I marry my husband. I've answered that question on this board before. It's a complicated answer because it would depend on what I knew about CSA. My husband is charming, funny, smart, kind--if he said I was molested as a kid but now I'm fine, I would have believe him. If I read what I've read since disclosure 7 years into our marriage, I honestly don't know. I'm a weird person, I like statistics, I often make decisions based on them. I'm in this thing for the long haul and these are not odds I would choose, but this is the hand dealt to us and I'm going to trust God to deliver us a victory.
_________________________
Wife of a survivor

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#402942 - 07/08/12 10:54 PM Re: Can i ask an honest question? [Re: KL24]
KL24 Offline


Registered: 02/10/12
Posts: 21
It is not to harsh. It is truth and thats why i have been posting on this board and asked the question- its weird its like im looking for a mom right now, and the wives and partners of survivors are stepping in with all your experience and knowledge to really help me out.i will get the book. i will do the exercises and i will be his friend... and i want to make sure im taking care of myself, and im not sure i know how- i guess i thought that you were only codependent if you didnt "have a life of your own" i am not knowledgeable on the term- so i thought im in grad school, have friends and job so i must not be... but listening to your loving advice from all of you i am starting to question if i really understand the term, and if i really understand what it means to take care of myself....

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#402950 - 07/08/12 11:41 PM Re: Can i ask an honest question? [Re: KL24]
alw72 Offline


Registered: 07/08/12
Posts: 9
Loc: New York
KL24~
I am new to this site, like 8 minutes new. I came here to find some support for me as the wife of a victim on his way to becoming a survivor and hopefully eventually a thriver. I will be married to my husband 12 years this month and we have 2 wonderful sons together. You question really hits home to me today because that is a question I have been struggling with since I found out about his abuse 8 years ago. Would I have married him if I knew that our life would change the moment he spoke the first words of his abuse? Yes, he had never spoken the words out loud until 8 years ago. A small part of me wants to tell you to run and run fast...but those are selfish reasons. My relationship is difficult, very difficult at times but all relationships are difficult. We have dealt with his alcohol abuse, his denial of the abuse affecting him, porn issues, gender and sexuality issues and the list goes on... My relationship is also warm, loving, kind, real, intimate (not in a sexual way), honest, special and the list goes on. Its taken me a long time and lots of therapy to wrap my head around that his rejection isn't personal, it isn't about me. It's hard when society, or your own families relationships have told you that a relationship should look like "x" and yours looks like "z". You asked if you would want what you have for your son or daughter? That is a loaded question...I hope that what was done to my husband will never be done to my children. But if fate were to take that course I would want my son to have someone like me or you to walk with them in life. To show them that love doesn't have to hurt, that love is patient and love is kind...and love is a partner spending time finding resources on the internet to help them both in a relationship that means so much.

Prayer and strength to you~

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#402957 - 07/09/12 12:51 AM Re: Can i ask an honest question? [Re: KL24]
Valkyrie Offline


Registered: 04/27/12
Posts: 167
ALNON and CODA, two great groups that help with getting your stuff in line. I went to a meeting of each last week and, OMFG, did I get called out for the self-sabotaging behavior I have indulged in!

Books, yes. Therapy, absolutely. Forums, hell yes! Support groups, add them to the list!

Good luck KL24. Check back in and let us all know how you are doing!

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#402958 - 07/09/12 12:53 AM Re: Can i ask an honest question? [Re: KL24]
Valkyrie Offline


Registered: 04/27/12
Posts: 167
alw72 - Welcome! Sorry you need to be here, but misery loves company, so we're glad to have you!

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#402959 - 07/09/12 01:03 AM Re: Can i ask an honest question? [Re: Valkyrie]
alw72 Offline


Registered: 07/08/12
Posts: 9
Loc: New York
Valkyrie~ Sad I need to be here but SO glad to have found you and realize I am not alone. My life as a wife of a CSA victim is not unique. Our stories are similar, our husbands quirks are similar and most important I am finally not alone! I really think I can sleep tonight...For years I have said that "Tomorrow I will look for something on the internet" I finally took that scary step, got off Facebook and typed the words "spouses of CSA". And here I am...I haven't realized how heavy carrying that feeling of "we are the only ones with all these issues" in our marriage was to me. Yes, our therapist has told us we are not unique but until I have read some of the threads here I didn't believe it!

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#402961 - 07/09/12 01:14 AM Re: Can i ask an honest question? [Re: KL24]
Anniemy4sons Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 09/29/11
Posts: 98
Loc: NJ
Sad thing is. I love my husband dearly and wish only the best for him but we ignore their limitations. We pretend to ourselves that they can learn or change. I am now of the belief that these wonderful amazing men. Are who they are. They are damaged and some beyond repair. Do not expect that they will be or behave like other men. They can't. They just can't. You need to look at them like one would a diabetic or any other person with limitations. They can't eat sugar like other people. They can't be in "regular" relationships like other men. They are different. They just are.
It is what it is.
What would I say to my 20 year old self? 24 years ago. Move on Annie. He is going to break your heart. Not because he doesn't love you. But because he can't love you the way you need.


Edited by Anniemy4sons (07/09/12 01:14 AM)
_________________________
God is my teacher, Jesus my comfort and the Holy Spirit my protector.
I AM Listening...

Thank you Mother Mary.
Pray the Rosary every day. http://www.comepraytherosary.org/

I BELIEVE IN HER PROMISE.

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#402979 - 07/09/12 05:40 AM Re: Can i ask an honest question? [Re: KL24]
mkn10 Offline


Registered: 06/30/12
Posts: 27
alw72 I just wanted to tell you that your post brought a tear to my eye.

I am also very new to the site (a few weeks), and I am in a similar position to KL24 where Im wondering whether to stay or go as I have been with my partner for only 2 years.
My life also changed, like a tornado had hit, when he spoke the words of his CSA for the first time in his life. I am the only person that knows to this day, it has been 6 months since he told me. I have dealt with his denial issues, and he seems to be currently switching from denial to accepting that the abuse has affecting him (but will only mention it when very drunk).

Are things better now than they were when he told you?

Quote:
But if fate were to take that course I would want my son to have someone like me or you to walk with them in life. To show them that love doesn't have to hurt, that love is patient and love is kind...and love is a partner spending time finding resources on the internet to help them both in a relationship that means so much.

This is beautiful and the kind of thing I tell myself everyday :o)

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#402983 - 07/09/12 08:02 AM Re: Can i ask an honest question? [Re: KL24]
Valkyrie Offline


Registered: 04/27/12
Posts: 167
I had a two and half hour talk with husband last night after a coming down from a really bad month, and he and I taking a couple of weeks to break from each other.

For the first time since the proverbial s*** hit the fan in our lives 7 months ago, he told me exactly where he was in his head, why he was there, and what I could do to help. He also apologized for the hell he has been putting me through.

I told him where I was in my head, why I was there, and my recent realization that while I love him and support him, my actions has not been showing that. I also informed him that I was going to start calling him out on his crap without fear of triggering him.

We both agreed that there is no road map for this. That we are both going to make mistakes. That we both may hurt each other in the process. BUT we are both committed to getting through this - together.

2 days ago I was ready to leave. Yesterday, I decided to stay. Today I actually have hope.

Real hope.

...it's a good day today...

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#402991 - 07/09/12 09:32 AM Re: Can i ask an honest question? [Re: KL24]
lucylives Offline


Registered: 04/07/11
Posts: 367
I am going to be blunt and honest...No, I wouldn't have married him had I known what i was in for. I would have been his friend and encouraged him to get help and then who knows, maybe. But if I had known about his secret life(ves), I absolutely woulndt have married him. I would have been a friend, but a very detached one. The pain I have been through, I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy.

And as for my daughters, hell no. I would beg them not to leave. As the wife of a survivor and sex addict, I am in recovery to ensure that the dysfunction stops with me. I do not want my girls to marry into this life so I am trying to recover and figure out how I got here, how I married someone so unhealthy and didn't see it.

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#402992 - 07/09/12 09:33 AM Re: Can i ask an honest question? [Re: KL24]
lucylives Offline


Registered: 04/07/11
Posts: 367
beg them TO leave....typo.

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#402996 - 07/09/12 09:48 AM Re: Can i ask an honest question? [Re: KL24]
lucylives Offline


Registered: 04/07/11
Posts: 367
Also, KL24, you said you were lonely with him and lonely without him. If you are without him, you have a chance to find someone else to ease the loneliness. If you are with him, you will have no way to ease the loneliness except to come here on this board.;)

As for sleeping with 2 girls when u two broke up? Of course he did. Probably because there was no emotional connection so it was easy. In my marriage, I think the fact that we are emotionally connected in a shallow way is ruining our sex life. It is much easier to have sex with strangers. Is that what you want out of your relationship? It is not supposed to be this way. It is so fucking painful, I can'[t tell you how painful it is. PM me anytime if you want. I have met the most amazing women on here whose support has been invaluble to me.

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#402997 - 07/09/12 10:11 AM Re: Can i ask an honest question? [Re: KL24]
JoeUniverseHP Offline


Registered: 06/05/12
Posts: 72
I find this an interesting topic.

I hope it is appropriate for me to post here, as a survivor?

As a CSA survivor who is really looking hard at themselves and in hardcore recovery (I am sober 4.5 years in AA, and I go to sex and love addicts anonymous meetings, survivors of incest anonymous, I browse Alanon, I have a male sex abuse support group, and I do yoga) I have to say that I wouldn't want to marry or be with me, when I was in my sickness.

I was engaged to be married briefly before I went to SLAA. It was a relationship with a childhood friend whom I met when I was sober in AA. We had been together for 3 years, and she has an abusive father so she is attracted to sick people, like myself. I bought her a ring at the end of the relationship, she got the validation she wanted, and basically cooled off to me/left me.

Anyway the point is, for the last year or so of the relationship, I would wait until she went to sleep to act out with porn for a couple of hours. I was not AVAILABLE for a relationship until I checked myself into SLAA for my porn addiction/reliance.

So to wrap it up, no. I would not marry a CSA survivor unless they are in active recovery. I am only now, 6 months into my SLAA sobriety, finally realizing how I behaved, and how I was selling my relationship very short!!!!! Although I knew the porn was not good all along. Anyway, hell no! Stay away from sick people. Stick with people in recovery.

That's my $.02...Essentially I was very unfit for a relationship. Still am...I will be given clearance to date during my 9th step in SLAA.

I have heard great things about coda and Alanon seems to be pretty helpful for many people although I prefer SLAA for my situation.

Just my opinion. Best wishes.

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#402998 - 07/09/12 10:18 AM Re: Can i ask an honest question? [Re: KL24]
Valkyrie Offline


Registered: 04/27/12
Posts: 167
Joe - thank you for your input! I can't speak for the others, but I'm glad you posted.

I wouldn't say that I sought out a sick person. My husband is so successful and I really and truly had no idea how deep his issues went until the last two years.

But it is important to understand the sex addiction in context. Like alcohol, like drugs, like watching porn, it is a way he self-medicates. It's not an excuse, but it is necessary to understand where it comes from.

DOES NOT make it any less painful!

I don't know about everyone else, but I am really get a lot out of this thread...so, thank you KL24 for posting this question.

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#403003 - 07/09/12 10:57 AM mkn10 ~ a long winded answer! [Re: mkn10]
alw72 Offline


Registered: 07/08/12
Posts: 9
Loc: New York
Mkn10~

Life is a TON better now then when he told me 8 years ago. But the road hasn't been easy. He told me one night very quickly ad then didn't speak about it again for months. But it all made sense to me then, the drinking, he was absent when we did have sex, his fear of red heads, and the list goes on and on and on.

Our boys were coming to the age of when his abuse started, his step mother had passed away and his abuser (non family member) showed up at her funeral (I didn't know of the abuse at the time). It.was.the.perfect.storm. and it all unleashed! He started drinking more (20+ beers a night), telling me that if I really knew him I would hate him (we had been married for 4 years and I thought I knew him~ lol). I gave him a choice he could choose the family that he said he so desperately wanted by going to a therapist and to start to hash things out or I was leaving. My boys deserved a healthy father and I deserved a husband who cared enough about himself to get help.

Ha! if it were only that easy. Finding a therapist that he trusted was difficult. Add a move to a new state in there, more drinking, the sudden death of his father, being let go from his job that we moved for....Yep! That was the perfect storm! the storm before was just a warm up! I had to give him another ultimatum. He had 6 months to start to get a grip on his life, the drinking, the self loathing, the distance between us etc....or I was going to have to take or children and go. NOT because I didn't love him but because I deeply loved him and the children we had together. I knew that in his right mind he wouldn't want the boys seeing him just existing and not living.

That is when I got into my own personal therapy cause I knew I needed to take care of me (best thing I ever did~ I certainly couldn't talk to family or friends about this, they only saw him as a drunk) We also found an amazing couples therapist who helped connect him up with his own therapist. He was eventually diagnosed bi-polar II (I guess more of a environment cause then only a biological one) and life began to settle some. It was difficult for him to accept the diagnosis at first but that was short because life became clear to him the more he learned with his therapist. Some of his actions made sense to him and he felt that he wasn't loosing it. He now has many coping skills and tools in what we call his "healthy" tool box. That doesn't mean he doesn't visit the "unhealthy" tool box, he still does but not as often. He rarely drinks in excess, he doesn't drift in to his deep depression as deeply or for as long anymore, he acknowledges that some of his reactions are knee jerk because of triggers. He has to work very hard to stay in the moment and be present for us as a family.

We continue to have peaks and valleys~ WE ALWAYS WILL! Not only was my husband being abused by the babysitter his mother was unhealthy. She verbally and physically abused him as all of this was going on...I mean horrible unspeakable things to him! So my little onion, as I lovingly call him, has many layers of abuse, hurt, confusion and everything else all rolled up into one.

But this experience has brought us closer then we ever have been, intimate in many ways then we ever have been before. Its taken me a while to get to the point to truly believe this but...the troubles in our marriage are not about me, he isn't rejecting me he really loves me. Sex is an act to him not an expression of love and trust. His expression of love and trust was sharing with me his deepest darkest secrets knowing that I would protect them like my own and love him regardless. I find comfort that he loves me to be able to share this pain with me and he doesn't need to do this alone anymore.

It has gotten better. But that is my story, my husband has worked hard, I have worked hard and we have worked hard together. There have been many times when I have want to give up because i just didn't have anymore strength. As others have posted there are days where I am ready to leave and the next day I find the strength to stay and we hit a peak for a while. This is my married life and I have chosen to stay. You need to find what is right for you...please message me anytime you need to!

Prayers and strength to you~

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#403005 - 07/09/12 11:04 AM Re: Can i ask an honest question? [Re: KL24]
KL24 Offline


Registered: 02/10/12
Posts: 21
Yeah, he slept with the two girls when we were working on our foundation to the relationship- we were still dating, he said it was not his best judgment......

its so hard because he slept with them and now wont even touch me, hold my hand or hug me because he wants to establish boundaries which of course is good but its just feels like double rejection at some points. when i was expressing my hurt he was honest and sorry but there were other conversations where he basically said he can't meet all my needs in my hurting right now. which having read material i understood, i understood that even though i was hurt i would have to do a lot of repair work myself... that even though he damaged my self esteem i could not fully rely on him to make me feel good in that way again- and then i just got so sad.... and asked myself, yes i could do all this work but will this be my entire life?

you have all been so gracious to share such intimate emotions with me. If not for this support group i would feel completely alone... yesterday was such a hard day for me, i was hurt... he couldn't really help, expressing the hurt terrified me because i didn't want to fight, he was distant so i felt more alone... it is so nice to have a group of people who understand and care to help me process...

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#403007 - 07/09/12 11:13 AM Re: mkn10 ~ a long winded answer! [Re: KL24]
TimHorton Offline


Registered: 05/09/12
Posts: 44
alw72 - a beautiful story. I can only hope at this point that my marriage will follow a similar path.

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#403008 - 07/09/12 11:23 AM Re: Can i ask an honest question? [Re: KL24]
KL24 Offline


Registered: 02/10/12
Posts: 21
Joe thank you for posting, everyone's input means a lot.

the common thread between lots of your guys stories is that there is the marriage commitment... i was telling my partner that its tricky because most of the material is for relationship/committed couples and he and i are not 'committed' i feel ultra committed to him but i do not get the same in return. There are no children, there is no marriage, and in the low moments i ask myself... what am i trying to save here? a relationship that kinda only exists on my side??

recently its been even more difficult because he says he can't determine what i mean to him, that he knows i am special but he can't determine if its romantic, friendship,and is not even sure what it means for someone to be special to another person.... had i felt there was no threat of him cheating on me this information might be easier to swallow but the fact that he was with these other girls when i was gone makes it all very painful...

and to be honest i feel selfish throwing in the towel, that probably sounds co-dep, and maybe it is, and i also see so many amazing qualities in him that i love and want around me... but i am not sure i am being realistic..

and to be extra vulnerable i am so lonely already i can't imagine not having him there at all, i get scared and sad thinking of doing the breakup thing with him again- but right now our "friendship"feels like a dating relationship without the sex, we are exes who have walked through heavy life situations, i have spend time and energy healing myself and educating myself on CSA and that feels very intimate to me, its working hard for a relationship that he keeps saying is 'friends' which in his world makes it okay to 'have other friends'-

he told me not to equate friendship with sex, but how could i not? and why would he even keep the door open for more female friends when he has such a committed one in his corner?

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#403010 - 07/09/12 11:33 AM Re: Can i ask an honest question? [Re: KL24]
TimHorton Offline


Registered: 05/09/12
Posts: 44
KL24 - You said, "the common thread between lots of your guys stories is that there is the marriage commitment".

When someone is suffering from the effects of CSA there is no such thing as commitment. I thought I knew my husband. I thought he was with me until the end and he promised me this. He took vows. He said I was crazy or being ridiculous when I would ask if he would ever leave me. Now, he is leaving. He is not well. He blames everything on me because he doesn't want to acknowledge that he needs help.

Is this what you want for yourself? Or do you want a strong, beautiful man who has the ability to give you what you want, need and deserve? Personally, I want a man who is strong enough to stand by my side through thick and thin - who accepts me for me and does not expect me to be a perfect human being. I thought he was it. Then his abuse came out and our lives unraveled. Now I am at a point where I am broken and I do not feel like I will ever find anyone who fit with me as perfectly.

I do not want you to wind up broken. You don't deserve this - nobody does.

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#403011 - 07/09/12 11:34 AM Re: Can i ask an honest question? [Re: KL24]
Haps Offline


Registered: 07/06/12
Posts: 89
Loc: Ohio
And you may not be! smile that's your call to make, but I don't find ya any less special one way or the other. wink

For me, 10 years ago (early 20s) the book was BS. Now, I spend time with those parts that I used to avoid. I can tell when I'm avoiding something myself now. Before I was always "right".

That said, I find progress only after spending time with those things that make me uncomfortable. I have been avoiding too much of my own stuff.

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#403012 - 07/09/12 11:40 AM Re: Can i ask an honest question? [Re: KL24]
KL24 Offline


Registered: 02/10/12
Posts: 21
frown frown i am so sorry for your pain. your words and honesty brought tears to my eyes i wish i could give you a big hug. i am already learning that commitment on my end means something different on his.. and your right i want someone who makes me feel good about myself, as of lately i have noticed i doubt everything about me because no matter what i try, it ends feeling like its my fault.....and he is in recovery but maybe its just too soon and not right.

its so hard working as hard as you could only to have it fall apart. i am sorry.

thank you all for allowing this thread to continue, i do not want to hurt any partners or survivors, i just needed to some perspective from those of you who have really done this, been there married with kids... my mom and dad always told me, there is wisdom with age, listen to the advice of those who have been there... and since this topic is not one i have ventured with my parents i really appreciate the honest input form everyone.

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#403014 - 07/09/12 11:47 AM Re: Can i ask an honest question? [Re: KL24]
JLM35 Offline


Registered: 07/06/12
Posts: 4
Loc: Earth
I'm sorry to all the wives/partners out there that we victims have put you through hell. I know it's been difficult for many of you, and I know it's been very difficult for my own wife. I'm sorry I put her through this and I wish I had somehow dealt with my abuse before I met her. Maybe I could've always been a better husband and father if I had only gotten my shit together earlier in life. Unfortunately, we have to hit rock bottom before we start talking about it.

I wouldn't judge any of you who wanted out of a relationship with an abuse survivor. I know the turmoil we can cause in a marraige. I took me a long time to figure out that my emotional state was very important to the health of my family's emotional state, and I had to learn that in a marriage it wasn't all about "me." 50/50 I had to learn to give back as much love, understanding, and support she gave me through the years. If she decided to leave me earlier in our marriage, hell I couldn't blame her. I was a real shit to live with and she deserved way better than what I had to offer at the time.

All you partners are just as important in your relationships as the survivor. Don't let us put all the weight on your shoulders. We have to accept some of the responsibility to fix our own lives. Ad if you need to get away or leave forever, do it, because you deserve to be happy too.

JLM
_________________________
"I hurt myself today... to see if I still feel. I focus on the pain... the only thing that's real." - Johnny Cash

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#403022 - 07/09/12 01:42 PM Re: Can i ask an honest question? [Re: KL24]
Haps Offline


Registered: 07/06/12
Posts: 89
Loc: Ohio
sorry - just editing a post where I stated thing earlier. :-\ Still new to "workings" of the boards. Sorry about this li'l hiccup. smile


Edited by Haps (07/09/12 01:44 PM)
Edit Reason: I repeated myself! :)

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#403025 - 07/09/12 01:59 PM Re: Can i ask an honest question? [Re: KL24]
Haps Offline


Registered: 07/06/12
Posts: 89
Loc: Ohio
JLM35 -- Wow. That's really hard to read.

I'm working to get to a place where I can love myself and stop having all these expectations on my partner. Granted, it's not "50/50", and I no longer live the fantasy that it will be. I'll celebrate 50/50 on day. At least I hope to.

Re: the expectations - I realize that I may have grown up with some unrealistic expectations. Part of the turmoil that existed in my own house growing up: anger as a result on unmet expectations. I'm sure my subconscious thinks "Oh, here's this great guy with whom I can get all my unmet childhood needs met!" ::eye roll::

I want to be loved for who I am. I want to love myself for who I am. And, the only way I'm going to be able to get it is to be able to give it. First to myself. Second to someone else.

There's a lot of power in forgiveness. I believe that we only do what we know how to do at the time. We can learn and grow. We can apologize for what we've done wrong if we realize we have do so. That's the best we can do as humans.

I sat on the floor yesterday in tears hugging my partner apologizing for all the BS I did to make him think he was anything less than lovable. I'm even tearing up now. It was a wonderful thing because I FINALLY didn't expect him to give it back to me in the moment. He doesn't know that I'm here on these boards. He's not dealing with his CSA issues for what they are that I'm aware of. He's gone in the backdoor through an ADHD diagnosis.

A lot of ramble, yes, but two things. 1) I'm working through my own guilt of treating him like crap, and 2) I really don't believe anyone is unlovable. I'm hoping that it's only a small step AWAY from each other that will lead us closer to each other in the future.

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#403036 - 07/09/12 03:53 PM Re: Can i ask an honest question? [Re: KL24]
lucylives Offline


Registered: 04/07/11
Posts: 367
Good for you, Joe. It really looks like you are doing the hard work of recovery. 12 step meetings are a great healing tool. With the drinking and all the work you are doing, I am sure any woman would be lucky to have you when u are ready.

For those of us who are still in the storm, it is hell. Been almost 2 years for us. I see great glimmers of the man he is going to become after all this but the road is so long and soooooooooooo painful. Lots of therapy for us, Sex Ad. meetings for him and co-meetings for me and it is still very very difficult.

I feel like finding out about my husband's secret life has been the most traumatic thing in my life and I have not had the Leave it to Beaver life. I have had quite a bit of trauma in my life but this is different. This cqame at the hands of the peerson who is supposed to love me. I still have nightmares where I am jerking and crying out in my sleep. PTSD>? probably. Wouldn't wish this on anyone......I think things are getting better for the most part but it is so hard to trust my intuition now that I can't be sure.

As I write the above paragraph, I think about many of the survivors who were abused "at the hands of the person who was supposed to love them" too and I feel your pain. No wonder this is all so hard for all of you.......My husband's abusers were strangers..that makes it hard for me to accept the problems with intimate relationships for him.

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#403047 - 07/09/12 06:31 PM Re: Can i ask an honest question? [Re: KL24]
Disappointed Offline


Registered: 08/11/09
Posts: 540
Loc: U.S.A.
Hi KL24,

I'm a "friend" of a survivor. You're young, and sound reasonably healthy and compassionate. Me, I'd forget about him, and go to a fun dance and find a guy with no issues!

"Friendship" sounds great in theory, but in practice, there is alot of aggravation. Seriously, I'd go to a dance and have fun. When he's better, he'll be able to find a girl.

D.
_________________________
Female.

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#403066 - 07/09/12 09:23 PM Re: Can i ask an honest question? [Re: KL24]
Sailor John Offline


Registered: 10/04/11
Posts: 310
Loc: Newfoundland & Labrador
Hi KL,

As somebody who was abused, up until a year or so ago, I wouldn't marry me knowing what I now know. All your feelings would, I think, be absolutely normal for significant others. There are so many ways for an abused person to unintentionly wreck a family and or themselves.

Personally I used hookers rather than "normal sex." I drank. I suffered depression. I have no social skills. I couldn't talk to a female other than normal chatting unless I knew them for months, if not years - every body had to earn my trust including my doctor. I have refused sex with a very good friend and on the list goes.

I didn't know mentally what I was doing even though I knew it was all wrong. What your boyfriend will need is your support. Do not allow him to use you for his own good.

One book I've seen people mention as a good book for dependants / significant others is called "Co-dependant No More"

You have to keep your own health up to be able to help him. Even if it's just going for a coffee or for a walk, take the time you need to relax.
_________________________
I will mourn the teenager I never was and strive to make that dot of light way out in the far reaches of the end of the tunnel turn into a bright sun.

WE ARE NOT VICTIMS. WE ARE THE SURVIVORS!!!

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#403156 - 07/10/12 01:22 PM Re: Can i ask an honest question? [Re: KL24]
herowannabe Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/01/11
Posts: 386
Loc: USA
Quote:
do you think there is a difference because you guys are committed? my partner says he can't tell what he feels for me. He is confused and needs us to be friends, (but in reality i am putting in all the work of a relationship, time and energy but not physical interaction and no relational commitment) and i was working with this and then when i went out of town as "friends" he slept with two other girls. its terrifying to recommit as deep friends, knowing there is no commitment- i am so lonely even as his friend. i am lonely with him and lonely without him.


(((KL24)))...

Awwww, sweetheart. I'm so sorry for your hurting heart. I wish I could shower you with rainbows and lollipops, but the truth is that you've answered your own question in your own reply.

I'm a 51-year-old mom of three, step-mom of four, grandmother of six, and I'm going to adopt you as one of my own and give you the same advice I'd give my own child.

There is nothing in this relationship that can sustain it long-term. Until two human beings go out into the world, fumble through some relationships, become independent and strong in mind, body, spirit and heart, they simply are incapable of joining their lives. Your beloved has much to experience still. He doesn't know his own self, much less anyone else, which is why he can't say how he feels about you.

The highs and lows of this hide and seek relationship are so dynamic that you are held rapt. Sometimes, even things that hurt are sought after because even if it hurts and leaves you cold, it's SOMETHING.

The truth is that this relationship has/is teaching you both a lot about yourselves and what you desire from life. You both need to venture out there and try on some other relationships. When compared to the relationship you have now, you WILL find that what your heart desires requires more than what you're getting. This can be said even if CSA weren't a factor!

Because CSA is a factor for you, you must be even more vigilant in seeing the realities from the wishful thinking.

Would I have married my beloved had I known about his CSA beforehand??? Sure! Because I wouldn't have know the destruction it was going to wreak in our lives.

Would I have married him had I known about the destruction? HELL NO!!!

However, because we are married and have built a life together that includes kids and grandkids, a mortgage, car payments, a 401k, bills and credit scores, which was built with and investment of eleven years of life into our union, it's not just a matter of breaking up.

I'm very, very blessed because I know that my husband did love me before we married. He'd never cheated on me from the moment we "knew". He did know how he felt about me in those sweet, early day, and he could, and did, express it. During our marriage, there weren't extreme highs and lows for us; life was really very sweet and comfy, and I was very happy to have found my soul mate. We share a love of God and a committment to become better people- together. This was the foundation of our relationship, so when the affects of his CSA tore through our lives, we had some foundation left to rebuild on. Without that foundation of mutual love and committment, we would be over.

I hear you saying you don't have that foundation with your survivor. So, as your "mother", I am compelled to advise you to leave this relationship behind as it will not survive. I advise you to move on to your soul mate, whom you will find once you put into practice the things this relationship has taught you.

I further advise you, in the most heartfelt terms, to refrain from sex in a new relationship until you are certain of your feelings and are certain of his feelings for you, his sense of what is and what isn't committment and faithfulness, and until you both have committed to a long-term relationship. Truly, premature sex only clouds your perception and leaves you emotionally handicapped. It confuses your psyche so that you have a horrible time admitting that a relationship is a waste of time. I suspect this is part of your confusion in determining the worth of a relationship which clearly doesn't enhance your life.

Godspeed, sweet soul!
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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#403162 - 07/10/12 02:04 PM Re: Can i ask an honest question? [Re: KL24]
scottyg Offline


Registered: 06/26/12
Posts: 253
Loc: Seattle
HeroWannabe, today you are my Hero Incarnate! This response is beautifully written and so full of sage insights. I hope that one day I can be as articulate as you are here. Masterfully done!

Can you adopt me, too?
_________________________
I've got a bike you can ride it if you like.
Its got a basket, a bell that rings
And many other things to make it look good.
I'd give it to you if I could -but I've borrowed it.

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#403169 - 07/10/12 03:11 PM Re: Can i ask an honest question? [Re: KL24]
KL24 Offline


Registered: 02/10/12
Posts: 21
Herowannabe. WOW. thank you. i PM'd you with a response. i am so lucky for the friendships of this forum. THANK YOUUU

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#403430 - 07/12/12 05:41 PM Re: Can i ask an honest question? [Re: KL24]
Valkyrie Offline


Registered: 04/27/12
Posts: 167
Herowannabe touched on the absolute most important thing: a strong foundation.

Before our marriage went all to hell in a flaming basket of deep fried turd, my husband and I really liked each other. We were friends. We enjoyed each others company. We were really great partners in the business of our relationship. And it wasn't until Hero wrote what she did that I figured out why have managed to stick it out this long during this nightmarish time.

So really, I am just seconding Hero and re-emphasizing my previous advice. Little young for adopted grown children, but consider yourself adopted as a little sister.

See? We're all one big freakin' happy family here! Who's bringing the deviled eggs to the reunion picnic???

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