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#404045 - 07/19/12 02:28 AM I don't understand
sadspouse Offline


Registered: 04/27/12
Posts: 11
Loc: Colorado
I have been married to my husband for ten years and we have three children. I have known about his CSA our entire marriage, but had no idea of how devastating this would be to our family. He is angry all the time. None of us are ever good enough. He has said the most hurtful things to me- I want to die all the time. He has been inappropriate with other women our entire marriage, culminating in an affair two years ago. I am absolutely devastated. My children are upset and confused, and I'm so incredibly depressed that I can't even begin to know how to help them. I try so hard to be what he wants me to be, say what he wants me to say, but it's never right. He has told me repeatedly in the past that I am a disappointment to him. I feel absolutely worthless because of his actions and emotional abuse. I am a very religious/spiritual person, and have prayed a lot about this, and the answer I receive remains the same, that I need to stay. I try to have hope that things will be okay, but I don't understand why he has decided to stay married to me when he so obviously doesn't love me. He tells me he loves me, but you don't treat people you love this way. He complains about how I look and most often complains about sex with me. I honestly hate sex now because of how it has made me feel (worthless and used-not an act of love because he wants to have sex with all kinds of women, and has cheated on me with someone who meant nothing to him) but I still want to please him so I try every time we have sex to do what he wants or say what he wants. It's never good enough because I am not like the women he sees in the porn he watches (which is also very detrimental to my self-esteem). I am ready to walk away from everything that I feel is important to give him the opportunity to find the person who can fulfill his sexual desires. I can't go on feeling like a failure much longer. Why does he stay around only to make me feel horrible about myself? Why does he lie to me and tell me he loves me when I am not what he wants? What am I supposed to do or say? Some of the things he wants me to do sexually are extremely painful and make me feel bad about myself. I have been told several times that I should not give in to him, but he says that I make him feel unwanted because I won't do what he wants, and even if I do, it's not good enough because I don't enjoy it. How can spouses enjoy sex when their partner has cheated on them and told them they are disappointing? I'm sure that counseling would help, but because he can't hold down a job, we are extremely financially strapped and can't afford it:(

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#404051 - 07/19/12 05:53 AM Re: I don't understand [Re: sadspouse]
whome Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/07/11
Posts: 1734
Loc: Johannesburg South Africa
Hi Sad Spouse.

I am so sorry that you are going through all of this. I am the man that used to do this to my wife.

Now as a start, my wife too sat and prayed and prayed for 20 years for things to happen and finally she kicked me out.
Not the result that you were hoping for. The Good news is that we are back together, "all things are possible through Him"
I am a Christian, very involved in my church, play in the church band etc, but I beg to differ. Firstly the word says 1
Ephesians 5

25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her,

28 So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself.

Colossians 3
19 Husbands, love your wives and do not be bitter toward them.

You are not held into an abusive marriage because of your beliefs. Yes it would be preferable if things worked out, but you cant subject yourself and your children to abuse if that man is not serving the almighty.

You are a true Co-Dependent, in other words, you say that your happiness is dependent on the happiness of your husband. Well the truth is that is not true at all.

You need to find yourself, that person that you were before you married or even met this man, you need to discover what it is that makes YOU happy, what you want out off life and what YOU want to accomplish in life. Discover yourself and live for you and the children and the abusive husband will loose the power that he holds over you.

You cannot control His behaviour, but you can control yours, so work on what you can change and leave behind the things that you cannot. I am in no way saying that the marriage is over, but the abuse must stop.

A good book to read is Co-Dependent no more by Melody Beattie. Get it work it and save your self. I would recommend that you join an Al-Anon Meeting or a CODA meeting, surround yourself with supportive people.
Please PM me any-time

Heal well
Martin


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

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#404053 - 07/19/12 06:31 AM Re: I don't understand [Re: whome]
sadspouse Offline


Registered: 04/27/12
Posts: 11
Loc: Colorado
Hi Whome,

Thanks for taking the time to reply. I appreciate your advice, and will look for the book you recommended. I don't really understand co-dependancy, so I don't really know any other way to react to my husband. It will be good to learn a different approach!
I am involved in two al-anon groups through my church, one for loved ones of addicts of all kinds, and one specifically for loved ones of pornography addicts. These groups have changed my life. I am a big believer in support groups! My husband also attends the counterpart of these groups, which helps me to have faith in dark times, sometimes.
I am so glad things are better in your marriage! It's nice to know that there can be a happier ending:) It's also nice to know that just because something horrific happened to my husband, it's not an excuse to treat us poorly. Sometimes I feel a lot of guilt because of what happened to him (I'm not sure why I feel this) and I end up excusing his behavior because of it. I don't want to diminish what has happened to any survivor, but it sometimes feels as though our entire family has become victims of the horrible man who hurt my husband. It's been hard to realize this and then to realize that I, too, must learn to forgive this man for what he has put us through as a result of the damage done to my husband.
Thank you, again, for your kind words and advice! Sometimes it just nice to know that I'm not crazy for feeling the way I do!

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#404054 - 07/19/12 08:03 AM Re: I don't understand [Re: sadspouse]
Dar Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/15/11
Posts: 170
Loc: Missouri
Hi sadspouse
First off you have come to the right place to seek help and look for answers. The supporters on this site are nothing short of amazing and more than willing to help and suport you.
ASK, ASK, ASK questions, don't be afraid to ask anything. You will get answers.

My wife is my supporter and without her I would have been doomed to a life of God knows what. I too like your husband, acted out without cause against her. I too loved her very much, BUT didn't really know what love was. Like, How to be intimate with her instead of just doing to her like I was trained to do. SEX was just that, SEX. It was to please me and nothing else mattered.
It sounds as if your husband is doing the same thing, Not making Love to you, but having sex with himself. (Masterbation so to speak)
You have a long hard road to travel and your husband has to want to be a part of that or you will go crazy trying to heal him. Remember that you too are and have been abused also by his acting out. Not the same abuse s CSA, but abused mentally and God forbid any STD's that he may be bringing home to you.

You like many other supporters have to set boundaries for him. (This is also for YOU and your children)
Boundaries need to be set and met by both of you, one alone can't do it. It sounds as if your husband is setting the rules right now and those rules are not good ones for him or YOU.

Ask the supporters on here for advise and listen to them, they have been through hell and back and have seen what can happen to a marriage during these trying times.

The most important thing right now is YOU, if you are not in control of YOU, then you can't expect him to fix himself either.

There are a thousand things that I could say but..........Take one step at a time and then you can start running once you know where you are headed.

God Bless
_________________________
All I ever wanted was a hug.

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#404087 - 07/19/12 05:04 PM Re: I don't understand [Re: sadspouse]
herowannabe Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/01/11
Posts: 386
Loc: USA
(((Sadspouse)))...

My heart is so heavy for you. I am the supporter of my husband, who was sexually abused as a child and as an adolescent. Like you, and like sooooo many wives/partners here at MS, my husband acted out his abuse with others outside of our marriage.

We, too, had been married for 10 years when I discovered he'd hidden a life of compulsive masturbation, which like all addictions became more and more extreme over the years. What I always viewed as him being an adorable flirt with women, turned into full-blown infidelity, with him having extramarital sex under our own roof, which he supplimented with prostitutes.

He fueled these dysfunctions with alcohol- another addiction that grew to the point where he was hiding vodka around our house- obviously unbeknownst to me.

Like you, my husband didn't "make love" with me; he used me as a blow up doll to acheive his purpose. I repeat, his purpose ONLY.

Now, unlike you, my husband didn't badger me to engage in acts that were painful or disrespectful to me, UNLESS he thought I was sound asleep!

What you and I have in common with the survivors is that the way you are being abused (badgered and manipulated) and the way I was abused (when I was asleep/incapacitated) is very much like the way they were abused. But, we are adults, so you must take charge.

Please visit www.recoverynation.com. There, you will learn about sexual abuse and how it manifests in adult lives. You will learn how to improve your marriage by developing, putting in place and maintaining strong boundaries that your husband must not cross.

As I typically do, I love what Martin (Whome) said about our Christian view of marriage. Yes, you should be at your husband's side to help him become more of the person God created him to be. BUT, God did not create him to be a cruel, selfish, sadistic, unfaithful pig! God needs for you to respect your own self so deeply that you will not allow your husband to disrespect you with mean words, using your body as a tool for his own masturbation, diminish your family's self esteem, etc.

Remember, your children are watching and are learning how to be a male or female from you! Do you want your daughters to put up with what you are putting up with? No? Then show them how to set boundaries! Do you want your sons treating their wives as you are treated? No? Then show them what behaviors are unacceptable!

I hope you are able to get some counseling, with or without your husband. You must find within you the truth that you and your kids deserve better than this. Once you find that truth, you need support so you'll have the strength to set things right.

And Dar is 100% right about the possibility that you could be given an STD...or worse! We are not "just" talking about being cheated on; we are talking about being placed in mortal danger, about losing our LIVES, and about your children being left orphans.

Please: For you www.recoverynation.com. For your husband www.malesurvivor.org.


You are in my prayers, 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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#404095 - 07/19/12 06:33 PM Re: I don't understand [Re: sadspouse]
alw72 Offline


Registered: 07/08/12
Posts: 9
Loc: New York
Sad Spouse~
Hugs to you my friend... As a wife of a survivor I understand what your saying, what you are feeling and the total tailspin that this has thrown your life into.

The first few things that came to my mind were boundaries, you are in control of your self esteem and a therapist.

First,please try get yourself a therapist to help you take care of YOU if you can! Call your local Social Services office, health department or your physician for some free resources. Not to figure out how to take care of your husband~ that is his job. He needs to recognize that the abuse he suffered is affecting his family. And if HE chooses not to work on it then YOU may have to make a decision that is best for you and your kids. If you are willing to walk this long hard walk with your husband you need to be in a good spot emotionally, physically and spiritually. This is about YOU not him.

Once I started working with a therapist and I learned that his behaviors had nothing to do with me and they were results of the abuse it was a huge turning point. Trust me, it took a long while to get there but when I did it was so much weight lifted off of me. I also knew at this point in our family that I was going to be the main parent for some time to come. I needed to get my self together to help keep my children balanced and stable. My T helped me to stay present. To learn how to not react to current situations with a knee jerk response from the past experiences. Sometimes I have a tongue that can sting with words and it is never a help in a heated moment.
She helped me to realize what my boundaries were, what was non-negotiable and what I could live with. You mentioned that his lies hurt. Hell yes they do! I hated feeling that I wasn't worth the truth! That was and always will be a huge hard limit with me! The truth hurts way less then the lie! He knows that ANY stepping outside our marriage and it is done. Not because I don't love him, but because I respect myself. And if he steps out knowing that he has crossed the boundary then HE and HE alone has made the decision knowing the consequence. Yes, I understand that the CSA is hard to deal with but he knows right from wrong!
We talked a lot about co-dependency and how I thought I was helping but really enabling without realizing. We also talked a lot about the self-esteem that I thought he had stripped from me. Yes, he actions were hurtful, and at times he did say some hurtful things to me. But I was doing more damage to myself by repeating them over and over in my head, chewing on them, dreaming about them and then I was finally believing all those things that I was saying to myself. YOU are in control of your happiness and your self-esteem. I know you are thinking I am crazy...because I didn't believe the woman who told me that either but she was right and in time, with help, you'll believe it too. And lastly, talk to us, we get it and we understand. I think most of us have experience with our husbands/friends having affairs, having addictions, surfing porn, having gender question, sexuality questions, and everything else under the sun. PLEASE never feel that you are alone...we are all a keyboard away!

With your husband there are some great survivors on here that have already posted some great words of wisdom. I hear them echo many times what my husband has said to me about his feelings, how he views things and sometimes why he does what he does (or did). They are a MUCH better insight to the survivor side of this dynamic.

BUT...I have to feel that he loves you but has no idea how to show it. You stated that he is angry all the time. So was my husband. I didn't learn of the CSA until we had been married for four years and had our two sons. He had a trigger at a family members funeral that sent him into his first tailspin. That is when his drinking started. It was easier for him to dull the pain that way then in a more appropriate way. His behaviors really made me think he didn't love me or our family. I too wondered why he stayed- sometimes I wondered why I was staying. You have to remember that our husbands live and breathe these memories daily. It doesn't go away for them and it never will ( and now us too). My husband would tell me that if I "knew" the real him, I wouldn't want to love him. I would just leave and he would be able to spend his time in a dark room watching TV and drinking. When I didn't leave after these threats I built some more trust with him. They test us just like our kids do! Seeing how far they can push, how much they can trust us and how much do we really love them.

I finally realized (with all that therapy) that my husband does love me. One way he showed me his love and trust by telling me his secrets knowing that I would protect them like my own. He thought they were so shameful that I would leave. I didn't leave, I just loved him more. PLEASE, don't get me wrong there are many hard days, weeks and sometimes months were I say to myself "what the hell am I doing?" I didn't get to this point of understanding and compassion quickly and as I stated before, I have an acid tongue. I am sure I hurt my husband too in some ways and didn't help our situation. He has worked hard individually, I have worked hard, and together we work hard daily at making our marriage work for us. I choose to stay. This is the right choice for me but may not be the right choice for you or others.

Take care of yourself. PM me anytime if you need too. Prayers and strength to you my friend.

Anne

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#404133 - 07/19/12 11:54 PM Re: I don't understand [Re: Dar]
sadspouse Offline


Registered: 04/27/12
Posts: 11
Loc: Colorado
Hello Dar,

Thank you so much for your thoughtful answers. I always hold out hope that my husband really does love me and that he will one day realize it, but my hope was fading last night. I'm glad to hear that you really do love your wife- it has helped strengthen my hope! I still don't understand why someone would treat someone they love this way, but there is a lot about the world of survivors that I will never understand. I guess my job is not to understand, though- my job is just to love and to learn to forgive. I am grateful for your time and caring!

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#404135 - 07/20/12 12:03 AM Re: I don't understand [Re: herowannabe]
sadspouse Offline


Registered: 04/27/12
Posts: 11
Loc: Colorado
Hello Herowannabe,
Thank you so much for your response! This is the second time that I have reached out to this site for answers in moments of desperation, and I have been truly amazed both times at the amount of support and caring I have received! This has truly been an answer to many prayers on my part! I will definitely check out the site you suggested. I have been buoyed up by the strength of some of you wives out there and the struggles and pain you have gone through not only to come out stronger, but to take the time to help the rest of us who feel like we are helplessly drowning. On a side note, after finding out about the affair I was tested for every kind of STD, and insisted on my husband being tested, as well. We lucked out this time, and I'm hoping to never go through that again! I am so grateful for your experience and strength!

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#404136 - 07/20/12 12:11 AM Re: I don't understand [Re: sadspouse]
sadspouse Offline


Registered: 04/27/12
Posts: 11
Loc: Colorado
Hello Ann,

Thank you so much for caring enough to share your experiences with me- it helped more than you know! Just knowing that I am not alone has been so comforting. I am sorry for your pain, and hope for continued healing for you and your husband. I am overwhelmed by the damage that molestation causes to so many families. It's truly heartbreaking! I will look into a therapist. I am hoping to find one that will be able to help me and my children, as well, because they are really having a hard time at home.

"You have to remember that our husbands live and breathe these memories daily. It doesn't go away for them and it never will ( and now us too). My husband would tell me that if I "knew" the real him, I wouldn't want to love him. I would just leave and he would be able to spend his time in a dark room watching TV and drinking. When I didn't leave after these threats I built some more trust with him. They test us just like our kids do! Seeing how far they can push, how much they can trust us and how much do we really love them." - This really impacted me! thank you, again!

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#404139 - 07/20/12 12:53 AM Re: I don't understand [Re: sadspouse]
herowannabe Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/01/11
Posts: 386
Loc: USA
Sad-

You mentioned you're financially strapped right now, so I should have pointed out that www.recoverynation.com is completely free. You will work through lessons that will teach you and help you rediscover your beaten up values so you can set healthy boundaries. There is also a section your husband could work through as well as one you can work through as a couple. In each section a trained mentor (coach) will pop in to comment on your work, to answer a question, to reiterate a theme and to give you encouragement. I've been greatly helped by this work!

Additionally, for a smallish fee (small compared to the cost of therapy) you can get a coach to give you personal guidance and help, step-by-step. I believe the cost is around $200.00. I've not had the need for a personal coach, but I don't doubt the money would be well spent!

You'll recognize your husband in the writings posted! You'll recognize yourself, too! The best part is that you will see couples who are not only surviving, but have carved for themselves a stronger, more beautiful marriage than could ever have been dreamed. There is much hope, so don't despair! You first, and then you can lead the way for your beloved!

I hope this helps you!

Sending you a cyberhug and a "you can do this"!!!
herowannabe


Edited by herowannabe (07/20/12 12:57 AM)
Edit Reason: clarification
_________________________


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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