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#407275 - 08/20/12 05:27 AM Separated and Just found out
northernflicker Offline


Registered: 08/19/12
Posts: 88
I just found out that my husband was abused as a child and I don't know how to help him.

We have been separated for about a year after a marriage largely void of physical and emotional intimacy. He had an affair so I told him to leave. Had I known at the time what was behind all this I'd have handled things differently. But I think the reality is that he set me up to push him away. We had a fantastic life together, everything he wanted, financial security, our own home, but no kids. He has an adult child from a previous marriage two decades ago that lasted the same time as ours. He feels inadequate as a father.

He says he's had therapy in the past but clearly nothing has stuck because he stil cannot trust, admitting that he pushed me away our entire relationship, and says he doesn't know how to love. I've always accepted him for who he is. He is a fixer of other peoples problems. Keeps him from focusing on his own, keeps friends from getting too close. He is a master at compartmentalization.

After we talked about this and the devastation our separation caused me he thanked me for helping him look at things differently and helping him face his fears. I forgave him months ago and have told him occasionally through our separation that I continue to love him. He knows that I am strong and forgiving and here for him but he just can't seem to or doesn't want to let me in. He says he's still involved with the affair partner but that "it's not that kind of relationship" whatever that means. So I don't know if affairs are common exit strategies for CAS or what. He's been a runner from intimacy his whole life.

I just want to be able to help him and I want him to come home but I don't know what to do. He said he's never been lower in his life, but says he's not depressed. He seems to still want to see me from time to time, to do things for me, talk to me, hug me, but he is distant too and seems committed to divorce. This says to me that he is still running.

So is there anything I can do to help him? That to me is more important than saving my marriage right now but I think in the long run they're part of the same story.

Looking forward to your advice.

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#407325 - 08/20/12 05:03 PM Re: Separated and Just found out [Re: northernflicker]
GoodHope Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/05/11
Posts: 415
Welcome, Affairs are common. Pushing away, common. I think you are doing what you can. Ultimately he has to want healing. You can tell him about this website, suggest books, point out therapists and be a friend to him, but that is it. Sucks, I know. I hope he grabs the lifeline you are throwing out to him. Not even for you, although I want that for you if it's your desire, but for him.
_________________________
Wife of a survivor

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#407350 - 08/20/12 09:04 PM Re: Separated and Just found out [Re: northernflicker]
northernflicker Offline


Registered: 08/19/12
Posts: 88
Thank you GoodHope. I was hoping for a less dire prognosis but I guess that was foolish of me. I love him but he cast me out. He does not want my help.

This might not be the place but I'll say I'm really angry and I don't know where to put it. He knew he would walk out on me eventually because it is his pattern but he married me anyway and I resent that. I loved and supported him through our entire marriage and he shut me out knowing his pattern was in full play. he can't even say he loved me with any confidence. This has changed me forever.

I have abandonment issues of my own from an emotionally abusive father yet in full knowledge of this my husband chose to abandon me 60k outside the city in a town and a house where I'd never have moved on my own. In fact , we largely moved here for him because "the porch is too small" in our previous house. I know now that this was a surrogate for his burning desire to flee.

I know this site is for survivors, but can anybody direct me to a place where I can get some help for this anger and betrayal? I've put his needs and my fear of pushing him further away ahead of my pain. There have been many days in the past year where I fantasized about ending my life because the paIn of his betrayal has been so huge. I feel guilty about feeling and expressing my pain

And he doesn't seem to care one little bit. He would always say about everything prior to our relationship "it's in the past it doesn't matter." He appears to be completely moved on, with me relegated to the past and not mattering. To be so diminished, so belittled is like having your guts ripped out.

I don't know what to do.

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#407351 - 08/20/12 09:14 PM Re: Separated and Just found out [Re: northernflicker]
Country Offline


Registered: 02/29/12
Posts: 642
Loc: Alabama
He needs to seek help for his abuse.. The traits you spoke of are sad but common for survivors of sexual abuse as a child.. Ypur abandoment issues may having you holding on for no reason if he wont get help...Until he does this you will have a fragmented man and he will always flee or have walls up..
_________________________
Ephesians 6:13

Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.

Ephesians 5:25

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her

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#407355 - 08/20/12 10:27 PM Re: Separated and Just found out [Re: northernflicker]
Haps Offline


Registered: 07/06/12
Posts: 89
Loc: Ohio
Northern - Your post hits so close to home for me right now. My survivor pulled away very hard as well. It's his pattern that I didn't really admit to when I got involved. I hope you can find a place where you can give yourself credit for where you are right now. Im not a good litmus test, but you're well beyond where I am.

I also have abandonment stuff from an emotionally unavailable mother. Things that have helped me 1) this board. Post here. There is plenty if validation to be found here from some very strong people who know all sides. 2) Al-Anon has helped me as well. I grew up in a "dry" alcoholic family, and my survivor P drinks. Even if alcohol doesn't ring true where you are, every group I've attended is open and welcoming. It's a great way to heal. 3) Treat yiurselfm to the best damn therapist you can. For me, my abandonment trauma is relived thru this crap with my P, and my therapist who specializes in trauma has been a godsend. EMDR has worked wonders for me as well. 4) Friends that won't judge if you can find them. I'm surprised who has come to my life lately to help me thru this. Trust your gut on who you can open up to, and don't be afraid to ask for what you need.

I even left a little bit of love in this post to help get ya thru those times when you can't find the strength to love yourself. wink You'll get plenty more from others here, I'm sure.

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#407359 - 08/20/12 11:15 PM Re: Separated and Just found out [Re: northernflicker]
Esposa Offline
F&F Greeter
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/19/11
Posts: 682
Loc: NJ
I know this story. I lived it. PM me.

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#407370 - 08/21/12 12:50 AM Re: Separated and Just found out [Re: northernflicker]
Jim1104 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/16/11
Posts: 407
Loc: Louisiana, USA
I appreciate you sharing. As a survivor, I appreciate your willingness to be real. I am sorry for your pain. Just want you to know you are welcome to talk about this stuff here as far as I am concerned.
_________________________
Jim
Male/USA

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#407380 - 08/21/12 05:52 AM Re: Separated and Just found out [Re: northernflicker]
northernflicker Offline


Registered: 08/19/12
Posts: 88
Thank you, Jim, for welcoming me to talk about his here. I am glad to have found this board. I am in two worlds I never thought I'd never be part of now - divorce and CSA.

If I'd known then what I know now so much would have been different. Maybe he wouldn't have walked out. I would have been able to understand what was happening and act based on that instead of my spiraling depression, wondering why my husband didn't want to touch me and why I felt so lonely and neglected in my marriage. I spent my honeymoon in tears, one night cleaning up his projectile vomit from the bathroom floor. He used to whisper "don't leave me" in my ear, yet he left me.

Thank you Haps. I am seeing yet another therapist tomorrow to try and get my head around this. It's amazing that so much can simmer inside a person with not even their closest friends and family knowing.

At the moment I am less angry than I was. It comes in waves. I don't understand how he could knowingly do this to me. But there is solace in this board. Kindred souls it seems, people who understand.

I've started reading through the boards and the stories are heart breaking. And when our survivors hurt us it is really their abusers acting through them, continuing to hurt them. But then there's that whole taking responsibility for your actions thing. Not letting their abusers do it anymore. Man, it's complicated.

I have a good relationship with my adult stepdaughter. Our relationship really blossomed since my husband left. Prior to that, it seems that he did his best to prevent it, to keep us from being a family. She was a teenager when we met. She, of course, knows nothing of her fathers CSA. Do people tell their adult children? Not that he would. And I never, ever would. What role does "coming out" have in the healing process?

He seems to think he can deal with this on his own. Or not deal rather. But I know the only way out is through. Doesn't matter that I know I suppose. He needs to. And he might never. I lent him the book Silent Sons, which describes his behavior to a T. He says he'll read it. We'll see.

Thank you again to everyone. I'll continue to read and post and look forward to your words of wisdom and experience.

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#407381 - 08/21/12 06:27 AM Re: Separated and Just found out [Re: northernflicker]
Country Offline


Registered: 02/29/12
Posts: 642
Loc: Alabama
I have told 1 of my 3 children. He is 17 and took it well. One is way younger and is too young to understand. I know as a survivor, my abusers have had a direct or indirect impact on my life and my decisions However I am a adult and take full responsibility for all my actions an I am responsible for all of the outcomes. I hope u find te help an answers u need here on the forums.


Edited by Country (08/21/12 08:44 AM)
_________________________
Ephesians 6:13

Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.

Ephesians 5:25

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her

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#407396 - 08/21/12 09:57 AM Re: Separated and Just found out [Re: northernflicker]
northernflicker Offline


Registered: 08/19/12
Posts: 88
Ok so thanks to you amazing people and this board I'm no longer panicking. Today anyway.

Going to look at the positives:
1. He told me, which means he is trying on trust. The icing on the cake is that he's trying it on with me. Which suggests that I've been right in handling the past year with love and compassion.
2. When he left my house he thanked me for helping him look at things differently, to focus on my forgiveness not my pain or how he hurt me. I think we both needed to have that conversation but now it is done and will not be raised again.
3. After he left he came back five minutes later to say thank you for "helping me face my fears." he said an email isn't enough. I told him "you did it, and you're ok, I'm ok, we're ok." I thanked him for sharing with me. Then he hugged me and kissed me on the forehead and left.
4. We still enjoy each others company and spent 8 hours on a boat together recently fishing, and had a great social visit on Saturday before our talk. He had asked to come by.

So maybe he's getting ready to get help. And maybe I've done something right.

Later that day I sent him an email saying I am unbelievably proud of him for opening up and that he earned a good night's sleep (hes not been sleeping) and sweet dreams.

Yesterday when he called for banking information I asked him how he was and told him I was worried about him. (He had said on Saturday that he's never been lower in his life and he cant get any lower. But he's "not depressed." yeah, right.) He said he's good and "that's nice of ya."

I have consistently told him I continue to love him and wished him peace and strength, but I have never pressured him to come home. He knows I would save my marriage in a heartbeat but that I can't do it alone. He can't accuse me of abandoning him.

I know this is a marathon not a sprint but am I doing the right things in terms of what little support I can give and he will accept?

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#407404 - 08/21/12 11:13 AM Re: Separated and Just found out [Re: northernflicker]
Country Offline


Registered: 02/29/12
Posts: 642
Loc: Alabama
Great job and I am sure you are helping him more than you know. Just as my wife has me. It will be a uphill battle for a while though. Stay the course and Leo reaffirming to him. That is huge to us. Words can be huge to a survivor. I am glad for u and him. Good steps on the right path. Congrats.
_________________________
Ephesians 6:13

Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.

Ephesians 5:25

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her

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#407411 - 08/21/12 12:04 PM Re: Separated and Just found out [Re: northernflicker]
northernflicker Offline


Registered: 08/19/12
Posts: 88
Thank you so much Country. It means a lot to have your encouragement.

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#407437 - 08/21/12 03:30 PM Re: Separated and Just found out [Re: northernflicker]
northernflicker Offline


Registered: 08/19/12
Posts: 88
So I've been reflecting back on this morning's session with a new therapist and it really pissed me off. He actually suggested that my husband might be lying and that if he's not then he's using the information to manipulate me. This opinion based of course on the behavior exhibited by H during our marriage (the withholding, pulling back). "he's lied to you before by keeping things from you, who's to say he's not lying now?" actually came out of his mouth.

No wonder people don't speak up when they risk facIng that sort of BS. People seem to think male CSA doesn't happen. It's unbelievable quite frankly. And yes I did challenge this crap at the time.

Needless to say I won't be going back there.

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#407449 - 08/21/12 05:18 PM Re: Separated and Just found out [Re: northernflicker]
Country Offline


Registered: 02/29/12
Posts: 642
Loc: Alabama
Sad but true..
_________________________
Ephesians 6:13

Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.

Ephesians 5:25

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her

Top
#407678 - 08/23/12 04:48 PM Re: Separated and Just found out [Re: northernflicker]
Robert1000 Offline


Registered: 06/27/12
Posts: 336
Hi northern,

It's been really something to read these posts over the past few days. I've been on this site for a few months, but almost exclusively in the male survivor forum, mostly because I'm a male survivor and those are my people.

But I figured I'd read a few of these "family" posts, because I wanted some perspective on my wife, who I love dearly, and who has been having a tough time lately when it comes to trust. I'm not cheating on her, but I did, and I know that one thing the liar sacrifices with his lies is his own credibility. So....

So I ended up reading your posts and comments. I feel for you, deeply. You're in a tough spot. I obviously don't know your husband, or anything other than what you've written about your situation, but here are some thoughts, for what they're worth.

In my experience, emotional honesty and emotional lies are at the heart of the problems that resulted from my abuse. To give you a brief version, I was molested/raped/blah blah by a neighbor's baby sitter when I was 12. Here's the fucked up part. He said it was fun. It wasn't. He said it was practice for women. Whatever. It was terrifying. It was brutal. It hurt like hell. And because of my shame, I was afraid to tell anyone. My mom was one of those people who could explain away crappy feelings and can't accept anything "negative," so she didn't put two and two together. What I mean is that I started typical acting out behavior. I smoked pot and drank at an incredibly young age. I stole shit. I got into fights. I was obsessed with sex. I was suicidal and depressed.

But mostly, I learned to distance myself from my emotions. And I learned to use emotions to get sex and affection, although I discounted anyone who loved me.

I'm telling you this, because it could be that your drive to help your husband may playing into your husband's problems. Now, I want to take a step back, here, and tell you something really important. When we talk about sex and relationships here, we need to be cold and clear-eyed, not moralistic. That might be hard, but it will help to understand things.

In my opinion, people become slutty (men and women) when they or someone else tramples their boundaries. Period. It's not because they're bad people. People lie because they're instinctively hiding something, or maintaining distance between the truth and the spoken word. I used to constantly tell the damnedest lies, and I'd wonder WHY WHY WHY? And I beat myself up about it. I'd call myself a sick fucking liar. I'd cuss myself out. But that's because I wanted to feel ashamed. As I've explained in other posts, I've learned from my therapist that shame, for me, was a way for me to gain control over the chaotic pain that had come into my life. If I blamed myself, well, the pain couldn't have been random, right? And if it wasn't random, it was maybe controllable. And finally, I was terribly ignorant about my own emotions. I have had to develop a language for talking about myself honestly.

My point is that your husband might well be lying, not because he's a bad man, but because for those of us who've lived with the terrible secret of abuse the truth is tied up with shame, self-loathing (and I mean really, really deep and profound self-loathing), incredible pain and decades of bad habits.

I managed to get through the first hard layers of my lies because the idea of losing my wife and family was more painful than keeping those horrid secrets.

But for me, it was different. My wife wouldn't let me leave. I expected that she would. She told me to stay in the house if I wanted to stay a part of her life. I was terrified to stay. But by persevering with my wife and with TONS of therapy, I began to connect my emotions to the real events of my life, and what a freeing thing that has been. It's been wonderful. But I tell you, it's still very difficult for me to avoid the easy path wherein I lie about my emotions, outwardly express feelings about something that might seem important but isn't, and then remain removed and cool in my interior.

That may well be what your husband is doing. You can't control him. You can only control yourself.

Plus, nobody knows the future. Your husband didn't when he married you. I doubt he believed that he'd stay remote from you. He probably didn't know how else to be. Maybe he still doesn't. It sort of sounds like it, especially if he's still sort of fucking around with the affair woman. I mean, that's just not healthy for him. He needs to start respecting himself and his own boundaries. What the hell is he saying to her when he's with her? That he's still talking to you but that it's going nowhere?

This dude could very well have all sorts of random narratives running through his life. He'll be a happier man when he sorts them out, chooses the life he wants to live, and then maintains one "self" everywhere he goes and with everyone he meets.

Good luck. I sure feel for you. Don't ever hurt yourself. I am suddenly recalling that you said something about feeling suicidal above.

If you remember one thing, make it this: emotions are like clouds, they pass. And things will get better. It will get better.

Take care. Bob

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#407699 - 08/23/12 06:12 PM Re: Separated and Just found out [Re: northernflicker]
northernflicker Offline


Registered: 08/19/12
Posts: 88
Bob, there are no words to express my gratitude for everything you have said here and on my other post. I can only begin to imagine how difficult a road it is for survivors.

I will read this and the other posts people have been kind and generous enough to leave over and over in the hope that I can understand.

This is still new to me but I do believe I will come to a place of peace in tome time.

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#408112 - 08/27/12 04:15 PM Re: Separated and Just found out [Re: northernflicker]
Robert1000 Offline


Registered: 06/27/12
Posts: 336
Good luck, northernflicker. I'm having one of my shittier days. It is hard, isn't it? Damn it.

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#408113 - 08/27/12 04:15 PM Re: Separated and Just found out [Re: northernflicker]
Robert1000 Offline


Registered: 06/27/12
Posts: 336
I could use some kind thoughts, if you have a few to throw my way.

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#408130 - 08/27/12 06:42 PM Re: Separated and Just found out [Re: northernflicker]
northernflicker Offline


Registered: 08/19/12
Posts: 88
Bob, I am sorry to hear that you're having one of your shittier days, but am more than happy to throw some kind words your way. I wish I had seen your post earlier and hope you find these words here.

Because of things you have said here, to me specifically and also to others, I really, truly am at peace. I have the missing piece of the puzzle now and can see exactly where it fits in all its magnitude. Because of your openness, your insight and your willingness to share for the betterment of so very many people I feel I have grown to know and understand my husband more this week than in the time we were together. It takes a good man to step up in such a way.

Life gives us peaks and valleys, and it is from the strength gained in the peaks that we move through the valleys. There does come a time when the valleys are not so deep, or maybe they're just as deep but we're more equipped to deal with them.

Life is beautiful. It truly is. I don't think I've written that anywhere before, but in this moment I really do believe it. For a group of people to come together in a place like this is unbelievable to me. And you, Bob, are one of the pieces that make it what it is for folks like me who were adrift in rough waters. Makes you really stinkin' special, Bob, and in great company.

I do hope the day is less shitty than it was, and that tomorrow is fantastic.

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#408147 - 08/27/12 08:45 PM Re: Separated and Just found out [Re: northernflicker]
northernflicker Offline


Registered: 08/19/12
Posts: 88
Well it appears I did something right. I heard from my husband today. I knew that I would eventually but figured it would be at least six weeks and probably a couple of months.

He emailed today wanting to bring me a pike (amazing smoked!) if he gets one on the weekend (he is an amazing fisherman!). I'm out of town this weekend (anniversary of our split....there's no way I'm staying in town!) so he's going to freeze the pike and bring it to me another time. We're making plans to go out in the boat fishing for the day in the next couple of weeks.

I don't know if he'll open up more to me but I'll listen if he does. His place of peace is on a boat in the middle of a lake. He loves our boat, I guess his boat now. I miss it.

I know without a doubt from the wise folks here that he MUST heal himself in his own time.

I'll take this as a sign that he trusts or is learning to trust me, and that is huge progress.

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#408149 - 08/27/12 08:48 PM Re: Separated and Just found out [Re: northernflicker]
Country Offline


Registered: 02/29/12
Posts: 642
Loc: Alabama
Congrats and here is wishing you and him the best of luck.
_________________________
Ephesians 6:13

Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.

Ephesians 5:25

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her

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#408164 - 08/28/12 01:06 AM Re: Separated and Just found out [Re: northernflicker]
CdnDW Offline


Registered: 08/24/12
Posts: 105
Sounds to me like your love for each other, even expressed as just friends, is rising out of the ashes already. I feel for you northern. There have been so many times when I have questioned my marriage because physical intimacy has been difficult for almost 8 years when our last child was conceived. I have accepted that we may never live as more than best friends and this has been a hard thing to accept, but it is still better than losing my best friend altogether.

I hope your day together on the boat is wonderful. I hope you find an easy place to just be together as people. I know I have had to remind myself at times to stop defining all our interactions by his csa. These experiences have effected him profoundly, but do not define him or define us. Sometimes I have to look for and grasp those special moments when we can truly just be together, quiet and comfortable. Those moments are among the most intimate we have ever had.

Enjoy the pike!
_________________________
I am not your rolling wheels, I am the highway
I am not your carpet ride, I am the sky
- Audioslave

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#408177 - 08/28/12 02:29 AM Re: Separated and Just found out [Re: northernflicker]
aksnowyowl Offline


Registered: 08/18/12
Posts: 47
dear northernflicker,
i am fairly new to this site, since my husband only suspects that he was abused and has just begun EMDR to approach it. as strange as it may seem, i enjoy reading your posts because they bring me peace. there seems to be so much peace, actual peace, in honesty. thank you for being so honest and thank you for sharing. the road ahead may not be easy and may be painful, but it's reassuring to know that it doesn't have to be isolated.

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#408197 - 08/28/12 09:56 AM Re: Separated and Just found out [Re: northernflicker]
Robert1000 Offline


Registered: 06/27/12
Posts: 336
Thanks northernflicker. I appreciate your words. It sounds like your husband is a man after my own heart. I love smoking fish, pig, beef, turkey, pretty much anything and everything. I'm going to check out for a few days or weeks. Sometimes all this stuff on here is a little overwhelming. I am feeling better today, though. Thanks again. Bob

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#408209 - 08/28/12 12:25 PM Re: Separated and Just found out [Re: northernflicker]
scottyg Offline


Registered: 06/26/12
Posts: 253
Loc: Seattle
Originally Posted By: northernflicker
So I've been reflecting back on this morning's session with a new therapist and it really pissed me off. He actually suggested that my husband might be lying and that if he's not then he's using the information to manipulate me. This opinion based of course on the behavior exhibited by H during our marriage (the withholding, pulling back). "he's lied to you before by keeping things from you, who's to say he's not lying now?" actually came out of his mouth.

No wonder people don't speak up when they risk facIng that sort of BS. People seem to think male CSA doesn't happen. It's unbelievable quite frankly. And yes I did challenge this crap at the time.

Needless to say I won't be going back there.

Having a hard time understanding the context of this conversation. Did the therapist say H is lying about abuse? Or did he infer that H could be lying about his motivations to reconcile with you? That's my take from the limited info. The therapist was challenging you to consider the fact the CSA survivors are manipulative. Not your husband, all of us are manipulative. We were used and manipulated ourselves, had boudaries destroyed. We become really good at doing it to others. That's the facts. I was not in the room so I did not get the exchange but I must say one thing about therapists.

It is good to hear a therapist challenge your perception. Too many of them sit there nodding and make soothing noises for an hour until its time to go. A good therapist will challenge your thinking once in a while. Even if the person is dead wrong, it's an honest attempt to find truth in a world of illusion. Reacting and getting angry and resolving your diagreement is also good. I am sorry you were so insulted. If there is no rapport with this person by all means quit going.

But I encourage you to allow yourself to be challenged and to push back in a positive way. That is actually really good therapy. Part of becoming a healthy person is standing up and making an assertive response not an emotional one. I hope you find a new therapist you can develop a healthy relationship with. Sometimes it takes two or three.
_________________________
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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#408218 - 08/28/12 01:30 PM Re: Separated and Just found out [Re: northernflicker]
northernflicker Offline


Registered: 08/19/12
Posts: 88
Thanks for your thoughts scottyg.

Thanks to this site and you fine people I know now how manipulated I was on many fronts, and i really dont care for being coddled. This therapist was suggesting that my husband was lying about the abuse. While I want to be challenged in all of this and sort of questioned along to my own conclusions, one therapist saying "oh, honey, he's just not the man for you" without sddressing the fucked uppedness of his departure, and another saying "maybe the abuse happened but maybe he's lying so you'll continue to be nice" are both.....useless to me. I'm one of those annoying people who needs to understand wtf went on. Now things make sense. And yes I appreciate my perceptions being challenged, but when the challenger says your husband is lying about being abused I have to stop dead in my tracks. Who says that?

Everything I see here says to believe a survivor when he tells you, that it happens to boys, that the most important thing is to feel safe and believed, to be trusted. That is why I believe my husband. To me, questioning him and his tears is incredibly irresponsible.

I am nice in the sense that im no asshole or obsessive bitch bent on revenge because my marriage broke up, but i am also no doormat. The second I realized I was being played and he was having an affair I chucked him out. That was a boundary he could not cross. It was like an amputation. I wonder if I raised the bottom for him.

After that it was wtf? Trying to understand who leaves a really, really good life with no fore warning? Someone who says hes sorry for hiding from me, as it turnd out initially, and someone who gets in a relationship and after a short period looks for stupid reasons to leave, as it turned out Last week.

I've always treated him with kindness, love and respect because it was the high road. I need to live with myself. His door has opened a wee crack every few months over the past year to the point where he could face his fear and tell me. That's huge, and now is the time for me to be still, continue doing what I've been doing, and through that let him know that it's ok to deal with this.

There has been no discussion of reconciliation. In fact, each time I see my husband he says that he just wants me to move on and be happy. And then he asks to come see me again. Well I am most certainly happy (apart from the pain in the ass that is finding a new job - the icing on the cake of this stellar year!) and I have moved on in the sense that I wouldn't have him back without him taking the initiative to do the work that he alone needs to do. He seems to expect me to pop into a relationship as easily and readily as he does. But that ain't me. And now I have the missing piece of information that he could or would not share throughout our marriage. And that information is the shield that keeps me from getting sucked into the vortex of misery that is marital abandonment. I have wondered "why now?" and "what next?" but no longer do. This just is, and it's not about me. I have learned patience in abundance this past year.

His CSA is not even two weeks old to me, although I did begin to suspect something when he talked a couple of months ago about needing to heal the inner child. Where to from here? Who knows, but I'm not prepared to just chuck out someone who I know is a rock solid human being because some therapist whose never met the man says he might be lying. Not anyone here in any way suggested that!

I did get the name of another therapist who has a tremendous amount of experience with male CSA. I haven't called yet because I really am at peace right now. If my husband starts to tell me more of his story I wil book an appointment. To be honest this site has helped me tremendously. People like you, scottyg, and robert1000 and country and eposa and others whose names don't come immediately to mind, with your honesty and straight forward insight and advice, challenging us to challenge ourselves, have taken me to a place of understanding what happened. I hate that a place like this has to exist but I'm glad that it does, if that makes sense.

Thanks again, and sorry for the completely excessive response!

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#408222 - 08/28/12 02:07 PM Re: Separated and Just found out [Re: northernflicker]
scottyg Offline


Registered: 06/26/12
Posts: 253
Loc: Seattle
Okey-dokey. You're ok... I'm sorta ok! One never knows the circumstances behind the comments but you paint the picture of a strong and capable woman. Don't know if you even need therapy anymore. Seem pretty grounded to me.

I will gift you with one last insight. When husband says move on be happy then asks to see you again he is communicating the desire to reconcile in some way because he still needs you. His mixed message comes from his shame over his actions, over his past, over his current inability to be a healthy and equal partner. He may not forgive himself so he cannot imagine that YOU will ever forgive him. Robert has written so masterfully on these topics. So with a heart full of shame and self-loathing he tells the only woman he loves to go away so as to save you from being shackled to his pain.

At the same time he wants to draw you in because you are probably the only healthy and supportive thing in his life. Flings with new girlfriends are a diversion from the pain but clearly none are as deep as you. It's tough for you because you need to have your own life and not become an emotional yo-yo. As you see each other and rebuild the trust it may become advantageous to raise the expectation that he gets real help. If he can see he has a true supporter in his life perhaps he can also see that he has the power to change his own future.

-SG
_________________________
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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#409826 - 09/11/12 10:33 AM Re: Separated and Just found out [Re: northernflicker]
northernflicker Offline


Registered: 08/19/12
Posts: 88
I have an appointment tomorrow with a new therapist who specializes in male CSA, including the impact on relationships. If it goes well and depending on what he says and any feedback I get here I'm thinking about inviting my husband to go with me sometime. I thought about inviting him to the first appointment but decided I need to go for me first.

On another note, he has yet to follow through on bringing the tools by or confirming fishing this weekend. The "one night next week" for dropping off the tools slipped by and then it was "on the weekend", which also slipped by. I absolutely refuse to contact him about it because he needs to follow through on his *promises*, minor though this might be. Last time we went fishing at his suggestion i had to do all the work in setting it up. Not this time. Why suggest things if you have no intention of doing them?

I don't know if he's trying to ignore me or send me a message or if he's crawled into a hole somewhere. He did say when he told me about his CSA that he was lower than he'd ever been.

I'm letting go of all of it and will get the tools elsewhere and make other plans for this weekend. Super happy to have that appointment tomorrow.

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#409834 - 09/11/12 12:50 PM Re: Separated and Just found out [Re: northernflicker]
Robert1000 Offline


Registered: 06/27/12
Posts: 336
Whew. Northernflicker. You're in a tough spot. But you're doing the right thing. Keep going. Keep searching for peace, even if you can just grab it for a moment. Keep healing. You're strong. You can build the life you want and need. Thanks for sharing. Thanks for being here. You can suggest that your husband come here to read or share stories of his own life. He might be glad to know that he's not alone. He can be perfectly anonymous. I hope he does. Please tell him that my thoughts and prayers are with him.

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#409841 - 09/11/12 01:43 PM Re: Separated and Just found out [Re: northernflicker]
northernflicker Offline


Registered: 08/19/12
Posts: 88
Thanks Bob. I have drafted an email to him about him needing to deal with this and me needing to let go, inviting him to come here, to read The Mike Lew book (he has my copy of Silent Sons now, which he seemed prepared to read), to come to a therapy appointment with me. But I haven't hit send yet. I'm going to run it by the therapist tomorrow. In fact, i'd be honored if you would maybe take a look but understand fully if you'd rather not.

I think this is all pretty intense for him actually. At one point that day when we were talking about it he was sitting and I standing just in front of him. I said something innocuous (or so I thought...can't remember what specifically) and he suddenly grabbed my wrists. I stopped talking and we just looked at each other for about half a minute, he still holding my wrists. "I thought you were going to slap me" he said. Why on earth would you think that, I asked. To which he responded "maybe I think I need to be slapped." He then let go of my wrists and did up the zipper on my sweatshirt much like a parent would their child's. it's heart breaking.

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#409963 - 09/12/12 06:26 PM Re: Separated and Just found out [Re: northernflicker]
northernflicker Offline


Registered: 08/19/12
Posts: 88
Had a good session with the new therapist. He gets it, which is wonderful, and gave me some tools/maps to help me understand this better. The one showing "wobbles" was quite interesting.

It was interesting for me to find out that I fall a little bit into the "dismissive/avoidant" attachment style, but no great surprise given that I've been on my own since I was 19 and am uberindependent...kind of the opposite of co-dependent. Rather than "this relationship defines me" sort of thing, I'm "this relationship has absolutely nothing to do with who I am", which is the other extreme. I'm a mild case, which is great to know....I guess?

He said that it would be well within acceptable for me to email my husband encouraging him to do this, given that although separated we are still married. It's my D/A style that sends up red flags for me, I think. He said its apparent that my husband is still attached to me on some level. Maybe there's hope then.

I still haven't heard from my him about the tool loan or the fishing this weekend that he offered up, so I have made other plans for both. I'm disappointed, but I can't sit around conjuring up good experiences that he's not committed to, if that makes sense. Talk about kidding one's self.

So here's the final draft of the letter I'd like to send to my husband. A letter in the post is probably better than an email, I think...less pressure for him and he can't just hit delete. In a sense it's my swan song...everything is on the table and he either takes my hand or he doesn't. Not sure how much time I should give it to percolate...end of the year maybe? Any feedback on content, timelines and mode of delivery, or anything else, is welcome and encouraged. Thank you so much in advance.

Husband,

As I said before, I am unbelievably proud of you for opening up to me about your childhood trauma. I am deeply saddened for what you've had to bear and honoured that you chose to trust me. I can only imagine how difficult that was for you.

I've done a lot of thinking and reading in the past few weeks and have learned some very important things.
First, you are not alone. One in six men have walked your path. A brotherhood of support is there but you must be open to it.
Second, you cannot do this alone. You need to deal with it in therapy. I respect that the decision is yours alone to make. I hope you know that you're worth it.
Third, you are still running. Until you get the help you need you will continue to run and hide from yourself and the people who love you. Do you want the next 40 years to be the same as the last?
Fourth, there is absolutely nothing I can do for my husband or my marriage unless you let me. You would whisper "don't leave me" in my ear, and I said I wouldn't. And I didn't. And I haven't yet.

My vows are as true today as they were when I said them to you on our wedding day:
I love you, not only for who you are but for what we are together. I love you not only for what you have made of yourself, but for what you are making of me. I love you for passing over my weaknesses and instead drawing out the strengths that no one else had looked quite hard enough to find. I love you because you have done more than any creed could have done to make me good, and more than any fate to make me happy. You have done it without a touch, without a word, without a sign. You have done it by being yourself and I love you for who you are. From this day forward I promise to laugh with you, cry with you, to share your dreams and your goals. I will give you compassion and understanding, especially when the fishing isn't going so well, and I will try to when the Habs are losing. I will remain faithful to our vows for better or for worse, in times of sickness and health. You are my best friend and I will love and respect you always.

When I vowed to give you compassion and understanding, to remain faithful to my vows, to love and respect you always, I meant it. I let you go with love because that is what you wanted and it was something I could give you. It hurt like hell but was the right thing to do.

I see the man you are, and you are a good man. You deserve love. You need to let people love you. But you must love yourself first. You need to give that child a voice. Nothing that happened was your fault, but you are responsible for the decisions you make today.

The only way out of this is through it. A lifetime of hiding, ignoring the past, and trying to do this alone hasn't worked. The only way to slay this is to face it head on. Until then your abuser still has power and will continue to hurt you and, through you, hurt the people you care for.

I have three resources I hope you use:
1. www.malesurvivor.org - I have seen our marriage and my experience in it play out in other people's stories over and over again. I have seen you in their descriptions of their husbands.I found solace in knowing I was not the only one. You can find that too. I have learned from surivors what I can only imagine is the pain in your mind, your soul and your body. There are literally thousands of men there, your brothers, with open hearts, arms and minds. They have supported me and already send their thoughts and prayers to you. They will welcome you with understanding. They can help you. Please reach out to them, for you.
2. Victims No Longer, which is a book by Mike Lew. Many of the survivors on the website recommend it. It is an unbelievably difficult read but one that they all say helped them tremendously. I will be ordering it.
3. *******, who is a therapist in ****** whom I have seen. He has a great deal of experience with male sexual abuse and can help you in this journey. My next appointment is in two weeks. You are welcome to join me to meet him if you are ready to take that step for yourself. Or I can give you his contact info.

No matter where things are with us, I am here for you if and when you decide to deal with your abuse. I will support you in any way I can. All you need to do is ask. Nobody can fill the emptiness or carry this burden for you, but I can walk beside you. I am here for you, for better or for worse, in times of sickness and health. You are my best friend and I will love and respect you always.

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#410030 - 09/13/12 11:36 AM Re: Separated and Just found out [Re: northernflicker]
Robert1000 Offline


Registered: 06/27/12
Posts: 336
Northern, if you want to send something to me, feel free. Please do. I'd be glad to look at it. I hope your h can keep moving forward. The things you're describing sound encouraging. I forget, has he been on this site? If not, it might be something to try. He's not alone. That's probably the most important thing he needs to know. He's not alone, and he won't be traveling his path alone.
Bob

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#410032 - 09/13/12 11:43 AM Re: Separated and Just found out [Re: northernflicker]
Robert1000 Offline


Registered: 06/27/12
Posts: 336
Okay. Well, clearly, I read your previous post first and then the most recent one. Holy shit. What a great letter. It's powerful. It's beautiful. It's moving. Northern... damn. That's one sweet piece of writing.

Here's one thing that we survivors don't say enough to each other... buck up. Hell, it's not that bad. It's just life. We're survivors. That's what we are, because that's what we do. Sometimes, like right now, I feel like I could kill the asshole who hurt me as a kid, and walk away from his corpse with the same light heart I have right now. But I won't. I'm trying not to live with anger. I'm taking things lightly. I'm embracing my sense of humor. My sense of proportion.

I encourage you and H to do the same. I hope you guys do that fun stuff together, too. Fishing and all that.

Keep after it, northern. I'm so glad you got a new therapist. I'm on the market for a good one myself. I'm thinking about getting emdr.

Bob

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#410037 - 09/13/12 12:44 PM Re: Separated and Just found out [Re: northernflicker]
CdnDW Offline


Registered: 08/24/12
Posts: 105
I read your letter too and love it. I hope you dont mind, but I think I may steal some of it to send to my H. It very beautifully captures all that we want for them. Thank you for sharing.
_________________________
I am not your rolling wheels, I am the highway
I am not your carpet ride, I am the sky
- Audioslave

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#410044 - 09/13/12 02:20 PM Re: Separated and Just found out [Re: northernflicker]
northernflicker Offline


Registered: 08/19/12
Posts: 88
Thanks so much both of you. I was a little sheepish about putting it out there. I'm happy that you like it. Still pondering email vs post vs reading it to him but am leaning towards email. It will be after our fishing day at any rate.

Bob, the fishing is on for Saturday, 5.45 am. I had given up on him getting in touch so today's email was a bit of a surprise. Saturday will be one of levity. I want to enjoy the day. I know I'll get my butt kicked at fishing though. I like what you say about not getting lost or caught up in the CSA. It's not the same scenario, but my brother, while he was alive battling a neuromuscular disease that ultimately took his life, hated being called brave. "it's just my life" he'd say.

CdnDW please use whatever bits you like.

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#410047 - 09/13/12 02:45 PM Re: Separated and Just found out [Re: northernflicker]
Robert1000 Offline


Registered: 06/27/12
Posts: 336
OK, northern, glad to hear it all. And plus I like the jaunty tone of your posts today!

If you ever feel sheepish, just read some of my older posts, from when I first came on, and if you can find the ones where I'm really getting into my own feelings of shame and guilt... well, you'll see that I'm fighting the same thing the rest of us are. Shit. What can you do, right? I like what you said about your brother. Anyway, I look forward to hearing about the fishing. And as far as how to get the message to your H, why not use the old fashioned post office? It remains an elegant way to send a message.

Bob

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#410225 - 09/15/12 08:05 PM Re: Separated and Just found out [Re: northernflicker]
northernflicker Offline


Registered: 08/19/12
Posts: 88
So fishing was fantastic. I caught three to my husband's ten or twelve. We kept two pike in the boat and two bass. We saw lots of loons, a pair of swans, an otter or muskrat or other rodent type creature and a great blue heron resting on rocks. An absolutely beautiful day.

After he cleaned the fish at my house he wanted to go straight to the basement to see what was left of his belongings. Having spent ten awesome hours together at this point, mostly in the boat, I couldn't help but choke up so I just went upstairs to his "are you ok?" and proceeded to pack away his grandmother's tea cups. I thought, you want the rest of your shit after spending a wonderful day with me? Fine. Let me help you. I was done.

Needless to say the day ended horribly with lots of pent up emotion expressed on my side and lots of avoidance on his. Once again, he left and came back, but this time partly to get his bass and partly to say that the truth hurts and he has a hard time looking at himself and his actions.

The kicker for me is that he told whore at work about his abuse before he told me. That cut like a knife and I said as much, for good or for ill. He accused me of implying that his healing process is bullshit. I said it wasn't fair to say that, that my feelings are valid too. He doesn't need or want me for support; he has the whore.

I guess today I was done with subjugating my hurt and pain to his and kind of let loose. He says, all contrite, that he'll never come back to spend time with me or go fishing with me again because he hates that it hurts me and he doesn't want to see me cry. This despite the fact that he said he felt good about opening up to me about his abuse. The latent message to me is that if I express my feelings then the person walks out. Not a good message but one I was brought up with. I pointed this message out to him.

He doesn't seem to understand that what hurts is his choice to continue down the path of separation and divorce even though he could have reversed the course at any time. Instead he waxes remorseful about how he fucked up blah blah blah. He could fix this but he chooses not to. And at the same time he refuses to say he doesn't love me. He won't do it. Instead says "I don't know what love is". I told him I don't know what's real and what's fake anymore.

What a fucking mess. I don't think I'll be sending that beautiful letter to him. I'm shattered.

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#410292 - 09/16/12 12:19 PM Re: Separated and Just found out [Re: northernflicker]
northernflicker Offline


Registered: 08/19/12
Posts: 88
The tone with which he said something about dying as he left yesterday made me uneasy today so I texted him, saying I need to know that he's OK today. I'm living, he replied, and said he'd be OK.

I reminded him that I have forgiven him and that my pain today is a result of my choices. I need to make different ones. I also asked him to know that he is a good man with a big heart. He didn't reply to either of these.

I wanted to believe that the relationship with the whore at work was superficial, but since he confided in her and continues to see her today I can no longer believe that is the case. He says he doesn't know where it's going...after a year? Whatever. I and our marriage and our life together were not worth facing his pain for.

He did say he felt really good after telling me about his abuse. Then yesterday's disaster happened. But what does he expect? That after he confides in me, spends a wonderful day fishing with me, I will be OK with the separation and my pain will cease to be? Maybe he's just fully and completely self absorbed. I'm complicit in this too, though, because I let him come see me and spend time.

I am a fool. I should just pack it in. I implored him to tell me to let go, to tell me he doesn't love me. He said I need to let go but he refused to say he doesn't love me, even though I said it would set me free.

The kicker in this is that his holy place, so to speak, is in the boat fishing. He mostly does it alone, but sometimes brings people. It kills me that we can spend a day on the boat, that he respects me, values my opinion, but refuses to be married to me. It makes no sense. He believes that as long as his daughter and I are friends, he will be in my life. Not so, as she is an adult. He also said, strangely, that when I die he might not go to the funeral but he will be sad about it.

He has the boat only because my name is on the loan as co-borrower. I pull my support for the loan and he loses the boat. Most people say I should have pulled my financial support months ago. Maybe they're right. I know I am not responsible for him and all that, but to kick a man when he's down that way is not an easy thing for me. That said, I cannot back a loan for a man who is hell bent on divorcing me.

I don't know how to be now. I told him that maybe I'm hanging on because I don't want to get the the place where I feel nothing for him. I don't want him to land on my doorstep when it's too late. But I dont' even know that this will happen. The odds are certainly against it.

I feel like I'm abandoning him by giving up, like I'm abandoning all I ever wanted in life...marriage, closeness, a sense of home. But then I feel like he stole all that from me. I thought I had found those things but now doubt I ever will. I feel like a complete and total fool. None of this was real. I just wanted it to be.

What I have written smacks of simply moaning about the loss of my marriage. I need to remember that it is about the effect of CSA victim behaviour on a spouse. The pain is unbelievable right now.

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#410367 - 09/17/12 10:37 AM Re: Separated and Just found out [Re: northernflicker]
Robert1000 Offline


Registered: 06/27/12
Posts: 336
Northernflicker, you're so brave for sharing all this. Thank you for opening up. Here's the truth. Emotionally, you're a warrior. A strong and loving woman who knows what she wants. You WILL find a positive and loving way forward for yourself. I don't know how, how could I? But I can tell by the things you write, how you do it, that you will.

One of the most hurtful things about us CSA survivors (and I believe that term is good for all of us who are alive) is that we have no boundaries to speak of. All things being equal, we'd fuck just about anybody, but worse than that, we'll allow people into our lives and our personal space... just whenever for whatever reason. We let people trample all over us. We trample all over other people. It's because we have no natural boundaries. And so we have to make them. Your husband/ex, obviously has no boundaries.

It's normal for a married couple to co-own a boat together. It's normal for separated-but-still-working people to co-own a boat together (or for you to be a co-signatory on the loan or whatever). It's normal for people, when they're no longer going to be together to separate their finances completely. It's not mean. It's not kicking him when he's down. It's simply a barrier going up where it makes sense.

Your husband/ex isn't doing himself any favors by leaning on you and his "whore." It's not emotionally healthy to do that. But that's his problem, not yours. I think you need to assert barriers in your life. Your husband (as I said, this is totally common for survivors) doesn't respect your boundaries. It's one of the ways that he perpetuates the abuse that happened to him. He got violated, and so he violates you... by fucking someone else, by keeping his finances tied to you, by doing fun and loving things with you, by claiming he "doesn't know" what's happening with the "whore" or with you or "love."

Come on. I think he's probably telling the truth about his confusion, but please.... The way he's behaving isn't OK. I'm glad you've got your therapist. I hope you can rebuild a nice set of boundaries for yourself, logical ones that allow you to heal and keep you from getting violated and crapped on.

you're right, by the way, about the effect of CSA victims.... But no amount of history should excuse us from the things we choose to do today. We HAVE to be accountable. That's the ONLY way for us to build a new and better life. And the same goes for you. Good luck! I hope you post again soon. Know that I'm praying for you. Bob

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#410419 - 09/17/12 05:25 PM Re: Separated and Just found out [Re: northernflicker]
northernflicker Offline


Registered: 08/19/12
Posts: 88
Thank you Bob. I appreciate your support and insight. I've realized that i do it to myself as much as he does it to me.

It's interesting what you say about survivors letting people into their lives And personal space for arbitrary reasons. It seems my husband extricates them in the same way. He said on Saturday that he hasn't contacted the friend he spent almost every weekend fishing with because he just doesn't care. It's messed up to me that a friendship can mean so little to a person.

He of course had to get in touch today to tell me he doesn't want any smoked pike. I'm sure it's not about the pike. I was almost sucked into asking him how he's doing today but instead I'm ignoring the text. My friend thinks he's punishing me in some passive aggressive way for having to hear my feelings yesterday. I think she's right.

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#410453 - 09/17/12 09:46 PM Re: Separated and Just found out [Re: northernflicker]
northernflicker Offline


Registered: 08/19/12
Posts: 88
.

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#410467 - 09/17/12 11:58 PM Re: Separated and Just found out [Re: northernflicker]
CdnDW Offline


Registered: 08/24/12
Posts: 105
Northern, I've been reading your posts in this thread here over the past while and have felt the intensity and pain mount. I try to always avoid telling people what I think they should do, but I am no therapist and am having trouble compiling that kind of support. With that said, it seems to me that you were bitter and sad about your split with your H, but his sharing his csa now has you stuck to him. Perhaps this is because you now regret kicking him out and think having known about his csa would have aloud you to forgive his infidelity. But I ask you this... Does his past make him any less responsible for how he treated you in your marriage? No, it doesnt. Regardless of his past, you made a choice that respected and honoured yourself when you asked him to leave and that choice should not have been any different had you known about the csa because it was true to you! From your most recent post, it sounds as if you settled for having him trample on you for years. I know you see yourself as strong and assertive, and I see myself the same way, yet we were still programmed to be caretakers. We are women and we were raised to think that our love (albeit tough love if necessary) would be enough to bring about change in someone. Maybe if your H had shared his csa earlier you could have supported him enough and been aware of his behaviour enough to call him on things and he *might* have been able to get the help he needed to avoid derailing your marriage, but there are SO MANY "ifs" and "maybes" in there that I think that sort of thinking is very, very destructive to your moving forward with your life. Forget about him and start living for you. I don't mean that if he ever *asked* to be a part of your life on good and healthy terms and had chosen recovery and was acting in a way that proved your needs mattered to him that you couldnt accept him back in your life, but right now none of that has occurred. Whether intentionally or not, he has managed to bind you to him from moving forward without him by sharing his abuse with you. I have no doubt that a part of him WANTS to be able to get his shit together and he is afraid he will loose you altogether, but what he might feel is not impacting his behaviour, so it is irrelevant. He is not responsible for his abuse, but he is absolutely responsible for how he chooses to act today.

Nothing you do or say will prompt this choice. If you truly move forward with your life and he realizes that he will loose you completely, he *might* choose recovery over this consequence, but even then, you have not done anything directly to bring this about. He has all the power and you have none over him. When you accept you are entirely powerless over him, as I did over my H, initially you feel very lost because you feel powerless over everything. Then slowly, you begin to see your truest sense of power. Self empowerment. Build the life you want and need and if he wishes to share it with you, let him ask to be invited along with you, but don't wait for him and dont try to drag him kicking and screaming along with you and dont resent him for remaining stuck in his own painful existence. Free yourself and feel empathy that he cannot do the same for himself. Empathy is not what leaves you feeling hurt and angry and resentful. What leaves you feeling these things is being stuck in the idea that he owes you a different outcome. But you owe yourself a different outcome now. You owe yourself joy and fulfilment and love. I know that isnt easy. I am struggling right along the same path. I am grieving for what *should* have been, but dammit it wasn't so the sooner I accept that I... yes, I let that happen, then I empower myself to have a different now and a different future. Knowing that I let it happen gives me the power to know that I can prevent it from happening again. I am still in my marriage, but my H is living in a different bedroom at my request. I love him immensely and miss him and am constantly tempted to just say "forget about everything and just come back to our bedroom". To say "forget my needs, I'll accept anything you throw at me as long as you promise to never leave me!" I feel so stupid admitting that there is a very big part of me that wants to just fold like a wet noodle, but if I dont admit it, then that creeping feeling can take hold. Point is, I am terrified of being alone, I am terrified I'll never have a love as deep as I feel for him again and I feel completely isolated right now. I am terrified that he will leave because he will only be able to meet my demands on his behaviour if he faces his past and maybe recovery will be more painful than facing a life without me. But, I am pushing steadfast because I know this is all I can do. I will loose myself completely if I don't do this. Your story of how the two of you ran from facing the ill health in your marriage by drinking and partying with friends is very much like mine. But this left me empty, isolated, depressed and full of anxiety. I have been on anti-depressants a couple years, been to personal therapy and marriage counselling, but nothing, NOTHING, filled the void inside myself because the cause was not external. It was in me and I am now trying to fill that void by breaking my codependance on my relationship with my H. I have not yet got to the point where I am building a life in my own vision, but I will once I have taken some time to nurture myself and feel good about my new boundaries. For now I am trying to "feed my wolf of divine light" as someone on here said before. When I do start to build and live life in my own joyful vision, I will definitely be inviting my H to join me, but I will do this with the knowledge that I have let go of the outcome. I hope to be at peace with whatever direction he chooses by ensuring my own direction will be giving myself everything I need. Our relationships should never fill a need in us. We should fill our own needs and our relationships should compliment what we have given to ourselves.

Well, I feel like I've rambled here and not sure if I am making sense anymore. I hope you find a way to move forward without him. If he chooses to walk beside you, great, but move forward for yourself no matter what the choice of his is. It is lonely and isolating at times, but we can take these feelings as a challenge to look for better ways to fulfill ourselves instead of getting stuck in the grief of the isolation.

Take care Northern and be good, kind and patient with yourself and let go of the rest. You have no power without, but an awesome source of power within yourself. And maybe do something for yourself that is fun. Just for you. Something that will help you feel light and laughter even just for a short while.
_________________________
I am not your rolling wheels, I am the highway
I am not your carpet ride, I am the sky
- Audioslave

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#410497 - 09/18/12 07:49 AM Re: Separated and Just found out [Re: northernflicker]
northernflicker Offline


Registered: 08/19/12
Posts: 88
.

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#410510 - 09/18/12 11:12 AM Re: Separated and Just found out [Re: northernflicker]
Robert1000 Offline


Registered: 06/27/12
Posts: 336
Northern... on behalf of myself as a survivor of abuse... goddamn... I'm sorry that you've had such a rough go of it. I'm at work right now and can't write much. I'll touch on a bunch of issues that you raised in a bit.... But I want you to know that this site has been so helpful to me. Your posts have been so helpful and healing for me. I had a wonderful evening with my wife last night, and if I can do it, you can, too.

Just one thing before I go. Don't think that your husband is having some wonderful relationship with the "other woman." It sounds to me like he's neck-deep in his abuse. If you want to see something about as shame cycle, look up one of my other posts this morning. The BDSM stuff, by the way, I hope, will eventually crack you up. (Make you laugh, not go crazy!) I mean, come on. It's just sex. If you want leather, break out the leather. Who cares? But it's not about that. It's about shame, secrecy, abuse, fear of getting caught....

And that's what your H carries with him. Honestly, my heart goes out to him. But mine can. He never hurt me. I think CdnDW is absolutely right.

Bob

Keep posting. You're an important contributor here. You can heal here. You can be safe here. Good luck.

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#410511 - 09/18/12 11:15 AM Re: Separated and Just found out [Re: northernflicker]
Robert1000 Offline


Registered: 06/27/12
Posts: 336
By the way, holy crap CdnDW, that was a beautiful thing you wrote!

You, too. Northernflicker. I'm stuck on here.... Reading and re-reading.... Thanks, guys.

Bob

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#410666 - 09/19/12 08:56 PM Re: Separated and Just found out [Re: northernflicker]
northernflicker Offline


Registered: 08/19/12
Posts: 88


Edited by northernflicker (09/20/12 01:49 AM)
Edit Reason: Boring and minor

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#410803 - 09/20/12 03:37 PM Re: Separated and Just found out [Re: northernflicker]
northernflicker Offline


Registered: 08/19/12
Posts: 88
.

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#410935 - 09/21/12 10:10 AM Re: Separated and Just found out [Re: northernflicker]
northernflicker Offline


Registered: 08/19/12
Posts: 88
.


Edited by northernflicker (12/08/12 12:09 PM)

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#410942 - 09/21/12 11:45 AM Re: Separated and Just found out [Re: northernflicker]
HD001 Offline


Registered: 07/30/12
Posts: 256
Loc: us
Northern. You are making awesome progress even though it may not feel that way. I'm so happy you are choosing to pursue your needs and not sacrifice yourself to the abuse demon. Keep moving onward and upward your H has a lot to figure out but has chosen to do it wothout you at this time. The best thing to do in my opinion is pursue your own health love and vitality for life. When we let our light shine when give others permission to do the same. I don't want to pretend that I. Don't realize how painful this must be for you I. Can relate to a lot of your story and somedays it feels like hell but I have learned that the times in my life when I grew the most as a person were the hard ones the ones that stretched me the ones were I had to work hard at it. You sound like a really loving awesome lady and I'm sure that no matter what you will find peace again in the future thanks and keep sharing
_________________________
Everything comes from within

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#410948 - 09/21/12 12:17 PM Re: Separated and Just found out [Re: northernflicker]
northernflicker Offline


Registered: 08/19/12
Posts: 88
Thanks, HD. Where the head goes the heart will follow? I think that's how my husband functioned. Maybe this time in my life it will be for good not evil, so to speak.

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#410961 - 09/21/12 01:42 PM Re: Separated and Just found out [Re: northernflicker]
Robert1000 Offline


Registered: 06/27/12
Posts: 336
Hey northern, hey HD. Thanks for the news, and for staying strong and moving forward. Have a good weekend. I'll be looking for your posts next week.

Bob

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#416333 - 11/15/12 12:31 PM Re: Separated and Just found out [Re: northernflicker]
northernflicker Offline


Registered: 08/19/12
Posts: 88
.


Edited by northernflicker (12/08/12 12:10 PM)

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#416372 - 11/15/12 07:30 PM Re: Separated and Just found out [Re: northernflicker]
Esposa Offline
F&F Greeter
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/19/11
Posts: 682
Loc: NJ
I don't have any insight other than what I experienced at the hands of my husband. He is a survivor. While never PHYSICALLY abusive to me, the methodic nature of what he orchestrated against me was quite sadistic. And most of it fueled by anger - heck, all of it fueled by anger. Anger at women, anger at betrayal, anger at his own feelings of no control. Seems a logical connection.... sadism is, after all, suped up control.

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#418579 - 12/09/12 10:26 AM Re: Separated and Just found out [Re: northernflicker]
northernflicker Offline


Registered: 08/19/12
Posts: 88
I am torn.

My estranged (14 months) survivor husband and I are still tied financially over a boat loan. He loves the boat. It's his only place of peace. He's been making the payments diligently. He pays child support for another year, at which time he might be able to take on the loan himself.

He came here yesterday and took half of his remaining belongings. I told him that if he can get my name of the loan, I will file for divorce and have him served. He won't have to do anything. At this point I just need to be out of this. It feels like an anchor around my neck.

He teared up when I said this. Not about divorce of course, but about the boat. Said he doesn't know how he can do this, that the boat is the only thing he has in his life that has any meaning for him. After talking I backed down. Said we'd stick with the way things are for now.

Today he came to get the last of his belongings and I regret my decision to continue backing his loan. It was so hard when he left as I know that I'll probably never see him again, that my hopes of his return are shattered. Yet I've been the one person who is very slowly and from afar helping him to move his healing forward by sacrificing myself and supporting him when he needs it. Yet I get nothing in return. And I can't be free.

He has gotten everything he wants. He gets to leave me, keep his boat, get loving support from me (this weekend he also took Mike Lew's book and this website address, which is huge), pretend with his friends that everything's awesome. It seems that he shows no care or concern for me or my well being unless he wants something. He hasn't expressed any remorse for how he treated me in our marriage or for walking out on it the way he did. Yet he expects me to back his boat loan because it means so much to him and his healing. Today I am so confused and I feel played.

I'm still crying, an hour since he left when he said "I'll see you later" and I said "well, no, I guess this is it. You have no reason to come out here anymore." He replied with "I'm sorry for destroying you". His first words to me today by email were "Thank you so much for helping me heal."

I've been angry, at myself and the situation. What he's doing isn't fair. I have done this loving act to support him, but it makes me feel so incredibly bad and powerless and trapped and taken advantage of.

It feels like we're in a pool and he's standing on my shoulders so that he can breathe, but I'm barely gasping at the surface.

I can't divorce him until our financial ties are cut, and he won't do anything to cut them because he will lose the boat. Looking for financial support elsewhere means his house of cards falls down. It's like the only solution he can see is somebody else propping him up.

Then there's the pragmatics. We sell the boat, still owe 10k on the loan, he declares bankruptcy and I'm stuck with the debt. One final kick in the guts for me, by him.

It would be an easy decision if I could remove his abuse and that fact that he's just starting to look at it from the equation. But how can I do that? As my sister says, he's got me right where he needs me...taking advantage of my kindness, compassion and generosity to get what he wants.

How can I get out of this?


Edited by northernflicker (12/09/12 02:20 PM)
Edit Reason: bit more context

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#418618 - 12/09/12 08:14 PM Re: Separated and Just found out [Re: northernflicker]
RunningOnEmpty Offline


Registered: 10/07/12
Posts: 91
Loc: georgia
..


Edited by RunningOnEmpty (01/01/13 07:50 PM)

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#418639 - 12/09/12 11:13 PM Re: Separated and Just found out [Re: northernflicker]
northernflicker Offline


Registered: 08/19/12
Posts: 88
Wow ROE. What a realization.

He's attached to the boat, he loves the boat, the thought of losing the boat brings him to the edge of tears yet I am disposable. I matter less than a boat.

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#418660 - 12/10/12 01:05 AM Re: Separated and Just found out [Re: RunningOnEmpty]
crazy gecko Offline


Registered: 10/04/12
Posts: 309
Originally Posted By: RunningOnEmpty
It's easier for him to be attached to the boat, to love the boat. That's safer, right?

I know this probably won't make you feel any better, but ROE is right. It's not that the boat is more important than you, it's just that the boat is less scary than being close to another person.

The boat can't get hurt or angry. The boat won't abandon him. The boat won't think anything bad of him, ever. That boat can never abuse him... The boat is safe. You, by simply being a living, breathing human being, with thoughts and feelings and emotions, are not.

I can't really understand how that feels, but I know it's gotta suck. I'm sorry...
_________________________
I guess what I'm trying to say
Is whose life is it anyway because livin'
Living is the best revenge
You can play
-- Def Leppard

My Story, Part 2

My blog

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#418665 - 12/10/12 01:43 AM Re: Separated and Just found out [Re: crazy gecko]
RunningOnEmpty Offline


Registered: 10/07/12
Posts: 91
Loc: georgia
..


Edited by RunningOnEmpty (01/01/13 07:50 PM)

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#418676 - 12/10/12 06:35 AM Re: Separated and Just found out [Re: northernflicker]
northernflicker Offline


Registered: 08/19/12
Posts: 88
Not rude at all ROE! Just another refocusing of perspective. Unfortunately I'm no closer to resolving my problem of being free yet not crushing him. I hope your situation improves. It makes me sad when I think this is as good as it gets.

Thanks for your input CG. I appreciate when anybody takes the time to comment, especially someone who shares the path with my husband.

I sure do hope he comes here and finds some solace and brotherhood. He is a good man and I love him but I can't be tied to a man who doesn't want me there.

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