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#408071 - 08/27/12 04:01 AM Wisdom from Survivors or Spouses?
aksnowyowl Offline


Registered: 08/18/12
Posts: 47
I am in what I suspect is the early stage of CSA discovery with my husband. He believes that it's likely that he was abused and there are a lot of symptoms in our relationship and there are layered issues, such as recovery from drug and alcohol addiction, and trauma resulting from those addictions.

I love my husband dearly. I'm devoted and he is my best friend. Despite having some experience and compassion, I'm naive and a bit in the dark.

I am now coming to the place where I am believing that it would be wonderful for parts of our relationship to change, but not necessarily likely. For instance, I am realizing that any "why" questions, delving into motivations, the subconscious, memories, all of it is off limits. So is most forms of intimacy. Although, in another post, I received very helpful commentary to remember that our lack of intimacy isn't my fault.

I was wondering if there are survivors or their spouses out there who have advice or information for someone like me who is in this early stage specifically. It seems like such a delicate place. I constantly feel like I have to be flexible and accepting and loving in the face of rejection, withdrawal, and frustration. Honestly, he is often frustrated with me and seems to want to be simulataneously "taken care of" and loved unconditionally, while also being left totally alone.

Perhaps there's obvious insight or detail I'm missing because I'm too deep into the emotions. Are there specific do's and don't's for this stage? Are there certain things I can anticipate or are likely? Can anyone share their experience at this stage and I might relate?

I would appreciate any feedback. Thank you!

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#408080 - 08/27/12 09:09 AM Re: Wisdom from Survivors or Spouses? [Re: aksnowyowl]
Obi Online   content
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/28/09
Posts: 1400
Loc: kansas
i don't know if he is experiencing the same thing i did, but when the memories of my abuse came back to me, it was like open the flood gates and being drowned in my memories and issues...

i also started to constantly look over every detail of my life and how csa affected it. trying to understand if what i went through in life was normal maturing or was it part of the csa.

my emotions were on the extreme side of things. went from one side to the other. like dealing with a birth and death at the same time...

that's when i fell into the trap of wanting to fix all of my issues all at once... yup.. crashed and burned on that... learned the hard one to take it one issue at a time, one step at a time... i know, that's the long route to take but it's the best solution, for me, to be able to get through my issues and make permanent changes for the better....

as much as you are confused, don't know what to do, etc... he's going through all of that too... hopefully, he'll understand that and be able to work together with you, and a good therapist, to work through the issues...
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#408081 - 08/27/12 09:15 AM Re: Wisdom from Survivors or Spouses? [Re: aksnowyowl]
Lavinia Offline


Registered: 12/02/09
Posts: 61
Originally Posted By: aksnowyowl
I constantly feel like I have to be flexible and accepting and loving in the face of rejection, withdrawal, and frustration.


Unfortunately this seems like a common thread among survivors who are just starting the recovery process. It's frustrating for everyone involved, but if your husband is committed to his recovery and is willing to see a therapist and/or join this site, he will heal in time. It is a slow process most of the time, but from what you've told us about him and your relationship with him, he seems like a keeper. My best advice at this stage is to continue to be flexible - listen when he needs to talk, give him space when he withdraws - and try not to take things personally. He needs to go through these steps in order to make peace with what happened and eventually move forward. Things will get better.

The book "Allies in Healing" by Laura Davis is a good place for you to start so you can better understand what's going on and that you're not alone in dealing with the aftermath of abuse. It's mostly a book for supporters but your husband may also find it helpful. Best wishes.

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#408082 - 08/27/12 09:28 AM Re: Wisdom from Survivors or Spouses? [Re: aksnowyowl]
KMCINVA Offline
Greeter
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/31/11
Posts: 1790
Yes those feelings of rejection, withdrawal and frustration along with distrust and pain are all too common and at times overwhelming. A kind smile, a tentative ear and holding back judgment for something you may never understand goes a long way to help a survivor. Judgments and accusations only foster the survivor to shut down and stifles the healing process. I know this is difficult for the supporter but you too need the same level of understanding, a kind smile and a tentative ear.

The memories can wreak havoc on the mind and body of the survivor and further torment or abuse will only exacerbate the pain and hurt of the memories. I have lived it and know it but was helped by others who gave me the support I needed.

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#408092 - 08/27/12 01:45 PM Re: Wisdom from Survivors or Spouses? [Re: aksnowyowl]
RachelMac Offline


Registered: 08/26/12
Posts: 58
I am currently going through the same thing with my husband. He is in a dark place and I cannot begin to understand. It is hard to talk to him because it is so painful for him. I try to be understanding, but our relationship is being affected and I am hurting because of it. It is hard to not take things personally.

My husband does not want to be intimate with me and I can understand that. The rejection is difficult. He doesn't even sleep in bed with me. I know he has "urges" but he cannot come to me to satisfy them.

This is very difficult stuff. From what I've been seeing, many people recommend the book the poster above mentioned, "Allies in Healing." I am going to buy that book and see how it can help.

Has your husband been to a support group or anything yet? I am trying to get my husband to go, but he has to want it first. Good luck.

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#408097 - 08/27/12 02:19 PM Re: Wisdom from Survivors or Spouses? [Re: aksnowyowl]
Country Offline


Registered: 02/29/12
Posts: 642
Loc: Alabama
It is rough for me, being a survivor to see the issues that we put our spouses thru but at the same time it makes me feel so lucky to have a wife that understands me and what I have and am going thru. Does she know all the answers, nope but she is praying and helpings more than she knows. When a man is going thru therapy or addressing this issue it is a very fragile time. We already have feeling of being worthless and feel that we are no good. So i think we go into defense mode ad any type of feedback could be taken negatively. Is it fair to the spouse , no way, but it is what it is. I know that at times to our spouses we seem selfish and not willing to communicate but sometimes we just need to be loved. I have so much to say about this but when I sart typing my mind just gets going 100 MPH and I lose my train of thought. I can say this and understand that I have the utmost respect for the spouses who are here, sometimes we need our spouses to just let us be and be our best friend and not act like a reporter and ask too many questions. I am sorry because this probably won't make sense an I lost most of what I was going to say I wish you the best tho and commend you for being here and caring and lovIng enough to help him.
_________________________
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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#408098 - 08/27/12 02:26 PM Re: Wisdom from Survivors or Spouses? [Re: aksnowyowl]
Country Offline


Registered: 02/29/12
Posts: 642
Loc: Alabama
And your patience in this should depend on his healing a what he is doing to help himself. If he is wanting a pity party everyday for him and not being proactive in his healing then I think he can't expect you to try to help him more than he is trying to help himself.
_________________________
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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#408102 - 08/27/12 02:48 PM Re: Wisdom from Survivors or Spouses? [Re: aksnowyowl]
HD001 Offline


Registered: 07/30/12
Posts: 263
Loc: us
Thank you Country,
It can be very frustrating at times. I struggle with not asking too many questions or giving advice when it isn't asked for. Being a CSA survivor myself who went to years of therapy, I struggle with the fact that my husband isn't ready to talk about it. I'm trying to focus on spending quality time together being a better listener. Even though I have so many questions.
_________________________
Everything comes from within

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#408105 - 08/27/12 02:59 PM Re: Wisdom from Survivors or Spouses? [Re: aksnowyowl]
HD001 Offline


Registered: 07/30/12
Posts: 263
Loc: us
asknowyowl,

It is very hard but there are a few things I have done that have helped me feel better. I read victims no longer, it has a lot of helpful information about male CSA. I keep a happy thoughts journal about my husband. Each day I write down 3 things about him I m grateful for. Some days it isn't easy but it helps me remember why I love him so much. And the most simple of all, everyday I give my husband a good hug. I don't ask him anything and I haven't said why and he hasn't asked. I just walk up to him and wrap my arms around him for a few seconds. He is yet to pull away. In fact he has started to walk up to me and return the favor even when he is having a bad day. So maybe your man would like some "hug therapy" also. I'm sorry that you are having the same struggle as the rest of us and I wish you peace.
_________________________
Everything comes from within

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#408173 - 08/28/12 01:50 AM Re: Wisdom from Survivors or Spouses? [Re: Lavinia]
aksnowyowl Offline


Registered: 08/18/12
Posts: 47
Thank you so much for your words and your book suggestion. I appreciate both so much.

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