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#408335 - 08/29/12 05:46 PM I feel guilt.
shortieg Offline


Registered: 07/24/12
Posts: 58
So I am a spouse of a survivor, we have been through hell and back together (as all of us have)... During our "not so great time" I felt alone, afraid, unwanted. I have a guy friend at work who from day one has always just been a fun guy to be around.

He is married, I am married, but somehow I felt a connection with him. (non sexually) I felt like every emotion I couldn't express with my husband I could with him. He has become one of my dearest friends who i can talk to and know there will be emotion on the other end.

Now here's the guilt... My husband has been doing an amazing job! He is taking it one day at a time, every day more and more in the right direction. I now know i want that emotional connection with him, and i think he is ready this time to start letting me in.

I feel so guilty that i turned to this friend when my husband wasn't around. I feel like i should of had this level of emotion with my husband all along, i feel like crying about it all the time. My husband says he doesn't or can't blame me because he wasn't there when I needed him, but is that justifiable??

I mean it was strictly talking about stupid stuff like basketball or politics or just plain ol random crazy stuff.. It just felt good to have some humor and good feelings in my life.. It was just so intense though that I wanted to be at work more with him in a good fun atmosphereand I didn't want to be home with my husband. I just dont want to have hurt my husband, I love him dearly.. I am just feeling terrible about it though...

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#408336 - 08/29/12 06:05 PM Re: I feel guilt. [Re: shortieg]
scottyg Offline


Registered: 06/26/12
Posts: 253
Loc: Seattle
This is so not a big deal. You needed a connection to another human when you had none. I don't think there is anything wrong with your friendship then or now.

My wife has a close friend from work and their relationship mirrors your own with this guy. I know it's important for her to have emotional outlets and deep friendships. I think married couples get into trouble when they think they should be the center of each others lives. Healthy couples have seperate interests and friendships. As long as there is honesty, trust and an emotional bond between you and your husband, you have nothing to feel guilty about. It's good to get away from your survivor every so often, be it at work or at play. If he's anything like me he's a real pain in the grass.
_________________________
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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#408337 - 08/29/12 06:16 PM Re: I feel guilt. [Re: shortieg]
shortieg Offline


Registered: 07/24/12
Posts: 58
Ha thanks Scotty. I always love reading what you have to say, I guess I just felt/feel guilty because I left my survivor alone when I couldn't stand being alone anymore.
I love my friend dearly, he has been a huge rock for me and ill never be able to repay him.
we are moving away, which is I guess why this is coming up all of a sudden, it'll be just my husband and I in a new city... That scares me to put my emotional trust in him.

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#408341 - 08/29/12 07:22 PM Re: I feel guilt. [Re: shortieg]
Valkyrie Offline


Registered: 04/27/12
Posts: 167
It's rare that I do this, but I am in complete and utter disagreement with Scottyg. I too have been through hell with my husband: online porn, phone sex calls, massage parlors, other women, you name it. But despite all the physical infidelities, the piece de resistance was a 2 year emotional affair, that to date, I have yet to recover from. My husband having anonymous sex with someone to sate his self-loathing is one thing, but him sharing his most intimate feelings with another woman while shutting me out crushed me.

If you are investing these emotions in this guy, if you are lingering at work to spend time with him, then it means you are taking away - removing - these things from your marriage.

There's a reason you feel guilty - because you know it's wrong. And your husband is unlikely to say anything due to his own tortured and conflicting emotions which is grossly unfair to him.

You have stayed with your husband for a reason, remember what it was and start doing the work on your end to make the marriage work because it certainly sounds like your husband is trying his best to get to that place with you.

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#408347 - 08/29/12 08:22 PM Re: I feel guilt. [Re: shortieg]
shortieg Offline


Registered: 07/24/12
Posts: 58
Valkyrie. You couldn't have posted this at a better time. I needed to hear that.. Thank you. I realized today, that I'm holding back from moving because I'm scared to be put back into an awful situation with my friend 400 miles away.

I feel awful, and you hit the nail dead on. I need to be open to starting to put my emotional well being in my husbands hands, not this other guy.

I feel like God has given us a second chance at being us, just us, only us, to be the couple we both so badly wanted from the start. I don't know how to make my pain go away, I know I have hurt him.. It's been a vicious cycle of pain and sadness on and from both sides. I think back to it, and when I do, I get sad because maybe I clung to him because my husband wasn't there, because I was alone, because I just needed a friend. The problem was though getting too wrapped up in him, and not enough in my husband. I felt at times like "well he has done all these awful things to me"...... That's not a good way to justify anything..
Again I don't know if this would be considered and emotional affair, but I sure do feel horrid about it.. I want to make it right.

I love him more than anything in this world.l thank you again for giving me the other side... Thank you.

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#408352 - 08/29/12 09:02 PM Re: I feel guilt. [Re: Valkyrie]
scottyg Offline


Registered: 06/26/12
Posts: 253
Loc: Seattle
Originally Posted By: Valkyrie
It's rare that I do this, but I am in complete and utter disagreement with Scottyg.


Awesome! Thought I'd lost my edge with all these people agreeing with me all the time.

I have used a machete where I needed to cut the fine line of a scalpel. This is a tough issue because infidelity runs so high around here and people get sensitive to the suggestion that extra-marital encounters are ok. Not what I am saying. Let me quote my favorite person, me:

"As long as there is honesty, trust and an emotional bond between you and your husband, you have nothing to feel guilty about."

Engaging in an emotional affair is not showing honesty or extending an emotional bond to a partner. And an emotional affair will obviously make a partner lose trust. Therefore, categorically, emotional affairs are not what I am discussing here. I'm talking about having outlets where and when you need them.

I am trying to tackle the romantic myth that husbands and wives need to be the sole source of fulfillment for one another's emotional needs. I'm not saying deprive a partner by withholding or subverting emotions elsewhere. I say realize its ok to develop deep friendships and emotional bonds outside of the marital unit. I say when you are struggling it's good to have outside emotional supporters.

My rationale is this: As survivors we isolate and push away. We reject and we shut-down. Isn't it a little unfair, given our propensity to be emotionally unavailable, to expect our partners to just starve? If I were married to shortieg (maybe I am we have the same last name....?) I'd have no problem with her keeping her friendship with a male co-worker as long as she was still there for me. If shortie doesn't think she can emotionally invest in her husband than, yes, it's time to cut it off. But I don't see these relationships so black and white. And I certainly don't mind my wife having friends that help her cope with me. That helps us both.... hope that made more cents ($0.02)
_________________________
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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#408356 - 08/29/12 09:11 PM Re: I feel guilt. [Re: shortieg]
Valkyrie Offline


Registered: 04/27/12
Posts: 167
Sorry, scottyg, but I'm calling a big fat "shenanigans" on this one.

She feels guilty. You don't feel guilty turning to "friends" unless you have reason to feel badly about it. Clearly shortieg does. End it with the guy. Put it towards your husband. End of story.

And for the record, I am operating on the "two wrongs don't make a right" platform. Whatever went on before, shortieg says wants her marriage. Her husband is obviously willing and trying, and shortieg recognizes that.

She needs to put her focus there, on building that emotional bond with her husband, and relying on OTHER friends who don't make her question her feelings, motives, intentions, or morals.


Edited by Valkyrie (08/29/12 09:14 PM)

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#408359 - 08/29/12 09:19 PM Re: I feel guilt. [Re: shortieg]
shortieg Offline


Registered: 07/24/12
Posts: 58
Let me clear up something here, my husband does and has always known about this friend, I tell him everything we talk about all the time.. Why I feel guilty is not because I am sneaking around with another guy, I feel guilty because I can have a conversation that makes me feel safe with this guy.. It hasn't been that way with my husband, it has been very "one sided" I talk... That's it.. Nothing back....

The guilt has come that I want to talk to my husband and get some kind of emotional response, which is starting t happen as he works through recovery.
I tell him over and over i feel so bad about it, he just tells me he is grateful I had a friend to turn to when he wasn't there.

I in NO way condone cheating, on either part. I simply just feel bad because I needed a shoulder to cry on, and it wasn't my husbands.
Also, I have not once ever talked about my hardships in the relationship with this guy, again it has been just stupid stuff that makes us laugh... Because well I needed a good laugh after hell.

Hope I haven't caused a fight on here, that wasn't my intentions... I just was taught to be a God fearing person and I wanted to know if I was justified in needing a friend..


Edited by shortieg (08/29/12 09:24 PM)

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#408360 - 08/29/12 09:22 PM Re: I feel guilt. [Re: shortieg]
Esposa Offline
F&F Greeter
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/19/11
Posts: 726
Loc: NJ
I have made this same kind of mistake myself - both with women and men and not in a sexual way, but because I was missing an emotional connection (and didn't know why at the time), I sought it elsewhere. And I justified it much the way that Scotty did.

Feeling guilty though is a sign that should be listened to because it means that a boundary has been crossed.

Shortie, forgive yourself, correct the issue and move forward. Communicate your needs to your husband clearly. Turn toward your marriage and not away from it - if it is indeed something you want.

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#408362 - 08/29/12 09:34 PM Re: I feel guilt. [Re: shortieg]
shortieg Offline


Registered: 07/24/12
Posts: 58
Thanks esposa, I guess now I am ok letting go. I am ok letting go of this friend in that way, because now when I need to talk or whatever, my husband is there to listen.. He may not always be, but he is sure trying.
That in itself is so beautiful..

I am always welcome to more input.

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#408385 - 08/30/12 02:47 AM Re: I feel guilt. [Re: shortieg]
Blessedcurse Offline


Registered: 06/05/12
Posts: 93
I just have to say I agree with Scottyg completely! I've had times of withdrawal and I would never expect a partner to just starve and wait for me. On the contrary, the partner getting emotional support elsewhere made him have more energy to wait for me, to love me though he got so little emotions back and to be there for me when I came back. And also it made it possible for him to be patient with me wich was crucial. Had he pressured me the relationship might not have lasted.

I just don't see the problem in this. If you hadn't gotten this support maybe you would have been drained and bitter by now and the reconection with your husband would have been destroyed by fighting and resentment. Now you are there, waiting for him, ready to move your emotional focus back to him.

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#408410 - 08/30/12 10:24 AM Re: I feel guilt. [Re: shortieg]
shortieg Offline


Registered: 07/24/12
Posts: 58
Blessedcurse- oh you have it spot on. Thinking about this last night I came to that same conclusion, this guy was my outlet to deal with not having my husband there. I can almost but bet I would not still be with my husband if I hadn't found an outlet.

I think my husband knows that too, he has told me over and over again he is grateful I had a shoulder to lean on while he was "absent" and I am ready to move my focus to him.

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#408457 - 08/30/12 03:52 PM Re: I feel guilt. [Re: shortieg]
Robert1000 Offline


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

It seems to me that it makes sense that you're nervous about moving to a new city with your husband. It sounds like he betrayed your trust. Or at least, when he came forward with his history of abuse, he shook your confidence. That's a frightening thing, and it leaves you with lingering questions. And it puts a burden on you. You're a source of constant support for him. Has he been the same for you? If you're able to have fun and just talk about whatever with your friend, that says to me that the emotional weight of time with your husband is exhausting to you. Or it has been, anyway.

I'd recommend talking to a therapist about this stuff, rather than having us all nickel-and-dime you about whether or not this was an emotional affair or a healthy outlet. I don't mean to belittle the contributions of my fellow survivors or spouses, but what can any of us do but bring forward out own points of view, our own points of reference?

It sounds to me like you've been wading through some deep emotional muck, and you've got some legitimate fears and concerns. And we survivors recognize that our histories of emotional trauma and the way we deal with them can sometimes have traumatic effects on those people around us who we know and love.

And yet, if we're going to overcome our traumas and rebuild our relationships, we have to do it full-heartedly, like we mean it. If you need opportunities to have lighthearted conversations and all that, then I think you should tell your husband that that's what you want. Set aside specific time to talk about trauma, but enjoy yourselves the rest of the time. Those terrible and traumatic events of his life have already dominated enough of his life. It's a good exercise for us, as survivors, I believe, to put that crap aside sometimes and just have fun. Otherwise, we can just wallow in the filthy memories, the lingering sense of guilt. Somehow, to me, that can actually and weirdly seem easier than moving on with my wife in our life together. But when I start to move on with her it's so nice.

Anyway, those are my thoughts. Good luck in the new place. I hope you find a good therapist and that you can afford it. Mental health care is expensive. That's why we need health care reform (I believe, but I apologize for getting political).

Keep healing. And keep seeking peace.

Bob


Edited by Robert1000 (08/30/12 03:54 PM)

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#408458 - 08/30/12 03:59 PM Re: I feel guilt. [Re: shortieg]
shortieg Offline


Registered: 07/24/12
Posts: 58
Well thanks you guys, I just told my friend that I was moving. He was pretty much devastated. Crap! Did we really have such a good friendship? He is like mad, and sad, and ugh... I feel terrible now. More than anything he has been like my brother, i feel like im losing a brother. Im scared to put all my emotions back into my husbands court, fear of getting hurt again.

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