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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: 413
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: 636
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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