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#410282 - 09/16/12 09:44 AM Hello everyone.
Avyi Offline


Registered: 09/16/12
Posts: 6
Loc: UK
I have never joined an online site like this before but feel I really need support at the moment. I am the partner of a wonderful man who was horrifically sexual abused as a teenager. He kept 'his secret' for 27 years before seeking help last year He loves me deeply but like so many of you feels that he is not worthy of my love and pushes me away and 'blanks me'. My rational 'head' knows this is not personal but as his partner it is so hard. I love him with all my heart and want to do my best by him and for him, respecting his needs but without making myself depressed tired.

Any support or advise would be wonderful as I feel very alone.



Edited by Avyi (10/12/12 05:41 PM)
Edit Reason: Information given was too personal

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#410295 - 09/16/12 01:04 PM Re: Hello everyone. [Re: Avyi]
Anomalous Offline
Greeter Coordinator
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 03/07/10
Posts: 1344
Hi Avyi,

Welcome to MS.

I am glad you have found this place of healing and support.

Some of the most painful aspects for the partner of an abused male is realizing that you cannot take this pain away from him nor do the therapeutic work necessary to heal. Only he can make the choice to heal and to do the work.

This does not mean you need to be a passive observer in the process. Educating yourself about the effects of sexual abuse will help you identify when he is angry about something in your relationship that is truly about your relationship, or when his anger is being misdirected toward your relationship, but has it's genesis in the past. Maintaining healthy boundaries is necessary. There is no reason to accept inappropriate behavior. Giving him a "pass" on unacceptable behavior because he has been hurt in the past infantalizes him and diminishes you. Self care is absolutely necessary. Take time to engage in activities that have nothing to do with healing. Healing is hard work both for the survivor and those who love him, but it does not need to be the only focus in your lives. As difficult as it may be at times, do things that are enjoyable and find reasons to laugh.

Though you love your partner dearly, and he loves you, the relationship may be painful for him. Often there are a lot of conflicted feelings about relationships. Self worth, or the lack thereof, plays a large part. Physical and emotional intimacy can be terrifying, regardless of how much it is desired. He was betrayed, probably by someone who professed to "love him." His pushing you away may be his way of telling you that things are frightening him and he needs to withdraw and protect himself - NOT from you, but from that level of intimacy. His move may be his way of protecting himself. Again, NOT from you, but from the level of emotional and physical intimacy that is inherent in relationships.

If your partner is not in therapy, you may want to encourage him to seek help. Being in the field you may have resources to help him find a therapist qualified to work with trauma and/or sexual abuse. You may also want to read the Consumers Guide to Therapist Shopping. Calling prospective therapists can be daunting. Having a list of questions to ask helps counter some of the anxiety. Also, one is able to assess a prospective therapist according to their willingness to answer the questions, their tone of voice, etc.

You may also want to consider therapy for yourself, but with a different therapist than the one your partner will be seeing. You want a therapist who is trained in trauma and/ or sexual abuse and not a therapist who specializes in relationships.

There are several books in which you and your partner may be interested. Just because a book is written for a survivor does not mean it will not be beneficial to you.

Abused Boys: The Neglected Victims of Sexual Abuse by Mic Hunter

Victims No Longer by Mike Lew

There are books specifically for partners of abused males which, along with other titles, can be found at the bookstore.

Do not try to force your partner to read anything about abuse. It may be too painful for him. If you get the books for yourself he may get curious and read them. He may also read them in "private" and not want you to know he has read them. That is okay. He has to take this at a pace which is comfortable, or as comfortable as it can be.

You may want to tell him about this site. Do NOT ask him if he has joined or what his screen name is. That is a violation of his privacy and his boundaries. Some guys come here and read, without ever joining. Some guys join but never post. Others come here and find the material too triggering and never return. Again, he has to take this at a pace which is comfortable for him.

If he does join he will find a lot of guys who understand and who will support him.

For supporters/ partners there is a Friends and Family forum. You will find a lot of people are struggling with the issues you are facing. It is a very active forum with a lot of support.

We also have a chat room (lounge) which is open 24 hours a day, though it isn't always populated. There is also a special room for Friends and Family.

For survivors, there are moderated chats called Healing Circles. They meet on Sunday and Wednesday evenings at 9pm eastern time and one on Tuesday at 19:00 UTC (European and African time zone) which translates to 2 PM Eastern US time zone. The Healing Circle on Tuesdays is scheduled to resume in January.

Again, welcome to MS.




Anomalous
_________________________
Acceptance on someone else's terms is worse than rejection.

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#410311 - 09/16/12 05:00 PM Re: Hello everyone. [Re: Avyi]
Avyi Offline


Registered: 09/16/12
Posts: 6
Loc: UK
Thank you so much for your warm welcome and for re-affirming that my partner's withdrawal is about his own protection. Deep down I knew this but sometimes we need to hear it from someone else. No one knows about my partner's past so I cannot share or discuss with anyone I know.

I have read the book by Mike Lew, it is an incredible account of the challenges and traumas male survivors go through and could almost have been written by or for my partner. I cannot recommend that book highly enough.

I'm sure I will find this site very helpful and supportive.

Thank you again

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#410391 - 09/17/12 02:24 PM Re: Hello everyone. [Re: Avyi]
Anomalous Offline
Greeter Coordinator
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 03/07/10
Posts: 1344
Hi Avyi,

Your partner is lucky to have someone who loves him so much that he is willing to educate himself about these very difficult issues.

While the healing journey is sure to be a roller coaster of emotions, what awaits both of you on the other side is a quality of life your partner cannot envision right now. It is certainly something you both deserve.





Anomalous
_________________________
Acceptance on someone else's terms is worse than rejection.

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