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#412113 - 10/03/12 11:05 PM What was the turning point for your partner?
RachelMac Offline


Registered: 08/26/12
Posts: 58
Sometimes I wonder what it will be that will cause my husband to realize things are really screwed up and it's time to change. For instance, about every other night or so, my husband will come home from work or come home from wherever he was, and he cannot come inside our house. Sometimes he even sleeps in the car. It's usually on the days where he doesn't have to pick our son up from daycare. I think he just hides from the world and hides from my possible questions or possible freak-outs. I feel alone because I come home from a hard day of work and take care of our 3 month old and our house. He gets to just stay outside. And I don't get to see my husband, discuss my day or his, catch up and coordinate schedules or even have a family dinner. I'm afraid that because this staying in the car thing has gone on for so long, he thinks it's ok. It's like he decided he can stop being a husband whenever he wants. Life doesn't work that way to me.

From my research and from browsing this forum, it seems like many survivors have their own "thing" like this. Sorry-I'm not sure what to call this kind of behavior. What was the turning point for your partner? What caused him to decide it's time to change? I so badly want my husband to just realize HIS WAY OF COPING IS NOT WORKING. When does the survivor realize that things can't go on the way they are anymore?

One good thing is that I finally made a phone call for therapy. I start next week. Still feeling a little resentful that I am going and he is not, but I guess I'm at a point now where I need to find me some happy again.

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#412120 - 10/03/12 11:45 PM Re: What was the turning point for your partner? [Re: RachelMac]
traveler Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/07/06
Posts: 3393
Loc: somewhere in Africa
male survivor here -

for me - my wife had to say - "This is not working. You need to get professional help. Or there will be consequences."

i was so deep in denial that i didn't even recognize how screwed up i was. it was a relief to me to have a push in the right direction. once it was "out there" i knew i had to do something to save our marriage and regain my life.

i can't say that course of action will work for everyone - but it was the beginning of big steps in recovery for me and mending a broken relationship for us.

Lee
_________________________
As my life goes on I believe somehow something's changed
Something deep inside...
I've been searchin so long to find an answer
Now I know my life has meaning
Now I see myself as I am, feeling very free...
When my tears have come to an end I will understand
What I left behind: a part of me. Chicago


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#412121 - 10/04/12 12:37 AM Re: What was the turning point for your partner? [Re: RachelMac]
RachelMac Offline


Registered: 08/26/12
Posts: 58
Lee,
I'm glad that worked for you. I'm very weak when it comes to tough love. I told my husband something similar and when it didn't work on him, I left. But I was the one that ended up apologizing and coming home. I have major codependency issues. I wish I was stronger.

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#412122 - 10/04/12 12:47 AM Re: What was the turning point for your partner? [Re: RachelMac]
traveler Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/07/06
Posts: 3393
Loc: somewhere in Africa
sorry, Rachel.

you have to find what works for both of you.

glad that you are at least getting some help yourself!

hope that works well for you. maybe your therappist can give you some other ideas.

Lee
_________________________
As my life goes on I believe somehow something's changed
Something deep inside...
I've been searchin so long to find an answer
Now I know my life has meaning
Now I see myself as I am, feeling very free...
When my tears have come to an end I will understand
What I left behind: a part of me. Chicago


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#412131 - 10/04/12 02:32 AM Re: What was the turning point for your partner? [Re: RachelMac]
Country Offline


Registered: 02/29/12
Posts: 642
Loc: Alabama
Possible trigger fo some





Well I am a survivor and my decision came after I tried ending my own life. It was the second time my life had been spared so I figured it was time for help. Wishing you the best. I never done what ur H is doing. I just got wasted drunk usually on a fifth of bourbon and lash out in rage.
_________________________
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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#412136 - 10/04/12 03:55 AM Re: What was the turning point for your partner? [Re: RachelMac]
northernflicker Offline


Registered: 08/19/12
Posts: 88
Hi RachelMac

My story is much like the other wive's here, difference being that I did not know the reason for all my husband's messed up behavior at the time it was going on. My husband cheated walked out on our marriage, leaving me alone in a big rural house we'd had to move to for him just over one year prior. It was then that i found out about alll the lying, misogynistic porn, etc, that had been going on. The man knows how to hide in plain sight let me tell you. Shell shocked doesn't explain that experience for me. No kids so it was complete and total abandonment. His mother did me the pleasure of buying him out of our marriage to the tune of paying off his car loan so he wouldnt have to go bankrupt. I went to therapy for me, to learn how to cope, where to put al that shit and get through to the next day.

Then in in June of this year when he came to get our boat he said something that made me tweak to his CSA. Only in August did he confirm it, on his own with no prompting from me. I had to go into therapy again, for me, to know how to make sense of this new paradigm.

All this to say, please don't resent your husband for not being able to take that step yet. Your therapy is for you, to understand all this, get through your grieving about it, determine if in fact you can be healthy in this marriage, and what the path forward looks like for you no matter what.

After a summer of him pushing and pulling I have decided that I've had enough and have extricated myself from a situation that was causing me great pain. Today I am done. Tomorrow, if he actually chooses recovery and lands on my doorstep, who knows.

Your therapy is for you. Please embrace it, for the good of all of you, especially those kids.

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#412152 - 10/04/12 08:34 AM Re: What was the turning point for your partner? [Re: RachelMac]
Gretta Offline


Registered: 09/17/11
Posts: 239
Rachel,

I can't say there was one turning point. There have been many. After I discovered he was cheating we went to therapy together. The child abuse came out in the first session. He started his own therapy and I would say that he went to that for a couple months. At one point our therapist called him on the carpet and said he was wasting our money and not really working. He stepped up. He joined a group from this website. That was a big step. Threw up after the first session. I drove him, I knew it would be emotional. He doesn't get to see the guys much because it's a distance but they email alot and the support he has received has been invaluable. Sitting face to face with men like yourself is comforting.

As he was uncovering memories that time was very very difficult. He would drink during the day and not tell me. Come home a mess, have a flashback. Say he didn't want to live anymore. It was a terrifying time. I was trying to take care of him and keep all this crap from my children. I put away all my feelings on his infidelity because I totally knew I had the balance of his life in my hands.

I believe first he wanted to change and then I stopped accepting bad behavior. It's been a journey and I have asked him to leave the house twice for drinking. He knows I am serious and I won't tolerate it. That is a BIG BIG step for me. I was such a push over. Never stayed mad for long. But drinking is a big trigger for me. I have heard conflicting advice here on survivor. Some survivors say they don't like or respond well to ultimatums and other say you have to put your foot down. I did what I did because I could no longer tolerate it. It wasn't a decision to keep him it was a decision to keep my sanity. I think that scared him.

He understands my boundaries. I still worry what's going on in his head. I still don't feel safe but I am just taking one day at a time.

Good Luck,
Gretta

PS Therapy is the best gift you can give yourself and your family. smile


Edited by Gretta (10/04/12 08:38 AM)

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#412159 - 10/04/12 08:57 AM Re: What was the turning point for your partner? [Re: RachelMac]
KMCINVA Offline
Greeter
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/31/11
Posts: 1650
Gretta

Excellent--you set boundaries for yourself and I bet they have helped him face the past. Your actions were not harsh, but rather a necessity for you and him to change and heal. In time I hope you feel safe--because feeling safe is so important in the healing process. As a survivor it was not until I felt safe with my T did I open up. I have met a few supporters who make me feel safe and I can share--others I dare not share.

Good luck and continue to heal.

Kevin

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#412193 - 10/04/12 02:47 PM Re: What was the turning point for your partner? [Re: RachelMac]
CdnDW Offline


Registered: 08/24/12
Posts: 105
My first observation would be that staying in his car can't be fun! Who would really prefer to sit in a car in a driveway rather than enjoy their home. My H escapes too, but he does this in bits and spurts by escaping to his studio to play guitar or by going to the gym. The effect is the same though. Even now that he has started therapy, it hasn't changed his need to be alone, nor did I expect it to. This time is a relief from the mask he has to put on for the world. Is it fair that he gets more time than me, no... But it isn't about fairness, it's about what we need. He needs a safe place to escape (not a car) and you need more help. Set down boundaries like "I need a break from 8-9pm every night" where you take over. Insist of him getting therapy WITH CONSEQUENCES YOU WILL KEEP, even if they are soft. This will let him know you mean what you say. But realize that it will be a long time before he will be the husband that comes home, engages you and your 3 month old and wants to here all about your day. I know what it was like to have babies, and I don't mean to sound like you shouldn't ask for what you need, but if you don't or won't leave, then you have two choices: work within what he is capable of on any given day or get outside help.

I know its hard to be a de facto single mom... I've been there. But if his escape is a car, my guess is that he is as unsatisfied with this situation as you are, he is just afraid to take the risks to fix it. He probably feels like taking on recovery will completely crush him and he will become someone you have to take care of along with your son. He might feel this is the lesser Of two evils because he is at least able to function enough to work. He needs to feel that if he takes this risk to start recovery and risk falling apart for a while that you will be able to stand beside him.

Good luck and keep talking to him. Try not to let him engage you in argument and find a healthy outlet for your resentment... but keep talking and reminding him how dysfunctional he has become.
_________________________
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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#412210 - 10/04/12 06:37 PM Re: What was the turning point for your partner? [Re: RachelMac]
RachelMac Offline


Registered: 08/26/12
Posts: 58
CdnDW,
I don't think he goes to the car for fun, but as you mentioned, to be alone and to escape, to not have to wear the mask for a while. I know he is unsatisfied with this situation. I know he wants to be better. BUT, he refuses therapy. He told me the one thing he is afraid of is being vulnerable, so I'm sure that's a big reason why he won't go. It must be very scary. I just don't want a huge chunk of his life to go by and then look back and realize he was miserable for it.

I'm nervous for my own therapy (I start Tuesday). I'm afraid that I'm going to bawl and cry and be a sobbing mess because someone will actually be hearing about what I've been going through. I've been holding so much in trying to be supportive to him. I'm afraid the therapist will tell me things I don't want to admit to myself. I'm afraid I'll be required to make changes in my life that scare me. For instance, I always threaten to leave, but come crawling back because I'm afraid to be alone or be a single mom. Now I have to face that possibility. I'm a pushover and one reason I want to go to therapy is because my pushover attitude probably allows him to continue doing what he is doing. When did life get so hard?

Thanks for all your replies.

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#412212 - 10/04/12 06:59 PM Re: What was the turning point for your partner? [Re: RachelMac]
Older1 Offline


Registered: 12/19/11
Posts: 51
Dear Rachel: You have done what you could, and your current move toward seeking help for your own sake seems a good idea.


Edited by Older1 (12/20/12 10:03 AM)

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#412222 - 10/04/12 11:28 PM Re: What was the turning point for your partner? [Re: RachelMac]
CdnDW Offline


Registered: 08/24/12
Posts: 105
I know it feels frightening, but I can tell you that when I really started to take control of my life, I felt so much calmer. I am glad you are starting therapy for yourself. Remember that it is there for to help you gain clarity on what the right decisions are for you... A good therapist will not tell you what you need or should do. The therapist will help you to clarify the options you have and facilitate you in determining what you really can live with or not... You will decide what you need to be happy. That is what this is all about: being happy. For me, I realized that I could not be happy in a marriage arrangement with my H while he engaged in certain acting out behaviours. It didn't change the fact that I loved him and wanted to be Living as husband and wife, but until I set this boundary, I felt trapped and anxious, frustrated and resentful. When I admitted to myself that certain behaviours were deal breakers, I could articulate this to my H and take action. I was sad, because I knew I was letting go of the outcome. Prior to setting the boundary, I was trying to control the outcome and control his behaviour. By setting the boundary I had to let go of the outcome and risk that he would or could not comply. It was freeing for me because it meant I was not blaming myself if he chose to continue to act this way. Gosh, I don't know if this is translating here or not... I think this may sound like a whole lot of rambling. Bottom line is, for me, setting boundaries was freeing, not frightening. I had less control, but felt more in control. So far, my H has decided to live within my boundary needs. I know you have mentioned codependency, but I wonder how much reading you have done on it. I had a very different idea of what it really meant until the last few months. I know realize that breaking my codependency has allowed me to stop trying to control, coerce, nag, beg and manipulate him into giving me what I need while being out of control of this myself (because if he didnt comply, my needs were denied). Now I am the only one I look to for my needs. If anyone, including my H is acting in a way that does not respect my needs, I have choices and I have boundaries and I can act on these. I feel empowered - even if I dont always like the choices, it is still so much more free feeling than feeling stuck.

Having a 3 month old is overwhelming at the best of times and I can only imagine what you are feeling now. You are likely also very emotional as your hormonal balance will still be settling since giving birth. I feel very, very lucky to live in a place where 1 year maternity is universal. Focus on you and your beautiful baby. Try to live for you and let your H go figure out his own sh*t. And if he can't or won't, then you are right, he will miss out, but YOU don't have to. He will never, ever be over this... It can get better and he can feel much better than he does today and his behaviour / choices can improve, but it will not go away and his experiences will always be impacted by it. I have had to simply accept that fact with my H. Just like I have had to accept some other not so wonderful truths of my life... But it is my life, I am alive and want to embrace all that is beautiful in my life, so I have to accept the things I can't change so I have the energy to celebrate the positives.

Be well.
_________________________
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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#412262 - 10/05/12 10:34 AM Re: What was the turning point for your partner? [Re: RachelMac]
Robert1000 Offline


Registered: 06/27/12
Posts: 336
I hid my fears, my insecurities, the truth of my pain and shame all my life. I honestly had the plan to take my burden to the grave. I used that phrase a lot. I couldn't say the words, "I was molested" aloud. I couldn't say them in my head. I couldn't let my mind touch on those memories from my childhood. Never. I used coded words to allude to the secrets in my heart, but I couldn't even begin to make sense of them myself. That was true until I cheated on my wife. The idea that I would cheat on my wife... and on my family... and truly on myself... was almost more than I could take. I almost killed myself, and maybe I would have, but I was too afraid of my secrets. I couldn't stand the idea of my secrets coming out after I was gone. I couldn't stand the idea of my wife and my kids looking over my life and seeing this stranger instead of the man I wanted to be. And I couldn't bear the idea of leaving my wife and kids alone in this world. I love them too much.

The most psycho part of my secrets, and of my fucking idiotic affair, was that I brought someone else into my world of shame. I didn't tell the "other woman" about my abuse. God, no. But I did allow her into my secret world. Honestly, she kind of forced her way in, but I'm the one who allowed it to happen.

But the fucked up thing is that she then forced me to openly confront both the affair and my past. And actually, she was a rape victim, who I think chose to victimize people as a way to "help herself," or some fucking nonsense. Anyway, she told me a bunch of times that she was dangerous, that she was manipulative, that she was a liar. She'd brag to me about what a good liar she was. Anyway, her husband found out about the affair. I told my wife, in the most stupid and halting way, and I lied 20 times before she got the truth out of me. But anyway, I knew then that I was going to lose my family and lose the life I wanted, and that the only chance I had was to get therapy. And so I did. And thank god I did. It probably took me three or four weeks of therapy, maybe more, until I blurted out one night the fact of the abuse when I was a kid.

And since then I've struggled to stay on the road to healing. I don't mean that I struggled not to have another affair or cheat on my wife. But it's a constant struggle for me to avoid creating little shameful pockets in my life. It's a struggle for me to embrace myself, to allow myself to love myself. It's hard for me to avoid using my history of abuse to dodge accountability for the shitty things I've done. Those things are very difficult.... But I keep my eye on the my goal, which is to be the man I want to be in my life. I want to be a loving and solid father and a dependable and excellent, loving partner. Those are my goals. And I don't have room in my life for any other bullshit.

Good luck to you, by the way. It's not enough for anyone to just "admit" the fact of abuse, at least not in my experience. My goal is to express true emotion. And if you've dealt with untrue stuff as much as I have, you know the truth when you say it and when you feel it. It's possible to connect your words with yourself. And I promise that it's one of the most satisfying things there is. It's definitely worth the trouble, and it does require a lot of hard work.

Bob

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#412298 - 10/05/12 10:27 PM Re: What was the turning point for your partner? [Re: RachelMac]
RachelMac Offline


Registered: 08/26/12
Posts: 58
Since I started this thread, I've tried to listen to everyone's advice that I need to take care of myself. I've made a consious effort not to stress about the stuff I can't change and I feel a little...lighter. It's hard though. I've been in a habit for such a long time to just constantly worry about him and focus on him. Here are some things I thought about and kept reminding myself:

--I have to remember that I can't snap my fingers and fix everything.
--He is the only one who can help himself.
--I can be a positive influence by setting a good example.
--I may have to put some of my needs on hold because he may need my support, but I cannot forget about my own needs.
--He is sick and I said "in sickness and health." --(I read this in a recent thread and it got me sort of choked up because I hadn't thought of this and I feel silly for not thinking of it this way.)
--Taking care of my codependency issues will help our relationship.

I also learned that writing helps. It helps me sort out my thoughts so they aren't so scrambled in my brain and overwhelming. Maybe that's why I feel better posting. smile Thanks everyone.

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#412324 - 10/06/12 06:16 AM Re: What was the turning point for your partner? [Re: RachelMac]
whome Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/07/11
Posts: 1734
Loc: Johannesburg South Africa
HI Rachel

You have come a long way in a short time, and your understanding is great.
Keep going and your strength and INDEPENDENCE, will make it easier for him to face his demons.

Keep going

Heal well
Martin
_________________________
Matrix Men South Africa
Survivors Supporting Each other
Matrix Men Blog

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#412356 - 10/06/12 05:55 PM Re: What was the turning point for your partner? [Re: RachelMac]
Esposa Offline
F&F Greeter
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/19/11
Posts: 696
Loc: NJ
GET OUT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

That is what worked over here, at least I think so. It worked for me though. It was in that very moment that I let go, stopped being codependent, stopped making excuses and defined what my life was going to look like....

I handed his life over to him. And took control of my own.

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#413040 - 10/13/12 10:34 PM Re: What was the turning point for your partner? [Re: RachelMac]
RachelMac Offline


Registered: 08/26/12
Posts: 58
Esposa,
I battle every day in my head whether I should leave. What holds me back is the fact that we are new parents and I swore that I would do everything I can before I get to the point of leaving because I don't want my kids to live in a broken home. I hear so many stories of children growing up with anger about their parents splitting up. I hate the thought of going down that road. If I didn't have a baby, I think I may be living at my parents for a while. Do you have kids and if so, how did you deal with those kinds of thoughts?

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#413066 - 10/14/12 08:38 AM Re: What was the turning point for your partner? [Re: RachelMac]
Blue1966 Offline


Registered: 10/08/12
Posts: 83
Loc: USA
1. Be honest with him, communicate your needs, thoughts and desires. No matter what he is dealing with, he is not a mind reader.

2. Be prepared for the worst and the best. Yes, he may choose to leave when you confront him with what you need and what isn't working but, he might not and, may get the help he needs.

3. Get help for you, no matter what he does you need a support network too.

Dealing with us (survivors) is not always easy. We have our insecurities, or moods and, our quirks, not to mention more serious issues. Still, don't treat us like we are fragile and might break - we are broken, you can't break what's already broken.

Despite what we endured, we are men and, we are not mind readers, we do want to be good for out families. We might not know how or, see what we are dong wrong, but you can tell us so we can decide how we want to handle the issues we are causing.

As for when the turning point it, when we seek help - usually about the time we hit rock bottom. That's just male behavior - we will try to go it alone as long as we can.

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#413067 - 10/14/12 09:00 AM Re: What was the turning point for your partner? [Re: RachelMac]
Esposa Offline
F&F Greeter
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/19/11
Posts: 696
Loc: NJ
Hi Rachel - oh boy, I do have kids. Two. And I had that same thought in my head... they need their father and I need to fight for this family.

Before I write the next part, I will say something that I am working on in therapy. I FORGIVE MYSELF. I have compassion for myself as well as for others. Ok...

I kept them in a mess far longer than was necessary. Someone once told me that it is not the father leaving that hurts the kids as much as what is left of the mother. I was a mess. I let him hurt me and push me around. And that hurt my children. I didn't have boundaries and they watched that. It hurts to remember that time.

My son is 12. The month before I asked my husband to leave, he said two things to me - two things your baby can't say to you. 1. Why do you pay so much attention to someone who is hurting you? and 2. I like you better when Daddy is not here. The sacrificing yourself in the name of the kids thing... it doesn't work out like we plan.

Your child deserves healthy parents working to build a healthy relationship. Sometimes saying ENOUGH is what it takes for those two things to happen.

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#413072 - 10/14/12 09:32 AM Re: What was the turning point for your partner? [Re: RachelMac]
RunningOnEmpty Offline


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


Edited by RunningOnEmpty (01/01/13 07:30 PM)

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#413083 - 10/14/12 12:36 PM Re: What was the turning point for your partner? [Re: RachelMac]
RachelMac Offline


Registered: 08/26/12
Posts: 58
ROE--I know what you mean. My H sees it as me abandoning him as well. Then I feel like I'm doing more harm to him.

Esposa--I guess staying and "dealing" is more harmful for kids than leaving sometimes.

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#413112 - 10/14/12 09:12 PM Re: What was the turning point for your partner? [Re: RachelMac]
Esposa Offline
F&F Greeter
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/19/11
Posts: 696
Loc: NJ
Abandonment is big over here too. But that's why your language is important.

I LOVE YOU. I AM HERE FOR YOU. YOU CANNOT STAY HERE AND HURT ME THOUGH. SHOW UP AND I'LL BE HERE.

The "dealing" thing is also a lie I told myself. I said look at my loyalty, look at what I am "dealing" with. No one gave me a star in the end for that.

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