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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: 3373
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: 3373
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: 1627
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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