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#413203 - 10/15/12 04:32 PM Husband is terrified of therapy - how can I help?
Hailwic Offline


Registered: 10/15/12
Posts: 19
Two years ago I managed to bring my husband, kicking and screaming, to see a marriage counselor. It was either that or divorce, because it seemed like we had grown to hate each other. He avoids sex at all costs. He obsessively plays video and computer games, often times at the expense of having any meaningful conversations with me for weeks on end. He works 60+ hours a week, often times volunteering for weekend and holiday duties. Desperate to understand what was so terribly wrong with me that he couldn’t stand to speak with or even touch me, I pressed him for answers, which pushed him away even further. I became embittered towards him, sentiments which he returned towared me tenfold.

Hence the marriage counseling, at which time my husband finally disclosed he had been sadistically tortured by a female babysitter, on and off for about two years. He had never so much as breathed a word about it until that moment.

Two years later, my tender sympathies have wayned with his refusal to seek further help. Things didn't work out with the therapist our marriage counselor referred my husband to, and he has avoided taking any further initiative whatsoever.

Our relationship has once again deteriorated to talk of divorce. He has become more and more volatile with every argument, and while I am by no means perfect or without fault, and at the risk of sounding like a cold hearted witch with no soul, I can no longer excuse his hateful treatment toward me.

I know that my husband has to *want* help before it can be effective, so I think that laying down an ultimatum (like "get help or I'm gone") is not only counterproductive, but also pointless. At the end of the day, I know my husband better than anyone else, and I know that the furious avoidance is because he is truly terrified of talking about what happened to him.

This is a 10 year marriage to a man I dearly love, that I am desperate to save if I can!

Help! Guidance, suggestions, personal experience, please!

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#413208 - 10/15/12 06:08 PM Re: Husband is terrified of therapy - how can I help? [Re: Hailwic]
Country Offline


Registered: 02/29/12
Posts: 642
Loc: Alabama
Well as a survivor myself, it is very tough to go talk about issues that you have tried to hide and evade you entire life. Our brains are in trauma. I think you ultimately have to decide what your course of action should be. If he is just refusing help then it may be time to cut ties. If he wants to help you and his marriage he must help himself first. I woul definitely give him a timeline. He should honor your request , no matter how painful to him it may be, in order to keep your marriage. His rage and emotional state is unable to work rationally because he has not addressed his past trauma. Let him know that you think highly of him, it will take a lot of building up. We survivors have a lot of unworthy feelings. We feel already damaged and beyond help. It will be tough but it will help him out tremendously. Even If y'all are unable to save the marriage he still needs the help. You probably can't make him feel any worse about himself than he already does. Talking about it will be very tough and emotional for him. I know for me carrying my wife to therapy with me helps. I just started EMDR with my therapist and I see a lot of good results. I wish you the best and let him know that you are there for him as a friend and a wife. But as u said before , he has to want to go.
_________________________
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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#413209 - 10/15/12 06:11 PM Re: Husband is terrified of therapy - how can I help? [Re: Hailwic]
Country Offline


Registered: 02/29/12
Posts: 642
Loc: Alabama
We as make survivors , it is very strange, we have taken better care of our cars and house better than we have with our own bodies and minds. We take our car for routine oil change and maintenance but most if us would rather cut our foot off than be more exposed. I hope that makes sense. Again, best of luck.
_________________________
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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#413217 - 10/15/12 07:54 PM Re: Husband is terrified of therapy - how can I help? [Re: Hailwic]
RachelMac Offline


Registered: 08/26/12
Posts: 58
Hailwic, My situation is very similar to yours. my husband hates the thought of therapy. Right now the excuse is, "once work stuff settles down I'll go."

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#413224 - 10/15/12 09:24 PM Re: Husband is terrified of therapy - how can I help? [Re: Hailwic]
jb1973 Offline


Registered: 10/15/12
Posts: 9
One thing I am positive of as a survivor ....I don't like to feel pushed. Especially when I'm being asked to talk about my darkest most kept secret. I know I need the help..but being pushed makes me feel like I'm doing something wrong...like I'm being judged

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#413238 - 10/16/12 01:33 AM Re: Husband is terrified of therapy - how can I help? [Re: Hailwic]
whome Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/07/11
Posts: 1736
Loc: Johannesburg South Africa
Hailwic

I am so sorry for your pain. The first thing is that you need to get some sort of support for yourself. A group like CODA or Al-Anon. These are great support groups for the partners of survivors.

Now for him.
His biggest fear is that the "secret" Gets out, but the thing is that his secret needs to get out. It is only through talking to other survivors that he can begin to see how his life has been affected.
I would look for stories similar to his own on this site and print them out so that he can read them. Once he see's that this hasn't only happened to him, then he can begin to understand what has happened to him and the effects that this has had on his life.
Unfortunately, society believes that it is Ok to be raped by an older woman, they believe that men cannot be raped and that if he was raped as a child he is actually lucky. Weird but true.
I was raped by a woman at twelve and didn't realize how much it affected me. Unfortunately the abuse perpetrated by men in my life overshadowed the rape.
There are however many stories on this site of men that have been raped by woman, try and get him to read them.

I hope that this gives you some ideas and that you can help this poor man to work on his healing, but remember that at the end of the day it is not your problem if he doesn't, you need to take care of yourself first and foremost. You cannot control his life, but you can control yours.

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

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#413261 - 10/16/12 09:04 AM Re: Husband is terrified of therapy - how can I help? [Re: Country]
Hailwic Offline


Registered: 10/15/12
Posts: 19
Country,

Thanks for the reply smile

I really appreciate your perspective on my situation. As much as I wish I could tell my husband that I understand his pain, the fact of the matter is I can't. I *see* his pain, and I in turn feel pain for him, but it's not the same.

I have offered to go to therapy with my husband, but he *really* didn't seem keen on that idea. Do you mind my asking, did you ask your wife to go with you, or did she offer and you accepted? Did you initiate your therapy, or did your wife suggest it?

Thanks again for your help.

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#413262 - 10/16/12 09:09 AM Re: Husband is terrified of therapy - how can I help? [Re: RachelMac]
Hailwic Offline


Registered: 10/15/12
Posts: 19
RachelMac,

Thanks for your reply smile

It's somewhat of a relief to hear that someone out there is in the same boat as me - on the same token, though, it makes me really sad because I know how hard this thing has been, and I wouldn't in a million years wish it on anyone else.

If you don't mind my asking, does your husband get angry when you broach the subject of therapy, or does he just do his best to avoid the subject?

Thanks Again.

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#413263 - 10/16/12 09:14 AM Re: Husband is terrified of therapy - how can I help? [Re: jb1973]
Hailwic Offline


Registered: 10/15/12
Posts: 19
jb1973,

Thank you for your reply smile

I don't mean to push my husband, but I know that's how I probably come across. I certainly don't want him to feel that I am judging him, either. Do you have any suggestions on how to broach the subject? How can I soften this?

Thanks Again.

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#413268 - 10/16/12 09:55 AM Re: Husband is terrified of therapy - how can I help? [Re: whome]
Hailwic Offline


Registered: 10/15/12
Posts: 19
whome,

Thank you for your response, and for bravely sharing your personal experience, which sounds like it may be very similar to my own husband's.

I've thought about speaking with a counselor myself regarding my situation, but when I mentioned it to my husband he became very irrate and began shouting about how he thought I was going to start telling everyone how "f'ed up" he was, and I wouldn't be happy until everyone knew, etc. I think he sees it as some sort of betrayal, and I'm afraid if I set up counseling appointments 'behind his back' so to speak, that would really hurt him. Any suggestions on how to better approach this matter?

You also mentioned in your post that society minimizes the trauma caused by older women raping young boys - that's the sickest thing I've ever heard. My husband has literal, physical scars on his body from the torture she inflicted. He's (normally) one of the sweetest, gentlest men I've ever met, which makes it even harder for me to understand.

Thank you for your suggestion on printing off some stories - I will try this smile

If you don't mind my asking, have you attended therapy, and what prompted you to do so? I have no idea what will by my husband's final motivating factor - maybe if I have an idea of some common denominators that he has with other survivors, I can sell the idea of therapy a little more effectively...what do you think?

Thanks again for your response and helpful suggestions. I truly appreciate them.

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