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#417268 - 11/26/12 05:45 AM Can he experience/feel love?
mkn10 Offline


Registered: 06/30/12
Posts: 27
Hi, I haven't posted for a while... but was just wondering, do survivors who have not yet embarked on their healing journey have the ability to feel love for someone? like the romantic type of love?

My survivor told me about the CSA about a year ago while he was extremely intoxicated. Since, he has done nothing to face it, and he thinks the best approach is to simply "forget" (I doubt that's possible). What I don't really understand is that he tells me often that he is confused about me and his feelings for me, like they are always fading. He feels like his life is getting "boring" etc.

Is it possible that the CSA is the reason he is confused about me? Or am I just in denial here and the truth is that he just doesn't love me?

Sometimes when he is really drunk, he tells me that I am the only thing that brings any light to his life, that I am the only person who has ever made him happy. But when sober, he makes me feel so unwanted.

Recently, I didn't contact him for a week. Then when I saw him I asked if he preferred that week of separation and he said it was easier for him because seeing me makes him feel so upset. I don't understand this. He also took down the portraits I drew for him of us in his house because he said they are too upsetting to look at.

Some guidance would be greatly appreciated. I am fairly young and new to all of this, but my heart feels so broken

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#417288 - 11/26/12 11:07 AM Re: Can he experience/feel love? [Re: mkn10]
frankie72 Offline


Registered: 11/23/12
Posts: 32
Loc: Australia
I really can't tell you exactly how your partner is feeling, though I can give you some perspective based off my own experiences and opinion.

For myself as a survivor, my positive emotions are very dull. There are a lot of negative emotions I try to contain and hide from those around me, and sometimes they weigh so heavily it is hard to see the good in things. It leads to a sub-conscious tendency to keep people at a distance, which to me at times feels as though it is better not to find that happiness, in fear of being hurt even further.

That is not to say that I am unable to love. For me it is a difficult thing to express and show, though I do have the capacity.

From what you have described, your partner seems to be more open to express himself in a positive way when he has been drinking (though the heavy drinking is a cause of concern as to how he is coping with his past). To me, your partner being able to tell you about his CSA is a significant thing. It is only something I have ever told those I am comfortable around and completely trust, which is a very rare few.

The issue you may be facing though is during his sobriety, the more negative aspects are more prevalent, especially if he is unwilling or currently unable to take steps to heal.

The fact he has told you about how much positivity you have brought to him may in turn also be causing him to "feel", and in turn also bringing up a lot of negative aspects from his past. This is the only reason I can see why he found the seperation easier - by not having to feel the positive emotions he has for you, he can also ignore those darker emotions lurking beneath.

As I said, this is all based of my opinion and experience, so is just speculation. It sounds as though he does trust you and love you, though he may be focussing more on thoughts of rejection or abandonement if the relationship does not work out.

I really hope I managed to explain that properly, as I'm not used to opening up and talking about these things myself yet.

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#417296 - 11/26/12 11:44 AM Re: Can he experience/feel love? [Re: mkn10]
frankie72 Offline


Registered: 11/23/12
Posts: 32
Loc: Australia
Something else I just realised I forgot to add, and something I have only just realised myself after 27 years.

Those few times I have opened up and told people about my CSA experience, it has brought out a lot of those negative emotions and helplessness. I have then replied on those people as a crutch for my emotions, as I was feeling they would be the only people who would understand why I was in so much pain.

It is only through recent experience and a little tough love that I realised I was pushing away those I trusted most by burdening them with all my pain, rather than coming to terms with it and helping myself. It was another reason I decided for such a long time that I would not tell anyone, as I kept losing those I trusted most due to my actions.

It is a possibility this is how he feels if he has attempted to tell people previously in his life. If he is willing to still talk about his CSA with you, maybe gently approach it by asking if he has told anyone else before, and learn about his experiences from opening up to people in the past. It may give you a little more insight to why he is acting the way he is now.

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#417335 - 11/26/12 08:45 PM Re: Can he experience/feel love? [Re: mkn10]
Candu Offline


Registered: 06/30/12
Posts: 312
Loc: Canada
Originally Posted By: mkn10
...do survivors who have not yet embarked on their healing journey have the ability to feel love for someone? like the romantic type of love?

Yes, no, maybe. Remember that 1 in 6 males and 1 in 4 females have had these negative experiences. And the the effect on the individual is dependent on a lot of factors. Like who did it, the starting age, the duration, the social conditions that they were raised in, just to name a few. Do you think that 25% of women can't experience romantic love because of abuse?

Quote:
My survivor told me about the CSA about a year ago while he was extremely intoxicated. Since, he has done nothing to face it, and he thinks the best approach is to simply "forget" (I doubt that's possible).

I was involved with someone when I was about 25 years old. I told her I had been sexually abused. That was the first time I told anyone. And the last time until this year, 27 years later. A lot older and more mature now, it was an incredibly painful experience. Go read my previous post to a similar question. http://www.malesurvivor.org/board/ubbthr...6871#Post416871 But also read the original poster's question. The time frame is a bit different.

While I always knew I had been abused never knew how big of an effect it may have been. I have had other experiences that could be as important a factor. It is easy to blame everything on the CSA but if the problems are more significant then there could be even more to deal with. See http://1in6.org/men/get-information/onli...al-experiences/

So like I said I always knew I was abused but rarely did it ever get any thought. Yes it had an effect on me. But I was able to live without addressing it. That is until the last couple of years of issues had got me to look at it. And now I'm here.

Quote:
What I don't really understand is that he tells me often that he is confused about me and his feelings for me, like they are always fading. He feels like his life is getting "boring" etc.

That's because you are the instant gratification generation and everything has to be fun otherwise it all gets boring. shocked Sorry but that's just old people talk. laugh But who knows. Maybe it actually does fit. I don't know.

As far as his feelings for you. Again, no idea. I don't know him, I don't know you. Could be that he is a mixed up boy. Could be you. Could be the CSA. Could be bad parenting.

Quote:
Is it possible that the CSA is the reason he is confused about me? Or am I just in denial here and the truth is that he just doesn't love me?

Confussion could be related to the CSA, or not. I'm sure it didn't help though. But he is a guy. We often are confused about these things. crazy He may not love you. Or he may just not know if he loves you. "Normal" guys have this confussion as well.

Quote:
Sometimes when he is really drunk, he tells me that I am the only thing that brings any light to his life, that I am the only person who has ever made him happy. But when sober, he makes me feel so unwanted.

I sat here and have thought about what I'm about to tell you for a while. And I don't like saying it for a number of reasons. Read this thread. http://www.malesurvivor.org/board/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=416867#Post416867 and http://www.malesurvivor.org/board/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=415305#Post415305 There are a lot of others that show what a relationsip with CSA survivor could be like. But you could also have a bad relationship with someone that is not a CSA survivor. Or you can end up with a great one.

Quote:
Recently, I didn't contact him for a week. Then when I saw him I asked if he preferred that week of separation and he said it was easier for him because seeing me makes him feel so upset. I don't understand this. He also took down the portraits I drew for him of us in his house because he said they are too upsetting to look at.

Did you ask him what upset him about it?

Any healthy relationship (CSA survior or not) really needs to have good communications. And trust. And many CSA survivors have a real problem with trust. And selfworth. And a bunch of other things.

Quote:
Some guidance would be greatly appreciated. I am fairly young and new to all of this, but my heart feels so broken

I don't know how big a deal the CSA is for him. Likely he underestimates it. Thinks that he can deal with it. I thought so. I was wrong. But it took me 40 years after to finally figure that out.

Go read some books on CSA if you have not yet. I've read a number of them but I didn't keep a list of the ones I thought were best. One of the better ones, and often recommended is http://www.amazon.com/Victims-No-Longer-Classic-Recovering/dp/006053026X Check your local library.

One last thing. We are older and more experienced than you, and often just as confused.

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#417336 - 11/26/12 09:00 PM Re: Can he experience/feel love? [Re: mkn10]
northernflicker Offline


Registered: 08/19/12
Posts: 88
Great post, Candu.

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#417337 - 11/26/12 09:13 PM Re: Can he experience/feel love? [Re: northernflicker]
Candu Offline


Registered: 06/30/12
Posts: 312
Loc: Canada
Originally Posted By: northernflicker
Great post, Candu.


Oh you're just trying to get me to cry. wink

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#417348 - 11/27/12 02:20 AM Re: Can he experience/feel love? [Re: mkn10]
whome Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/07/11
Posts: 1734
Loc: Johannesburg South Africa
Hi MKN

Nice to see you back, and again sorry that you need to be here.

Its a problem that most survivors have, but I of course speak for myself here.
I had a convenient person that made my meals kept the house and made sure that I got home somehow when I was drunk. Occasionally when I felt the beast rise in me she was there for sex, we didnt really make love. At that point in my life it was all about me, what I could get.
Eventually I stopped drinking and thinking that this would be the magic bullet I lived in the hope that I would become a better person. Believe me I didnt even like myself, so how could I "love" someone else. But I didnt become a better person, I was just a sober horrible person filled with hatred and rage.
So when did it all change? When I saw the Oprah show. When I saw that other men suffered as I did, that I am not alone and that I am not crazy. What a relief, how my life changed.
Today I am madly in love with my wife, someone told me that Love is a decision, but I know that it is more than that.

I suppose the key is that I healed from my past, I chose to no longer be a victim.

My wife was always my safe person when I was in pain, she was the one I felt safe with, the one I could manipulate and hurt to gain my own needs, so I would say what she wanted to hear. I cant say that I loved her then, not really, as I say I couldn't even love myself so how was I to love others.

You cant look after him or change him, but you can change yourself, focus on you and the rest will follow. Heal your pain your life and all else will follow.

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

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#417419 - 11/27/12 05:45 PM Re: Can he experience/feel love? [Re: mkn10]
HD001 Offline


Registered: 07/30/12
Posts: 255
Loc: us
Very intersting post. I can relate a lot my H usually only tells me he loves me when he is drunk. It can be confusing and painful. I think that you got some great responses. I'm trying to answer these same questions in my own relationship. It hurts se deeply to feel unwanted. I'm sure that when you spent your week apart you wanted him to tell you how much he missed you. I wish you luck with your partner and keep posting.
_________________________
Everything comes from within

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#417429 - 11/27/12 06:46 PM Re: Can he experience/feel love? [Re: mkn10]
love Offline


Registered: 08/31/12
Posts: 37
I just posted a new thread on something similar to this. I've somewhat been through what you're going through, except that he chose to leave the relationship and up until a few months ago, he would confess his love for me both sober and drunk years ago (stopped drinking). He was "softer" and more open drunk as he said it took down his walls enough for him to contact me.

As far as whether a person can love or not with experienced abuse - I think it depends on the person. The saying of you must love yourself in order to love another, I agree to an extent. I believe you can deeply love someone yet due to your own issues/pain are unable to fully Show love to a person. I have seen the love he had in his eyes, and felt the love he had for me. I as well had a very rough upbringing filled with abuse (nonsexual). I was unfortunately out of control at one point in life and took out the poison from my past on the person I loved very much. I wanted him to leave because I loved him yet didn't feel like I could treat him well at the time.

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#417451 - 11/27/12 08:25 PM Re: Can he experience/feel love? [Re: mkn10]
lucylives Offline


Registered: 04/07/11
Posts: 359
Frankie,

WOWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW.................I quote you....

"For myself as a survivor, my positive emotions are very dull. There are a lot of negative emotions I try to contain and hide from those around me, and sometimes they weigh so heavily it is hard to see the good in things. It leads to a sub-conscious tendency to keep people at a distance, which to me at times feels as though it is better not to find that happiness, in fear of being hurt even further."

I don't even have the words for how that makes me feel as a wife except wow.....................

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