Newest Members
BusterJones, Desperateforhelp, aniceguy, Green_Lantern, Safe11ride
12121 Registered Users
Today's Birthdays
corvairman1 (43), marianne (44), son (35), speedy (31)
Who's Online
2 registered (Tanis2105, 1 invisible), 58 Guests and 1 Spider online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Forum Stats
12121 Members
73 Forums
62521 Topics
438140 Posts

Max Online: 418 @ 07/02/12 07:29 AM
Twitter
Page 1 of 7 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 >
Topic Options
#422395 - 01/17/13 03:16 PM Wives: what helped you be nicer?
SoccerStar Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/15/12
Posts: 915
Loc: New York
I have tremendous respect for the wives here who are standing by their men through very difficult times, often without having known of it when they "signed on". It's a tough row to hoe I'm sure.

Did any of you start out unsupportive, embarrassed, even mean / mocking, and just wanting the guy to shut up and get over it - and then transition into a helpful supportive legitimate partner? If so how - were there books, websites, couple exercises, shared therapy, anything in particular that helped? My wife has been backsliding a LOT recently and giving me shit I don't deserve - I cry too much already without her contributions to the war effort on the wrong side. I need to not be minimized and get-over-itized, i need to not be made hyper-self-conscious over the side effects of my meds, and I need her to "get" that emotionally this took place 3 months ago not 26 years ago and my progress since then has been real and valid. Talking it out doesn't help, not for long anyway, nor does expecting her to care enough to stop herself when she reduces me to tears. I've never cheated or acted out, don't drink or use drugs, and am the primary caregiver for our kids. I need her to get with the program, so - if any of this sounds familiar PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE tell me what I / she / we can do to get her into a more constructive and sympathetic mindset.

Thank you


Matt


Edited by SoccerStar (01/17/13 03:27 PM)
_________________________
My story

"Don't think it hasn't been a little slice of heaven just because it hasn't!" --Bugs Bunny

Top
#422400 - 01/17/13 04:29 PM Re: Wives: what helped you be nicer? [Re: SoccerStar]
ALovingMum Offline


Registered: 02/24/12
Posts: 34
Loc: England
Soccerstar,

I am very sorry to hear this, and I can't say that I am pleased. This should be a healing and building up time for you; what you have done in the last couple of months have been audacious and sound! Now you do not need someone raining on your parade; she shouldn't be reducing you to tears, but cheering you on to recovery. I am sorry if I sound judgemental, but that is just the way I see it.

Without knowing what she might be going through and how she may be feeling and what expectations of hers she now feels have been cut off by this 'thing' which she didn't know about before hand, I refrain from judging.

Two things that I can recommend that may help:

1. Get her to sign up here - she can get a true insight into what you are going through because sometimes lack of education/enlightenment/knowledge/understanding sometimes lead to lack of empathy. Here she will see what it means to be a survivor and hopefully that will educate her that she is perhaps on a life-long journey as a supporter. There is no quick fix to it. And hopefully that should place her 'get over it' phrase into less frequent use. Also she will learn see you here through the eyes of the rest of us who admire you greatly. Finally she will be able to mingle and get support from those of us here who are not survivors but supporters. This last bit I do remember she wanted - support.

2. You may want to seek some professional support for her so she has someone to speak to when she is feeling overwhelmed and don't know how to support you - so that rather than be impatient with you or even lash out at you as it appears she is doing, she will have someone to speak with to allay her fears and equip her with the right tools and support.

I wish you all the best.
_________________________
Daily I worry for the safety of my young sons - but worry achieves nothing! So I pray for their safety!

Top
#422688 - 01/20/13 01:31 AM Re: Wives: what helped you be nicer? [Re: SoccerStar]
HD001 Offline


Registered: 07/30/12
Posts: 205
Loc: IDAHO
Great advice by lovingmum. I agree. Sometimes its hard to understand what your partner is going through on both sides. There is so much intense emotion that talking it out can leave both of you feeling raw. This is where I am at with my H. He misunderstands everything I say and takes the most negative view of what I say. I end up so frustrated that I storm off and we both end up feeling alone. Therapy has been a lifeline for us both.
_________________________
Everything comes from within

Top
#422700 - 01/20/13 09:19 AM Re: Wives: what helped you be nicer? [Re: SoccerStar]
northernflicker Offline


Registered: 08/19/12
Posts: 88
I'm so sorry that the person closest to you can't or won't give you the support you need. What has already been said here is all good. It's really important to look at what your wife's feelings, needs and expectations are around all this. There is a role for you in supporting her too. Have you had that conversation?

My other question is, was she ever an empathetic and compassionate person? Is her hostility something new, or was there always a judgemental and dismissive streak to her? I believe a leopard can change its spots, but only if it wants to.

You've been a thoughtful and supportive friend to many here and I hope you and your wife get to a mutually supportive place in this journey.

Top
#422706 - 01/20/13 10:07 AM Re: Wives: what helped you be nicer? [Re: SoccerStar]
Esposa Offline
F&F Greeter
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/19/11
Posts: 636
Loc: NJ
We each have our own journey. And we also talk a lot here about how we are not really able to change our partners, they have to do it themselves. And this goes both ways.

I agree, send her to us. But beyond that, you need your boundaries and limits established too. She can only come in if it is in a loving and supportive way. You are not going to change how she is coping or acting, you can only change what you allow. If it's good for the goose....

Top
#422725 - 01/20/13 01:23 PM Re: Wives: what helped you be nicer? [Re: northernflicker]
SoccerStar Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/15/12
Posts: 915
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: northernflicker
It's really important to look at what your wife's feelings, needs and expectations are around all this. There is a role for you in supporting her too. Have you had that conversation?


I thought we had - it was my last post in the "Telling my parents - NOW!" thread. But I'm willing to try again...

Quote:
My other question is, was she ever an empathetic and compassionate person? Is her hostility something new, or was there always a judgemental and dismissive streak to her? I believe a leopard can change its spots, but only if it wants to.


She used to be an angel - empathic, compassionate, happy. Everything about her changed when she stopped breastfeeding our first, in winter 2010. She stabilized at a "new normal", with more anger overall, and I tried to adjust. Then in 2012 she had a horrible deathly-ill pregnancy and we bought a house and moved - and that combination worsened matters. She severely needs to go back on medication but obviously can't while breastfeeding again - she has spoken to me angrily at least 6 times that I am so LUCKY (!) to be on klonopin among others.

As for sending her here, I don't know. I honestly do like the idea of it but - she begged me to let her tell her parents and I allowed it. But now she says it hasn't changed anything, so what was the point? Now my annoying in-laws know and apparently to no benefit. She still feels "ostracized and alone" and wants to tell her girlfriends. Particularly the wife of my best closest guy friend. Um, no.


Edited by SoccerStar (01/20/13 01:26 PM)
_________________________
My story

"Don't think it hasn't been a little slice of heaven just because it hasn't!" --Bugs Bunny

Top
#422727 - 01/20/13 02:08 PM Re: Wives: what helped you be nicer? [Re: SoccerStar]
northernflicker Offline


Registered: 08/19/12
Posts: 88
I had a look at the thread you referred to. From what I can tell you very clearly tried to have several conversations about how you needed this to play out and how you can support her. It also sounds like you both have had a lot of high pressure life things going on for the past year or two (children, moving). Those alone require a lot of readjustment and can be very hard.

A couple of things stood out. You mentioned that she HATES (caps yours) this site and is creeped out by the people here, and also that she's has long had a "nasty mouth" like her friends. It also sounds like in many ways she's making your journey about her...her time line, her expectations around full disclosure immediately, her perspective on your needs. These are fundamental communication issues. She needs to accept that this journey is about your healing and has to go down at your pace and plan. Her role in it is as your wife and the mother of your children. Is she capable of this perspective? If she is as depressed as you suggest, maybe the better choice is to treat that instead of continuing with breast feeding. Perhaps a conversation with your pediatrician?

I don't know how you can get her to respect the value you gain from this site, or curb her "nasty mouth" or let your needs supersede hers without the help of a third party and without her full commitment to doing so.

I truly hope she respects your wishes and your right to privacy and doesn't tell her friends. There are therapists out there who specialize in the effects of CSA on marriages, and who can help her find perspective that will benefit all of you.

Top
#423018 - 01/23/13 01:54 PM Re: Wives: what helped you be nicer? [Re: SoccerStar]
sugarbaby Offline


Registered: 08/17/08
Posts: 306
I started out supportive. Then I got real PO'd that he had allowed his CSA to dictate some major life decisions that I had thought WE made, not WE + his abuser's influence.

I stayed supportive but with a lot of missteps along the way. I got mad about a lot of things, said the wrong things a lot, etc.

I found ways around disclosing H's abuse but still telling the story which was good for feeling less isolated. I talk to people about it by using "I met this woman whose husband was abused....." or "A friend of mine was abused...."

It's annoying to me to do work arounds like that but it works overall.

Top
#423226 - 01/25/13 06:27 PM Re: Wives: what helped you be nicer? [Re: SoccerStar]
CanadaGuy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 04/19/12
Posts: 16
Loc: Idaho
I just happened to find this post here.
I am a male CSA survivor who is trying to figure out what kind of things I can do about my wife not being very supportive of my recovery from csa. I finally put a lot of this plight together as to why I have been struggling in so many areas of my life and marriage.

I have intimacy problems and my wife is not very supportive of my problems with not initiating sex and romance, and my anxieties and insecurities. I have been married to my wife just over 8 years. My wife really gets upset and feels rejected when I don't connect in a calm way and "just be a man, and be romantic." So I like to have sex, but just trying to start anything in a calm and playful way, is just not happening now. We have sex occasionally if she starts something.

She is just frustrated with this and my csa issues making me feel isolated and not very supported. She doesn't want to be the one in charge, and wishes I would take charge of more things.

She isn't much of a computer person and doesn't go online to support groups, but I wish there was something more for wives of us csa survivors, like some in person thing similar to Ala-non, I just don't know what there is out there for wives right now, it is hard enough to find male support groups for csa survivors especially in the area that I live, there are none.

Okay, so I am talking a lot too much. Anyone have any ideas for support groups for wives in the USA?

CanadaGuy

Top
#423407 - 01/27/13 10:16 PM Re: Wives: what helped you be nicer? [Re: SoccerStar]
SoccerStar Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/15/12
Posts: 915
Loc: New York
Another go-round last night... I'm less angry, but more alone.

She yelled at me again over the side effects of the meds and I VERY FIRMLY responded that that was not okay, never okay, and she had to stop at once because it was a deliberate hurt that had no place in a marriage. She calmed down after that and we worked on more constructive language in which to speak about such things.

And then in a basically calm, constructive dialogue, she revealed to me just how much she doesn't get this, and doesn't want to deal with it.

She is more disgusted by MS than ever. She thinks when I come here I get brainwashed by other people's stories - taking other survivors' pain and even *facts* into myself, when what I got was (in her repeated assertion) so much more minor. I asked her how being painfully and terrifyingly raped was minor.

Her: "Look, everybody has trauma in their life. I broke my arm once. It hurt but it isn't something I dwell on. My father died and it broke my heart. You have to not submerge yourself in it."
Me: "Do you grasp any difference between sexual assault and a nasty fall?"
Her: "I'm not saying it's not bad, I'm saying people have bad things happen in their lives and move beyond them."
Me: "Okay, let's talk about your broken arm. Suppose you didn't fall. Suppose you were walking down the street and suddenly a guy chased you, grabbed you, held you down while you screamed, and then slowly hyper-twisted your arm past the breaking point, so it took about 20 minutes for it to actually break. While you were helpless underneath him as he hurt you. Same broken arm. Would you feel differently about that experience than what you actually got?"
Her: "Yeah."
Me: "Now your dad. Suppose it wasn't a heart attack. Suppose you two were walking together and suddenly someone jumped on him and stabbed him to death, slowly while he begged for his life, and you were forced to watch. Same dead father. Would that feel different?"
Her: "Okay, I get the point that some events are more gross and shocking than others. I just don't see how you can't turn it off. You aren't a kid anymore. It's over. I don't get why it still seems so everyday to you."
Me: "That's kind of what the entire field of therapy and psychology are based on. Look, let's pretend right now that you were filing your nails and accidentally ripped one of them completely off--"
Her: "Ew! Don't talk about that!"
Me: "It's an example. So you rip your own fingernail off--"
Her: "Stop it, I'm gonna be sick!"
Me: "--and you know as you're sitting there that it's over. You still have 9 fingernails that you won't be ripping off. Nothing else is going to happen to you and you aren't going to die from it. Imagine looking at your finger and thinking all of those thoughts really really hard. Would it make your finger stop hurting?"
Her: "No."
Me: "Right. If it was possible to consciously stop the body's emergency response signals, we'd be extinct. Everyone would think their way out of pain when it was really needed, and end up dead. The system malfunctions, the system doesn't obey you. It's a danger alarm and you can't control it. You know... there are books out there that go over what the effects of this stuff are on survivors, men or women. Would you want to read some?"
Her: "No. You want to submerge yourself in this, and I don't want to ever think about it except if I see it effecting you, I don't want any more."


Very civil, very courteous back-and-forth.

I am in this on my own.
_________________________
My story

"Don't think it hasn't been a little slice of heaven just because it hasn't!" --Bugs Bunny

Top
#423413 - 01/27/13 10:49 PM Re: Wives: what helped you be nicer? [Re: SoccerStar]
Suwanee Offline
Greeter
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/30/12
Posts: 625
Loc: Southeast USA
I'm afraid I don't have much insight as a spouse would...but I still want to take this opportunity to say how I'm sorry about her reaction to your pain. I hold out hope that this a roadblock that you both can get around quickly.

Perhaps she is suffering a bit from postpartum depression amplified by Sandy and your realization of the CSA? She may feel left out and detached from your struggle and exacerbates it by lashing out...which creates a vicious cycle. She may feel her own problems are second string compared to having young kids to care for...and a husband who needs additional consideration---right or not...

Obviously, I'm stumbling around in the dark for an answer, but by all means continue to see your T. You may need an MS holiday and some time away together sans kids to reconnect and talk about the news of the day...whatever you both want that to be.

Will
_________________________
You take a walk and you try to understand
Nothing can hurt you
Unless you want it to... R.E.M./Pylon "Crazy"


My Story: Cruel Summer

Top
#423444 - 01/28/13 09:18 AM Re: Wives: what helped you be nicer? [Re: SoccerStar]
Candu Offline


Registered: 06/30/12
Posts: 312
Loc: Canada
Quote:
Her: "Okay, I get the point that some events are more gross and shocking than others. I just don't see how you can't turn it off. You aren't a kid anymore. It's over. I don't get why it still seems so everyday to you."


This is one of the parts that she doesn't get. You are a kid. A part of you has been split off and stored somewhere else in your brain. The trama was pushed there outside of the normal memory structure in order to protect you because you couldn't deal with it at the time. You didn't have the capacity. You were not able to deal with it as an adult as you wife thinks you should be able to.

So she wants you to be an adult about this? The following has been posted here in F&F and I have made reference to it before. A letter to secondary survivors

Have her read that and ask her if she can get that. And then explain that that was the adult reaction. Not a child's. A child can't deal with it. An adult barely can. You had to lock this away in order to survive. It didn't go away and it still needed to be dealt with. And it's not like you have a choice in dealing with it or forgetting it. If it were only that easy.

Sorry Matt. I've said it before that she just doesn't get it. And it sounds like she doesn't want to either.

Top
#423446 - 01/28/13 09:40 AM Re: Wives: what helped you be nicer? [Re: Suwanee]
Candu Offline


Registered: 06/30/12
Posts: 312
Loc: Canada
Originally Posted By: Suwanee
You may need an MS holiday and some time away together sans kids to reconnect and talk about the news of the day...whatever you both want that to be.

Will

At some point that might be the best thing. But you have to see where you are right now, where you need to go, and the steps you need to take to get there. While we would like to get this all over with as soon as possible that is rarely the case. And a holiday is often required be it work or other long term stresses.

I had to take a break from all this for a while. Before I came to MS.

Top
#423477 - 01/28/13 05:07 PM Re: Wives: what helped you be nicer? [Re: SoccerStar]
sugarbaby Offline


Registered: 08/17/08
Posts: 306
Candu nailed it Soccerstar. She doesn't understand the part about you still being a child regarding the CSA.

I didn't understand that initially either that is why that part stuck out for me.

I remember my husband saying "You can't tell. You can't tell!" The night he disclosed to me and I was saying "What the f*ck are you talking about!!?? I'm 35 years old, I'll talk about whatever the f*ck I want!!" .....we were NOT on the same page.

You have to work on it to become an adult dealing with it. I didn't understand that back then either.

Top
#423478 - 01/28/13 05:22 PM Re: Wives: what helped you be nicer? [Re: sugarbaby]
SoccerStar Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/15/12
Posts: 915
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: sugarbaby

I remember my husband saying "You can't tell. You can't tell!" The night he disclosed to me and I was saying "What the f*ck are you talking about!!?? I'm 35 years old, I'll talk about whatever the f*ck I want!!" .....we were NOT on the same page.


Oh my God, yes. The night my wife found out, once I'd overcome the shock enough to actually speak to her and babble out the basic outline of the story, I had the most... unprecedented icicle fear inside me and I grabbed her shoulders and repeated "You-can-never-tell-anybody, you-can-never-tell-anybody, you-can-never-tell-anybody!" like six or seven times. Not 100% sure where it came from but it's rather embarrassing. And probably led to some confusion / resentment on her part when I then told my parents and my online friends. I did let her tell her parents though.
_________________________
My story

"Don't think it hasn't been a little slice of heaven just because it hasn't!" --Bugs Bunny

Top
#423481 - 01/28/13 05:35 PM Re: Wives: what helped you be nicer? [Re: SoccerStar]
GoodHope Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/05/11
Posts: 413
I wish I understood your wife. I don't. I can't even see where she is coming from. I KNEW this was big trauma, probably moreso than my husband did. Don't laugh, but Oprah shows alone should tip any regular person off that is somethign you don't exactly just "get over." Are you entirely sure you aren't potentially unearthing some hidden sexual trauma for her that if she helps you face yours, she'll be forced to deal with her own? I hate that she is being so unreasonable because I'm not optimistic that she will be invested in reading up on this so she can understand at the VERY LEAST that there is no switch you flip and just get over it. I'd love it if she would read up on the science of it all, the elevated cortisol levels fed by the hyper-vigilance of a child under siege. If your depiction here is accurate, you ARE on your own (at least for a while). I am so sorry about that. So very sorry. But you know that, and your responsbility is to heal whether your partner helps you or not. You owe it to yourself. So surround yourself with people and situations that are conducive to that. Group sessions, therapy, books, whatever. Heal at all costs. Grab hold to wholeness and do not let go. Fight for it with ever fiber of your being.
_________________________
Wife of a survivor

Top
#423489 - 01/28/13 07:03 PM Re: Wives: what helped you be nicer? [Re: SoccerStar]
Candu Offline


Registered: 06/30/12
Posts: 312
Loc: Canada
Matt. I really didn't get the child part. Oh sure I read about it. I see it talked about on the forums, here and another rape/CSA support site (mainly women) I belong to. And then under stress at work (all of this got triggered by my work situation) when I was trying to explain/defend myself I completely froze. And I was the cowering child that couldn't defend myself. I couldn't clear up the misconceptions. I agreed to whatever was said. I get it now. Just barely though as I have rarely seen that piece of me.

Top
#423506 - 01/28/13 10:12 PM Re: Wives: what helped you be nicer? [Re: SoccerStar]
RachelMac Offline


Registered: 08/26/12
Posts: 58
SoccerStar,
I am the wife of a survivor and although I am not very familiar with your situation, I have found that educating myself has been one of the top things that helped me understand a bit more and as a result I began to handle my husband differently. I too didn't understand why he can't just "get over" this. I had to learn how serious PTSD is. I had to learn about the brain's response to trauma etc. and that it is in fact a (mental) health problem. They're not just some bad memories. His brain literally won't let him let go of this. Then I decided that I said "for sickness and health" after reading some posts on here. My husband doesn't have cancer, but PTSD is also a sickness. It is all very difficult for both parties but educating myself was something that made me change my tune with him.

Top
#423528 - 01/29/13 06:32 AM Re: Wives: what helped you be nicer? [Re: RachelMac]
sugarbaby Offline


Registered: 08/17/08
Posts: 306
Quote:
Not 100% sure where it came from but it's rather embarrassing


Don't be embarrassed. That is who you were with it at that time.

I made every mistake I could dealing with my H and it is who I was. I know better now but that took some exploring and learning.

Top
#423642 - 01/29/13 08:02 PM Re: Wives: what helped you be nicer? [Re: SoccerStar]
gottymeguy Offline


Registered: 09/24/10
Posts: 35
You are never on your own. From the sounds of it, you have many other people around you that support you as well, and of course you can always reach out to folks you met on here if you need it.

Sorry to hear about your fight...you are never alone.

Top
#424022 - 02/01/13 06:36 PM Re: Wives: what helped you be nicer? [Re: SoccerStar]
Esposa Offline
F&F Greeter
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/19/11
Posts: 636
Loc: NJ
How about trying this... just a thought.

Don't take her fear personally.

She sounds afraid. Really afraid. And she is projecting a lot of that on you. How about when you listen to her words you imagine that she is saying them to herself? Because she is... you're listening to her inner child. Don't accept these words as words for you. They are NOT for you. You ARE NOT WRONG.

Top
#424026 - 02/01/13 07:38 PM Re: Wives: what helped you be nicer? [Re: SoccerStar]
SoccerStar Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/15/12
Posts: 915
Loc: New York
My T strongly suspects based on her behavior that my wife is a CSA survivor and is struggling to "keep it asleep" around me now.

I know for a fact she was physically abused... routinely beaten by both parents.

Please, no.
_________________________
My story

"Don't think it hasn't been a little slice of heaven just because it hasn't!" --Bugs Bunny

Top
#424031 - 02/01/13 08:14 PM Re: Wives: what helped you be nicer? [Re: SoccerStar]
Suwanee Offline
Greeter
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/30/12
Posts: 625
Loc: Southeast USA
Oh Matt, I hope not.


Will
_________________________
You take a walk and you try to understand
Nothing can hurt you
Unless you want it to... R.E.M./Pylon "Crazy"


My Story: Cruel Summer

Top
#424038 - 02/01/13 10:54 PM Re: Wives: what helped you be nicer? [Re: SoccerStar]
gottymeguy Offline


Registered: 09/24/10
Posts: 35
I'm so sorry Matt, and I hope that it is not true. Regardless of that possibility (and excuse me if you already mentioned it, and I missed it) but just pertaining to the way your wife behaves and upsets you, has she ever went to therapy with you? maybe it would help her understand you if your therapist has some one on one sessions with her (in a not threatening way, asking questions and such)...


My brain is a bit scattered, sorry if my reply seems a bit disjointed and rambling.

Top
#424039 - 02/01/13 11:08 PM Re: Wives: what helped you be nicer? [Re: SoccerStar]
GoodHope Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/05/11
Posts: 413
Like she has convinced herself that she "got over it" and she can't consider for one second that she hasn't. My heart breaks for you. I also don't believe it is uncommon for survivors to be drawn to each other for reasons that are then unexplained.
_________________________
Wife of a survivor

Top
#424070 - 02/02/13 10:40 AM Re: Wives: what helped you be nicer? [Re: SoccerStar]
Candu Offline


Registered: 06/30/12
Posts: 312
Loc: Canada
Originally Posted By: SoccerStar
My T strongly suspects based on her behavior that my wife is a CSA survivor and is struggling to "keep it asleep" around me now.

I know for a fact she was physically abused... routinely beaten by both parents.

Please, no.

While it's possible that she has some personal CSA issues I wouldn't jump there without some more probing. The physical abuse is significant. Earlier last year when I was reading a number of books on CSA the reactions and behavious described matched my sister exactly. But her abuse was not sexual but physical and emotional. Also bad.

Top
#424079 - 02/02/13 04:41 PM Re: Wives: what helped you be nicer? [Re: SoccerStar]
sugarbaby Offline


Registered: 08/17/08
Posts: 306
H's first T fixated on me a lot. I never met her but they seemed to talk more about me than they did his abuse which I still think was her lack of knowledge about male abuse. It wasn't supposed to be couples therapy - it was SUPPOSED to be his abuse therapy.

I don't know if she has been to therapy with you SoccerStar but I wouldn't jump to that conclusion either.


Edited by sugarbaby (02/02/13 04:41 PM)

Top
#424368 - 02/05/13 09:27 AM Re: Wives: what helped you be nicer? [Re: SoccerStar]
SoccerStar Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/15/12
Posts: 915
Loc: New York
In retrospect, I panicked. In the light of day I really don't think she was SA'd either and she's even tossed that into conversation.


Anyway.... worse to worser. Forgive me for treating this place like a diary but it happened again last night and really hurt....

Her: "I just don't get why you seem so unhappy all the time. Why can't you focus on happier things, on all you've got going for you to get past it?"
Me: "I do, this is what it looks like. Without that I wouldn't get out of bed some days."
Her: "It just seems like you're wallowing in this... there isn't a way to put it past you?"
Me: "Yes, this is what it looks like. I was raped. [First time I'd been able to say that to her clearly, without already being crying]. Violently, with horrible pain and fear. I'm working things out with my therapist, my psychiatrist, I'm making progress, I'm comparing notes with other guys who've dealt--"
Her: "Yeah, that damn website you're always on? You're obsessed."
Me: "See, I think YOU'RE obsessed. You've known me for years, you've seen my computer habits, you know I'm not on there nearly as much as I used to be on the collector websites or political blogs."
Her: "I really think you're being influenced by the pain those people feel. And I've got to say... your story has evolved too..."
Me: "...what is that supposed to mean?"
Her: "I don't know, maybe you've remembered more or maybe you're kind of repeating what all those guys are saying."
Me: "No offense but between the two of us, it isn't me who is the one who gets mentally swayed by websites and self-diagnoses every disease I read about, from multiple sclerosis to lupus to AIDS [yes]. This is how the process works, and yes, I have remembered more, between the first big blow-up and then therapy. My therapist says that's exactly how this happens."
Her: "Or maybe that's just what the therapist industry wants you to believe."
Me: "I don't even know how to respond to that."
Her: "Look, the reason I hate that website so much is that you think you have the right to keep secrets from me. In a marriage there shouldn't be any secrets."
Me: "It isn't a secret if it's part of the therapy that's supposed to get you better. Besides, what I talk about there is me at my worst, me in a light that even I can't stand to look at. I'm not super eager to open that door and show that side off to you."
Her: "Why not? I don't judge you. I don't see you as any less of a man."
Me: "Hmm. Well. You want to see how deep this goes? Ok, I'll show you what I'm fighting with now."
[I pull up "Inner child, inner monster" and let her read it.]
Her: "You used your real name????"
Me: "How many Matts are there on Earth? Keep going."
[Later]
Her: "I guess I just don't see why this is all so immediate for you. It happened so long ago-"
Me: "No it didn't. It happened in October. Your life is impacted by what you feel and experience and I felt and experienced it in October."
Her: "I don't understand that at all. You said knew since you were a kid you'd been abused."
Me: "Do you get that people can only remember part of something and then get the rest back later? Do you get the difference between seeing a picture and feeling something?"
Her: "No."
Me: "The brain remembers traumatic violence differently. There are hormones and neurotransmitters that make those memories much worse than others, more permanent and inescapable. They get stored differently, get hidden away, come back worse and sharper. Have you heard of what female rape survivors go through? Have you heard of soldiers who come back traumatized and different?"
[Humorous aside: we watch Homeland and love it, but she utterly hates Brody, sees him as a pure evil villain as bad as Abu Nazir. I ask her if she can sympathize with horrible experiences leading people into mental damage and alteration and she says no she can't. The entire sexual / romantic subplot between Brody and the CIA agent is a mystery to her, because he's just so purely evil now that he's done something bad.]
Her: " I'm not saying 'just get over it', I get the seriousness of it, but everybody goes through some trauma and has to move on in life. I was heartbroken when my dad died-"
Me: "Now time-warp me back to 3 months after your dad died. Would I be speaking to you about it at that point in time like you're speaking to me now?"
Her: "But you've known for way longer than that!"
Me: "Suppose you look at a photo of a lion. Then suppose a real lion jumped on you and tried to eat you, and you could smell it's breath and hear it growl, feel the weight, and as it tried to bite out your throat you put up your arms as defense and it ate all the skin off your arms. Do you get the difference between the two concepts of 'lion' involved? What shape would you be in a few months after that?"
Her: "I guess I just dont understand. I'm not a professional. I just knew that a lot of other people have been through this and gotten over it."
Me: "No one has ever gotten over it. And 'a lot of people' have beaten and cheated on their partners, turned to drugs or prostitutes. I am not 'a lot of people'."
Her: "I'm so tired of this being our everyday issue, okay? I'm tired of you being obsessed with it and tired of how every time we talk it always involves how I'm not supposed to say certain things."
Me: "Well, I love you babe but too bad. That is how it works. When someone goes through this there really are ways to talk about it that are antagonistic and ways that aren't. We had a hypothetical duscussion once of how if a wife had a severe illness or injury and could never have sex again, the husband could never have sex again either, not even if he still lived with her and took care of her. You were horrified when I disagreed with you, when I said after like a year, the caretaker husband could get sex elsewhere. Well now we have a real situation where a husband is dealing with emotional trauma and needs to recover as best he can and the wife doesn't get to criticize or complain about those recovery methods. And if the whole point is to help someone calm down... you know, I told you there are books that go all over this including from the wives' perspective, and there are websites for the wives of survivors, and you said you weren't interested. Is that still the case?"
Her: "Yes. I don't want to get even more of this. And I'm tired of you saying 'this is how it works' too just because your therapist and some website people, who for all you know could be child molesters jerking off, said so. I'm dealing with stuff of my own. The baby, my job, our house still isn't fixed..."
Me: "I kinda have to say I'm really surprised that I let you read that essay and this is how you responded. You haven't even addressed what I wrote, it was full of heavy shit and how I'm trying to work through it and my feelings, and you kind of haven't said anything about it at all. It was sort of a big deal that I let you read it.
Her: "I appreciate you letting me in, but I didn't understand it."
Me: "What part?"
Her: "Any of it."
Me: "...I don't know what to say..."
Her: "I guess I don't either. But I love you."
And she gave me a hug. And said some nice things... about me, about us. Not about this issue or how I'm trying to cope with it.


What am I to make of this? I hate being That Guy who comes here and whines about how his wife doesn't understand, but it's killing me, it's a knife in my heart. Ive got my flaws - because of CSA and the meds I'm forgetful and often zoned-out. And yeah, Im sad. But I've kept doing everything my wife and kids need and deserve from me, even if sometimes there's a sad look on my face when I do it.

I've thought of inviting her to a T session, but everything I've given in on so far - letting her tell her parents, offering her books, showing her my essay - has been for nothing. I can't keep going further out on the limb, exposing more of my worst and weakest spots in one concession after another, and not having her hold my hand when I do it. I just can't.


Matt (one of probably 130,000,000 in the world!)

_________________________
My story

"Don't think it hasn't been a little slice of heaven just because it hasn't!" --Bugs Bunny

Top
#424382 - 02/05/13 11:41 AM Re: Wives: what helped you be nicer? [Re: SoccerStar]
Jacob S Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/01/13
Posts: 550
I don't know what to say. A lot of what you wrote is the kind of stuff that my wife and I are going through too. I shared the first part of my story with her and she said "that can't be all of it." And no, its not all of it. But it was some pretty intense stuff about when I was 4 years old and what she meant was that if that is all it was, I am making a big deal out of nothing. And that really hurt. So now I am scared to death that if I share it on this site I will get the same response. So for almost a week I've been pretty absent from here, trying to just bury everything again. I feel like I was moving and her words caused a traffic jam.

Wow, so um maybe I don't have anything supportive to say, unless to tell you I feel like I am in the same fox-hole that you are. Thanks for sharing because it let me know I'm not the only one, though I wish it was none of us.
_________________________
"As long as the child within is not allowed to become aware of what happened to him or her, a part of his or her emotional life will remain frozen . . . all appeals to love, solidarity, and compassion will be useless."
-- Alice Miller

Top
#424384 - 02/05/13 11:44 AM Re: Wives: what helped you be nicer? [Re: SoccerStar]
northernflicker Offline


Registered: 08/19/12
Posts: 88
I'm so sorry Matt. I wish I had something encouraging to say.

It sounds like your wife feels some shame or embarrassment over what happened to you ("you used your real name"). She needs to understand that none of this is about her. It is about you. I don't know that she is emotionally evolved enough to do that.

I hope that she can show you that she loves you by supporting your choice to deal with your past in a way that is meaningful and works for you. She does not need to understand anything in order to do this. Instead she needs to respect that you know what is best for you and support the fact that you are finally facing issues that are very painful for you. Do you think she is capable of this?

Top
#424414 - 02/05/13 03:05 PM Re: Wives: what helped you be nicer? [Re: SoccerStar]
Candu Offline


Registered: 06/30/12
Posts: 312
Loc: Canada
Quote:
Her: "... And I'm tired of you saying 'this is how it works' too just because your therapist and some website people

And she knows better? Glad to know that you are living with an expert. [sarcasm]

Top
#424416 - 02/05/13 04:52 PM Re: Wives: what helped you be nicer? [Re: SoccerStar]
gottymeguy Offline


Registered: 09/24/10
Posts: 35
Matt,

I'm so sorry to hear that you and your wife are having more problems and fights about your recovery. I really hope it gets better for you both. I don't know you or your wife personally to know it would would be of help or not, but instead of having her sitting in on your T session, do you think that it would be possible for her to have a 1 on 1 with you T where it would be more like a third party explaining things to your wife about your reactions, and she could express how she feels/thinks etc.? Not sure if it would be helpful, but maybe. I almost feel like it would be like having a second opinion for your wife, hearing things from someone else that might explain it different. Also, it would be a good environment if she gets angry about what she is hearing to let that out and get feedback as well.

Again, may not be the right situation for you both, but maybe worth a try. I breaks my heart to hear about you fighting at home. Hope today was a better day.

-R

Top
#424449 - 02/05/13 09:08 PM Re: Wives: what helped you be nicer? [Re: SoccerStar]
RachelMac Offline


Registered: 08/26/12
Posts: 58
I used to not understand what my husband meant when he told me how difficult things were for him. I didn't get why it was so difficult to practice proper hygiene, to sleep with me, etc. These things are really easy for most people. I basically told him to snap out of it (I didn't know that wasn't possible).

I finally started reading, googling his behaviors...he told me he thinks he has "Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder." So I googled what that meant...I quickly realized I was married to a sick individual who needed help. I found this website and found out that it was possible for my husband to get better. On his own doing. It sounds like you are doing what you can at this moment to heal. I've seen how difficult it is, so congrats to you.

I wonder if your wife cannot accept the fact that you are dealing with a very real ailment (for a lack of better words.) I would try speaking to her differently--not how you may usually speak to her. My husband had to sit me down and tell me just how sick he was for me to really get it...and so I finally jumped on board and accepted the fact that my family is going through a very difficult time. I had so much resentment. I would quietly curse him for affecting my life so much that I needed therapy. I did need therapy because this all affect me too. That was a hard pill to swallow. I had so much resentment for why I was going to therapy when he was the one with the issues. But my way just wasn't working.

Once I accepted what is, my view changed. I used to get so worried that this was my life forever--but this isn't permanent. It sounds like you are working to heal and I know you will be even healthier in the future. It will get better--she just needs to know it takes some time.

Is there any way at all that she would view some of the threads in this forum to get herself more comfortable with what she is dealing with? Maybe she can sit down with you and come to this site? When I signed up, I read so much about why my husband may be feeling what he is feeling. I did soooo much research. And even though I will never fully understand what he goes through in his battle, the knowledge I gained really helped ease my anger and it enabled me to be a better supporter. It sounds so simple--but it worked for me.

Top
#424464 - 02/06/13 12:16 AM Re: Wives: what helped you be nicer? [Re: SoccerStar]
GoodHope Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/05/11
Posts: 413
posted in the wrong place


Edited by GoodHope (02/06/13 12:54 AM)
_________________________
Wife of a survivor

Top
#424494 - 02/06/13 07:58 AM Re: Wives: what helped you be nicer? [Re: SoccerStar]
sugarbaby Offline


Registered: 08/17/08
Posts: 306
Give her some time. She just doesn't understand. Neither did I....... And I turned out alright! smile

Top
#424522 - 02/06/13 03:53 PM Re: Wives: what helped you be nicer? [Re: SoccerStar]
Rosemary Offline


Registered: 02/06/13
Posts: 31
Loc: Johannesburg, South Africa
Matt,

My heart goes out to both you and your wife.

My husband's journey of recovery began just over 10 years ago, when he declared early one Sunday morning while we were still in bed, that he was sexually abused. It was a huge shock to me. He had always wanted to be in control of all situations that included him, me and most importantly our two daughters. That was probably the most evident sign of the trauma he had experienced as a young child and later as a teen.

He was very vague at first and his reason for telling me was the fact that he needed to go onto anti-depressants and did not want to be medicated without my knowledge of the fact. That was the first step in the right direction I felt that he had considered me as the most important person (besides himself). This was very important to me.

I obviously wanted to know everything as soon as possible but held back on pushing him, I believed it would be better to allow him to be at ease with the details. I cannot remember whose idea it was but the following weekend we booked a plush hotel room, got babysitters and spent the weekend together.

I think it was the best thing we did. As childhood sweethearts we had a box full of letters we had written to each other whilst he was in the armed services (South Africa had conscription at the time). We took the box with us and read every letter we had written to each other, we spoke for hours and he told me more details of what had happened to him. We cried many tears that night and fell asleep in each others arms. We booked out the next morning ready to jointly face the monster.

Another thing that helped us was I wrote a list of things I wanted to know, questions I needed to ask. My husband kept the list and promised me that he would answer every question BUT in his own time.

To now get back to you and your wife. What the two of you are going through right now can be compared to grieving the loss of something, you are grieving the loss of your innocence and your wife is grieving the loss of the man she thought she had married. Just as you grieve the death of a loved one, you will both probably go through the normal stages, I.e. shock, anger, bargaining, depression and finally (if you are lucky) acceptance. From your posts I am guessing your wife is still in shock and possibly angry and you are experiencing a different stage.

You are both still finding your way in the dark, find each other, remind each other how much you mean to each other and most importantly be a couple. From a female perspective your wife needs to know that you value her opinion way above anyone else and that she will always be the one you turn to.

Heal well!
_________________________
Rosemary

Partner Support
South African Male Survivors Of Sexual Abuse
Web page www.samsosa.org

Top
#424554 - 02/06/13 10:37 PM Re: Wives: what helped you be nicer? [Re: SoccerStar]
focusedbody Offline


Registered: 02/03/13
Posts: 271
Loc: NY
Matt:

All of what you are going through seems understandable given how recently it was that your inner walls came down.

What concerns me is how polarized your discussions are with her. Such as when she says that you may be keeping secrets from her. I wonder if in some way she is afraid of this unknown part of you and she equates that with keeping secrets. You might tell her that it is one thing to have the memory back, but it is another to recover what was lost. Maybe you are keeping something from her, but as of yet don't even know what that is.

I also wonder if Judith Herman's book, Trauma and Recovery, might be better reading. It is insightful and covers all kinds of trauma. It might give you some more middle ground to refer to. And it has the whole process laid out and understood, which helps to clarify how it is a process and not something that you move on from.

Keep posting so that you can stabilize....
_________________________
Lose the drama; life is a poem.

Top
#424601 - 02/07/13 09:08 AM Re: Wives: what helped you be nicer? [Re: SoccerStar]
SoccerStar Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/15/12
Posts: 915
Loc: New York
Thank you all so much for the suggestions and support. It is heartening to hear from so many brave, stiff-lipped women who had this shock but are determined to stick with things - "in good times and in bad." I'm really taking your advice to heart.

Last night may have been something of a breakthrough....

Tuesday I had to have emergency oral surgery (TAKE CARE OF YOUR TEETH, Y'ALL, JUST BECAUSE NOTHING HURTS DOESNT MEAN IT'S OKAY - AND THAT DOESNT JUST GO FOR CSA!!) I'm not scared of dentists, just never felt a need to go for years - and the procedure was more loud than anything else. Was pretty triggering though - he was old and grey-haired like the perp, and I was honestly very surprised when he had to grab my jaw with both hands and shove it around... yyyyyeah. I hugged myself and mentally watched one of my favorite movies I'd memorized.

During the procedure he accidentally sliced my tongue pretty bad, so between that and the new hole in my jaw I was in bracing pain. Bad enough that I couldn't sleep even on painkillers.... so by the following night, I realized I would have to go back on the sleeping pills. When it had been my biggest, proudest victory of all to re-stabilize enough and feel safe enough to no longer need them. I was devastated... too empty even to cry.

And my wife came to where I was slouched over on the bed and she held me. And said....

"I can't stand to see you hurting yourself like this; you've been hurt enough. It doesn't count as needing a sleeping pill when you're in urgent pain so bad you really can't sleep. It doesn't take away what you did [in getting off them]. I know for people with this stuff in their history, and guys especially, there's a trend to blaming themselves. Don't blame yourself. You didn't do anything to deserve this stuff - back then or with the pills now. You didn't do anything wrong and it wasn't your fault." And she just held me. I'm getting all mushy just remembering it...

In the 3 months that she's known she has NEVER used language like that, not once. She's had good days but she never seemed to "get it." Plus - "with guys especially"? She must have been reading up somewhere with something.

I am so grateful. This isn't a movie happy ending, I'm sure there will be more flare-ups someday.... but... it means so much just to get this.

Oh and as it happened I didn't even have to use the sleeping pill... because the baby had an ear infection and kept us up screaming for 3 hours and by the end NOTHING could have kept me from passing out. Hate to think of benefitting from my little girls pain, though... a pyrrhic victory?



Matt
_________________________
My story

"Don't think it hasn't been a little slice of heaven just because it hasn't!" --Bugs Bunny

Top
#424604 - 02/07/13 10:35 AM Re: Wives: what helped you be nicer? [Re: SoccerStar]
femalethriver Offline


Registered: 01/14/13
Posts: 14
Loc: Columbus, Ohio
I came here today because a dear friend of mine, a recent disclosing male CSA, recently shared a story with me how his GF has been using his past against him, quite malicioulsy, when she's drinking or angry. I repeatedly refer him here because I know he would benefit from this forum. I couldn't help but be triggered by your story, Matt. from page one to all your updates in between, it's such a sweet story. i'm so glad you are here and sharing because your story IS helping others.

Your story triggered me... I shared similar conversations with my husband, with the exception that I am the CSA and he's the one who says "get over it". I work in the social work profession and this topic is what i spend 100% of my life evolved around ...from suriving to healing to thriving to PREVENTION to being a friend to those who need a safe caring human to listen.

I have always had the tendancy to place others feelings over my own (a strong characteristic of CSAs) so when my husband begged me to leave my past in the past, i would constantly try to understand his perspective -not change it, not follow his advice or believe he was right over me ...i knew my truth and felt secure in my journey. i was never going to put it "behind me" to benefit him and the way he chooses to deal with things - maybe i left parts out, maybe i researched a little more stealth - but he allowed me the respect and privacy to do me. i respect him for that and realize how fortunate i am.

I share this because your wife seems a lot like my husband, i respect how he is, I think he's very stoic and he's my yang and i love him.

Matt, have you looked in to the new book just published "Joining Forces" by Dr. Fradkin? There's a really great chapter for families and spouses of male CSA. she might like the whole book even, it's pretty great for Male CSA and female CSAs too.

Goodluck to you Matt - sounds like you have a keeper and i hope she continues to be inspired with her words.


Edited by femalethriver (02/07/13 10:36 AM)

Top
#424611 - 02/07/13 11:21 AM Re: Wives: what helped you be nicer? [Re: SoccerStar]
sugarbaby Offline


Registered: 08/17/08
Posts: 306
She's thinking about it. That is good.

Three months is not much time. I learned about my H's abuse a bit over four years ago and I'm still learning stuff. If she's anything like me be ready to answer questions, TONS of questions. Sometimes I got real pissed about the answers but H still answered them and it made a big difference in the directions we went.

Top
#424619 - 02/07/13 12:54 PM Re: Wives: what helped you be nicer? [Re: SoccerStar]
Wife - Survivor Offline


Registered: 02/03/13
Posts: 38
Loc: PA
Hang in there - things can & do change. As a wife & survivor myself, I had 'some' insight as to my hubby's pain & after effects. BUT, I have to constantly remember that "I can't fully know what it is like to be in HIS shoes". Many years of a 12 step program & much therapy has changed my life & my outlooks. My keys/tools are willingness, very very open discussions starting with "I feel" "I need" "I ask" and never, never start w/You You You. We WANT to be better people. That's my plan....... but only One Day @ A Time.
_________________________
Everyone DESERVES Recovery, IF they WANT it.
Anything worth it, takes mucho Time & Willingness.

Top
#424666 - 02/08/13 01:42 AM Re: Wives: what helped you be nicer? [Re: SoccerStar]
SoccerStar Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/15/12
Posts: 915
Loc: New York
Something has definitely definitely changed. She's sure been reading something, I have no doubt.

She brought up a serious discussion of it tonight... we talked about the odds of other guys we knew having dealt with this... she brought up a relative of hers whom we both know for a fact got it, though he had pre-existing emotional problems so severe that it's hard to tell what the CSA actually caused. I also told her of the one of my online friends who responded to my disclosure by saying he'd been there too - though he and I have yet to "exchange details." My wife had met him already at some parties and did the same doubletake that I had, as she too had only ever known him in a "normal" context and he's a suave, well-adjusted guy.

She also made a comment about how CSA can make guys very touch- and sex-averse and that that's obviously not my problem.... we have NEVER discussed that demographic detail so she seriously has been doing some research somewhere...

While we were holding each other she revealed to me that she'd been fixating with hatred on the man who attacked me.... that she wants him punished and to suffer and that she'd support me in anything I could want to do. I told her that while the SOL for child abuse is long over, what he did was also rape and I don't know if that has a different SOL, if I could still do anything about that... I honestly don't know, haven't looked it up, am scared to open the door because proceeding that way would require a huge re-allocation of emotional energy, money, our basically non-existent personal time... when things are just beginning to re-stabilize after the hurricane, and kids and jobs and bills and frankly each other of us need our full attention... and there's no evidence, it would be my word vs an old man and whatever his furiously defensive adult children and grandchildren might care to say or do...

She really wants to go after him. She hugged me and stroked my cheeks as she told of how she hates him for hurting me... that it wasn't my fault and I am a good person. I opened up a bit more and shared some conversations I'd had with my T. It was a good talk, a special talk.

Whatever she read or found or talked to, I am so grateful, I haven't felt so relieved in can't even remember how long.

Barring a severe emergency / get-over-it-ism I am going to stop using this thread as unilateral marriage therapy. I'm a little embarrassed especially now that she has gotten better. But since there were many other people here (women and men) who found it familiar, I guess it can be an example of how it is possible for partners to become more understanding after all.


Matt


Edited by SoccerStar (02/08/13 09:31 AM)
_________________________
My story

"Don't think it hasn't been a little slice of heaven just because it hasn't!" --Bugs Bunny

Top
#424668 - 02/08/13 02:03 AM Re: Wives: what helped you be nicer? [Re: SoccerStar]
Farmer Boy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/23/12
Posts: 442
Loc: Australia
Matt

Seriously!!! There is no need for embarrassment - not even a little - not even at all.

Thank you for bringing an issue to the forefront that so many of us married guys/girls face. Through your skills as a writer you have articulated it better than any of us could have hoped to. I think I am right in saying that this thread has been like marriage counselling for us all.

It stands as a testament to the fact that healing/real change is possible for both the victim and their partners.

Thanks again for putting this out there.

Lee
_________________________
More than meets the eye!

Top
#424669 - 02/08/13 02:07 AM Re: Wives: what helped you be nicer? [Re: SoccerStar]
Rosemary Offline


Registered: 02/06/13
Posts: 31
Loc: Johannesburg, South Africa
Happy for you both!
_________________________
Rosemary

Partner Support
South African Male Survivors Of Sexual Abuse
Web page www.samsosa.org

Top
#424681 - 02/08/13 09:11 AM Re: Wives: what helped you be nicer? [Re: SoccerStar]
Candu Offline


Registered: 06/30/12
Posts: 312
Loc: Canada
Quote:
Something has definitely definitely changed. She's sure been reading something, I have no doubt.

She brought up a serious discussion of it tonight...

...


What a change, I can hardly believe it. This is fantastic.

Top
#425385 - 02/15/13 03:08 PM Re: Wives: what helped you be nicer? [Re: SoccerStar]
WontGiveUp Offline


Registered: 02/12/13
Posts: 4
I am so happy to read through this post and see the changes that have occured. I am a wife, and I am struggling to find the best way to support my husband. Its all very new to us - so thank you so much for sharing your perspective. I want to make sure I can help him heal and your words will stick in my mind when I get upset or frustrated. Thank you so much and I really hope that these positive changes continue and you both can heal together.

Top
#425407 - 02/15/13 05:47 PM Re: Wives: what helped you be nicer? [Re: SoccerStar]
HD001 Offline


Registered: 07/30/12
Posts: 205
Loc: IDAHO
Very helpful thread. I'm happy to hear that things have gotten a lot better. I'm really glad that you posted about this. I think that my H sometimes misunderstands my words and actions. Sometimes when I try to support him he just feels pressured and like he isn't good enough. This is frustrating because I'm trying to convey the opposite. I love him so much and he is amazing. I'm glad that you and your wife were able to connect and feel the love. She sounds like I really nice lady.
_________________________
Everything comes from within

Top
#425419 - 02/15/13 07:31 PM Re: Wives: what helped you be nicer? [Re: SoccerStar]
SoccerStar Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/15/12
Posts: 915
Loc: New York
So there has been more good news...

Monday night out of nowhere she said "Listen, we don't have to talk about this if you don't want to, but I just wanted you to know that I'm determined to be your partner in recovering from this. I want you to know you can always count on me as a safe person to be with. I've been reading some books about what this can do to people and it has stuff in it for wives too. I've got to deal with the trauma of it in my own way but I do want you to know that I'm totally going to be your partner in this."

After much thanking and appreciating and hugging and such, I slyly told her that I'd already known she was reading up and it meant so much to me.

(jaw dropped) "How did you know?"
"You were mentioning stuff we've never talked about, like how lots of guys have touch or intimacy problems after this."
"Shut up, you did not know!"
"Shut up, I totally did!"

Later:
"At least this way, some of the things I used to see as faults in you I can blame on this instead!"
(That was kiiiinda glib, but I knew she meant well. And, shit, maybe it's true.)
_________________________
My story

"Don't think it hasn't been a little slice of heaven just because it hasn't!" --Bugs Bunny

Top
#425446 - 02/16/13 01:02 AM Re: Wives: what helped you be nicer? [Re: SoccerStar]
Rosemary Offline


Registered: 02/06/13
Posts: 31
Loc: Johannesburg, South Africa
You guys are going to be fine, your wife has turned a corner and the view is a lot clearer to her now.
_________________________
Rosemary

Partner Support
South African Male Survivors Of Sexual Abuse
Web page www.samsosa.org

Top
#425478 - 02/16/13 11:04 AM Re: Wives: what helped you be nicer? [Re: SoccerStar]
gottymeguy Offline


Registered: 09/24/10
Posts: 35
Very happy that things are going well for you both. Inspiring for other people.

Top
#429348 - 03/28/13 01:10 AM Re: Wives: what helped you be nicer? [Re: SoccerStar]
SoccerStar Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/15/12
Posts: 915
Loc: New York
UPDATE:

Things are still going well, but there are two developments where I feel like I need input from other wives / family members.

1. The book she is reading is "Allies in Healing" by Laura Davis. Has anyone else used this? Was it helpful? I confess that I skimmed just a few pages of it and didn't 100% like what I saw - it was all about what to do when "your survivor" never shuts up about being miserable and always wants to redirect the conversation to their pain, and how the partner should stand up for him/herself in spite of this. I've got my issues but this is not one of them - I can't stand talking about it with her and she's got to drag it out of me every time, if I had my way we'd never speak of it again until the next time I had a nightmare or I find out the perp died. But that was just 2 pages so I'm not being fair. Overall is it a good, helpful book?


2. Despite how much better we've been dealing overall, there is still one point she's sticking to firmly and that I don't like - she really, really wants me to tell my best guy friend, because then he would tell his wife, who is BFF with *my* wife, and so at last she'd have a known peer and friend who she could talk about this with. Both her parents and mine know but she feels she can't talk about it with them, and she refuses therapy of her own. So she tells me she feels ostracized and alone in this because I haven't told him. Whenever I mention him in any context, she always turns the discussion towards whether I've told him yet or when I plan to.

And I'm not sure I want to.

On the one hand, in a pure vacuum, I think he'd respond well, supportively, understandingly. We've been best friends for over 20 years and were, let's just say, a lot closer than most straight guy friends. There was something of a phase during our teens and twenties where we'd watch porn together and... etc. Never touched each other, but otherwise.... etc. I only mention this because it did lead to deeper bonding and trust and the ability to discuss absolutely anything with one another. Both our wives know. At various points in our lives we've each held the other as we cried for one reason or another. We're very close.

Or at least we were until 2012, the "annus horribilis" that nearly killed me altogether. Part of all the bad shit that led to the CSA waking up was that my wife and I had another kid and bought a house and moved. Obviously that cuts down on socializing time. If we're lucky, the four of us will get together for a "double date" - but I haven't hung out just with him, just as two guy friends shooting the shit and talking about serious, private stuff, in something like 10 months. Hmmm, yes, that's actually exactly as old as our baby is now. Don't mean to sound like I'm blaming her, but... this is just how life works I guess. I haven't had one-on-one time with ANY of my friends in just about a year. So that means if and when I ever do get a chance to hang out with him again.... I really don't want the first sentence outta my mouth to be oh-by-the-way-some-guy-fucked-with-me, you know? I want to rebuild our friendshiip and just enjoy having normal time with him.

Making things even more complicated.... he and his wife are about to have their first baby. Like, in a matter of days. So he and I are almost certainly going to have a mixture "getting caught up / last hurrah" drinking night before his social life REALLY ends for the forseeable future. But that also means I don't want to drop a sad drama-bomb, about children in danger, right on him like 2 or 3 days before they have the baby!

My wife is irritated that I don't just up and tell him, but with how much I regret the slippage of the friendship I will not feel good about doing anything that would change it further. But when I told her that the other day.... she didn't get angry at me, instead she looked so SAD. Like she'd really been hoping to be able to talk to my friend's wife about it. I'd almost prefer she'd yelled at me, instead of now me feeling like I'm the asshole who let her down.

I've offered to tell one of her cousins, with whom she grew up very closely. This girl is very kind and level-headed, and her husband, my age, is cool and funny and low-drama - for some weird reason I could imagine myself just bringing it up with him and him making some casual, sympathetic "damn, I'm sorry to hear that dude" comment - and then my wife would have her cousin to talk to. But when I've offered this (twice!), she shot it down real quick and was cagey on exactly why. She eventually said "well, then my cousin would have nobody to confide in except her own [the cousin's own] mother, who can't keep a secret".... which is bullshit because SHE HAS A HUSBAND. Why the hell would she need to tell her mother or anybody else? It's not like she'd be getting traumatized!

I think it's something more unfortunate.... my wife and all her cousins grew up very competitive, having to show each other up. This particular cousin has VERY rich parents and her husband is even richer. So I can't help but think that she doesn't want me telling her because then it would be like, the cousin would know that not only does she have way more money than us but also that her husband is "better" - more normal, less damaged - than I am. My wife has never used those words but I seriously cannot think of any other reason why she's so desperate for an outlet for sharing but forbids the only person with whom I am actually comfortable sharing it with.


Am I an asshole if I never want to tell my best friend - if I want to keep that relationship, like, in a bubble of normalcy? Is it wrong of me to deny my wife a peer who would know, who she could talk to about it - even if she only seems to want ONE specific peer?


Sorry if this was a ramble.... would really appreciate any tips....


Matt
_________________________
My story

"Don't think it hasn't been a little slice of heaven just because it hasn't!" --Bugs Bunny

Top
#429360 - 03/28/13 04:15 AM Re: Wives: what helped you be nicer? [Re: SoccerStar]
Rosemary Offline


Registered: 02/06/13
Posts: 31
Loc: Johannesburg, South Africa
Matt,

Personally I don't think it is fair for your wife to pressure you into telling anyone that you are not comfortable with. The moment will present itself sometime when you can talk to your friend, that will be the right time.

However, it sounds like your friend's support may very well do you the world of good, allowing you to open up with someone who you can connect with. DON'T do it because your wife wants you to. If you speak to him and it does not turn out as you hope it will, and things take a negative turn with your relationship two things can happen - you blame your wife or she blames herself, either way it will have an adverse affect on your marriage.

Please try to encourage your wife to speak to a therapist, she needs to remember that she is experiencing secondary trauma as your spouse. I did see someone for about 2 months after my husband disclosed his abuse to me and it did help me tremendously. Your wife may feel you are trying to fix her by suggesting therapy and therfore you need to broach the subject very carefully, she may feel comfortable going with you on the first visit.

Unfortunately most women need to discuss things of a personal nature with a friend, but as a woman I know that a lot of women cannot hold onto such information. That is why it has never occured to me to discuss my husband's past with a friend. I only recently discussed my husbands trauma when disclosing my own abuse to my sister and gave her my husbands website and blog details. I am pleased to say she has been very supportive to me but she has not seen my husband since reading his story so I am not sure how that will go.

Remember, your wife is hurting and battling to process things, it is not easy seeing your life partner in pain.
_________________________
Rosemary

Partner Support
South African Male Survivors Of Sexual Abuse
Web page www.samsosa.org

Top
#429377 - 03/28/13 10:00 AM Re: Wives: what helped you be nicer? [Re: SoccerStar]
Jacob S Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/01/13
Posts: 550
I've been reading along so I hope its ok if I chime in to.

1. I don't want to open up a can of worms, but Laura Davis has a very, um, mixed reputation. She's a survivor of incest but not a trained expert at anything but teaching writing classes. If the book seems to be helping her, that's great. Just remember that her words are just one person's opinion and not always based on any research. (edit: but I'm sure its better than nothing).

2. When my wife first started finding out about my past, she wanted to be able to talk to her mother about it. I finally gave in and said ok. She quickly found out that her mother, while a very sweet person, didn't have the first clue in how to deal with this. Other people I told early on had even worse reactions and basically ended the friendship because it was too overwhelming.
Its not fair for you to have to risk your friendships for her. I've come to the conclusion that telling anyone, no matter how tight you are with them in other areas, is really rolling the dice. Your friend or her friend might not respond at all and it could do more damage than good.

There is a saying that floats around here: "don't go to the hardware store to buy milk." Which means that just because a friend is good in one area doesn't mean he will have the first clue on how to behave in another. It makes a lot more sense to go looking for support in places where you know there is already some level of understanding -- a website like this, therapists, etc. She has every right to go looking for support for herself. She doesn't have a right to demand it be someone that risks your friendships.

I don't know what to tell you to do, but its _not_ healthy for her to be so hung up on a specific friend that she refuses to go looking for other supports. If I were you, I would ask her to find other supports like groups or therapists and if after 6 months of honest interactions with that she still wants to tell her friend, then you will revisit it then. But that's just my suggestion, and obviously I don't how she'd respond to that.


Edited by Jacob S (03/28/13 10:47 AM)
_________________________
"As long as the child within is not allowed to become aware of what happened to him or her, a part of his or her emotional life will remain frozen . . . all appeals to love, solidarity, and compassion will be useless."
-- Alice Miller

Top
#429690 - 04/01/13 12:07 AM Re: Wives: what helped you be nicer? [Re: SoccerStar]
focusedbody Offline


Registered: 02/03/13
Posts: 271
Loc: NY
Originally Posted By: SoccerStar


1. The book she is reading is "Allies in Healing" by Laura Davis. Has anyone else used this? Was it helpful?



My kid's mom has had some experience of sexual abuse. I found reading this book to give some perspective on how to handle the difficulties of opening up the past. I haven't read all of it, but I liked its focus on making sure that you and your partner are not getting enmeshed by the existence of any kind of similar pain.

Originally Posted By: SoccerStar


Or at least we were until 2012, the "annus horribilis" that nearly killed me altogether. Part of all the bad shit that led to the CSA waking up was that my wife and I had another kid and bought a house and moved.


You might consider more why this happened then, in preparation to talking to anyone. I found that all of my confusing sexual experiences were slowly making their way into my conscious mind during the time leading up to and including the experience of having children. This is one of the most clear indications that having children is also about healing yourself and being a great Dad. If you do choose to tell someone, including your best friend, you might try framing the discussion that way.

FB
_________________________
Lose the drama; life is a poem.

Top
#429783 - 04/02/13 01:27 AM Re: Wives: what helped you be nicer? [Re: SoccerStar]
ThisMan Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/22/13
Posts: 758
Loc: upper south
Matt-

I am not a spouse of a survivor, but I was married to one. (24 yrs- my greatest supporter in life). Your story has touched me, bringing forth private memories the two of us shared concerning her support of my CSA issues... multiple. She HATED the man who had me in my teen years. I shudder to think how she would have reacted if she had known it had started at age 4, I just chose not to tell her the full extent. Wives have a lot to think about and deal with when they discover their husbands were abused as little boys.

I want to paraphrase a statement that touched me deeply because I had already experienced that part of life in my 40s....

... "if you were so ill and no longer could have sex with your husband, then your husband as caretaker would also be doing without sex..."

You are such an honorable man... This is what commitment is, Matt. This is what two people together need from each other....One becomes ill, the other becomes the caregiver. One is lost, the other lights the way back. One hurts, the other is there for the healing. No big questions, no big demands. Only the sweet, reassuring knowledge of love and support. You have a way with words and a profound wisdom I find in almost every posting you leave.

In direct response regarding the sharing of your abuse...

If you have as little as ONE misgiving about sharing YOUR experience with someone, don't. Follow your instincts. Doesn't matter if it is your best friend of 20 yrs or your old, fat neighbor that you detest. Don't share. I have already shared the horror of what happened to me when I ignored my instincts a few years ago. Your wife will be fine. She can journal, continue to read, talk with you, see a therapist, but she can't dictate your sharing of something so very very personal. Not in loud voice, not in repeatedly saying with whom she wishes to confide, not in emotions of sadness when you say no.... she should be saying, "Okay, I understand". Anything less is a manipulation and you don't need that.

You have helped me tonight, and my wife left long ago. Isn't it strange that so much is given when stories are shared. And your wife has made such progress in giving the kind of support you need. She obviously loves you if she is taking the time to educate herself on the lasting issues of CSA. Just don't give away your control of the healing process. My best, guy.
_________________________
For now we see through a glass, darkly.



Top
#430131 - 04/04/13 09:27 PM Re: Wives: what helped you be nicer? [Re: SoccerStar]
SoccerStar Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/15/12
Posts: 915
Loc: New York
I told him. It was my own choice, I wasn't pressured. I didn't know I was going to do it until I did. I think it was the best response yet. I've never been made to feel so.... normal about it. That's a best friend for you.

We met for his last "pre-fatherhood" drink and were just talking about whatever. Then HE brings up that he's glad we could hang out because it was good to see how much happier I am now than I'd been in the fall. I joked about how ending a 14-month sex famine and getting a better job with a raise and no psycho abusive boss will really help your mental state, and we joke around for a while like always. I give him first-time-dad advice, we drink. And then... sorta testing the water I bring up another of our friends, who happened to have been in crisis about a year ago.

"I'm glad that X is feeling better too - remember when he attempted s**c*d*?"
"Yeah, he told me vaguely about that. What happened?"
"I don't know, but he must have been in a lousy place for a while. At least he got help, right?"
"Yeah, of course."
"I mean, we've both had our own dealings with depression too, and nobody should think any less of the three of us for dealing with shit like that, right?"
"Of course not!"

He's a doctor and he has had his own experiences with depression - we reminisced about our own shit like that together - spurred by unemployment, girl problems, stress, or nothing at all, "joking" about the pills we'd taken, and in his case all the pot he'd smoked and in my case how I'd drank my way up 15 pounds in a year. This was all old news, like I said, we share everything.

And as the talk alternated between serious shit and random fun shit (movies, video games, sex, etc) I began to feel actively bad for not telling him. Like I was lying to him. We'd just compared our antidepressant histories. We used to do all-night horror movie fests *starting* at 2:45am. Helped each other with homework when younger. When not so younger we were j/o buddies for like 11 years. He was best man at my wedding. I pep-rallied him when he was out of work for a year. This is a secret from him, really?

I couldn't keep it. It felt wrong. It felt like when I was keeping the reality of it from my parents - that I HAD to tell them or it would get in the way of a normal relationship. He's veritably a brother to me, heck for some years there I saw him more often than I saw my parents or my sister. I couldn't keep it.

So....

"Back on the subject of dealing with bad shit.... you said you'd noticed how miserable I was in the fall?"
"Yeah."
"And we've done stuff together a little closer than most guys do, right?"
"*laughing* You could say that!"
"So I can talk on a different level here. Tell me for real, being honest: do I seem any different to you?"
"Yeah, you seem happier now that you've got the better job."
"But nothing else different, now?"
"No."
"Okay, so... everything in 2012 but especially the fall... Well, all that shit piling up for so long, kind of fed into other shit and made some other bad feelings way more intense. And it forced me to deal with stuff I had never had to completely deal with before, when bad stuff had happened to me as a kid."

"Oh really?" He looked worried and curious

Deep finishing swig. Best friend for 20 years. Here goes...

"Yeah, because when I was a kid I was attacked by a pedophile."

Eyebrows shot up, stricken. He sees me as a brother too. "Oh no, that's horrible! Was it your sister's boyfriend?"

Quick as that, instant association. He still remembers. Everyone will remember that case forever.

"No, he never touched me. This was a playground monitor in my elementary school. I was 8."

"Matt, I'm so sorry you had to go through that. You hadn't remembered all this time?"

"I knew about like 3 seconds of it vaguely and meaninglessly, because I'd blocked out all the sensations, it was that bad. There was no grooming, I wasn't his special secret friend, he attacked me. And it was more than just touching. He was so violent to me I had to block it out."

"I am so sorry you've had to deal with that. Was this after school or during recess or something?"

"It was definitely during school hours. I'd gotten myself into a freak circumstance and he took advantage of it."

"Jesus. How many others were there?"

"No idea."

"What did it feel like to remember it?"

"It felt terrible, it felt as bad as it felt the first time. Like I said it went beyond touching and he was really violent."

"I can't believe someone would do that to you. That is so fucking sick. What happened to the guy? Is there anything you can do to him?"

I summarized my 007 routine where I'd given the school an alias and gotten enough info to net-stalk the perp... and talk to him... and regret doing it. Just like my parents, my friend couldn't help but laugh as I described the superspy cover story stuff. And seeing him laugh made me laugh. Unexpected. I explained how there is nothing I can do, that the law is on his side now.

My friend scowled. "Wait, they're trying to change the law on that. They're trying to cut back the time limits so you have one year to file charges no matter when stuff happened."

"Yeah, but that comes up every year and always loses. If they somehow pass it this year I'd sure file a police report, at least."

"Would you ever call him up and threaten him, say you found him?"

"Shit no! First of all I don't know what his family circle is like, who he's got and if they'd defend him and how. I'm pretty sure he didn't know my last name. I just can't risk it."

"I understand, I understand. Shit. So what are you doing now?"

"Well, I'm in therapy and taking pills. I used to be on sleeping pills... for 2 months after I got the memories back I couldn't close my eyes, you know? I always saw it and didn't feel safe. So I had to have sleeping pills along with the rest of the shit. SO glad I was able to get off those...."

(*long digression about sleeping pills, whoever we knew who had used them, Ambien and "sleep-sex," etc)

"How long do you think that's going to last? The pills?"

"I don't know. I've gotten put back together since last fall but I don't feel the need to mess with the recipe yet."

He asked me if there was anything about myself or my life that I thought this had influenced. And there... I did lie. I don't like to believe my sexuality was influenced by this, but regardless, I didn't want to give the double-whammy of an "oh, BI the way...", especially since I've never even been with a guy so what really is the point of telling? I didn't want to talk about self-hatred of a dehumanized mindless thing, about compulsive lying, about screaming night terrors, or my own "attempts." So I said the only part of me I could really point to as a result was my exaggerated overstartle response. He nodded, and said:

"Listen, I really would never have known, never would have suspected a thing. You asked how I've perceived you and I meant it, I knew you weren't as bad off as you'd been last year and that was all I was worried about."

I reached over and held his shoulder. "You have no idea how much that means to me, I get so paranoid that people can just see it on me, that its obvious. It means so much to hear that it's really not..."

And I got a little emotional. He sort of nodded, patted my hand on his shoulder reassuringly. If we'd been standing we would have hugged, we do that a lot, no biggie - but a sitting down hug violates the bro code and Einsteinian physics. We settled up the check and left.

Walking to the train we mostly talked about new baby stuff, last minute warnings and teasing. But as we walked he also said:

"Listen, it means a lot to me that you trusted me with this, that you knew you could share it with me. It means a whole lot."

"Well, I knew I could. Thanks for taking it so well, that really meant a whole lot to me too."

I told him my wife also knew and that I told my parents - he was astounded to hear that and asked how they'd responded. I told the truth: that mom was much more upset and still is and that dad has become my "masculinity cheerleader" (and I used those words) whenever I get really down about it. He said he could see my parents reacting exactly that way.

We finished out with more baby advice and random smalltalk, then he thanked me again for trusting him so much. THEN we hugged goodbye, and that was that. I actually never mentioned his wife at all and am not sure whether he'll tell her.

It felt amazing to tell him, I've felt good all day. We've always been there for each other and I really did know I could trust him - and he didn't let me down.


Matt





_________________________
My story

"Don't think it hasn't been a little slice of heaven just because it hasn't!" --Bugs Bunny

Top
#430164 - 04/05/13 02:47 AM Re: Wives: what helped you be nicer? [Re: SoccerStar]
crazy gecko Offline


Registered: 10/04/12
Posts: 309
Friends like that are more precious than anything money could ever buy... Well done for telling him, and I am happy for you that you have someone like that in your life!
_________________________
I guess what I'm trying to say
Is whose life is it anyway because livin'
Living is the best revenge
You can play
-- Def Leppard

My Story, Part 2

My blog

Top
#430169 - 04/05/13 04:26 AM Re: Wives: what helped you be nicer? [Re: SoccerStar]
Rosemary Offline


Registered: 02/06/13
Posts: 31
Loc: Johannesburg, South Africa
You are healing in leaps and bounds, well done for grasping the moment as it presented itself.
_________________________
Rosemary

Partner Support
South African Male Survivors Of Sexual Abuse
Web page www.samsosa.org

Top
#430450 - 04/07/13 11:11 PM Re: Wives: what helped you be nicer? [Re: SoccerStar]
focusedbody Offline


Registered: 02/03/13
Posts: 271
Loc: NY
Matt:

Thanks for sharing your journey. Hope itself is a process and it's good to know that people can be there for each other, even when it seems like a done deal not in our favor.

Focused
_________________________
Lose the drama; life is a poem.

Top
#430801 - 04/10/13 09:42 PM Re: Wives: what helped you be nicer? [Re: SoccerStar]
sugarbaby Offline


Registered: 08/17/08
Posts: 306
I am glad for you both! smile It is good to have a friendship like that!

Top
#435651 - 05/24/13 09:29 AM Emotional (not actual) divorce under way [Re: SoccerStar]
SoccerStar Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/15/12
Posts: 915
Loc: New York
Well, so much for allies in healing.

The last 6 weeks or so have been a living hell. Here's the basic narrative I get from my wife:

Everything is my fault. Whenever anything cannot be found, i lost it - or stole it. I am "defensive" if I ever deny that. I can't do anything right. I'm like a baby, except when I'm like a teenager. I can't be trusted to make new friends - women or men - because I'm so vulnerable and "have confused sex for affection" (sic). I can't be trusted to go to a support group because all abuse victims turn out to be crazy pedophiles and they will take my fingerprints off the desk and take pictures if my car license plate and find where I live to kill our children. And by the way, all abuse victims turn out to be crazy pedophiles. I have to stop going to therapy because its annoying and keeps me from moving on.

I singlehandedly introduced lies and secrets into our marriage by not telling her about the abuse and pills, even though it was at a stage where I was less than a month into recall, when I couldn't process it or say it out loud, when I FAINTED ONTO THE FLOOR of my psychiatrist's office, and when I knew it was less than 10 days before our anniversary - and then Sandy destroyed our house and I didn't want to burden her with one more problem. All of the above was totally selfish of me. I am completely self-centered in my recovery and don't take her own trauma about the CSA seriously (even though everything she's asked for - telling her parents before mine, telling her best girlfriend - has happened).

We have sex about every 10 days if I'm lucky. She will usually ask for it, then begin her comedy routine - baby voiced, smiling - about how repulsive I am, how nobody else wants sex as much as I do and there's something wrong with me, how she wants to sleep through it, how I should go away and find another wife and respect her right to be asexual. She will not kiss me or look at me during. She will not MOVE. I have to move her into position, which inevitably leads to hurting an ankle or a knee, which I could only have possibly done on purpose. She demands oral every time. She hasn't given me that in 3 months. She denies it has been 3 months and says I should never ask for it again, that when it "feels natural" she'll surprise me with it. That it feels unnatural to me to go without while I am giving is meaningless. She demands footrubs nightly. I have asked for a backrub for the last 4 weeks and get turned down every time with as much sneering revulsion as if it were a blowjob - she's "not in the mood" even to TOUCH me. If any of the above hurts my feelings, then I am a baby and my lack of self-confidence is a huge turn-off.

She stores up things to complain and criticize about DURING SEX and if I protest this or try to disengage its just a sign of how the CSA messed me up and left me a baby forever, because no other man on Earth would be hurt by such treatment.

If I compliment her looks, it means I thought she used to look bad. I'm always "looking at her funny" - even when I'm NOT LOOKING AT HER AT ALL - and if I say I'm not looking at her, "oh so you think I'm ugly!"

If I say "whatever you say, okay, it's my fault, Im sorry, please just stop," she doesn't stop. If I ask her to apologize for making me cry, she doesn't (or she does it with an exasperated sigh and eyeroll).

I shut off one bedroom light last night. "MATT YOU'RE DRIVING ME CRAZY I HATE WHEN YOU DO THAT TURN THE FUCKING LIGHT BACK ON!" When I conplained about that I was being a defensive child because she'd immediately beforehand turned the light on and then I instantly shut it off (when actually it had been in for HOURS) and she had actually politely asked me to please turn it back on and my recollection of events from just 45 seconds earlier was a lie. But we shouldn't "fight", so I should stop complaining so much. Oh, and my protests mean I "see her as the enemy," which hurts her feelings.


A long long long long long time after her abusive tantrums and successfully breaking me down, she'll say "you know I've been under so much stress, I'm hormonal, I'm cutting down on the breastfeeding, I'm worried about money." Maybe maybe she might even say sorry.

But she never stops herself. Never avoids the situation. Never filters or defuses herself.

I am the primary caregiver for both children. I do all the cleaning, I send out all the bills on time, I don't do drugs and have never cheated or acted out. When it looked for all the world like she was about yo have her 2nd miscarriage in 4 months I held her and rocked her and cried with her and told her it wasnt her fault and I'd stay with her forever without kids if it didnt work. Well it did eventually work. Both kids love me more. Our 4yo son says this routinely. I punish him for this, I give him time-out and stern talks and yell, but he says if you should tell the truth that's the truth. He loves me more because my wife was deathly ill for over a year from her pregnancy, when he was 2.5-3.5, and I was his SOLE caregiver then, and she missed out on the most important personality-building stages. This is terribly unfair but it's NOT MY FAULT.

I've explained the manner in much more detail to my psychiatrist, my T, and the rabbi who officiated at our wedding (and who knew my wife 20 years before I did and is a very close friend of the family - and btw is a woman). The psychiatrist and the rabbi feel divorce is inevitable. The T is practicing stern confrontation tactics with me just like we practiced disclosing the CSA to my parents. But she also warns that I can't confront her until after the breastpumping-weaning-cessation hormones have totally vanished, which could take weeks.

I don't really want to look at my wife anymore. I don't want to have sex with her, even though I DO, because I don't trust her around me when I am vulnerable and intimately "open". Have started to believe she truly likes hurting me. Half expecting her to start hitting me. She is very successfully pushing me out of love. For Fathers Day I had initially planned to ask for wild sex fantasy fulfillment. More recently I was thinking of asking for marriage counseling. As of last night I couldn't even think of asking her for anything anymore or plausibly see myself as important enough in her eyes to get it.

Last night I "attempted" again. Attempted you-know-what. Didn't break the skin. Like the other 4 times (with thst method; there was a 5th with another) I was in a dream-like state and just found myself set up, in position, and ready to go. I hadn't had A THOUGHT of "attempting" since I'd started treatment. It was an alien, different, unthinking version of "me." Well obviously now he's back and one of my clearest indications of progress and stability is ruined. I can't concentrate at work at all and am constantly miserable.

Our anniversary was in November. It was one of the happiest nights of my life. We were perfect for each other, perfect even with our flaws. THE VERY NEXT NIGHT was when she found my pills and all this emasculating cruelty took roost in her heart. Talk about a sign that things were over.

She's had periodic upswings, I've mentioned them here before, but there's always a down. And I can't deal with the down anymore, not a down this deep. I still do everything for her and the kids that I ever did. She is the one who has changed. I no longer care about her hormones or breastfeeding or job or other excuses. There is no excuse for abuse.

The last 2 weeks I have had devastating bouts of crying - both in and out of T's office - at the realization that of the two people I most often envision having intimate contact with me - my wife and my rapist - only the latter seemed attracted to me, saw me as sexy and desirable. And that desire nearly killed me at the time and nearly drove me to s**c*d*e later. None of the two people I think of most from an intimate contact perspective give a shit about my feelings, my dignity, my happiness, or my fair treatment. But only one of them saw something desirable in me. I have never cried more wildly, more uncontrolled to the point of vomiting, over anything as much as that realization. That I cannot be desired and cared for and valued.

That even if we stay together, in my heart we are divorced. It wouldn't surprise me if she were deliberately trying to provoke me to taking that step - to being the one who had to say it - so that she gets to be the "goodguy" of the story to her friends.

All I ever wanted in my life was her, she was the only woman to ever love me back, we had 4 years of heaven together. And I could stay with her and be happy with her forever if just she'd treat me like she used to. But she never will. I can't see her ever doing it. I can feel part of myself starting to emotionally divorce her, almost can't stop it, you CAN reach a point of no return. With feelings this bad, sometimes you can't come back.

He ruined me. He ruined us. He ruined everything. And WE ARE, ALL OF US, STILL PAYING HIS SOCIAL SECURITY AND MEDICARE BENEFITS.


Matt

_________________________
My story

"Don't think it hasn't been a little slice of heaven just because it hasn't!" --Bugs Bunny

Top
#435655 - 05/24/13 11:00 AM Re: Emotional (not actual) divorce under way [Re: SoccerStar]
peroperic2009 Offline
Moderator
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/09/11
Posts: 3566
Loc: South-East Europe
Hi Matt,
I'm so sorry that you are felling so hurt frown
I really would like that there are no such situations but unfortunately we can't live completely isolated and alone.

Originally Posted By: SoccerStar
Everything is my fault. Whenever anything cannot be found, i lost it - or stole it. I am "defensive" if I ever deny that. I can't do anything right. I'm like a baby, except when I'm like a teenager. I can't be trusted to make new friends - women or men - because I'm so vulnerable and "have confused sex for affection" (sic). I can't be trusted to go to a support group because all abuse victims turn out to be crazy pedophiles and they will take my fingerprints off the desk and take pictures if my car license plate and find where I live to kill our children. And by the way, all abuse victims turn out to be crazy pedophiles. I have to stop going to therapy because its annoying and keeps me from moving on.

Unfortunately with healing and therapy some our issues seem much bigger and like seen trough microscope, I don't know why is so but that is how it is. You wrote it here very straight forward and it is visible that anxiety, fragility, fears and all other regular negative emotions that we survivors have as scars of abuse left are present. Even it seems so terrible at the moment be sure that those emotions would settle after some time. At least that is how it is with me. When process starts it is really hellish and nothing can help much to feel better but with some times suddenly I'm much stronger and not so vulnerable.

Originally Posted By: SoccerStar
I singlehandedly introduced lies and secrets into our marriage by not telling her about the abuse and pills, even though it was at a stage where I was less than a month into recall, when I couldn't process it or say it out loud, when I FAINTED ONTO THE FLOOR of my psychiatrist's office, and when I knew it was less than 10 days before our anniversary - and then Sandy destroyed our house and I didn't want to burden her with one more problem. All of the above was totally selfish of me. I am completely self-centered in my recovery and don't take her own trauma about the CSA seriously (even though everything she's asked for - telling her parents before mine, telling her best girlfriend - has happened).


Many times we don't have capacity to bear much more beside own issues. Please don't be so hard on yourself saying that you were self centered about your recovery (to be honest I don't think that could be different), rather give to self hug and be proud how much you endured on your own.
Unfortunately as many survivors are living with their spouses/families own issues impacts group dynamics. And it is very complex situation when we can't get support but rather fights for being in focus and attention. It is no wonder that many couples have mutual issues connected to codependency. Many times spouses/partners of survivors need to find themselves trough this process and to learn to be on their own. It is no wonder that many of them also need therapy. I think that you should consider talking with your wife about it...

Originally Posted By: SoccerStar
She stores up things to complain and criticize about DURING SEX and if I protest this or try to disengage its just a sign of how the CSA messed me up and left me a baby forever, because no other man on Earth would be hurt by such treatment...

...A long long long long long time after her abusive tantrums and successfully breaking me down, she'll say "you know I've been under so much stress, I'm hormonal, I'm cutting down on the breastfeeding, I'm worried about money." Maybe maybe she might even say sorry.
But she never stops herself. Never avoids the situation. Never filters or defuses herself.

I don't know what to say on all this. I couldn't handle such direct involvement into such vulnerable moment and matter. I would feel that my trust is heavily shaken at least.
Such toxic remarks can't been justified under any condition and I see it as clear evidence of her problems frown
You know denial is also very efficient defensive mechanism that keeps us closed and not dealing with own issues.

Originally Posted By: SoccerStar

I am the primary caregiver for both children. I do all the cleaning, I send out all the bills on time, I don't do drugs and have never cheated or acted out. When it looked for all the world like she was about yo have her 2nd miscarriage in 4 months I held her and rocked her and cried with her and told her it wasnt her fault and I'd stay with her forever without kids if it didnt work. Well it did eventually work. Both kids love me more. Our 4yo son says this routinely. I punish him for this, I give him time-out and stern talks and yell, but he says if you should tell the truth that's the truth. He loves me more because my wife was deathly ill for over a year from her pregnancy, when he was 2.5-3.5, and I was his SOLE caregiver then, and she missed out on the most important personality-building stages. This is terribly unfair but it's NOT MY FAULT.

I must say this is the most hurtful part of your story in my eyes. Please never punish your kids because they are felt like they are. It is something natural as breathing the air. Kids are telling only the true and they are not guilty for such complex situation. And neither you are. It is unimaginable for me to see wife/mother who has own issues on plate in front of her above children needs. I mean the thing that your kids at the moment need the most is love, nothing more. And if your wife can't sense and fulfill her the most important role there can't be more apparent evidence than you all need some help.
You have to think on counseling not just for you and your wife but because of your kids frown

Originally Posted By: SoccerStar
I don't really want to look at my wife anymore. I don't want to have sex with her, even though I DO, because I don't trust her around me when I am vulnerable and intimately "open". Have started to believe she truly likes hurting me. Half expecting her to start hitting me. She is very successfully pushing me out of love. For Fathers Day I had initially planned to ask for wild sex fantasy fulfillment. More recently I was thinking of asking for marriage counseling. As of last night I couldn't even think of asking her for anything anymore or plausibly see myself as important enough in her eyes to get it.


It is natural that you are feeling so vulnerable and like loosing your trust. It is good that you are thinking on marriage counseling. Please think more how to be more demanding about it and how to make clear limit toward such issue. Such thing shouldn't be negotiable as life goes on meaning more problems in future, so there is no time to loose.
Maybe you could talk with your T about it and even set up some strategy?

It is no wonder that all pairs have problems in marriages, we are so complex and fragile beings.
The most important question is how do open our eyes and to start to behave constructively in looking for solutions. No one is perfect and it is not shame to admit that some help is needed...
_________________________
My story

Top
#435681 - 05/24/13 07:26 PM Re: Emotional (not actual) divorce under way [Re: SoccerStar]
txb Offline


Registered: 02/03/13
Posts: 159
I'm really sorry. This hurts just to read it, I can't imagine how it feels to live it. You are a totally awesome person and you don't deserve any of this.

You might want to punch me for saying this, but I don't think you can blame him for this. It just seems like if it wasn't the whole disclosure thing it would have been something else. If it was the other way round and you found out she'd been abused you wouldn't treat her like this. You wouldn't even treat someone you hated like this. It seems like it's just a convenient excuse for her and she's using it to push you till you can't take any more and you leave. Even if your wife is going through some crazy period of depression it's still wrong for her to be doing what she's doing to you. It's still abusive, even if it's caused by a hormone problem.

You are doing really great with the abuse stuff, you are doing everything right. I think everyone here really admires you for the way you are dealing with it. Please don't think it's all ruined just because of one slip up. I don't think it's a thing that goes perfectly from A to B. It seems like there are tons of bumps and setbacks along the road.

I know this probably doesn't really mean much, since it's just the internet, but we care about you and value you. I wish I could say something great to help you out like you've helped me, but I don't know what to say. Just that I'm sorry.

Top
#435708 - 05/24/13 11:14 PM Re: Emotional (not actual) divorce under way [Re: SoccerStar]
focusedbody Offline


Registered: 02/03/13
Posts: 271
Loc: NY
Matt:

You have a lot going on. You, and your wife.

Sometimes when we are in the middle of those things that are causing us so much trouble, finding the cause of all the pain seems paramount. The problem with that is that the pain must be dealt with first. There has to be caring before looking at hard truths. And the real causes of things don't reveal themselves to us until we are strong enough to bear them and have enough support. Even though you and your wife had that at one time, you are having a hard time giving that to each other now.

Please take care of yourself.

It's also okay to ask those you love to take care of themselves.

Hoping the best for you and your family.

Focused
_________________________
Lose the drama; life is a poem.

Top
#436084 - 05/28/13 02:16 PM Re: Emotional (not actual) divorce under way [Re: SoccerStar]
Mulligan Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 06/15/10
Posts: 94
Loc: USA
A principal that I have found throughout my recovery:

Generally people with issues do not marry people who don't have issues. Generally the issues (whether known or not) are what makes up the chemistry of attraction. So when one person starts working on and recognizing their issues (like recovery) it tends to highlight the other persons issues. Behavior that was once acceptable to the boundryless is now not acceptable. It greatly throws the relationship out of balance. This seams like a tremendous chaos and is a very very painful process. Be careful not to become so fatalistic. Whoever you are you have value and your life can exist on a satisfying level outside of where you are now. Never give up the fight.
_________________________
Because I never give up the fight!

Top
Page 1 of 7 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 >


Moderator:  ModTeam, peroperic2009 

I agree that my access and use of the MaleSurvivor discussion forums and chat room is subject to the terms of this Agreement. AND the sole discretion of MaleSurvivor.
I agree that my use of MaleSurvivor resources are AT-WILL, and that my posting privileges may be terminated at any time, and for any reason by MaleSurvivor.