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

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


Registered: 02/24/12
Posts: 46
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!

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


Registered: 07/30/12
Posts: 261
Loc: us
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.
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Everything comes from within

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#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.

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#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: 694
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....

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

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#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.

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


Registered: 08/17/08
Posts: 340
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.

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#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

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#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

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