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#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]

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#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

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#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.

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#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: 416
posted in the wrong place


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

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


Registered: 08/17/08
Posts: 342
Give her some time. She just doesn't understand. Neither did I....... And I turned out alright! smile

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#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

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


Registered: 02/03/13
Posts: 355
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.

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#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: 916
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

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#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)

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


Registered: 08/17/08
Posts: 342
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.

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