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#447579 - 09/18/13 08:21 PM Not having friends.....input from all please
lucylives Offline


Registered: 04/07/11
Posts: 364
Has anyone else experienced this? My husband has no friends. He is in a recovery group, has a sponsor, knows othr people from treatment and still has no friends.

Part of recovery is reaching out and not isolating. I think that is the key to healing the shame of addiction, abuse whatever. When you know so many men that are in the same position as you, why not call for help? Why not have conversations? Why so uncomfortable?

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#447580 - 09/18/13 08:46 PM Re: Not having friends.....input from all please [Re: lucylives]
victor-victim Offline


Registered: 09/27/03
Posts: 3424
Loc: O Kanada
my wife is my only friend.

all my close friends are dead.
all my current companions are co-workers and career colleagues.
trying to make new friends at 52... not impossible, but difficult. trying to have deep and meaningful relationships is never easy.

to be honest, i am too busy to be lonely.
maybe after my kids leave home.
my house is crowded and chaotic so being alone is a luxury i savour.
_________________________
Victor|Victim

War
Love
Poetry

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#447581 - 09/18/13 08:51 PM Re: Not having friends.....input from all please [Re: lucylives]
genedebs Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/09/12
Posts: 287
Loc: MO
Dear Lucy lives

The reason I chose booze as my solution (for only 27 years so it was no big -ha,ha)included fear and a lack of trust. Would you talk to someone who would use whatever you say to attack you?

Wouldn't that be like arming your enemies. And if you had a brother like me ( don't pretend as an adult that you know it all, I remember when you used to scratch your ass through your diapers)

Or a mother like mine (remember when you said I should get away from father and take the two other boys with you. I stayed in the abusive marraige for 50 years to protect you. Don;t you ever forget that.

She never did accept that I was 9 she was 39, she was the adult.

So which friends do you have who are going behave like that.

Trust is essential to friendship. And we don't trust easily.

LOL

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#447584 - 09/18/13 09:32 PM Re: Not having friends.....input from all please [Re: lucylives]
lucylives Offline


Registered: 04/07/11
Posts: 364
I understand making new friends when we are older is difficult but when you are in recovery, you all have a commonality. A shared hell, so to speak. You really can't help but make these deep bonds with people. I don't understand why he doesn't or can't. How can u not trust people who are in the exact same shoes as you, who share your pain?

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#447585 - 09/18/13 09:33 PM Re: Not having friends.....input from all please [Re: lucylives]
lucylives Offline


Registered: 04/07/11
Posts: 364
Gene, so the drinking thing masks fear and lack of trust?

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#447601 - 09/19/13 06:36 AM Re: Not having friends.....input from all please [Re: lucylives]
HopeDiesLast Offline


Registered: 01/15/13
Posts: 62
My husband doesn't have close friends, either. He has a few friends that go back decades and who live far away. He talks to them when they call, but even with those he doesn't talk personal issues. I asked him why before and his answer was he doesn't need friends. I don't get it really, because I have a close network of friends who bring me joy in good times and are my safety net in bad times. But I can't change him, either.

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#447609 - 09/19/13 08:29 AM Re: Not having friends.....input from all please [Re: lucylives]
newground Offline
Chatroom Moderator
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 10/11/11
Posts: 786
Loc: michigan
this really is a trust issue.
friends are a liability at least that has been my thinking. they know "things" about you and it is one more person to watch. that I think has been the issue for me, I did drink for a time and been quit now for many years but I don't think that was to hide in my case I found just the opposite it was very liberating. but even from my elementary school days I am able to have one real friend... at least it is a semblance of friendship he makes a LOT of concessions for me even still. as much as I long for intimate relationships they scare the hell out of me. there is always the fear that I will say something, do something to screw it up. it is an expectation really I have a hard time doubting that it WILL happen. so I guess there is some sabotage rather then anticipating the inevitable I just keep the distance. Alone feels natural for me, and when someone often even my wife,tries to break into that isolation I have to wonder what they really want...seems it couldn't possibly be me
_________________________
Either I will find a way, or I will make one.
Philip Sidney

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#447612 - 09/19/13 08:35 AM Re: Not having friends.....input from all please [Re: lucylives]
newground Offline
Chatroom Moderator
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 10/11/11
Posts: 786
Loc: michigan
this really is a trust issue.
friends are a liability at least that has been my thinking. they know "things" about you and it is one more person to watch. that I think has been the issue for me, I did drink for a time and been quit now for many years but I don't think that was to hide in my case I found just the opposite it was very liberating. but even from my elementary school days I am able to have one real friend... at least it is a semblance of friendship he makes a LOT of concessions for me even still. as much as I long for intimate relationships they scare the hell out of me. there is always the fear that I will say something, do something to screw it up. it is an expectation really I have a hard time doubting that it WILL happen. so I guess there is some sabotage rather then anticipating the inevitable I just keep the distance. Alone feels natural for me, and when someone often even my wife,tries to break into that isolation I have to wonder what they really want...seems it couldn't possibly be me
_________________________
Either I will find a way, or I will make one.
Philip Sidney

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#447616 - 09/19/13 09:58 AM Re: Not having friends.....input from all please [Re: lucylives]
pittsburgh Offline


Registered: 05/26/11
Posts: 89
Loc: west Chester, Pa
I agree with newground It is a trust issue. When I trusted one person I was beaten, raped and left bloody. So as still a child I learned not to let anyone close to me, this has carried over to adulthood. My first marriage I had not learned to trust. I am sure that was a big issue with myself and the marriage. Now I have married a women who is also a survivor, between being older and more experienced I have been able to be honest and more open with her, this has lead to a great relationship. I believe that it is very hard for a survivor to learn to trust and truly be open. At least it has been for myself.
_________________________
it is and has been quite a trip thru life, as last I feel that I am in a better place, it takes work and in my case a wife the was and is forgiveing and helpful. At last a relationship has gone right, messed up three.

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#447618 - 09/19/13 10:22 AM Re: Not having friends.....input from all please [Re: lucylives]
CruxFidelis Offline


Registered: 06/16/10
Posts: 486
Loc: NJ
Originally Posted By: lucylives
I understand making new friends when we are older is difficult but when you are in recovery, you all have a commonality. A shared hell, so to speak. You really can't help but make these deep bonds with people. I don't understand why he doesn't or can't. How can u not trust people who are in the exact same shoes as you, who share your pain?


I've never participated in a recovery group in the real world, only online. I've tried to find real world recovery groups in the past but finding them for male ASA is tricky and the only ones I know exist are in the UK (and that's an 8 hour flight)

But from the people I know who have been in real-life group therapy, the therapists who lead them often recommend that participants do not socialize with each other outside the therapy group. This might be to protect the confidentiality of what is said in therapy, and it might be because some people who need group therapy have difficulties having boundaries with people. So the fact that they are all survivors and in the same therapy group does not guarantee that they are built-in friends automatically.

I was in an outpatient program for people with disabilities not long ago, and when they served lunch, the people who were on feeding tubes were all put at one table together, while everyone who was able to eat could sit wherever they wanted. I am not sure if it had to do with a nurse being assigned to the table but I was on continuous feeding anyway and so the nurse didn't even touch my system the entire time. It bothered me that they assumed we'd all want to sit together simply because we have the shared reality of not being able to eat.

Some things to remember:

- some people are just introverted. Everyone's need for socialization is different. My wife and I have been together for 16 years and I have only been a survivor for 4 of those years. Even before the rape I had more of a tendency to keep to myself than she did. Extraverts receive a lot fulfillment from social contact and usually feel energized. I'm an introvert, and I have always felt more fulfilled by reading books and playing my piano, and I find socializing, especially in a group, to be draining. It doesn't mean I don't desire companionship and a sense of belonging. I used to love going to the pub after work with friends and family gatherings but I never craved it the same way as an extravert would.

- There are always exceptions to this, but in general, women are more inclined toward socialization activities that are centered around talking about their feelings. When men get together, socialization tends to involve doing a shared activity, whether that's playing video games, fishing, sports, building a computer, whatever. Before the rape when I had more of a social life, if I invited a friend over to talk, usually the talking was about a shared intellectual interest or hobby, and less about our personal struggles. It's not to say my friends and I didn't care about each other. The true friends I have always ask about my family, my health and how life is going, and I genuinely care about their lives as well, but it's not the central focus of our time together--we have something to DO. The fulfillment I get from socialization, as an introvert and as a man, comes from the fact that it makes me feel connected with something bigger than just myself.

After the rape, I have told two male friends about it, and my younger brother. Each man responded with support and compassion, but it is not something I talk about with them all the time. It's not easy to just bring it up in conversation "so... I've been having these terrifying body memories..." Sometimes my friend will ask how therapy is going, because he knew I was in therapy for awhile. They care but they don't always know what to say. Honestly, it's enough for me that they don't think any less of me and they still want to be my friend. I always worried people would cut me off because of what happened to me.

So the fact that the man in your life has met some other survivors in the 3D hard copy world doesn't guarantee that they share any other interest or hobby or that talking about these deep, painful things will be something he would want to do outside group therapy.
_________________________
“If a man wishes to be sure of the road he treads on, he must close his eyes and walk in the dark.”

- Saint John of the Cross

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