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#448023 - 09/23/13 07:19 PM I just found out, i feel lost, confsd, angry......
overwhelmed1975 Offline


Registered: 09/23/13
Posts: 25
I found this forum trying to find resources for myself and my H. I have no one else to share this with. I found out about the CSA about three months ago in therapy. He cheated on me and in my constant grilling of why he cheated,he blurted it out. He said he felt as if a weight had been lifted off his shoulders. He also said he is happy that he got "caught", which I cannot understand. He cannot really identify why he cheated. He says it had nothing to do with me and says it had nothing to do with sex either. He said the opportunity presented itself, so he took it.

At the same time, I still cannot understand why he cheated on me. I understand he has trust issues and he has explained how he has never really felt true love and intimacy in relationships. I now understand that the drinking, anger, anxiety and rejection were coping mechanisms. He says he always felt our relationship was doomed to fail.
My logic is, if you have been abused and have serious trust issues, wouldn't he cherish our relationship? If I have been the closest person he has ever allowed to be part of his life, why would he purposely sabotage that? I am looking for insight from other spouses or victims themselves. Is this a symptom? Is this common? I don't know how to handle trying to support him in his journey and letting go of my anger.



Edited by overwhelmed1975 (12/19/13 06:30 PM)

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#448030 - 09/23/13 08:53 PM Re: I just found out, i feel lost, confsd, angry...... [Re: overwhelmed1975]
On The Fringe Offline


Registered: 09/21/13
Posts: 326
Loc: Southeast USA
I could never get enough affirmation. I had holes in my soul, and love, confidence, self esteem were constantly leaking out. I could never get enough.

No justification for my actions. But I think I hated me worse than the things I did. So I did them. There is no way a sane person would understand.

I wish you well in being a part of the solution. Very admirable. Read as much as you can.

Bless you for trying.
_________________________
I feel more like I do now than I did when I got here.

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#448036 - 09/23/13 10:02 PM Re: I just found out, i feel lost, confsd, angry...... [Re: overwhelmed1975]
focusedbody Offline


Registered: 02/03/13
Posts: 345
Loc: NY
Overwhelmed:

All of your feelings are understandable. Although you are going through a very difficult and painful time, it sounds like this could be an opportunity for your relationship to have an emotional dimension that it always lacked.

Trust issues are more than come and go kind of relationship bumps or anxieties ameliorated by greater companionship. For someone like him, they are central to every interaction with every human being. If he hasn't been able to talk about his childhood experience, it means that it has become a part of his growth process, hampering all of his attachments to people, no matter who they are, or yes, how he feels about them.

Although I'm no expert on cheating, the fact that he says it had nothing to do with sex might be an opportunity for you to find out more of what it was about. He may be struggling with that himself, as it may have to do with some very old, nagging issues for him. It might take some time to sort it through but with support, he may be able to do that.

Hope you will find helpful perspectives here, and do some exploring so that you can feel more confident in how to proceed.

FB
_________________________
Lose the drama; life is a poem.

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#448126 - 09/24/13 08:33 PM Re: I just found out, i feel lost, confsd, angry...... [Re: overwhelmed1975]
Esposa Offline
F&F Greeter
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/19/11
Posts: 704
Loc: NJ
Hi Overwhelmed. We are here - the wives who have asked EXACTLY the same questions.

My husband said the same things and I, like you, could not understand. I remember a therapist telling me once, early on, that the fact that I couldn't understand might be a good thing about me.

Self destruction comes in many forms. And self-hate and self-doubt are acted out in all the ways you list above.

Your first task (and it's a really hard one) is to separate yourself from his actions. While it may seem impossible now, the fact is that you will do the most healing by seeing his actions as actions against HIMSELF rather than against you. Whether his affair was numbing out, acting out, a facet of an untreated addiction, self destruction - those are things you will find out in therapy. But I can tell you with 100% certainty that your husband has hurt himself far more than he has hurt you. And if there is a chance in the future for you to see this, you will find some comfort in it.

I agree with focusedbody in that his process of self-discovery may provide clarity on many things. But you wondering what you did to deserve this is not a great use of your time and it will ultimately damage your self esteem. YOU didn't do anything to deserve this.

This is a long process. I remember feeling like WHY is the cheating secondary to his abuse? But the fact of the matter is that abused children adopt alternate coping mechanisms in childhood that they then apply to adult situations, and often with very painful outcomes for their partners (as you are suffering now).

Please feel free to private message me if you want. I have walked a very long journey in shoes quite similar to your own.

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#448146 - 09/24/13 11:30 PM Re: I just found out, i feel lost, confsd, angry...... [Re: overwhelmed1975]
overwhelmed1975 Offline


Registered: 09/23/13
Posts: 25
I sincerely appreciate everyone's insight. I am trying to read as much possible to come to some sort of understanding, especially since I really want it to work out between us. I am hopeful that we could get through this. Thanks everyone.

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#448618 - 09/28/13 06:22 PM Re: I just found out, i feel lost, confsd, angry...... [Re: overwhelmed1975]
HD001 Offline


Registered: 07/30/12
Posts: 262
Loc: us
Self sabotage is really common with survivors. I was a pro at it for most of my life. If anything good came my way I ruined it and told myself it would have never worked out anyway. The truth was for a long time I didn't believe I deserved anything good in my life.
I have learned that the way we treat others has almost nothing to do with them and everything to do with how we feel about ourselves.
Now that I watch H self sabotage like I did and lash out at me I try to remember back when I did the same to the people that I love. I really hurt them but the pain I felt inside was so intense I felt I couldn't stop. I would seek out other destructive people who would help reinforce that my bahavior was okay. I would push away from everyone positive ashamed of myself and believing that they couldn't really love me if they knew how awful I was. I said horrible things to them and was violent at times. Whatever it took to push away.
I see H do these same things. He isn't violent towards me don't worry. I watch him hurt and realize that the whole time I was lashing out I WAS REALLY LASHING OUT AT MY PAIN my hurt my fear my abuse.
Read read read. And take care of yourself. Even though us survivors are really a bunch of hurt kids who are terrified we are really good at acting like we are monsters.
Love is the most powerful medicine even though it can take time to work its magic. Love is the reason I am here today there where people who just wouldn't stop loving me no matter how hard I tried to push away. They never stopped believing. The more you can love yourself the more love you will be able to share with H. Forgivness is so powerful it has the potential to help heal all that it touches. I think your H is telling you the truth about why he cheated. It hard to heal from something like that but it is possible. Take care of yourself.
_________________________
Everything comes from within

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#448626 - 09/28/13 07:47 PM Re: I just found out, i feel lost, confsd, angry...... [Re: overwhelmed1975]
overwhelmed1975 Offline


Registered: 09/23/13
Posts: 25
HD001, he something similar to you posted. He said he always felt our relationship was doomed to fail. That part makes me sad,but I try to keep focusing on the positive and the future. I want to look forward and try to put the cheating and emotional abuse behind us. It's hard sometimes. But I think it is a huge accomplishment that he opened up about his inner torment. Thanks for your insight.

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#448632 - 09/28/13 08:44 PM Re: I just found out, i feel lost, confsd, angry...... [Re: overwhelmed1975]
lucylives Offline


Registered: 04/07/11
Posts: 364
On the fringe, wow! That explains as well as I hav ever heard! Thank you!

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#448698 - 09/29/13 03:51 PM Re: I just found out, i feel lost, confsd, angry...... [Re: overwhelmed1975]
L84 Offline


Registered: 11/17/12
Posts: 22
Loc: USA
Lucy & Esposa,

Thank you both for the reminders of how important boundaries are. I am glad my wife has good ones. ...although I did really need/do need the compassio nate and merciful expressions to me as well. Somtimes our need is so great that need has been supplied from other healthy sources as well. The boundaries are guardrails that keep us from driving off the cliff as we navigate the treacherous mountain passes towards our healing... kind of like Sam's faithfulness to Frodo on his journer in Lord of the rings. Thank you for your wisdom, compassion and good examples. They have come at such a high price. Hope you both know (and other partners of survivors) that sharing your precious jewels are helping us. May you reap many bountiful harvests in your lives form planting in our lives

Thank you

L84


Edited by L84 (09/29/13 03:54 PM)

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#448699 - 09/29/13 04:01 PM Re: I just found out, i feel lost, confsd, angry...... [Re: L84]
victor-victim Offline


Registered: 09/27/03
Posts: 3351
Loc: O Kanada
Originally Posted By: On The Fringe
I could never get enough affirmation. I had holes in my soul, and love, confidence, self esteem were constantly leaking out. I could never get enough.

No justification for my actions. But I think I hated me worse than the things I did. So I did them. There is no way a sane person would understand.

I wish you well in being a part of the solution. Very admirable. Read as much as you can.

Bless you for trying.


Originally Posted By: L84
Lucy & Esposa,

Thank you both for the reminders of how important boundaries are. I am glad my wife has good ones. ...although I did really need/do need the compassio nate and merciful expressions to me as well. Somtimes our need is so great that need has been supplied from other healthy sources as well. The boundaries are guardrails that keep us from driving off the cliff as we navigate the treacherous mountain passes towards our healing... kind of like Sam's faithfulness to Frodo on his journer in Lord of the rings. Thank you for your wisdom, compassion and good examples. They have come at such a high price. Hope you both know (and other partners of survivors) that sharing your precious jewels are helping us. May you reap many bountiful harvests in your lives form planting in our lives

Thank you

L84


me, too.
_________________________
Victor|Victim

War
Love
Poetry

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#448761 - 09/30/13 08:36 AM Re: I just found out, i feel lost, confsd, angry...... [Re: overwhelmed1975]
gettingstronger Offline


Registered: 09/24/13
Posts: 170
Loc: Virginia
Overwhelmed,

You're absolutely right in what you feel. You have every right to be angry, confused and sad. You're also right in wondering why a person would sabotage what sounds like a very loving relationship like that. I know it doesn't excuse, just know that he's telling the truth when he said it wasn't about you and it wasn't about sex.

One of the strangest things that comes out of csa is that guys will often shy away from loving, intimate sex with their wives but seek out meaningless flings with others (male or female.) I don't know why this is, and I've found myself facing similar temptations. I know this is sometimes driven by a need for affirmation from others (besides you-- he already knows you're attracted to him!) and in other cases it's the attraction of a no-strings quick fling with no emotional attachment. There are a myriad of other causes, but these are what comes to mind right now.

You're a jewel for hanging in there with him. If I may be so bold as to offer advice, don't let this destroy what you have. I strongly suspect you're still the best thing to have ever happened to him, and fling or not, he still loves you above all others. Again, no excuses being offered here but I can tell you that csa causes really nice people to do things they wouldn't otherwise do at times. Take care.
_________________________
Never worry about "three steps forward and two steps back." Thirty steps forward and twenty back are still ten steps in the right direction.

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#448784 - 09/30/13 12:52 PM Re: I just found out, i feel lost, confsd, angry...... [Re: overwhelmed1975]
overwhelmed1975 Offline


Registered: 09/23/13
Posts: 25
Thank you, that means a lot to me.

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#449530 - 10/08/13 11:59 AM Re: I just found out, i feel lost, confsd, angry...... [Re: overwhelmed1975]
Robert1000 Offline


Registered: 06/27/12
Posts: 336
Overwhelmed,

I'm impressed at how well you articulated your feelings and that you found such a good place to express them. I kind of want you to click on my "handle" and read some of my old posts in the Family and Friends forum. My behavior has some parallels to your husband, and the good news is that I'm in a MUCH better place than when I cheated on my wife, which was a huge watershed moment for me and such a devastating thing for her.

Let me say something about him blurting out what happened, though. This is something you should really hold close for yourself. He held what happened to him in a secret place in his mind all his life. He survived without sexual boundaries because someone trashed and tore down his, back when he was a vulnerable and trusting kid. (At least that's what happened if he's anything like me.) And, yes, he learned coping mechanisms that saved him then but are destroying him now... and the life he has created.

BUT he chose healing and progress before he knew he could face the truth of his life. That's why he chose you. And after he cheated on you and the news came out, he CHOSE to reveal the secret that he had intended to take to his grave. That means he CHOSE life with you over his darkest secrets, his most frightening shame and pain. That speaks to his love of you and the life you have together. And that's important.

Right now, it's not surprising to me that he can't articulate his feelings. He has spent his life avoiding them. He probably has no idea how to match his words for feelings with the things those words stand for.

That's how I was about five years ago. And I can tell you that my life has steadily improved since then. I'm a better dad, a better partner, a better man and a more fulfilled person. It's a long road, and it's not easy. I've been hard at therapy for much of the last five years. I feel like I should probably have a doctoral degree in getting therapy! BUT things get better. I feel better. I've been making progress the whole time. I have SO much less anger. I have so much more acceptance of myself. It's really pretty amazing, and it all started, for me, with the sure knowledge that I wanted my wife and family more than I wanted to keep my horrible secrets.

Good luck. Seek peace and, when you find it, enjoy it while it lasts!

Bob

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#449565 - 10/08/13 04:53 PM Re: I just found out, i feel lost, confsd, angry...... [Re: overwhelmed1975]
overwhelmed1975 Offline


Registered: 09/23/13
Posts: 25
Hey Robert1000, thanks for your insight. I have been reading as much as my tired eyes can in order to understand a little better. Esposa has also been really helpful in recommending books. I really appreciate what you said about H choosing to reveal his secret because he wanted to save "us". I had not really thought about it like that. It means a lot to me. I feel so alone sometimes. This completely flipped my world.
Its only been a few months since he disclosed. I am very apprehensive about approaching him or asking anything. I just mostly listen. I did give him an article I found about intimacy and trust and he was very excited to read it.
Yes and like you, he was a child. I cannot even begin to process how he felt when this occurred. I am going click on your handle. I have been doing that with the other wives post. I shared with Esposa that I see this pattern of cheating, alcohol, drugs, random sex in most of the postings. I wonder how many couples are suffering because one of the partners has gone through CSA and the other partner does not even know why. Once again, thank you!!


Edited by overwhelmed1975 (12/12/13 12:43 PM)

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#449578 - 10/08/13 06:59 PM Re: I just found out, i feel lost, confsd, angry...... [Re: overwhelmed1975]
Esposa Offline
F&F Greeter
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/19/11
Posts: 704
Loc: NJ
Robert's posts changed much of the way I viewed the infidelity. Read on wink

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#449586 - 10/08/13 07:54 PM Re: I just found out, i feel lost, confsd, angry...... [Re: overwhelmed1975]
overwhelmed1975 Offline


Registered: 09/23/13
Posts: 25
Esposa, I had never seen it from the perspective of him disclosing in an effort to save us. I realize that he must have been so desperate in order to throw that final life ring. The ugliest, scariest part of him out in the open.


Edited by overwhelmed1975 (12/19/13 06:37 PM)

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#449588 - 10/08/13 07:58 PM Re: I just found out, i feel lost, confsd, angry...... [Re: overwhelmed1975]
Esposa Offline
F&F Greeter
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/19/11
Posts: 704
Loc: NJ
You know when someone is drowning the advice is to throw them a line and not jump in? Because in their desperation, they will drown us too, even if they don't mean to? That's how I always took it - my husband's disclosure was under so much duress - he was tanking and he definitely threw out a line. It helps to see it that way I think. I also firmly cling to my belief that his infidelity was an act of self-destruction more than an act against me. I have to stay there mentally - and people like Robert have always reinforced that for me.

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#449619 - 10/08/13 11:44 PM Re: I just found out, i feel lost, confsd, angry...... [Re: overwhelmed1975]
Valkyrie Offline


Registered: 04/27/12
Posts: 167
My H cheated - repeatedly - and admitted to all of it. He's getting the therapy, I get my therapy, we're doing the work. We're 18 months into it and doing...better...

But one year ago? After six months of therapy for him, and marriage counseling for us, he was a drowning man, his clutch on my ankles was fierce, and I was drowning right along with him.

Early on, my H didn't think he could be faithful. Didn't want me to leave him but felt like my expectation of fidelity was setting him up to fail. Too much to live up to with such a damaged person involved. It was manipulation. I knew it. But, at the same time, I felt he had a point. Didn't mean I wasn't going to draw a line in the sand. I could (eventually) forgive everything that happened before, but from here on out, if anything happens again - I am gone. For good.

You see, it's not enough to understand where the infidelity comes from. I knew it then, I got it, but it doesn't speed up the personal healing process for the injured spouse. I kept trying to jump ahead in the forgiveness line and screwed myself in the process. The stages of grief? That shit is real and it won't be denied. The brain kept trying to speed up the heart and that kicked my ass. That, and the crazy madness my H was experiencing in the initial stages of treatment. Knowing how and why he cheated on you doesn't make it any less painful. It just creates a more complicated dynamic that can really mess with your head.

We took some time apart. Shorter than I thought. I got some serious damn therapy of my own. Made sure I had an exit plan. Made sure my H understood that I still loved him, that I would always be there for him on his journey of recovery, but that I had to take control of my situation, no matter what effect it had on him. Funny that that empowerment freed me up to start the real forgiving process.

The word "grief", in its Latin roots, means to have been robbed. And you have been. And it hurts. And in a way, it feels awful to focus on yourself when someone you love - the same person who hurt you - is going through the worse thing you can possibly imagine. Robert and Esposa are sharing some great insight, but don't deny yourself time to grieve over what has happened. That is a very necessary process and one you deserve. First things first: deal with your stuff so maybe you can help him deal with his.

It isn't all about him. It can't be.

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#449632 - 10/09/13 07:04 AM Re: I just found out, i feel lost, confsd, angry...... [Re: overwhelmed1975]
Still Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/16/07
Posts: 6453
Loc: Right Behind You!
bump-back
_________________________
Keep the others in your life happy - Comply Comply Comply

The Aftermath Video

My Absolute Hero!

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#449648 - 10/09/13 09:38 AM Re: I just found out, i feel lost, confsd, angry...... [Re: overwhelmed1975]
Esposa Offline
F&F Greeter
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/19/11
Posts: 704
Loc: NJ
Val - I love your post. Love it. I remember some time after my husband disclosed the abuse (months after I learned of the affair), my sister asked me "When are you going to deal with your pain?" It stopped me in my tracks. Remember the feeling clearly to this day.

I agree fully that understanding WHY didn't alleviate the grief and pain that I felt. It gave my brain some space to forgive him - but it wasn't and isn't part of my healing.

We can heal without our partners - but we can heal with them too, it just feels like more work sometimes wink Because our partners are damaged, we have to wait for their progress sometimes and that can feel like we are spinning our wheels and wasting our lives. It is a horrible feeling, one that I have found to be cyclical in nature.

Therapy has taught me many things - but one is the ability to see shades of gray - and also to be able to see others as separate from me. To truly see their actions and thoughts as their own - and not a reflection of me. I catch myself on a daily basis trying to interpret someone else's actions as a judgment of myself. She didn't call me back. Did I do something? Every day I grab those thoughts and I rework them and turn them away from ME and return them to the person to whom they belong. This is the value of understanding WHY he cheated for me - it helped me see him as his own person, struggling, failing, in pain. And that gave me a clear runway from which to start my own process of learning about myself, my patterns and ultimately reclaiming me from the pit of my despair.

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#449685 - 10/09/13 04:25 PM Re: I just found out, i feel lost, confsd, angry...... [Re: overwhelmed1975]
overwhelmed1975 Offline


Registered: 09/23/13
Posts: 25
Val, my close friends who know about the affair are happy we are going to MC, but ask me if I am going to get treatment. Of course, no one really knows what is going on. I know I have to get therapy, but I keep making excuses about why I cant right now. I lost weight and find myself not really caring about anything very much. Thank God, I am not a total crying mess like before (just a little crying mess).

I feel like I had to put my emotions on pause in order to support him. If I ever bring up anything specifically about the affair, he does his usual of either walking away or getting super angry. Then he always throws out "If you are never going to forgive me, why are we going through this process?". It is almost as if he wants me to say "leave then". I constantly tell him that I am trying to move forward, but that some days are harder than others. But it really annoys me that he is constantly looking for the escape route. I have brought it up to him numerous times,including in therapy. It annoys the crap out of me when he flashes that card just because he does not agree with what i am saying or it is too intense for him.


Edited by overwhelmed1975 (12/19/13 06:38 PM)

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#449707 - 10/09/13 08:57 PM Re: I just found out, i feel lost, confsd, angry...... [Re: overwhelmed1975]
Valkyrie Offline


Registered: 04/27/12
Posts: 167
I rejected therapy at first. I was too ashamed for staying (!) and also, I had completely lost trust in the human race, which was really me not trusting myself, but it manifests the same way. Eventually though, you can't live with that kind of bile. Also, I needed a place to express my grieving process away from friends and family who felt powerless to help, and away from my husband who basically did the same thing you describe your husband doing.

My H knew then what I was going through, but he couldn't handle it on top of everything else. I too put my emotions on hold but, getting cliched here, it is possible to choke on your own pride. You think you're strong enough to handle it until you get your husband on solid ground, but the sad reality is that you can't, nor should you even try.

What you are describing with your husband is the constant push/pull. He really doesn't want you to leave but he also doesn't want to put you through anymore pain so he pushes, tests, and infuriates the ever living hell out of you. ALL THE MORE TO GET A THERAPIST OF YOUR OWN.

Think about it, this is someone, a mental health professional, with no skin in your game, who is entirely devoted to listening and helping you sort your shit out for a whole hour - as any times a week as you can afford!! (I went twice a week for awhile). It's a brilliant thing. My therapist eventually set me free, but while I was going, it was the mental equivalent of a good workout, a spa day, and a big fat drink all wrapped into one awesome hour. And I didn't have to do the give and take of problems with friends and family. I didn't have to watch a face full of pity over my situation from those emotionally invested who really don't understand and secretly thought I should just leave. I didn't have to worry about the judgment of my actions. It was all about me-me-me, my problems, my feelings, and then helping me work through solutions. In the first visit I realized that my marriage was rarely ever about me. It was enormously freeing.

So I took my process elsewhere, away from my husband. Eventually he got on solid ground and we were able to deal with rebuilding. And just a month ago, out of the blue, my H acknowledged, for the first time, how awful last year must have been for me and how he was so happy I stayed and that we are working it out.

The monster in my head comes out to play every so often. We spouses get set off too and it's not always something we are cognizant of. I don't take it out on him anymore, but then, he is better at recognizing when something is wrong and we can now talk about it.

Our 10th anniversary was last weekend. My H was coming off a serious episode, something triggered the hell out of him, but he was able to put that aside for a day so we could celebrate. And then the next day, it was back to work with his therapist.

Last year sucked, seriously, fuck 2012...2013 is certainly better on a multitude of levels. I'm not convinced it ever becomes perfect, or like the way we thought it would be, but it's pretty good - better, it's definitely more honest and I will take that.

So rant it over. Get into therapy. Stop putting it off. Find a good therapist and I promise that after a lot of kleenex, ranting, and raving, you will eventually feel better.

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#449709 - 10/09/13 09:01 PM Re: I just found out, i feel lost, confsd, angry...... [Re: overwhelmed1975]
Esposa Offline
F&F Greeter
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/19/11
Posts: 704
Loc: NJ
Try survivinginfidelity.com

The fact of the matter is that you deserve to talk about it and work through it - and get your needs met. MS helped me understand him - and it found me a network of betrayed spouses who had the same little (BIG) secret to keep. But standard fair, run of the mill infidelity support is ESSENTIAL as well.

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#449713 - 10/09/13 09:26 PM Re: I just found out, i feel lost, confsd, angry...... [Re: overwhelmed1975]
lucylives Offline


Registered: 04/07/11
Posts: 364
Overwhelmed, it is good that you are here. You can find women here who know your pain.

I sometimes would catch myself trying to get comfort frm my husband after all the shit that happened but it was extremely frustrating because a. trying to get comfort or understanding from someone (h) who is in so much pain is a waste of time. B. Trying to get comfort from the person (again husband) who cause me so much pain was ridiculous of me. C. Husband couldn't really handle or understand the pain or didn't want to because it hurt him too much to know much he hurt me.

I find my friends in my COSA group and a few of the ladies I met here to be the greatest source of comfort. My friends of 30 yrs who haven't been here can't understand. My family can't understand. Like Val, I feel shame for staying. I can't tell my friends and family what caused my husband to go down this dark dark path beause I promised I wouldn't tell anyone. Hubby and I have an agreement though, that I can tell any and all to my recovery friends and therapist.

Find women who have been there and a good therapist who specializes in abuse or sex addcition. They seem to be the only ones who get this shit. They will save you.

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#449721 - 10/09/13 10:47 PM Re: I just found out, i feel lost, confsd, angry...... [Re: overwhelmed1975]
overwhelmed1975 Offline


Registered: 09/23/13
Posts: 25
Thanks ladies. I know what i have do, i just have to force myself to do it.About a month after everything he had some family in town visiting from out of town they wanted to hang out,but anytime H would ask about meeting them for dinner, I would freak out.Then he would have to cancel. I finally realized I didn't want to face his family member and wife because I was embarrassed that his immediate family had disclosed about the affair. I was ashamed, my pride and dignity was crushed. We both have very large families,so we are constantly invited to events, but I refuse 3 out of 4 times. I just don't feel like facing people and pretending everything is ok. I know it is not their fault,but I don't feel like pretending. I go because I know it is not fair to the kids to be cut off from their extended family.
No one knows about the CSA except for us and therapist. I have PM'd Esposa,but I have not really spoken to anyone else. Your right,I know I need to find some kind of outlet.


Edited by overwhelmed1975 (01/08/14 05:46 PM)

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#449724 - 10/09/13 10:53 PM Re: I just found out, i feel lost, confsd, angry...... [Re: overwhelmed1975]
Valkyrie Offline


Registered: 04/27/12
Posts: 167
Oh you just tapped into a whole other can of worms there: The Big Show!

The Big Show is the big damn farce you and your H put on to make everyone around you comfortable and pretend that everything is just shiny!

I did that for awhile, mostly because people really do love what they think our marriage represents, but also I thought that if my H could see how much people loved us as a couple, he would snap the hell out of it. But as time went on, I began to resent The Big Show, and resent how well my husband played his part, and then I hated myself for having anything to do with it. And then I stopped playing altogether.

You retreating is a good protective measure, you don't have to put on an act. But get that outlet (therapy!), have your say (lots of therapy!), you might find, in time, that you're ready to get back out there and socialize.


Edited by Valkyrie (10/09/13 10:55 PM)

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#449866 - 10/11/13 05:00 PM Re: I just found out, i feel lost, confsd, angry...... [Re: overwhelmed1975]
Robert1000 Offline


Registered: 06/27/12
Posts: 336
Hey overwhelmed, val, esposa, lucylives and others.... It's nice to be back on the site a bit and reading some of your posts. I have a few things to add. Forgive me if I sound a little pompous. I'm pretty pumped up after the nice things Esposa said on the previous page. (Thanks.)

Cheating. I've been getting EMDR for the last year. It's a kind of therapy, and in my experience it's very, very effective. I do believe that I'm getting a new brain, and I want this new brain! In part as a result of EMDR, I think I'm beginning to understand why I cheated. So, let's start by rolling the clock back to when I was 10 when the abuse happened to me. I was ashamed. I thought I was to blame. I was also scared and the abuse was extremely painful physically. But it was really the combination of physical and emotional pain the hurt so bad, I think. The abuser told me it was my fault. He also said it was "what people did." At the time the abuse happened, I wasn't a sexual being. I hadn't been through puberty. I didn't know what it was like to have an orgasm. And when he had one, I didn't know why he acted the way he did. All I knew was that it was fucked up and wrong and awkward and strange. And that it hurt. And that I was mortally afraid and embarrassed, humiliated. I wasn't going to TELL anyone. A million times I said to myself that I would take that secret "to my grave." That was the phrase I repeated a million times.

It's hard, as a kid or a teen or young adult, to have an enormous pain without talking about it. The pain will try to come out... in the form of tears or other expressions... and so a person finds themselves lying about the cause of the tears or histrionics. I made up all kinds of stories, lies. Those lies served another purpose, too. Lies help a person maintain the "shame cycle."

So remember when I was humiliated and ashamed of the pain I'd experienced? I think what I did... and what lots of people do... is chose to believe I was marked, ruined, cursed and just plain bad. That, to me, was the best explanation I could find for what had happened to me. In a way, it makes sense, because it kept life predictable. And it let me focus on things I could sort of control. I have learned (and embraced) the use of the term "magical thinking" to describe that idea. It's not true. I wasn't assaulted because I was bad. I was assaulted because a predator found an opportunity to hurt me. And he took it. Period. But it's a scary thing to think that any of us, at any time, could be victimized. That there's really NOTHING we can do to protect ourselves... or our children... or anyone. But with my magical thinking, I could give some shape to my own destiny. I could say, "Well, what happened was because I was bad. So, I'll be good instead." But that sadly doesn't get rid of the emotional pain, nor does it help hide the truth. And so I'd tell lies and then be ashamed of myself, which would once again prove to me that I was bad/cursed/wrong/tainted/ruined and then I would resolve again to do better, to be better, to not lie, all that stuff... and then I'd tell more lies and the cycle would continue.

The other thing you have to realize about rape or sexual assault is that it doesn't have anything to do with "sex," except that it happens to involve sexual parts of the body. I wasn't even aware of what sex actually was when I got targeted. I didn't even know what the grooming was for when I was getting groomed! And when the sexual assault was happening, there was nothing sexual happening INSIDE me. Only pain. Humiliation. Anger. Fear.

But when your boundaries are trampled by someone, they stay gone. It's like anything. Like if you learn to ride a bike. You won't be intimidated by riding a bike again. If you get raped, sex loses its shine, it's newness, and the inhibitions that come with newness are also gone. It's odd to think of, but it's true. I've never been aware of sex in a different way, but there you have it. Anyway, my own boundarylessness has always freaked me out, because to me it was always a sign of my own shame/badness/curse/ruination. And as a result, I think I was always simultaneously drawn to and repulsed by boundarylessness in other people.

I knew I could basically fuck anything or anyone at the drop of a hat, and I didn't want to cheat on my wife, so I would walk away from any situation that seemed to push those weird boundarylessness buttons for me (this long before I acknowledged CSA and got therapy and stuff). But I always would sneak porn or masturbate by myself or whatever, and I think I would do it to feel ashamed. To at first feel lustful and then ashamed and angry at myself.

Anyway, I cheated with a woman who I don't feel attracted to, except that I was floored by her boundarylessness. She was married. Had a little girl. She had ABSOLUTELY no boundaries. She told me she had been raped in college. And I think it's true. I think she actually decided to target people, including me, because that's what she told me. She told me she was dangerous. This was a year or months before the affair. But the truth is that I could have stopped the affair by not having it. I'm not trying to dish blame onto her and escape from it for myself. BUT, I do think that the impulses that came from my own shame cycle (and feeling of my own inevitable failure) plus my own lack of decent sexual boundaries and her sexual aggression are together what caused the affair. For me, it was about shame/feeling degraded/cursed. For instance, this is pretty personal, but I love all kinds of sex with my wife. I didn't want to do anything except fuck and be done with this person. I wasn't interested. I didn't want to touch or see her skin, for instance. Not breasts. Nothing. I actually found her repulsive and disgusting. And myself. And yet I did it.

Getting caught. I think I told lies that would catch up to me so I would feel the shame of it all, and I think I cheated knowing I'd get caught. The way I got caught was, from what I'm told, the cheater's husband used a spyware program to see her emails to me (this was after the sexual part of the affair had ended). He thought he could see that there was too much emotional connection there. He confronted her. She told him about the affair. He stormed out of the house. Came back in again. And then stormed back out. She called me, because she thought he might have come inside to get a gun and headed to my house. I then told my wife in the lamest possible way. I first lied and said he thought there had been an affair but there wasn't. Then I said we had kissed. Then I said we had sex once. And then I told her about everything. One of the best things I ever heard was my wife saying not to have anything to do with the cheater ever again. I called the cheater and said, Don't ever call me. Don't have anything to do with me. Ever again. Period. It was like I had been set free! I knew I needed therapy big time. And my wife made me stay in the house. Not in her bed. No way. I stayed in the basement or in our son's room. But I stayed in the house, and I got us a therapy appointment right away. I just started calling therapists and telling them I had an affair and I wanted to save my marriage and keep my family. I think getting caught was something I was trying to do, in a strange sort of way. (And I think someone leaving naked photos of a woman on their phone like your H sounds a LOT like someone trying to get caught.)

Learning to hear and express feelings. It has taken me a long time to hear my wife express her feelings without feeling myself like everything she says is a referendum on my self-worth. It's not. Sometimes she just needs to express herself. Sometimes she's mad and disappointed. It's hard for me to let her have her feelings, but I also know that it's one way that I can support her, and I want to be supportive of her.

Recovering from abuse. It's HARD to recover from abuse. Very hard. Abuse sucks. Sometimes it seems like the abuse leaves all these red-hot iron bars in my body and my mind and emotions. So someone can say something. Or I can think or say something or do something, and all of a sudden I'll find myself reeling from this tremendous pain! And I'm like, WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT?!?! But once you start to realize that your reactions are actually based on experiences long ago and not on whatever is happening right now that happens to trigger them, you can start to get a handle on yourself. There's a lot more I could get into on the recovery end of things, but I've written so much already....

Rebuilding a life. This is just really important to me. A person has to be accountable to other people in their life, every single day. I want to be a good partner for my wife every day. And I want her to be a good partner to me. I want to be a good dad. That sort of thing. You have to always keep your eyes forward, your mind forward. It is possible to rebuild a life. We've had a good five years since the affair. I think I'm getting stronger and stronger all the time. My marriage still has ups and downs. And who knows where it'll go from here. But what I know is that I love my spouse and I'm committed to this relationship, to making it work, and to keep building our life together.

It can happen. It really can. But you've got to seriously work toward it. And you've got to raise new boundaries around yourself around the sexual/sharing stuff and tear down the boundaries that the abuse created around honesty/trust.

Good luck! I haven't read this over, but take it all with a grain of salt. I guess I'm just in a good mood today.

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#449867 - 10/11/13 05:01 PM Re: I just found out, i feel lost, confsd, angry...... [Re: Esposa]
Robert1000 Offline


Registered: 06/27/12
Posts: 336
That's just a really nice thing to say. Thanks for the vote of confidence.

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#449869 - 10/11/13 06:17 PM Re: I just found out, i feel lost, confsd, angry...... [Re: overwhelmed1975]
Esposa Offline
F&F Greeter
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/19/11
Posts: 704
Loc: NJ
That's another phenomenal piece. Seriously, it's a walk inside something we just cannot understand. THANK YOU again.

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#449888 - 10/12/13 01:06 AM Re: I just found out, i feel lost, confsd, angry...... [Re: overwhelmed1975]
overwhelmed1975 Offline


Registered: 09/23/13
Posts: 25
Robert1000, it's like you are saying H's story. He said he was happy he was "caught", that it was a relief. For someone who has not been in a situation like that, that is very hard to comprehend. First he told me,she sent him the pics, then it was they just kissed, then it was they got a hotel but he chickened out,now we are at he got a BJ but no sex. Obviously, I don't believe him and I tell him his story is BS, he tells me he got grossed out with her. She also told him her H was coming after him with a gun. Which was not true the H,never found out. She went on vacation with her H and children two weeks after all the drama. The disturbing part is that he has to see her everyday because they are co-workers. Now, she is purposely trying to make him uncomfortable by trying to be alone with him constantly, even though management has asked her not to. I know it makes my H feel weird because all these other coworkers are disclosing that they had sex with her as well. I think he feels like he was "duped". So he comes home angry and frustrated and is mean to me. Then I react, we have a big fight, he threatens to leave, I cry and beg him to keep our family intact, of course he stays, then I feel like dummy begging a man to stay with me. I have become his emotional punching bag because of the stress at work. Sometimes I wonder if he really wants us to work out because he doesn't act like it. There are good days and bad days.

The disclosure about the CSA is very fresh (3months), so when I read all of the post including the wives post, it seems like the situation getting better is a galaxy away. I am going to get my own therapy because I am very angry. I also need to stop letting him treat me like dirt because is frustrated. I realized today, that his threats are not real. He just wants to pick fights with me. There are too many things going on right now. It is hard to look forward sometimes.
Robert1000, I really appreciate your insight. I'm so glad you responded. Thanks for all the wives for sharing their experiences. This forum has changed my perspective on so many things. I can honestly tell you that if wasn't for this site, I don't know where I would be. I can't share with anyone else aside from what I read and type here. For a while after I found out, I thought I was losing my mind.
I am very thankful that I found this forum. I sincerely mean that.

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#450146 - 10/14/13 10:28 AM Re: I just found out, i feel lost, confsd, angry...... [Re: overwhelmed1975]
Robert1000 Offline


Registered: 06/27/12
Posts: 336
Hi Overwhelmed: Thanks for posting. And thanks again, Esposa, for your post, too. It really REALLY feels good to get into my feelings and truly try to sort them out and use plain English to describe them. I feel like it's something I've been preparing for all my life, or at least all my life since the abuse.

So... overwhelmed... I've got some hard things to say, but you probably already know the deal. It sounds to me like you're in a seriously co-dependent situation/relationship. That's not surprising, nor is it unusual. Probably every relationship is codependent (like the destructive kind of codependency) to one degree or another. And don't be hard on yourself, for goodness sake, because you're still fresh off the affair and the news of your husband's CSA.

I've learned from myself that a lot of times if I really hate a situation, or if it sets me off or something, I'm probably creating it or setting it up in some fundamental way, because it meets some screwed up need of mine. Right. That's frustrating, ok? But in a certain sense it's true. Like, I used to fill my life with all kinds of duties, to stretch myself too thin and then get stressed out. It served a bunch of purposes for me. I got to feel like a hero, because I was doing so much important stuff. (Whatever, but it's true.) I got to constantly distract myself, so I wouldn't have to think about the things in my life that needed work. (My relationship with my spouse, my relationship with myself, my own mental health, my career, everything.) And I got to miss/skip/double-book obligations so I could feel self-righteous and ashamed at the same time. I remember once having a meeting scheduled on my son's birthday. My wife was pissed. I was supposed to chair the meeting. (If I had just communicated a LITTLE TINY BIT, I could have rescheduled the meeting and everything would have worked out fine, but communication is HARD for me. If I ask someone to reschedule, I feel like I'm taking a risk that will backfire and kill me. Right. Related to the abuse? I think so, and also hangups in my family. Hard to separate the two.) Anyway, I ended up driving around town with my wife and kids in the car, stalling a birthday plan for MY SON WHO I ABSOLUTELY DEVOTE MYSELF TO, being pissed at my wife, who was sitting in the passenger seat with a major pout on, because I was not putting my family first... and God who wouldn't feel pissed in that situation. And all that was while I was on the phone, participating in the meeting via teleconference! How crazy was that?!? That was a good 8 months after the affair was uncovered and 5 months after I finally confronted the facts of the abuse that happened to me.

What the hell was wrong with us? Should my wife have just run screaming from me? Maybe! Should I have had my head examined? YES! Actually, I was! AND AM! And now we're still trying to figure out how to get away from the codependencies and other bull that typified our relationship, which I should add has also been wonderful and fulfilling in SO many ways.

But one thing that really has become plain to me is that my role, my responsibility in my life is to man up and OWN my emotions, my wants and needs and express them. I think I argue with my wife, who is so beautiful and fun, because I resent her for the pain and isolation I feel but which she of course didn't cause. It's like the only person I've been able to express my frustration and anger to has been the one person who has loved me and been honest with me all my life! How wrong is that? She's the one person who I want to treat the most with love and respect. The one person who I cherish above all others! But for so long, I resented her for loving me, because I felt unlovable and unforgivable.

We had a small fight last night. There's a part of her that's angry at herself for staying with me. I get that. Our fight last night was maybe a bit of a breakthrough, because I said aloud what I was afraid to say, which is that she felt like maybe she should have left me, like she maybe wished she had left me. I was afraid to say that because I'm afraid to she'll leave me now! Like, there's a part of me that thinks if she she's the light, she'll run. RUN!

But that's just my insecurity talking. The truth is we love each other. In so many ways, we're great together. And I do admire the hell out of her. She's a great mom and a wonderful partner. Sure, she's human like everyone else. She makes mistakes. Blah blah blah. She's not perfect, nags a lot and whatever, but I like her. And I'm going to stick with her, and I'll also help lead the way for her and me to make peace with the past and leave it behind. We don't need it. We can think about what we want for the future and try to build that life we want.

Anyway... I had written some other stuff about how your husband needs to grow a pair. But I deleted it, because I sounded to myself like I was grandstanding. But seriously, what you write above rings a little false to me. It's up to your husband to maintain his own boundaries. He needs to tell that woman to get the hell away from him. And he needs to stop blaming you. That's a load of bull. Seriously, if he wants to leave, he should go. No more threats, though. That's a load, for sure. And you need good boundaries, too. In my opinion, your kids will be better served by a fight for decency than a life of emotional sabotage and pain. You can make it work with your H, if he so chooses. But you shouldn't waste your time trying to figure out what he wants to do. You should start laying ground rules and making things happen, and those things should be based on your survival, your emotional health and wellbeing and the health and wellbeing of your kids. If he wants to go along with you, great, but if he doesn't, that's fine, too. You'll make it OK. I know you will. You're worth it. And your kids are, too. (Wow. If I offended you at all, just ignore me. I don't know your situation. Just what I've read. I absolutely encourage therapy, and I absolutely encourage you to IGNORE what I've written if I'm off-base. But I'm going to hit submit before I think better of it.)

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#450163 - 10/14/13 08:24 PM Re: I just found out, i feel lost, confsd, angry...... [Re: overwhelmed1975]
Esposa Offline
F&F Greeter
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/19/11
Posts: 704
Loc: NJ
I remember the first time, early on, when someone said to me "if he wants to go, then let him go." I had a physical reaction of a hot knife being stabbed repeatedly into my chest and stomach. Seriously, I felt like I would die.

That, my friends, is a measuring stick on the level of codependency I was living. I WOULD DIE IF A LYING CHEATING EMOTIONALLY ABUSIVE TRAIN WRECK LEFT ME? WHAT???? Even as I type those words now, I can't even imagine that I felt that way ever. But I did. Boy did I.

And I get what Robert is saying now. I defined my boundaries and I worked on me. And there were rules now to being in my life, for every one, not just my husband. I was going to answer the needs of my forgotten inner child.

And we all say it over and over on here - the creation of boundaries and the enforcement of them brought me tranquility and happiness - calmness - that I had never known. It sounds silly and cliche, but I am a pleaser and a fixer by nature and I gave so much of myself that my inner child cried while those around me took everything I had left to give.

When I finally stood up, looked inside myself and was firm and resolute, the people around me changed. Sure, many of them complained for a while because they liked the doer and the fixer. Good ole reliable esposa was no longer around to do their bidding. My husband revolted for a short time, I called it "incursions" - he would test my boundaries, test my resolve. Unfortunately for him, the more he tested, the stronger and prouder I got. And ultimately, everything got better. Until today when I can say HONESTLY, I love him but he can go if he wants - and I will go if I am not happy. And that is that.

Am I making it sound too easy? Please, I have 3 years of daily work in on this mission. So we must go easy on ourselves, but keep our mission in mind and in focus. It's the mandate for all of us who seek peace, sanity and happiness.

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#450211 - 10/15/13 10:07 AM Re: I just found out, i feel lost, confsd, angry...... [Re: overwhelmed1975]
Robert1000 Offline


Registered: 06/27/12
Posts: 336
Wow. I'm SO IMPRESSED! Wow. I'm going to take some time and think about what you've written, and also about overwhelmed.... And overwhelmed? I want you to know that I'm praying for you, to help you find the path forward for yourself. Everyone is different. But you CAN find and keep happiness. And you can find and hold onto peace and acceptance. I occasionally feel kind of peaceful, and THAT is a huge accomplishment. Keep seeking. Keep trying.

Bob

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#450264 - 10/15/13 06:11 PM Re: I just found out, i feel lost, confsd, angry...... [Re: overwhelmed1975]
overwhelmed1975 Offline


Registered: 09/23/13
Posts: 25
Thanks Robert1000 and Esposa, your encouragement means a lot to me. I talked to our therapist about his threats and she basically told me the same thing.I didn't know how to answer. I have become this blubbering mess. I know deep inside that I don't want my children to be exposed to fights or anger. I know I could support myself financially and be "ok". Rationally, I know that,I completely believe that. Just like I know directing his anger at me is not right, and that he caused this when he choose to have an affair which has nothing to do with me, and that his threats are BS. BUT, I have become so attached and focused on him. Maybe that is just part of my own issues and insecurities. But I also realized this weekend that his threats and attempts to pick fights with me are in an attempt to make me feel like crap, because he is feeling like crap at work. He said he was going to talk to management again today at their staff meeting. It is really getting out of hand at this point. But again, when he starts ranting about the situation and I remind him that he had the affair and now he has to face the consequences, he becomes angry. He does not want to acknowledge that he messed up, so he blames it on everyone else.
Robert1000, I am not offended at all. Sometimes you need an outsiders perspective to see what you really don't want to acknowledge. I appreciate your positive thoughts and prayers.
I think wives, or at least for me, yes you are angry, but at the same time, the thought of someone hurting the love of your life is so terrible, that you want to make things right. I am glad that you understand where your wife is coming from. She loves you and is dedicated to your family, but as a woman, the mere thought that you were able to betray her for someone else is painful not only emotionally but to our pride as well. Not only because you betrayed your love, but because the H's technically put their families on the line. I think by telling your wife your real fear, about her leaving, helps her understanding that you are scared and do not want to lose her.
Esposa, you are right about setting boundaries. I think I just have spent so much time and energy focusing on his needs and the kids needs, that I forgot about me. I know I have to work on that, because I know there is going to a day when I crash.


Edited by overwhelmed1975 (12/12/13 12:45 PM)

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#450266 - 10/15/13 06:21 PM Re: I just found out, i feel lost, confsd, angry...... [Re: overwhelmed1975]
overwhelmed1975 Offline


Registered: 09/23/13
Posts: 25
Oops, I realized that I cut out an important part. The therapist asked me why I was giving him so much power over me. That is the part I didnt know how to answer

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#450291 - 10/15/13 10:19 PM Re: I just found out, i feel lost, confsd, angry...... [Re: overwhelmed1975]
Esposa Offline
F&F Greeter
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/19/11
Posts: 704
Loc: NJ
I went through a period, honestly, where I felt like a deer in the headlights. I guess I am dense because it lasted like 5 months where he continued his affair and I just sat around in shock. My point is, we all need our time to sort things out and we have to forgive ourselves for that time.

I have said it on MS a couple of times but it applies here. What do you want your life to look like? Make that list and then tolerate only the things that support that. It makes it easier to focus. I don't think he has control over you, I just think you are taking your time to sort through how you feel - and that is OKAY.

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#450337 - 10/16/13 11:01 AM Re: I just found out, i feel lost, confsd, angry...... [Re: overwhelmed1975]
Robert1000 Offline


Registered: 06/27/12
Posts: 336
I agree with Esposa 100 percent. Overwhelmed, It's difficult not to punish yourself, but try not to let yourself bear the brunt of your anger and pain. I have been in your husband's shoes... as far as not wanting to face the consequences of my own decisions and my own role in the disaster I created. The first thing he needs to do (which is HARD but must be done) is to accept the responsibility for his own decisions. The real question, for him, is what he wants more... does he want the dysfunction and pain more... or does he want a family and a life. He has to choose, but only if you make the same choice. Otherwise, he'll get what you both have now... which is dysfunction and pain. For better or worse (and clearly because of your own co-dependencies, which is totally normal) that's the life you have built. But life is no longer tenable, because it hurts too bad. He made decisions that make it hurt too bad. He's asking you to take on too much pain. And that's too much to ask. So things have to change. Will he come along with that change or not? That's the question at this point in the relationship. He has to get his priorities straight. He's the only one who can do that. And he'll chose what he chooses.

As for you... and the fear of being alone.... I've thought a lot about fear.

I'll be graphic just for a moment. Skip to the next paragraph if you need to. When I was in fourth grade... never mind... I can't write this today. Well, I basically got raped in a friend's bedroom by an older kid after school who was supposed to keep an eye on my friends until their mom came home from work. The kid hurt me and scared me and weirded me out. I was pre-sexual. I honestly thought he was peeing on me. I think I've described that before, but I can still remember how baffled I was that his fucked up face would twist up. But aside from the humiliation and pain, I felt fear. Like I feared for my life in a really profound sense. It was terrifying. And so fastforward 25 years. I'm six four. I weigh 250 pounds. I've not been in a ton of fights, but enough, and in all truth I'm tough as hell, most anyone would tell you so. And yet I'll shake like a leaf sometimes with fear, because inside myself are certain triggers that, when hit, cause me to relive an echo of the pain, humiliation and terror I felt as a child. When I chose to have the affair, I chose to do so because it seemed less bad than facing the echo of that fear and pain. But when I chose to talk about the abuse that happened to me, I made the choice because facing the fear and humiliation of my childhood seemed less bad than losing my wife and kids.

Many, many times I made destructive decisions to avoid the fear and pain of my childhood (although I never had an affair before, there were lots of shitty and painful things I put myself through all my life, lies I told, failures I caused, drugs I took, blah blah).

And even after I began to face the truth of my life, I still had things that held onto the echo of the pain and humiliation. For instance, I mismanaged money and bounced checks and got super-stressed out. That, to me, is a manifestation of my CSA-related dysfunction, and I'm in therapy now to handle that so I can deal with money in a logical way rather than reactive, knee-jerky and crazy.

My whole point, though, is that you yourself, and your husband himself, have to decide to start facing the pain that has been getting you to choose crappy things because you think it's the less bad thing to do.

You know? That's what I thought about. How bad would it really be for me to actively manage my money so I don't bounce checks? Will that be so painful and humiliating? Well, no. It turns out not to be. How bad would it be for me to tell my wife what I actually think and feel? It turns out not to be so bad. (I'm still working on that one, btw)

But are both of those things scary? Hell, yes. Both still scare the shit out of me, to be honest. I'm getting better at both, but both raise the old fear of death, pain, humiliation and the confusion, too. That horrid sense of bafflement mixed with pain and despair.

Christ. I'm done for the day.

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